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Employee Learning and Development E-Newsletter [Vanderbilt University]

August 2023

The Editor’s Note

While it hasn’t officially changed seasons, WELCOME TO FALL!

The HR Employee Learning and Engagement team is excited to bring our fall lineup of learning experiences to colleagues across all areas and roles at Vanderbilt University. Here’s a sneak peek of what’s to come.

This fall you can expect some of your favorite learning series to return, including The Coaching Lab, Aspiring LeadeReads, and Conversation Circles for managers and leaders (see below for details). Additionally, we’ll offer three general sessions for CliftonStrengths, which is a great opportunity to put a name to your strengths and begin leveraging them at work. In the coming days we will release our full list of new and returning workshops, so stay tuned!

Highlights for this month’s edition:

  • Check out upcoming HR ELE experiences
  • Don’t miss out on the opportunity for mentorship (as either a mentor and/or mentee) with the Vanderbilt Staff Mentorship Program!

We look forward to fall learning and development experiences with you.


HR Employee Learning and Engagement |  Upcoming Experiences You Don’t Want to Miss


Build and enhance your coaching skills in HR Employee Learning & Engagement’s Coaching Lab! 

Whether you are a high-level administrator, people manager, or individual contributor, building your coaching skills can enhance your communication, performance, and success – and that of your team members, whether they report to you or work with you. Infusing coaching skills into your work can transform communication, enhance effectiveness, motivate employees, and strengthen relationships.  

And the best way to develop your coaching skills isn’t just to read about coaching, but to practice in a low-stakes environment where you receive feedback and have opportunities to observe coaching and offer feedback. The Coaching Lab was designed to offer you just that – you’ll gain foundational knowledge about what coaching is, explore a coaching framework, and build your coaching skills through observation, practice, and feedback.  

Sessions will be held on: 

  • September 12, 9:30 a.m. – 12 p.m. 
  • September 19, 9:30 a.m. – 12 p.m. 
  • September 26, 9:30 a.m. – 12 p.m. 

Here’s what colleagues are saying about their coaching lab experience:

“The coaching lab was very helpful in helping me boost my confidence in coaching as well as getting to learn with and from my peers.” ~ George Powell

“I’m so glad that VU offers this series and values the coaching experience by investing in staff. I think that all management should be encouraged to take this series.” ~ July 2023 participant

Register TODAY!



Join HR Employee Learning and Engagement for our next Conversation Circle, a series for managers and leaders, on September 14th from 2-3 p.m.!  

Our September discussion will focus on the staff engagement survey, including: 

  • How are you discussing the survey results with your team? 
  • When and how are you moving towards action planning? 
  • What are other departments and teams doing during this process? 

This peer-to-peer learning series creates an intentional space where supervisors, managers, and leaders can share and discuss insights and best practices while building their peer networks. Each one-hour Circle sparks conversations around a particular trending topic among managers at Vanderbilt.   

Upcoming Conversation Circles sessions include: 

  • October 26, 1-2 p.m., Managing Managers 
  • November 9, 2-3 p.m., Succession Planning 

Register TODAY!



Aspiring LeadeReads is HR Employee Learning & Engagement’s professional development book club series, and we invite you to join us for our Fall 2023 read: No Hard Feelings: The Secret Power of Embracing Emotions at Work.

In this four-part series, guided by the book, we will engage in deep discussions, activities, and reflections around motivation, communication, culture, leadership, and more.

The sessions will be hosted virtually on:  

  • Tuesday, October 24, 11 a.m. – 12 p.m.  
  • Tuesday, October 31, 11 a.m. – 12 p.m.  
  • Tuesday, November 7, 11 a.m. – 12 p.m.  
  • Tuesday, November 14, 11 a.m. – 12 p.m.  

Participants who get the most out of our learning experiences are engaged during sessions, and set aside time to read and sometimes re-read the book chapters before each discussion session.  

As a participant, you commit to: 

  • Reading the relevant chapters in No Hard Feelings before each session 
  • Showing up to each one-hour discussion session prepared to participate fully, share openly, and listen attentively 
  • Participating in activities during each discussion session 
  • Holding confidentiality for discussion sessions 

One participant from our Fall 2022 Aspiring LeadeReads shared:  

“Aspiring LeadeReads gave me the opportunity to reflect on how I work with colleagues and some specific strategies on how to create more effective communication with my team moving forward. It also allowed me to see how others planned to implement strategies from the book.” 

