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Workshop Descriptions

Bring Rena to your campus to present dynamic interactive workshops for faculty members, physicians, and/or higher education leaders. Workshops can be presented either in-person or virtually, and topics include:

Writing and Research Productivity

How to Create a Productive and Engaging Writing Practice
Professors’ teaching and service commitments come with urgent deadlines, but there are few short-term deadlines for writing and research. With a full load of other responsibilities and a variety of writing challenges that may arise even when time is available, maintaining a steady pattern of productive writing can be difficult for even the most motivated writers. In this workshop professors will learn habits and structures that are the foundation of a generative writing practice.
How to Have More Time for Research & Writing
As academics progress in their careers, demands on their time increase. This interactive workshop teaches professors how to manage their busy schedules to achieve their most important goals. Attendees learn to: set physical and technological boundaries to create oases of time; say no frequently and with gusto; teach with integrity and limits; demote email from Ruler of Your Life to Undersecretary for Communications, negotiate for resources to free up time, and delegate like crazy.
Getting Your Writing in Gear - One or Two Day Summer Writing Retreats
Summer writing retreats intersperse short workshop segments with longer periods of quiet time for individual writing. The workshop segments cover material on creating a productive writing practice and time management. The two-day retreat adds content on dealing with difficult co-authors, responding to daunting revise and resubmits, and managing negative cognitions during writing sessions. During the quiet individual writing periods, participants can also sign-up for one-on-one consultations with Rena to discuss personal writing goals and challenges.
Life After Tenure: Maintaining Momentum from Associate to Full
Promotion gives professors a stronger voice in their disciplines, departments, and the university. However, mid-career faculty members often find it challenging to move quickly and maintain strong momentum on their next major project. Obstacles to overcome include increased service obligations, difficulty finding colleagues with whom to discuss their experiences, and for some, promotion guidelines that are not clearly defined. In this interactive workshop, mid-level professors will make a plan for promotion that includes both concrete publication goals and building systems of accountability and support to stay on track.


Leading Energized & Effective Work Teams

Positive Organizational Scholarship focuses on how to transform normal organizations into exceptionally high performers. In this interactive workshop Rena will share relevant research and engage us in activities to consider how we can put ideas into practice to increase the engagement and performance of our work teams.

Authority, Voice, & Influence for Women

Even when women have titles and roles that confer authority, we are more likely to be interrupted, questioned, and challenged than our male colleagues. At the same time, speech and behavior that is considered appropriate for a man in leadership may be criticized as overly aggressive or intimidating when coming from a woman leader. Research on intersectional identities complicates the picture further. In this interactive workshop we will review research on authority and identity, identify both structural and communal solutions to biased authority challenges, and provide participants with the opportunity to practice maintaining their authority and exerting positive influence in difficult interactions.

Negotiation for Women in Academia

Recent research has shown that women now negotiate just as often as our male counterparts, however, when men negotiate they are more likely to receive a favorable response. In this interactive workshop attendees will practice thinking expansively about what can be requested and will learn the strategies used by the most successful negotiators. Since women who negotiate assertively risk being seen as less likable, this workshop also offers techniques to mitigate the bias against female negotiators.

Mentor & Coach: Utilizing Coaching Tools to Support a Dynamic Mentoring Relationship

Some mentoring relationships are enriching for both members of the duo, and others seem to fall flat, despite the best of intentions. This interactive workshop will explore how coaching tools can be employed in the mentoring relationship to create a more dynamic experience.

Workplace Conflict: Tools for Conducting Tough Conversations
Skilled leaders understand that conflict is a natural part of organizational life and are adept at detecting and working with the tensions that arise. Well-managed conflict can actually strengthen relationships, resulting in higher quality decisions and stronger teams. This workshop will cover the five common modes of responding to conflict and the types of situations to which each mode is best suited. Participants will also learn methods to create and restore psychological safety – both their own and others – when emotions run high, setting the stage for effective resolution.
Leading a Lab by Design: Architecting Agreements to Set Teams Up for Success
Just as an architect designs a building with an eye toward promoting particular kinds of experiences and interactions for those living or working in that space, leaders can architect the culture of their teams and collaborations by designing structures to support their desired outcomes. This interactive workshop will support lab leaders to use processes and agreements that clarify expectations up-front, saving time and energy and reducing the likelihood of conflict with and among your staff, students, and research colleagues.

Career Success & Well-Being

Building Networks of Support for a Successful Academic Career
The most successful researchers benefit from a robust network of connections in a variety of arenas. Advantages include opportunities for fruitful collaboration, access to information, both social and instrumental support, and the ability to build a national and international reputation. For academics to whom networking comes easily, this workshop will provide additional tips and strategies, and for those who are “schmooze–adverse,” the workshop will identify methods to build connections in ways that suit one’s personality and style.
Networking . . . Without the Awkward!

Rena will design a fun, customized networking event for your organization or professional society meeting. Whether in industry or academia, networking is an essential component of professional success. However, being thrown into a room with a bunch of strangers and expected to interact is not everyone’s idea of a good time. This structured activity is comfortable for everyone, whether introverted or outgoing, since it allows participants to interact without the burden of figuring out what to discuss or when to end the conversation. Rena will also share networking tips that participants can try out following the facilitated program.

Work/Life Well-Being
People with a dual focus on work and family are less stressed and more successful than those whose primary focus is on just work, or just family. Work/Life Well-Being workshops teach the successful strategies these dual focused people use to increase their satisfaction in both domains, and participants engage in related exercises to improve their own work/life integration. This workshop is relevant to singles as well for as for those with spouses and children.
Mid-Career Design & Development: What’s Next?
Early career faculty members have one primary objective – achieving the research, teaching, and service record needed to earn tenure. Once over that hurdle, a number of possibilities and questions open up. In this interactive workshop, mid-career faculty members will engage in a series of journaling exercises and discussions to clarify their academic identity, mission, and vision. They will then identify initial steps to move forward with their post-tenure goals.
What the Best Medical Teachers and Supervisors Do to Promote Learning & Quality Performance
Medical school teaching takes place in a range of environments including traditional classrooms and labs, and also involves supervision of individuals and teams in both hospital and clinic settings. This session reviews best practices from the science of teaching and learning and provides opportunities for attendees to share their own experiences and best practices.

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