On October 26th, I hosted the latest meeting of the Aite-Novarica Women’s Network on perspectives from developing leaders. We were joined by guest panelists Katie Wendling (Manager, Electric Insurance), Kimberly Wilson (AVP, Strategy and Planning, MetLife), and Dani Baresel-Pavlik (ECM Director, Pinnacol Assurance) who shared their experiences and perspectives.
They had a couple pieces of key advice for other aspiring and developing leaders:
Build Relationships in Your Organization
Building relationships in your new role—with supervisors, direct reports, colleagues, and customers—can help you gain expertise. By leaning on your team’s experience, you’ll be able to learn new skills and excel in leadership roles.
Our panelists emphasized the importance of building relationships with your team. By focusing on relationship building early on in your new role, you will learn new aspects of the business more quickly while building credibility with your colleagues.
Prioritize One-on-One Meetings
Holding one-on-one meetings not only with your direct reports, but also with colleagues and customers can help you learn valuable information about the business. Learning where those pain points are and how you can make an impact will help you become an effective leader.
One panelist mentioned that when having one-on-one meetings with colleagues, instead of asking how she could help them, she would instead ask, “What’s your biggest frustration?” This question often led to the best feedback and enabled her to really understand where improvements could be made.
Be Curious and Flexible
Be willing to invest the time and ask questions when learning new competencies and skills. Additionally, being flexible and willing to adapt to situations will help you address challenges as they arise and find solutions.
Our panelists highlighted the need to continually build skills and gain new competencies in order to grow in their roles. While you may have a supervisor to guide you through your new role and be there to help with your growth, there will be times when you will need to get creative and find other avenues for professional development. Our panelists identified online courses, one-on-one meetings with colleagues, and shadowing projects as effective ways to broaden your skill set.
The last Aite-Novarica Women’s Network virtual meeting of the year will take place on November 16, 2022, on the topic of “Innovation: Transition From Novel to Normal,” led by Aite-Novarica Group Senior Principal Nancy Casbarro. More information is available here.