UCLA Extension

Processes and Leadership Skills for Optimizing Performance

18-Hour Short Course

To optimize individual and team performance, technical professionals must continually add value in their functional roles. This often requires a new set of skills and knowledge in which they are typically not formally trained.

Complete Details

One set of skills centers on the “soft people skills” necessary to get results, not only in their own endeavors, but also through groups and teams. These include understanding and applying the theories of effective leadership behaviors. In-class self-assessments provide insights on how to sharpen your people skills by increasing your awareness and your abilities in motivating others, using effective team management styles, and building team relationships with your subordinates, peers, and supervisor.

A second focus is on best practice processes to use on a day-to-day basis to get results. Research has shown the most effective performers not only use but also coach and lead their teams in systematic best practice processes. These outstanding performers add value by being “process owners.” Understanding this role improves your ability to identify, prioritize, and resolve the concerns and barriers to your performance and your team’s performance; help to systematically and quickly solve problems; make critical decisions effectively; and lastly, protect your plans to assure implementation of your decisions and recommendations.

The course ties these best practice processes and the people leadership skills together by identifying the challenges (and the tactics to address them) that managers currently face, and that someday you will face as you transition into a managerial role.

Coordinator and Lecturer

Ronald G. Read, MSME, PE, Villa Park, California. Mr. Read is a graduate of the Thayer School of Engineering at Dartmouth College and a registered Professional Engineer. His experience covers 40 years as both a practicing professional engineer and an engineering manager in the automotive, aerospace/electronics, and industrial business sectors. He retired in 2001 as director of Process Development for the Cannon Connectors and Switches Division of ITT Industries in Santa Ana, California.

Mr. Read began his career as a project engineer at the Bendix Corporate Research Labs, Southfield, Michigan, in 1961. During his 21 years with Bendix, he worked in several senior engineering management assignments, including the Manufactured Housing Division and Electrical Components Division. He later became engineering director for Midland-Ross Corporation, Cambridge, Massachusetts, and the Swedlow Division of Pilkington, plc., Garden Grove, California. He joined ITT in 1992 as director of engineering and was appointed to senior staff reporting to the president of Cannon in 1995. He was responsible for working with ITT worldwide product and process development teams in the U.S., Mexico, Germany, France, UK, and Japan.

Mr. Read has more than 30 years of experience in teaching management skills to both college students and professionals. He began his teaching career in the mechanical engineering curriculum at The Lawrence Technological University, Southfield, Michigan. He currently teaches for UCLA Extension’s Department of Engineering, Information Systems and Technical Management and the Engineering Professional Development Department at the University of Wisconsin—Madison. He also has taught at The Thayer School of Engineering at Dartmouth College and BYU, and has conducted workshops for the professional societies of SAE International and IIE (Institute of Industrial Engineers).

Mr. Read has led numerous on-site international training programs in Germany, France, Finland, Denmark, UK, Mexico, and Japan. A partial list of companies include Bendix, FRAM, Midland-Ross, Pilkington, Mitsubishi, Flightline Electronics, Viking Connectors, ITT, United Technologies, Toyota USA, Nokia, Scientific Atlanta, Leviton, Ayres Associates, Bay Networks, Sony, Datron, Sandia (Livermore), Informatica, City of Hope, and JPL.

Course Program

Course Background, Challenges, Management vs. Leadership

Best Practice Processes

  • Concerns Analysis Process
  • Rational Decision Making Process
  • Problem Solving Four Processes
  • Plan Protection Process

People Leadership Skills

  • Interpersonal (Building Relationships) Skills (Self-Assessment Results)
  • Creating a Motivating Work Environment—Motivating Your Team (Self-Assessment Results)
  • Management Styles (Self-Assessment Results)
  • Tactics to Use on the Job and Success Stories

Self-Assessment Homework Assignments

  • Interpersonal Skills—Johari Window (45 minutes)
  • Motivation—MMI (45 minutes)
  • Management Styles—SMI (45 minutes)

For more information contact the Short Course Program Office:
shortcourses@uclaextension.edu | (310) 825-3344 | fax (310) 206-2815