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Based on more than 25 years of experience, Dr. Louellen Essex offers practical seminars that help executives, managers and supervisors become stronger leaders.

All of the seminars listed below can be presented virtually and they represent highlights that can be customized for a given group.


  • Building a Foundation of Leadership Skills

    Target Audience: Leaders who are new to their roles
    1. Making the Transition From Colleague to Leader
      • Thinking in a new way
      • How to respectfully enter a new situation
    2. Causes of New Leader Failure: Missteps to Avoid
    3. Setting Direction
      • Developing meaningful goals
      • Creating strategies to achieve results
    4. Delegating
      • Traps in the delegation process
      • 4 delegation phases and how to master each
      • Giving effective feedback, both critical and positive
    5. Building Teamwork
      • Building a team from launching to high performing
      • Facilitating engagement and inclusion of all staff members
    6. Understanding the Organizational Culture
      • Studying your organization's culture to discover how things really get done
      • Building your personal base of influence across the organization
    7. Motivating and Inspiring
      • One size doesn’t fill all: Learning the unique drives of each staff person
      • Creating inspirational communication
      • Making sure you’re a good role model
    For more detailed information about this seminar or others listed here, contact
  • Leading and Managing Change

    Target Audience:Leaders who are creating and/or guiding organizational change
    1. Why change efforts might fail – What the research tells us
    2. How Individuals Respond to Change
      • The emotional cycle of change: from denial to acceptance
      • Causes of resistance and how to work through them
      • Dealing with hardcore resistors who block change
    3. The Planned Change Process
      • Communicating the need for change
      • Creating a road map and staying on track
      • Engaging staff in problem-solving
      • Deciding on the mode, frequency, and content of ongoing communication
      • Motivating staff through recognition and rewards
      • Maintaining flexibility; making course corrections and learning to pivot
    4. Leader as Role Model
      • Managing your leadership presence
      • Keeping yourself energized
    For more detailed information about this seminar or others listed here, contact
  • Organizational Power and Politics

    Target Audience: Leaders at all organizational levels
    1. Why Care About Power and Politics?
    2. Analyzing the Dynamics of Influence in Your Organization
      • Determining who has what resources
      • Mapping out your network of strategic relationships
      • Identifying the expectations of key decision-makers
    3. Building Your Base of Influence
      • The 7 bases of influence
      • Clarifying your purpose and who can help you
      • Determining the goals of others and how you might collaborate
    4. Building a Partnership With Your Own Manager
      • Knowing what your manager expects
      • Keeping your manager informed
      • Using the approach that fits your manager’s preferred style
    5. Increasing Your Persuasive Communication Ability
      • Elements of persuasion
      • Analyzing and targeting the audience
      • Creating the best arguments: using data, emotion, experiences
      • Determining the most impactful way to package your idea
      • Polishing your “platform” skills
    6. Considering Your Image
      • Building a track record to build credibility
      • Strategically increasing your visibility
      • Becoming a PR agent for the staff you lead
    For more detailed information about this seminar or others listed here, contact

Team Development

  • Building a High-Performance Team

    Target Audience:Managers, team leaders, project managers; intact teams
    1. Barriers to Effective Teamwork
      • The dynamics of low- vs. high-performance teams
      • Profiles of effective and ineffective team leaders
    2. Stages of Team Development and How to Manage Each: From Launch to Closure
    3. Assessing a Team’s Developmental Level and Planning a Team Building Approach
      • Using the Teamability© assessment tool
      • Analyzing the information and targeting areas for improvement
    4. Understanding and Utilizing Differing Personality Types
      • Thinkers, Doers, Feelers, Intuitives
      • Assessing your own style and adjusting for others
    5. Orchestrating Group Dynamics
      • Managing problem behaviors in team meetings
      • Developing team meeting designs, which facilitate problem-solving and decision-making
      • Mediating conflict and capitalizing on differences
      • Making sure your team practices are inclusive
      • Creating team spirit
    For more detailed information about this seminar or others listed here, contact
  • Teamability: Becoming an Effective Team Member

    Target Audience:Anyone who is a member of a work team; intact work teams
    1. What Makes a Team Effective?
    2. Profiles of Effective and Ineffective Team Members
    3. Stages of Team Development and How to Participate Effectively in Each
    4. Understanding Your Own and Others’ Preferred Style: Thinkers, Doers, Feelers, Intuitors
    5. Skillfully Dealing With Differences
      • Integrating your view with others when you don't agree
      • Raising issues without creating defensiveness
      • Building trust through open and honest communication
    For more detailed information about this seminar or others listed here, contact
  • Leading Effective Meetings: Virtual and In-Person

