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  • Wednesday, October 30, 2019 3:06 PM | Jan Szmanda (Administrator)

    The Madison Area Chapter of ATD is seeking presenters, speakers, and facilitators for our 2020 programming year! Whether your learning superpowers include instructional design, training, facilitation, coaching, leadership, or the countless others related to L&D, you have a message that our members want to hear! 


    Why might you want to submit a speaker proposal for a 2020 ATD-MAC event? 


    First, you’ll build your network! As a presenter, you will immediately strengthen your connection to the Madison-area L&D community. In just one afternoon, you will add 20-40 new friends to your professional network. 


    Second, you will be seen as a thought leader in your area of expertise. Speaking at an ATD-MAC event is a rapid resume builder that strengthens your professional reputation and improves the likelihood you’ll be selected for L&D speaking engagements like the ATD ICE conference. 


    Finally, you will have the opportunity to pause and reflect on your experience. Learning requires opportunities to reflect on and contextualize your experience and your expertise. Simply by preparing a presentation, you’ll learn new things about your subject matter - and yourself!  


    We have two (2) options for presentation format:

    Option 1 – In Person/Virtual Classroom

    • A two-hour instructor-led presentation or workshop on a topic of choice

    • Examples of past events include personal branding, project management techniques, L&D tools, and more!


    Option 2 – Coffee Connection 

    • A 90-minute round-table on a topic of choice, typically held at a coffee shop or bar

    • Examples of past events include discussion on industry trends and ATD certifications


    Submit your ideas on this form to vp.prodev2@atdmac.org

    by Thanksgiving 2019! The selection committee will follow up with the next steps by mid-December.


    -Ryan Panzer, Co-VP of Professional Development


  • Tuesday, October 08, 2019 12:54 PM | Jan Szmanda (Administrator)

    Anyone that has been an ATD-MAC member for even a short amount of time has likely met Ryan Panzer. And as you have quickly learned his passion for training, coaching, the CPLP and Badger football is contagious. I recently got a chance to grab lunch with Ryan and we talked about what the CPLP means to him and answer some questions I had as someone in the midst of prepping for the CPLP skill exam myself.

    Mike Stefonik: Why did you decide to obtain the CPLP?

    Ryan Panzer: I took the CPLP because after designing training and leading workshops my whole career I wanted to explore some different areas of talent development. Specifically, I wanted to learn more about coaching, project management and as someone who works for a business with offices across the world, I wanted to understand what it means to have a global mindset.

    Now that you have your CPLP certification, what does it mean to you?

    It helps give me a little confidence that I know what I’m talking about and not just trying to fake it until I make it. It also helps me to see L&D as a much larger system. The training we do is connected to change management which is connected to project management and all of these things are interrelated. To be a really good TD professional and trainer you need to know these points of connection and overlap.

    When you were studying for the CPLP, what kind of things did you find valuable?

    Strong coffee… Being disciplined about studying. Friday afternoons are slow at my office. I set aside 1 hour on Friday’s to go through the learning system online. Every Friday afternoon I would do 60 minutes of studying and take the quiz questions. As I was going through the system, I was making flashcards with the app Quizlet. I would definitely recommend flashcards as a study tool.

    For anyone that is currently studying for the CPLP, what advice would you give them?

    Get the study system. If you're going to take the exam you need the study system. That to me is a must. I didn’t take the class. I got a print out of the study system and it was a big thick stack of papers. Don’t try to learn it all at once. Do a little bit at a time.

    For someone that is considering the CPLP, what advice would you give them?

    I would ask them to what extent would it be valuable to have a deeper understanding of the integration between Training and development and all the other areas of the business. Ultimately as trainers we are consultants for business growth and that is what this exam really shows you. If you feel like you are stuck it’s a great tool to get unstuck. If you feel like you’re not confident with what you are creating it’s a great tool to build your confidence.

    While you were studying for the CPLP, what did you learn?

    The first thing I learned is that learning doesn’t happen because you tell somebody something and it doesn’t happen because you attended a workshop. Learning takes place within a much broader system. To really understand how to effect learning you need to understand that system. Its really helpful to know how to write a learning objective or build a slide deck but what the CPLP will show you is a better landscape you are navigating and how to best achieve your goals along that landscape.

