University Human Resources brings you this Professional Development Update to provide ideas and resources for your professional and personal enhancement. Feel free to share this information with colleagues. You may choose to unsubscribe from the Profdev list at any time.

Upcoming Workshops

The current listing of all free programs on the Camden, Newark, and New Brunswick campuses is posted on our calendar. Check our calendar regularly as new classes continue to be added to our offerings. We appreciate ideas you have for new workshop topics. You can enroll for all workshops online.

Professional Development Resource

Build your driving skills and save money at the same time. Learn the top three secrets of defensive driving - slow down, yield the right of way, wear your seatbelt - and other tips to maximize your own and your family’s and friends’ safety. Rutgers Emergency Services offers a free Defensive Driving course at least once a month for Rutgers employees, spouses, and children. For a small processing fee, your certificate can also count toward reducing your insurance rates and in point reduction from your driver’s license. Find class dates and times and register online through the Professional Development Program calendar.

New Certificate Program

The Office of the Executive Vice President for Academic Affairs and University Human Resources are pleased to announce a new program that offers Rutgers employees the opportunity to earn an Academic Personnel Certificate while developing and enhancing their knowledge to effectively handle academic personnel issues at Rutgers. The program is specifically designed for Rutgers employees who manage academic personnel matters within their departments/units. Participants must complete the required five foundation courses and at least one elective course within 18 months of their program start date to complete the program. Although most of the classes scheduled during the spring 2009 semester are filled, more courses will be offered later in the year. After this initial offering, the complete certificate program will be presented annually. For more information, you may contact Lisa Bonick, Senior Academic Labor Relations Specialist or visit the program FAQs.

Leadership Tip

Keeping Your Cool When Your Staff’s Under Stress

Student admissions are up, budget and labor resources are down, the demand for accountability and professionalism is high, and you and your staff are feeling the strain of constantly being asked to “do more with less.” As a strong leader, the way you manage your own work and attitude sends strong messages to your staff and colleagues. Keeping your cool is not always easy; helping others keep theirs can be even harder.

  • Keep long-term goals in sight: If your work group is focused on common goals, members will be more likely to see the long-term benefit of their efforts rather than get distracted by daily frustrations. Reiterate goals in regular meetings and communications.
  • Focus on your team values: Regularly mention those things - like providing outstanding service, being accessible to faculty - that are important to your team, the department, and the university. Find ways to link team values to individual values and beliefs.
  • Be a champion for your team and its work: Note progress your team has made and report it to upper management. Speak highly of your team to colleagues. Strive to develop team and departmental pride in your team members.
  • Recognize efforts: Even small rewards make a big difference. A sincere “thanks” at the end of a long week acknowledges the team’s efforts. Small tangible tokens of appreciation, as simple as a candy bar, bump recognition power up a notch.
  • Find a way to laugh: Model a positive attitude and be willing to laugh at yourself. Encourage the sharing of “good stories” among your staff. Encourage healthy silliness that breaks a tense moment.

A Good Read

Leading Change
By: John P. Kotter

Written in an easy-to-read format, Leading Change is a timeless classic for managers who are trying to navigate the constant waters of change in their organizations. Kotter provides a clear and visionary guide to managing organizational change by outlining a comprehensive eight-step framework that can be followed by managers at all levels of the organization. The eight stages - establishing a sense of urgency, creating a guiding coalition, developing a vision and strategy, communicating the change vision, empowering employees for broad-based action, generating short-term wins, consolidating gains and producing more wins, and anchoring new approaches in the culture - are written in a practical manner that can be applied to most situations. Kotter also identifies pitfalls to be avoided, like "big egos and snakes" or personalities that can undermine a successful change effort. In closing, the author concludes with an emphasis on lifelong learning,"In an ever changing world, you never learn it all, even if you keep growing into your '90s." Leading Change is a useful tool for novice and experienced managers. 186 pages.

Check This Out

Get involved in your state university! April 25, 2009 is Rutgers Day- an all-day, New Brunswick Campus event that will showcase the university's research, teaching, and service through fun and engaging activities for people of all ages. For Rutgers Day to happen, your participation is key! Departments and individuals are encouraged to get involved in the day. To learn more about Rutgers Day and opportunities for involvement, visit the Rutgers Day website or attend an information session on November 25.

Business Etiquette Tip

In our work environment, we will come in contact with individuals who have disabilities. For some, interactions may be uncomfortable, especially if you are unsure how to behave in the situation. It is important to remember that the humanity of individuals with disabilities is in no way different from yours. Acknowledging this reality makes it easier to put aside any anxiety and be yourself when you interact with a person with disabilities. Some rules suggested by Peggy Post are:

  • Never stare, no matter how inconspicuously
  • Never be overly solicitous. Take your cue from the person with special needs. If you want to help, ask first, since people who've mastered getting about in wheelchairs, on a crutch, or without the benefit of vision or hearing take great pride in independence
  • Never ask personal health questions of a person with an obvious disability. If he wants to talk about the condition, he will broach the subject
  • Never pity the person. If the person doesn't see her situation as tragic, neither should you

From Emily Post's Etiquette, 17th Edition, 2004

Service Tip

Always tell your clients what you CAN do for them. Don't begin your conversation by telling them what you CAN'T do.

Make your service interactions count!


"They say that time changes things, but you actually have to change them yourself." -- Andy Warhol