Building Collaboration and Managing Conflict

Principles of Leadership Excellence Plus

This new version of MRA’s premier leadership series includes the essential knowledge and skills from the 12-day PLX, plus features to enhance the learning experience before, during, and after the time in the classroom.

PLX is New and Improved!

This summer, MRA introduced Principles of Leadership Excellence Plus! This new version of MRA’s premier leadership series includes the essential knowledge and skills from the 12-day PLX, plus features to enhance the learning experience before, during, and after the time in the classroom. Registration is now open; click the "Schedule and Register" tab below for details and to secure your seat.

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For those registered in the Principles of Leadership Excellence 12-Day program, click here for the current program's content.

  • Overview

    Principles of Leadership Excellence Plus provides opportunities to adopt the skills, behaviors, and knowledge needed for effective, successful people leadership. Participants unlock their understanding of self to connect with others and then apply their leadership within the context of the organization, the business environment, and their communities.

    Leaders aren’t born, they do the inner work of self-analysis, reflection, and behavior change to grow their own skills so then they can help develop others. Leaders know that results don’t come from spreadsheets, they come from people. They focus on people’s strengths and understand their team members’ opportunities for growth. In this way, they can lead with more integrity and authenticity. Leaders who plan for success and confidently employ emotional intelligence are more successful in today’s global economy.

    Who Should Attend: This series is designed for supervisors with ideally at least 1-2 years of experience. Individual contributors who have high potential for a leadership position or those new to their roles also find this series invaluable to their growth and development.

    Begin your PLX Journey What you need to know!

  • PLX Plus Highlights

    PLX Plus Highlights

    • Pre-series meeting with the managers of the participants—New!
    • Coaching guides to help managers of participants reinforce and leverage their newly acquired knowledge and skills—New!
    • STAR 360® leadership evaluation, which includes comments and insights from the participant’s manager, peers, and direct reports—New!
    • 8 full days of in-person or live online classroom training—New!
    • 1 full day or 2 half days of electives to customize the learning experience—New!
    • Peer learning circles for series graduates 3 months and 6 months after completion—New!
    • Engaging, expert instructors with real-world leadership experience in multiple industries
    • Updated content that incorporates the latest research in adult learning and leadership skills, including emotional intelligence, trust building, coaching, and resiliency in change
  • Leadership Model and Competencies

    Leadership Model and Competencies

    The most effective leaders have a clear understanding of themselves. MRA’s model looks inward first, then at others. This inside-out approach focuses on:

    • Self-discovery—Each module contains at least one self-assessment
    • Applying skills and knowledge immediately to your role
    • Unlocking your understanding of self to connect with others within your organization and community

    Based on adult learning principles, the PLX Plus series empowers you to:

    • Become a better leader through interactive learning such as self-assessment, skill practice, group discussion, and application to day-to-day work
    • Create invaluable connections with fellow participants
    • Engage with our instructors, who have real-world leadership experience in a variety of industries
    • Enhance communication and collaboration to build a resilient and flexible team focused on individual and organizational goals

    PLX Plus Core Leadership Competencies:

    Trust & Authenticity, Managing Relationships, Communication, Emotional Intelligence, Performance Management, and Change Management.

    PLX Plus Related Competencies:

    Self-awareness, Accountability, Diversity, Adaptability & Agility, Resilience, Team Building, Conflict Management, Motivation, Delegation, Problem Solving, Political Savvy, and Innovation.

  • Core Modules

    Core Modules

    Module 1: Building Trust and Relationships

    As a modern leader and manager, you and your relationships are the foundation of your success. Building and maintaining trust and relationships using emotional intelligence are keys to successfully influencing those you work with (your manager, peers, and direct reports). In this module, you will discover strategies for building trust and respect for yourself and within your team. Trust takes a long time to build but can be lost in an instant, even when your actions are well-intentioned.

    Learning Objectives:

    • Differentiate leaders and managers, and determine which role is situationally appropriate.
    • Describe the effective uses of influential and positional power.
    • Assess the state of your work relationships (manager, peers, direct reports) and plan to increase their effectiveness.
    • Examine the impact of the four emotional intelligence factors.
    • Use four essential elements to design a plan that builds greater trust and respect for you and your team.