    What from the studying for the CPLP or taking the exam have you been able to take away and apply to your everyday job as an Instructional Designer?

    One of the big things the exam stresses is the importance of having a project team with clear roles and responsibilities. I think before the exam I was probably doing too much instructional design just by myself, head down get it done. Since I passed the test, I have had more subject matter experts involvement. I have been more intentional about seeking out feedback on the courses we are building. I’ve been more focused on managers taking ownership of their own learning as well as their team's learning.

    When you were studying, which of the 10 competencies did you enjoy the most and which one was the most challenging.

    I enjoyed Project Management the most because that is what I was the newest to. Examining the frameworks of project management and looking at the different roles on a project team. Then thinking, how do we incorporate those into a training context. That actually surprised me because I didn’t think I would enjoy that but I found it incredibly interesting.

    I think project management was also the most difficult because I realized there are mistakes I’m making with my projects. There are things that I am doing that could have better involvement of stakeholders. I could be more clear about the skill gap that training is supposed to close. So, it was difficult in the sense that I am doing instructional design pretty well but there is so much more I could do and so much more potential out there. So many more creative tactics and processes I could adopt to really get into a better spot.

    What else do you have to say about the CPLP?

    I jokingly said ‘find out how a multiple-choice test can become the most rewarding professional development experience of your career’ and it really wasn’t that much of a joke. It was incredibly expansive of my perspectives it strengthened my networking community. I just had a very strong sense of accomplishment and achievement having passed it. I did an epic fist pump when I got the email that I passed the exam.

    ***


  • Monday, August 26, 2019 10:53 PM | Jan Szmanda (Administrator)

    A group of about 20 L&D professionals had the opportunity to participate in Building Your Speaking Credentials on August 15th. Amy Lins, Sarah Gibson, and Alicia Steindorf, who are all former ATD-MAC board members, lead us through a session that was engaging and had a lot of great takeaways.

    Sarah Gibson started the session with some discussion as to why anyone would want to speak at a conference. The reasons range from personal(Amy Lins wanted to begin speaking to have an opportunity to travel) to professional – speaking is a great way to build your resume or gain CPLP continuing credits – to altruistic – giving your story and knowledge to better others.

    Regardless of why you want to speak, it takes something to get there. That something is a story. Coming up with a compelling story is finding the middle ground between:

    Passion: What you can't stop doing or talking about

    Expertise: What you know a lot about

    What's Hot: What are people talking about now or what would they want to hear you talk about



    Then take that story and tie it back to your audience. Your audience is a key factor why you think about speaking, the same as it would be when you are training. However, you need to keep in mind that your first audience is the selection committee. The direct example of this that was used is the ATD competency model. Anyone that plans on speaking at ATD either locally or nationally should keep this in mind within that junction of passion, expertise and what’s hot.

    Just because you have a topic and a story doesn’t mean that you are done or even ready to start speaking. In fact. that is only the beginning. You still need to gain experience, apply to speak, get recognized by the selection committee and make yourself memorable, hopefully in a good way.

    Amy poses two question to the group: 

    1.    What do you need to do before you even apply to speak at a conference?

    2.    How do you gain experience for speaking when you don’t have speaking experience?

    To the first question, much of the discussion was set around knowing the organization, track or theme of the conference and understanding who is going to be attending. However, the advice that was given might seem even more obvious. First create an outline draft of your presentation. Maybe include a few slides. Second, write a bio so people know who you are. And lastly, get a professional looking headshot.

    The second question created some great discussion. As trainers, many of us discovered that we have some experience and building on it is about starting small. Speaking locally can open opportunities to speak regionally and eventually move to nationally. But there are other ways. One way is through your network, by connecting with conference leaders and opening doors. Another way is by doing some volunteer speaking at community events, nonprofits or even a local university or school.


