NextGen Municipal Soft Skills Program

Who: This program is designed to sharpen the soft skills of municipal employees from entry level up to the department head level and is open to any municipal employee.

What: This ten-week virtual program is a series of soft skills courses to help prepare municipal employees for future leadership roles. As you complete each course topic, you will get a digital badge of completion that can be added to your LinkedIn and resume. For example, once you complete the time management module, you will get a digital badge of completion, which can be shared and added to your LinkedIn account (and resume).

Each topic below will have a series of short videos, quizzes, exercises, and discussions. 

Self-Leadership Topics:

  • Gallup StrengthsFinder Workshop
  • Self-awareness, Personal Branding, and Strategic Career Planning 
  • Emotional Intelligence
  • Personal Productivity/Time Management/Work Ethic/AI
  • Critical Thinking 
  • Work-Life Balance, Avoiding Burnout, and Mental Wellness 

Working with Others Topics:

  • Business Etiquette (Dress, Dining, Office/Virtual Etiquette Best Practices)
  • Business Writing (Emails, Grammar, Instant Messages, etc.)
  • Public Speaking & Presentations
  • Constructive Feedback (Giving and Receiving)
  • Conflict Resolution & Negotiation 
  • Working with Multiple Generations 
  • Customer Service (Internal & External)
  • Teamwork and Collaboration 
  • Leadership 
  • Mentoring (Finding a mentor, what to do when you have a mentor, mentoring others, etc.) 
  • Networking (Internal & External)
  • Office Politics & Leading Up and Across

Timeline & Logistics of Program: 

Program and orientation (StrengthsFinder Workshop) will tentatively start the week of February 5th, 2024, and meet virtually for one hour during lunch every other week. 

Note: Orientation and the StrengthsFinder workshop is two hours.

The online courses will have lectures/presentations, worksheets/activities, discussions, articles, and quizzes and will be accessible on PCs and smartphones via the Kajabi learning management platform.

Live sessions will consist of guest speakers (deputy city managers, department heads, management analysts, and more) facilitating a discussion of the content, role-playing, and activities and will take place from 12–1 p.m. PST on Thursdays. Attendance is required as we are trying to build a community, as well as an excellent networking opportunity to meet other folks and leaders in local government.

Cohort One Pricing*: 

Standard Price (Sign up between 1/27/2024–2/7/2024): $1,397 per person

Early-Bird Price (Signed up before 1/26/2024): $1,197 per person

Pricing includes:

  • ~16 soft skills courses (videos, exercises, quizzes, discussions)
  • Credly digital badges to add to your LinkedIn and resume
  • Gallup StrengthsFinder Full 34 Assessment and workshop
  • One-year membership to MMASC. 

If you purchase the courses separately (a la carte) and do not participate in the overall program/cohort, each topic (with the exception of the StrengthsFinder and Business Writing [$150 each]) is $99 per person per course.

Here is a “justification for funding” template document to get you started to send to your manager to participate in this program.

Why: According to LinkedIn’s 2019 Global Talent Trends report, 89% of recruiters say that when a hire doesn't work out, it usually comes down to a lack of soft skills. In addition, 70% of the variance in employee engagement is due to an employee’s direct supervisor (Gallup). When employees are engaged at work, they’re more productive, increase customer satisfaction, and tell their coworkers they work for a great company. Unfortunately, almost 60% of leaders never received any training when promoted to their first leadership role, which is why soft skills training is crucial (Center for Creative Leadership). 

Another reason to attend is to be part of a community of local municipal employees, as this program is a cohort model.  Also, during our live sessions, you will get a chance to hear from local municipal leaders on how these soft skills helped their careers and get hands-on training with Dr. Nishizaki on how to improve your soft skills through exercises and activities via Breakout rooms.

If 2024 is your year to level up your career, this program is for you!

When: Online from February 8th–April 11th. Live sessions occur every other Thursday from 12 to 1 p.m.; attendance is required.

Where: This program is entirely online, and 90% of it is self-paced. We will only meet for one hour via Zoom every other week, except for the first week, which will be orientation and the StrengthsFinder workshop and will be two hours (11 a.m. – 1 p.m.).

How: To sign up, please reach out to to reserve your spot or learn more. Note: We are already at ~50% capacity for our first cohort, so we recommend signing up ASAP.

Guest Speakers: Here is the list of tentative (and subject to change) guest speakers for our bi-weekly Zoom live sessions:

  • PJ Gagajena, Assistant City Manager for the City of Moorpark, Personal Productivity
  • Domenica Megerdichian, Deputy City Manager for the City of South Pasadena, EQ
  • Jonathan Royas, Deputy City Manager for the City of Santa Paula, StrengthsFinder
  • Brenda Rodriguez, Community Services Director for the City of Cudahy, Leading Up and Across
  • Craddock Stropes, Management Analyst for the City of Carlsbad, Public Speaking

About Dr. Santor Nishizaki:
Dr. Santor Nishizaki is a former acting city manager, the founder and CEO of Mulholland Consulting Group, a #1 bestselling author, and a TEDx speaker. His work on leadership and Generation Z in the workplace has been featured in The Wall Street Journal, Forbes, Entrepreneur, Psychology Today, BBC, CBC, Fast Company, and more. In addition to speaking and training, Santor is a Ph.D. professor of Global Leadership and Change at Pepperdine University, Business Lecturer of the Year Nominee (2023) at Cal State LA, and former project manager for a Fortune 100 company.

Untitled design (1)

NextGen Soft Skills Flyer