Tag: professional development
Students and clients come in and out of my office with the common agenda: the intent to talk about career transition. These transition goals can take many shapes, such as moving from a generalist role to an analyst role, moving from a specialist to a manager, and often segueing out of one function and into another (think finance to marketing).
Regardless of the type of change they are looking to make, my advice is always the same: Get Your Story Straight.
When you are seeking to drastically alter your job responsibilities and are hoping someone will have enough faith in you to know that you can successfully make that leap (on their dime) you better have a compelling story.
Your pitch should outline three major points:
Why you want to make the change.
I often liken a great positioning statement to a funnel. This is your story, but not your story as told to a new acquaintance at an office party. It is your story extremely focused on how it relates to the position you are seeking. Every sentence you share should have a purpose in that it moves you towards the end goal of X position or Y company. Irrelevant information (undergrad major if completely different than goal, a timeline of every job you have had and all major responsibilities, where you lived for a brief stint) have no place in this statement. Instead share bits of information that help the listener understand more about why you want this role and why that is interesting. For example:
Having grown up in rural Minnesota, the farming industry was a key economic force in my town and I have had a keen interest in this area since I drove my first tractor on my uncle’s farm. After graduating with my MBA I plan to take this interest and passion to the grain industry in a finance role where I can utilize my previous analyst experience in a strategy role to impact the growth of an industry so rooted in small town America.
Proven success in core competencies of this new role
Pepper your positioning statement with ke
y achievements that showcase the skills necessary for success in the desired role. Instead of saying you want a role in consumer insights because you are data driven, prove it by stating “I quickly learned my knack for analysis after spearheading a project where we analyzed seasonal purchasing data to better understand consumer trends when planning our customer incentive programs for the winter holidays.”
Conversation points to show you have researched the company:
The theme of your story should consistently display your knowledge and understanding of your desired company, industry, or function. A former financial analyst who is looking for a business development role at an interactive marketing company should make sure the story shared includes a passion for the impacts social media is making on business, an interest in marketing analytics and an appreciation for a start-up culture.
Networking and interviewing is all about relationship building and successful story sharing. When in a job function transition it is imperative that you have a story that weaves together past experience and education in a way that explains why you are looking for a different role and more importantly why you are qualified for this new opportunity. Finally, don't be afraid to own your story. I have found that those that can successfully combine honesty and relavancy often are the most likely to land the best positions for their skill sets and in the long run are the most satisfied employees.
About the author: Maggie Tomas works at the Carlson School of Management at the University of Minnesota as Associate Director and Career Coach in the Graduate Business Career Services office. Her background includes teaching and career counseling at the college level, namely at the University of St. Thomas, University of California Santa Barbara, and Brooks Institute, where she served as Director of Career and Student Services. She is a contributing writer to several blogs and publications including Opus Magnum, Women of HR, and Job Dig.
We are unwrapping some posts from the Women of HR archives for you this holiday season. Relax, enjoy and let us know if there is a favorite of yours you'd like to see unwrapped and run again.
How do you grow?
You don’t let fear get in the way of your doing what you need to do.
I have just worked through one of the hardest projects I have ever tackled in my life. I learned so much and the stakes were VERY high. Yes, there were times that the tasks were daunting. Yes, there were times when it was scary, but it is what I needed to do, to succeed and to get through to the other side. There were times when I shut the door, whipped out the iPhone and played a few games of Sudoku just to pull my heart rate down. I was determined to do the very best I could and to make all the right decisions.
I think too often people let the fear of their own unknown capabilities stop them from doing what is needed, or it prevents them from doing quality work on a project or a task. They don’t know if they can accomplish something and they let the fear sit on that negative perspective of the challenge. Another way to look at something that you have never done before, is that now you get to learn something new. Now you get to grow.
It had been awhile since I had done something in business that really had a fear element in it for me. I remember my first trip to Europe was on a business trip that I did all by myself. It scared me. All the firsts I had on that trip drove my adrenalin. I have never been afraid of travel to anywhere or into
any situation since then. I gained confidence. I remember the first international and the first $100,000+ deals I negotiated. They both made me nervous but they have lead me to relish, not fear, every customer conversation, the big deals and meeting anyone with any title from any walk of life.
I don’t really like the expression ‘facing your fears’ because that gives your fear a shape and presence that makes it even bigger. I think we need an expression more along the lines of “climb above your fear.” This keeps the awareness that we need to respect the trepidation, while using the endorphins to lift us up higher.
