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, 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 and committed and growing. And when they grow…your business grows!

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, if you want to meet and exceed your goals, you can’t afford not to develop your people.

If you can’t afford not to 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 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 those genuine, meaningful conversations with employees.

Consider a few “What if’s”…

#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 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.

Bestselling author and founder of Career Systems International, Dr. Beverly Kaye is a recognized authority on career development, employee retention, and employee engagement. She has worked with organizations across the globe to establish cutting-edge, award-winning talent development solutions. Beverly was recently honored with the Distinguished Contribution to Workplace Learning and Performance Award by the Association for Talent Development (ATD) for her groundbreaking work and dedication over the past three decades. She is the coauthor of Love ‘Em or Lose ‘Em: Getting Good People to Stay and Help Them Grow or Watch Them Go.

Written by: By Dr. Beverly Kaye and Julie Winkle-Giulioni

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