Learning Experience Leader

68 // Bad Bosses and Developing Leaders with Yolanda Fraction

August 24, 2021
Learning Experience Leader
68 // Bad Bosses and Developing Leaders with Yolanda Fraction
Show Notes Transcript

Yolanda is the founder and owner of Lumiere Learning Experiences and the host of The L&D Lounge, a podcast show, and virtual gathering space. Yolanda seeks to use learning and development as a strategic tool to create behavioral change and improve on-the-job performance. She is especially passionate about crafting best-in-class leadership development programs to support high potentials, emerging leaders, and people managers. Over the past 15 years, she has worked with a large variety of organizations to foster intellectual curiosity and promote a culture of continuous learning. 


Today we discuss: 

  • An article Yolanda wrote about leadership development and bad bosses
  • Yolanda’s experience developing her own leadership skills and leadership in others
  • What being a leader means, and how you can start thinking like one
  • And suggestions on creating people development programs that go beyond a one-time event

Resources

Join the conversation on the LX Leader LinkedIn page: https://www.linkedin.com/company/learning-experience-leader-podcast 

Support the show (https://www.patreon.com/lxleader)
Yolanda Fraction:

The reason why I worked my way up and was successful is that I said, I am a leader even when I was at day one day one of my first job in l&d, I said, I'm a leader and I branded myself as a leader.

Greg Williams:

From the beautiful state of Utah in the United States. Hello, and welcome. I'm Greg Williams, and you're listening to the learning experience leader podcast, a project devoted to design leadership and the psychology of learning. This podcast helps you expand your perspective of learning design through conversations with innovative professionals and scholars across the world. Today's guest is Yolanda fraction. Yolanda is founder and owner of Lumiere learning experiences and the host of the l&d lounge, a podcast show and virtual gathering space. Yolanda seeks to use learning and development as a strategic tool to create behavioral change and improve on the job performance. She is especially passionate about crafting best in class leadership development programs to support high potentials, emerging leaders and people managers. Over the past 15 years, she's worked with a large variety of organizations to foster intellectual curiosity, and promote a culture of continuous learning. Today, we discuss an article Yolanda wrote about leadership development and bad bosses. Yolanda's experience developing her own leadership skills and leadership and others what being a leader means and how you can start thinking like one and suggestions on creating people development programs that go beyond a one time event. There's some great resources that we talked about throughout the show, you can see in the show notes, of course, you can join the conversation on the Alex leader LinkedIn page, which I've included in the show notes. And with that, let's get started. Well, Yolanda, I'm so excited to have you here on the show today. Thank you for your time.

Yolanda Fraction:

Thanks so much for having me, Greg. I'm excited to be here.

Greg Williams:

Yes, um, so let's get started to just, I'm curious, this is probably a question I should ask everybody on the podcast, but I'm wondering if you were to meet someone new, or maybe it's a family member you haven't seen in a long time? And they're like, Oh, so you know, what do you do for work? What's your job or whatnot? How do you go about describing what it is that you do to someone new?

Yolanda Fraction:

You know, I would say I help people to become their best selves. And I help those people who empower other people to help themselves and to be their best self. So I develop leaders, I help leaders to create meaningful opportunities for development and training. So people don't just look at training as training as something to be done or something to be checked the box on, you know, I do training where I'm, yes, it might be, you know, a training where someone is, is checking the box at that moment, but my hope is that I'll create lasting, sustainable change, and that organization will be transformed, and people will be transformed as well. So helping leaders to create leaders.

Greg Williams:

That's great. I'm, I'm wondering, has this been a longtime interest and passion for you? Or is that how's that your energy and doing that evolved throughout your career? And, and really throughout your your life?

Yolanda Fraction:

Yes, it has, you know, I started off as an elementary teacher, and one of my principals at one of the schools where I was teaching said, Wow, it seems like you're passionate about what you do your work. And you're great at it. So why don't you train other teachers? So I kind of like, fell into it, because someone said, Can you do a district wide training, and I never really been into that type of thing before I never really thought about it. And so from there, I just realized that I love training people, the development part of leaders, I actually fell into that as well. I would say it's by doing work in corporations, organizations, I found I found that I was gravitating to work that I really loved. And part of my work in internal HR or talent development departments involve developing leaders. But my favorite part of that job would be when I'm working at my cube back in the day when we had cubes, and someone said to me, Hey, can I take you out to lunch, I'd love to talk about my team. And I found that I love those conversations more than anything. I love talking about how to help help people, managers, how to help them to empower their team, and create a team where people are high functioning. So it's those things that I really gravitated to? Yes, I do. elearning Yes, I can do a module create all types of beautiful things. But at the end of the day, what I really, really love is helping leaders to really be empowered and to empower other people.

