Leadership Courses Built on Science
At DDI, we build everything based on science. Our leadership courses are deeply rooted in psychology, and focused on delivering measurable change in your leaders. With deep experience in virtual classroom and microlearning options to build blended learning journeys, you can engage your leaders no matter where they work and how they want to learn. And speaking of options, our leadership development subscription gives you the ultimate option for flexible, ongoing development with access to all the digital tools and courses you need to see results.
Our content is built on our proven learning systems: Interaction Management® leadership development program, Business Impact Leadership® mid-and senior-level series, and Targeted Selection® behavioral interviewing.
Addressing Poor Work Habits
Handle poor work habits
Learn simple problem-solving steps to handle poor work habits on your team. Then, dive into realistic scenarios for practice. Expert coaches provide advice on how to make positive habits stick.
- Strengthen their approach to handling employees with poor work habits.
- Avoid common pitfalls.
- Gain practical advice on how to problem-solve with employees to turn poor habits around.
- Prepare for their next challenge using the Work Habits Planner.
Authenticity and Transparency (SHARE)
Build trust with authenticity and transparency
Boost Your Resilience
Overcome stress and adversity with resilience
Adversity, change, turbulence, and uncertainty can be part of any given day. While we successfully navigate most challenges, others require greater resilience—the ability to cope with stress and adversity. Resilience keeps us from feeling stuck. Key personality traits and skills can raise our resilience, and power us through even the most challenging times.
- Learn how individual traits and skills affect resilience.
- Discover methods to manage tendencies and strengthen skills.
- Consider which mindset obstacles and personal biases are interfering with resilience.
- Create a 60-day plan for boosting resilience.
Building Rapport Virtually
Connect and build rapport with interviewees virtually
Attracting and landing the best candidates is a competitive advantage for an organization. When interviewers establish a human connection, candidates have a more positive impression of the job and organization. To make that connection in a virtual setting, interviewers must be especially aware of their words and actions and make an extra effort to build rapport.
- Understand how helping candidates feel at ease can land top job seekers and benefit the organization.
- Learn ways to create a welcoming virtual environment.
- Use interaction skills to build a human connection with candidates.
Building Relationships (ESTEEM)
Value others to build relationships
Your effectiveness as a leader depends on the relationships you build with the people who report to you. Watch a leader discover her misconceptions about what makes others feel valued. The story unfolds to explain the brain's alert system for detecting a lack of acceptance and how you can apply the most important skill for demonstrating respect.
- Understand the neuroscience behind our personal need to feel valued.
- Describe common misconceptions about valuing and respecting others.
- Apply the best skill for meeting our need to feel valued.
Building Trust in Your Work Environment
Become aware of how behavior influences trust
Although you can see how others' behavior affects trust in the organization, you might not recognize how your own behavior influences trust. Building trust is a gradual process, one interaction at a time. But it takes only a single action to break trust.
- Stop behaviors that break trust.
- Model behaviors that build trust.
- Repair relationships where lack of trust is negatively affecting job performance.
Building an Inclusive Culture
Learn behaviors to create an inclusive workplace
Leaders are introduced to the Identify, Engage, Advocate framework for inclusive action. Through a series of activities they learn the behaviors leader allies need to create an environment of psychological safety and an equitable workplace.
- Recognize the exclusionary behaviors happening around you and within your team and take action to counter them.
- Develop everyday inclusive leadership habits using a memorable framework of three inclusive practices—Identify, Engage, and Advocate.
- Model inclusive behaviors in a way that encourages your team members to embrace and practice these behaviors with others.
- Build and nurture a psychologically safe environment where each person can participate freely, be themselves, and experience success.
Coaching Challenges: Tips from a Coach
Navigate challenging coaching situations
Not all coaching situations are easy to navigate, especially when you’re a new leader. Read a challenging scenario and think about how you might handle the situation. Then, hear advice from a DDI coach who has been there about how to handle the challenge and avoid common mistakes.
- Think through a challenging coaching scenario.
- Get tips from a coach and how they would handle that situation.
- Learn how to avoid common first-time mistakes.
- See examples of how coaches plan for the coaching conversation.
Communicating Effectively to Improve Your Leadership Brand
Craft communications to maintain a consistent and authentic brand
You inspire, motivate, and influence team members every day to reach business goals. Learn three tips on making the most of your communications to maintain your consistent and authentic brand.
- Recognize how they communicate is as important as what they communicate.
