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Influence with Impact: Strategies That Support Change and Growth


Build credibility and strengthen your communication skills


Course begins March 27

The quality of adult relationships has a positive effect on student achievement. We all have strong relationships with our colleagues, as well as relationships that need attention. This course provides proven strategies for moving your relationships in a positive direction.   

Facilitated by expert leadership coaches Kendall Zoller, Chad Dumas, and Kathy Gross, this 15-hour online course will help you increase your credibility and strengthen relationships as you lead skillfully. Through whole-group sessions as well as one-on-one coaching, this course will help you develop communication skills that contribute to credibility and rapport, influence and impact; that help navigate tensions and conflict while honoring relationships; and that create a place where every person is heard without fear of judgment.


If you run meetings, deliver professional learning, or present to groups, you will leave with the knowledge of how to structure powerful presentations (interactions) with the skills of credibility, rapport, listening, and recovering with grace when things don’t go as planned.

Course outcomes 

  1. Demonstrate and explain how community-building contributes to the quality of relationships and the creation of a “safe space” for participants (one-on-one, small group, and large group). 
  2. Apply a model of how to structure conversations, presentations to create focus with precision and brevity. 
  3. Demonstrate, examine, and refine effective communication skills, including:
    • Using communicative intelligence to establish credibility and build rapport
    • Responding to conflict/resistance while honoring relationships
    • Crafting an opening to set a frame for participants
    • Developing technical skills for choosing a mindset to ensure a leader’s flexibility and ability to respond to groups
    • Ways to recover with grace when things don't go as planned
    • Practicing and applying skills to a variety of settings (one-on-one, small group, and large group) to ensure effectiveness.


The course begins March 27 with a one-hour kickoff session from 1-2 p.m. Eastern, with additional live Zoom sessions taking place from 1-4 p.m. Eastern on:

  • Thursday, March 30
  • Thursday, April 6
  • Thursday, April 13

Additional "office hours" for one-on-one coaching with course facilitators will be available from 5-6 p.m. Eastern on:

  • April 3-5
  • April 10-12

Who is this for?  

This course is for principals, assistant principals, superintendents, assistant superintendents, directors, instructional coaches, and others who lead meetings and are in front of groups who wish to strengthen their message and delivery. 

The registration deadline for this course is Monday, March 26.

The cost is $649 for Learning Forward members, and $749 for non-members. Register here. 


Course facilitators

Chad Dumas is an international educational consultant, presenter, and award-winning researcher whose primary focus is collaborating to develop capacity for continuous improvement. With over two decades of successful leadership experience, Chad has led significant improvements for both students and staff. He shares his research and knowledge in his books, Let’s Put the C in PLC (2020, Next Learning Solutions Press), and An Action Guide to Put the C in PLC (2021, Next Learning Solutions Press), and consulting that includes research, stories, hands-on tools, useful knowledge, and practical skills. He served a variety of school districts as a teacher, principal, central office administrator, professional developer and consultant.

Kathy Gross serves as a consultant for Learning Forward and is a Training Associate of Cognitive CoachingSM. Throughout her career her work has focused on empowering teachers and leaders. During her 28 years of service in Springfield (MO) Public Schools, she served as Director of Professional Learning, Coordinator of Teacher and Leader Development, coach to teachers new to the career, Principal and Assistant Principal, and teacher. She serves as an Education Ambassador for the non-profit I Pour Life, and is on the Board of Directors for Kagan Charitable Foundation. Kathy graduated from the Learning Forward Academy in 2013.

Kendall Zoller is an author, educator, researcher, and global consultant. His work in communicative intelligence, presentation and facilitation skills, storytelling, leadership, and adaptive schools has taken him to 23 countries in person and 45 countries virtually, and hundreds of schools and districts. He is co-author of HeartSpace (2021, Word & Deed Publishing), Voices Leading From the Ecotone (2019, Word & Deed Publishing) and The Choreography of Presenting: The 7 Essential Abilities of Effective Presenters (2010, Corwin Press). Kendall is president of Sierra Training Associates and graduate faculty at California State University, Dominguez Hills. He has authored over four dozen reviewed book chapters and journal articles on topics of communication, community, and leadership for educators and corporations. 

If you are already logged in, click below to register for the online course or download a PDF registration form.

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