Picture it: You have just gotten back to your practice after The Connection, energized from the lectures and workshops, conversations with strategic partners and connecting with your peers. How do you apply your new perspective to your practice?
First – What can you do before The Connection begins?
1. Prepare for the Conference: Education yourself on the event layout, the courses you want to take, the IDOC employees or Vendor Partners you want to connect with. Think through your choices ahead of time, even if it is the day of, and be strategic in your course selection. What are the long-term benefits of each course to you as a business owner and leader?
Second – What can you do at The Connection?
2. Write it down: We are not all the best note takers and we all learn differently. However, over the course of 3 days full of learning opportunities, it is impossible to remember it all. I always take notes, pen to paper, on the computer, even on my phone so that I can recall details of the training I attended. It allows the material to jump from the conference to my day to day life because I can recall the details of WHY I thought this was brilliant idea. I recommend taking notes in your conference notebook, so they are all together. I would record the course title, name of the lecturer/speaker and build your notes on at least one page of a notebook. Include contact information, if applicable, for follow up questions that may come to you later.
3. Bring Different Types of Shoes: This is a lesson I have learned the hard way. Not just different pairs of shoes, different types of shoes are necessary for any multi-day conference. All shoes are not made equal. Sandals can cause frozen toes-ies, flats can cause pained arches, sneakers can wear in the same place on our feet. Although not typically a problem in a normal day’s work, days in a row in the same pair at a conference may cause some irritations. It’s not worth it to be in pain AND it prevents tired or pained feet from distracting you from the material.
4. Get/Offer a Business Card for Follow-up: Asking for contact information is a great way to follow up on a question when you are back in your practice. Offering your business card is a great way to ensure a call back after The Connection. Once you are back to the status quo, having a resource to reach out to or knowing someone else is going to take the lead in follow up will remove some of the uncertainty.
5. Take a Few Minutes to Reset at The Connection: This is something that is usually determined by your personality. Some gain energy from a meeting with others and some are drained. If you fall into the later, find a quiet space inside or outside to check emails, check in on the practice or at home or close your eyes and breathe.
Lastly – How do you bring this new information to life in your Practice?
6. Prepare to return to your Practice: Before you get back into the daily routine, review your notes and prioritize the new ideas into categories of Today, Tomorrow and Someday. Today are the things you would like to tackle now, Tomorrow are the things you would like to tackle this year and Someday are great ideas that require more thought. Once you have this list, break down your Today items into small tasks that you can assign a due date. This plan will allow you stay on track.
7. Roll out your plan: Share your Today, Tomorrow and Someday with your team so they hear about all the wonderful new ideas you learned at The Connection. Plus, getting your team involved in the journey will make them more likely to be engaged with the changes you are considering for your practice.
8. Revisit your plan, often: Your plan is not infallible and may need to be adjusted based on the priorities of the practice. Look at what you have laid out once a month to ensure this is still the right priority and direction for your practice. Pivot wherever necessary.