    When it comes to the actual application for speaking or RFP, the point is to get noticed by the selection committee. The easiest way to do that is to go back to your audience. What do they want? What problem can you help them solve? Answer those questions in your proposal. As someone that is part of the selection process, Alicia was able to give several points to what makes them notice a proposal. The first and one of the most important might be that it is engaging, interactive, and interesting for the audience. Another way to set your presentation apart is to have a unique perspective on an old topic. Using ATD as an example, not many people are going to be inclined to attend a presentation titled Instructional Design Basics. But you might fill a room with a presentation titled Inspiration is Everywhere: Using your Surroundings to Design Instruction.


    Another word of advice that came out of the discussion was to not get discouraged if you don’t get selected. For ATD-ICE they may get 200 or more applications to fill 20-30 slots.

    To sum up the session, there were many takeaways. For a presentation on building speaking credentials, a surprising amount of what I learned I can, and have, since started applying to my daily job.

    ***

    For anyone that is interested in building their own speaking credentials, we have two opportunities. ATD-MAC is currently taking speaker proposals under the Get Involved tab; complete the Presenter Proposal. The Greater Madison Area Society for Human Resource Management (GMA SHRM) is also seeking presenters for their 2020 programming calendar of events as well as their Human Capital Conference.

    ***

    We invite you to complete the attached Call for Presentation (CFP) for consideration.  You can also access the CFP from the GMA SRHM website. This document is the core document that you will use to describe your proposed program and make the case why and how your program is a good match to our programming priorities.  Please note that all presentations must be tailored to our HR audience and speakers must provide a takeaway deliverable such as a tool kit, exercise, or practical resource that participants can take back to work with them and implement.  We are also interested in your presentation background and if your topic has already received SHRM Certification or HR Certification Institute (HRCI) approval for General or Strategic Management credits. (Prior accreditation of the program is not a requirement.)

    If you are interested in presenting a program for our chapter in 2020, please submit your completed CFP document, in MS Word format, to chapteradmin@gmashrm.org no later than Tuesday, September 10, 2019.  Please note in the Subject Line: Call for Presentation.

    Thank you for your interest in sharing your knowledge with GMA SHRM members.  We look forward to hearing from you!


  • Tuesday, July 09, 2019 7:53 AM | Jan Szmanda (Administrator)

    On Thursday, June 20th, ATD-MAC hosted 20 members and guests at Token Creek Park for networking, resource sharing, and good, clean fun. 



    EVENT TAKEAWAYS


    Focus on you! As things get hectic make time to relax and recharge.  Remember that your ATD-MAC peers are here to help! 




    With the sun shining, the butterflies fluttering, and the summer beats blasting, ATD-MAC members and guests got busy catching up, swapping tips, poring over the book exchange and, in true trainer fashion, practicing training skills. Among the skills practiced were games new and familiar, from Kubb to Shut the Box


    Book swap offerings spanned a wide range of themes. 


    Picnic in the Park reminded us to “focus on you” - to serve both the professional and personal needs of our members - nourishing the professional with networking and knowledge sharing, and nourishing the person with fun, friends, and food. As you work to find the best balance for yourself, we’ll be there to cheer you on! 


    Never heard of Kubb? Neither had we, but that didn't stop us from learning!



    See you next time, keep in touch! 


    The connection and growth won’t stop here! See our 2019 calendar below and check out our events page to RSVP ASAP! Keep in touch via email or through social media - we’d love to hear from you!


  • Thursday, June 06, 2019 7:00 AM | Erin Lavery (Administrator)

    ATD-MAC is proud to announce a new way of connecting with the Madison learning community --- ATD-MAC’s first podcast, ICE’d Coffee.

    ICE’d Coffee is a review of the 2019 ICE Conference (International Conference and Exposition). Erin Lavery interviews ATD-MAC President, Jenn Stangl and Co-VP of Professional Development, Andrea Meade as they share their experiences, takeaways, and what it was like to see Oprah Winfrey and Seth Godin live.

    Listen here and follow along with the show notes and images below.

    ICE is the annual International Conference & Exposition for Talent Development. 


    Jenn Stangl and Andrea Meade attended together and shared their experience in the ICE'd Coffee Podcast.


    Listen to hear the story of how Andrea's phone ended up with a random stranger selfie that led to a new Twitter follower and conference friend. 


    Hear as Jenn and Andrea describe what Oprah shared about learning and motivation



    Hear how Seth Godin inspired Andrea to want to change the learning industry and learn the meaning of the image that Erin couldn't get out of her head.


