Office of the Vice President for Global Communications

Tuesday, September 8, 2009

Thriving in tough times: Workshops can help organizations, people

If you're having a hard time at work or home during these trying economic times, feeling stressed out or just plain worn out, the Stephen M. Ross School of Business may have just what you need.

A special series of Saturday workshops presented by the Ross School's Center for Positive Organizational Scholarship (POS) and Executive Education at Ross will help participants learn to thrive when times are tough.

"In times when people in work and out of work most need them, these Booster Shot Workshops are designed to boost attendees' sense of hope and possibility about thriving in challenging times," said POS co-director Jane Dutton, the Robert L. Kahn Distinguished University Professor of Business Administration and Psychology. "These 'booster shots' are relevant for all organizations — in both private and public sectors, large and small — as well as for individuals currently holding jobs and for those without."

The workshops will meet from 9-11:30 a.m. on most Saturday mornings from May 30-July 25 at the Ross School’s new building at Tappan and Hill streets. Participants can register for any and all of the workshops, which are taught by U-M faculty and cost $25 each (to cover materials and a continental breakfast). To register online, click on the title of the individual workshop at

Workshops include:

• May 30: "Building Strength through Crafting Your Job" (Room R0320) — Dutton and Justin Berg, POS research and development consultant, will introduce a self-development tool that allows participants to see their jobs in a new way and improve their work situation.

• June 13: "Building Strength through Everest Goals" (Room R0240) — Kim Cameron, the William Russell Kelly Professor of Management and Organizations at the Ross School, will present two techniques for thriving in difficult times — goal-setting and personal management interview programs — and introduce practical tools that will enhance organizational performance.

• June 20: "Discovering and Living Your Calling" (Room R0320) —Valerie Myers, assistant professor of health management and policy at the School of Public Health and adjunct assistant professor of management and organizations at the Ross School, will provide tools for structured reflection and action steps that will help participants discover and live their "calling" by linking their own faith to work (and to understand the faith of others).

• June 27: "Building Strength as a Crisis Leader" (Room R0320) — Lynn Perry Wooten, clinical associate professor of strategy and management and organizations, will teach participants about crisis leadership by exploring the viewpoint that crisis situations are opportunities for resilience and learning.

• July 11: "Investing in Well-Being to Build Strength" (Room R0320) — Sandra Finkel, manager of the Stress Management Services and Executive Health Program at the Cardiovascular Center, will examine strategies and techniques for cultivating a calm and uplifted state of mind through meditation, journaling and mindfulness practices — regardless of circumstances.

• July 25: "Using Positive Psychology in Trying Times" (Room R0320) — Christopher Peterson, the Arthur F. Thurnau Professor of Psychology, will explore the meaning of positive psychology and discuss its relevance to the workplace, especially in trying times.
For more information about POS, go to