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Talent Development Virtual Learning Center

Find resources on working, leading, and learning in any environment. Talent Development has curated these virtual learning opportunities with the Virginia Tech community in mind. Interested in tips proven for boosting creativity, having inclusive conversations and exhibiting inclusive leadership, delivering feedback to employees or senior colleagues, leading in uncertain times, having difficult conversations, creating a career plan, establishing work from home policies, understanding the essentials of Google Drive, or creating accessible documents in Microsoft Office? Explore these and other self-paced opportunities on the Virtual Learning Center page.

To get started, select each category below to begin a virtual learning journey! Be sure to review the online content, any associated exercise files, and key takeaways or job aids to apply the information for continuous professional development. Certificates of completion will be available for all LinkedIn Learning courses.

New content is being added on a regular basis, so check the Virtual Learning Center often to aid in your professional development.

Learning

Take a look at How to Use LinkedIn Learning (43m) before diving into the content in the Talent Development Virtual Learning Center. LinkedIn Learning bridges the gap between the next career wanted and the skills that might be needed. Learn in a self-paced environment with the LinkedIn library of 5,000+ creative, business, and technology courses on subjects from art to Zen. Learn how to find the best courses to take using recommendations and search tools, explore learning paths, play and pause training videos, use transcripts and exercise files, and customize to get the best learning experience. 

For Virginia Tech users: Although the first mini-module, “Advance your skills with LinkedIn Learning,” is relevant, Talent Development recommends advancing to the section “Finding Content” as Virginia Tech faculty, staff, and students all have LinkedIn Learning accounts, which can be accessed through single sign-on using Virginia Tech's PID and Password. To activate the free LinkedIn Learning account, register using this link.

In Learning Zoom (45m), learn how to collaborate more seamlessly using Zoom, the popular video conferencing tool. In this course, instructor Garrick Chow shows how to schedule, moderate, and participate in Zoom meetings. Garrick begins by showing how to set up your Zoom account and adjust audio and video settings.

For Virginia Tech users:  VT employees will not have to download the program from zoom.us. All Virginia Tech employees and students have Zoom accounts, and Zoom is already featured as a meeting option in Outlook. Check out Virginia Tech's 4-Help page regarding Zoom. Thus, it may be useful to begin with “Section 2: Attend Meetings” to get the most out of this course.

The instructor also walks through joining and participating in meetings scheduled by others. Garrick covers how to use a variety of options during meetings such as adjusting views, muting your microphone, turning your video camera on and off, and sharing your screen. Finally, Garrick demonstrates how to host your own Zoom meetings, from scheduling and adjusting moderator settings to recording meetings. Start using Zoom today!

The course Creating Accessible Documents in Microsoft Office (26m) shows how to make accessible Office documents in Word, PowerPoint, and Excel. Accessibility expert Glenna Shaw begins by describing what it's like for those with visual, hearing, or movement impairments to experience regular Word and Excel files and PowerPoint presentations. Glenna goes through the essential steps of creating documents that are accessible to all—those using assistive technology and those not—including applying useful headings, formatting tables for ease of use, naming sheet tabs in Excel, using slide layouts and following z-order in PowerPoint, and adding captioning to presentations. Visit Virginia Tech's Accessible Technologies for additional information.

Learning Objectives:

  • Making hyperlinks more accessible
  • How color impacts accessibility
  • Using heading styles in Word and Excel
  • Formatting tables in Word
  • Naming sheet tabs
  • Using slide layouts and fonts
  • Adding captions to presentations

The course Impromptu Speaking (23m) addresses the fear that many of us face when we are often called on unexpectedly in professional and social situations to deliver an impromptu speech. Yet, these moments offer us opportunities to sell an idea, influence a colleague, and make an unforgettable impression.

Instead of hoping you do well, take this short course with Dr. Todd Dewett and have some techniques and ideas in your back pocket. Learn why impromptu speaking is so critical to your career, how to use key structural elements to craft a strong impromptu statement, and what to do when you have no time to prepare. This course also covers how to handle special circumstances, such as when you're drawing a blank or dealing with a technical question.

Learning Objectives:

  • Identify why a facility for impromptu speaking is important for managers.
  • Explore examples of impromptu speaking both at work and outside work.
  • Review two strategies for buying time when called on unexpectedly to speak.
  • Recognize the mannerisms that make impromptu speaking more effective.
  • Explore effective responses when faced with special circumstances like technical questions.

Creating a Career Plan (41m) can be valuable as the employment landscape is sometimes volatile and scary. But with a solid career plan, you will be prepared and adept at finding work for the rest of your life. An effective career plan includes knowing how to determine, articulate, and sell your personal brand.

