Managing Your Work Environment

Managing Your Work Environment
Four-Week Virtual Course
September 2022


Learn interpersonal and team development skills that are vital for effective management, including:

  • Working in teams
  • Presenting your ideas
  • Valuing inclusivity, civility, and respect in the workplace

Questions? Contact us at


Each week we will cover an aspect of interpersonal and/or team development essential for effective management. All modules are similarly structured and provide participants with an asynchronous overview video; reference material; an interactive discussion board prompt designed to facilitate peer learning; and a reflective practice essay or video that will allow for thoughtful consideration of the week’s key points.


Better Team Development and Interpersonal Skills: AALL Course on “Managing Your Work Environment” / (On Firmer Ground)


Judith MillessenJudith Millessen, PhD
Director of Strategic Planning, Fundraising, and Capacity Building
Association Options

Judy Millesen worked for 10 years as a professional fundraiser, first in a community-based social service agency and then at a state university. She left professional practice to earn a PhD in public administration and has spent the past 25 years as a faculty member and working as a consultant to nonprofit organizations across the country.

Millesen’s research, teaching, and community work make a strong link between theory and practice, building both using the gifts each have to offer. Specifically, she focuses on nonprofit administration and capacity building with special interests in board governance, community philanthropy, and group facilitation and dialog. She has served as a consultant to social service organizations, arts and cultural institutions, community foundations, and government agencies. Millesen received her MPA from the University of Hartford and her PhD in public administration from the University at Albany (SUNY).


  • Pre-Course Work / Welcome, Overview, Objectives, and Expectations

    Welcome, Overview, Objectives, and Expectations

    This session will establish the course objectives and review what participants can expect of the instructor as well as what the instructor expects of participants. There are two important elements of this course: The first is to approach the work with the right mindset; to that end attendees will be asked to watch a short video and read a brief article on the Growth Mindset. The second aspect of this course is reflection. John Dewey said, “We do not learn from experience . . . we learn from reflecting on experience.” There is also a short reading on the importance of reflection in improving professional practice.

  • Week One / Working in Teams

    Week One / Working in Teams

    This week we will explore elements of a high-performing work team, the common stages of team development, causes of team dysfunction, and the primary types of teams organizations establish to achieve specific work goals. Additionally, we will talk about how your personal work style along with skills related to reflective practice, mindfulness, and workplace wellness can be harnessed to help teams achieve a high level of performance.

    Key topics will include:

    • Leading and participating in productive work groups
    • Mindfulness at work
    • Understanding your personal work style


    Week Two / Presenting Your Ideas

    While many people are more comfortable presenting their ideas or asking for something they need in written form, it is also essential to develop the oral presentation skills that will help you verbally communicate your thinking with confidence and clarity. No doubt, developing effective communication strategies is more complex than can be adequately covered in one week, however, this introduction is designed to provide attendees with a few strategies to both understand and improve their communication patterns.

    Key topics will include:

    • Knowing your audience and crafting your message
    • Leveraging your personality
    • Empathy and communication

  • Week Three / Valuing Inclusivity, Civility, and Respect in the Workplace

    Week Three / Valuing Inclusivity, Civility, and Respect in the Workplace

    The ability to resolve conflict between colleagues or team members, deliver unexpected or bad news, or negotiate with a colleague or stakeholder is key to moving things forward and getting things done.  In this session, we will identify common causes of organization conflict and discuss how our natural tendencies in the face of conflict can get in the way using conflict as a pathway to improve learning. We will also share strategies and techniques to prevent, negotiate, and effectively work through conflict.

    Key topics will include:

    • Understanding inclusivity, civility, and respect
    • Examining personal interaction style
    • Improving organizational civility

  • Week Four / Wrap-up and Facilitated Group Session

    Week Four / Wrap-up and Facilitated Group Session

    While there is a tremendous benefit to online courses, particularly for those with busy schedules and multiple competing expectations and demands, there is also value in human connection and real-time interaction. While logistics prevent an in-person meeting, this professional development short-course will conclude with a virtual one-hour facilitated session where we will collectively reflect on our learning, share personal insights, and develop tangible next steps regarding how we will each apply something we have learned to our professional lives.