Professional Development Workshops

APAC’s Professional Development Workshops allow individuals to take trainings that align with their own interests and needs. Offered throughout the year, these workshops are in-depth and include high levels of interaction. They run from 9:00 am to 5:00 pm each day with an hour break for lunch.

APAC can also develop or adapt workshops to meet the needs of organizations and agencies. Options include creating a new workshop specifically for an agency, adding additional topics, holding workshops in additional locations, adjusting the days or times, and more. Contact us if you are interested at or 501-916-6050.

Go to APAC’s main page to find workshops currently open for registration.

Professional Development Workshops Currently Offered by APAC

Arkansas Budget & Public Finance

This workshop provides participants with an understanding of the state budget process in Arkansas as well as sound systems of financial management in the public sector. The first day of the workshop focuses on the Arkansas state budget and budget process. Participants learn about primary revenues and expenditures in Arkansas; the budget cycle; key budgetary actors; and primary budget activities and deadlines. The second day of the workshop focuses on financial system elements and how to create a program or project budget.


  • Identify the major state revenues and expenditures, key budget actors, and activities in state budget creation.
  • Understand key budget terminology such as appropriation, revenue stabilization, line-item budget, authorization v. funding, etc.
  • Identify the unique features of the Arkansas budget process.
  • Learn about the strategic plan’s role in the budget process.
  • Know the basics of performance measures and their importance.
  • Understand how to make strategic budget requests.

Arkansas Government

Participants will learn about the three branches of government. They will understand the legislative process, the executive branch, and the duties of the seven constitutional offices as well as the structure of the state’s judiciary and how it affects government operations.


  • Become familiar with the workings of the Arkansas state government.
  • Feel empowered to become an advocate for your agency/organization within state government.
  • Gain an understanding of the legislative process and how all three branches of state government affect the legislative process.

Coaching, Mentoring, and Guiding Employees

Most of us are fortunate to encounter people throughout our lives who help guide us along the way – the ones who teach us new skills, believe in our ability to grow, and help us learn valuable skills and lessons. As managers and leaders, we are expected to be able to act as coach and mentor, set effective goals that inspire employees, and guide staff who may be losing their way. All too often, we are expected to be able to perform these roles without training. In this workshop, participants will explore the characteristics of great coaches and mentors and learn how to be better coaches and mentors to those in their professional lives.

Learning Objectives:

  • Learn the characteristics of effective coaches and mentors
  • Create a personal definition of “coach” and “mentor” in the workplace and identify the coaching and mentoring skills you want to develop
  • Become more comfortable discussing difficult issues at work and working through them with employees
  • Learn how to practice active listening and ask helpful coaching questions
  • Understand how to lead performance conversations tailored to specific situations

Constructive Conflict Management

There is one guarantee for every relationship we have: conflict is likely to occur. Although inevitable, the ways in which we handle conflict are by choice. This workshop will discuss the effects of conflict on relationships, both personal and professional, and include practices to manage conflict in more constructive ways. Participants will learn how to assert themselves in conflict at work, while also maintaining cooperative and civil dialogue, and how to lead with these constructive conflict management strategies in their organizations.


  • Explain the six conflict styles and how these styles influence how conflict is managed.
  • Describe the impact of power, trust, group membership, and other variables on conflict.
  • Implement practices that help manage conflict more constructively.

Crisis Communication

Effective leaders transcend the challenges that exist during an emergency and create new opportunities for innovation by being quick, accurate, and consistent with efforts to address and solve the crisis. In times of great difficulty, effective communication is paramount. This workshop offers strategies for leaders and teams to adequately plan for emergencies and prepare their organizations for routine and novel crises. This includes learning how to create a crisis communication plan and identifying techniques for improving crisis response.


  • Define the intricacies of crisis situations.
  • Consider crisis preparedness strategies.
  • Analyze crisis leadership and crisis management.
  • Evaluate crisis communication plans and principles.
  • Learn conflict mediation techniques.
  • Take part in crisis response-related group activities.

Cultural Humility

Learn about the importance of diversity, equity, and inclusion in the workplace. Using the philosophy of cultural humility, you will gain guidance about how individuals and organizations can mitigate implicit bias and micro-inequities to move towards intentional inclusivity.


  • Understand the importance of diversity, equity, and inclusion.
  • Develop skills to identify and interrupt implicit bias and its effects.
  • Analyze tough cultural situations through interactive discussion and exercises.
  • Develop strategies for overcoming biases and pre-programmed ideas.

Difficult Conversations

This workshop teaches participants to become more effective at navigating the inevitable difficult conversations they encounter in their professional (and personal) lives. Participants learn about the factors that make conversations difficult, the underlying anatomy of a difficult conversation, and a five-phase approach for preparing for and having difficult conversations.


  • Define what makes a conversation crucial or difficult.
  • Explain why we typically handle difficult conversations poorly.
  • Articulate when it is – and is not – constructive to initiate a difficult conversation.
  • Learn about the principles of mutual purpose and mutual respect in difficult conversations.
  • Pivot to strategies that lead to greater psychological safety when we and/or others are feeling threatened.
  • Separate facts from the stories we are making up about those facts during difficult conversations.
  • Employ strategies to help others share their stories safely.
  • Plan for decision making and accountability following difficult conversations.
  • Apply the stages of a difficult conversation to workplace case scenarios.