Greg Williams:

Yeah, so I mean, clearly you've got a passion for leadership development. And with that, I know, that starts, it's interesting to hear that story of training other teachers at a district meeting I, I had a very brief foray into the world of elementary education, I didn't last. I didn't make it past Christmas break my first year. So I have much respect for those who not only try it, but can stick in it and, you know, have a positive influence on children and, and their families. But as you were doing that, I'm wondering what your development as a leader has been like, what kind of leadership development Have you got, whether that was formal or informal mentorship from others, that is kind of helped form, your perspective on what leadership is,

Yolanda Fraction:

you know, I would say at the very beginning of my career Early on, I did a lot of priming, like just creating the foundation for myself to be that leader that I want it to be, I did a lot of board leadership roles. So I sat on the board of the a TD chapter in Maryland, the Association for talent development, just in case folks don't know out there is that's a TD. And a lot of that work was helping to create opportunities for our members to help them to develop. And again, I found myself really passionate about those leaders that were at corporations, organizations, that type of thing. So a lot of my work kind of stemmed from that. I also had a brief stint at being a board leader at a nonprofit organization for the arts, and they were all about helping children in the inner city, you're now under resourced communities, to have opportunities to be exposed to the arts. And so when I found myself in these board leadership roles, kind of taking a stance on things that I really cared about. And I found that I was good at lots of different things. And I think we just, you know, nowadays, sometimes people don't play to their strengths enough. So I would definitely say like, if there are things that are strengths for you find volunteer opportunities to go out there and do the work you love. Even if you're doing a job right now, where, you know, it's not exactly what you want to do. Find stretch opportunities, stretch opportunities are great opportunities. That's another thing, actually, Greg, when I was at a financial services company, my manager, she knew what I really wanted to do, like what jazz me up, and she said, Hey, would you like to be on this working group. And so by being on a dei Working Group, I've got a lot of experience doing dei training work, creating toolkits and just materials. So I just think, again, just continuing to advocate for yourself while in the role speaking to your manager, and making them aware of what you're interested in.

Greg Williams:

Yeah, I think that's such a great point brought up is, I fallen into the thinking a lot, and I don't think I'm alone. But it's like, you know, I would like to be a leader, or I'd like to do X, Y, or Z in my career. I just can't find the perfect role, you know, and no, no, look at my resume. And it's almost, it's almost this, like, why isn't this landing in my lap, which is so silly, because it doesn't, it doesn't work that way. But what you described reminds me a lot of what, Karen North when she was on this podcast, she talked a lot about similar things, finding opportunities to serve to develop the skills, knowing yourself well enough and speaking up to your manager and those around you to share, like, this is what I'm working on. And how powerful that can be.

Yolanda Fraction:

Exactly. And planting the seeds. You know, sometimes you have to be patient, sometimes you'll you know, describe what you want to do to a manager and they may I say, Okay, thanks for letting me know, because the timing simply not right. Maybe the opportunity just doesn't align with what the company needs right now. So just being patient, I know and upskilling rescaling? That's the big, big buzzwords right now in companies, you know, with this whole hybrid workplace, the great resignation, but go on LinkedIn learning, you know, I have a LinkedIn learning account. And I love it. Right, right. Right now I'm learning a lot about change management. I'm learning a lot about how to become better at PowerPoint and and just being a good presenter, and just how to exhibit my skills online. You know, how I show up in my personal and professional realm is important to me. So I'm learning about those things using LinkedIn learning. So whatever tool you want to use, it doesn't have to be LinkedIn. But get ready, get ready for that next job, get ready for that next opportunity within your company. Don't wait for it to happen.

Greg Williams:

And I think you're demonstrating a really significant leadership skill here is like, in order to, to learn and to grow, you kind of first have to admit that you you have a spot that you need to grow in or a strength that you want to improve upon. Right and until that happens is you're just not going to improve on it. You're not going to grow that that's probably the biggest Hill I feel like I need to remember to climb is acknowledging that the debt there first that needs to be paid in order to develop that skill or to get that leadership role. Yes. So this might seem like a silly question, but in the article that I wanted to talk a little bit more about throughout this episode, you provided a definition of a leader from Bernie Brown. And I feel like I mentioned her name almost every episode, I guess. But um, I was curious to hear just we've mentioned it a few times leadership, this and a leader that what, what is the leader from your perspective?