- Adapt their communication style to connect more effectively.
- Craft communications to positively impact individuals, teams, organizations, and their own leadership brand.
Ensure virtual communications are clear and effective
Many conversations occur through email, conference call, team collaboration apps, instant messaging, or other digitally-enabled formats. We communicate with greater speed and efficiency than ever before, but it’s easy to be misunderstood, or for messages to have unintended, negative consequences. This course provides tips and tools to make sure virtual communications are clear and effective.
- Be reminded of the fundamental elements of communication.
- Evaluate their understanding of effective communications practices.
- Discover methods for improving the clarity and receptivity of messages delivered virtually.
- Receive a wealth of actionable tips for improving communications across a variety of modalities (email, conference calls, etc.).
Creating a Coaching Culture on Your Team
Create a culture of coaching within your team
Imagine a workplace culture where team members play to their strengths, help one another to be their best selves, and push forward awesome solutions. A coaching culture creates a safe space for these moments to blossom. In such a culture, learning can come from a variety of sources: peers, managers, direct reports, and external coaches. When everyone in a company can be a coach, everyone benefits.
- Evaluate the current coaching mindset of themselves in comparison with their work group.
- Discover actions they can take to foster a safe working environment.
- Receive actionable tips for modeling and promoting effective coaching behaviors.
Data-Driven Decision Making
Explore methods to effectively collect and analyze information to accelerate actions
Digital technology and data are helping organizations transform into more responsive, nimble, and inclusive cultures. Information is abundant, yet leaders are making more and more decisions in the midst of uncertainty. To lead through transformation effectively, leaders must get the right information and form accurate insights. Then, they can accelerate actions.
- Learn about decision making in transformation-orientated organizational cultures.
- Discover methods to effectively collect and analyze information.
- Learn how to propose, vet, and select alternative courses of action.
- Prepare to confidently decide and accelerate action.
Developing Individual Team Members
Guide the development of others
Some people on your team need development to meet minimum job requirements. Others need to prepare for future opportunities such as new job responsibilities, upcoming assignments, or a promotion. Address both types of development needs with some help from a Development Action Planner, a handy tool that both you and team members can use to plan a development effort.
- Understand the role of the leader and team member in development.
- Recognize the importance of development to the success of individuals, teams, and the organization.
- Identify who is responsible for determining the most effective way to develop skills, knowledge, and competencies.
- Measure the effectiveness of development efforts.
Discover Your Unique Coach Qualities
Tap into your unique coach qualities
Understand how your coach qualities (motivations, style, and personal attributes) affect your ability to coach effectively. Everyone is different and it’s important to understand how to leverage your unique qualities.
- Discover how their coach qualities influence their coaching impact.
- Learn tips to make the most of their unique strengths and avoid risks.
- Prepare for their next coaching opportunity using new self-insights learned.
Address issues connected with change
Change is universal. However, it manifests itself in very different ways, depending on the situation, the environment, the people, and the timing. Understanding the recent past, the present, and the near future will prepare you to address important issues connected with a change. And it will surface the fears, concerns, challenges, and opportunities that you need to discuss and confront.
- Understand how people typically react when change occurs.
- Demonstrate an embracing change mind-set that will enable you to remain open to workplace change.
- Determine how you can influence changes when, at first glance, it appears you have no control.
Ensuring Your Team Avoids Burnout
Identify and address team burnout
The speed of work and ever-increasing demands on employees' talents and time can leave them burned out and, possibly, on their way out. Leaders can pivot to prevent team burnout, but they often won't know what to look for or how to address it before it escalates.
- Learn the signs of burnout and where it's coming from.
- How to take action to protect their team.
Demonstrate everyday actions to motivate and engage team members
People need to feel satisfied with their jobs, but even a leader’s best intentions can’t guarantee that their team is truly engaged. If people feel disconnected, they might not perform at their best. Evaluating engagement efforts and demonstrating simple but powerful everyday actions will help to motivate and engage team members as well as leaders themselves.
- Understand why engagement is important.
- Recognize the leaders’ role in engagement, and the importance of self-engagement.
- Learn 3 aspects of engagement and how to enhance team satisfaction in these 3 areas, daily.
Finding Control During Change
Move through change successfully
Change can be many things—energizing, confusing, exciting, daunting. One thing is for sure—the element of the unknown that can leave you feeling disoriented, even lost. When the situation seems out of your hands, you can make traction—and successfully move yourself and others through change—by identifying areas you can control as well as areas you can influence.