Discover Your Strengths

This workshop is intended to help individuals better understand how they can best leverage their strengths to work together with others in their professional lives. By focusing on participants’ signature strengths and ways to use them when working in teams, participants will come away with specific strategies to employ in their own workplaces to build stronger teams, based on the unique strengths of each team member. As part of the workshop, participants will take the Gallup CliftonStrengths assessment.


  • Understand and articulate your strengths.
  • Learn a strengths-based approach to communicate more effectively.
  • Understand strategies you can use with your professional teams that leverage your strengths.

Emotional Intelligence

Emotions have the capacity to bring people together, but they also possess the ability to draw us apart. This workshop discusses the role of emotions in the workplace and how we can become better leaders through understanding them. The goal is to help participants better understand, develop, and leverage emotional intelligence in the workplace.


  • Define emotional intelligence.
  • Describe the impact of emotions on personal and professional relationships.
  • Explain how emotional intelligence can improve your leadership skills and organizational outcomes.
  • Implement practices that help mitigate the effects of negative emotions and impede collaboration.
  • Create an action plan for improving your emotional intelligence.

Innovating through Change

It is often said that “a change will do you good.” However, when change is introduced in the workplace, it can be a source of friction, frustration, and failed attempts to meet goals. In this workshop, participants will learn to define change management and organizational innovation; explore their personal reaction to change; understand how to foster creativity and innovation in the workplace; and learn how to adapt to societal change. Participants will walk away with practical steps to cultivate change in their organizations.


  • Define key terms: change management and organizational innovation
  • Identify the various ways individuals react to change
  • Learn practical steps to foster creativity and innovation in organizations and teams
  • Understand how to adapt to societal or systems change

Leading Your Team

Learn about the characteristics of quality leaders and team builders and discover your own leadership style. Develop strategies for creating effective teams and techniques for improving shared decision-making in the workplace.

Managing Human Resources

In this workshop your will learn that leading your organizations well doesn’t start with the right plan – it starts with the right people. You will learn best practices for recruiting, interviewing, and hiring, as well as how to optimize employee performance through constructive documentation. You will also learn how to develop and motivate staff; brainstorm ideas for incentive programs; and discuss how generational differences in the workplace affect staff development. Specific laws and policies relevant to human resources are discussed throughout.


  • Understand employee engagement, its impact, and the role of the manager in improving engagement.
  • Create talent management strategies to develop and motivate employees.
  • Learn how to use recognition to applaud, reward, and motivate employees.
  • Determine strategies for coaching employees to success.
  • Understand the laws and policies that affect human resources.
  • Learn best practices for recruiting, interviewing, and hiring.
  • Recognize how to effectively and constructively document employee performance.

Managing Public Disputes

Learn how to manage multi-party public disputes and collaboratively problem solve in the public sector. You will explore effective methods for analyzing and framing public issues and practice step-by-step procedures for solving problems collaboratively. Numerous case studies and real-world examples will be discussed and analyzed.


  • Understand the characteristics of public disputes and the problems with unmanaged public disputes.
  • Distinguish between effective and ineffective approaches to managing public disputes.
  • Practice analyzing public disputes.
  • Gain the basic skills needed to manage public disputes effectively.

Measuring Impact

Learn the “nuts and bolts” of program evaluation in order to design and operate effective public programs that have a measurable impact. Understand how to conduct a needs assessment; establish a program theory of change and logic model; and design a survey to collect relevant program data.


  • Articulate the concepts, methods, and applications of program evaluation
  • Conduct a needs assessment
  • Establish a program theory of change
  • Create a logic model
  • Understand how to design a survey and collect relevant data
  • Choose the right evaluation technique for your program

Meeting Facilitation

This workshop focuses on planning and facilitating effective meeting. You will learn how to set clear meeting goals and develop agendas to meet those goals. You will also practice techniques to accomplish common meeting tasks such as brainstorming, prioritizing, and action planning.


  • Start developing the skills needed to facilitate good meetings.
  • Analyze a meeting to determine ways to make it more effective.
  • Plan an effective meeting.
  • Experience meeting facilitation practices.
  • Start building a personal portfolio of resources to use when facilitating meetings.
  • Learn and practice techniques for managing difficult meeting participants.

Organizational Values & Ethics

Explore your responsibility of working as a public servant charged with protecting the public trust. You will refine your personal code of ethics and understand how personal codes of ethics affect decision making.


  • Identify your personal ethical style and understand how your style affects your choices when making ethical decisions.
  • Understand how different people can make different ethical decisions about the same set of circumstances.
  • Develop skills for making ethical choices.
  • Understand the primary principles of organizational/leadership ethics.

Presentation Skills

Take the panic out of public speaking by practicing strategies related to anxiety management, intentional organization of information, and building meaningful, engaging connections with listeners.


