Teaching soft skills to people managers can be challenging.  Consider having Dr. Robin Johnson design, tailor, and deliver programs on a range of topics that help managers develop the soft-skills they need to lead the multi-dimensional workforce.


These short inspirational, engaging keynotes introduce new concepts that motivate participants to be more inclusive.

Dance of Leadership

Really move your audience with this creative and interactive keynote that broadens your understanding of the range of leadership styles and the situations in which each is most effective.  The audience will have fun engaging in this learning experience as they decide which of the five leadership styles resonates most with them.

  1. Flowing: One step at a time planner
  2. Staccato: Direct, protect, command & control
  3. Chaos: Allowing order to emerge for creative problem-solving
  4. Lyrical: Mentoring & developing using relational skills
  5. Stillness: Quietly being a role model transformational leader

The short, simple, yet fun activities participants do will demonstrate the power of each of the five styles and the leader-follower relationship. Download RJ DoL Keynote Brochure 2014


Six Secret Soft SKILLS Effective Leaders Need
By integrating research and practice, Dr. Robin has come up with the six high-leverage soft skills for managing the multicultural work force, and a methodology for teaching each one. In this keynote, Dr. Robin uses S-K-I-L-L-S as an acronym: Solution-seeking
; Kudos;
; Learning
; & SMARTER goals and illustrates the power of using each.  Download Six Soft Skills Keynote brochure.


GenderSpeak & CultureSpeak through the HeimGroup
Men and women grow up in different cultures. As a result we learn different lessons about “appropriate” behavior. What seems natural to one gender can seem mysterious and baffling to the other.  This keynote explains the roots of our gendered communication styles and explores the impact of these different styles on leadership and teamwork.  The research-based points are illustrated with real, sometime humorous examples from work and life that the audience will surely enjoy.  Moreover, you will learn some strategies for making communications smoother between women and men.

CultureSpeak blends some of the gendered communications with culture research to explain common responses – some more effective than others – to similarities and differences in our communication styles.  Global examples are used to illustrate the gender and cultural communications styles.  Dr. Johnson shares some research findings about the impact unexplored assumptions can have on work relationships, and provides examples of more effective responses for leading gender-culturally diverse organizations.


If your organization is planning a retreat for professional development, consider Dr. Robin to help you make it a WOW experience. Prior to the retreat, Dr. Johnson works with the retreat organizers to assess the needs and objectives for the retreat.  Retreats are then tailored to the needs of the organization.  Retreat preparation may include competency assessments of the senior leadership team members, structured interviews with key stakeholders around core organizational issues, an organizational culture assessment, or consulting on the developmental topic.  Topics and tools Dr. Robin provides include:

  • Team building using the Birkman Method or MBTI
  • Clarifying and linking personal and organizational values
  • Organizational culture assessment-preparation for change
  • Defining organization-team strategic mission and goals
  • Leading and managing organizational change
  • Gender and Cultural Communication Styles
  • Multicultural Awareness
  • Building organizational – multicultural trust
  • Diversity-Inclusion-Multicultural competence skill building
  • Co-Mentoring and managing direct reports careers
  • Using VOICES 360 feedback to coach, develop, focus, and retain organizational talent

Download Dr. Robin’s Retreat Facilitation brochure.


These longer 1/2 day to 2-day experiences are tailored to your organization’s needs and are designed to help participants learn new skills. All of them use multiple adult-learning modalities appropriate for the topic. Many of them include assessments and interactive simulations.

Birkman: Understanding and using the Birkman Method
The Birkman Method® combines motivational, behavioral, and interest evaluation into a single assessment, that provides a multi-dimensional and comprehensive analysis, thus reducing the need for multiple assessments. A key benefit of the Birkman is delineating the gaps between what you do and what you need. It provides one of the best ways to gain insight into, and provide non-judgmental language for articulating, negotiating, and taking responsibility for getting your needs met.  Dr. Robin’s interactive session helps participants understand their own strengths and needs, while getting people moving around to notice and understand the range of behaviors others exhibit.  Download Dr. Robin’s Birkman Method Workshop brochure.

