PARA Knows Best
The trainee is asked to develop his or her own action worksheet, which is designed to fulfill the business goals. Verrall says that the action worksheet will flesh out the ingredients and daily actions required of each trainee in order to accomplish the desired goals.
"What's great about this," says Verrall, "is that each worksheet is customized for each person enrolled. One person's goals may be entirely different from another's." But she says that the process is the same for everyone — finding a way to make these goals tangible.
For example, one manager wanted to attract more referrals. As a result, his worksheet dictated sending letters to potential resources. "They will learn everything they need to do to send out letters," says Verrall. "And if they don't have that letter to send, then the next step is creating one."
By the time the second call is placed, Verrall says, "Everyone learns about everyone else's action list." Because the trainees are paired with other professionals in the industry, insights shared can create the motivation and leads that are necessary to get started executing the customized plan of action. It's also the foundation for future correspondence. "Many people stay in touch even after the program in completed," says Verrall. "It's a good way to network."
The program is also hands-on in the process. By the end of the second call, Verrall asks participants to pursue their plans for 28 days. Ever week, she and the trainees set up a time to talk for about an hour about problems and accomplishments. They are coached on obstacles, brainstorm with Verrall and other participants for possible solutions, and celebrate wins.
For instance, Verrall says, if the plan to send letters for referrals failed, she will discuss it in detail with the trainee.