Gaining new knowledge, honing skills through practice and feedback, and growing your professional network are just a few of the benefits of attending a quality workshop. However, the best experiences are not had by simply showing up. Whether you’re being instructed to go, or are going on your own accord, there are a few things that need to happen to give yourself (and your employer) the most bang for your buck.
Before the Workshop (Be Intentional)
The more prepared you are for a workshop, the more you’re going to get out of it. This is why it’s important to ask your leader the context for why you’ve been selected to attend the workshop:
- Why is this important to my current or future role?
- How does this fit within my development plan?
- What am I expected to learn and take away from it?
- How will my job expectations change after the workshop?
Asking your leader for this context will help create focus, build intentionality and make the experience much more engaging. If there’s prework, make sure it’s completed so you can avoid just going through the motions and focus on skill building and application!
During the Workshop (Be Engaged)
Aside from getting enough sleep, leaving distractions at the door, and coming in with an eager desire to learn, there are a couple of other things you need to focus on during the actual workshop. The most important of these is to engage, engage, engage. Don’t be afraid to participate, pose questions, give examples, and actually get into the activities. It may seem awkward at first, but it makes the workshop more valuable to everyone when multiple perspectives are offered. With the context set by your leader, start thinking through an action plan so you can stay focused and apply what you learned back on the job.
After the Workshop (Be Accountable)
Now that you’ve actually attended the event, it’s time to solidify the concepts and skills you’ve learned and incorporate them into your regular routines. To start you should sit down with your leader and discuss the workshop—what you learned, how you will apply what was learned, and the support you’re going to need to be successful. By creating this development plan directly following the workshop, you will be better able to take the knowledge and skills you learned and apply them while they’re still fresh.
When adequately prepared for, delivered, and supported, workshops are a great way to increase motivation and skyrocket professional growth. So, take ownership of your own development and ensure leadership is setting you up for success by asking for the information and support you need!