Leadership Development

Facilitative Leadership

Facilitative Leadership is an intensive three-day program conducted in a retreat-like setting, preceded by a 1½ hour online introductory session. This workshop is for both new and experienced leaders, managers, and facilitators who would like to develop or improve their facilitative leadership skills. The goal is to provide experiential grounding in leading groups to have more effective and efficient meetings and to help people work together in positive and productive ways. 

Participants learn to lead discussions effectively; use divergent tools to generate ideas; use convergent tools to reach consensus; and use tools for developing action plans, encouraging creativity, setting outcome-based goals, and keeping a group focused. Every participant facilitates during the workshop and receives extensive written and verbal feedback from the instructors and colleagues in the course. All practice facilitations are based on real-world situations brought in by the participants.

Participants are expected to be present for the duration of the workshop, which includes evening sessions. Our impact data show that participants’ leadership confidence and competence have significantly increased, and that most have used tools learned to plan and lead meetings with their teams and organizations, and in their communities. View a short introduction to this powerful and dynamic approach to leadership.

Training via MSU Central Human Resources
MSU Human Resource offers regular leadership training sessions which are listed on their Professional Development website. Some of these courses are even free. To register and/or check pricing, log into EBS and go into "Courses for Employees at MSU."

Other Leadership Development Opportunities
Other excellent leadership development programs are available to MSU Extension employees. More information about each can be found at the websites below, or view an overview of all leadership opportunities to see a comparison and links to the nomination process.

MSU Extension provides funding to a limited number of participants for leadership opportunities. You can nominate yourself or others for consideration for these awards. You also should speak with your supervisor about your interest in these programs, and how they fit into your career plan. Nominees are evaluated by supervisors and then a selection is made for funding. 

  • LEAD21 - Aims to develop leaders in land grant institutions and their strategic partners who link research, academics, and extension in order to lead more effectively in an increasingly complex environment.  
  • National Extension Leadership Development (NELD)Their mission is "To build leaders in Cooperative Extension at all levels and provide them with the vision, courage, and tools to lead in a changing world."
  • Great Lakes Leadership AcademyTheir mission is: "To promote positive change, economic vitality and resource conservation, and to enhance the quality of life in Michigan by encouraging leadership for the common good."  They have two programs:


OSU Leadership Center Development Opportunities

The OSU Leadership Center is another great source of training. Many, but not all, of their workshops are available online. Check out their training opportunities on their events page

MSU Extension: Leading & Managing

Basics of managing people with mini-lectures from Eli Broad faculty.

Anne Baker

Anne Baker

Learning and Talent Development Specialist
MSU Extension