Yolanda Fraction:

Yeah, that's a great question. I remember when I was working on emerging leadership programs, and I'd have folks say, Well, I'm not a leader. And I'd say, of course, you're a leader. Yes, you are, and start saying, I'm a leader, you know, affirm that to yourself, um, I think a leader is anyone who has a follower, right? This can be an individual contributor within an organization, or this can be a C suite leader, or a CCP executive. So, you know, people need to have a more open minded definition about this. Because again, going back to that foundation, is you want to set yourself up for success. You want others to see you as that leader. I mean, we're all in a growth mind having a growth mindset. We all have room to grow. And so if I just wait until I say, for example, I wanted to be I had this vision of being a Director of Training and Development early on when I first started in l&d. And then after that, I thought, Oh, I'm going to be a chief learning officer that was like, I had these aspirations. Well, I'll tell you, Greg, I got to that title, you know, I worked my way up, you know, learning specialist, etc. But the reason why I worked my way, way up and was successful is that I said, I am a leader, even when I was at day one. Day, one of my first job in l&d, I said, I'm a leader, and I branded myself as a leader.

Greg Williams:

Yeah, I think it's, it's easy to underestimate the value of just the stories that you tell yourself about your role, or what you can offer how you can contribute. It's really powerful. Yeah. So you mentioned a little bit about kind of this moment, we're in right now, hybrid workplace, the great resignation, and so forth. I know, in your podcast you've done. I've listened to at least one really good episode about this. And I don't know if you have more planned about, it's kind of a really interesting moment. Hopefully, we don't have too many more like this in our lifetime. of just drastic change, confusion, you know, lots of things getting figured out. But I'm interested to hear what you make of this emerging trend of the hybrid workplace and what this means from your perspective, or for leaders, both of learning teams, or just in general.

Yolanda Fraction:

Okay, well, I appreciate that reference. You know, I was I had the pleasure and opportunity to have Dr. Britt andriana on the show a little while ago, and we went deep into this hybrid workplace, you know, she's been doing a lot of this research for years about the power of connections, and why it's important to connect. And as someone who is a learning leader, it's important for me that we translate that and not just the learning world, but the talent development world, we translate what needs to happen in order to get to that place where we can successfully bring people back to the office if needed, or help people to understand how to work in those environments, because everyone's not coming back to the office. So or they don't want to. So we need to be agile, we need to pivot we need to meet the lead the point of need that the people have in the moment. So that might mean reimagining things that might mean shifting how you do work, and figuring out when folks need to come into the office or when it's okay for them to work from home. So I think a lot of decisions have to be made. But the biggest pieces from that episode were that we really need to reimagine how we work and where we work. And that's going to change I think the narrative that we're having.

Greg Williams:

Yeah, I feel like even since you and I first talked, this has become even more prominent, at least in my personal situation with, you know, the variants now of the virus, right? It's like, Oh, it's over. Wait, it's not over. And so, now, there's been announcements at Vinny companies where it's like, Hey, we're going back away? Maybe not. And there's that level of uncertainty. Do you feel like, Is there any particular thing you've noticed in terms of how, how leaders are getting this situation wrong? Or how we could better manage this with our teams?

Yolanda Fraction:

Yeah, we need to focus very much on the person, right. Sometimes I find that people focus on the work, right, how the work needs to get done, where the work needs to get done. And there's a lot of that management I don't want to call it micromanage. Management per se, but there's a lot of management of the work. And people want flexibility right now they want options, they want the ability, if they want to travel, they want to be able to work from somewhere fun and different, let's give them that opportunity. So meeting people where they are is going to be really important. And I think that HR talent development leaders, I'm hoping that they really see the value in that for for the worker for that talent, because that is going to be the the the kind of the key to that gate, that opens the door to that top talent, right, there's been a lot of talk about top talent. And if you want top talent, whether it's it or hospitality or in other industries, you're going to have to set aside the snacks and set aside the pool tables, perhaps, maybe still have that as an option. But I think focusing much more on people's well being mental health, given the space and the opportunity to innovate and create. So those are the things that people want, they want meaningful work. So focus on that, not the how like, Oh, you need to be nine to five, you need to come in and do this sit at this desk. There's a lot of hot desks right now where there's an opportunity for people to come in, sign up for desk when they want the desk. Or even if you just wanted to have like a cafe environment, those are my favorite environments. That's why we all like Starbucks so much, right? Just having a space and open concept space to work. But but still keeping in mind, the Delta bearing is here, right? We need to be cognizant of the fact that we need options for folk.

