When was the last time you invested in professional development? Not a workshop where the lessons you learned got shelved with the workbook. Not a course where you learned from a teacher who hadn’t spent time in your field… or any field. Not a book, a binder, an article or a blog.

When we say professional development, we mean an experience that develops you as a professional, and as a person. As a leader, in both your workplace and your life.

Witz Education’s smartLEADER program is a 2.5-month-long intensive for those who lead and those who aspire to lead. Applied learning in the truest sense, smartLEADER is designed to advance you in your career or propel you towards the career you want.

Today, leaders are expected to be so much more than pencil pushers who manage rather than lead. Humans are at the center of every workplace and without understanding human behaviour we can’t go beyond management to mentor.

You can’t choose who you lead, but your teammates can choose whose leadership they’ll embrace. In the smartLEADER program, you’ll learn and take your turn with tools that’ll allow you to engage with a diverse array of personalities:

  • using clear communication and understanding;
  • listening for emotional cues;
  • building rapport;
  • and navigating situations of heightened emotion, positive or negative, from conflict to success.

The net result?

You’ll have sea legs in an ocean of constant change. You’ll make decisions you can stand by. You’ll think in terms of solutions, not problems. You’ll create a collaborative culture, lead a team you – and they – are happy to be on.

What should you expect?

You’ll spend five days in our leadership “pressure cooker”, delving into human behaviour theory and practice. We begin with an exploration of self and layer in tools for effective communication, emotional bridge-building, engagement and mentorship.

smartLEADER relies on “getting to work” not just during sessions but also between them in order to make the most effective use of the tools. You’ll be supported by one of our talented facilitators with four 30-minute coaching sessions to keep the work alive as you practice the skills you have learned.

You’ll be challenged to do your best work inside and outside of the office, becoming a leader and a mentor through a daily practice that goes beyond management, using enrolment and possibility to create unprecedented results.


Day 1 – Learning About Self & How Others Perceive You

  • Who are you?
  • What are the benefits and disadvantages of your communication style?
  • The foundation of the interactive process – rules for effective communication
  • Constructing what to say –how, when, where and why
  • Objectives – zeroing in on the outcomes you want
  • Don’t get hooked! Avoiding communication traps
  • Approaches that work for a variety of personalities

Day 2 – Human Interaction

  • Be a human among humans
  • 360 view of your communication style, including your blind spots
  • Create an inspiring new possibility for yourself and your business against the backdrop of real organizational challenges
  • Stop manufacturing meaning: what is said vs what is meant
  • Feedback they can swallow, and a healthy dose of motivation, recognition and reward
  • Shaping and influencing focused outcomes
  • A fresh, solution-based approach to recurring problems
  • The power of strategy – facing challenging like a champ
  • Transitioning from strategy to competent application
  • Put theory to practice – real plays

Day 3 – The Art & Science of Emotional Management

  • Using empathy to demonstrate understanding
  • Managing your reactions to avoid unfavourable outcomes
  • Incorporating templates for responding effectively to emotions
  • Building confidence, enthusiasm and motivation in others
  • Build emotional bridges – reach within yourself to effectively reach others
  • Put theory to practice – real plays

Day 4 – Advancing Outcomes Through Assertiveness

  • Get what you want in relationships
  • Implement step-by-step approaches to assertiveness
  • Understanding the differences between aggressive and assertive behaviour
  • Remove the anxiety from challenging interactions
  • Walking the fine line between leadership and management
  • Identify practical approaches to engage your teams
  • How to respond effectively to the range of reactions you may face
  • Understanding new approaches to conflict management
  • What you risk reveals what you value
  • Put theory to practice – real plays

Day 5 – Lead On

  • Are you still awake? Intention and retention
  • Design your leadership future
  • Level up from manager to mentor
  • Communication approaches for coaching, mentoring, delegating and problem solving
  • Discover the power of NEXT! and learn to view breakdowns as the source of breakthroughs
  • Transform your relationships with your colleagues and your clients, selling possibility instead of product
  • Put theory to practice – real plays

“The communication process taught in this program has become the foundation for interacting throughout Nissan Canada Inc. As a result, we at Nissan continue to meet our corporate objectives, especially in the area of communications.”

Diane Greathead @ Nissan Canada Inc.

“smartMANAGER helped me recognize the individuality of my staff, regardless of the generation, and gave me tools to coach and inspire my team to be passionate about their work and work as a team. Witz gave me the tools I needed to lead my team to success.”

Lorna Coutoulas @ Southlake Regional Health Centre