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Creating Connections on 'The Rock'

Creating Connections on 'The Rock'

How many times have you thought about the people you met at last year's CSAE National Conference? I wonder what exciting things they have been involved with over the past year! How will you find them amongst all this year's conference-goers? What will you say when you see them again?

With CSAE National Conference 2017 only a few weeks away, now is a great time to revisit some of what we learned at the Strategic Relationship Skills: Creating Connections workshop last fall, and apply it in a new way as we prepare for catching up with those people again at this year's conference in St. John's.

Drivers, I know you are ready to get this done! So, here is the to-do list:


1. Plan to Learn

Decide what you most want to learn from others. Whether it is looking for ideas for your own association's conference or tips for coaching employees, the people you will meet at conference are a great resource. We can all learn something from someone else. Plan to take the time to engage in lots of interesting and insightful conversation. How? Be ready. Plan ahead with great questions.


2. Prepare Your Questions

Asking great questions allows you to focus the conversation on something you would like to learn while allowing the other person to share their knowledge. Planning questions in advance can help you keep a conversation going.

What do you like most about attending CSAE conferences?

How do you find great ideas for your association's members?

What worked for your association best in the past year?

Conference is a sea of ideas!


3. Listen to What Others are Sharing

Take the time to focus on the other person and really listen. When we really listen to others, we show that we care. When we show that we care, people tend to feel a stronger connection to us. These connections are key to strong, productive and mutually beneficial relationships!


4. Share Your Thoughts and Resources

Think about something you can give to others. What thought-provoking article, book, or blog have you lately read that may contain a nugget for someone you meet? What speaker have you heard that you might recommend they consider for their conference?Take a moment to use your phone to make a note, and have it at the ready. At conference, you can share this valuable thought or idea with people you meet. Perhaps you might offer to send it by email to continue the engaging conversation post-conference.

Sometimes, the best gift we can give is sharing information of potential value.

When you land in St. John's be sure to smile! Say hello and talk to strangers! Expand your network one handshake at a time, and have a wonderful conference!

See you on The Rock!




Maureen R Gillis, CPA, CA, facilitates adult learning in topics related to leadership, success, and human behaviour. With formal training in adult learning, professional training in human resources management, and with a designation as a Chartered Professional Accountant, Maureen brings a multi-disciplinary perspective to her interactive workshops. Her teaching and facilitation work began early in her career. She has taught for various universities and facilitated professional development sessions for members of professional organizations. With nearly three decades of leadership experience, she brings professional insight to her sessions, offering a variety of approaches to accommodate the different needs of learners. During her career, Maureen has also been active in volunteer roles as a coach and with organizations such as the Canadian Institute of Chartered Accountants Public Sector Accounting Board, the Institute of Chartered Accountants of Nova Scotia, Junior Achievement of Nova Scotia, the Financial Management Institute, the Chamber of Commerce, among others. She also served as a volunteer financial advisor for an NGO in Ghana, West Africa. Today, Maureen enjoys delivering seminars to members of professional groups and associations on current topics of interest that support ongoing development and growth for leaders.



Maureen Gillis, Networking, National Conference


Events, Guest Contributor



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