In this course, Dr. Chaz Austin guides you through the key steps of career planning, from identifying your dream job and your monetizeable passion to branding and networking, so you can be well on your way to landing that next opportunity.

Learning objectives

  • Understanding the 21st-century workplace
  • Self-marketing
  • Identifying your monetizable passion
  • Knowing how to interview well
  • Networking
  • Managing your search for work
  • Negotiating salary
  • Becoming a lifelong learner

The course Jodi Glickman on Pitching Yourself (15m), recognizes that pitching is a universal skill. The time will come when you need to pitch an idea, a project, or even yourself. But you may stumble when the moment strikes—if you don't have a quick and effective process to nail the pitch.

In this free course, thought leader Jodi Glickman shares her go-to approach for selling your ideas, your story, and yourself. Learn three easy steps to a successful pitch: destination, backstory, and connecting the dots.

Learning objectives

  • Explain how to respond when a person says, “Tell me about yourself.”
  • Recognize the main purpose of a pitch.
  • Recall the effects of a well-delivered pitch on a potential customer.
  • Identify the most important part of a pitch.
  • Summarize the difference between a backstory and a background.

Data Visualization for Data Analysis and Analytics (1h 40m) provides useful information for data analysts and anyone wanting to convey the results of data. Some may already know how to build visualizations and use tools like Excel and Tableau. This course challenges participants to go beyond the data, beyond the software, and start thinking more clearly and strategically about the foundations of great communication design. Bill Shander, founder of Beehive Media, focuses on the key challenges that analysts face trying to communicate complex information, and how visual communication can help. He breaks down ten key components of great data visualizations—built in any program—and shows innovative ways of rethinking the slides, charts, diagrams, and dashboards you work with every day.  For those wanting even more tips regarding how to present data, check out the short audio only course, How to Make Your Charts Awesome (16m), as well.  

Learning objectives

  • Identify a communications framework for breaking through information overload.
  • Explain why “story” is a critical element in any data visualization.
  • Support the value of headlines and providing clear focus to create data visualization with impact.
  • Exercise specific techniques for a variety of data visualization properties, including color, labeling, and scale.
  • Recognize three strategies for making effective text-based slides.
  • Remember three strategies for making effective charts.

Google Drive Essential Training (1hr 21m) shows participants how to work smarter with Google Drive. In this course, Jess Stratton explains how to get started with this popular cloud-based file storage and word processing, spreadsheet, and presentation software. Jess explains how Google Drive fits into the productivity suite from Google and shows how to navigate the interface. She goes into the differences between Drive and Docs, and shares how to organize, sync, and locate your Drive files. She also demonstrates how to create and edit documents, spreadsheets, presentation slides, and drawings, and even how to create a form or survey directly in Google Drive. Plus, Jess explores how to share your files and leverage the mobile app.

Learning objectives

  • Accessing Google Drive
  • Navigating the web interface
  • Uploading files via the web
  • Converting files to Google Doc format
  • Deleting and recovering files
  • Purchasing more storage space for your files
  • Searching files and folders
  • Using Google Docs, Sheets, and Slides
  • Creating drawings
  • Using Google Docs to collaborate with others

How to Boost Your Creativity at Home in 10 Days (32m) demonstrates that creative thinking is something we’re all capable of doing. And it's a skill we can all improve with a bit of effort. Instructor Dave Birss has spent much of his career studying and applying creativity. He’s helped to lead the creative departments of some of the UK’s biggest ad agencies. And he’s conducted experiments to see what helps people come up with better ideas. In this course, he shares his knowledge with you. Discover how to develop your creative abilities, so you're better equipped to generate valuable ideas for your company or yourself. Each lesson includes a practical exercise that’s designed to improve different facets of your creative abilities. Along the way, Dave shares tools and techniques to help you come up with, improve upon, and prototype novel ideas. Plus, get tips for persuading decision-makers to support your ideas. Tune in to one lesson a day for 10 days to supercharge your creative abilities.

 

Leading

Leading and Working in Teams (25m) reveals the importance of high-performing teams. Organizations thrive, or fail to thrive, based on how well the teams within those organizations work. What does it take to create a high-performing team? Based on her years of research working with teams across different industries, Harvard Business School professor Amy Edmondson reveals how high performance arises when teams are encouraged to take risks, fail, and learn from those small failures, a process she calls "teaming." In this course, she outlines what leaders can do to create the right environment for teaming and explains the responsibilities of individual team members to speak up, collaborate, experiment, and reflect.

