Professional Development is a key part of success for organizations and their individual staff.  The primary reason employees leave organizations for other jobs is NOT because of pay.  Though compensation is important – and should be competitive – there are many other factors in job satisfaction.  One of those key factors is learning and growing professionally; professional development opportunities.  There are lots of local resources development professionals can take advantage of for in person training.  For example, AFP and IUPUI have multiple in person options and conferences.  It’s also important to subscribe to blogs and other experts to hear different views and perspective.  However, make sure to use critical thinking when participating in a training – How will this work for me?  What do I agree with?  What do I disagree with and why?  Remember that Kennari Consulting is working to help organizations build a model of philanthropy that focuses on building long-term relationships with individual donors.  Not every blog or expert in the field is working within that type of model so you must use that filter when learning new tips and tricks.

Suzanne Callahan from Davenport University’s Corporate Learning division walked round table attendees through a “speed” version of a course they offer: “Situational Leadership.”  She reminded us that we are all leaders – whether in a direct manager/employee relationship – or in an employee/volunteer/donor relationship.  It is important to focus on the task and what type of leadership is required for that specific task, not the person in general.  The 3 skills to develop to effectively use situational leadership are: Goal Setting, Diagnosing, Matching.

  1. Goal Setting – Getting alignment from all involved on what needs to be done, including specifying deadlines and metrics.
  2. Diagnosing – Collaboratively assessing an individual’s competence and commitment on a specific goal or task
  3. Matching – Using a variety of leadership styles to provide individuals with what they need for that specific task

A little more info about diagnosing….

  • Competence – The person has the knowledge/skills to complete the task
  • Commitment – The person has the motivation/confidence to complete the task

People are generally in one of the four following categories when it comes to different tasks.  And, it’s important that we move between them all depending on the task.  Being new or seasoned in a position doesn’t necessarily mean that we are in a certain category.  As you provide leadership to people, you need to identify and recognize which development level they are in and then provide the appropriate leadership for that specific level.

  • D1: Low competence/High Commitment
  • D2: Low to some Competence/Low Commitment
  • D3: Moderate to High Competence/Variable Commitment
  • D4: High Competence/High Commitment

The Situation Leadership approach is to identify the development level, and then adjust leadership in the following ways, based on the level the person is in.

  • Leaders role in D1: Directing
  • Leaders role in D2: Coaching
  • Leaders role in D3: Supporting
  • Leaders role in D4: Delegating

Tanya Horan from Davenport University also shared that there are resources available through Michigan Works to get funding for job training.  A list will be published in August of what trainings will meet the criteria for the funding.

The overall takeaway from the day is simple.  Though it can be difficult for non-profits to dedicate time and resources to professional development, they really can’t afford not to.  There are lots of resources out there – it’s time to make a plan and commit to implementing it over the next year!

Special thanks to Suzanne Callahan and Tanya Horan for joining us to enrich and inform our professional careers. Learn more about Davenport’s Professional Development programs and learn how you may receive funding for these on their website.