Developing Talent – One Conversation at a Time

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Developing Talent – One Conversation at a Time

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Regardless of the economic climate, the unemployment rate, or the dozens of other workplace challenges, let’s face it – your best and brightest, your most talented employees, always have options!

And if they don’t see a future with you, they will walk away or, perhaps even worse, they will stay but disengage.

The good news, however, is that development can keep talent engaged, committed, and growing. And when your people grow, your business grows!

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How to Make the Time to Develop Your People

But how do managers do it? With everything else a manager has to do every day, how can he or she possibly afford the time to develop people? The simple answer is: if you want the business to grow, if you want your team to succeed, and if you want to meet and exceed your goals, you can’t afford to not develop your people.

If you can’t afford to not develop your employees, how do you do it in a way that makes it a part of what you do every day and not just another thing to add to that enormous list of things already eating up your days?

First, development is not about a form or deadlines or one discussion that happens once a year. It is not just an administrative process. Development is ongoing and individual to each person. It ranges from helping someone prepare for and move to a new or expanded role to simply coaching an employee in subtle but significant ways that improve their performance, their interest, their energy, and, yes, their engagement.

Increasingly, managers are discovering that shorter, more frequent conversations can cover the same ground as those longer, sometimes only once-a-year interactions. These brief chats can fit perfectly into the flow of the workday and, since they happen in real-time, can include relevant, timely coaching moments that don’t happen six or twelve months after the fact. Additionally, managers who make these exchanges a regular part of the way they manage find that they build greater trust and stronger working relationships with employees. Employees recognize and appreciate the genuine interest the manager is showing by asking great development questions and helping them grow in the process. Development depends on having genuine, meaningful conversations with employees.

Consider a few “What-ifs”

  1. What if you could reframe your thinking about development?
  2. What if you could build the trust that supports open dialogue?
  3. What if you could easily facilitate three types of conversations that were all rich with insightful questions and that guide others toward greater awareness and action?
  4. What if the questions were shorter, more frequent, and occurred in the natural flow of your workday?
  5. What if you were in the habit of leveraging day-to-day life at work to drive development?


It’s much more basic than you might think. And, the basics can be learned pretty quickly.

Headshot of Julie Winkle Giulioni
Julie Winkle Giulioni

Julie Winkle Giulioni has championed workplace growth and development. She operates on the belief that everyone deserves the opportunity to reach their potential, and she works with organizations and leaders who want to make that happen. Julie is the co-author of the international bestseller, Help Them Grow or Watch Them Go: Career Conversations Organizations Need and Employees Want, translated into seven languages, and Promotions Are So Yesterday: Redefine Career Development. Help Employees Thrive. In addition to writing and speaking on workplace and development issues, Julie leads DesignArounds, a firm that creates and offers training to organizations worldwide.

Connect with Julie on LinkedIn and at

Headshot of Dr. Beverly Kaye
Dr. Beverly Kaye

Dr. Beverly Kaye, Founder of Career Systems International, is recognized internationally as one of the most invested, knowledgeable, and practical professionals in the areas of career development, employee engagement and retention, and mentoring. She was named a “Legend” by ASTD, a designation given to “pioneers and prophets in the field of workplace learning and performance.” She has also been named by Leadership Excellence as one of North America’s 100 top thought leaders.

Beverly has spent years researching corporate strategies for developing, retaining, and engaging knowledge workers. Her book, Love ‘Em or Lose ‘Em: Getting Good People to Stay, co-authored with Sharon Jordan-Evans, has sold over 750,000 copies in 25 languages and has reached Wall Street Journal and Amazon bestseller status. Their companion book, Love It, Don’t Leave It: 26 Ways to Get What You Want at Work, suggests that employee engagement is also the responsibility of the individual contributor. Help Them Grow or Watch Them Go: Career Conversations Employees Want, co-authored with Julie Winkle Giulioni, was published in 2012, and in 2015 she co-authored Hello Stay Interviews, Goodbye Talent Loss: A Manager’s Playbook. Her newest book is titled Up Is Not The Only Way: Rethinking Career Mobility. These books are the foundation for Career Systems International’s successful practice in career development, employee engagement, and retention.

Connect with Beverly on LinkedIn.

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