In Advice for Leaders During a Crisis (44m), experts discuss how the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) has changed the way we work, live, and lead. How are you navigating these uncertain times? Join leading experts in crisis, leadership, and finance—Eric Zackrison, PhD; Britt Andreatta, PhD; Dr. Michael Shermer; Kate Wiebe, PhD; and Natalie Taylor, CFP®, BFA— as they provide you important methods to keep you and your team focused, inspired, and aligned during this unique time. Learn how to better handle the constantly changing landscape, determine what information is accurate, re-evaluate your financial portfolio, and gather the skills you need to thrive as a leader amidst uncertainty.

Learning Objectives:

  • Adopting an approach to manage uncertainty
  • Identifying resistance to change
  • Developing tools for self-care
  • Distinguishing fact from fiction
  • Building decision-making skills
  • Identifying how stress is handled
  • Developing methods for communication
  • Finding a new rhythm
  • Evaluating personal finances
  • Gaining new perspectives

Developing Adaptability as a Manager (34m) discusses how the business world is changing faster than ever, with digital transformation and disruption everywhere. Being adaptable is a foundational skill for managers, which enables them to respond to change in positive, resilient ways and seize new opportunities. Join author and Professor Dorie Clark, as she introduces strategies for becoming a more adaptable leader. Learn how to monitor for change in order to better prepare for it, hone your skills, and create a more adaptable team that is innovative and responsive to change.

Learning Objectives:

  • Identify three elements that enable managers to be adaptable in the midst of growth.
  • Recognize examples of four purposes of feedback.
  • Summarize a strategy that managers use to create an environment where employees feel safe to take risks.
  • Explain the approach to take as an adaptable manager when working with various types of employees.
  • Recall the characteristics of a curious, adaptable manager.

The course Leadership Foundations (41m) recognizes that leadership—the art of influencing and developing others to achieve their highest potential—is often identified as the most critical role in an organization. But what is effective leadership and how do you cultivate it?

In this course, leadership consultant and global workforce expert Dr. Shirley Davis covers the basics of leading yourself and others. Along the way, she identifies the critical competencies and best practices for effectively leading today and in the future. Learn how to lead across differences and cultivate a more inclusive workplace; establish trust; build relationships up, down, and across the organization; lead change through agility and resilience; have difficult conversations; and more. Be sure to check out Dr. Davis’ Summary of Takeaways and Reflection Questions in the course exercise files.

Learning Objectives:

  • Leading yourself and others
  • Critical leadership competencies
  • Cultivating an inclusive work culture
  • Establishing and maintaining trust
  • Addressing difficult situations
  • Leading change through agility and resilience
  • Communicating with impact
  • Building business acumen

Having Difficult Conversations: A Guide for Managers (1h) recognizes that, while inevitable, difficult conversations can be one of the most challenging parts of a manager’s job. Avoiding these conversations can be costly for organizations, resulting in absenteeism, poor performance, turnover, and even litigation. 

In this course, instructor Marlene Chism walks you through how to minimize emotional upset and conduct challenging conversations to achieve the best outcome for all parties. Marlene outlines four signs that it’s time to have a conversation, and what to do if you’ve waited too long. Learn about how to set the right tone for a productive interaction that can result in an improved relationship, and discover a conversation blueprint that can help make conversations easier and help you stay in control. Be sure to check out the resources Marlene provides in the course exercise files, which can aid in your future approach to having difficult conversations.

Learning Objectives:

  • How to know it's time for a conversation
  • Dealing with emotions
  • Massive mistakes to avoid
  • Angry emails and online communications
  • Getting distracted and losing control
  • Conversation toolbox
  • Set the expectations from the start
  • Blueprint for difficult conversations
  • Discerning the real issue
  • Radical listening
  • Making tough calls
  • Creating a culture of accountability

Inclusive Leadership (1h) is a fundamental leadership competency. Join global workforce management expert Dr. Shirley Davis as she shares how to create and lead an organization that leverages the diverse talents of all contributors. Dr. Davis reveals the benefits of inclusive leadership, including the positive impacts it can have on employee engagement, innovation, and creativity. She then outlines a best practice framework for developing inclusive leaders in an organization, and shares tips for avoiding common leadership pitfalls.

Upon wrapping up this course, you'll be equipped with practical strategies you can use to cultivate a more inclusive workforce. Be sure to check out the numerous resources Dr. Davis provides in the course exercise files, which can aid in your inclusive leadership development.

Learning objectives

  • The business case for inclusive leadership
  • Redefining leadership through the lens of inclusion
  • Innovation, creativity, and inclusion
  • Six key traits that inclusive leaders possess
  • Competencies of inclusive leaders
  • Best practices for inclusive organizations

Establishing Work from Home Policies (28m) can help your organization successfully work from home or any other remote location. As the former director of marketing at FlexJobs and a remote work educator and advocate, Michael Gutman connects people and companies with the value of flexible work.

