Whether you’re a manager yourself or a senior leader who cares about helping managers succeed, it pays to stay on top of learning opportunities suited for this extraordinary moment. 

While many are still reacting to the deep hardships of the pandemic, others are springing to life, seizing new opportunities, and finding—as George Anders writes for LinkedIn’s Workforce Insights—“Boldness has come back in style.” 

With this remarkable tension in mind, LinkedIn Learning has seven recommended courses by expert instructors—two new picks and five greatest hits—to deliver skills that are particularly useful for managers in this time of flux. Side note: You don’t have to be a manager to find value here.

The 2 fresh picks: Leading with a Heavy Heart and Creativity

Let’s start with the two new offerings, both from well-known leaders. One offers empathetic advice for navigating pain and hardship. The other has outside-the-box tips for solving sticky problems. Both will help managers inspire their teams to move forward with timely wisdom.

1. Leading with a Heavy Heart. Former restaurant industry executive Kat Cole leads a course that’s helpful for anyone coping with loss and setbacks. Her advice is a reminder that healing is a top priority for many right now.

Your own struggles can be the basis for more authentic leadership, Kat suggests, and it’s OK—even beneficial—to resist the pressure to “think positive” as you come to terms with reality. Don’t miss the final section, “Feelings are a feature, not a bug.”

2. Creativity at Work. Entrepreneur, innovative marketer, and author Seth Godin delivers guidance to help individuals and teams cultivate creativity. His course is an in-the-moment look at inventing the impossible.

One of his most valuable notions is surprising: start with bad ideas. Letting go of your inner critic and being courageous enough to voice poor ideas helps you make breakthroughs. Seth dispels the myth that creativity is a unique talent confined to special people and provides practical tips and tricks—as well as a free gift at the end. 

The 5 top hits: remote work, communication, and well-being

Once you’ve considered the fresh picks, it’s also worth revisiting the top five courses for managers from the past year. All are still relevant and all provide valuable tips for thriving amid change.

It’s not surprising that three of the top five courses deliver tips for remote work. These courses have continued value as many organizations choose to embrace remote, hybrid, and flexible work models for the long term.  Even if you’ve been working remotely for many months, you can browse these courses to find help with lingering challenges, whether it’s time management or connecting with colleagues.

Then check out picks 4 and 5 to build skills for culturally sensitive communication and personal well-being.

1. Time Management: Working from Home. Many people love working from home, but they also struggle with the blurred boundaries as work and home life compete for attention in the same space.

Bestselling author and productivity expert Dave Crenshaw walks you through the basics of time management. He covers everything from setting up a workspace and crafting a daily schedule to tips for collaborating with remote coworkers. Dave also covers how to balance the personal and professional if you’re caring for others at home, including how to remain responsive without feeling continually interrupted.

Tune into this course and learn how to limit distractions, choose the best tools to boost productivity, and establish a healthy working rhythm. 

2. Remote Work Foundations: The Value of Working Remotely. It’s no wonder so many people love working remotely: It goes hand in hand with eliminating a commute, choosing where to do your work, and gaining the freedom to spend hours as you see fit. Capitalizing on those benefits is a matter of calling upon the right tools, adjusting core processes, and striking a balance between work and home life. 

Remote work consultant Mike Gutman from Flexjobs covers the basics of remote work and how to best structure your day for optimal productivity. He also shows how to use the latest communication and collaboration tools to work effectively while remaining connected to your organization. 

3. Tips for Working Remotely. One of the biggest challenges of remote work is finding ways to stay connected to colleagues and the organization. Whether it’s feeling isolated, struggling to communicate effectively, or navigating office politics from afar, remote work changes the employee experience. 

Coach Todd Dewett explains how to close the gap. He helps you lay the foundation for a productive environment that helps avoid distractions before pivoting to effective tactics for staying in touch, building connections, and promoting team camaraderie. 

4. Communicating About Culturally Sensitive Issues. One of the top priorities for managers has been making space for everyone to enjoy a sense of belonging. Managers who build teams where employees can be themselves can better unlock every person’s unique ingenuity.

Paving the way for belonging intersects with discussions around sensitive issues like systemic bias and racism. While such conversations can be uncomfortable, they are essential. In this course, Duke University Professor Dr. Daisy Lovelace shares principles and strategies to help you have more productive, meaningful conversations on topics related to diversity. After watching, you’ll better understand why these types of conversations are tricky and you’ll learn ground rules and techniques for navigating difficult conversations.  

5. Thriving @ Work: Leveraging the Connection between Well-Being and Productivity. In light of the stress and exhaustion wrought by the pandemic, being engaged at work starts with being physically and mentally healthy. 

This course—led by Arianna Huffington and Joey Hubbard from Thrive Global—shares the secrets to reducing stress and enhancing well-being. By learning how to go beyond coping to thriving, you’ll soon find that you are more energetic and productive 

Final thoughts: Never stop learning

The most successful managers embrace a growth mindset, knowing that learning paves the way for performing to their full potential—and helping teams do the same. 

No wonder managers who feel they have room to learn and grow are 3.4x more likely to be engaged, and 3.2x more likely to say they will probably be with their company in two years’ time. Want more manager insights? Download the State of the Manager Report.