Human Relations and Leadership Skills

Course Overview

Human Relations and Leadership Skills is a required (4 credit) course in both the Commercial Building Engineering and Industrial Engineering programs at Renton Technical College. It is a six-week course that meets for a total of 48 hours.  This course helps students increase their self-awareness and leadership skills to get along with co-workers, employers, and clients in the industrial and commercial maintenance fields.

Course Materials

Lesson One: Communication Styles 

  • Lesson Plan, Communication Styles

Lesson Two: Criticism

  • Lesson Plan, Criticism 
  • Criticism, Making it Constructive (handout)

Lesson Three: Multiple Intelligences

  • Lesson Plan, Multiple Intelligences
  •  Multiple Intelligences (handout)

Lesson Four: Sexual Harassment in the Workplace 

  • Lesson Plan, Sexual Harassment in the Workplace 
  • EEOC Sexual Harassment (handout) 
  • EEOC Sexual Harassment, Quiz 
  • Washington State Human Rights Commission, Quiz

Lesson Five: U.S. Constitution 

  • Lesson Plan, U.S. Constitution 
  • U.S. Constitution (handout)

Project Summary

For the fall quarter of 2010, we reviewed the curriculum and materials for this course to see what should be updated, revised and/or supplemented.  We reviewed a few textbooksbut (given the short nature of the course) decided instead to use a set of videotaped lectures that were developed and produced by RTC’s General Education Department specifically for use in human relations courses in RTC’s professional / technical programs. Thus, those lectures provided the core curriculum and material for the course. (Those videotapes are not part of this project.)  To supplement those lectures, I gathered additional resources and developed extra activities and lessons on the following topics:   Communication Styles, Giving and Receiving Criticism, Multiple Intelligences, Sexual Harassment, and  U.S. Constitution (see footnote).

For the lesson on communication styles, we used Success Signals, a communications training program that has been used—and highly recommended—by other programs at RTC.  It presents some “eye-opening” concepts in an engaging way, and many students commented that they found it to be very useful.  It has now been adopted by the program for future use with this human relations course. The program includes a book and DVD.  The publication details for Success Signals (© 2006 by Agreement Dynamics, Inc,) are included in the Communication Styles lesson plan.

Footnote:  September 17 is US Constitution Day, and RTC complies with the federal mandate to include lessons about the US Constitution.  We decided to include our US Constitution lessons in this Human Relations course. Not only does this meet the federal requirements, it’s actually a good fit: The US Constitution is all about managing conflict, which is a key concept in human relations.


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