As part of a collaborated effort between the Regional Business Council’s Young Professionals Network and the St. Louis Business Diversity Initiative to provide unique professional development opportunities to its members, a group of over 50 YPN members, Leadership 100 members and SLBDI Fellows Alumni sat down for an engaging meeting on the topic of managing up to superiors and managing down to those you are in charge of. The event was hosted by RubinBrown, LLC in Clayton on Friday, June 27, 2014.
Alesia Latson, Senior Consultant and Facilitator of The Personal Brand Company, was the guest speaker for the event. Latson has held management and organizational development positions in financial services, healthcare and government industries and has been studying the application of leadership skills for over 17 years. She is also an adjunct faculty member at Lesley University in Cambridge, MA and is a return guest speaker of the YPN and SLBDI.
She facilitated the discussion by delivering insight on the topics of the art of active listening and how it can truly enhance both professional and personal relationships, how to deal with confrontation and disagreement from superiors, and an in-depth approach providing a step-by-step method of communicating both positive and constructive feedback to managers and coworkers.
Latson used specific and direct examples for how to utilize these concepts within a professional workplace. She noted that although it’s encouraging to hear from your manager that “You’re doing a great job,” not sharing the impact of the behavior on the organization being commended or citing concrete observations about why the job being done is great can ultimately be a detriment to the work level and productivity of a worker. Participants were broken up into small groups after covering each subject to exercise improved listening techniques and practice administering feedback to a supervisor or coworker. The session concluded after participants shared with the group what they had learned and how some of the challenges they might see in putting these skills into practice.
Be sure to look for more professional development opportunities like this, as well as community service connections, civic/cultural events and more in the YPN monthly newsletter and on our Facebook events page. For a brief overview of the topics covered in the session, click here. For more information on Alesia Latson and her studies of the science of leadership and development, click here.