    The quote




    It's not too late! You can still access materials and conference highlights through the 2019 ICE conference website.


    SAVE THE DATE! ICE 2020 is scheduled for May 17-20, 2020 in Denver, Colorado.

    Get tips on getting your conference and membership costs covered with these helpful resources:


    Disclaimer: ATD-MAC is proud to have a blog that features local ATD-MAC members as authors and contributors. We’d like you to know that the views and opinions expressed in this article or by any author/contributor in publications outside of this article do not necessarily reflect the official policy or position of ATD or ATD-MAC. 

    Podcast music provided through Creative Commons licensing with special thanks to esistnichsoernst on freesound.org


  • Thursday, May 23, 2019 9:20 AM | Kevin Smith

    On Thursday May, 16, 31 Madison-area learning and development professionals gathered at CUNA Mutual Group for the May meeting of ATD-MAC. Lee Johnsen, CPLP led a workshop titled “Understanding the Differences Between Face-to-Face & Online Virtual Facilitation.”

    Johnsen is the founder of Partners in Development, a firm focused on closing gaps in workplace performance, and the author of Literally Virtually: Making Virtual Teams Work.

    “If our goal is to improve performance, we need to do more than provide resources,” said Johnsen. “Many don’t realize that live, online facilitation takes more planning, more practice, and more purpose. It’s more complex than in-person facilitation.”

    The workshop began with a discussion on the differences between face-to-face and live, online facilitation. Attendees shared stories of bad virtual learning experiences, often the result of low quality technological connection or a lack of two-way engagement.

    Effective virtual facilitation requires well-planned logistics. It also requires participant interaction, which can be as simple as participant chat. Several workshop participants attested to the value of a “workshop producer,” in addition to the role of the facilitator. A workshop producer “supports the facilitator during the session by handling the technology as far as creating polls, moving participants in and out of breakout groups, and troubleshooting technical issues.” After the session, the producer also evaluates the effectiveness of the technology and the learning itself.

    Many saw the highlight of the workshop as an activity on vocal techniques to engage participants. In a virtual setting, audio quality and techniques like volume, pitch, and inflection are incrementally more important than in a face-to-face session. Everyone in attendance recorded a brief soundbite of a workshop introduction, receiving feedback from other learners.

    ATD-MAC will continue the conversation on virtual learning this November at the “All Things” Online event. Look for more information in the coming months - and please save the date for ATD MAc’s annual summer social, a picnic at Token Creek Park. Join us on Thursday, June 20th for networking, food, drinks, and fun in the sun! This event is free, but advanced registration is required!

    The slides from the session will be posted to the Members Only section of ATDMAC.org. While there, be sure to check out the Ascendis Leadership Academy! As a valued ATD-MAC member, you have complimentary access to the Ascendis Leadership Academy for 2019. Use this site to develop your skills whether you are a current leader, hope to move into a leadership position or want to simply develop yourself.


    By Ryan Panzer
    Ryan Panzer is a trainer and instructional designer at Zendesk's Madison office where he is currently working to launch a coaching program. Prior to working for Zendesk Ryan trained sales and customer support teams at Google's Ann Arbor office. Ryan is a graduate of the University of Wisconsin-Madison and has recently completed ATD's CPLP certification. He is passionate about Badger football and building cultures of learning.

  • Friday, April 26, 2019 5:30 PM | Kevin Smith

    Event Highlights: The One Person Show versus the Group: Getting a Tool Kit to Help You Be a Better Trainer

    By Caleb DeWitt

    On Thursday, April 18th, ATD-MAC hosted over 30 participants to explore industry trends in L&D, and develop a toolkit of best practices and L&D resources. Thanks to Zendesk Madison for hosting!

    EVENT TAKEAWAYS

    Our diversity is our superpower. Your peers offer a broad range of experience and expertise - tap in! You never have to go at it alone.


