Coffee Talk Professional Development Series for 2022

Heading into 2022, Tarrant County College’s Office of Corporate Solutions & Economic Development is offering a full slate of topics with Coffee Talk: A Professional Development Series. Subjects range from reducing stress through mindfulness to how organizations can increase diversity, equity, and inclusion efforts.

Monthly events are from 8:30 – 10 a.m. and the $25 registration includes a continental breakfast. Quarterly events are from 10 a.m. – noon and the $50 registration includes lunch.

For complete details on each event, visit

March 9
8:30 – 10 a.m.
Everyone Loves a Good Listener

While many people love a good listener, they may not be good listeners themselves. In team meetings or one-on-ones, they impatiently wait for another person to stop speaking so they can chime at their first quick pause, or even speak over the person who has the floor in order to gain control of the conversation.

How can professionals practice active listening? Find out about elements as simple as how to pay attention, and withholding judgment while listening, that enhance meaningful engagement and result in a win-win for both parties involve.

April 13
8:30 – 10 a.m.

How to Reduce Frustrations with Employee Retention

Studies show that 48% of employers are significantly distressed about employee turnover. Meanwhile, the movement known as “The Great Resignation” continues to become a growing topic of interest and organizational unrest for many companies. Employers often self-sabotage by attempting to retain talent with a great skillset but a poor attitude, putting other good talent in jeopardy of leaving.

While it is imperative to retain the best talent possible, it is also incredibly important to make sure that talent fits the organizational culture. To counter retention issues, it is imperative to identify warning signs in talent experiencing frustration fatigue, engage in asking the right critical questions, and adjust leadership approach to achieve sustainability in the organization.

Do not miss the change to learn how to identify warning signs in talent experiencing frustration fatigue, engage in asking the right critical questions, and adjusting.

May 11
8:30 – 10 a.m.

Understanding the Power of Feedback

Research shows that feedback is one of the most powerful instruments available for human learning. Providing valuable feedback to employees requires practice and a willingness to help improve the work and is sometimes a deciding factor in retaining employees in the long run.

Employees want validation from their leadership that they are a valuable player on the team and often look for affirmation from their leader in the frequent conversations around their performance.

Learn the three types of feedback that are most sought after by employees and how to use them in leveraging healthy work relationships.

May 17
10 a.m. – Noon
Reduce Stress with Mindfulness

May is Mental Health Awareness Month and emotional well-being is now being acknowledged by employers, with many conducting pulse checks to ensure that their workers are not being affected by emotional issues. With 62% of workers reporting that work is their main source of stress, it is necessary for both employers and employees to be mindful of their mental well-being.

Uncover tips on how to reduce stress to propel you forward in fully showing up to meet the demands of your roles and responsibilities.

June 8
8:30 – 10 a.m.

Making Room for Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion

The Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (DE&I) movement has taken hold and leaders are now tasked with taking initiative in ensuring that DE&I is a part of their organizational structure. Research shows that 76% of employees and job seekers admit a diverse workforce is important when evaluating organizations and job offers. Surprisingly, 37% of potential candidates say they would not apply to a company that has negative satisfaction ratings among female and minority workers.

Join this important conversation to learn best practices on how to implement DE&I into your organization, identify hidden biases, and facilitate meaningful conversations.

July 13
8:30 – 10 a.m.

Organizational Temperature Checks Are the Key to Employee Retention

Has “The Great Resignation” left a vacant seat at the table where a senior-level leader once occupied? The uncertainty behind this movement has a crippling effect on employers who are already struggling with retaining talent for unique positions and specific skillsets that have become less desirable for workers to obtain and more so extinct. Some employers, though, are proactively taking next steps in locating the pulse of their organization by having those critical conversations with employees.

Find out how and when it is necessary to conduct a thorough pulse check with your employees and how to navigate through the results.

August 10
8:30 – 10 a.m.

Recognizing Early Signs of Burnout

Employee wellness is an important component of a sustainable workforce and is one of the staples of employee retention. Short-tempered employees and signs of exhaustion can indicate burnout, along with feelings of being overwhelmed and never reaching solid ground.