Greg Williams:

Yeah, the individual consideration and, you know, can look so many different ways. But I think a key part of it, too, is is feeling like you're heard as a person. It doesn't mean you accommodate everyone exactly as they ask. Right. But I know for me, oftentimes, if I just feel like what I'm saying is truly being heard. And accommodations that reasonably make sense are given. Boy, that sure is validating really helps. Exactly. Let's transition a little bit to the article that you wrote. It's a fun small piece of based a little bit on the awful boss, of Michael Scott. I'm wondering, what what spurred your interest in drafting this in the first place? Was there in particular motivation? Or is it just an opportunity to kind of get some thoughts out there?

Yolanda Fraction:

You know, well, The fun thing about it is, I remember in the early 2000s, when I used to watch almost every episode of The Office, and you know, the comical sigh we all love, we're like, oh, my gosh, Michael Scott, he's just over the top, right. But then as a mid career professional, you know, I've been in my career, about 15 years now I started seeing whether it was in my job or my role, or in my friend's role, you know, we would just kind of talk about things that were happening in the workplace. And we'd be like, Can you believe this woman did XYZ or this person did XYZ. And I started noticing that there were managers who really, I mean, maybe they got the role, because they were great subject matter experts. But they really didn't have the ability to manage people or to be leaders. So for me, it really came sadly, through personal experience. And my new I've had some really amazing management experiences. And I've had some other experiences where they weren't so great. So for me, I wanted to focus on what makes a great boss, right. Like, there are some people in my life who are mentors now and their former bosses. And I'm like, what made this person so great to work for I miss her, I love her. And now they're friends, right? But what makes a great boss is someone who really cares about the development of people. And so when we invest in people, we're investing in the company.

Greg Williams:

Yeah, I mean, it's, it's something that I hear a lot. But it seems like it's one of those things that is much harder to execute or actually follow through on. I don't know if that's just my perspective, or whatnot. I mean, and you talk a little bit about that here, in the article you write, I'm gonna read a little quote here. The awful reality is that poor managers don't become better managers by simply attending a day long or even a week long training, kind of like what you were talking about earlier of training being an event or checkbox versus, you know, something else. You continue saying yet somehow we love to send poor managers to training as if they were a child going to the principal's office for poor behavior. I'm wondering, have you seen an underlying purpose for for have organizations doing this? I mean, or is there a shift away to sort of implementing what you're describing before have, we really need to focus on the people because the people are the future of this company.

Yolanda Fraction:

You know, The most I have seen a lot of great opportunities that were missed because of wanting to do quick and wanting to do easy, right. And I think the slow drip concept of behavior doesn't change overnight, right? I think about the fact that change happens when people recognize that they need to change, and they start to create habits for themselves that lead to a change happening. But that never usually happens within one training. I do recommend sometimes that the training be associated or accompanied with coaching. So that's my biggest soapbox topic right now for folk, whether it be di training or otherwise, I say, you know what, that's great that you have training, but perhaps do a blended learning solution, do something where you have an elearning path, or a course setup that really empowers people, managers, and then perhaps set up an opportunity to have coaching sessions, one on one coaching sessions, or roundtables with leaders. So there are all types of different designs for that, to help leaders who develop in a certain capacity or area. But at the end of the day, I'm so passionate about helping folks to see that, yes, it's so easy to send someone off to a training that a vendor does for a one day course or a multi day course. But at the end of the day, you want to think about the full solution, you want to think long term, what are the outcomes, we want to see what are the KPIs or key performance indicators? And let's work backwards from there and figure out what are the activities or the things that we need people to do, because one of the things that I found that it's most pivotal or important is the 360, write the C 360 review, or having feedback come directly from your, your, your subordinates, or the or the talent on the team that you're working with. So again, just being really thoughtful in the approach that you take to develop those solutions.

