Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Getting my PD on in the government

Today was my first time outside my office at my government job. They couldn't keep me there forever. I finally broke out. Well maybe it isn't the first time I have left come to think of it.

I do go out for lunch (well in the summer at least, weather is getting colder now) and when there were some issues with our pay, we had to go to another department to get that figured out. So I do enjoy some occasional freedom. But today was different type of adventure outside the office. It was a professional development (PD) session.

PD's, for those of you who don't know, are sessions where you gather people in the same field of work and present them with information that helps them get more out of their career.

This was my first PD session in the government. I had gone to other PR ones as part of being involved in CPRS. But this, much like the ones I went to with CPRS, was a great experience. They usually you are. However, it was especially good because it had a PR twist.

One of the three speakers, was a conflict management practitioner in the government. For all those wanting to do conflict management, listening to her would have given you a good insight on what it takes to get to her level. Her confidence when speaking was evident (work hard on your presentations in people!) and she dropped enough PR lingo to keep me fully locked in.

Obviously for me, her presentation was the best. The other presentation, which was the first, focused on work harassment. Looking at where I work, in an office setting where there is support about three distinct different groups working on the same floor, a very diverse setting indeed, knowing what constitutes harassment and how to solve it should issues arise, is differently a benefit for all of us.

The last speaker talked about the core competencies, or in plain English, a set of 9 specific skills that all government employee's should have and become better at using to fully maximize their potential at work. Examples include postive attitude and being able to use technology. It was refreshing to know that these skills I have mentioned above, as well as the other 7, are ironically ones the PR program here pushes as important. Definitely a nice fit.

Overall the PD was a fun time. I love PD sessions. They give you a chance to learn something new outside the tradtional classroom, while still having that same type of feel with people taking notes and asking questions. Doesn't hurt when you are getting paid a full day for going to one too...