When we talk about development, many people often think about training. We would like you to think beyond this and explore skills, opportunities, and areas for development. Think about how these can be nurtured through the work that individuals are completing, management guidance, mentoring, self-assessments, diagnostics, frameworks and peer learning.
Here are some considerations when having a development conversation:
- Listen actively – Listen to understand instead of listening to respond, give your full attention.
- Use open questions to explore goals – Explore our Coaching Essentials for Managers Moodle resource for hints and tips.
- Be open minded and allow for creativity – We all have different goals that we may want to achieve in different ways.
- Provide feedback – Provide constructive and supportive feedback on your observations to help support development.
- Encourage a Growth Mindset – Review our guidance on Growth Mindset and encourage your team member to do the same.
- Set goals and objectives – Some of these should be based upon team objectives but you must also help your team member identify personal goals to set.
- Discuss opportunities – Development is not all about training, discuss opportunities for your team member to build their skills within their work and in their team.
- Tracking progress – individuals should keep track of their own progress. Ask your team member to record their goals and progress for you to discuss in future conversations.
- Be Flexible - As part of tracking progress, goals and objectives change. Be flexible with goal setting. Celebrate success and acknowledge changes.
Download the development conversations graphic (.pdf)
Career stage and milestone conversations
Information on performance/progress will be accessible to managers through existing or new systems as appropriate. RIS provides research-related achievements for colleagues in an easily accessible format. People Landscape dashboards are available in Tableau for Heads of Department and Sections to inform workforce planning and succession planning. Managers can access completion reports for Essential Training requirements, and reports on engagement with all centrally delivered learning events.
Making inclusive decisions
If you are in a management role, you may find yourself needing to make decisions about colleagues engaging with development opportunities. Often, you will be able to find a way to enable people to engage with a development opportunity but sometimes it may not be possible to support the ambitions of all people. This could be because there may not be sufficient capacity, funding, time or alignment with other activities or priorities to support the intended approach.
Whenever you are making decisions about development opportunities for people, it is important that that your decision is fair, considers the impact towards others and the potential for Automatic Bias to influence the outcome.
You can try to mitigate the influence of your automatic bias by:
- Taking the time to reflect upon and challenge your own biases. Do you hold any assumptions or beliefs that may impact your decision making?
- Consider whether different types of Automatic Bias might have influenced your decision making.
Review our Automatic Bias Essentials Moodle course for more information about how our biases can influence decision making or email firstname.lastname@example.org