  • Identify techniques to manage public speaking anxiety.
  • Understand how to adapt presentation content based on the needs and values of a target audience.
  • Learn how to create slides that are clear, creative, consistent, and coordinated to support audience understanding of presentation content.
  • Develop and practice a presentation using an introduction, distinct main points, transitions, and a conclusion to strengthen audience comprehension and retention of presentation content.

Presenting to Decision Makers

Whether presenting to a leadership team, commission, legislative committee, or city council, there are skills and techniques that can help you create an effective connection with the audience and a sense of urgency for decision makers to act according to the information shared. In this workshop, participants will learn to deliver a succinct presentation with an understandable and persuasive message.


  • Identify the characteristics of your audience of decision-makers
  • Understand what makes an effective presenter and a meaningful presentation with a targeted message
  • Learn how to plan and prepare for a presentation to decision-makers
  • Develop confidence in your presentation skills and identify areas where you can improve as a presenter

Project Management

Learn about best practices for project management from scoping to planning to execution. This workshop will help you manage your own project work more effectively and help your team(s) achieve their goals.


  • Identify the project lifecycle and different organizational structures.
  • Learn how to create a project charter, articulate the business case for a project, conduct a stakeholder analysis, develop a project schedule, identify task dependencies and the critical path, track and report on project status, and evaluate proposed changes to a project with respect to the project constraints (time, cost, quality, etc.).
  • Understand how to identify risks and create risk responses.

Stakeholder Engagement

Engaging stakeholders, both internal and external, is crucial to fulfilling an organization’s mission and purpose. Participants in this workshop will learn how to identify and map stakeholders, gain support for organizational goals, and develop protocols to connect and communicate with stakeholders effectively. Participants will understand how to leverage the power of partnerships to achieve maximum impact.


  • Learn how to gain buy-in and support for organizational goals.
  • Identify and map existing stakeholders.
  • Develop protocols to connect stakeholders and communicate effectively with them.
  • Understand stakeholder expectations and how to manage challenges.
  • Gain insight about how to leverage the power of partnerships to achieve maximum impact.


Steve Jobs once said, “The most powerful person in the world is the storyteller.” Through this workshop, participants will learn tools to harness that power. You will understand the components that make up an effective and impactful story. Then, provided with prompts, you will craft a personal or professional narrative. Learning how to tell a story can help you advocate and be a voice for those you serve.


  • Learn the basic elements of crafting a story.
  • Develop a personal story in relation to your profession and have the opportunity to receive feedback from your peers and the instructor.
  • Understand the concepts necessary to craft an organizational narrative.
  • Gain insight into the different goals of storytelling and tools on how to adjust for each goal.

Strategic Decision-Making

This workshop teaches participants a flexible, repeatable process for engaging in productive conflict to help their team develop ideas, solve problems, and make strategic decisions. Through exercises designed to encourage productive conflict—including small conversational debates and a large group debate—participants learn to communicate their ideas more effectively, to listen critically, and to create a space for productive debate within their organizations.


Understand how embracing conflict can make strategic decision making more effective by moving conversations beyond pet projects and personal beliefs.
Learn how to think critically by asking effective questions and distilling a complicated issue down to its essential parts.
Gain the confidence to advocate for and defend a position.
Increase your capacity to listen and consider new perspectives.
Discuss how to plan a productive conflict exercise for your agency or organization.

Strategic Doing

This workshop will focus on building collaborations to meet complex challenges. Learn how to form action-oriented collaborations quickly, move them toward measuring outcomes, and make adjustments along the way.

Team Building

The content for this workshop includes strategies for creating effective teams and techniques for improving shared decision-making in the workplace. The workshop also provides guidelines for inclusive leadership practices. Since teams often improve employee participation, planning, and problem-solving; learning new approaches for enhancing teams can improve outcomes. Ultimately, this workshop addresses the necessity of creating strong teams to improve employee engagement and workplace inclusion.


  • Explore the concept of team building.
  • Review shared decision-making strategies.
  • Examine different types of teams.
  • Consider guidelines for collaborative action.
  • Learn inclusive leadership practices.
  • Participate in team-building activities you can use in your workplace.

Writing for Business

In the current online work environment, writing skills become even more important. This engaging workshop offers many hands-on opportunities to work on real-world scenarios (emails, memos, reports, and more). Learn strategies to edit for clarity, develop persuasive arguments, write to different audiences for different purposes, and format documents to assist with reading comprehension.


  • Analyze different audiences and their requirements for information.
  • Understand how to develop persuasive arguments for different audiences.
  • Learn effective business writing techniques and practice writing efficiently, organizing complex information, using appropriate visuals, formatting to assist comprehension, and proofreading effectively.
  • Participate in specific exercises that will focus on writing effective emails, designing government reports or other long documents, and revising for clarity.


Participants in Professional Development Workshops may be eligible to apply their workshop credit toward meeting requirements for the Arkansas Governmental Managers (AGM) and Arkansas Certified Public Managers® (CPM) certifications. Participants may also be eligible for continuing education credits (CEUs) with many professional organizations.

Join our Mailing List

You can join our mailing list by completing this Google form. You will receive program updates and registration information as soon as it becomes available.

Contact Us

Follow Us

For regular updates about our programs, follow us on social media:

Image result for Facebook follow button