3 Online Courses That Could Change The Way You Work

It’s back-to-school time for kids — which makes it a prime opportunity for grownups to think about learning, too.

We’ve rounded up three online courses that will help you think in a whole new way about how you lead at work, learn to ask all the right questions, and see the facial expressions that most people think are undetectable.

Whether you’ve got $400 to spend on professional development or no budget at all, we’ve got you covered with one of these fascinating courses.

(And if you still can’t resist the temptation to skip class — don’t worry, we’ve got you covered too!)

1. Where Classical Philosophy and Management Meet

Course: On Strategy: What Managers Can Learn From Philosophers

Institution: Coursera

Details: If you enjoy it, there’s a sequel — this is Part 1 of a two-part series

Instructor: Luc de Brabandere, Professor at Ecole Centrale Paris

Mini-lectures include: “Change: Parmenides or Heraclites,” “Optical Illusions and Brainteasers,” and “You Can’t Think Without Boxes”

Cost: Take it for free or get a course certificate with a shareable certificate link for $49

Why you know it’s for you: You’ve forgotten the philosophy you studied in school, but remember how much fun it was to give your brain a workout

How to play hooky: Read Sophie’s World, a “novel about the history of philosophy.” But be warned: you may still learn a lot. One reviewer explained that “it’s a philosophy course made a novel.”

2. Learn to Observe Like the Professionals

Course name: Insights for Innovation

Institution: IDEO

Details: Technically the six-week class is already underway, but you can still register until September 15

Instructors: Coe Leta Stafford, IDEO’s Global Design Director for Insights, and Jane Fulton Suri, a Partner and Chief Creative Officer at IDEO

Topics include: “Listening with your eyes,” conducting great interviews, and finding out what to do with the insights you collect

Cost: $399, including a certificate of completion

Why you know it’s for you: You’ve got a hunch that there’s a lot going on around you…and it’s time to start tuning in

How to play hooky: Get David Kelley’s take (he’s the founder and chairman of IDEO) on design thinking over at Medium. You’ll read how he and his team observe drivers pumping gas, nurses changing shifts, and just about anyone trying to pay for parking.

3. So Tell Me How You Really Feel

Course names: The Face Suite, PEG Interactive, and The Ekman Library

Institution: PaulEkman.com

Details: Choose from a variety of online training packages that help you recognize expressions, improve how you interact in specific settings, or both. You can also choose a workplace-focused module from an a la cart menu. If you’re new to this work, start with the basics and then move onto how to apply them.

Instructor: Paul Ekman provides explanations in the training videos

Topics include: Detecting fear, anger, disgust, surprise, and more on people’s faces

Cost: The Face Suite (4 modules on detecting expressions) is $209, PEG Interactive (setting-specific) is $119, and the workplace-only module is $69. Want to do it all? Choose The Ekman Library for $299.

Why you know it’s for you: You loved the Pixar movie Inside Out (watch the trailer) about how emotions combine to make us who we are — Paul Ekman served as a scientific consultant on it.

How to play hooky: Catch an episode or two of the drama Lie to Me (all three seasons are on Netflix). Deeply informed by Paul Ekman and his work, it’s about how the expert ability to read people’s faces can save the day — with plenty of suspense to keep you on the edge of your seat.

Some people find that bringing their team onto Redbooth reduces email so much that they’re saving an hour a day. What could you learn if you had an extra 5 hours a week? Discover more about Redbooth >>