Professional Development and Feedback
Club Managers know that professional development is important.
Professional development can range from acquiring new knowledge and understanding; building on existing skills and strengths; chasing opportunities; addressing different workplace issues, or improving in areas that we are not that good at.
For yourself, it can be about increasing confidence or cultivating the relationship you have with club colleagues and team members. Outside of work it can help with achieving better work-life balance and being more present when spending time with friends and family.
And when you consider your team members, you recognise that, largely, they want to be the best they can be and achieve their full potential at work. Team members tend to be more satisfied at work when given chances to prosper and grow, so professional development is critical in engaging their talents and retaining them as a valuable resource for the future. It’s also a key factor in attracting new talent to your club.
Benefits of Professional Development
Professional development benefits both club managers and club team members in the following ways: -
Promotes Positive Attitude
The more support a club provides employees, the better they feel about their work and the club. And it extends beyond the club working environment to their personal lives and self-actualisation.
As we develop and observe our personal growth, motivation rises and spurs us on to strive for the next level of achievement. Making a break-through and proving to ourselves we can conquer new challenges can be the catalyst for positive change.
With success comes confidence. Psychologically, when we achieve a goal that has been set or recognise, we have acquired a new skill, self-confidence increases. Fuelled by the experience of fulfilment, we are more likely to accept new challenges and keep developing. Again, it applies across work and personal realms.
Many individuals think that professional development is all about overcoming weaknesses. However, building on and leveraging your natural skills, talents and strengths can reap great rewards. Nurturing and honing what you and your team members are good at can be extremely beneficial for your club and easier and more enjoyable to do.
Ongoing professional development, helps club managers and club team members align their roles and tasks to a purpose. When there is a connection between activity and action, to vision and mission, we are more focussed and diligent in carrying out the task at hand.
Understanding where you want your career to go and then considering which professional development pathways will lead you there, is very powerful. Learning doesn’t just become a healthy mental exercise it helps position you for the future.
Statistics show that employees are much more loyal to businesses that provide them with professional development opportunities. They stay longer and become advocates of your club.
“Thank not those faithful who praise all thy words and actions, but those who kindly reprove thy faults”
Professional development starts with understanding the current situation, comparing that to the desired future state and then determining what is needed to bridge the gap. It requires an understanding of strengths and weaknesses to identify the areas for professional development. Feedback provides a great starting point and plays an objective role in helping you and your team members to establish goals and promote growth.
Asking for Feedback
One of the most powerful ways to check your performance is to obtain feedback from others – colleagues, members, your manager, your work team and people in your network. You usually have to ask for feedback; when you ask for feedback people see you as genuinely wanting to improve your performance and potential. The feedback that you ask for can be general or specific to a task or outcome you have undertaken. Some ways to ask for feedback in these two areas are: -
General Feedback Questions
What is one of the strongest skills that I should utilise more?
What is the one skill that I should focus on developing further?
How can I interact better with our members?
What are some of my career options here and paths to get there within the next 5-years?
How can I take my game to the next level within the next 6-months?
How did I perform last month, during our Christmas rush?
What skills are important for me to learn this year?
Specific Feedback Questions
Can you see another or better way to channel my efforts for this task?
Do you know of any other strategies I could use to achieve this goal?
This is what I had intended; could I have reached that outcome more effectively?
What could I do differently to be more effective in this area?
What other styles of doing this do you think I could usefully explore?
Some feedback is bound to be accurate and useful, some of it less so. Some feedback can sound like criticism especially when delivered unskilfully. Before dismissing feedback, think it through and see what you can learn. Make sure you listen and understand the feedback and separate any emotional elements from the facts. To make sure you understand it, ask questions like: -
If I understand correctly …?
When you said X, could you give me an example of that so I can completely understand what you mean?
You said the report was incomplete; what could I add to make it more complete?
Thank the person for providing the information and remember you’re not obliged to take the advice.
For club managers, feedback is a key part of your role. It can be a simple comment on a task one of your team members has undertaken or it can be a more detailed and structured discussion about how they are going and what they could be doing even better.
It can happen ‘on the spot’. When observing a team member, you might say: -
You just handled that member’s enquiry well.
The information you provided that member was exact, precise and correct.
When you provide accounts with your weekly report you could include more details.
This informal, ‘day to day’ feedback should happen naturally and be provided continuously as part of the way you interact with your team members in the club.
More structured feedback discussions happen when you talk with your team members about how they are going in their role and how they are performing against the requirements of their job. These more formal feedback discussions can happen as part of the performance cycle (e.g. performance planning discussions and scheduled review discussions) or at other times if there is a particular matter you wish to discuss.
These discussions may be initiated with: -
I think the things you do well are …
I’ve arranged this time to talk with you about a couple of issues I’ve noticed with your work recently
Some areas I would like to see you develop in are …
The Club Managers Association of Australia (CMAA) has been supporting and developing club managers to achieve high levels of leadership and management ability for many years. The training and development of knowledgeable and motivated leaders that are capable of achieving greatness on behalf of their clubs is a passion of the CMAA. To this end, they offer the professional certification - the Active Certified Club Managers Award (ACCM).
Individuals who hold the ACCM, have demonstrated that they possess the skills, have the range of knowledge and can model behaviours that drive premium results for their club.
The foundation stone of the ACCM is the Club Managers Leadership and Management program, an online, training course, delivered by elevateB (a specialist training company) and independently endorsed by Australis College (a Registered Training Organisation)
The Club Managers Leadership and Management program has been modelled on the Diploma of Leadership and Management, ensuring it covers a full gambit of management and leadership topics. Importantly, it has been tailored and contextualised for club environments and day to day club management situations. To successfully complete the program, participants are required to demonstrate required knowledge, skills and abilities through application and activity submissions.
For more information on the Club Managers Leadership and Management program, click here.