by Christopher Anaya, Vincent Serafino Geary Waddell Jenevein, P.C.
On May 23, 2018, the LEAD YP class hosted three exceptional individuals, Deanna Naugles, Darren Smith and Rhonda Green, to discuss the importance of coaching and feedback in your career. Naugles is a Senior Manager responsible for driving and managing the Dallas Local Market and Strategic Operations programs at Accenture. Smith is the Chief Unlearning Officer with Cima Strategic, and Green is an Executive Director for JPMorgan Chase.
The discussion focused on both receiving and giving feedback. When giving feedback, the panel agreed that it is important to connect with the person that is receiving the feedback. Green stressed “feedback is a gift,” and any person giving feedback needs to do so in a genuine and authentic way. Naugles agreed and added that it helps to understand the person that is receiving the feedback. Smith relayed two acronyms to remember when giving feedback; FORM: Family, Occupation, Recreation, Message; and ACE: Acknowledge, Connect, Elevate. These acronyms help you relate and connect with the person. Naugles’ advice for giving feedback effectively is to use examples of situations where the person could improve on their performance as reinforcement and use peer performance as an indicator of how effective that person is compared to his or her peers. These teaching tools display what needs to be done and what is expected moving forward. Furthermore, as a manager, don’t miss an opportunity to give good feedback. Ultimately, “you share what you need to share, but you do so with care.”
While it is sometimes easier to give feedback than receive it, the panel provided valuable insight on receiving feedback. Bringing back Green’s initial point that feedback is a gift and a person receiving feedback should treat it as such, she encouraged us to use these opportunities to reflect, learn and grow. Naugles pointed out that if you react negatively to feedback, you will be pegged as “uncoachable” in your organization — a label you want to avoid. One helpful hint the panel suggested is to ask for feedback in real time. Once an event has occurred, ask how your boss perceived your performance and request advice for improving your performance in the future. Repeat back the feedback you receive to make sure you have clarity on what is expected of you. Make sure that you walk away from a manager with something actionable and with an understanding of what is needed to get to the next level. Most importantly, when asking for feedback, be prepared to receive it, and remember pride gets in the way of understanding people and reflecting on received feedback.
Finally, the panel touched on giving upward feedback to your boss or supervisor. First and foremost, ensure that a good relationship and mutual respect exits between you and your boss. This relationship is built by attitude and work product. Prior to the meeting, create an agenda. Understand the goal you want to accomplish, and make sure you leave accomplishing that goal.
After the panel concluded the discussion on coaching and feedback, Smith and Naugles conducted a class activity centered on “knowing who you are.” This is vital, not just in your career, but in every aspect of your life. The first step in completing this process is to participate in a strength finder assessment. This will help clarify your “Big Why.” What drives you, what are your principles and values, how do you set ground rules and communicate with others, as well as many other important attributes. Knowing who you are lays the foundation for receiving feedback and engaging in meaningful coaching and counseling.
Remember, “if you don’t know who you are, you are uncoachable.”
by Mike Siegel, Texas Care Alliance
Walking into a room of 80+ young professionals eager to earn a seat on a nonprofit board was a daunting experience, to say the least. After hearing from five different leaders of local nonprofits, each as passionate about his or her cause as the next, I knew I found my calling with the National Kidney Foundation (NKF). As the North Texas Board Chair described NKF’s mission to provide education, awareness and prevention of kidney disease, which aligns well with my day job, I began to think that maybe I could offer something to the NKF Board. Suddenly, the prospect of applying to a nonprofit board seat, along with so many others and with no such experience, didn’t seem so intimidating.
The process included a written application through the DRC Young Professionals and interviews with the local NKF Director as well as its Board Chair. Shortly thereafter, I was surprised and excited when I was ultimately offered a seat on the North Texas Board of NKF. Being new to board service and younger than most board members is yet another uncomfortable position. However, it is my hope that those currently considering applying to the Get On Board program will encounter a similarly welcoming environment as the one I’ve been afforded at NKF. Regardless, new board members should make the effort to get to know their peers and the staff they support.
The opportunity to serve on a nonprofit board can be as rewarding as you choose to make it. While you may not be in the position to financially contribute at the level of some board members, you can challenge yourself by stepping out of your comfort zone and consciously trying to improve your networking and fundraising skills. Moreover, I have been able to volunteer at local fundraising and education events that allow for direct interaction with the communities we aim to serve. With less than a year of board service, I have met and worked with some truly amazing people in Dallas who continue to inspire me to serve our community. The opportunity to support your organization’s mission is all the reason you need to devote your time and energy toward being an effective board member.
If there is any advice I can offer to future nonprofit board members, it is:
The Get on Board event is Thursday, May 17th and is open to all DRC Young Professionals members. The event allows you the opportunity to network with nonprofit executives and learn more about what it means to serve on a nonprofit board as well as explanation on the process of attaining a board seat. To register, please click here.
There will also be a table set up at the DRC YP + Say Yes To Dallas Happy Hour on Thursday, April 26th. Please stop by to learn more.
by Nikki Canga, Zerorisk HR
On March 28, the LEAD YP class had the opportunity to hear successful Dallas business owners give advice, impart wisdom, and inspire action to help young professionals developing their own career path plans. In attendance were Brittani Rettig, founder and Chief GRIT Office of GRIT Fitness; Kenni Driver, CEO and CMO of Marketing Uplift; and Mike Poskey, President and CEO of ZERORISK HR. The panel shared stories of successes and failures, and gave the class knowledge and encouragement to help them in their own career progression. Although the panel members all came from very different backgrounds and work in very different industries, they all stressed the importance of pursuing a career that energizes, the importance of emotional intelligence, and commitment to learning and growing.
