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Second City August 2014

Workshop Descriptions

LMAS Launch & Team Challenge
This is the kick-off event for the LMAS program at NIU.  At this event, we will provide critical information for your adventure in the Leadership Master of Accounting Science program.  In addition, you will be divided into teams to compete in head-to-head activities designed to improve teamwork and communication, build relationships with your classmates, enhance your group problem solving skills, and develop strategic planning capabilities.  We continue to emphasize these skills throughout the LMAS workshops and classes.  Get ready for a fun filled day!

Professional Written Communication (Workshop and Consultation)
This workshop explores the writing process and identifies basic building blocks of professional written communication.  Students will learn the art of paraphrasing and avoiding plagiarism; they will also review common grammatical errors and learn how to avoid those errors in their own writing.  Additionally, students will spend a portion of the workshop completing a series of writing exercises.   These exercises highlight both higher-order concerns, such as audience and organization, and lower-order writing concerns, such as comma usage, sentence structure, and proofreading strategies.  After the workshop, each student will schedule a time to meet individually with a consultant in the Ernst & Young Leadership and Professional Development Center (LPDC) to discuss the student’s writing sample. 

Oral Communication Strategies
Research shows that many accounting professionals identify communication skills as critical for career success (Maturo, 2007; Smith, 2005; Stowers, 1999).  This workshop identifies elements of an effective presentation and explores the formula for developing a clear message.  Furthermore, issues such as powerless and inappropriate language will be examined so students will have a better understanding of how language and word choice can affect the impact of a message.

Second City Experience
The improvisational workshop at The Second City helps students build on oral and interpersonal communication skills.  Students’ communication and leadership skills are activated by requiring them to think on their feet and communicate extemporaneously through the use of activities that incorporate improvisation and teamwork.  Activities, such as listening games and role playing exercises, place students in a variety of situations that allow them to experience the challenges of communication in small and large groups.

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Facilitating Group Meetings
Conducting a meeting is one of the first opportunities students will have to take a leadership role.  This in-class activity explores the importance of creating an environment for leading a facilitated group dialogue.   Furthermore, students will be exposed to a variety of process tools and approaches to maximize meeting time and participation.  Students will have the opportunity to plan a focus group meeting and practice developing questions to facilitate group discussion.

Providing Feedback
The ability to provide individuals and groups with constructive feedback is an important leadership skill to master.   This in-class activity highlights strategies for delivering positive and negative feedback messages, as well as considering the consequences of inappropriate feedback interventions.  Students will leave this activity understanding the power and perils of delivering feedback in the workplace.