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Curriculum

Master Municipal Clerk and Clerk of the Board Academy

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Breakout Session 1 – Wednesday (1:00 p.m. – 6:00 p.m.)

101 – 1st Year: Taking leadership to the next level: Enhancing our leadership competencies

(2.5 hrs A / 2.5 hrs B) Leadership

This course is required for first-time Academy participants

Successful leaders are self-reflective and self-aware. They understand the distinctions between management and leadership and are conscious of the impacts of their own behavior. This session will explore these concepts as well as other leadership competencies such as trust, your role in the organization, and who you are as a leader.

We will also learn about various communication styles including our own, and how others perceive our communication style. We will gain insight into identifying and adapting to various styles, which enable us to maximize our influence as leaders. In this session, we will:

  • Increase our understanding of the essential competencies of true leaders;
  • Enhance our knowledge of the differences between leadership and management;
  • Deepen our awareness of how we relate to and communicate with others;
  • Gain skills in more effectively relating with others.

Through group discussion, feedback from others, self-reflection and exercises, we will enhance our leadership competencies in order to take leadership to the next level.

This session requires some pre-work in the form of the Success Signals Profile©

Trainers: Pamela Miller, Patrice Olds

  

102 – 2nd Year: Maximizing your potential: Generating greater professional and personal value

(2.5 hrs A / 2.5 hrs B) Leadership/Management

This course is for those who are attending the Academy for the second time
This course builds on the work you did in your first year. You will be asked to bring with you the in-session work you did in your first year as you continue to explore what it means to be a leader amongst leaders. In this session, you will look back at what you accomplished over the past year(s), explore how you fulfilled your own goals and expectations, and reexamine and update your goals and action plan. You will explore how your core values impact your goals, and examine how closely your core values and goals are aligned. You will also explore the contributions you have made in your community and association and how to increase the value you generate.

Trainers: Lee Price, Stephanie Smith

 

103 – Courage and vulnerability: Two key leadership strengths

(5 hrs B) Leadership

This course is for those who are attending the Academy for more than two years

In our lives we experience uncertainty, risks, and emotional exposure that can define what it means to be vulnerable, or to dare greatly. In this session we will deconstruct the myth that vulnerability is weakness and uncover that it is, in truth, our most accurate measure of courage. We will discover how vulnerability is both the core of difficult emotions like fear, grief, and disappointment and the birthplace of love, belonging, joy, empathy, and creativity. In a world where “never enough” dominates and feeling afraid is second nature, putting ourselves out there means there’s a far greater risk of getting criticized or feeling hurt.

We will explore the notion that when we examine our lives we find out that nothing is as uncomfortable, dangerous, or hurtful as standing on the outside looking in and wondering what it would be like if we had the courage to step into the arena – whether it’s a new relationship, an important meeting, the creative process, or a difficult family conversation. We will look at how we stand to gain far more than we lose by allowing ourselves to be vulnerable, and how courage and vulnerability are necessary for effective leadership.

Trainers: Wandzia Rose, Joann Tilton

 

 

Breakout Session 2 – Thursday (8:00 a.m. – 12:30 p.m.) 

201 – Communicating for success – How to effectively convey your message to achieve your goals. (B) Leadership

This is an all-day session. If you sign up for 201 you must also sign up for 301.

Powerful, persuasive communication skills are essential to being successful in your career and achieving your professional goals. Communication is only effective when both the sender and the receiver understand the same information as a result of the communication, whether it be verbally or in writing. Even written communication can differ depending on the type of writing, such as email versus memo versus agenda report.  Effective leaders know what to say, when to say it and are flexible enough to change the message depending on their audience.  Effective leaders are good communicators who are open to receiving information from others and are clear in delivering their message, no matter the medium. In this day-long session, you will learn core principles of effective communications and how to apply them practically to get your point across. You will learn how to say what you mean, and mean what you say, with confidence and from a position of strength.

Through self-assessment, conversation and practical exercise, you will:

  • Gain more understanding about the two-way communication process;
  • Identify barriers to successfully conveying messages and hearing what others have to say;
  • Examine appropriate formats for delivering different types of information, in writing or verbally;
  • Explore opportunities to move beyond negative self-talk and fear of judgment to articulate thoughts with confidence;
  • Discover power listening tools to improve the ability to listen for understanding and perspective;
  • Practice articulating a persuasive position; and
  • Come away with a better understanding of how to persuasively convey your message and your ideas.