    Module 1: Building Trust and Relationships

    Module 2: Communicating Clearly for Results and Navigating Conflict

    Day 1 -- Communicating Clearly for Results
    Excellent communication skills–you can’t be a great leader without them. In this course, you’ll consider the characteristics of your DiSC® communication style and adapt it to the differing styles of others. You’ll also hone your listening skills, ask more efficient questions, and deliver feedback effectively using disarming “I” messages to minimize defensiveness and get the results you need. You are always communicating, through your words, tone of voice, or body language. This course helps you send the right message.

    Learning Objectives:

    • Identify elements that give nonverbal communication meaning.
    • Examine appropriate and effective use of modes of communication technology such as email, texts, and audio and video conference calls.
    • Apply the DiSC® model to recognize differences between styles and adapt your style for more effective communication.
    • Compare the characteristics of generations in today’s workplace.

    Day 2 -- Navigating Conflict
    Conflict. It’s a word that can strike fear in even the most self-assured leaders. Successfully navigating conflict can be the difference between reaching your destination and sinking your ship. Building on clear communication, you will discover the root causes of conflict, gain tools to manage it well, and explore how to channel conflicting viewpoints into continuous improvement and innovation.

    Learning Objectives:

    • Contrast characteristics that distinguish between productive and unproductive conflict.
    • Demonstrate a six-step process for managing and resolving conflict respectfully.
    • Compare the five responses to conflict and determine situations to use each.
    • Incorporate the results of your 360° Leadership Survey into your managerial development.

    Module 2: Communicating Clearly for Results and Navigating Conflict

    Module 3: Fostering Culture and Motivation for Engagement

    Famed management guru Peter Drucker said: “Culture eats strategy for lunch.” What is palatable at one organization can cause serious indigestion at another. Understanding and strategically maneuvering within a culture can be the difference between mediocrity and excellence. In this module, you will discover the ingredients of your culture and the nine facets of personal motivation. With this knowledge, you can inspire your team members to create outstanding outcomes for themselves and your customers.

    Learning Objectives:

    • Describe cultural norms within your organization and work group.
    • Dispel common motivational myths.
    • Explore the use of nine human needs to create engagement.
    • Use the motivational concepts of praise and consequences to increase productivity and foster engagement.

    Module 3: Fostering Culture and Motivation for Engagement

    Module 4: Setting Expectations and Coaching for Success

    Day 1 Setting Expectations
    Clarity: A leader’s most important goal. When employees understand what’s expected of them, performance becomes a choice, and they can thrive. Diagnosing what your team member needs in the moment points them in the right direction; always giving orders yields bare-minimum results and lowers morale. Focusing on expectations and goals, this course will help you apply the art of coaching for development so your team members can self-discover what’s possible. Their ideas, rather than yours, fuel innovation and engagement.

    Learning Objectives:

    • Apply the three steps of MRA’s Diagnostic Direction® Model to adjust your leadership style to an employee’s specific need at the correct time.
    • Define the elements of a successful performance management system.
    • Establish performance standards.
    • Create SMART goals.
    • Diagnose causes of performance problems.
    • Implement the four-step coaching process.

    Day 2 -- Managing Talent for Performance
    Talented people have options. Leaders need to build up their successful team members and guide those who struggle to better outcomes. In this course, you’ll explore how delegation isn’t just about getting tasks off your plate, it’s about building opportunities for growth. You’ll also understand your role as a legal agent and the importance of documentation. Armed with a consultative method, you can get to the heart of performance issues while recognizing the vital steps when discipline is required.

    Learning Objectives:

    • Apply delegation techniques to develop talent.
    • Examine strategies to ensure proper documentation.
    • Recognize the liabilities poor or missing documentation can cause.
    • Develop skills to hold team members accountable to expectations.
    • Uncover reasons managers do not discipline employees for poor behavior.
    • Describe the four steps of progressive discipline.
    • Identify errors managers make with performance reviews.
    • Design, prepare, and conduct an effective performance review.

