Leading with Effective Communication (Inclusive Leadership Training)

Develop communication skills that bring out the best in you — and in others.

Course Description

What does it take to inspire others, promote a novel idea, or even have a difficult conversation? How can you position yourself as a leader through inclusive communication? How do you know that the message you are intending to send is what is being received? Join Catalyst experts to explore this topic and the important role communication plays in inclusive leadership. All too often, we struggle to communicate effectively—particularly with others who are different from us in some way. This course will show you how the most effective communication utilizes the inclusive leadership mindset of Empowerment, Accountability, Courage, and Humility and guide you on how to use that mindset yourself. Through research and real-world examples, you will learn strategies to enhance your communication skills and approach. Topics will include ... Read More »

What does it take to inspire others, promote a novel idea, or even have a difficult conversation? How can you position yourself as a leader through inclusive communication? How do you know that the message you are intending to send is what is being received? Join Catalyst experts to explore this topic and the important role communication plays in inclusive leadership.

All too often, we struggle to communicate effectively—particularly with others who are different from us in some way. This course will show you how the most effective communication utilizes the inclusive leadership mindset of Empowerment, Accountability, Courage, and Humility and guide you on how to use that mindset yourself. Through research and real-world examples, you will learn strategies to enhance your communication skills and approach. Topics will include understanding dialogue processes, debunking everyday communication myths, testing assumptions, listening, expressing yourself authentically, and communicating across differences. With short quizzes, compelling case studies, and engaging videos, you will develop knowledge in each section and share your experience with other learners.

Throughout the course, you will create a plan of action to help apply the strategies learned in this course to your work and other parts of your life.

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Course Outcomes:
  • Approaches, frameworks, and tools for communicating effectively
  • How inclusive leadership and effective communication are intertwined
  • How to work through everyday communication roadblocks
  • Strategies to create space for transparent and authentic communication, where people across differences feel safe to speak up and share ideas
  • Discover your own communication strengths to build effective relationships in your professional or personal lives
About Instructor:

Dnika J. Travis - Vice President, Corporate Practice & Women of Color Research

Dnika J. Travis, PhD, specializes in organizational change, leadership and communication effectiveness, and workforce diversity and inclusion. In her position, Dnika is responsible for leading Catalyst research on the advancement and inclusion of women of color in the workplace. She is a Center Leader for the Catalyst Research Center for Corporate Practice where she distinguishes sound talent management strategies from programmatic fads and documents the best practices. In her position, she leads the Center’s research agenda, conceptualizes and develops methodologies, as well as conducts analyses for the Center’s global projects.

Dnika has been widely published, and her research has been funded by several foundations and government branches including the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, Hogg Foundation for Mental Health, and the Texas Workforce Commission. She has extensive consulting, training, and teaching experience—in the nonprofit, public, and corporate sectors helping organizations develop engaged teams that produce quality outcomes and business results.

Prior to joining Catalyst, Dnika was an assistant professor at the University of Texas at Austin (UT) School of Social Work. While at UT, she was inducted into the inaugural class of the Society for Teaching Excellence. She maintains an affiliation with UT as a Fellow, leading research on employee voice, inclusion, and retention in health and human services. Dnika is also on the Editorial Board of AFFILIA: Journal of Women and Social Work.

Dnika earned her PhD in social work from the University of Southern California, MSW in community organization and program evaluation from the University of Michigan, and BA in sociology from Hampton University.


Alixandra Pollack - Director, Research

Alixandra Pollack conducts research on organizational practices, examining diversity and inclusion efforts, change models, and the career experiences of women and men throughout the talent pipeline. As a member of the Catalyst Research Center for Corporate Practice, Alix focuses on corporate change strategies and the role of organizational and societal culture in creating inclusive workplaces. She has a strong focus on global work and cross-cultural themes, in particular through her management of the Culture Matters Research series and lead role in extending research to Mexico and other emerging markets, as well as through her leadership of Catalyst’s Global Issues Specialty Team – an internal group that builds knowledge and fields expertise requests on relevant topics such as: global trends, cultural sensitivity, regional variations, and diversity issues in emerging markets. Her work also includes research on organizational strategies related to LGBT inclusion and a role in Catalyst’s Practices team and Employee Resource Leadership Initiative (ERLI). In addition to her position in the research department, Alix is a member of the Men’s Issue Specialty Team dedicated to supporting the engagement of men as champions of workplace inclusion and equality, as well as the Millennial ERG focused on generational trends.

Prior to joining Catalyst in 2011, Alix was an Advisor for the Permanent Mission of the Cote D’Ivoire at the United Nations. She holds a BA from Brandeis University and MPH in Global Public Health from George Washington University. Alix is fluent in Spanish.


Jeff Barth - Program Director, MARC (Men Advocating Real Change)

Jeff Barth is the Program Director of MARC (Men Advocating Real Change), an online learning community created especially for professional men who are committed to building inclusive workplaces. In this role he is principally responsible for the development, implementation, and marketing of MARC’s strategy and initiatives aimed at empowering individuals to become inclusive leaders and powerful forces for change in the workplace.

As an expert on engaging men, Mr. Barth also provides external training, does speaking engagements, and takes part in creating and expanding Catalyst’s engaging men programs. He currently sits on Catalyst’s Diversity and Inclusion Advisory Council and has served on the Catalyst Canada Honours evaluation committee.

Prior to his current role, Mr. Barth served as the Program Manager of MARC. Before that he was the European Marketing Manager, where he developed strategy for member engagement and worked with the communications and branding teams to leverage Catalyst’s presence across platforms within Europe. Prior to assuming his role as European Marketing Manager, he was an Associate in Catalyst’s Public Affairs department.

Before joining Catalyst, Mr. Barth managed political campaigns for candidates running for federal and local office in Utah. He also taught English in Tianjin, China. Mr. Barth received a joint Bachelor’s degree in Political Science and Sociology from Utah Valley University and is currently studying Mandarin.


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