Career Conversations Guide and Next Steps Template by Crystal Proenza
Career Conversations Approach to Development Plans
This is an approach to development plans that focuses on connecting a team member’s long term goals to their short term commitments, keeping in mind their strengths and unique experience.
The 3-meeting structure suggested was developed by Kim Scott from her book Radical Candor. You can read a post that details the format here. The original structure calls for three 45-minute conversations. The format can be adapted to three 30-minute conversations, with another hour of the manager’s time utilized to synthesize the most important parts of the conversation and create a starting draft of the development plan. The end result is a written development plan that can be revisited and tracked.
The other amazing thing about these conversations is that they have a way of making your relationship with your direct report stronger.
Step 1: The ‘What Brought you Here’ Conversation
Schedule and hold a 30 minute conversation focused on your direct reports’ “What Brought You Here Story” or as I like to call it - The Journey To INSERT COMPANY NAME HERE. No phones and no interruptions, you will ask your direct to outline what brought them to the position they hold at the company right now. This is purposely vague. What you’re looking for is to understand your direct’s career moves and major life transitions. As they tell you about their lives, you are going to stop and ask questions at points when they made major decisions (where they went to school, what they majored in, the first place they worked). Below is a list of questions to help spark conversation and get to the “heart” of the journey:
- Start with high school and bring me to today
- What drove your decision to choose X major or X career path?