Greg Williams:

Yeah, that makes a lot of sense to me. And it reminds me of a number of different things have been hearing from previous guests and thinking about is it's one of those indicators, where this is probably something where we know how to do it, or at least the steps that need to take, whether it's backwards design or consulting with leaders to understand where the gaps are, and so forth. But I what I heard you describe there with the ease of setting up an event training situation with a vendor, or, you know, go take this module, even though it doesn't solve the problem, it's so easy to do, and feels like it could help maybe I'm wondering if, what are some ways, if any, that you've seen that have been effective in helping organizations get away from that and move towards coaching like, because, in theory, it makes more sense to solve the problem with solutions that work. But when they are a little more complex, and a little bit more time intensive and thoughtful, it's often easier to just go with the easiest option.

Yolanda Fraction:

You know, I've seen organizations across the board start to shift how they go about this work. I think the best case that I've seen is when people actually collaborate against you know, with different functions, right? So if you have, for example, a talent development department or an HR function, you really want to involve different people, right? So you're talking about a people manager, for example, who maybe need some development. And they're just scenario where a person or individual contributor comes to HR and says, you know, my boss, XYZ, whatever the scenario is, and the person for example, the people manager Goten, you know, is is asked to go to training, for example, what I would definitely have seen and what I recommend, is there being kind of a myriad of people who come together to work on things and not again, this needs to be proactive, right? This definitely does not need to be reactive, because more often than not, the situation may go to an HR VP, you know, it just, it doesn't need to go there, right? We really need to have programs already in place, right for people managers at any stage of their development. So we're not talking about a people manager program for people who are bad people, managers, right. So doesn't matter where they are, right? Even 15 years out, people need to be developing and growing. So again, what does this look like across the board, whether it's a talent lead, getting involved, the Learning and Development Manager getting involved or you hiring a vendor, you want to involve multiple people, multiple stakeholders into the project. This shouldn't just live within HR talent development. You want to get the stakeholders from that business function involved in this This can be fun, this doesn't have to be necessarily something that again is punitive. It can just be like, you know, we're gonna start offering coaching sessions. And I've seen where, for example, nonprofits who may not have the bandwidth or capacity to have an l&d, or learning development specialist and a talent Lea and all these other different people involved, I have seen people go out and hire a vendor and say, we'd like you to come in for, you know, a certain specified period of time to do some coaching with our different business functions, whether it's finance, or, or other different functions, you have him come in and work one on one and set up coaching sessions, you can just do a sign up. So I mean, you know, you could get all into the weeds with this. But at the end of the day, number one, you need to involve other people. You don't want to try to take this on, you know, for yourself, speaking to folks who are talent development leaders on the call, you know, just try to do some interviews, do some stakeholder analysis to figure out what's really going on. But at the end of the day, you want a multi pronged solution, not just training.

Greg Williams:

Yeah, yeah. I mean, I hear you describing goes really well, with another section that you mentioned in this article you talked about, says, while leadership may look different at each level, it's still imperative that we as talent development professionals, place an emphasis on developing all levels of leadership through continuous learning, versus event based training. And I what I hear you describing is very much related to that. And this has me thinking of more of a broad thing. And if this is not a direction that you feel aligns up with your, your expertise, or perspective, that's okay. But it's something I realized is, I'm hearing a lot of these terms like talent development, you mentioned HCD, or, you know, the training organization there. And there's HR, but then there's like, instructional designers and l&d, do you have a sense of how all of these things relate to one another? And sort of the landscape of people and learning? Like, are they all the same thing? Are they really different? This kind of a very naive question, but I imagine I'm not the only one wondering about that.

Yolanda Fraction:

Oh, my goodness, that's a big question. Um, you know, let me let I'm gonna kind of go to the ground zero here. So when I first when I first started out in this, right, I heard a lot of people saying HR, right, HR, meaning, you know, the folks who process your payroll, process your payroll. So back in the day, folks used to process your payroll, they were the same folk who used to do orientation and onboarding, right. So, you know, I really think things are changing. I have seen such lean organizations where one person did it all, no joke, like, you might have one person who was your HR and talent development and everything else. I think what's happened when I look back over the last particularly several years, I know that businesses are trying to streamline a lot of functions, they're trying to be more efficient, right. And I recently went through this big thing, where at our offices, we were doing a lot of Lean Six Sigma courses. So I went through it and, you know, people are trying to figure out how can they do more with less that's just across the board doesn't matter if your nonprofit, you know, or if you're in a corporation, it doesn't matter. And I think with this whole again, COVID in the Delta variant, and this lack of talent in many industries, people are trying to figure out what they need. So to your point, or your question, rather, you know, I used to be a learning and development team of one, right. And so that meant me doing instructional design, me doing event management, event coordination, and me developing a learning strategy. And so I'm doing sometimes the dei work. So no, all these things aren't all one, they all have different purposes at different times, right. Instructional Design really is about how you are designing the curriculum based on you know, the subject, the learning strategy is very different to from the, from the instructional design. So there are they are interconnected, like different parts of a ship that all needs to be moving, hopefully in the same direction. But at the end of the day, what what's happened, I think, is that we're all trying to do more with less. And so we're putting on the hat taking off the hat. And so I think that's what's happening now is that there's this mesh, I don't know where this is going to end up. I'm very curious about that. But there is this mesh of jobs and roles and titles, right? Because you can now see a trainer doing change management, no joke. So you know, so I think that at the end of the day, a trainer is not just the person who stands in front of the room anymore. I remember remember, I don't know if you recall, but in the early 2000s people were getting on the plane and you know, you had people who Literally, they would hire you to be a trainer, I used to be one for a public school system, they would, they would actually give me the package of the participant mere materials, the facilitator guide, it would come this little cute folder, and it was nicely bundled nowadays I don't see roles just purely as a trainer, or purely as an instructional designer. That may happen. But nowadays, my friends are saying, Oh, I'm doing the design and the development. Right? They're doing multiple processes in one.

Greg Williams:

Yeah, that's, that makes a lot of sense. And I, I know that all these things they blend together, but I think what you've described beautifully near the beginning of our conversation, you know, with your goals of helping people be their best selves. And that's like, you know, what you articulated is, is the core of my personal mission, right? And I felt like probably, most people listening to this could be like, yeah, that's what I'm trying to do, whether you are in HR, coordinating all the different things there. Or you're developing learning materials for support agents who are in call centers, or you're in higher education, helping faculty create courses, you're in K 12. Like, it seems that that element of service is a common thread. And just makes it tricky sometimes, because all of those come with their own vocabulary, their own kind of systems and badges as it were. And that can make it a little hairy, sometimes navigating the landscape of, of all this, but no, like, knowledge management is a big thing that has crept its way into my life in the last few years. I'm not super jazzed about it, but I think it's really important. But there seem to be some really interesting themes of Yeah, like, it is evolving. I don't know if it ever will land anywhere, right, it'll probably just keep evolving. I don't know where it's evolving towards. But my background being focused on psychology and design is coming together in interesting ways with in the corporate space, things like you mentioned, strategy, marketing and, and people development, and they're coming together. And they're not antagonistic to one another. But they are a whole different disciplines. And they also bring in sort of whole philosophical ways of approaching, like how people learn and develop.

Yolanda Fraction:

Yes, the world is such a more connected place, I think, more than ever before, it continues to be very connected. And I think because of that, things are more blurred, right? I think there things are a lot more blurred, you're gonna see more flat organizations. And you know, having folk having one title, but doing all different types of things having many different functions.

Greg Williams:

Yeah, yeah, one might, one moment, you need to pull some reports from the LMS. And the next year going into a coaching session. And before you update a knowledge article for the customer success team, that's definitely seems the way that it's going. Well, I, I've kind of had us wander all over the place. But I've enjoyed that. With this conversation. I'm wondering if someone's listening to this now. And they're thinking, cool, you know, maybe I could volunteer somewhere to develop leadership skills, or I want to improve? In my own development as a leader, do you have any other recommendations or things that we haven't talked about that you think would be helpful?

Yolanda Fraction:

You know, I would really say get to know yourself. And I would say, say no to the things that you within your power, of course, but say no to things that you don't want to do. But also be open, you know, I would definitely encourage people to go on idealist.org it's not just for finding jobs, but you can actually find volunteer opportunities. I actually am starting up an opportunity for learning and development practitioners if they want to work on meaningful projects for the community for free, just pro bono projects. I'm starting up a leg where people can just come on by get some experience and help a community center out. So I'm starting that up very soon. So you can visit me on my website, Yolanda fraction calm. But I would say in general, Greg, just be open to multiple ways to grow upskill connect with people I think maybe that's the other thing I wanted to leave folks with is that we live in this beautiful virtual world world right now where a lot of folks are at home or working from home. So you can learn a lot by doing coffee chats, inviting people just to a 30 minute conversation to swap and get to know you get to know other other industries even and I think that's where we're gonna see opportunities to cross functionally Connect. And I think that's, if I had not been volunteered by my manager to do di training for example. I would not be as passionate about di work as I am now. I expressed to her an interest and she He gave me opportunities to actually get experience. So again, just just keeping an eye out on all the different opportunities online virtual training to take that that might mean Sherm, there's ATD, there's pro side, if you're into change management, all the big associations have opportunities to get involved and connect, I definitely have to shout out my local chapter that I'm involved with now, which is the ATD Metro DC. So I would say the chapters are great it for for webinars and opportunities, if you're in the learning space, to really just connect with other learning and development professionals. And I run a coffee chat every month, the second Friday of every month for learning professionals to connect, and we share job opportunity share volunteer opportunity. So again, just be well connected. Yeah,

Greg Williams:

there's there's a lot in there. And I think even if listeners could pick one thing of those that you are you provided that you haven't done yet, can lead to a lot. It's it's amazing to me how much just one conversation with someone you haven't met with before can can not only develop your perspective, but connect you to new opportunities and ideas. And I love that that thing that you're starting up, what was that? Again, you said idea dot.com.

Yolanda Fraction:

Um, so one thing that's already out there in the world is idealist.org. So I the e, l, i s t that work. So idealist.org is a place where when I was in the nonprofit world, I used to post volunteer opportunities for folks to have project opportunities. Now I folk are in the training and development or learning and development space, I actually am starting up something called the l&d playground. And that's an opportunity for folks to just come and take on volunteer opportunities for people who are in vulnerable communities. So you know, our first project actually is going to be with a former boss of mine, and he runs a community center down in Baltimore, and he's doing a lot of great work to help out black men who want to go into the workforce to get a trade. And so you know, just again, it doesn't matter who you work with, or where you go. I mean, they're all different types of people doing different things. You might even think, for example, Greg, you know, if somebody, for example, passionate about I don't know, youth, right? youth in and development of youth, you can go down to your local community center, I would just Google, you know, there are lots of people, libraries, just different things, groups that you can get involved with meetup, or amino, I think is meetup.com. is great for connecting with people. But just networking right now, whether it's virtual or, or in person in person, and just finding ways to say, Hey, I'm interested in this, can I maybe meet somebody in this industry or environment who may need a hand or may need someone to help me out? Um, so yeah, just keep continuing the conversation, I think is really important.

Greg Williams:

Definitely. And that reminds me how important it is to first of all, take a little inventory, like you said, to understand yourself, you don't know I don't know if one perfectly always understands everything about themselves. You don't want to spend too long doing that, but at least have a sense of what are my strengths? What do I want to develop? And and then, you know, Yolanda's given a lot of ideas of how to move forward on that. But is there anything else that you wanted to mention or discuss on the topics we've had today that I haven't asked you about?

Yolanda Fraction:

Oh, my goodness, take time for yourself. I know a lot of people are, may have been going through this pandemic for a while, a very long time. And I think as learning people, learning leaders, you know, we care, we come into this profession, because we care about other people. And I think sometimes I found myself giving and giving and giving until my tank is empty. So that's probably the last thing I want to encourage people to do is really take a moment for yourself. It's been a long pandemic. Unfortunately, we don't know we have there's a lot of uncertainty. But just take a moment for yourself, reflect, reflect, just grab a journal and say, Where am I? Where do I want to be? That's it. Give yourself five minutes, even if you don't have enough time to sit on a beach and kind of relax and just journal? But uh, yeah, plan out plan out your career because think a friend was telling me the other day, if you don't plan it out, someone else is gonna plan it out for you. Which is usually the manager. So So don't don't take a backseat to your own life. You got it, you got to get in that driver's seat.

Greg Williams:

Yolanda, this has been a wonderful conversation. Thanks so much for your time and sharing your perspective. Thank you for having me gray credit show notes for links to resources and more. So check that out and you can improve The direction of the podcast and keep it going by lending your [email protected] slash LX leader. There are so many things to process apply test out and debate in these conversations. But I feel like I'm only scratching the surface. social learning is real folks. And so let's learn together. I invite you to join the conversation by following the learning experience leader LinkedIn page, which is linked in the show notes. I hope to see you there soon. Until next time, keep learning