- Examine their own change situation, the reason it’s happening, and what it means for them.
- Identify areas of the change they can control, or at least influence.
- Explore ways they can take initiative to exert their influence over the change.
- Review tips for taking care of themselves and others during change.
Giving Feedback for Improvement (STAR/AR)
Comfortably handle feedback for improvement
Providing a direct report with feedback for improvement can be one of your most challenging, least favorite interactions. This structured approach can make such discussions much more comfortable and collegial. Neuroscience explains how using this approach can help you avoid common pitfalls and achieve your intended results.
- Understand the neuroscience behind the reaction to feedback for improvement.
- Identify common mistakes to avoid.
- Apply a feedback model that sparks better performance and maintains a positive relationship.
Giving Positive Feedback (STAR)
Provide feedback in a positive way
Research makes a compelling case for praise as a driver of employee performance. Yet, giving praise can be harder than you might think thanks to some common hidden biases. In an example, a leader who intends to deliver praise finds that his approach is falling flat. You'll learn why. Also, you'll discover how to make your positive feedback sincere and meaningful.
- Understand the research and neuroscience that explains why praise is important.
- Recognize hidden biases that trip up leaders.
- Use the best, most authentic way to provide positive feedback.
Handling Emotion and Upset (EMPATHY)
Use empathy to handle emotional situations
Some of the most difficult interactions are with employees who suddenly become emotional. Participants learn about the neuroscience behind emotions and three common approaches that make negative feelings worse. They’ll also learn about how to use empathy to help an upset employee return to a calm, productive state.
- Understand the neuroscience of handling the emotional response.
- Identify three approaches that make responding to emotion and upset worse.
- Use the number one skill to effectively handle and defuse emotion.
Helping Your Team Achieve High Performance
Build high-performing teams
When team members have skill and experience, they're likely to produce acceptable results. In today's business environment, however, teams often are under pressure to produce more than just acceptable results. As the leader, you can proactively create conditions that allow your team to reach peak performance quickly and without undue strain on any individuals.
- Fulfill the three roles—diagnose, coach, and reinforce the team in its efforts to reach high performance.
- Focus their team's efforts on high-priority actions that directly support the organization's goals and strategies.
- Enhance the effectiveness of their team by identifying and eliminating conditions that are preventing the team from achieving higher levels of performance.
- Create an environment in which team members are moved to strive harder to realize the potential of the team.
Influencing Others to Make Things Happen
Learn techniques to help achieve commitment for action
In today's ever-evolving organizations, leaders need to get things done through people who don't report to them and, in some cases, even outrank them. Welcome to the new age of influence, where, to be effective, you must know the techniques that will help you earn people's commitment to make things happen.
- Capture people's attention, change their perspective, and make things happen.
- Clearly link ideas, suggestions, and recommendations to changes that will have a positive impact on individual, team, and organizational performance.
- Express themselves with enthusiasm and conviction.
- Understand people's motivations, needs, and concerns, and gain their commitment.
Interaction Skills Challenge
Practice the Interaction Essentials for better conversations
The Interaction Essentials are powerful skills for having meaningful and productive conversations with others. But there are times when we miss opportunities to use these skills or even misapply them. Participants challenge themselves to determine how these skills are used in four scenarios.
- Identify Key Principles used in a short conversation segment.
- Identify Interaction Guidelines used in a short conversation segment.
Leading Self in Times of Crisis
Manage personal tendencies and derailers in times of stress
Times of significant stress and crisis are times when our leadership behaviors and actions may not always align with our intentions or our priorities. Leaders often know what to do, but act in ways that are very different. Learn how to manage the impact of personal tendencies and derailers on leadership brand and behaviors in times of stress and crisis.
- Understand the importance of their leadership brand and behaviors in times of crisis.
- Identify the personal tendencies and derailing tendencies that might influence their behavior under pressure.
- Develop a plan to manage the impact of personal tendencies and fulfill their leadership brand.
Leading Virtual Meetings
Lead effective and engaging meetings virtually
In today’s global economy, virtual meetings are more frequent than ever. Whether you need to find an alternative for a face-to-face meeting or you must regularly communicate with distributed or remote employees, leading your meetings effectively – using process and personal techniques – is critical for team collaboration and decision making.
- Learn more about virtual meeting pitfalls.
- Evaluate individual process and personal orientations.
- Discover methods for improving meeting productivity and audience engagement.
