Share What you Learn

by Kerry Martin

They say it’s important to share what you learn.

The “they” in this instance was an SVP of corporate communications that I just had the pleasure of learning from during a general session of the Florida Public Relations Association’s Annual Conference (which is an even bigger pleasure because I’m in attendance this year!).

The keynote speaker, Angela Buonocore of ITT Corporation, passed on more than a few pearls of wisdom during her presentation, and it struck me how applicable her advice was– not only for communications professionals, but for all business professionals.

While presenting the topic of “What CEOs Want and Need From PR,” Angela detailed some of the qualities that make any professional essential to their team… and to their CEO.  Qualities such as ‘strategic thinking’, ‘understanding corporate goals’ and ‘mastering complexity’ were not unlike our firm’s Five Steps, (which focus on the big picture and the things that keep the client awake at night).

But what stood out to me the most was her drive to keep raising the bar.  At some point, she warned, professionals can get in the comfort zone where “good” becomes “good enough.”  And for Angela, good but not great is not good.

Then what’s the recipe for success?   She gave a few tricks to make you push yourself.  Like a pool player, she says, you have to call your shots.  Putting it out there that you’re going to sink a big play is telling management that you’re working harder to reach your goals, not getting lucky on a surprise win.  Another tactic is to ask for feedback–but not just from your boss.  Get a review (an honest review) from peers, customers and external partners whenever you can to make sure you’re always improving, strengthening your skills and growing.

As the closer for Day 1 of the conference, that’s what I call good professional development.

I hope the knowledge she passed along can be something you learn from too.  For more notes and takeaways from the conference as it happens, you can follow the action at FPRA’s blog.

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