Blog (filtered)

Being a leader takes practice. We’re excited to share our latest experiments and lessons learned.

Theran Fisher
Friday, August 26, 2016

The Center for Leadership Excellence focuses on development. It’s baked into everything we do: leadership development, skill development, and organizational development. Development is the most often used word in our office. Yet like everyone else, we get so wrapped up in the deadlines and details of our work that we let our own development slide to the bottom of the ever-growing To Do list.

But we are trying to be more intentional about our own development. We recently spent two days training with our friends and colleagues from the Health System’s Learning and Organizational Development team. We learned new skills, refined existing ones, and had fun collaborating.  We also gained valuable insight into what it’s like to be on the receiving end of professional development. Insights that we need to keep in mind as we continue our work of helping others develop, such as . . . .

  • Development can be scary. Practicing new skills and changing existing behaviors can be awkward and uncomfortable; especially when you are doing it in front of others.  Since our training focused on facilitation skills, we were constantly getting up in front of one another (and the camera!) to speak. Even for those of us who facilitate all the time, it can be nerve-wracking.
  • Development takes time. If you want to improve and learn new skills, you can’t simply read a book or receive feedback. You have to put in the time to learn, practice, and ingrain new behaviors. Stepping away from our offices for two full days was tough, but worth it.
  • Development requires focus. During our two days, my mind often wandered back to my inbox and the work that was inevitably piling up. In the afternoons I’d start to get tired and regress to old and familiar behaviors. I had to focus intently to remain present and learn.
  • Development is fun. Being around other folks committed to their own learning and gaining new tips and tricks is just fun.

We’re taking what we’ve learned and incorporating it into our work. We hope it makes a difference. We also hope you’ll take the time to focus on your own development and take part in one of our programs. We’d love to hear how we’re doing.