Great leaders are also great attentive listeners and hear what those around them say. Leaders listen to problems and then work to find solutions. It may be a solution for one person or many people. The solution may spring from one thought or conversation, but it all comes from focusing on “the one”.
As a career coach, my “one” are many- students. During summer vacation last year, I begin to think about how to focus more specifically on my students’ needs. I begin to think of them as classes and individuals. What were specific needs of each class and what did they need to be doing in the career development process as they progressed through college?. For example with first year students, I recalled conversations where students expressed the desire to focus on their career, but the need to focus on school. This was a “problem”, as a career coach I had to find the “solution”. The “Career Shuffle” presentation was born! This presentation educated students on how to balance academics with careers and why that is important. Students appreciated this specific focus on their needs and learned the small things they could do to move forward their first year. The workshop for second years focuses on how to transfer soft skills in the workplace to future jobs or careers. Many students feel that if a job is not related to their major or desired future job, it is not relevant, as career coaches we know this is not true. It is important to teach students the value of their jobs no matter what they may be. Creating these workshops has helped me become a better leader and career coach by building better relationships with students. Students understand that I understand their needs and it helps build rapport. As a result of presenting student focused workshops, I have seen an increase in the number of students in my office asking questions and receiving career assistance. As career coaches and anyone in academia, our role is to meet students where they are and we can learn where they are by focusing on “the one”. How do you focus on “the one”?