May 14 Talk Session Choices

Three concurrent talks in each session below:
9:00 - 9:45 a.m.

Bidirectional Reviews: Practicing Radical Candor with Your Team Markeya Peteranetz, learning assessment coordinator, College of Engineering, and Tareq Daher, director of the engineering and computing education core, College of Engineering

Have you ever reviewed your boss? Would you like to? Standard UNL employee reviews are unidirectional, involving supervisors giving feedback, but with no established process for supervisors to get performance feedback from those they supervise. In our unit, we developed a process rooted in the idea of Radical Candor (Scott, 2017) so that team members could give anonymous feedback about the team and our director’s performance. This process and feedback led to immediate changes in day-to-day functions of our team and provided an opportunity for reflection on strengths and opportunities for improvement. This process can be a model for other units who are interested in creating a system of bidirectional feedback that empowers team members and helps supervisors grow. This interactive presentation will include information about our process, a brainstorming session about questions participants could ask their teams, and tools that could be used to conduct the process.

Creating a Conflict-Resilient Workspace Beverly Russell, associate director, Center for Transformative Learning

“A learning mindset is integral to conflict resolution” (Ringer, 2019, p. 13). This interactive presentation will conceptualize the workplace as an ecosystem to highlight the interdependencies and synergies between individuals, groups, and the environment; the elements of a healthy, resilient workplace; and the impacts of conflict. We’ll focus on the Dignity Model of conflict resolution, developed by former diplomat, Donna Hicks, as a tool to help ensure that “every person and every interaction matters” (N2025 strategic plan) and apply it to conflict scenarios.

The Productive Employee: Improve your Well-being by Managing Your Email, To-Do List, and Time Better  Celeste Spier, associate director of career and professional development, College of Business Career Center

With high demands, reduced resources, and continuous new initiatives, our email inboxes, to-do lists, and time commitments can be overwhelming and anxiety-provoking. Does your day consist of a hamster-wheel-like process of answering emails as they arrive in your inbox? Do you end your day or week and question what you actually got done? Do you use your email inbox as your to-do list? This session will draw on several productivity resources like Getting Things Done (Allen, 2015), Eat That Frog (Tracy, 2017), Indistractable (Eyal, 2019) and The Power of Habit (Duhigg, 2014) to give you concrete, actionable steps you can implement TODAY to get organized, reduce distraction and increase productivity—with the ultimate goal of improving your well-being.

10:00 - 10:45 a.m.

Communicating Change   Sheri Irwin-Gish, executive director of communications, marketing, and external relations, College of Business

Change without communication is stressful and challenging for people at every level in an organization, even if the change is needed. Staff who are informed and understand the change stay committed, connected and engaged. Communicating change from all levels can drive the commitment that leads to successful change. In this presentation, Sheri Irwin-Gish will share why communicating change is necessary and guide you through a method for communicating change effectively.

The Art and Science of Happiness  Molly Brummond, assistant dean for external relations and strategic initiatives, College of Law

In today’s world, there is an incessant obsession with being happy. So much so, there is an entire industry devoted to telling you how to be happy. Walk into any bookstore and you’ll find a section of self-help books, each of them claiming new and different means by which to achieve what can seem quite elusive. In this presentation, Molly Brummond will share with you her own journey in evaluating and learning about her own happiness. Attendees will start by asking themselves whether happiness is really the goal and leave with a framework that Molly has found to be more helpful in determining the overall health and well-being of her life.

Empowering Career Transitions for Well-Being and Renewed Purpose  Carmen Kelle, academic advisor, College of Arts and Sciences; Erin Sayer, associate professor of practice, Biochemistry Education and Advising; Marybeth Helmink, academic/career advisor, College of Agricultural Sciences and Natural Resources

Career transitions can be challenging and exciting all at the same time. Sometimes they are dictated by life circumstances or are necessary for personal well-being. They can provide us a renewed and invigorating purpose on our career journey. During our time together, the presenters will share many of their personal transitions, then guide participants through thoughtful activities allowing them to be open to risk-taking and change.

11:00 - 11:45 a.m.

Transforming Teams with Strengths-Based Psychology  Taylor Lofdahl, program coordinator, Clifton Strengths Institute

Positive Psychology centers on the principle of focusing on what’s right with people. It begins with self-awareness and claiming our natural talents as leaders, educators, and staff members. Then, bringing strengths to our offices and teams, we begin to recognize the talents of others to maximize success. In this presentation, you will learn about the CliftonStrengths, well-being, and engagement to challenge the status quo of workplace interactions and build more intentional practices of connection. You will have the opportunity to engage with the content through discussion in small groups or pairs, and you will hear a variety of stories to best exhibit potential pathways toward individualized and team achievement.

