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Professional Development Workshops


The Institute for Labor Studies and Research (ILSR) offers professional development workshops for organizations and individuals that help employees sharpen their professional skills and assist them in meeting workplace challenges. ILSR is happy to partner with organizations and individuals to schedule the course(s) that fit their specific workplace needs. 

The professional development workshops at ILSR provide:

  • Instructors are adjunct college professors or highly experienced professionals in their field.

  • ILSR classes in either a virtual format via ZOOM or in-person providing flexibility while fostering class interaction  

  • Class sizes with minimum of 12 students and maximum of 20

  • Class lengths vary from 2 hours to 24 hours 

  • Flexibility to reduce or extend class length if needed

ILSR's Professional Development Training Workshops empower employees to achieve their personal and professional

goals while contributing to their organization’s success. 


De-escalation, Conflict Resolution, Communications Workshops


     Cultural Sociology

     Effective Communications
     Effective Writing for Business I                                               

     Effective Writing for Business II
     Ethics in Motion
     Managing Change

     Organizational Psychology: Human Behavior
rganizational Psychology: Leadership    
     Read Faster and Smarter! Ease your Workload

     Reducing Work-Related Stress     

     Speak Up! Deliver your Message with Confidence


Click on the Sign-Up! link below to complete an interest form and an ILSR coordinator will contact you shortly or contact Denise Cesino directly at or 401-463-9900, dial 7
For organizations interesting in attending, we have a minimum class size of twelve (12
) and a maximum of twenty (20). If the topic you are looking for is missing from the list below, the Institute for Labor Studies and Research can partner with you to design customized course curriculums to meet the needs of your organization.

For individuals interested in attending, your information will be kept on a waitlist until the class is full, with a minimum of 12 participants. Once the class minimum is met and the course is scheduled, you will be contacted to confirm your registration.

Interpersonal De-escalation Communication Skills (2 hours) ZOOM or in-person ​ This is an introductory course centered on communication skills for de-escalating interpersonal verbal attacks.  This course offers an overview of the roots of violence and how observation and self-awareness can impact interpersonal dynamics.  Participants will learn and practice the CLARA (Center, Listen, Affirm, Respond, and Add) communication method that maintains personal power without taking power from others.

How to be an Engaged Bystander (4 hours), In-person ​ This course introduces Bystander Intervention as a basis for de-escalating conflicts between more than two people using interpersonal communication, nonviolent communication techniques, and Bystander Intervention strategies.  Participants will have an opportunity to practice techniques within groups during the sessions and reflect on their practice outside of class.  This course would be suitable for team and union leaders.  This course could be repeated as a refresher course.

Nonviolent Communication Laboratory (8 hours), ZOOM or in-person ​ Participants will engage in extended, immersive practice in nonviolent communication skills as a way to promote greater understanding.  This course will introduce the roots of violent structures and cultures and provide support for practicing Active Listening, CLARA observational and reflexive communication, and empathetic nonviolent communication practices.  This course provides opportunities for reflective and reflexive practice in a safe and supportive environment.

Violence De-escalation and Intervention (15 hours), In-person ​ Active nonviolence does not attempt to create a world where there is no conflict: it recognizes that we face conflict all through our lives, and recognizing conflict is the first step towards finding common ground.  In most conflicts we have two ways of responding, 1. Acting according to deeply ingrained ”conflict scripts,” and 2. Allowing our true self to take action.  Active nonviolence is a means of creating a situation that stops the immediate violence, clarifies the real issues, and produces a resolution.  Taking responsibility for our own behavior, no matter what others do. Active nonviolence can include interpersonal violence, violence in the workplace, and violence within the community.    This is an immersive class with an emphasis on group work and teamwork.  This class begins with nonviolent communication skills and provides opportunity for immersive group work and role-plays.  This class introduces Nonviolent Conflict Intervention techniques to reduce violence and keep people out of harm’s way.  This course provides opportunities for reflective work and student-centered projects during class time.  


“The instructor will have you come out of his class smarter than when you walked in and that is a WIN-WIN!”

~ Cultural Sociology Student

“I have taken multiple other ethics courses in my career and this was definitely the most beneficial.  It focuses more on learning about a basic ethical decision-making framework and how your own values affect your professional and personal life.”

~ Ethics in Motion Student

“Above and beyond the important content shared in this class, meeting and collaborating with other state employees was an added bonus!” 

 ~ Effective Communications Student

“The instructor gave me different perspective and insight which will be helpful at work and outside of work.”

~ Organizational Psychology: Leadership Student

“... I feel you pushed us outside of our comfort zones and allowed us each to grow individually. I have learned so much from you, this course, and my fellow classmates that I will take with me and grow from here.”

~ Effective Communications Student

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