In this course, Michael helps managers create a continuity plan for uncertain times, such as the COVID-19 pandemic. The policy you create can have far-reaching impact beyond the crisis, by tapping into new markets, creating a culture of work flexibility, and creating employee loyalty and engagement. Discover how to create and communicate your policy, solicit feedback, and provide the training and leadership to make your policy a success. Michael also includes a chapter of tips for employees working from home.

Delivering Employee Feedback (27m) is essential for managers. As a manager, you’re charged with helping your employees stretch and grow their skills. This is largely accomplished via the feedback you provide. In this course, Instructor Todd Dewett shares how to create a culture driven by meaningful feedback and deliver coaching and suggestions to help employees move forward. Discover the characteristics of helpful feedback and learn about different feedback types, how to adequately prepare before delivering feedback, and how to refocus difficult employee reactions.

Leading in Uncertain Times (46m) provides useful information for today’s leaders.  A crisis can spark uncertainty and chaos that challenges leaders, their people, and the structures they depend on. But leaders can take charge of what they can control to establish new routines and tactics that adapt and change with what is needed. In this course, review key leadership strategies gleaned from some of our very best LinkedIn Learning courses and instructors. This selection of curated highlights offers wisdom for leaders to help them lead themselves, their teams, and their organizations during this time of enormous change. Discover ways to turn adversity into opportunity, create conditions that encourage your team to practice a growth mindset, remain transparent when communicating with employees and customers, and much more.

Working

The course Tips for Working Remotely (32m) recognizes that, in today’s professional environment, working remotely can be necessary at times. Remaining connected to your organization is key under such circumstances. Coach Todd Dewett reveals how you can create a productive work environment at home by structuring your day correctly, dedicating a space to work, and avoiding distractions. Once your workspace is established, he shares best practices for staying in touch with your co-located team. Last, he addresses the most common challenges encountered by remote workers: feeling isolated, navigating office politics from afar, and communicating virtually.

Now more than ever, Building Resilience (35m), is paramount in today’s working environment. Everybody wants to perform well when the pressure's on, but a lot of us withdraw in times of stress or adversity. Building resilience can help individuals face new challenges easier, which is a valuable skill to offer employers.

In this course, Kelley School of Business professor and professional communications coach Tatiana Kolovou explains how to bounce back from difficult situations, by building one’s "resiliency threshold." She outlines five training techniques to prepare for difficult situations, and five strategies for reflecting on them afterward. Individuals learn where they fall on the resilience scale, identify where they want to be, and learn strategies to close the gap.

Learning Objectives:

  • Define the term resilience.
  • Identify strategies for facing rejection in your day to day life.
  • Recognize the skills you can practice to increase your resilience.
  • Explore reflection strategies you can use during a situation to build resilience.
  • Examine five post-event resilience-building strategies using real-world examples.
How to Manage Feeling Overwhelmed (44m) is important for many of us. Feeling overwhelmed is common. It’s a sign that the demands on your time and energy have surpassed your ability to cope with them. Sometimes overwhelm is temporary; other times, it can lead to persistent and unhealthy pressure and strain. The good news is that with the right mindset you can make the unmanageable feel manageable again.
 
In this course from stress expert and performance coach Heidi Hanna, you can learn how to identify and conquer that overwhelmed feeling—so you can remain focused, productive, and in control in the face of whatever comes your way. Discover how to disrupt the stress circuit, cultivate calm and positive emotions, and take small, imperfect steps toward resolution. Heidi also provides tips for recognizing and preventing the overwhelm, so it doesn’t get out of control the next time you have too much to do.

Everyone can use Proven Tips for Managing Your Time (17m) as every minute counts when you’re on the clock. Learn how to make the most of your time at work and get more done.

In this short course, coach Todd Dewett shares time management tips that help everyone from busy executives to brand-new employees get more productivity out of the busy work day. Learn how to embrace the 80/20 rule, find your "Einstein" window, and broadcast your availability. Todd also explains how to scrutinize your workload to make sure you’re spending time on tasks that matter. These concise tips provide simple ways to transform your entire schedule, enabling better focus, clarity, and productivity throughout your day.

Knowledge of Digital Body Language (26m) is important now more than ever.  People rely on body language and tone to grasp the real meaning of messages. Without these cues, we misunderstand each other more quickly, argue more, and walk away faster from relationships. In the virtual world—where most business is conducted—it’s even harder to communicate. If you want to build closer relationships with colleagues and clients, digital body language is your solution.