So the lesson I have now firmly cemented into my heart is that it is OK to have a fear of something if you use that fear to heighten your awareness and improve your performance. When you come out the other side of a project that intimidated you, you will have increased confidence and a new perspective.
It’s called experience and it is earned.
About the author: Lois Melbourne, GPHR, is CEO and co-founder of the global workforce planning and analytics solutions company Aquire, mom to one terrific young son and wife of co-founder Ross Melbourne. She maintains a strong personal commitment to career education and small business development and is a frequent speaker, author of industry articles, and an avid blogger and networker. Connect with her on Twitter as @loismelbourne.
Photo credit iStockphoto
You’ve seen the generational labels – Boomers are workaholics, Gen X’ers are hyper-individualistic and Gen Y’ers are attention-craving. Also known as “Millennials”, the Gen Y crowd now inhabits and shapes the workforce. If you’re a Millennial, perhaps you’ve seen the media’s portrayal of your reputation in the workplace.
Generalizations lump everybody into one, big, homogenous group. The narrative on the Gen Y generation is filled with words like spoiled, entitled and demanding. Is it unfair? You bet it is. But here’s the deal – Millennials who point out the bias only reinforce the stereotype of spoiled, self-entitled whiners.
My career advice for Millennials?
Play against typecast.
Show the people in your work life that you are so different than that meme.
Your savvy co-workers and managers will look past the unflattering media portrayals of your generation if you give them a reason to do so.
Do these four things each and every day to avoid being pigeonholed:
Be all-around awesome. Sometimes, Millennials think that being uniquely “who they are” is enough to qualify for a pat on the back or a promotion. Not true. You need to be amazingly awesome at what you do as well. It’s the value you provide to your company that will get you noticed and rewarded.
Work hard. I know you do this already, but keep this in mind – strive to understand others’ definition of “hard work”. I’m not suggesting that you cave to the mind set that “hard work” = “putting in hours”. Just know that if you’re working for a dinosaur with this mindset, you’ll need to help him/her understand that you can get results while hanging out at Starbuck’s and checking your Facebook page.
Be easy to work with. Learn to how to use facetime on ipad
e=”text-decoration: underline;”>tactfully tell your older, technologically challenged co-worker how to do things more efficiently. Do less eye-rolling at the stupid company crap, more strategizing on how to fix it. Keep the drama to yourself – professional workplace communications should not look like a reality-TV show confession-cam.
Leverage your age. One of the best things you have going for you is the vigor of youth, so use that energetic spark with those skeptical, road-worn co-workers. Keep in mind that even if your idea is super-fresh, chances are, someone else has thought of its derivative at some point. A good way to test the waters before pitching your idea is asking “What’s been tried before?” and following up with, “What’s your assessment of why it didn’t work?”
Is this old-school advice? You bet. Work holism may be out-of-date, but working hard never goes out of style. Statistics show that many people of the Millennial generation are forgoing working for large companies because they don’t want to deal with the bureaucracy. Fair enough. But know this – organizations of all sizes demand people who deliver and know how to work with people.
Surprise your boss and co-workers by showing some old-fashioned attributes and you’ll be able to build a career that fits into your overall life’s objectives. And isn’t that one of the best things that the Millennials have taught us all, no matter what our generation?
photo credit: Jennifer V. Miller
About the author: For 20+ years, Jennifer V. Miller has been helping professionals “master the people equation” to maximize their personal influence. A former HR generalist and training manager, she now advises executives on how to create positive, productive workplace environments. She is the founder and Managing Partner of SkillSource and blogs at The People Equation. You can connect with Jennifer on Twitter as @JenniferVMiller.
I started working in Human Resources a bit by accident.
As a member of the IT department, I was teaching software training for employees at our firm. Over time, I took on more of the “soft skills” training classes, and my role in new employee orientation grew. I became close to the HR Director as I shared my impressions of the new hires and made predictions about who would be a superstar, and who wouldn't make it past the first week. When a new HR Manager position opened up, the HR Director recommended I apply for it. I got the job, moved into HR and never looked back.
One of my first tasks was to hire an entry-level HR Assistant for our department. I had a senior recruiter with over 20 years’ experience helping me, and she taught me how to write the job description, told me about the skills and abilities we were looking for, and generally guided me through the entire process. I posted the position and eagerly awaited responses.
