December 12, 2009

Expertise in the Room

My first semester class as an instructor at the Art Institute of California - San Francisco, ends next week and I'm getting a bit nostalgic already for my students. We've been on a career development journey together and their growth is so impressive. Hopefully, my teaching style has evolved as well. This school is so supportive of instructors, offering us excellent feedback and continuous access to professional development training. I'm recognizing that I love teaching, facilitating and coaching. This is the direction in which I am evolving my career. All the ingredients are already there - now to continue developing my skills, network and reputation.

This week I met with a woman who has just quit her job and is starting a non-profit. I used our meeting as an opportunity to blend coaching with my advising. Instead of me professing all the ideas, answers, next steps, I asked her where she sees herself. She has all the answers. This is how I approach strategic planning with arts organizations and I am now applying it to individuals as well.

In next semester's Art Institute career development class I am will emphasize the expertise already in the room - my role is to be a coach and guide to help each student articulate their goals, identify their next steps, increase their skills and tools (resume, pitch, portfolio) and let them get on their way. So much more powerful when the answers come from them.