    Module 4: Setting Expectations and Coaching for Success

    Module 5: Creating Collaboration and Effective Teams

    Teams are easy to form. But teams that achieve true collaboration, as famed author Patrick Lencioni says, are so rare that when collaboration is managed well, it becomes a competitive advantage. In this module, you will gain the tools to lead your teams from the early stages of discovery through their growing pains to become highly effective, innovative units that can take your business to new heights. None of us is as effective as all of us.

    Learning Objectives:

    • Explain the value of “diversity of thought” and expertise in team innovation.
    • Decide which of five decision-making options will garner the best results in a given situation.
    • Categorize the characteristics in each stage of team development and determine the leader’s actions at each stage.
    • Identify the four components of the team effectiveness model.
    • Assess the strengths of your team and the opportunities for improvement.
    • Employ strategies for building consensus on your team.
    • Create a departmental purpose statement using a three-step process.
    • Follow a process to develop a communication and integration plan for goals
    • Implement strategies to align departmental goals with company goals.
    • Design goals that align and integrate daily work with the organization’s vision, mission, and strategy.

    Module 5: Creating Collaboration and Effective Teams

    Module 6: Leading and Thriving Through Change

    Knowing that the only constant is change, today’s leaders must keep change at the forefront. Swirling with emotions and resistance, your team members need a strategic and empathetic leader. In this module, you will consider what it means to be an agent of change, guiding yourself and your direct reports through the “messy in the middle,” helping everyone to become more resilient and overcome their resistance. Change then becomes innovation and growth rather than fear and inaction.

    Learning Objectives:

    • Examine the major stages and phases in the cycle of change.
    • Identify and develop strategies for being a leader in change.
    • Demonstrate several ways to become a more resilient leader.
    • Explore the strategies for managing yourself and helping others in uncertainty.
    • Develop a plan for discussing change clearly and successfully.

    Module 6: Leading and Thriving Through Change

  • Electives
  • Make Learning Stick

    Make Learning Stick

    Adult learners retain training most successfully when:

    • They immediately apply what they learn.
    • They understand the training is an investment in their future.
    • Their managers are involved in their growth and development by reinforcing what they learn through one-on-one coaching.

    Because participants’ managers are so busy, consistent coaching can be difficult to fit in. To make the coaching process quick and easy, MRA has created the PLX Plus Coaching Guide.

    The PLX Plus Coaching Guide helps make learning stick and provides participants’ managers:

    • A synopsis of what is contained in each course and the specific knowledge and skills to reinforce.
    • Relevant questions to ask participants before and after each course.
    • Timely advice on how to strengthen the coaching experience for both coach and participant.

    In addition, MRA provides participants’ managers the opportunity to attend a 1-hour live online Manager Overview before the series begins. Used in conjunction with the Coaching Guide, the Manager Overview equips managers with the knowledge and skills to use the guide most effectively. Managers are strongly encouraged to attend one Manager Overview session to maximize the experience and learning ROI of the PLX Plus participants they lead.

  • Schedule and Register

    Schedule and Register

    MRA strongly encourages participants to take the PLX Plus series in sequence because skill sets in each course build upon what is learned in the previous courses.

    2024 Schedule

    Check the MRA website for availability as some dates may change or reach capacity.

    Register for the Entire Series

    Questions: Contact MRA Registrations at 262.696.3319 or [email protected].

  • Participant Access

    Participant Access

    • Once registered for PLX Plus, participants watch your email for assignments to start your leadership journey.
    • For graduates of the Principles of Leadership Excellence 12-Day program, click here for your program's content and reference material.

Principles of Leadership Excellence Plus Schedule:


Register for Entire Series

MRA used a variety of methods to deliver the material and keep it interesting. I loved how the instructors brought their real-world experiences to help support the material. PLX breaks down the various facets of leadership in ways I hadn’t considered and provides valuable tools to support each. I would recommend PLX to anyone in a leadership role, both new and old.

Tamara C. Bradley
Quality Engineer, EK Machine Co Inc.

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