Three Professional Development Courses That Can Help You Grow as a Leader

Learn how to lead, communicate effectively, and build a healthy culture within in your organization.

Whether you’re climbing the corporate ladder, running a small business with a handful of employees, or heading up a nonprofit, leadership skills are essential. Good leaders need to know how to assemble and manage a skilled team, communicate well with both employees and stakeholders, and foster a shared vision. They also need the ability to recognize their own shortcomings and areas of growth.

If you’re interested in leadership development, consider enrolling in a continuing education course such as those offered through Walden University’s School of Lifelong Learning. These stand-alone courses focus on specific leadership skills like communication, mentoring, and organizational development, and can be completed in eight weeks or less. Many offer academic credits that may be applied to a degree program down the road. You may also choose from non-credit professional development offerings such as Walden’s Meeting the Leadership Challenge learning path. “The information was timely and relevant to my career and is a good refresher, even for experienced leaders,” said Rachel Ivory of her experience in the School of Lifelong Learning.

Here are three popular for-credit professional development courses in leadership:

Communication for Leaders and Managers
As a leader, you must be able to effectively communicate with individuals and groups who hold different perspectives and who come from different backgrounds. Cultural awareness is especially important as communities and workplaces become increasingly diverse. In the Communication for Leaders and Managers course, you’ll develop interpersonal and intercultural communication skills, learn to resolve conflicts, and overcome listening and communication barriers. This eight-week course also explores individual communication, nonverbal channels, and person perception.

Building Organizational Culture: Leaders as Architects
When you lead a business or organization, producing a product or service for the outside stakeholder is not your only concern. A large part of your job and responsibility entails partnering with team members to build and shape your organization’s community and culture. In the Building Organizational Culture course, you’ll learn to recognize the elements that make up an organization’s culture and ways to harness these elements for positive change and organizational success. Over eight weeks, you’ll explore topics like cultural components, self-development, reciprocal leadership, and leading and building effective communities.

Dynamic Leadership
Dynamic leaders are able to inspire and energize team members while helping their organizations operate at peak efficiency. But how do leaders continue to manage well even when problems arise? The Dynamic Leadership course can boost your leadership skills as it asks you to reflect on your own values, strengths and weaknesses, and approaches to solving workplace problems. You’ll study traits and management styles of effective leaders as well as examples of ethical decision-making. Other course topics include key leadership concepts with applications to authentic situations, personal and professional development planning, and personal leadership and competency assessment.

These three courses are available through Walden University’s School of Lifelong Learning. An accredited university, Walden offers more than 50 for-credit online courses in business and management that can give you the skills and training you need to advance your career. At Walden, you can add to your professional skill set while you continue to work full time. That means you can better maintain a work-life balance while you enhance your credentials and improve your skills.

Walden University is an accredited institution offering online courses for credit, professional development courses, and tailored employer training programs through its School of Lifelong Learning. Degree seekers may wish to explore Walden’s suite of online degree programs, offered at the bachelor’s, master’s, and doctoral level. Learn new skills in a convenient, flexible format that fits your busy life.

Walden University is accredited by The Higher Learning Commission,