I don’t often write about meetings with clients or prospective clients, or about the business aspect of being a communications training consultant. Why not? First, confidentiality matters to most of the organizations with which I do business. Second, that’s not the purpose of this blog.
Today is an exception, however, thanks to a brilliant conversation I had last week. It was one of those rare chats in which both individuals seem intuitively on the same wavelength.
I admit that it is sometimes difficult and frustrating to explain to clients the value of 1) ongoing professional development and 2) setting clear objectives for any training endeavor.
Regarding the first point, it is important to understand that a single communications training workshop is likely to do little good without diligent follow up. You can charge your external consultant with marshalling that follow up or entrust it to your internal staff. No matter your choice, top businesses view a consistent program of professional development as a must.
Imagine my delight when my prospective client raised that notion first (I’m omitting names here in order to protect confidentiality). He actually understood that becoming a better communicator involves a lifelong commitment.
He totally won me over as someone I would like to do business with when he went on to explain that his firm insists that each individual who undergoes professional development at the company’s expense set forth at least two goals. And these goals mean more than bringing in a consultant for an afternoon to make you talk pretty. It involves looking at how that learning can impact your career and the success of your organization.
All in all, it was one of the most refreshing conversations I’ve had in some time.
You may have other standards for your institution’s professional development program. I encourage you to share them here in the comments section. Could it be that we’re on the same wavelength, too?