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Conference Aha’s from APTi 2013 in Miami

Slide01I’m just returning from the 20th Biennial Association for Psychological Type International Conference. Jerry Black, Conference Chair, challenged everyone to come up with an “aha” for each session they attended. Those who wrote them down were even eligible for prizes. Big ones!

I decided to organize my top three aha’s into an acronym—ALPs. Besides helping me remember these actionable learnings, the acronym reflects that the conference, which went quite smoothly, was a bit of a peak experience for me as Program Chair.

  • Action Tomorrow. Susan Nash of Em-Power and Type Academy (which houses all kinds of great type resources) opened the conference with a great keynote on ensuring that your message reaches people with different learning styles. The last step in her TEACH process involves helping people identify how they can make immediate use of new knowledge. Whether you’re a manager, a consultant, a lecturer, or a leader, if you’ve brought a group together , help them identify at least one action step they will take tomorrow. Or, give them a tip or tool they can use right away. And tell them they can use it tomorrow. I naturally ensure that my workshops allow for immediate application, but need to be more intentional about asking, “How can you use this tomorrow? Take a moment and make a little plan.”
  • Laminate. Rob Toomey of TypeCoach spoke on Making Type Stick: Reaching 1,000 Users. One of his suggestions was to leave behind a practical tool your client can use. It might be a sheet of tips, or a diagram that will help them put into practice the skill they learned from you, or a planning tool. Put your contact information on it and laminate it. Clients are more likely to keep your “handout” if it’s given this aura of permanence. He says that he often gets calls such as, “Rob, it’s been awhile since we’ve had you in, but I keep using your _____ and I think our new employees need your training.”
  • Picture it. Sue Blair of Personality Dynamics gave a dynamic keynote on using similes to help people understand how their mental processes work. While her presentation included wonderful images, she often prefers letting her clients imagine their own images based on her word promts. Her biggest application is helping people clarify their personality type. She might ask someone who can’t decide whether they are more attracted to factual information or to theoretical ideas, “Does your mind work more like a filing cabinet, labeling and storing interesting or necessary information? Or is it more like a molecule, where you can make connections and twist things to understand relationships?” I could picture using the technique with an upset child, “Are you feeling like a volcano about to explode? Or more like really hot water that will cool off if you can be by yourself for awhile?”

How often do you walk away from a conference with tons of notes and handouts, all excited about new information and ideas…only to return to the daily grind and lose track of it all. My ALPs came from my cochair Jerry Black’s technique: A big aha for each session. And then mine: shape your top ones into an acronym that just might keep your conference learning alive.  APTi 2013 attendees, blog about your own aha’s and share your link below!

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Jane Kise is a consultant and executive coach. The founder of Differentiated Coaching Associates and author of over 20 books, she works with schools and businesses worldwide to help create environments where everyone can flourish.

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