Follow What Energizes You
Energy and passion are key ingredients to career progression. Brittani put it best when she said, “follow what energizes you.” When you are passionate about a path you follow, it will give you energy, which in turn will give you natural motivation. Figure out what gives you passion and energy, and then set your goals around it.
Emotional Intelligence is One of the Best Skills You Can Have
Of the competencies that correlate to workplace success, 80 percent are based on emotional intelligence. Emotional intelligence is your ability to connect with people, recognize the moods and feelings of the people around you as well as your own, and your ability to regulate your own feelings and emotions. This skill will take you far in your career and individuals with high emotional intelligence have higher levels of self-awareness and excel at relationship building. Learning how to work with people and being aware of how your verbal and non-verbal communication influences those around you is a skill all great leaders possess.
Never Stop Learning
Learning new things and pushing yourself to do something that makes you uncomfortable is a practice you should start today. No matter what your ultimate career goal, at some point along the way, you will be faced with a situation that scares you and pushes you. Practice this today to help you in the future.
Each of the panelists shared with the class what they do to keep learning and growing in their careers.
by Josh Webb, Southwest Airlines
February 28, LEAD YP members had the opportunity to sit down with Tony Bridwell, Chief People Officer at Ryan, Inc. In this role, Bridwell is in charge of leading, enhancing and communicating the culture of Ryan, Inc., to help attract top talent in the Dallas Region.
This year’s class was tasked with reading and discussing Bridwell’s book “The Newsmaker: A Leadership Story of Love and Honor.” The class held discussions on who was the best character and why as well as how the decisions of one person can have a lasting impact on those around him or her. Bridwell emphasized that people learn through stories and the importance of realizing how our decisions as leaders can and will impact those around us.
Following the book discussion, Bridwell led a session on leadership and culture. He posed a question to the class asking if culture is more important than strategy in business. As it turns out, culture was deemed significantly more vital than strategy in developing a good work environment.
“Culture drives everything in business,” Bridwell said. “You’ll manage your culture, or your culture will manage you.”
After stressing the importance of creating a thriving culture, Bridwell noted accountability is another trait good leaders posses. People typically have a negative connotation with “accountability.” However, the negative connotation only exists because people don’t know how to accurately define it. Bridwell explained that to be accountable, one must be able to focus on what is in his or her control, creating ownership of his or her own actions.
Bridwell also touched on the three types of accountability personalities:
The second half of the class focused on mentor/mentee relationships, featuring panelists Bridwell; Jason Hammon, Senior Vice President of Private Banking Team Leader at the Bank of Texas; and Ben Halliday, Vice President of Commercial Banking at JP Morgan Chase. YPer’s gained insight on how to create and maintain a good mentor/mentee relationship. The golden rule to a good relationship is to be active; the relationship will not build on its own and it cannot be forced. It’s up to us as young professionals to make the mentor/mentee relationship flourish.
The panel also emphasized that even if we have mentors, we too can be mentors to others. Whether we mentor someone on the same level as us or younger, we all have the opportunity to help and learn from others. We can learn from a mentor, but we can learn even more by mentoring someone else.
by Mike Siegel, Texas Care Alliance
On November 9, YP descended upon City Hall to gain a better understanding of how our local government works. Timing the visit to within 36 hours of passing a $1.025 billion city bond seemed to be an excellent strategy as each department was eager to host us and discuss their key initiatives.
Council Member Jennifer Staubach Gates greeted our group and provided background on herself and our city government. She also discussed the growing economy in Dallas and the associated demographic shifts that are occurring. Council Member Gates concluded by highlighting the challenges of representing a diverse constituency with diverging opinions on future plans for District 13.
We proceeded to observe a City Plan Commission meeting, which primarily discussed requests for zoning changes or new business permits throughout Dallas. Thanks to our host for the day, YPer David Nevarez, we even got a shout-out from the Chair of the Commission at the start of the proceedings. With small business owners and local residents in attendance to plead their cases, it was exciting and encouraging to see local democracy in action. The key takeaways: there are more bars coming to Deep Ellum, and don’t try to open a bail bonds service in a residential neighborhood.
We then had the privilege to meet the staff who works with the plan Commissioners. They shared their perspective on the Plan Commission’s accomplishments, such as widening sidewalks to help make Lower Greenville more pedestrian friendly and the destination it is today. The team also discussed its “Neighborhood Plus” program to help revitalize parts of south and east Dallas.
Our group met briefly with Parks & Recreation and was excited to hear the plans to connect the 50+ miles of trails in metropolitan Dallas, as well as the long-awaited Oak Cliff deck park adjacent to the Dallas Zoo.
We then headed down to the basement of City Hall, which is apparently the safest place to be in the event of apocalypse, to see the 311 and 911 centers in action. While much of the publicized staffing shortages of last year have been alleviated, it was no less impressive to observe the staff handle such difficult calls on a routine basis.
We wrapped up our day with a stop at the Transportation Management Center. The team demonstrated its power to adjust traffic signals to better control flow and showed us the feeds of the cameras they have observing traffic patterns throughout the city. If you want a quicker commute, talk to these guys.
For more photos of our day, please click here.
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