Thursday, June 07, 2012

The deep end of the pool: 6 training options to push yourself as a communicator

The higher up you go in the organization, or the more specialized you get,  the tougher it is to find professional development with depth, flexibility and impact. You're looking for the deep end of the pool to dive into, and finding yourself in the kiddie pool instead, most of the time. And if you're like me, you're getting tired of your usual conferences and wanting to meet new people who'll challenge you in different ways, on top of wanting to learn something particular to your level of experience.

Or maybe you're not like me, and haven't checked out new training options in a while. Why not explore in depth the things that challenge you most, from mastering social media or getting more organized in a digital world? Try these options--some general, some specific--that I've explored and would recommend to you:
  1. Learn to communicate as a manager:
  2. Management, you'll find, has a lot to do with settling disputes and getting people to give and take. It's hard to do better than these two negotiation options: The Program on Negotiation at Harvard Law School, with its courses on dealing with difficult people or difficult conversations, or the Washington, DC-based Center for Dispute Settlement's Mediation for the Professional.
  3. Get training for the newbie manager: If you are new to your leadership role, Bud to Boss is a focused workshop designed just for managers who have recently left the ranks of their peers. The workshop moves around the U.S., and there's one coming up in Alexandria, Virginia, in late July. Use code BMG10 to get 20 percent off your registration.
  4. Sit in on innovation: Evernote's Trunk Conference brings together not just developers and partners--the "trunk" is the collection of apps that work with Evernote--but also users. (It's in San Francisco in August.) What a great chance to have real-time input into what's coming next, or just find out about it before the crowd. It's worth checking whether your favorite app or program has a similar gathering.
  5. Get pushed: Hearing what others are doing can sharpen your approaches, and your focus. Problogger suggests 5 fantastic reasons you should attend a blogging conference, and I agree--which is why you'll find me at BlogHer 2012 in August in New York City. Look for a blogging conference that targets your topic or audience, or the business of your blog--or all three.
  6. Get speaker or presentation training: I'm continually running into top-level professionals who have never learned how to give a great speech or deliver a dynamic presentation--yet they spend all their time speaking in meetings, public appearances, conference calls and media interviews. The higher you go in the organization, the more prized is this skill. Promotions often go to those who present most effectively, since the higher you go, the more likely it is that you'll be asked to present to the board of directors, senior management or investors.
  7. Learn how to work with your experts:  My own focused training for communicators, 'Be an Expert on Working with Experts,' takes place next week, and seats are still available, so register now--I'll close registration at midnight on Sunday, June 10, or when all seats are filled. I'm planning to bring that training back again in August--so if you want to get on the waiting list for it, go here to sign up. I'm also happy to bring any workshop direct to your workplace or city for your group or team. Just email me at info[at]dontgetcaught[dot]biz for details.
You can see more about the training options I offer to communicators and my communications training options for experts and scientists, and if you want to design a customized communications retreat for your staff or your board members, look here. What kind of training are you looking for to advance your skills?

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