“Career development delivers real results.” —Julie Winkle Giulioni
In their revised and updated edition of Help Them Grow or Watch Them Go: Career Conversations Organizations Need and Employees Want, co-authors Beverly Kaye and Julie Winkle Giulioni bring their career development framework to the modern age. With more versatile work styles than ever and managers with less and less time on their hands, climbing the corporate ladder is not just unlikely—it’s irrelevant. But rather than cower in the face of change and retreat to our cubicles, disheartened and detached, this dynamic duo presents a solution. And it’s a simple one: Have a conversation.
We were fortunate enough to sit down with Julie Winkle Giulioni, an Inc. Top 100 Leadership Speaker and co-author of Help Them Grow or Watch Them Go, in our AuthorConnect Chat. In it, Julie posits that career development should occur in relationships between managers and their employees built on trust, listening, feedback, and confidence. “Careers are developed one conversation at a time…over time,” she says.
Her words ring true, given that not having enough time is the number-one reason people leaders and supervisors neglect tending to the career development needs of their team members. While every company culture is different, Julie—and the book as a whole—advocates for a conversation-driven model—taking just 5, 10, or 15 minutes at a time to nurture those relationships.
In her overview of the Help Them Grow or Watch Them Go framework, she outlines three core groups of lead-in questions that are designed to cultivate more necessary conversations at the pace of business. Let’s take a look:
First, Julie challenges team members and managers to look inward and backward to understand passions and values. Questions like, What do you wish you had more time for? and about lessons and triggers should feel familiar, given that “in many ways, they’re really similar to the questions we ask during the interviewing [process],” Julie explains. Hindsight-focused conversations are, in truth, designed to continue that discovery journey long after onboarding.
How are customers changing? How is your organization changing to remain competitive? What do you predict will be the ‘next big thing’ in your field? Each of these questions offers a path for team members to look outward and forward. By examining your role in the organization, the company’s current trajectory, and opportunities ahead with foresight, you can naturally uncover career development areas that will need or deserve attention.
Finally, insight is what Julie considers the “sweet-spot” that exposes opportunities, possibilities, and gaps to fill to help teams ascend to new levels with continued learning and passion. Something as simple as What one skill would help you be twice as effective? asked by a manager can streamline an employee’s road to achieving their full potential, in turn increasing—or renewing—their interest in their own position and their value to the company.
Crafting conversations based on this three-pronged model is only the beginning of the career development framework Julie and her co-author Beverly present in Help Them Grow or Watch Them Go. Using her example leading questions as a jumping off point is great, but you’ll need to watch the full interview to gain a true understanding of what it means to lead the charge on career growth in a modern organization. If there’s one thing Julie gets across, it’s that career development doesn’t have to be hard or all that time-consuming—as long as you make an effort and have conversations.
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This post was written by Danielle Brown, the Ecommerce Specialist at BookPal. She is currently re-reading Sky in the Deep by Adrienne Young.