Career by Design
Dr. Robin’s Career by Design workshop helps identify and map interests, skills, values;  write personal mission, contribution and legacy statements; and provides a number of tips and tools for re-inventing, re-focusing, and rebalancing work/life.  Her approach requires participants to accept responsibility for managing their own careers, focus on contributions-results (not just activity) matched to their job descriptions for effective performance management, and improve their skills as mentor-coaches for their direct reports.  Download Dr. Robin’s Career by Design Workshop brochure.

Cultural Competence
Dr. Robin’s view of culture, and the need for cultural competence, is broad. Culture includes aspects of individual identity, visible and invisible social identity tied to relevant demographics, organizational roles, and cultural values – gender, race-ethnicity, generation, LGBT orientation, religion, organizational focus, etc. Each workshop is tailored to the aspects of culture most relevant to your organization and industry. Cultural Competence is a process.  It starts with Motivation for intercultural interaction, followed by Knowledge about other cultures, then effective Strategies for intercultural engagement and Behavioral Adaptation during intercultural interactions.  Dr. Johnson takes participants through the cultural competence process so that by the end of the workshop participants will have

  • increased their cultural awareness of self and others;
  • improved their ability to bridge culture-based communication gaps; and
  • be encouraged to bridge commonalities while being inclusive with differences.

Download Dr. Robin’s Cultural Competence workshop brochure.


Dance of Leadership Workshop
Dr. Robin uses her interactive video assessment to introduce participants to a range of leadership styles and the situations in which each is most effective.  This also helps participants decide which of the five leadership styles resonates most with them.

  • Flowing: One step at a time planner
  • Staccato: Direct, protect, command & control
  • Chaos: Allowing order to emerge for creative problem-solving
  • Lyrical: Mentoring & developing using relational skills
  • Stillness: Quietly being a role model transformational leader

She engages participants in activities that demonstrate the power of each of the five styles, and has participants discuss examples of each style in action.  Participants then link what they’ve learned about leadership style and situational appropriateness to current organizational needs.  Employee Resource-Affinity groups sometimes ask Dr. Johnson to use leader profiles from the sponsoring group.  This can be a great workshop to teach leadership styles while simultaneously showcasing women, Black, LGBT, Latino, and Multi-dimensional leaders.  We cover the material from the Dance of Leadership keynote in greater depth.  Download Dr. Robin’s Dance of Leadership workshop brochure.


Empowered Leadership – Authority, Competence, Trust
Leadership is a relationship – a relationship between those who choose to lead and those who choose to follow. In this workshop, Dr. Robin shows you how to make that leader-follower relationship an empowering one. Empowerment, as defined in practice, includes three relational concepts – Authority, Competence and Trust. 

Using the Leadership Trait assessment to connect each person to the research, she helps participants understand what authority, competence and trust mean at work, which behaviors actually empower, and how to do empowering leadership. She shares practical results from robust research about decision making biases to watch out for when you have authority; explores the difference between achievement orientation and perfectionism when developing competencies; and operationalizes three different kinds of trust so you can decide who, when, and how much to trust others at work.  Download Dr. Robin’s Empowered Leadership workshop brochure.

Multicultural Teams
Leading a multicultural team to high performance requires you to create and sustain an environment that leverages perspective diversity. Using cutting edge research, this workshop helps you design your multicultural team for success, move your team from conflict to collaboration, learn-practice feedback, exercise influence, and motivate-engage team talent. Participants learn and use six soft skills to learn from and leverage perspective diversity to be effective.  In the full two-day teams workshop Dr. Robin addresses:
• How to design your team for effectiveness and measuring its success
• A power & influence simulation (WAMAUC)
• Skills for leveraging perspective diversity
• Behaviors that move a team from conflict to collaboration
• The Gamma Project Team Video Case for giving culturally competent feedback
• Cascades Survival Simulation to apply and review learning

Download Dr. Robin’s Multicultural Teams brochure.


