Each month we take a moment to recognize a Chapter Member and share a little bit about them. We hope you find their stories engaging!
Name: Paula Heath
Position and Employer: Senior Leadership Development Specialist at United Fire Group
How long have you been with your employer and/or in your position? 3 Years
How long have you been a member of ATD Hawkeye Chapter? Off and on for 15 Years
What is a typical workday like for you? The typical workday is ever changing. Many days are spent building out management and leadership development strategies. It entails determining their development needs, designing the appropriate solution, and implementing the solutions determined. I manage and train the Leadership Development Program at UFG. In addition, I spend many days in meetings learning about and supporting change initiatives.
What do you enjoy most about ATD Hawkeye Chapter? It’s a chance to learn about best practices from others in the Learning and Development field. We all come with our own experiences and expertise. It’s an opportunity to share. I’ve also enjoyed the National Conventions I’ve attended through the years.
Name a professional challenge you have experienced, and share how ATD Hawkeye has helped you overcome it. Many times when I am developing a learning solutions, I turn to ATD for research or to experience the ATD programs. Most recently, our company is shifting to a Leaders as Coaches leadership philosophy. I recently attended the Coaching Certification course. The program had several guides that can be used to implement a coaching program.
What piece of advice related to talent and development has made a significant impact on you and your work? It’s not about you. It’s about the person who is developing. Know what’s in it for them, make it about them, ask questions, listen, and give them the opportunity to find the solution. It’s guiding them through activities, experiences, and practice.
What is your favorite part of the learning and development field? When those I am developing are engaged, learn new skills, have that Ah-Ha moment, and transfer what they learned to their work.
Please share a favorite story related to learning and development. When I look at past experiences, my favorite stories are about times when I helped others grow in their career. I enjoyed building t an onboarding plan that was active for years. I enjoyed building an educational job shadowing program that allowed the employees to connect, make process improvements, and think of innovate ideas to share across the organization. Last, I enjoy watching the leaders within the Leadership Development Program build and advance their leadership careers.
What are your greatest strengths, and what are your current development goals? I have been quite resilient in my career, so I would say that a strength is having an open mind to change and looking at it as an opportunity to grow and continue to develop. When it comes to Learning and Development, I love to listen to those requesting a solution and designing and developing a solution that makes a difference.
Who is currently one of your favorite speakers or authors, and why? I’m a fan of Celest Headley, Simon Sinek, Patrick Lencioni, and Cy Wakeman. I also love to read mystery novels in my spare time, which has been rare lately.
What are your hobbies or favorite things to do with your time? I love to visit my grandchildren regularly, cook, walk in the park everyday after work, and travel to hike in the mountains with my husband.
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