Trainers: Lee Price, Stephanie Smith

 

202Creative budgeting: How to get a piece of the budget pie (A) Management

Whether your agency is flush with a new revenue stream and ready to commit to funding programs or in a place where contemplating cutbacks, you need to know how to pitch for your needs. Many jurisdictions emerged from the downturn with better balanced long-term financial plans and have entertained budget requests for added staff, new technologies, and other enhancements to ensure and improve service delivery. Good managers are skilled at effectively balancing resources, great managers have skills in getting more resources to achieve the vision for their department. Are you ready to share your vision and claim your piece of the budget pie? This session will focus on practicing the skills needed to perfect your pitch for resources; persuasively communicate your department’s needs; learn tips on seeking alternative funding sources; positively position yourself to be a part of the future growth and hone abilities when presenting your department’s needs in both 1:1 situations or at the team table.

Trainers: Patrice Olds, Colleen Nicol

  

203 – Assessing and strengthening our leadership talents (B) Management

What are the major areas you need to pay attention to in order to move forward? How do you know if you’ve gotten there if you don’t know where you’re going? Is your department and organization doing the right things to fulfill your vision and mission? Strategic planning is the organizational road map for successfully moving forward into the future. This session focuses on the critical role you as a Clerk professional and leader play in the development of a strategic plan for your department and municipal government as a whole.

Strategic planning is approached as a three phase process.  You will learn what issues must be viewed from the strategic level and how those issues drive the rest of the planning process.  Attention will be focused on the importance of alignment of mission, vision, goals, and action plans.  Explanation and practice in the areas of developing key results areas, goals, objectives, strategies, action plans, and measurement will also be addressed.  You will leave the session with a better understanding and practical application of the strategic planning process, and how you can make a significant difference in the successful outcome of the overall strategic plan, and take back strategic planning tools for use in your department and organization.

Trainers: Pamela Miller, Wandzia Rose

 

Breakout Session 3 – Thursday (1:30 p.m. – 6:00 p.m.)

301 – Communicating for success (B) Leadership

This is an all-day session. If you sign up for 301 you must also sign up for 201.

Powerful, persuasive communication skills are essential to being successful in your career and achieving your professional goals. Communication is only effective when both the sender and the receiver understand the same information as a result of the communication, whether it be verbally or in writing. Even written communication can differ depending on the type of writing, such as email versus memo versus agenda report.  Effective leaders know what to say, when to say it and are flexible enough to change the message depending on their audience.  Effective leaders are good communicators who are open to receiving information from others and are clear in delivering their message, no matter the medium. In this day-long session, you will learn core principles of effective communications and how to apply them practically to get your point across. You will learn how to say what you mean, and mean what you say, with confidence and from a position of strength.

Through self-assessment, conversation and practical exercise, you will:

  • Gain more understanding about the two-way communication process;
  • Identify barriers to successfully conveying messages and hearing what others have to say;
  • Examine appropriate formats for delivering different types of information, in writing or verbally;
  • Explore opportunities to move beyond negative self-talk and fear of judgment to articulate thoughts with confidence;
  • Discover power listening tools to improve the ability to listen for understanding and perspective;
  • Practice articulating a persuasive position; and

Come away with a better understanding of how to persuasively convey your message and your ideas.

Trainers: Lee Price, Stephanie Smith

  

302Spark your innovation: Lighting the innovation fire within your agency (B) Technical

The world outside our agencies is changing at a rapid-fire pace and often times we struggle to keep pace with the myriad of innovations especially in the field of technology. With so many hot issues to have to deal with, how in the world can we keep up, and who has the time or the energy? This session will explore trends in technology and hot topic challenges for the local government clerk including barriers and strategies for remedy. Learn from real life examples such as the City of Riverside’s EngageRiverside.com, which focuses on mobile apps, citizen engagement, and online participation in the legislative process.