Seminar topics are typically requested in addition to a workshop, or combined to tailor a professional development program.

Leadership Theory and Styles (leadership development)
Leading and Managing Change (leadership development)
Lominger VOICES 360 Feedback & Leadership Competencies (leadership development)
Mentoring and Developmental Relationships (career by design, diversity-retention)
Myers Briggs Type Indicator (team building, decision styles, intercultural communication)
Ouch! That Stereotype Hurts & Ouch! Your Silence Hurts (diversity-inclusion)
Self-in-Context: Social Identity Strategies (Race-Ethnicity, LGBT, Generations, Gender)
Six Secret Soft SKILLS Effective Leaders Need (leadership development, teams)
Trust: Intercultural Trust (conflict management, co-mentoring, team building)
Values Clarification (team building, career by design)
Work-Life Balance (career by design)


Assessment-based coaching requires pre-work. When you contact Dr. Robin for a session, the link for taking the on-line assessment will be sent to you. After you have completed the assessment Dr. Robin is notified and downloads your results. We then schedule your coaching session. All assessment-based coaching sessions include at least one phone/video consultation with Dr. Robin. Reports are your personal property. After your session you receive the report. You decide if you wish to share the entire report, any part of your report, or any aspects of our coaching session with others. If your organization is paying for your coaching, in most cases they will expect you to share a development plan based on your coaching session and feedback. Dr. Robin will work with you to develop that plan. However, you remain in charge of deciding what goes into the plan, and you will set up the appointments with key managers to discuss your plan.



The questionnaires were developed by Dr. Robin Johnson to provide participants in her programs and coaching clients with insight into how their beliefs and behaviors relate to their effectiveness at work. She may require one or more of these to be completed prior to attending a workshop or having a coaching session with her. Some of these worksheets are requested often after specific programs with Dr. Johnson. Click on the desired assessment to be taken to the online survey site or download the relevant item. These assessments are free to you. If it is required for a workshop, be sure to print your results and bring them with you to the session. The online assessments are not free for Dr. Johnson. If you plan to do multiple assessments or have everyone in your team do an assessment, please send a courtesy email to Dr. Johnson and let her know.

Charisma Quotient
Cultural Competence Questionnaire
Dance of Leadership Style Questionnaire
Leadership Trait Questionnaire
Multicultural Trust Questionnaire
Work-Life Balance Questionnaire

The Inventories, Lists, and most of the worksheets come from the Career by Design workbook.  The Birkman worksheet and Work of Byron Katie worksheets are for your convenience.

CbD Motivating Interests Inventory
CbD Values Inventory

CbD Relational Skills List
CbD Skills List

CbD Personal Mission Statement Worksheet
CbD Career Contribution Worksheet

Using Your Birkman Worksheet
Work of Byron Katie worksheet

The Assessments listed below require a certified administrator (such as Dr. Johnson). Please contact Dr. Johnson for specific instructions about how to complete these.
Birkman Method – Signature reports, Birkman Insights
Conflict Dynamics Profile
Denison Organizational Culture and Leadership Assessment
Intercultural Development Inventory -IDI
Korn Ferry VOICES 360 Feedback, Korn Ferry Leadership Architect
Myers Briggs Type Indicator (MBTI) Step II with subscales



Please click on the name of your program to be connected to any pre- or post- workshop instructions.

2017 Programs / Retreats

California Community Foundation
Head Start Management Fellows Program
Head Start New Directors’ Mentoring Initiative
J & J Health Care Executive Leadership Program
NAMIC Leadership Seminars: Los Angeles, Philadelphia, Dallas
NAMIC Executive Leadership Development Program
UCLA-Anderson Multi-Dimenstional Leaders Institute
UCLA-Anderson Women’s Leadership Institute
Women’s Community Clinic – San Francisco
Wells Fargo Black African American Leadership Programs – San Francisco / Minneapolis