Creating a Culture of Feedback  Ranelle Maltas, technology training services associate, Human Resources

Feedback should be a part of how we work. It can be a simple comment to reinforce a good behavior or a more detailed and structured discussion  about how we are doing and what we could do better. Feedback can happen naturally and continuously as part of the way we interact with one another. By modeling the way to effectively give, seek, receive, and act upon feedback, you can create a culture that is open to feedback without hesitation in the workplace. This workshop will include a self-assessment to allow the attendee to see where they excel and where improvement can be made in how they give, seek, receive, and act upon feedback. Time will be provided for attendees to work on these skills in breakout rooms for specific situations.

Engaging Staff through Connection and Opportunities  Melissa Hoffman, associate director of operations, assessment and continuous improvement, Durham School of Architectural Engineering and Construction; Patricia Lena, administrative technician, Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering; Markeya Peteranetz, learning assessment coordinator, College of Engineering; and Emma Kwapnioski, recruitment coordinator, College of Engineering

The College of Engineering Staff Development Council was developed in Fall 2018 with a primary goal of personal improvement and engagement. Three task forces emerged: onboarding, professional development, and wellness. The onboarding task force developed processes for new hires with the goal of building community and enhancing integration process of hiring. The professional development task force focused on two initiatives: creation of a professional development fund to support job-specific professional development opportunities for CoE staff and scheduling a professional development training one time each semester. The wellness task force determined programs to offer improve overall wellness of staff. This session will discuss how staff can be empowered and impactful upon identifying key undertakings for continued growth and development.

1:00 - 1:45 p.m.

From Dreading to Enjoying: Networking Strategies That Work  Janessa Hageman, assistant director, College of Business Career Center

Connecting to others and building that network is shown to be one of the most influential pieces of anyone’s career path. The Bureau of Labor Statistics states that 70% of jobs are found through networking, and we all have personal accounts and stories to know its impact. But furthermore, it is a necessary tool that allows professionals to create communication channels, inside their institutions, outside in their communities, and among their peers in higher education. This session will empower attendees to assess their current network and develop a strategy that works for who they are as an individual. This is not a “why” you should network type of session; it’s a “how-to,” which will strengthen your networking from both an in-person and a virtual perspective for today’s work world.

Enhancing Our Supervision Skills to emPOWER Our Staff  Tony Lazarowicz, associate director for academic advising, College of Arts and Sciences

Supervision can be difficult. Many professionals aspire to managerial roles, which often come with responsibilities of supervising staff, but once in those roles, we are often left without any training on how to supervise effectively.   This session will draw upon participants’ knowledge and experiences to discuss ideas to best enhance one’s ability to effectively lead a team and enhance their supervisory relationships. Participants will leave equipped with a personal leadership philosophy, a number of handouts that could be utilized within supervision meetings; and a network of colleagues who have supervisory responsibilities to whom they can share ideas.

Pronouns 101  Pat Tetreault, director, and JD McCown, assistant director, Women's Center and LGBTQA+ Center

An interactive presentation intended to increase knowledge and comfort regarding pronoun use and transgender identities through activities using they/them pronouns and inclusive language. 

2:00 - 2:45 p.m.

The Power of Positivity Laurie Sampson, learning and development coordinator, Office of Research and Economic Development

Not every day is sunshine and roses, but you have the ability to find something good in nearly any situation. Positivity is a superpower that opens possibilities, calms an anxious spirit, and simply helps you feel good. During this session, we’ll explore the research behind the health benefits of having a positive attitude, techniques to help you choose positivity, and address how to deal with toxicity.

The Ideal Team Player - Existing in the Academic Environment  Terry Howell, executive director, Food Processing Center

Have you ever considered what qualities make for an ideal teammate? Have you ever paused to consider whether you have those qualities? Would you like to spend a few moments reflecting on your strengths as a member of work teams and create a plan to build up your teammates in your work?  This session will explore concepts from Patrick Lencioni’s “The Ideal Team Player” and will help attendees move their teams forward in serving the university. Participants will improve their understanding of their contributions to work teams.

Managing the Email Monster  Ben Lennander, director, Business Process and Transformation

Does your email inbox feel like a weight constantly hanging over your head? Are important emails buried or forgotten in the flood of incoming messages? Do you want to learn methods, tips, and tricks to effectively organize and use your email? This session is for you! Email can feel like a monster. The goal of the session is to help you to take control of your email, reduce inbox clutter, prioritize tasks, and increase your productivity. Several email management and organization strategies will be presented. A broad range of Microsoft Outlook features will be covered, including using rules, effective search methods, Quick Steps, templates, flags and other tips and tricks.