Once I had a good stack of resumes and cover letters, I took them to the senior recruiter and asked for her assistance in selecting candidates to interview. She went through the stack in about 2 minutes, ruthlessly culling anyone from the pile who had a typo or misspelling in their resume or cover letter. I didn't understand why she removed some of the people who looked like great candidates to me. I asked her what criteria she was using to separate the Yeses from the Nos.
“Oh,” she said. “I get rid of anyone who says they like people or they’re a people person. Because after working in HR for twenty years, I can tell you, this job will make you hate people. And I don’t want to do that to anyone.”
I was shocked. And confused. After all, I’m one of those who had said I wanted to be in HR because “I’m a people person.” Obviously she hadn't been involved in recruiting for my position!
t of all, I was disappointed. She was someone I admired and thought would be an excellent mentor for me. But her jaded attitude put a bad taste in my mouth and I vowed not to end up like her.
Fast forward 15 years.
At times, layoffs, a long recession, and new technological challenges have taken their toll on me. Especially in my previous role as a hiring manager, and my current role as a career coach, I struggle when the number of bright, talented people outweigh the available positions. I become jaded when management says “Do we have to do that? After all, they’re lucky to have a job.” And when I hear about people struggling economically with unemployment and see the impact it has on everyone in the family, part of me wishes I was back in a classroom, teaching someone how to format a document and create a spreadsheet.
But I’m not. Because I am a people person. And despite my mentor’s advice, I have remained one because I think HR is the perfect place for people who like people.
People are a never-ending, ongoing puzzle. Figuring out why they do what they do will always fascinate me. And if people behaved rationally, calmly, and logically all of the time, well, I am guessing HR wouldn't be needed very much, and I’d be out of a job.
Why did you get into the HR profession? Why do you stay?
Photo credit: iStockphoto
About the author: For 15+ years, Andrea Ballard, SPHR, has brought a unique, common sense perspective to the business of HR. A former HR Director and Training Manager, she advises companies on how to design/implement flexible work life programs to attract/retain top talent. A certified coach, she helps women create a balance between motherhood & career. She is the owner of Expecting Change, LLC, blogs at Working Mother and is on Twitter as @andreaballard.
This first week of the new year we are featuring some of our tops posts on Women of HR. Enjoy!
So often, when people vent their frustration about the boss, or the C-suite, I hear about how hard they work, how much they give, and how much they do not feel they are appreciated by those they work for. The gender factor accentuates it further because research confirms the male and female brains process what was said in emotionally different ways.
If you want to deal with it, read on.
The reality is I am learning that communication is a key factor in getting to the next level – especially if you want leadership to understand how you and your team are performing. And, you have a nano-second to spit it out for your audience in a way that they understand it. I find, all too often, that people are communicating their information from their own point of view to the audience and that is a career limiting and fatal error.
If you want to move up into management, or move into a senior leadership role, here is some advice on evaluating your style to ensure it is working for, and not against, you:
- Become self aware of your communication style and work on improving it (no one is perfect on this topic)
- Seek out people you trust before your next presentation and preview it to assure your are speaking to the audience’s need versus your own (Coaches are everywhere and happy to help – have you asked?)
- Read a book or two on the topic from some of the great thought leaders of our time. Two that I recommend are The Next Level: What Insiders Know about Executive Success and The Power of Framing: Creating the Language of Leadership.
The Next Level is a great handbook to have around. It’s a reference book with real-life stories that any manager or rising executive could relate to and I find myself referring back to it often. The main point of the book is to remind high achievers that what got you here is not what will get you to the next level. It identifies what behaviors and capabilities you need to shed, and what skills you need to pick up to perform well at the next level.
The Power of Framing is about communication, communication styles and how to hone in and frame up your message to speak to the audience’s need. It does an excellent job of bringing you through the dynamic of learning why that aspect of communication at an executive level (or really any level) is so important.
These are a few suggestions that have worked for me.
How about you? What are you doing to improve your communication style to get ready for the next level?
This holiday week we are featuring some of our top posts at Women of HR. Enjoy!
Is there really a glass ceiling?
I don’t buy it.
But I could be wrong.
I know there are more men in leadership positions than women. I know there are industries where men have the advantage. And I’ve worked with (and for) chauvinists. But I just don’t believe there is a conspiracy to keep women from advancing.
