(copyright 2009 by Karen A. Kolb)

The Skill Power Mini-workshop Series promotes the development of life skills on the job. A product of Skill Power LLC, this job focused skill-building series was developed for businesses that are interested in increasing employee productivity, but may not have an onsite training staff. Giving employees an opportunity to strengthen job skills often leads to increased self-confidence and a better focus on job success. The Skill Power Mini-workshop Series provides information on 12 topics vital to workplace interaction and productivity: Assertiveness, Attitude, Communication, Conflict Resolution, Cooperation, Decision-making, Flexibility, Goal-setting, Motivation, Organization, Personality and Stress Management.

Workshops can be purchased individually or as a complete package. The core of each workshop is a participant booklet that includes both visual and bullet point discussion of and suggestions for implementing the skill highlighted. Pre/post tests, evaluation sheets, motivational bookmarks and a copy of the book Commonsense Management / Leadership are also included with each mini-workshop.

the Skill Power Mini-workshop Series© can provide a basis for in-house employee training or used as self-guided trainings in which booklets are sent home with employees at one staff meeting and evaluation sheets are collected at another. Discussions – especially on how the topic relates to specific workplaces – is certainly encouraged, but not essential. (Suggestions for facilitating a discussion group are also included.)

Each of the Skill Power Mini-workshop Series booklets has three main sections: Pre/post test, clipart illustrated ideas for implementing the skill and a list of tips, suggestions or beliefs that can help develop the skill. The following are examples of the information given, but not necessarily in the booklet format.

Pre/post test without rating scale (Assertiveness)

1. I can be assertiveness without being aggressive.

2. I cannot be successful without being assertive.

3. I can be assertive while respecting other views.

4. It is okay to be passive sometimes.

5. It is okay to be aggressive sometimes.

6. I can be aggressive without being cruel.

7. Generally I am an assertive person.

8. I value assertiveness in my work relationships.

9. I know the boundary between assertiveness and aggressiveness.

10. Relationships are better if both people are assertive.


Written portion of clipart section (Stress Management)

Recognize Potential Stress Triggers:

• Lack of Time, Money, Energy.

• Interaction with a difficult person.

Keep Perspective:

• How important is this situation? Is it really a crisis?

• Is it urgent? Do I have some time to work through it?

• How does this situation affect the by picture?

Practice Self-discipline:

• Impulsive actions can result in feeling overwhelmed.

• Impulsive reactions can create unnecessary stress.

• Emotional extremes can escalate a stressful situation.

Plan Ahead:

• Maintain a “To Do” list, with realistic timeframes.

• Set long-term goals to help identify areas of potential stress.

• Add extra time to allow for mistakes and setbacks.

7 Basic Beliefs that Affect Workplace Attitude

Attitude is personal. We define our own attitude. The job may influence our attitude, but we ultimately decide if our outlook will be positive or negative.

I can choose to be positive or negative. If we decide to be productive on any given day, it will happen. We can learn something from any task or any person. When trying to stay positive it sometimes helps to write down the positive elements of tasks and interactions.

I can choose to be positive even in a negative situation. It is easy to be dragged down by a negative conversation based on complaints. (Who doesn’t have complaints?) In situations such as this, we can: 1) Increase out negativity by joining in; 2) Say something positive to try to turn the group around; or 3) Move away from the conversation.

My attitude can influence others. A smile and a calm voice can encourage others to respond similarly. A scowl and confrontational tone of voice will encourage the same.

Attempts should be made to understand the attitudes of others. Sometimes there are underlying reasons for a co-worker’s negative attitude, especially when he or she is usually very upbeat. Don’t be too quick to jump to conclusions and react negatively.

Developing new skills can improve attitude. The more confidence we have in our abilities, the easier it will be to maintain a positive attitude.

No one is positive all of the time. Even if a co-worker appears to have a positive attitude every minute of every day, it is safe to assume that he or she also has moments of doubt and negativity. Some of us just hide it better than others.

If negative feelings are job-related, they should be dealt with according to workplace policies; if personal, they should be handled outside the workplace.


Note: The book Basic Job Skills and Job Success, also available through Skill Power LLC, combines all 12 workshops offered in the Skill Power Mini-workshop Series. This book provides a comprehensive resource for individuals.

To place an order for one or all of the workshops offered in the Skill Power Mini-workshop Series, please go to . You can also request a sample booklet through the Contact Us page.