    EVEN

    Co-VP of Professional Development, Ryan Panzer, delved into this year’s theme, “Focus on You,” by leading an interactive exploration of your survey responses, and a discussion on how they compare to ATD’s 2018 State of the Industry Report. Here are a few key findings:

    • ATD-MAC plays host to an incredibly diverse community of L&D professionals, ranging from sole proprietorships and consultancies to large businesses, working alone, or in a team, we’re all represented here. Nearly half of us describe ourselves as a jack of all trades. Other significant portions of our membership also identify as facilitators, managers, or directors.

    • The L&D industry is seeing growth in both training expenditures and hours of training delivered per employee. For ATD-MAC survey respondents, there is a near-even split between training hours increasing and training hours stagnating.

    • On average, ATD-MAC survey respondents rely more on in-person training than the industry average of around 50% in-person, 50% remote.  


    Participants test their knowledge with Kahoot!


    Have you ever thought, There are an amazing and overwhelmingly large amount of tools out on the web. How do you know which ones to use? Andrea Meade, Co-VP of Professional Development, has answers - and so do you! Andrea shared an incredible toolkit of resources that brought participants to the forefront, sharing resources, experiences, and challenging ideas. Here are a few key points from the conversation:


    Putting it all together.


    And then the magic happened! Participants formed teams to address challenges presented in case studies. Knowledge became action, peers became collaborators, and experience and expertise were shared and multiplied. That’s the power of the “Focus on You!” Each of us carries an immense repository of experience and expertise and, when we put our minds together, the possibilities are endless.


    See you next time, keep in touch!


    The connection and growth won’t stop here! See our 2019 calendar below and check out our events page to RSVP ASAP! Keep in touch via email or through social media - we’d love to hear from you!


  • Thursday, February 21, 2019 9:05 AM | Kevin Smith

    My First Event: How MAC Changed It All
    By Erin Lavery

    I was thrilled to see that ATD-MAC won the National Chapter of the Month for February 2019. I can’t think of a chapter or group of people more deserving of recognition. 

    As I reflect on all the things that make ATD-MAC amazing, I am remembering what drew me to ATD-MAC in the first place. 

    We truly have something special with ATD-MAC. The people in this group – all of you that are driving what learning looks like in Madison – are amazing. Each of you is incredible and doing incredible things.

    I first heard about ATD-MAC years ago when I was trying to transition from a technical Training Supervisor to an organizational training role. The director of the department I was applying to suggested that I join ATD-MAC as a way to learn more about training, facilitation, design, etc. Tracy Nelson, if you’re reading this, I will forever be in your debt for many things; telling me about ATD-MAC is high on that list.

    The first program I attended was a Holiday Party. It was a free event that included networking, a year-in-review, and a Trainer Throwdown. I was so nervous. I sat in my car for a good five minutes getting up the courage to walk into a room full of people I didn’t know.

    The moment I stepped into the room, I knew I was home. 

    It took less than two minutes for a group to take me under their wing, show me around, and put me at ease. Sarah Gibson and Pat Hein, if you’re reading this, Thank You. I don’t know if you’ve ever known how important you were to me that night.

    For the first time in my life, I was surrounded by a group of people passionate about learning the way I always had been. I was able to geek-out and have people who got it and geeked-out with me. 

    The Trainer Throwdown was incredible. People were sharing and improvising off each other to create experiential learning activitiesIt was like jazz – improvising and building off the notes as we riffed our way to totally new approaches to learning without self-consciousness or ownership.

    It. Was. Glorious.


    And it is STILL glorious. I’ve come a long way from the girl psyching herself up in her car, and I know MAC has a lot to do with that confidence. Having the connection and support of this group has catapulted my career and has been a catalyst for me finding my passion for organizations and people. 

    Each year, I see the MAC getting better and better! The more of you I get to know, the more blessed I feel to know you. 

    For those of you I haven’t met, I can’t wait to meet you at a program. Throughout this week, we’ll be highlighting chapter board members on social media. Hopefully, by having some faces you know before you come, you won’t have to psych yourself up in the car like I did.

    What Madison has in the MAC is special. What we create and share when we are together is revolutionary. We are the future of learning. We build it every time we are together.   

    That’s why I am so excited to see that ATD-MAC is being recognized for how special it truly is.

    It’s also why I’m so excited for 2019. Andrea Meade and Ryan Panzer have taken a totally new approach to programming. MAC is doing stuff no chapter has ever done before.