A glass ceiling implies women are being kept down rather than failing to rise. I think, barring some regrettable instances of genuine discrimination that undoubtedly occur, it’s much more subtle than that.
- Women communicate differently. We schmooze, we dissect, and we show our emotions. How many men do you know who do that? OK, now how many men do you know who do that who also run a company?
- Women try to avoid problems. Unfortunately for women who think anticipating problems is a valued business skill, most men hate being nagged about what might happen and prefer to deal with problems as they arise.
- Women don’t say what they want. We expect men to just know. Men never just know, you have to tell them, and for best results look them in the eye and say it like a man.
- Women think it’s about the work. It’s not. Some work needs to get done but business is really about power and relationships. It’s not about that fabulous report you stayed up all night writing so don’t expect to get promoted over it.
- Women take things personally. I can’t prove women got short changed on the shrug-it-off-and-move-on chromosome but I will say that it’s hard to move forward when you’re always looking back.
- Women scare men. Thanks to sexual harassment laws, your boss probably doesn’t even want to have lunch with you. It isn’t personal, just wimpy.
- Women have children. This isn’t a criticism, I have three. Well, almost. But unless you pass on maternity leave and have someone else raise your kids, they take you away – both mentally and physically – from the corporate action.
Here’s the twist: in many ways, feminine work styles are actually better for the business and if it were up to me working moms would rule the world. But that’s not the point. The point is that when it comes to career advancement in a male-dominated business climate, there are implicit rules of engagement:
If you’re good at what you do, are confident and don’t dress like a floozy, make sure to be ‘seen’, put your personal life on hold, ruthlessly take jobs that look good on your resume even if you hate them, suck up to your boss, politely but firmly refuse to bring him coffee, be available for ridiculous and unnecessary meetings at 3AM and make it perfectly clear you expect to be rewarded or you’ll leave - you too can succeed in a man’s world even if you don’t play a team sport.
Don’t agree? That’s OK. But take a good, hard look at the successful men and women you know.
For the most part you’ll find they pick their battles, have a wide social network, know exactly what they want, can articulate it without getting misty eyed and either have no children or a professional nanny. Most importantly, they don’t judge the rules. They follow them or they don’t and they leave and try something new. They take careers setbacks seriously but never personally.
And they pass through that glass ceiling like it’s not even there.
As the year begins to wind down, we are in the midst of making lists, checking them twice and planning for the holiday season. While our immediate sights are set on the weeks ahead, we are also looking into 2012 <and beyond> at life, travels and career.
If someone asked you what the best career advice you ever received was, what would you say? Well, I asked the Women of HR to weigh in and this is what they said.
Trish McFarlane • It may be simple, but early in my career someone told me to always just be myself. Sometimes that means that I don’t filter myself as much as I should, but as long as I’m being honest and not intentionally hurtful to anyone, I try to follow that advice. People seem to gravitate to others who are comfortable in their own skin. I would never recommend that someone conform to a job, supervisor or workplace if it meant going against who they really are.
Vicki Shillington • I have a couple. One, that you should find a place to work where they want you there as much as you want to be there, and two, you are not what you do. Don’t let yourself identify so much with your job that it defines you – that way, if you have a bad day at work, or lose your job, things are still ok. I guess it’s another way of saying ensure work-life balance. You can have it all, just not all at the same time.
Bonita Martin, SPHR • Find a way to say Yes! This was specific to a career in HR. HR and legal tend to be the groups that say “No you can’t do that”. HR professionals need to better problem solvers by understanding the needs of the business and finding a way to help solve the problem. If the solution proposed is not going to work, suggest something else that might work. It can be difficult, but worth the time and effort!
Shandrika Combs (not pictured) • Sometimes people will hate you and sometimes those same people will love you. I pass this piece of advice to every HR person I know. Because it’s our job to try and get organizations straight, that means there will be times the employees aren’t happy and there are times when management/leadership will be unhappy. However, there are just as many times when your answer will make those people happy.
Lois Melbourne, GPHR • My late mother-in-law told us “You have to live like others won’t until you can live like others can’t.” This always struck me as meaning you have to put in hard work to get the reward. Not everyone will put in the hard work. Not everyone will take the big risks. But those that do, are likely to be rewarded.