We will also create ideas to strengthen citizen engagement in the legislative process, develop techniques to better manage transparency expectations of the public, gain insight and new perspectives on problem solving through innovative thinking, explore other cutting edge innovations in local government and innovative solutions that are possible to overcome challenges in local government. Come with us and learn that innovation can be fun, not scary!

Trainers: Colleen Nicol, Prasad Mahale (City of Riverside Deputy Chief Innovation Officer)

303 – Workplace Conflict Resolution: Improving Employee Performance and Teamwork (B) Management

Disagreements of any kind, disputes, difference of opinions, controversy, and discord are all forms of conflict that are a part of interacting with other people. Workplace conflict contributes to a lack of productivity and, if left unresolved, the potential loss of valued employees. Effective leaders are able to deal with and resolve conflicts. In this session, we will gain a deeper understanding of the four causes of conflict including those based on generational differences. We will also explore how our different styles can lead to and often fuel conflict. We will explore various ways of dealing with conflict and enhancing our skills in confronting conflict. We will learn to communicate effectively when being confronted, and how to use interest-based negotiation to resolve conflicts. This session is also designed to enhance team cohesion and strengthen interpersonal dynamics for any member of a team, particularly team leaders and aspiring leaders within an organization.

You will leave with a refreshed definition of conflict and a greater sense of self-confidence in dealing with and managing conflict in the workplace. You will also become more familiar and comfortable with how to reduce conflict and avoid what leads to a lack of productivity. Additionally, you will have developed a greater ability to recognize conflict and conflict handling styles. The use of the Thomas-Kilmann Conflict Mode Instrument will allow all of us to recognize how we respond in conflict situations to more effectively minimize conflict in which we become involved.

Trainers: Joann Tilton, Stephanie Mizunoe

 

Breakout Session 4 – Friday (8 a.m. – 12:00 p.m.)

401 – Clerks and the law: Understanding the complex legalities of the clerk world (A) Technical

Using the League’s California Municipal Handbook as a guide, this session will focus on a number of important yet ambiguous topics.  You will gain greater insight in and learn how to appropriately respond to:

  • Liability and litigation with specific emphasis on tort claims, responding to subpoenas and depositions; and
  • Law ambiguities, absence of law, process/service the public is requesting that conflicts with the law, or new process/service that is compliant with the law but challenging to implement

You will leave this session with a variety of tools, techniques and resources to add to your tool kit.

Trainer: Colleen Nicol, Kristi Smith (City of Riverside Chief Assistant City Attorney)

 

402 – Ethical leadership: How committed are we to our values? (A) Leadership

Citizens have a longstanding and basic distrust of government agencies and their employees, and it seems this image is perpetuated by perceptions based on the actions of a few. As a strong ethical leader in the public sector, you must first understand your own worldview, values, and behavioral responses before creating an environment that is perceived as credible, trustworthy, and ethical. This session will allow you to gain insight into your worldview, values, and responses. You will explore ways to confront ethical dilemmas and deal with them in a thoughtful and meaningful way. We will use case studies, group dialogue, personal reflection, and real situations to explore our level of commitment to our values.

Trainer: Patrice Olds, Stephanie Mizuno

 

403 – The gift of feedback (B) Leadership

The term feedback refers to the direct, objective, simple, and respectful observations that one person makes about another person’s behavior.  In the work environment, lack of feedback is one of the three major barriers (along with lack of performance expectations, and lack of skills) to effective work performance (Lapid-Bogda, 2004).  Yet, nearly half of leaders surveyed have anxiety about giving feedback and of those, a higher percentage of leaders avoid giving even positive feedback (Forbes, July 5, 2017).

In this session, we will explore the purpose and importance of feedback. We will identify behaviors and beliefs that may be sources of discomfort about giving feedback to others. And, we will learn and practice effective skills and techniques in giving feedback to anyone in order to get our message across successfully.

Trainer: Wandzia Rose, Joann Tilton

 

Community Session 2 – Friday (1:00 p.m. – 3:00 p.m.)

(1 hr A / 1 hr B)

All participants and all core trainers.

 

ADDRESS

P. O. Box 1431 • West Sacramento, CA 95691

Phone: 916-850-9271
Website: millermcg.com
Email: PMiller@millermcg.com