    It’s why I feel so blessed to know you all, see you all, and be connected with you all. You make #myATDMAC amazing. If you aren’t a member, please join today. You won’t regret it!


    Erin is an Organizational Development Manager focused on developing organization-wide strategies to foster a culture of growth and connection at Exact Sciences. She is also the VP of Marketing for ATD-MAC. She loves getting coffee and chatting about learning! Feel free to reach out through LinkedIn or at vp.marketing@atdmac.org

    ATD-MAC is proud to have a blog that features local ATD-MAC members as authors and contributors. We’d like you to know that the views and opinions expressed in this article or by any author/contributor in publications outside of this article do not necessarily reflect the official policy or position of ATD or ATD-MAC.  

  • Tuesday, February 19, 2019 11:08 AM | Kevin Smith

    ATD-MAC 2019 Programming: A Whole New Approach and a Focus On You
    By Andrea Meade

    2019 has rolled into focus, and we’re already into February.  Does anyone else feel like the years are flying by faster and faster? I’ve started to look back at the last month and wonder where all my time went – has anyone else done that? I know I spend so much of my time at work, or at home with my family, and that when I finally feel like I have a moment to myself – for personal time, development/learning time or to just binge watch something on Netflix, I end up doing other projects I’ve put off.  The house needs to be clean, the blog has to be written, the kids need help with their homework, the dog needs a walk. It never ends.  Where is the time for you?  When will you be able to spend time focusing on you? Developing you? Helping you become a better you?

    That’s why we’re so excited about the 2019 ATD-MAC Program schedule. It’s ALL. ABOUT. YOU.

    This year we are working on a theme of “Focus on You.” And while we can’t offer massages or TV time, we can offer you time to better yourself both personally and professionally

    How are we doing that you might ask? ATD-MAC’s 2019 Programming is varying the types of programs we offer and really attempting totailor offerings to be for anyone in the training and development, human resources, or truly business field. 

    We are offering a new exciting program each month that we hope will engage you in a way that you’ll come join us and help us keep the conversation going ever further using our social media channels.  

    We are ramping up innovating program offers like pod casts, videos, Facebook events, LinkedIn discussionsand so many more options. We’re going to try some things at different times of days to engage those who can’t get away for the end of workday events we offer.

    We are using a new variety of venues too, hoping to get the group all over the city. 

    We are releasing our entire 2019 calendar of events at once to allow you to plan ahead and hold your calendars. I’m really hoping that even if one month doesn’t sound exciting to you, you’ll see other month’s events that look exciting! I’m also excited, that even if you can’t make that month’s event, you can still engage in the conversations using our social media channels.  

    Trust me, no one understands better how busy we all get – so let’s make it easier for us to focus on you!

    What will be doing this year? Take a look at our calendar below. Interested in learning more about a particular event? Let us know by connecting via email or through social media. Reminder, members will save on events, including our free summer savings events (June, July and August are free for members <- that pays for itself in membership!).

    (Click the image above to download.)


    Andrea Meade is the Co-VP Professional Development for ATD-MAC. Andrea has been working in the talent development field for over 10 years. She currently works as a training specialist for Shopbop (a subsidiary of Amazon) supporting their customer contact centers world-wide.  She also recently undertook the development of their customer service quality assurance program. Andrea has previously earned a Bachelor of Science in Biology from the University of Wisconsin-Stevens Point. In 2014, she obtained her Certified Professional in Learning and Performance from ATD. 

    ATD-MAC is proud to have a blog that features local ATD-MAC members as authors and contributors. We’d like you to know that the views and opinions expressed in this article or by any author/contributor in publications outside of this article do not necessarily reflect the official policy or position of ATD or ATD-MAC.
  • Sunday, December 30, 2018 10:17 AM | Kevin Smith

    By Ryan Panzer

    In the previous three blog post in this series, we explored the importance of coaching to organizational effectiveness. We sat down for a conversation with Madison-area coach Brandi Davis, and explored the basics of executive (manager) coaching. In this fourth and final post of the series, we will take a quick look at an integrated model of coaching - which, though time intensive to implement, has been shown to be the most impactful coaching model to an organization’s productivity and bottom line. 