Margaret Ward, PHR • Very early in my HR career, I wanted to apply for a position that would have been a huge promotion for me but I didn’t have all of the credentials required by the position. My HR Director (at the time) and mentor told me “Never tell yourself no. Let them tell you no. Where you may not have all of the qualifications for a position, you don’t know who you’re going up against. You may have more than anyone else that applies. When a position is posted, the ideal qualifications are listed but that doesn’t mean that they will find somebody who has all of those qualifications”. This has always stuck with me. And by the way, I got that job!
Teresa Rennie • I have two I would like to share. The first was that I tend to be very direct, let people talk and you will get more information by listening. The second was from my son who exclaimed after taking on a paper route that “work is very hard” to which I replied that if you want to progress in life then you really have to “very hard” to achieve your dreams.
Shellie Sturmer, SPHR • A senior executive once told me that I needed to stop trying to be the manager that people above me wanted me to be and to be the leader that I am. While I think the two intertwine in today’s business climate, that encouragement to not lose sight of the big picture and to inspire and instill trust hasn’t left me.
And in 140 characters or less . . .
@DebbieJBrown • be yourself
@theHRmaven (Deirdre Honner) • best career advice? 1) while it might happen periodically, don’t count on shortcuts; 2) sometimes it’s just not about you
There is nothing better than advice from those who have who have walked in your shoes and are willing share what they’ve learned. I have had the benefit of mentors and coaches over the years but the best piece of career advice I received was when I first starting out, frustrated that another colleague <obviously much less qualified than I> received a plum assignment I had my eye on. The advice went like this:
You are responsible for your own career. Stop thinking that if you work hard and do a good job people will notice. They are too busy working on their own careers. Uncomfortable as it may seem, tell people what you’ve accomplished, why it’s important to them and to you – and never forget those who helped you along the way. Give credit where credit is due but don’t minimize your own contributions.
Take a few minutes to share what you’ve learned either here or with us in the Women of HR LinkedIn group. It’s a manager’s choice discussion and there are more comments there. “Like” the comments you like, add your experience, complete a thought, blaze a new trail . . . go crazy.
Hey, we’ve got your back.
I am writing this as I whiz through Germany on a high speed train watching the lovely scenery while I type. It’s a skill I learned as a kids doing data entry and it comes in handy when I want to type while enjoying the countryside view.
Why do I tell you this, other than bragging that I have fun job? It’s because I have come a long way, baby, from the hick Midwest kid I grew up as. Some will still tell you I am hick and I am OK with that.
Why do I tell you this, other than to knock off any images of my being a jet setter? It’s because I got here by constantly stretching outside my comfort zone.
Sitting in your comfort zone is like staying in your pajamas all day, you won’t get asked to dance and passed a glass of Champagne unless your spouse has a great sense of humor and romance.
If you are not getting butterflies on a regular basis about something you are challenged to do, then you are not likely growing. If you are not having to Google how to get something done, from how to dial internationally to how to locate the highest zip line launching point in the state, then your Internet access may need to be taken away because you are just not trying hard enough. If you are not forced to seek experts, mentors, and an occasional masseuse then your mountain may not be steep enough to be worth climbing.
I learned how to sell software and hire people internationally. I started and sold a business. I hired and fired people far smarter than me. The first (and sometimes second and third) time I had done these things they were not totally comfortable. None of them were easy and even repeatedly executing them didn’t make them comfortable.
And that is what gives me a buzz.
When I come up with an idea the negotiating attorney never even thought of, I fist pump during the conference call. When I figured out the European train system without speaking the languages, I smiled really big and I can still remember those early trips and sense of accomplishments.
What are you scared of? Maybe you should go right now and tackle that activity. Don’t live your life in your ‘pajamas’. That’s too comfortable and even Hugh dons a suit regularly.
International note: If you don’t have your passport (then I would bet $500.00 you are an American) and you MUST go right now to Travel.State.Gov, fill out the form and get it done. No worries – you have bigger concerns then finishing this blog if you don’t have your passport yet. Ditch me and get on with the important stuff. Get the passport and start planning that international trip. You have a comfort zone you really need to step out of!
A quick Google search nets dozens of lists with titles like “Nine Essential HR Skills.”