Join collaboration expert Erica Dhawan as she explains how to use digital body language to close the empathy gap between you and your team. Learn why it’s important to always assume the best intent in others, and find out how to carefully craft your responses, communicate your feelings, and negotiate delicate power dynamics. With these tips, you can take charge of your communications online and off.

Effective Listening (1h 4m) is a critical competency, whether you are interviewing for your first job or leading a Fortune 500 company. Surprisingly, relatively few working professionals have ever had any formal training in how to listen effectively.

In this course, communications experts Tatiana Kolovou and Brenda Bailey-Hughes show how to assess your current listening skills, understand the challenges to effective listening (such as distractions!), and develop behaviors that will allow you to become a better listener—and a better colleague, mentor, and friend. Be sure to check out the Tip Sheet and Action Plan in the course exercise files.

Learning Objectives:

  • Define attentive listening.
  • Explore what happened when you are distracted by delivery.
  • Recall what a mental filter is and how it can affect assumptions.
  • Explore methods for choosing the best paraphrasing response in the situation.
  • List the five listening intentions.

The course Overcoming Cognitive Bias (27m) recognizes the best decisions are made when you fully understand your bias. In this course, listeners can learn about cognitive bias and how it hurts our ability to think rationally and make effective decisions. Dr. Michael Shermer, a prominent professor and bestselling author, shares ten common biases people often fall victim to. Explore confirmation bias, attribution bias, and authority bias, among many others. Once your bias is understood, better decisions can be made. This audio-only course was created by Madecraft for LinkedIn Learning.

The course How to be an Adaptable Employee during Change and Uncertainty (35m) recognizes the world is changing fast. That's why, as an employee, the most valuable skill you can cultivate is adaptability, so you're ready for anything.

In this course, Dorie Clark shares concrete tips and strategies to become more adaptable—and embrace adaptability as an ongoing part of your life. Learn how to cultivate an adaptable mindset and build the right skills, including communication and open-mindedness. Then find out how to put your new adaptability skills into action by talking directly to your supervisor, taking on new tasks, and developing a positive attitude. The skills you learn in this course can help you thrive in times of crisis, and succeed no matter what the future holds.

Breaking Out of a Rut (31m) reveals that most people have experienced a rut, whether it manifests as a lack of ideas, follow-through, or enthusiasm. Sometimes it's just boredom that comes with routine. Stefan Mumaw designed this course to help you identify the type of rut you're in and its cause, and then break out of it with a series of short-, mid-, and long-term creative nudges. From techniques to get you thinking alternatively to life-changing educational opportunities, the course serves to bust every creative rut, with actionable ideas and encouragement designed to get you back on the path to success.  Be sure to check out the helpful tips for breaking out of a rut, which Stefan provides in the course exercise files.

The course is designed to be something you can return to every time you feel stuck on a project or stalled in your career. Come back anytime you need help taking a creative leap forward.

How to Give Negative Feedback to Senior Colleagues  (19m) provides useful information for employees at all levels. Ever been in a situation where you don’t quite agree with something your manager said? Maybe you feel your manager could have dealt with a situation slightly differently? There will come a time in your career when you need to provide feedback to a manager or senior colleague. Good managers will understand your feedback is coming from a good place, but starting the conversation can be tricky. This course—designed by Aimee Bateman, career expert and founder of Careercake—explains how you can develop the confidence and communication skills necessary to deliver productive feedback up the chain and have effective conversations with managers and senior colleagues. 

Skills for Inclusive Conversations (53m) recognizes that organizations reap the benefits of diversity—when employees bring their whole, authentic selves to work. Diverse teams are more productive, innovative, and engaged. Authenticity at work includes sharing and speaking up about work and life experiences that may be different based on one’s identity. Developing the skills to conduct meaningful conversations on potentially polarizing topics such as race, religion, and gender is critical for human resources professionals, managers, and team leaders. Mary-Frances Winters offers a multistep process for building the skills necessary to engage in inclusive conversations. Find out how to conduct an exploratory self-assessment to better understand yourself and your team, learn tactics to go from polarization to common ground, and discover practical techniques for discussing difficult topics. Be sure to review the resources Mary-Frances provides in the course exercise files, which can aid in your approach to having inclusive conversations. 

Pursue the balance of both working remotely and dealing with everyday tasks with Talent Development's Virtual Learning Center and Hokie Wellness at Home. At this time, as Virginia Tech embraces the virtual workspace, place a renewed focus on personal well-being techniques to help foster relationships, spur innovation, improve motivation, and add greater resilience.