Learning in Reflection: Meet, greet and begin!

ATD 2016, Day 1 (22nd May 2016):

It’s 2nd time in a row that I  went for Association of Talent Development’s (ATD) International Conference and Exposition (ICE). The ATD ICE 2016, held in Denver had a lot in store and I knew I had to prep in advance. IMG-20160603-WA0001

Homz Umrigar and I are the husband and wife duo of ATD, as we’d like to call ourselves 😉 Even though we love sharing knowledge, we are almost always on different tangents. On 20th May, I had a 6:30 am flight to Boston via Doha and then a 7 hour layover at Logan airport (because my connecting flight got delayed by 3 hours), before I would reach Denver, which was my final destination. Just before leaving the house, I got my checklist out and started ticking things off my list (what I had to carry, my business cards, content materials etc. etc., so I was all OK to leave and get started.)

I look forward to conferences, there are plenty of opportunities to learn, 20160522_110952network and put one’s work out there. But most importantly, you get to be a part of a global learning community. Four days of learning, interacting, and meeting like minded people can be fun… but what comes after that is: reflection. I love to reflect upon my learning one day at a time and this is exactly what my next few blogs (including this one) are going to be about. You can also check last year’s reflection by clicking here. If you’ve subscribed to my newsletter, you’d have received strategies in your mailbox last Sunday as well! Now, besides those strategic resources, I really wanted to put some of the information, that struck me during the conference. So, here it goes…

20160522_140215Even though I’d planned my sessions and meetings for almost over a month in advance, I had to make last minute changes to my schedule. I didn’t want to waste my time on sessions that were recorded, so I had to think on my feet and shift to another. I chose: Leading With Impact and Influence: The Power of Strategic Thinking by Amy Franko as my first one! I’d done my search on the author/speaker and I knew Amy had a great persona in the sessions. She spoke a lot about personal leadership and left me with the following thought: “leadership in an inside job and it comes from within.” Whatever it is in our head gets transcended to our outside world and becomes our leadership type. Her session was crucial in understanding that leadership doesn’t only come with designations, rather leadership is a reflection of how we lead ourselves and show up in every situation.

When you are in major conferences, things just roll. So, within minutes, the next person I was inspired by was Mike Esterday. He was funny, energetic and charismatic in the way he held his session. He was also extremely informative regarding coaching people. He came with years of experience in coaching and held his thoughts high regarding one thing: at the end of the day we are dealing with PEOPLE, who have emotions, feelings and skills which can be maximized! A simple thought that we must apply to our work, while being compassionate to others.

I planned for a mix of enhancing my personal skills and professional skills so next in line was, Crash Course in Visual Design by Connie Malamed [@elearningcoach]. 20160522_165441She is one of the few persons I’ve really really looked upto in my instructional design career and it was an absolute pleasure and a mandate to attend her session! I’m not sure why I thought she would be boring, weird and slacky but she was absolutely, doubly [triply] awesome and wonderful! I can say it without a doubt hers was one of the best session’s that I attended. Besides meaningful content, she left me with one thought after her session: Raise your awareness of design by looking around, in your environment. It definitely teaches us a lot about how nature has its own way of communicating with us and has it own design sense through, symmetry, design, visual appeal and placement. Something, which is extremely important for us to embrace and understand in our ID careers.

While talks and sessions in conferences are awesome, I had a few meetings planned but before I did that I went for the Youth Program, for a little networking, with the millennials of ATD. Overall, it was a satiating day and I had to assimilate the information and turn it into knowledge, so this is what I did while I was out for my dinner:

  1. Got my iPad out and clipped and copied the information I noted during the sessions
  2. I had 2 hours so I chunked the content to my relevance and organized it as per what I can use for my strategic work, for training content, for coaching and for overall project management.
  3. Then, I made a schedule and a ‘To-Do list’ from the new information I received and where, what and how I can apply the information to make my work and life easier and better.

And voila… that was a wrap for the day and it was time for some fun.

Now I want to ask you: when you go for conferences or seminars or any workshop, what do you expect to take away from the sessions you attend? And how do you apply the knowledge to your work or life? Comment Below!

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Well these were my tidbits for you, but if you have something to talk about or share or ask then you could do so by either commenting below, or on my Facebook page (also like the page) or writing to me on my twitter handle or via email. I’ll be delighted to share knowledge I gained. 🙂

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6 thoughts on “Learning in Reflection: Meet, greet and begin!

  1. I dropped by to thank you for following my posts, but wow! what an intensely directed blog you have – where could I put my little ‘thank you’? Then I came across this and it brought back memories of so many conferences (mostly vision science orientated) and your ability to take away a one-sentence salient point from each talk. I always felt that in counting the monetary and time cost of a conference, if I came away with one thing that changed my practice or my understanding and ability to deal with patients’ problems it was well worth it. Keep up the good work, and thanks again. Tony.

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    1. Such kind words Tony. Thank you. I agree that it takes so much of our time and definitely money to be a part of conferences… and to come back equipped for better practice is worth it – most definitely. I really appreciate your comment.

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