By Susan Camberis
Editor, Training Today
Most Talent Development (TD) professionals are experts at developing others, but they may not always take the time needed to develop themselves.
ATDChi’s Winter Conference centered around building personal capabilities, regardless of where participants were at in their careers. Filled with opportunities to network and connect with others, the hands-on session provided real-time actions that could be implemented immediately.
As you prepare to take your career to new heights in 2020, here are 7 stellar take-aways for your consideration:
1. Make meaningful connections. Erich Kurschat, Owner & Connection Coach with Harmony Insights LLC, founder of HRHotSeat, and a self-described introvert, suggested that if connecting is a challenge, consider re-framing connection through a lens of service. “If you help enough other people, you will get your needs met,” said Kurschat. The next time you are re faced with the decision “to connect, or not to connect,” choose to connect – and consider how you can be of service to others.
2. Build a network of friends, not just connections. Callista Gould, Certified Etiquette Instructor and founder of the Culture and Manners Institute, shared tips for building a network of friends, not just connections. According to Gould, what we look for in our business relationships should mirror what we look for in our friendships. We can evaluate by asking questions like: Can I count on you? Are you interested in what I have to say? Will you put aside your phone and not text or check messages, when you’re with me?
3. Own your power and expertise. In his session called, “How to Master your Value Proposition,” Hayward Suggs, ATDChi President-Elect and Managing Principal of Commonquest Consulting, reminded conference attendees that, “It’s what you say and how you say it.” Suggs walked participants through an interactive exercise to test out three key aspects of their value propositions: 1. Who you are (Name & Role), 2. What you do (Outcomes vs. Activities), and 3. Why it matters (the WIIFM for the person you’re meeting).
4. Coach yourself to higher levels of success. Dan Johnson, CPC, CNTC, ATDChi Director, Prospective & New Members Experience, and Owner of Performance Mastery, discussed how to use coaching to accelerate your career goals. Career coaching involves looking inward, looking outward, and looking forward. “When you’re coaching, everything is possible,” according to Johnson. Making your career goal a reality requires spending time in both “default mode network” and “task positive network”, which means spending time dreaming, envisioning, and being introspective, as well as planning, focusing on tasks, and working with sensory information.
5. Have a plan for networking. Networks play a critical role in both our personal and professional lives. In their workshop entitled, “The Power of Networking”, Rose Pagliari & Kris Felstehausen shared a four-step approach for building and maintaining your network: 1. Analyze your network and the types of people in it – identify strengths and weaknesses; 2. Eliminate energy sappers – identify energy-sapping relationships and make plans to minimize these wherever and whenever possible; 3. Build new connections by adding diversity, influencers, and other types of people you might be missing; and 4. Capitalize – make sure you are using your contacts as effectively as you can.
6. Always negotiate. Negotiating a higher compensation package can be an uncomfortable part of the hiring process, and yet, “Companies expect you to ask for more. They expect you to negotiate. They don’t expect you to take the first offer,” said Dr. Gia Suggs, ATDChi’s Director, Professional Development Network and owner of Dr. Gia Consulting. In her session called, “Pay Me (Please…)” Dr. Gia said not negotiating can indicate a lack of sophistication. Dr. Gia shared research from Payscale.com and techniques based on her own experiences with negotiating salary as both a full-time employee and a consultant. “In real life, we fear rejection,” according to Dr. Gia. Until the hiring manager or organization has said “no”, the negotiation is not over.
7. Embrace the gig economy. At some point you may either need or want to join the gig economy. In her session called, “The Good, the Bad, and the Meh of Working in the Gig Economy”, Gretchen Hartke, owner of Hartke Designs and author of So, you want to join the gig economy… now what?, shared her lessons learned, (sometimes) hard won wisdom, and perspective on how to thrive as an independent learning consultant. Gretchen cited 2016 research by McKinsey Global Institute that found that most people choose independent work by choice vs. necessity, and that 1 in 6 workers in traditional jobs would like to become independents.
The end of the year is a natural time for reflection and planning, and we hope the tips and ideas above may be helpful to you as you prepare for the year ahead.
For session descriptions and more details on any of the winter conference speakers click here.