The Progress Project

Shadow a Colleague

business woman job-shadowing another business woman

When I first joined a local Building Society in an L&D role, I spent time with frontline colleagues in 2 different settings – a small, slow-paced rural branch where everyone knew customers by name and a city-centre branch, which was phenomenally busy from shutters up to cashing up.

Not only did I get a fast-track insight into their day to day activities, I learnt about their challenges, which meant I could:

  • Learn more about the best ways to communicate to them
  • Understand their development challenges and look for ways to solve them
  • Bring their training to life by using specific examples and scenarios tailored to what I know would be ‘real-life’ for them

It’s likely that you’ve encouraged others to ‘shadow’ someone, or job swap as part of their career development. And perhaps you’ve done that too.

But if it’s been some time, I wonder if there’s an opportunity to bring some shadowing into your own development?

There’s so much available, but I wanted to share a couple of options for you today.

  • Could you spend some time with a stakeholder you know very little about? Giving you the chance to build a relationship and understanding?
  • How about someone in your broader team (especially if it’s a large team) so you can understand more about their role

Maybe an ‘expert’ at what they do, so you can learn new skills or approaches.

I know that you’re pressed for time, so it’s useful to consider the payoff. What difference could / will it make?

And if you’re interested in setting up a job-shadowing scheme for others, this article might be a helpful read!

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