PennTRAIN: Leadership Study Group for Transit Supervisors

  • 09/15/2020
  • 10/20/2020
  • 4 sessions
  • 09/15/2020, 1:30 PM 3:00 PM (EDT)
  • 09/29/2020, 1:30 PM 3:00 PM (EDT)
  • 10/13/2020, 1:30 PM 3:00 PM (EDT)
  • 10/20/2020, 1:30 PM 3:00 PM (EDT)
  • Online via Zoom
  • 15


The Leadership Study Group for Transit Supervisors is intended to reinforce the current skills of participants and support continued professional development for supervisors working in Pennsylvania transit agencies. The course will focus on supervising in times of crisis and change, as during the Coronavirus Pandemic and associated crisis.

The course includes four (4) 90-minute Zoom meetings which will each require up to 30 minutes of homework before each session. These calls will offer discussion, lessons, and reflection as the group explores everyday issues faced by transit supervisors. 

Program Outcome: The Leadership Study Group will offer:

  • Ongoing conversations with peers across the Commonwealth
  • Sharing of best practices and experiences
  • A continued effort to nurture a network of peers across PA transit agencies
  • Increased understanding of supervisory practices
  • Professional development and training for PA transit supervisors

Presented by: Dr. Barbara Gannon is a leadership consultant and clinical psychologist with decades of practical experience across the transportation sector. She has worked with PPTA and PennTRAIN on many leadership initiatives throughout the years, as well as many other transportation entities across the nation. Most recently, in response to the COVID-19 pandemic, Dr. Gannon has been facilitating sessions for PennTRAIN and PPTA related to leadership during times of crisis.

Expectations: Each registrant will be expected to:

  • Confirm support to participate from their direct supervisor or agency leadership
  • Complete a pre-study group survey to identify topics of interest and critical issues faced by PA transit supervisors (~15 min)
  • Attend all four sessions: September 15, September 29, October 13, and October 20 (all on Tuesdays from 1:30-3 PM, 6 hours total)
  • Complete homework assignments prior to each session (~30 minutes each; 2 hours total)
  • Complete an evaluation at the end of each study group (~15 minutes each, 1 hour total)
  • Attend a post-study group coaching session with Dr. Gannon (30 minutes)

Participant contact information will be shared with fellow attendees for follow-up and networking purposes.

Session Topics and Descriptions:

The Supervisor's Role: Before During and After COVID
Tuesday, September 15, 1:30-3 PM
Participants will consider the work they do and the ways they have adapted during the months of the Coronavirus. A portion of the call will be conducted in small group discussions to allow interaction and all voices to be heard. In the first study group, participants will get to know others and their roles and share their experiences during the COVID season. In addition, a review of the results of the pre-course survey will allow participants to prioritize the topics for the remaining study group sessions.

Building a Resilient Organization
Tuesday, September 29, 1:30-3 PM
The second leadership study group will explore the experiences and strengths that each participant and organization have utilized during adversity, crisis, or other transitions and change. We will explore the human side of such adversity/change and understand human resilience and ways supervisors and organizations have demonstrated resilience at critical times.

Customers and Colleagues: Understanding Each Other
Tuesday, October 13, 1:30-3 PM
The role of a supervisor is to interface across an organization and with the customers and the community through both individual and public interactions. These exchanges require a stance of listening to diverse ideas, perspectives, and agendas while maintaining the professional stance as a representative of the transit authority. The balance of the personal and the professional often is where the hard part of the job lies. How do you better understand another's perspective? What can get in your way? What are ways to hold difficult conversations or simply listen without reacting? Instruction topics will explore the current civil unrest and the ways the colleagues, the public and community strives to be heard and understood.

A Menu of Critical Topics: Increasing Productivity, Managing Time and Energy, Work and Life Balance
Tuesday, October 20, 1:30-3 PM
This leadership study group will explore the participant's strengths and challenges by exploring habits, focus, current levels of productivity, delegation and overload, and learn ways to better manage time, energy and workload.

As a final task, the group will identify training topics and critical issues that can help PennTRAIN as it builds its training agenda for future training for transit supervisors. In addition, participants will identify next steps in their professional development and schedule a coaching call with Dr. Gannon.

Cost: No charge. PennTRAIN has worked with PennDOT to waive registration fees for trainings related to COVID-19 through the end of 2020.

Internet Access Required. This course will be presented via Zoom, and attendees must have an internet connection in order to participate. Webcam use is strongly encouraged if feasible for your agency. Links to join each session will be provided in advance via email. 

Pennsylvania Public Transportation Association is a 501(c)6 non-profit organization. 115 Pine Street, Harrisburg, PA 17101

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