I’ve seen these lists debated from time to time and I don’t disagree that any of the of the frequently listed qualities are important. How can you argue with ethics, business knowledge, communication, organization and integrity? But most of the lists I see don’t include a number of traits that, after 15 years in HR, seem to me to be integral to an HR professional’s long-term staying power (not to mention mental and emotional health):
Optimism – Resilience – Persistence – Courage – Creativity
Some people work at such fabulous organizations where these qualities are less crucial. But the truth is that in many HR positions, in addition to witnessing fabulous successes within your organization, you encounter the underbelly or the dark side. You see candidates lying about their criminal past, employees faking injuries, people trying to get by doing the least amount possible, supervisors alienating their employees or turning a blind eye to employment laws, managers failing to manage and leaders failing to lead. And you are faced with an almost endless stream of ethical dilemmas and conundrums.
I work at a good company with an amazing CEO, yet I have to say that working in HR in my industry is not for the faint of heart. We’re a nonprofit faced with plenty of challenges. We employ mostly hourly workers, almost half of whom are first or second generation immigrants. They work around the clock at remote sites with a supervisor rarely present. Their work is important but not paid well by society. HR is not easy in this setting.
Within your own industry, you undoubtedly encounter different challenges and quirks. Regardless of your setting, if you work in HR, it helps to have:
Optimism. Remember what is good and right within your organization when things go wrong; 10% of people are probably causing 90% of your problems. Focusing too much on the 10% is a glass-half-full approach that may lead to you giving up, leaving your position or even abandoning HR.
Resilience. Have sufficient strength and flexibility to bounce back after disappointments and set-backs.
Persistence. Do not give up easily; when one thing doesn’t work, try 6 or 8 or 90 other things and don’t stop trying until you find something that does work.
Courage. It’s one thing to be ethical yet it’s another to speak up when you know something’s not right or when a response that is convenient in the short-run doesn’t serve the long-term interests of your business.
Creativity. Figure out how you’re going to address or communicate your concern or position without alienating the very people whose cooperation you need to succeed. Some may call this influence, and that’s certainly involved, but I’m thinking more of the mental processes like brainstorming, ingenuity, IQ and EQ.
There are a lot of qualities you must have or attain if you want to succeed in HR. But for long term staying power, you may need a few more. You need to have the drive to persist and the ability to maintain hope and creativity despite adversity and downright disillusionment.
I know you won’t all agree with my list 1o0%, so I’m interested to hear your rundown of the top essential HR skills.
photo by artfulblogger
Last week, I taught a half dozen workshops for a client on how to succeed at work. In doing research, I came across a survey entitled “Unwritten Rules: What You Don’t Know Can Hurt Your Career.”
According to the authors, Laura Sabattini and Sarah Dinolfo:
“Building professional relationships, whether through networks and affinity groups or with mentors, supervisors, and other individuals who can share knowledge emerged as particularly important. Effective communication and defining career goals were also deemed important to success. Respondents sometimes learned about important career rules by trial and error or simple observations, but many were proactive in asking colleagues and supervisors for information to understand how things work in their organization. Respondents also said that they wished they had known that ‘just’ working hard is not enough to succeed or that they had been more aware of organizational politics and about the advantages of self-promotion.”
I asked the audience to brainstorm who in their organizations they think are highly successful, to say why they are successful, and to give examples of what these stars do and the skills they have. Not surprisingly, the skills they came up with were in line with what the survey said.
According to participants, successful people network with others, plan to exceed expectations, do what they say they will do and take initiative. In addition, my client, a nonprofit organization, said that successful people in their organization are passionate about what they do.
In collaboration with the leaders of the organization, I designed a checklist of skills that are keys to success and grouped the skills under 4 categories; 2 categories were technical skills unique to this organization and the other 2 categories, professional development and professionalism, were more generic.
When the participants complete a self assessment on the checklist, the same 3 skills came up in every group as areas to work on. The 3 skills fell under the category, professional development: seek feedback from a variety of sources, accept constructive criticism in a constructive manner and implement and evaluate the impact of new professional ideas at work. We then spent some time brainstorming how they could develop or strengthen these skills.
The professional development skills I taught are not unique to my client. According to Michael M. Lombardo and Robert W. Eichinger, authors of For Your Improvement, career stallers and stoppers include Blocked Personal Learner (doesn’t seek input and uses few learning tactics) and Defensiveness (is not open to criticism).
I am curious. What are the top professional development skills you need to work on? What is stopping you from taking these on or what is driving you to do so? And, what cool things are you doing to develop these skills in yourself?
Photo credit iStockphoto.com