    1. Understanding Why Meetings Fail
    2. Planning the Meeting Agenda
      • Clarifying the purpose
      • Getting input from attendees
      • Developing the sequence
      • Choosing the best process for each agenda item
      • Developing time frames
    3. Facilitating Group Dynamics
      • The role of the meeting leader
      • The responsibilities of the meeting participants
      • Keeping things on track and managing time
      • Mediating conflict
      • Managing problem behaviors: agenda grabbers, filibusters, attackers, passive-aggressives
    4. Guidelines for Virtual Meetings
      • Engaging all participants
      • Effectively using the technology
    5. Evaluating a Meeting’s Effectiveness
    For more detailed information about this seminar or others listed here, contact

Managing Difficult Situations

  • Dealing With Difficult People

    Target Audience: All staff members
    1. Identifying the Characteristics of Difficult People
      • Red flags to watch for
      • Understanding what motivates difficult people
      • Avoiding the traps difficult people set up
      • Making sure the problem isn’t you!
    2. Confronting the Difficult Person
      • Knowing when confrontation is likely or not to work
      • Choosing the right words to increase the probability of success
      • Planning your approach and choosing the best time
    3. Difficult Personality Types and How to Cope With Each
      • Tanks
      • Explosives
      • Passive-Aggressives
      • Constant Complainers
      • Indecisives
      • Know-It-Alls
      • Negativists
    4. Handling Your Own Discomfort and Building Your Confidence
      • Maintaining a sense of perspective
      • Creating options if the difficult person becomes unbearable in spite of your best effort to cope
      • Handling your own anger and frustration effectively
      • Knowing when to get of out the situation
      • Tips for managing the stress a difficult person can create
    For more detailed information about this seminar or others listed here, contact
  • Making Conflict Productive

    Target Audience: All staff members
    1. What Causes Conflict? Why It’s Not Necessarily Bad.
    2. Identifying Your and Others’ Conflict Management Style
      • Battlers
      • Accommodators
      • Problem-solvers
      • Retreaters
      • Bargainers
    3. Win-win Problem-Solving
      • Setting the stage
      • Defining the issues: avoiding positional arguing
      • Searching for alternatives from which both parties can gain
      • Coming to agreement
    4. Developing Effective Communication Skills
      • Building a supportive climate
      • Choosing the right words
      • Managing your anger without becoming defensive
      • Saying no without damaging the relationship
      • Asking for what you want
      • Disarming hostile people
    5. Dealing with Problem Behaviors
      • Intimidation and manipulation
      • Passivity
      • Dishonesty
    For more detailed information about this seminar or others listed here, contact


  • Become a Better Communicator: Communication Skills, Virtual and In-Person

    Target Audience: All staff members
    1. Barriers to Effective Communication
      • Common mistakes senders make
      • Obstacles receivers create
      • Challenges presented by virtual work environments
    2. Getting Your Message Across
      • Choosing the best channel: verbal, written or both?
      • Organizing what you want to say and focusing on a purpose
      • Monitoring your voice tone and quality
      • Using two-way communication
      • Receiver-orienting your approach
      • Tips for communication virtually
    3. Making Sure You're Listening
      • The difference between active and passive listening
      • Reading the nonverbal cues
      • Paraphrasing and reflecting effectively
      • Asking good questions to get more information
      • Staying focused in virtual communication
    4. Communicating in Conflict Situations
      • Choosing the right words to reduce defensiveness and build collaboration
      • Avoiding trigger words and nonverbal signals
      • Initiating joint problem-solving
    5. Style Flexing: Individualizing Your Approach
      • Identifying differing personality types: thinkers, doers, feelers, intuitives
      • Adjusting your message for each type
      • Using style flexing in persuasive communication
    For more detailed information about this seminar or others listed here, contact
  • Delivering High-Impact Presentations

    Target Audience: All staff members who give presentations  
    1. Overcoming Barriers to Making Effective Presentations
      • What audiences dislike most
      • Barriers presenters create and how to avoid them
    2. Audience and Context Analysis: Who Are You Speaking to and Where?
    3. Planning the Presentation
      • The Introduction—getting and keeping the audience’s attention
      • The Body—developing key ideas and supporting evidence
      • The Conclusion—ending with impact
    4. Creating Effective Audio-Visual Aids
      • Choosing the best media
      • Tips for using PowerPoint, flip charts, videos, handouts
    5. Delivering the Presentation Skillfully
      • Managing nervousness
      • Controlling your voice
      • Monitoring your body language
      • Using gestures
      • Deciding what to wear
      • Handling your notes and working with props
    6. Fielding Questions
      • What to do if you don’t know the answer
      • Diffusing hostility
      • Framing your answer
    7. Tips for Virtual Presentations

    Applied Practice Option: Participants prepare a short presentation to deliver during this seminar. Presentations will be videotaped and optional one-on-one coaching provided.

