The Leadership Skills Series: Utilizing Videos to Address Leadership Skills1

Matthew Sowcik, Jennifer Wert, and Jera Niewoehner-Green 2

Leadership Skills Series #1: Introduction

This publication series looks at different leadership and professional development skills that can have a positive impact on the Extension workforce. Over the series, videos are recommended to develop specific leadership skills among Extension professionals in six distinct leadership areas: general leadership, defining purpose and values, communication, conflict resolution, team building, and creating an extraordinary culture. Utilizing Berk's (2009) recommended steps for facilitating the use of videos, the publication series provides an overview of each video, the time it takes to show the video, a link to locate the video, and practical questions to facilitate dialogue between participants. The overall series consists of four EDIS publications with video recommendations carefully chosen in each leadership area based on skills that are most needed among today's Extension professionals. A brief description for each publication in the series includes:

Leadership Skills Series #1: Introduction

This initial publication in the Leadership Skills Series provides Extension professionals with a brief introduction on how to utilize short leadership videos available on the internet to develop specific skills in large or small group settings.

Leadership Skills Series #2: General Leadership & Purpose/Values

Videos are recommended in the areas of general leadership and purpose/values. In particular, these videos focus on everyday leadership, utilizing grit, finding one's purpose, and learning how to feel good about work.

Leadership Skills Series #3: Communication & Conflict Management

Videos are recommended in the areas of communication and conflict management. After watching the videos and engaging in the discussion questions, Extension professions should have a better understanding of how to have better conversations, the impact of technology on communication, and how to handle conflict productively.

Leadership Skills Series #4: Working in Teams & Creating a Culture of Excellence

Videos are recommended in the areas of working in teams and creating a culture of excellence. The fourth installment of the Leadership Skills Series focuses on creating an atmosphere where every member of the team is encouraged to fully contribute and monitor the organization's culture, ensuring for successful teams and organizations.

Introduction to Utilizing Leadership Videos

Leadership and professional development skills are critical at all levels of Extension. Those individuals with an outstanding grasp on these skills clearly have an advantage in today's changing world. However, as budgets shrink and time demands increase, finding time and resources for skill development can be challenging. It is critical to utilize all available resources to find innovative ways to address leadership and professional development skills.

One powerful way to introduce leadership and professional development topics is to show a video clip during a meeting or training that introduces the material in a short, concise, and meaningful way. A skilled facilitator can use the video clip to encourage participants to reflect on the video and engage in active learning by answering questions in a small or large group.

Berk (2009), after conducting a literature review on the use of videos in teaching/training, suggested eight procedures for utilizing video clips in these settings:

  1. Pick a particular clip to provide the content or illustrate a concept or principle.

  2. Prepare specific guidelines or discussion questions for students so they have directions on what to see, hear, and look for.

  3. Introduce the video briefly to reinforce purpose.

  4. Play the clip.

  5. Stop the clip at any scene to highlight a point, or replay the clip for a specific in-class exercise.

  6. Set a time for reflection.

  7. Assign an active learning activity to interact on specific questions, issues, or concepts in clip.

  8. Structure a discussion around those questions in small and/or large group format.

By utilizing Berk's (2009) recommended process, any facilitator could show one of the recommended leadership films and facilitate others through a brief reflection and discussion process. In the following publications in this series, a total of twelve videos are recommended within the six distinct leadership areas. Each of the publications in this series provides an introduction, a brief summary of the recommended videos, and suggested discussion questions.

In Summary

This initial publication in the Leadership Skills Series focused on introducing how to utilize leadership videos to build leadership and professional development skills within Extension professionals. Subsequent publications in the series will expand upon these leadership and professional development skills in greater details and provide specific video recommendations to help develop these skills.


Berk, R. A. (2009). Multimedia teaching with video clips: TV, movies, YouTube, and mtvU in the college classroom. International Journal of Technology in Teaching & Learning, 5(1).


1. This document is AEC647, one of a series of the Agricultural Education and Communication Department, UF/IFAS Extension. Original publication date September 2018. Visit the EDIS website at
2. Matthew Sowcik, assistant professor, Department of Agricultural Education and Communication; Jennifer Wert, Ph.D. student, Department of Agricultural Education and Communication; and Jera Niewoehner-Green, asssistant professor, Ohio State University; UF/IFAS Extension, Gainesville, FL 32611.