Internal coaching is growing in practice! I’ve heard this topic at two conferences now. Organizations are creating internal coaching practices as part of employee career development programs. Most companies recognize that connection is important, but in many ways we are less connected in the ways that matter. This impacts engagement. One speaker used the example of the Gallup Q12 being all about connection.
Coaching = Connection = Engagement
Storytelling is king! There were many sessions during the conference devoted to the art and science of storytelling. One particular session that I enjoyed was by Doug Stevenson (@DougStoryCoach on Twitter). He outlined 9 specific steps to telling a great story – you can get them if you sign up for his newsletter. What stuck with me while he was speaking was the importance of having a story. The recruiter who needs a story about the company for candidates. The candidate who needs a story for the interview. The trainer who needs a story to make a point. Being able to tell a memorable story is key.
People hate role plays (still)! Years ago, I wrote a post titled “Nobody Likes Role Plays”. And it’s still true today. I went to a session on revitalizing the role play activity. There was an interesting dialogue about the semantics of using the term role play versus practice or simulation. On one hand, that might be lipstick on a pig, but maybe it has some merit. The conversation that really struck me was that many trainers are having to abandon the role play because of time constraints. With the trend toward bite-sized learning, role plays and debriefs just take too long.
It’s time for employees to set the agenda! I had the opportunity to meet Dr. Ken Blanchard during the conference. He was speaking about today’s workplaces and how it prompted him to update his classic book, “The One Minute Manager”. One of my takeaways from his session: He said that one thing he discovered years ago that still holds true today is managers should have a face-to-face meeting with every direct report once every two weeks for 15-30 minutes. But let the employee set the agenda. Employees need to control the conversation. It creates engagement.
Curation is a much needed skill! There is so much information on the web. Finding reliable sources of information is a challenge. ATD recently shared an online tool called “It’s a Juggle” that curates the best education and professional development resources on the web. It’s FREE! and features talented business professionals like Miriam Salpeter, Kate Nasser, and Jennifer V. Miller. A nice resource to share with employees. Oh, and did I mention it’s FREE?!
It’s an exciting time to be in the learning and development function. But it’s also a critical time for learning and development to forge partnerships with the other functions of human resources and the business. No function, whether it’s learning or recruiting or whatever, can operate in a silo. It doesn’t benefit the function or the company.