    For more detailed information about this seminar or others listed here, contact

Performance Management

  • Facilitating Effective Performance Reviews

    Target Audience:Supervisors, managers, and team leaders who facilitate performance reviews
    1. State-of-the-Art Practices in Performance Reviews
      • Why annual reviews are not adequate
      • Staff involvement and ownership through self-appraisal and dialogue
    2. Traps to Avoid in the Performance Appraisal Process
    3. Developing Performance Measures
      • Using behavioral terms
      • Defining levels of performance
    4. Collecting Information About Performance
      • Establishing a record-keeping system
      • Making observations
    5. Communicating the Appraisal
      • Setting the tone for a two-way discussion
      • Evaluating and maximizing strengths
      • Communicating about problem areas without creating defensiveness
      • Setting mutual goals for maintaining and improving performance
      • Using the review as an opportunity for career planning
    6. Handling resistance
      • What to do if you reach a stalemate
    7. Following Up on the Review
      • Monitoring performance
      • Maintaining ongoing informal performance discussions
    For more detailed information about this seminar or others listed here, contact
  • Managing the Challenging Staff Person

    Target Audience: Supervisors, managers and team leaders
    1. Checking Your Attitude: What It Takes to Be Successful With Challenging Staff
    2. Analyzing the Problem
      • Identifying what’s challenging
      • Determining what’s in it for the staff person to change
      • Looking for and removing obstacles to performance
      • A template for the joint problem-solving discussion
    3. The Joint Problem Solving Discussion
      • Describing the problem
      • Getting agreement a problem exists
      • Brainstorming alternatives and choosing one
      • Determining how progress will be evaluated
      • Following-up
    4. Types of Problem Staff Persons/Situations and How to Handle Them
      • Dealing with excessive resistance to change
      • Managing a challenge to your authority
      • What to do about passive-aggressive staff
      • Working through personal problems that interfere with work performance
    5. Managing Your Own Stress
      • Making sure you develop your own support system
      • Recognizing signs of burnout and ineffectiveness
    For more detailed information about this seminar or others listed here, contact
  • Coaching and Developing Staff to Accelerate Growth

    Target Audience: supervisors, managers and team leaders
    1. What is Coaching? Examples of Coaching in Action
    2. Coaching Skills
      • Giving critical and positive feedback that helps staff develop their potential
      • Informally teaching a way of thinking or doing
      • Asking questions to help staff solve a problem and build confidence
      • Supporting and encouraging
    3. Setting Development Targets
      • Dealing with high, average, and weak performers
      • Dealing with unrealistic expectations
      • Dealing with low expectations and high potential
    4. Types of Development Activities
      • Matching the activity to the goals
      • Thinking creatively when development opportunities seem limited
      • Creating a meaningful development plan
    For more detailed information about this seminar or others listed here, contact
  • How to Motivate: It’s Not One-Size-Fits-All

    Target Audience: Supervisors, managers
    1. What motivates?
      • Matching staff abilities to the work
      • Creating valued rewards for all staff members
    2. Understanding What Staff Wants Out of a Job
      • Security, affiliation, achievement, recognition: Who needs them and why
      • Identifying particular needs of early, mid, and late career staff
      • Encouraging intrinsic motivation: Taking pride in your work
      • Intrinsic and extrinsic rewards
    3. Using Coaching Skills to Build Staff Confidence
      • Helping staff members solve their own problems
      • Giving suggestions without taking away a staff person's self-respect
      • Guidelines for delivering effective positive feedback to reinforce behavior: Making sure the right behaviors are rewarded
    4. Giving Constructive Criticism That Motivates Behavior Change
    5. Being a Motivating Leader
      • Personal characteristics of leaders staff members want to do things for
      • Sustaining your own enthusiasm
    For more detailed information about this seminar or others listed here, contact
  • Participating in Your Performance Review

