student taking an online course

Online Instruction

Professional IQ: Preventing and Solving Problems at Work

NCPRE is proud to offer online instruction for professionals interested in ethics and leadership. The 4-course series, “Professional IQ: Preventing and Solving Problems at Work,” is targeted towards people seeking or starting new jobs, who are facing dilemmas in their current job, who have just been promoted or who want to be more marketable for a promotion, or who possesses strong technical skills and want to develop leadership skills. The course series is available now as a Massive Open Online Course (MOOC) through Coursera.

In the series, learners use real-world dilemmas and ethical problems experienced by professionals around the world to clarify and articulate their personal values as a foundation for the issues they face. Successful people use these skills every day: making strong decisions; recognizing and avoiding career-damaging pitfalls; preventing and resolving conflicts so as to be value-added members of teams; knowing how and when to apologize effectively; knowing how to ask constructive questions that advance work; and honing leadership skills—whether for being influential at work or holding a position of authority. Our position is that these are essential skills for succeeding at work. They are skills that employers value, while often being underemphasized in standard professional curricula. And furthermore, who you are, how you do things, how you interact with others, and how you lead are all underpinned by your personal ethics. In short, ethics are necessary, and not just nice; smart ethics, as we define them, are integral to success.

The lectures and course materials focus on familiar, ordinary situations that any person might encounter in the workplace, and how to cope with them. As learners work through the course materials, they will explore their values and personal “brands” and reflect on how their personal commitments and convictions prepare them for workplace success. Learners will be exposed to—and learn to avoid or prevent—career pitfalls that lead to the firing of as much as forty percent of new college hires. Learners will practice communication and other skills that will position them as value-added team members and collaborators, preparing them not only for workplace encounters, but similar problems arising in other areas of life.

The course is open to any learner, and accepts new learners on a rolling basis. More information on the course and on how to enroll is available at this link.

Courses in the Series

Course 1: Foundations of Professional Identity

Many find themselves frustrated in their careers by lack of preparation for dealing with predictable dilemmas that regularly arise in the world of work. Two in five professionals fired in their jobs after college are terminated for lying, or misuse of technology. Easy to avoid! Or is it? What if you find you have to compromise your values to keep your job? What if they ask you to lie or cheat, even though you know if you are found out you will be fired? What if you find out the company is breaking the law? Successful people know about and have the skills taught in this specialization.

Course 2: Shaping Your Professional Brand

You’ve thought about who you are and how you want your career to be. You have some skills to deal with situations that could cause problems. What about the team around you? How do you build functional and constructive professional relationships? How can you add value? What do employers look for when they are promoting? Skill-building in this course will include asking questions, listening, developing likeability (you’d better be stellar if you’re difficult), identifying cognitive bias, apologizing, receiving apologies, and the basics of whistleblowing.

Course 3: Leadership and Influence

The only thing you get to change is yourself, and in the prerequisites to this course we’ve given you real tools to do that. Now, use those tools to influence the course of your future, your team’s future, and your organization’s future. Make a plan for yourself that will help you help others, and learn skills to make it happen. Listening and being sure of your values underpins everything that comes with professional influencer and leadership skills. We’ll go on to look at self-assessment and leadership planning, negotiation, addressing and resolving conflict, and successfully identifying and promoting circumstances you want.

Course 4: Professional IQ Capstone

The capstone project, for those wishing to earn a certificate, is to design a Personal Leadership Credo: personal values, quotes and beliefs; a personal dilemma in 2-Minute Challenge style that gets worked through using the Decision-Making Framework (DMF) and TRAGEDIES model; some personal scripts; and a personal leadership development plan.