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Why (and How) I #GuildChat

I've always found Twitter to be an amazing way to connect with others around the world for professional development. Recently, I pulled a co-worker into the Twittersphere, and for me the impact on my professional development multiplied!

Over the past year, I’ve written several articles about the joys and benefits of Tweet chatting (here is a quick primer if you’re unfamiliar with the concept of a Tweet chat).

As my to-do list at work has grown longer (with shorter turn-around times), I was able to join in on fewer and fewer Twitter conversations. Last week, however, I got excited to see that the eLearning Guild’s weekly #GuildChat topic would be onboarding.

I’m in the midst of helping overhaul my organization’s onboarding programs, I’ve been looking for some good ideas, so this seemed quite timely.

Normally, to participate in a Tweet chat, I’ll sit by myself at my desk, kind of hoping nobody else walks by and thinks it’s ok to interrupt me because I’m “just doing Twitter.” Last week, I switched this routine up a bit. I invited a colleague from HR to join in on the conversation.

We booked a small conference room. We connected my computer to a larger monitor so we could both see the conversation and kick around ideas as I typed in our responses.

An unintended consequence of participating in #GuildChat sitting alongside a co-worker who is also involved in this onboarding overhaul is that it helped prompt other conversations between us as we looked at others’ responses and tried to identify transferable lessons and ideas for our organization.

As the hour-long #GuildChat came to a close, we found that we had three action items (which we may not have otherwise come up with if we hadn’t participated in this chat):

1. Schedule a follow-up to a brainstorming session we had last month (and which I had promptly forgotten about as I headed off to meetings in Sri Lanka and India the following week).

2. Based on this response to the question “What are the biggest challenges you have seen in making onboarding successful”:

we realized we should use “onboarding” as a topic for an upcoming HR round table meeting (which is a monthly session in which we bring together supervisors and managers to discuss HR-related topics). During this session, we can get buy-in and ideas from across the organization in order to make improvements to our current program.

3. This response added one more item to my own to-do list:

I’ve begun to put together a crash course for onboarding presenters in order to ensure they’re delivering the information in the most effective manner possible.

There’s something to be said for self-directed learning, but changing up my traditional Tweet chat routine and bringing in a colleague helped to make this a very productive, meaningful, action-oriented, impactful hour.

#GuildChat takes place on Fridays at 11:00am Pacific/2:00pm Eastern.

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