    Target Audience:All staff
    1. Understanding the Purpose of a Performance Review and What It Can Do for You
      • Preparing to be a full participant
    2. Making Sure You’re Clear About Performance Expectations
      • Reviewing the discussion format
      • Asking questions to clarify what the ratings or comments mean
      • Writing measurable, specific goals
    3. Collecting Information About Your Own Performance
      • Developing a record-keeping system
      • Preparing examples
    4. Communicating Your Assessment of Your Own Performance
      • Talking about your strengths
      • Discussing how you can be more effective
      • Taking responsibility for performance problems
      • Listening actively
      • Asking effective questions
      • Developing goals and actions to meet future performance targets
    5. What to Do If You Don’t Agree
      • Deciding on an approach to manage the disagreement
    For more detailed information about this seminar or others listed here, contact

I like to create a lively learning environment where every participant is fully engaged.”

Dr. Louellen Essex

Sometimes organizations need to tune up the way they do things and examine the processes they use in order to increase performance and morale. Team development, customized training, as well as solid operational and strategic planning keep the company headed in the right direction. Dr. Louellen Essex offers help in each of these important areas.

Team Building for Intact Teams

Louellen can help a newly merged group set ground rules and common goals, and she often steps in to guide a struggling team through conflict. Stable groups may ask her to design a team-building retreat to maintain strong bonds and have fun at the same time. In a recent team-building project with a client, she interviewed each team member, created a list of strengths and key issues, and led the group to discover how they could best capture their strengths and find solutions to their problem areas.

Development of Internal, Customized Training Programs

Louellen can create training materials, leader guides and visual aids for your organization and present a seminar on how to effectively use these tools. She will also teach internal trainers the best ways to work with the program to ensure the service has lasting value. For example, she recently worked with a committee to develop a team communication training program for a large health care organization, then trained internal trainers to teach it, customizing the approach for specific departments.

Facilitation of Strategic Planning

To help organizations and teams identify key trends that will impact their business, Louellen guides groups through a process of creating a long-term strategy. For example, she helped a non-profit board identify the trends that would impact their work in the next 3-5 years, then coached them in building strategies to offset the threats and capturing the opportunities ahead.


It’s never a solo act. Great leaders must be able to build collaboration and create high performance teamwork.”

Dr. Louellen Essex

The Mayo Clinic, University of Minnesota Carlson School of Management, the European Respiratory Society, and other influential organizations have utilized the invaluable strategic expertise of Dr. Louellen Essex. In her keynote addresses, Louellen speaks on issues most crucial to leaders, drawing on her quarter century of leadership development experience and her three groundbreaking books. Ideal for a conference or company-wide event, these hour-long, interactive presentations punctuate the day with an expert’s perspective.

Just-in-Time Solutions to “People Problems”

Based on Louellen’s book, Manager’s Desktop Consultant: Just-in-Time Solutions to the Top People Problems that Keep You Awake at Night, this keynote provides practical tips for reducing the impact of difficult human interaction dynamics in the workplace and improving management of others.

Mistake Recovery: the New Leadership Competency

Drawing from her book, Breaking the Code of Silence, in this presentation Louellen examines common leadership mistakes, debunks myths surrounding mistake recovery and identifies strategies for rebounding from near-fatal errors.

Fast Forward Leadership: Update Your Leadership Practices

Using her first book, Fast Forward Leadership, as a foundation, Louellen speaks about the seven outmoded practices leaders must eliminate and the replacement strategies for proven success.

Teamability: Lead Your Team to Top Performance

From her years of facilitating team development activities, Louellen gives practical guidelines for building a team, managing differences and stimulating creativity.

Customized Addresses

In addition to the titles above, Louellen can tailor a keynote speech to the needs of your organization. Recent examples and the groups to which she presented them include:

  1. Fast Forward Leadership for the 21st Century
    • eWomenNetwork
    • Women’s Health Leadership Trust
  2. Leading Change Initiatives
    • Mayo Clinic Jacksonville
  3. Managing Change
    • All-supervisor Meeting, Mayo Clinic
  4. Networking Across Your Industry
    • International Facility Management Association

I like to keep the audience engaged in my no-lecture approach to large group presentations.”

Dr. Louellen Essex

Do you want to improve your management abilities in a more personally focused way? Dr. Louellen Essex offers individual coaching sessions in a private setting that will define your leadership goals and dramatically increase your performance and confidence.

After conducting an assessment that identifies style, strengths and areas for growth, Louellen will create a practical strategy that puts you on the path to becoming a more effective leader. Work with her in person or via video or phone conferencing.


I customize coaching strategies for the unique characteristics of each individual. One size doesn’t fit all.”

Dr. Louellen Essex