by Valerie Delaney, Principal, Learning + Development
I learned something this summer by accident – scrolling through my social media. Putting milk in your egg mixture makes eggs chewy and tough. What! This threw me as someone who thinks she can do amazing stuff with an egg or two, but it is true. Just cook ‘em up with butter (a fair bit to be honest) and there you have it – THE best scrambled eggs ever. You’re welcome.
Adult learning should not be accidental, however! You need to be intentional with those scarce professional development dollars and maybe more scarce “extra” hours.
Here are three things I think are important for the engagement professional to think about when making professional development choices:
- Pain – Ouch! What’s been most challenging for you and your team when it comes to past engagements? What keeps getting in the way of building relationships and getting great results? From the literally thousands of pre-course surveys I’ve read over the years, I can take a pretty good guess: weak internal buy-in; writing effective engagement objectives; asking the right survey questions so you get the feedback you need; developing communications messages; and facing hostility. Think in terms of specific skills you need to strengthen; then, tackle skill building one training step at a time. That’s why Delaney has developed skill-targeted, rapid courses in our new Confidence and Refinement Series.
- Practicality – What do you need to learn about right now? What training can you apply as soon as you return to work? Most of us do not have time for the “nice to know” in our professional capacities. It’s the “got to know” we need to enhance our ability to carry out powerful engagement work in the here and now. Look for courses that provide practical frameworks, tools, templates, and techniques. We always say at Delaney that while there is no “cookie cutter” approach to engagement, there are some proven best practices that not only support better engagement but save time and money and reduce risk as well.
- The Pitch – I love talking with people about our training and do my best to describe things accurately and fairly. People will often tell me their next step is to make the training pitch to their managers. So, it’s important to look at options; talk to training providers; confer with colleagues; and get the best price possible. Look for discounts and ask providers for reduced tuition consideration if you can make the case – being a recent grad or working for a not-for-profit, for example. Plus, there is the time factor. Intense, short-duration training sessions are the way of the future for many professionals. Demonstrating high value for price and less time away from work makes for a hard-to-say-no-to pitch!
Wishing you productive and practical learning this fall and winter! And, fluffy eggs too!
Stay well, Valerie