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Showing posts from December, 2016

For personal sustainability, mind your relationships

By Nicole Pokorney Last week I was reminded of the importance of just sitting down and talking with another person for the sake of honest, open discussion and networking.  I sit on a national committee with staff from all over the country, from Hawaii to Vermont. We come together once a year face to face and while we have two full days of business to tend to, we also take intentional time to go out to dinner and talk without an agenda. It's not an option - it's essential. Dinner time is as important as the business. It is an opportunity to finish some business items, but the atmosphere provides a time to get to know each other, dialog about system-wide topics, and create a bond that helps us to work stronger and more efficiently.  Plus there is laughter and joking! Collegiality is vital in the youth work profession. It's easy to isolate ourselves and forget the benefits of networking with other youth development professionals. Building relationships for a support syst

Make meetings meaningful

By Brian McNeill Meetings can be important and useful, or they can be a waste of time. How many of us have sat in a meeting and thought, "Is this meeting ever going to start?" or worse, "Is this meeting ever going to end?" The typical American professional attends more than 60 meetings per month, and about half of that time is wasted. Seventy-three percent of professionals do unrelated work during meetings – perhaps because they are not truly needed in them. (MCI white paper Meetings in America: A study of trends, costs and attitudes toward business travel, teleconferencing, and their impact on productivity (Greenwich, CT: INFOCOMM, 1998.) There are a lot of elements that go into building an effective meeting. When working with youth programs, it’s important to train young people to run meetings effectively . But when adults model bad meeting behavior, it trickles down to the young people in the room. If we are to model effective, productive and good meeti

What does it mean to be a youth development professional?

By Margo Bowerman I've been a youth development professional for 17 years now. And it is not just because I get paid to do this work that I proudly claim the title of a professional. How do you define "professional?" There are all sorts of professionals in society: youth development professionals, professional football players, professional politicians, and professional ecologists, among countless others.