Course list

Effectively using humor to win or gain influence can make you a more effective leader. In this course, you will identify situations and environments where utilizing humor may help you gain influence, and you will identify situations where you should avoid attempting humor. You will develop skills in constructing jokes that suit specific scenarios or audiences and deciding which medium is most effective for the joke. This course also provides strategies to course-correct when a joke doesn't land well so you can safely defuse any incidental tension a joke might cause if the delivery was inappropriate or ineffective. You will review examples and stories translated from ancient Roman philosophy on using humor for influence, and you will be guided to draw parallels between ancient and modern scenarios where humor can be applied.

You will be required to purchase a copy of "How to Tell a Joke: An Ancient Guide to the Art of Humor" by course author Mike Fontaine.

Humor can be utilized in many different situations and scenarios, but when it comes to professional settings or in the workplace, the rules and strategies for applying humor can vary. Using humor effectively requires a developed sense of both confidence and empathy to relate to others, enabling an individual to successfully manage and navigate everyday work relations and social dynamics. With these two pillars of confidence and empathy guiding your use of humor, you can empower both yourself and the people with whom you work.

In this course, you will analyze humor as applied specifically to the workplace, focusing on the social dynamics of your work peers, superiors, and subordinates. By utilizing these multiple lenses, you will strengthen your empathy and understanding of varying perspectives, gaining insight into how or why humor can help or hinder the attitudes of a team.

What can the Classics teach us about how to be a good leader? In this course, you'll examine what Roman leaders can teach us about effective leadership. For example, is it better to seek pleasure or virtue? And how can you tell the difference between the two? You will read translations of Cicero and other Roman scholars and participate in hands-on activities to engage with key leadership skills. You will gain best practices related to four key virtues: critical thinking, fairness, bravery and self-control. By the end of this course, you will have a new perspective on time-tested leadership traits and how to apply them in your daily life.
How can you find happiness as a leader? Is being a leader really all about the money and the prestige? In this course, you will look to ancient Roman thought leaders for recommendations on how to be happy as a leader. You'll also consider the purpose of becoming a leader and its impact on your experience as one. As you examine strategies for managing anger in the workplace, you'll also gain insight into ways to determine when it's time to step back from being a leader. By the end of this course, you will have gained recommendations on how to apply these lessons from the Classics to today's leadership climate.

Symposium sessions feature three days of live, highly interactive virtual Zoom sessions that will explore today’s most pressing topics. The Leadership Symposium offers you a unique opportunity to engage in real-time conversations with peers and experts from the Cornell community and beyond. Using the context of your own experiences, you will take part in reflections and small-group discussions to build on the skills and knowledge you have gained from your courses.

Join us for the next Symposium in which we’ll discuss the ways that leaders across industries have continued engaging their teams over the past two years while pivoting in strategic ways. You will support your coursework by applying your knowledge and experiences to relevant topics for leaders. Throughout this Symposium, you will examine different areas of leadership, including innovation, strategy, and engagement. By participating in relevant and engaging discussions, you will discover a variety of perspectives and build connections with your fellow participants from various industries.

Upcoming Symposium: June 4-6, 2024 from 11am – 1pm ET

  • Tuesday, June 4, 2024  11am – 1pm ET
    • Building a Culture of Collaboration
  • Wednesday, June 5, 2024  11am – 1pm ET
    • Identifying Common Barriers to Performance
  • Thursday, June 6, 2024  11am – 1pm ET
    • Setting Yourself Up For Successful Buy-in

          All sessions are held on Zoom.

          Future dates are subject to change. You may participate in as many sessions as you wish. Attending Symposium sessions is not required to successfully complete any certificate program. Once enrolled in your courses, you will receive information about upcoming events. Accessibility accommodations will be available upon request.

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