Not only could this turn into a significant mental health issue, but it negatively impacts team dynamics and bottom line as well through increased sick leave, mistakes, or disengagement. Unfortunately, employers might miss or misinterpret these behavioral patterns as a performance issue, when in fact it could be burnout.

Learn ways to prevent burnout, the signs of burnout and how to address them, and steps to take in preserving your talent.

August 16
10 a.m. – Noon
Having the Last Word: How to Manage Conflict at Work

Sooner or later, the clashing of personalities in the workplace is bound to happen. Working through high-pressure situations with people that have little in common or do not know much about each other is a recipe for misleading assumptions. Therefore, it is important to have strategies to calm tempers and restore order without minimizing employees’ voices.

Begin building conflict resolution techniques that will address unfavorable situations and how to repair work relationships because of conflict.

September 14
8:30 – 10 a.m.

Under-skilled or Undertrained?

Every employer wants to attract and retain exceptional talent, but many job applicants or new hires could be classified as under-skilled or untrained. Employers often ponder whether their ideal employee truly exists. Although possessing a specific skillset is a major attraction for employers to determine if a particular candidate is a good fit for their team, people skills are also a great asset

Explore primary organizational skillsets that can help fill talent gaps, and insights that share equal value to educational foundations.

October 12
8:30 – 10 a.m.

How to Navigate Through and Beyond Difficult Conversations

Having difficult conversations are inevitable and many professionals will have them at some point in their work careers. It may be a conversation where emotions and information must be managed in a sensitive way to address issues such as poor performance, conduct, complaints from co-workers or reassure someone.

It is the responsibility of the leader to invite uncomfortable workplace conversations for long term gain and requires mindfulness and strategy. Risk factors may include mistaken assumptions, offense, and increased anxiety from workers who feel under attack depending on level of seriousness. Knowing how to handle such conversations can dismantle unproductive and explosive outcomes.

Learn how to handle yourself when conversation gets complicated and how to get over the hump of awkwardness or any lingering hard feelings.

November 9
8:30 – 10 a.m.

How to Set and Secure Workplace Boundaries

Being an effective leader comes along with its visible challenges but helping others to respect boundaries at work can pose an even greater issue. Unfortunately, boundaries are not common sense to most people and are taught. In the workplace, they are unconsciously passed down by the HR department, the work culture, and the leadership. When people are in fear of being singled out or at risk of being disliked for mentioning a personal boundary violation, then it continues to go unchecked.

Some people may be aware when they violate boundaries, but most likely they do not know, especially if nothing is said. There is a fine line between just having a conversation and creating a toxic work environment without boundaries. Not setting and securing workplace boundaries disrupts emotional and mental health putting the organization at risk for turnover, grievances, or extended sick leaves.

Find out what boundary issues at work look like, handling a toxic work environment, and communicating boundaries to co-workers.

November 15
10 a.m. – Noon
How to Be an Unbiased Leader

Being biased toward different workers is becoming more visibly common in work environments. Some leaders might unconsciously have immediate connections with workers that display similar attributes. There are other leaders who indiscreetly peg certain workers with more attention than others, opening criticism for having a “favorite.”

One study discovered that 25% of employers perceive that their supervisors play favorites. The most common form of favoritism is social interaction that might exclude others who do not feel valued. Biased leaders spend more time with the staff they like while exhibiting less friendly behavior to other. These behavioral patterns can increase the likelihood of a toxic work environment.

Gain awareness cues and strategies for being fair and unbiased in the workplace, particularly for those in management roles.

December 14
8:30 – 10 a.m.

How to Build a Culture of Talent

Future leaders are everywhere but do they exist in your organization? Managers may wonder who will run with the torch when it is someone else’s turn to manage the operation. If those people have even been identified, is it even known if they will want the responsibility?

In the meantime, it is important to assess the progress of future leaders and retaining them. Developing the right talent in the first place is an underrated aspect of succession planning. After all, the ability to pick out an employee with potential is only as useful as the number of employees who have potential.

Learn how effective organizations build a culture of talent, evaluate potential successors, and align leaders with organizational strategies.