    We might define integrated coaching as the capacity for individuals within an organization to have a meaningful feedback-driven conversation in the moment. Integrated coaching conversations address real behaviors as they happen, providing the opportunity for instant improvement or continuous high performance. 

    Integrated, or job-embedded coaching, is perhaps the inverse of that which is traditionally offered to managers or executives. Instead of 1:1, formal sessions that are somewhat contractual and often part of an official development plan, integrated coaching is entirely informal. Though it still occurs on a 1:1 basis, integrated coaching is rarely scheduled, seldom official, and never contractual. Because of its innate flexibility, integrated coaching has the capability of benefiting every single employee within an organization - not just the people leaders deemed worthy to receive the investment from a human resources department. A 2014 CEB (now Gartner) study identified that integrated coaching drives a 12.2% uplift in the performance of customer-facing teams. The same study suggested a neutral to slightly net-negative impact from formal coaching initiatives, likely a consequence of significant time away from customer-facing responsibilities. 

    Perhaps the most appealing part of integrated coaching is in how easy it is to staff up a team of coaches. Rather than outsourcing to a pricey coaching firm, you can draw on the fleet of coaching talent already in the door of your organization: your front-line managers. Integrated coaching gives front-line managers the training and the reinforcement they need to have a feedback conversation in the moment!

    What do these managers need to be trained to do in order to have an integrated coaching conversation? It comes down to the skill of asking the right questions. In his book The Coaching Habit (an instant classic on organizational coaching), Wall Street Journal bestselling author Michael Stanier suggests that there are seven questions that effective practitioners of coaching can ask their employees. By repeatedly asking these questions, coaching becomes a habit - and therefore ingrained into the culture of an organization. From Stanier’s perspective, effective coaches can call to order an integrated conversation with the simple question “What’s on your mind?” From there, coaches seek to uncover the needs and wants of the individual - and how they as people leaders can be supportive. Coaching at the integrated level then lacks the connection to long term individual development, to SMART goals, or to performance improvement plans. But these punctiliar engagements are flexible enough to accommodate all workplace challenges, frustrations, and needs - to provide support when and where it is needed the most. 

    So how do you get started with the integrated coaching model? Front-line managers need two things to establish integrated coaching. First, they need training. They need to be upskilled to ask coaching questions that help their teams to uncover insights and feedback on their performance. A secondary training need, by the way, might be to “tame” what Stanier refers to as the “advice monster.” Coaching, remember, is about asking the questions that lead to insight - and not about giving advice or directives.

    But training alone is not enough to implement integrated coaching. Managers need to be re-trained, incentivized, and re-incentivized to ask coaching questions within the course of the workday. Whether this is done through manager meetups, standup meetings, or regular motivational huddles, your integrated coaching program will flop without some commitment to reinforcement and continual coaching skill development! 

    The training and motivational needs of integrated coaching are highly variable depending on one’s organization. For this reason, many practitioners of integrated coaching hire an outside partner to provide an integrated coaching framework, and to provide L&D staff with "train the trainer" support. A partner can also consult on the ideal blend of coaching within your department. Integrated coaching does not need to be a substitute for formal, goal-directed coaching engagements. In their 2014 study, CEB, now Gartner, recommends striking a balance between the two, where approximately 75% of coaching time is spent in an integrated setting; 25% in a formal coaching session. 

    So while integrated coaching is not the panacea to all organizational challenges, it may just be the key to driving performance improvement at the most important levels of your company. 

    Ryan Panzer is a trainer and instructional designer at Zendesk's Madison office where he is currently working to launch a coaching program. Prior to working for Zendesk Ryan trained sales and customer support teams at Google's Ann Arbor office. Ryan is a graduate of the University of Wisconsin-Madison and is currently working on ATD's CPLP certification. He is passionate about Badger football and building cultures of learning. 

    Disclaimer: ATD-MAC is proud to have a blog that features local ATD-MAC members as authors and contributors. We’d like you to know that the views and opinions expressed in this article or by any author/contributor in publications outside of this article do not necessarily reflect the official policy or position of ATD or ATD-MAC.  

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