Looking to get the most out my SLA membership in these lean times, I elected to attend a ClickU webinar for professional development. I found it very worthwhile and full of good tips and reminders. ClickU courses are free to SLA members and a great source of ongoing learning and development.
Information professionals need a more diverse
set of skills to succeed in the 21st century. New roles are offering
more exciting jobs and projects, but we need to expand our set of skills
to meet those challenges. Based on his own experience and research for
his book Characteristics of the Successful 21st Century Information
Professional, Dennie Heye outlines seven key skills with practical
examples. Members can click here for a replay
I've included my rough notes of some of the key points I took away from Dennie's presentation. It's a little long for a blog post, but, in my opinion, they're really useful.
an environment for innovation has to be created, creativity can't be forced
- Create a map of manager, stakeholders, customer and understand their
priorities and struggles.
- Go to lunch with new people
from different functional areas.
- View complaints as
recommendations for changes, new ideas.
- See the big
picture: if you
understand the big picture (company/industry trends), you can spot
opportunities. It also helps with making decisions and setting priorities
for your department. How do you relate to the company's mission?
- Translate reports into more
fluid language, ideas.
- Talk to people one level
above you in your reporting line or another reporting line. How do they
see your department and how it fits into the biz strategy?
can be appointed a "manager," but you are not necessarily a
"leader." Get people to work for a common goal.
- If you can't get leadership
experience in the workplace, use professional association for
practice/experience. (Alert: personal favorite here!)
- Challenge things – ask why.
- Failure is ok. Start small in
a protected environment.
to logical way of thinking as well as character and emotion (like TV
commercials try to do).
- Study buzzwords in your
company and tie them into your presentation/idea. Listen to what other
people are saying and work that into your conclusion. How can you mitigate
- Be a trusted person. Deliver
what's promised. Set a service level agreement on a personal basis.
Outline your credentials or use a reference. Demonstrate that you know
what you're talking about.
time and saying "no": We want to help people and please them, but it goes
along with saying no and setting priorities.
- Negotiate: would a short
solution work for now? Alternate solution? Better person for the job?
- Keep a running to-do list and
block short time to go through it and check off quick items. Then plan the
longer projects, but don't book back-to-back so you have flexibility for
perceived value by the customer, not just the value you perceive it has.
- Make things easier for the
customer, not just how you perceive it would be easier/better
- Look at quality times service
divided by the cost and time. It's not just what you put in, but what the
customer gets out of it.
- Service is more than
providing a service, but also exceeding the customer's expectations.
- Ask customers how you did.
Did we meet your expectations? What could have been better?
- Keep statistics, use
- Get narratives, ask managers
for quotes about how valuable you are.
effective presentation skills: practice. It gets better.
- Know your audience and what
they are expecting. And tailor your presentation to the group –
- Define the purpose of your
presentation and the message.
- Know your national
presentation style – formal, informal. Don't force humor if it's not your
- Practice and get feedback on
body language, how fast you're speaking, tone of your voice.
- Check out meeting room in
advance. Plan backup – have handouts ready or screenshots. Can you
verbally reiterate your message if the projector isn't working?
- Don't fill slides top to
bottom – use as few words and pictures as possible. You can give handouts afterward. It's hard to listen and read at the same time. Give them time
to read or put it in your own words.
Let me know if you attended this webinar or watched the replay and please leave a comment to tell me what you thought.