The best learning comes through doing. 70% of the energy invested in learning and mastering a skill should be centered around practicing the skill on the job through real-life experiences. This element of the NEXT Leadership Development Toolkit includes examples of experiences that can be leveraged to develop specific skills and acquire the on-the-job training experiences that are CRITICAL to becoming proficient the particular skill being developed.
Instead of traditional one-to-one mentorships where person A (mentor) sits down with person B (mentee) for a chat, mentoring circles involve a number of people (mentees), usually about 5 or 6, who sit down – usually in a circle – to discuss a topic of interest with one (or multiple) mentors or facilitators who have expertise or experience in that subject matter. Mentoring circles combine the beauty of mentoring with elements of coaching and action learning.
Mentoring circles have been around for a while, but much like their other mentoring brethren, they are experiencing a revitalization of sorts and are becoming increasingly popular as a tool to re-connect organizations and inspire people to learn, connect, and progress.
Job shadowing can be a cost-effective way of making sure you are a good fit for the job before actually having to do it. It is a kind of training that doesn't need a rigorous program or extra funding. It is also a good way for you to find out if you even like or want to do the job you are seeking.
EXTERNAL VOLUNTEER POSITION
Volunteering is an excellent way to build critical skills. If you are in a role that does not provide an ability to take the lead for a team or project, consider volunteering.
BOARD/ADVISORY COUNCIL MEMBER POSITIONS
Such positions provide opportunities to serve in an oversight/leader role for groups or organizations. Great volunteer opportunities exist here for community groups, cities, churches, or schools, which could allow for participation in roles that may not be available in your workplace. Searches in your local area can provide some available opportunities for such positions.
PUBLIC SPEAKING OPPORTUNITIES
Such opportunities can expand your understanding of different areas of the business as well as support building relationships with new team members or external stakeholders.
SPECIAL PROJECTS OR ASSIGNMENTS
Such opportunities can expand your understanding of different areas of the business as well as support building relationships with new team members or external stakeholders. Examples include: Shift Outage Manager, Station Duty Manager, and Peer for Assistance/Evaluation/Review Activities.