UCLA Extension

Creating and Sustaining Excellence in the Workplace

Course No. A3, Period 1

Psychology has traditionally studied individuals, couples, and organizations in difficulty. Most theories and therapies are based on the work with these groups. But this problem-oriented focus has limited the usefulness of psychology in helping people to create and sustain success. There is a body of research that has sought to understand the traits and behaviors of people and organizations that succeed in the areas of career; building healthy, productive work relationships; and maintaining good physical health. The studies reach surprisingly consistent conclusions regarding the skills that allow us to create, maintain, and enhance success. In this hands-on course, you learn the skills of creating and sustaining excellence in the workplace through a lively mix of lecture, film, live demonstrations, case studies, and role-play scenarios.

Topics include:

  • The 4 Skills of Successful People and Organizations
  • How Successful People Change
  • Strategies for Coping with Adversity in the Workplace
  • The Essential Skill to Look for in an Employee or Colleague
  • Preventing Conflict and Maximizing Collaboration
  • Dealing with the Emotional Challenges of Managing People

Robert Maurer, PhDmauer_robert

CEO and Founder, The Science of Excellence

Robert Maurer is the CEO and founder of the Science of Excellence, a consulting firm. His clients include American Express, Costco, Disney, Mazda, Wellpoint, Pepsi, the U.S. Navy and Air Force, as well as local government throughout the UK.

As the director of Behavioral Sciences for Family Medicine, Spokane and a faculty member with the University of Washington School of Medicine, Dr. Maurer has studied how individuals, families, and organizations sustain their excellence in health, relationship, and work. He is also an Associate Clinical Professor at the UCLA School of Medicine.

Dr. Maurer has appeared on ABC’s “20/20” in connection with his work on conflict resolution. A Los Angeles Times article profiled Dr. Maurer’s seminars on creativity. His book on creativity and change, One Small Step Can Change Your Life, was published in the fall of 2004 and now appears in 14 languages.


This class was an amazing insight into not just innovation and excellence in our daily workplace, but an inspiring look at the complex, fear-filled, wonderful experience of our shared humanity! Thank you!”
– Mike Kelleher, CG Supervisor, Blizzard Entertainment