Letting Go and Delegating More
Discover how to allocate the right work to the right people
You're reluctant to delegate; in fact, you sometimes avoid it altogether. Why? Perhaps you don't want to let go of tasks and activities you enjoy. Maybe it's the idea of investing time and effort in getting people up to speed. Or maybe you think it'll be less stress and rework if you do it yourself. Whatever your reason for not delegating, you'll miss opportunities to take on new, more challenging responsibilities that can grow your skills and boost job satisfaction. However, if you know how to allocate the right work to the right people, you, your team, and the organization will experience the benefits.
- Overcome hesitation to delegate by exploring the benefits of letting go.
- Determine the best way to allocate work to promote growth and achieve key business results.
- Give people more responsibility for and more authority over tasks they've delegated.
Leverage differences to achieve improved results
Do you value the unique qualities you and your coworkers bring to the workplace? Did you know that people expressing their differences actually enhances an organization's growth? Valuing differences is the right thing to do from both an interpersonal and a business perspective. By leveraging diverse styles, abilities, and motivations (SAMs), you encourage creative solutions and unique approaches that enable your organization to achieve improved results.
- Determine their own styles, abilities, and motivations.
- Work more collaboratively and productively with people who have a variety of styles, abilities, and motivations.
- Use Key Principles to support differences and encourage others to share their unique contributions.
Making Accelerated Decisions
Identify the best decision in the time available
Making decisions in today's fast-flowing business environment is a lot like navigating white water in a kayak. Not only is the path choppy and fraught with unseen hazards and poor sight lines, but there is little time to ponder an opportunity when it presents itself. Decisions must be made quickly, or those opportunities are gone—swept away in the relentless undertow that is today's business world. You don't have the luxury of waiting for all the information to come in or of trying to make the perfect decision.
- Make quality decisions even when pressed for time.
- Cut through ambiguity, complexity, and unnecessary information to identify the best decision in the time available.
- Rely on experience, good judgment, and leadership intuition.
- Take what's given and narrow their options to a manageable few.
- Make a speedy decision and adjust-or even reverse-it later, if necessary.
Mastering Executive Interactions
Build senior leaders' skills to improve interactions
Interactions have a significant impact on the performance and productivity of people and organizations. To make this impact a positive one, executives can consistently apply essential interaction skills, leverage the strengths of their leadership interaction style, and employ an emotional intelligence approach to improve the quality of each interaction, meeting, and discussion they conduct.
Helps senior leaders:
- Recognize the relationship between the quality of interactions and the job satisfaction, productivity, and well-being of leaders and teams.
- Review seven interaction mistakes to avoid that commonly occur at the executive level.
- Examine how to balance personal and practical needs despite a tendency to focus on the practical.
- Review essential interaction skills that provide a framework for effective discussions.
- Explore the role emotional intelligence plays in understanding their approach to an interaction.
- Identify their dominant leadership interaction style and how to leverage the strengths and manage the potential risks of that style.
On to the Next Adventure
Determine job fit and prepare for an interview
Are you ready for a change in your role, but not sure how to know if a particular position will be right for you? Or maybe you know exactly what you want but don’t know how to land the job. This course will help participants think through goals and motivations, and then gather robust examples of strengths based on experience. They’ll also get tips for navigating the interview, from starting the conversation in a positive manner, to providing complete examples of skills and abilities, to closing in a way that conveys interest in the position.
- Identify strengths and gaps in knowledge, skills, experience, and motivations.
- Decide whether they’re a good match for a job and an organization and whether the job and organization are right for them.
- Prepare behavioral examples for use in an interview that demonstrate how they’ve effectively used their skills in the past.
- Anticipate and be prepared to face a variety of interview challenges.
Preparing for Difficult Conversations
Navigate tough conversations
Difficult conversations are usually something we want to avoid, mostly because of the negative feelings associated with them. How do you adapt your approach to be more effective and stay focused on a harmonious solution? Within this course, participants will discover techniques and tools to navigate these conversations.
- Identify pitfalls when having difficult conversations.
- Understand your personal approach and how to adapt it to be more effective.
Prioritizing and Productivity
Become more productive by overcoming barriers and prioritizing work
There's one motto almost everyone can relate to: "Make it fast and make it good." In today's competitive marketplace, people are pressed to achieve higher quality, faster results, and lower costs. But balancing these requirements can be difficult. Pay too much attention to quality, and time and costs can swell. Focus too much on speed, and quality might drop. Misdirect your focus, and these demands can start to hamper your productivity in a big way.
