Two Memorable Sessions from the 2015 SGMP NEC

By Laurie Brown

I am passionate about learning and education and I look forward to all opportunities within my grasp where I can take advantage of activities and events that promote learning. Recently, such an occasion came my way, in the form of the SGMP NEC in Minneapolis this past April.

I’ve enjoyed attending the education sessions and related activities at past SGMP national conferences because there are an abundance of chances to meet new people and reconnect with old friends and, most importantly, to learn things that benefit me personally and professionally. I am always in a quandary when trying to select which education session to attend since there are more topics of interest than there is time to attend them all.

This year I was particularly impressed with two of the sessions I attended, “Just Say It! Making any Conversation Easy” and “Participant Involvement = Success.”  The Just Say It session focused on feedback. We learned the difference between effective and ineffective feedback; effective feedback being termed ‘real feedback’ versus ‘Capt’n Crunch Feedback’, which is not helpful feedback. 

Shari, the presenter provided three tips to help us know if our feedback has been ‘real’ and they are:

  1. You give the person one to three specific examples of what s/he did or did not do.
  2. The person knows specifically what to start, stop, or continue doing.
  3. Your examples are so specific that the person can picture themselves doing what you described.

I gained tips from this session that I can take back and use on the job; any learning I can take back and use at work is very valuable to me.  I also really enjoyed the ‘Participant Involvement’ session, which had some good take-aways for my future use.

This session was of particular interest to me since it touched on learning and how we learn; I enjoyed the discussions we had around the Learning Process steps:

  • Preparation
  • Presentation
  • Practice (50--‐70%+)
  • Performance

The obvious point here, and one that is worthwhile remembering, is Practice—practice is key in all we do and a critical element in self-improvement.

I appreciate the availability of both the chapter and national scholarships. They are excellent vehicles to help SGMP members stay connected and engaged and to continuously learn and practice new skills.