Discussion Report 22 Eva Schiffer- Professional Development for Knowledge Managers

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== Title of Session == Professional Development for Knowledge Managers

== Convenor == Eva Schiffer

== Participants == Claudia, Nancy, Vijaya, Kumkum, Viky, Marc, Eva and Eva (have I left someone out?)

== Key Discussion Points ==

We discussed professional development issues in a broad sense of the word: - What are our very concrete strategies for learning new skills and - What are the challenges of our respective KM jobs and how can we help each other to deal with them?

Concrete learning strategies: - Slowing down: For example through working with others who have a different pace, different priorities or different cultural background, because that forces us to pay attention to those things we haven't looked at before - Seeking out feedback from clients: This can help to motivate (if it is positive) but also to understand where our services had an impact and how we can focus even better on the needs of clients - sometime only the feedback tells you what you actually did. Though the level of feedback you can ask for from clients depends a lot on the working relationship and the trust that exists between you and the client - Putting yourself in other people's (clients') shoes - Finding a (personal) balance between contact/learning together and autonomy/digesting and working on something alone - Finding and observing role models, more experienced practitioners, develop mentoring relationships, actively seek feedback from colleagues. Seeing colleagues to something unusual successfully can encourage us to try it

Challenges we face and what we could do about them: - The tension between competition and the mandate to share: What do you do if you want to share but your colleagues/bosses tend to "steal" without making your contribution clear? Possible strategy to share in public spaces (blogs, meetings) and document well where what came from. But also: Let it go! Putting a lot of energy in dealing with negative experiences isn't worth it. - Security focus of our socialization that makes risk taking and being independent scary - learn from other cultures that trust more in the process - Being afraid to contact someone you respect a lot and ask for their advice. This is more often than not an issue about your own self confidence and how you value yourself and not so much about the lack of approachability of the other person. - Tension between perfection and openness: You want to be seen as delivering perfect products but sometimes being a role model for "not being right and perfect all the time" encourages people to actively engage in knowledge sharing and asking questions. Find a balance that fits with you and the people you work with.