- Recognize challenges to productivity.
- Gain tips for prioritizing work, leveraging resources, and staying focused on results.
- Test their ability to stay productive.
Resolving a Conflict You're Involved In
Learn techniques and skills to resolve conflict
The differences people bring to the workplace can promote remarkable creativity, innovation, and solutions. However, those same differences can lead to a lack of agreement (discord) and, if left unresolved, to a full-blown argument (dispute). You can feel the effects of conflict on yourself as well as those around you—tension, stress, lower morale. If the situation continues, it can damage relationships, productivity, quality, and service.
- Use the Interaction Guidelines to uncover the causes of a conflict and develop a solution that everyone can support.
- Use the Key Principles to show that they value the other person's ideas, build trust, and encourage the person toward resolution.
Learn to write SMART performance goals
Missed expectations. Unpleasant surprises. Bad performance reviews. Anything can happen when performance goals aren't clear from the start. Avoid disastrous outcomes by applying five criteria when composing goals. These SMART criteria ensure that performance goals are specific, well-written, and effective.
- Use a three-part formula to write performance goals that meet the SMART criteria.
- Compose performance goals that are specific, measurable, attainable, relevant, and time bound.
Stand and Huddle: Short Meetings that Address Team Challenges
Plan shorter meetings to meet team needs
Meetings expert Steven Rogelberg challenges leaders to get creative and try new meeting approaches that are efficient and energizing. Find out how standing meetings and short daily huddles can address team needs.
- Be prompted to try new ways of meeting.
- Gain insight into the research about quick meetings.
- Understand how different industries have applied huddles to solve problems.
- Plan a huddle for their team.
Prepare how to execute an effective onboarding process
Organizations need their new hires to become productive quickly, be fully engaged, and committed to stay with the organization. It all begins by providing new hires with a strong start. This course guides leaders on how to execute an effective onboarding process.
- Discover the importance of an effective onboarding process.
- Learn methods to build trust with new employees.
- Receive tips for setting clear performance expectations.
- Learn how to help new employees build a purposeful and courageous business network.
- Prepare to implement a new hire’s 90-day development plan.
Steps to Great Service
Discover key steps for successful customer experiences
Customer experience is critically important to your organization. Your customers’ perception of how you and your company make them feel affect their behaviors, build memories, and drive their loyalty. In this course, you will discover key steps to ensuring a successful customer experience.
- Identify the personal and practical needs of customers.
- Review three Key Principles to help effectively meet and exceed customers' personal needs.
- Learn a simple process for satisfying customers’ practical needs.
Strengthening Your Partnerships
Build relationships based on trust and effective communication
People form partnerships because they want to achieve something they can't do alone. Working together to accomplish those results is another matter altogether. Each partner might have a different plan of attack. For a partnership to operate smoothly and achieve its desired outcome, members must understand what a true partnership is and focus on building relationships based on trust and effective communication.
- Use collaborative strategies.
- Assess the factors needed for success.
- Communicate with partners.
- Evaluate partnerships.
Taking the HEAT
Learn how to manage customer interactions
Learn how to manage customer interactions, raise customer satisfaction, and take the HEAT.
- Be introduced to a model to help them respond to dissatisfied customers in a way that addresses needs and builds loyalty.
- Learn to diffuse situations so they can address the problem and stop the frustration from gaining momentum.
The Power of Seeking
Encourage the best in people and build confidence
Guiding team members toward successful performance requires more than just telling people what to do. Effective coaches help people think through possibilities and build buy-in and commitment by asking powerful, provocative questions as well as sharing experiences and insights. Asking questions that support the person’s diagnosis, discovery, and exploration helps bring out the best in people while also building their confidence to handle the situation themselves.
- Learn to encourage people to take ownership of and be accountable for their work performance.
- Conduct more compelling, collaborative, and rewarding coaching discussions.
- Build and sustain a coaching culture within their team.
Become aware of biases in order to make better decisions
Everyone has unconscious biases—they’re the result of the way the brain handles the millions of bits of information bombarding us daily. But our biases can get in the way of our good intentions, limit our own success, and cause us to deny development opportunities to others. This microcourse helps learners become aware of their own biases in order to make better decisions.
- Learn how the brain influences reactions to the world around them.
- Review common biases and gain insights into their own behavior.
- Interrupt their biases to make better decisions.