Leadership Skills Training

Effective leaders rely on many different competencies to be successful: they know how to motivate, how to manage stress and anxiety, how to facilitate change, how to reduce dysfunctional conflict, and so on. Leaders don’t have to be perfect, and they don’t have to know everything, but a leader without skills will soon be without followers.

Below are the leadership skills classes that Critical Skills Nonprofit teaches:

Motivating Others

The motivating others class from Critical Skills Nonprofit (CSN) teaches practical techniques for motivating people and shows you how to best leverage your influence strengths with proven motivation strategies. The motivating others class will provide workable strategies and tools for a variety of situations, including motivation strategies for those closest to you at home and at work. By the end of the motivation course, students will be armed with a handful of tools for motivating others in a variety of situations.

Time Management

Time management techniques proliferate, and while there are a number of usable, general best practices, one size does not fit all. One person’s time management trash is another person’s time management treasure. CSN’s time management class covers several of the most renowned time management techniques and provides recommendations for choosing and developing the time management tools that are likely to be the most effective for a particular person. CSN’s time management class also covers how to eliminate the most common distractions that eat up available time, when and how to take breaks without ruining working momentum, and ways of determining how long someone can realistically and productively work without interruption.

Stress Management

Who doesn’t have stress and anxiety in their life?  Maybe a few lottery winners, but for everyone else, stress and anxiety are everywhere. And yet, what matters most is not the presence or absence of stress and anxiety, but how we respond to and how we manage stress and anxiety. CSN’s stress management class teaches powerful, proven, and effective ways to manage stress and reduce anxiety with an eye towards improving work performance and overall enjoyment at home.

CSN’s stress and anxiety class will help you manage stress and reduce anxiety by:

  • Exploring everything that’s good about stress;
  • Offering strategies for managing the negative outcomes of stress;
  • Exploring the relationship between stress and performance;
  • Providing strategies for preventing performance problems like “choking;”
  • Offering tools for reducing both immediate and long-term anxiety;
  • Providing ways to identify good and bad anxiety;
  • Offering practical ways to assess optimal stress levels for sustained performance.

Ethical Leadership

Helping others be their best has never been more important. Good leaders help good people do good things, and ethical leaders help bring out the best in everyone. CSN’s ethical leadership class will arm students with critical thinking principles and methods that can provide a critical leg up in arriving at the right decisions, even under conditions of pressure and uncertainty. Fundamentally, CSN’s ethical leadership class is designed to help students tap into their best selves, and to help them be a positive spark to unlock the good in other people. CSN’s ethical leadership class also discusses recovering from ethical errors and lapses, and provides strategies for climbing back on the ethical high ground after transgressions. Ethical leaders do make mistakes, but they also learn from those errors, seldom make them again, and continue moving forward for the good of the group.

Leading Change

Few people doubt that we are in an era of rapid change. And yet, resistance to change is as strong as ever, causing far too many good ideas fail to translate into successful, and necessary, change initiatives. CSN’s leading change class will provide participants with immediately usable tools and strategies to overcome resistance and encourage unity of effort around key change initiatives so that new ideas have their best chance of organizational success.

Exercising Influence and Building Consensus

Getting what you want is a cornerstone of influence techniques. And yet, there is a delicate balence between achieving goals and upsetting people with  hard-headed persuasive attempts. For this reason, CSN’s influence class covers consensus building as an influence technique. Sometimes, direct persuasion and forceful advocacy are the best ways to influence other people, and sometimes working from the inside out,  and forging an internal consensus will be most effective. CSN’s influence class will arm students with a range of tools to be successful in advancing important ideas. The tools from CSN’s influence class are effective for building influence and forging consensus at work and at home.

Decision Making and Critical Thinking

Effective decision making has never been as important—and so useful—as it is now in our world of virtually endless choice and limitless information. Good, timely decision making is the central focus of CSN’s decision making class.

Decision making has long been an area of study in business research and, more recently, social scientists have turned their attention to how people make good selections in an information rich, alternative-laden environment. This research forms the backbone of CSN’s decision making class. Among the topics covered in CSN’s decision making class are:

  • Best practices for quick, sensible decision making;
  • Ways to avoid common decision making pitfalls and traps;
  • When and how to limit choices most appropriately;
  • Techniques for making big, important decisions like switching jobs, getting married, relocating, what to do about aging  parents, going back to school, and so on;
  • Techniques for making smaller but more frequent decisions like vacations, weekends, deciding which work and social events to attend or decline.

CSN’s decision making class will present an in-depth look what works—and what doesn’t—when it comes to making good and timely decisions.


CSN’s negotiation class will teach you how to best leverage individual strengths with proven negotiation techniques. The course will provide practical tools for negotiating in a variety of situations, from transactional negotiations at work to relational negotiations at home.

CSN’s negotiation class improves negotiation skills by:

  • Teaching how NOT to leave money on the table during a negotiation;
  • Showing how to maximize concessions;
  • Going over strategies for dealing with tough, manipulative negotiators;
  • Offering pointers for negotiating raises;
  • Showing how to bargain for the best deal on a big purchase; and
  • Teaching ways of negotiating humanely with family and friends.

The negotiation class at CSN will provide students with practical and immediately useable tools for negotiating in a variety of situations.

Emotions & Responses

CSN’s emotions and responses class provides tools and strategies to help minimize potential impact of negative emotions while simultaneously gaining strength and power from positive emotions. The CSN emotions class looks specifically at seven emotions: fear, anger, frustration, sadness, excitement, passion, and joy.

For the emotions generally associated with negative outcomes—fear, anger, frustration, and sadness—the class covers: (a) how to get in front of these emotions and prevent them from hijacking behavioral responses and (b) dealing with other people who are hijacked by their emotions. For emotions generally associated with positive outcomes—excitement, passion, and joy—CSN’s class provides tips and tools for doing three things: (a) experiencing positive emotions more frequently, (b) sustaining positive emotions when they occur, and (c) converting the positive emotion into useful energy to improve overall quality of life.