We anticipate that interest will exceed the number of seats available for this offering. To express your interest, we invite you to complete this interest form by October 3rd. Participants will receive a complimentary hard copy of No Hard Feelings.

All Vanderbilt University employees are eligible to participate in Aspiring LeadeReads. 

To learn more about upcoming workshops, please visit our website. If you would like the ELE team to facilitate a learning experience, please submit your request here

Coming this Fall: The Vanderbilt Staff Mentorship Program | The deadline to sign up is September 27th

The Vanderbilt Staff Mentorship Program (VSMP) is designed to spark organic mentoring relationships with a focus on connecting mentors and mentees. Each mentee is invited to meet with up to two different mentors. The expectation is that this is a one-time mentoring conversation, which will provide the mentee face time with a mentor who may provide insights on career and professional growth. Longer term mentoring relationships may evolve but are not guaranteed. The continuation of the relationship will be determined by the mentee and mentor.   

The goals of the Vanderbilt Staff Mentorship Program (VSMP) are as follows:   

  • Foster the professional and career growth of employees   
  • Spark connections and offer access to potential mentors, while also fostering a sense of connectedness, community, and belonging  
  • Create an opportunity for mentoring relationships to grow organically   
  • Begin to foster a culture of ongoing mentorship throughout the university  

We are calling on all eligible staff members to serve as a Mentor, Mentee, or BOTH!   

To be eligible to serve as a mentor, you must:   

  • Be knowledgeable in your field or area   
  • Be willing to devote at least 2 hours to VSMP over the course of Oct. 23rd-Dec. 15th 
  • Be passionate about supporting professional development of Vanderbilt University staff members.   
  • Be in good standing with the University.   

To be eligible to serve as a mentee, you must:   

  • Be prepared to discuss goals and career plans and appreciate alternative viewpoints and advice.   
  • Be willing to devote at least 3 hours to VSMP over the course of Oct. 23rd-Dec. 15th  

Apply here to serve as a mentor. 

Apply here to serve as a mentee.  

To serve as both a mentor and a mentee, please fill out both applications. Applications are due on September 27th.   

Appointments between mentors and mentees are encouraged to take place beginning October 23rd – December 15th.    

Please note that all mentors and mentees, whether new or returning to the program, are asked to fill out the applications and submit them by Sept. 27th.  

Interested in learning more about serving as a Mentor and/or Mentee? Attend the Vanderbilt Staff Mentorship Program Informational Session (<– use this link to register) on Wednesday, Sept. 6th from 1:00pm – 2:00pm. This virtual session will provide an overview of the program and additional information on how you can get involved to invest in your professional growth and those of your colleagues.  

*Even if you are unable to attend live, still register and we’ll follow up with you to provide all relevant information and the link to the recorded session.  

For questions, please email staffmentoring@vanderbilt.edu.  Please visit the VSMP website for additional details.   

Did You Know…?

How AI will impact the future of work

In a recent Forbes article on “How AI is Changing the Future of Work,” Ann Bordetsky (Partner at NEA) shared the following:

“AI is a force multiplier for human intelligence and productivity. Like the Industrial Revolution brought with machines and factories, AI is a means of production that will empower one to do the work of many. It’s hard to imagine change on that scale, yet it’s likely bigger than what we anticipate. AI won’t just boost efficiency for coding, marketing, legal or healthcare admin work — but entirely evolve how businesses and organizations of all types are built and run.” ~ Ann Bordetsky, Partner at NEA

Learn more about the ever-evolving thoughts and theories on how AI will make an impact in the workplace here.

Virtual and Community Opportunities

Teamraderie Presents: Learn the Science of Failing Well with Amy Edmondson


Right Kind of Wrong: The Science of Failing Well

Topics of Discussion include:

  • What’s wrong with how leaders approach failure today
  • How to help your team practice more “good” failure and avoid more “bad” failure
  • When to apply this at work

Date: Wednesday, September 6, 2023  |  Time: 12pm  |  Location: Virtual

Register Here


Virtual & Community Experiences



Date: Tuesday, September 12, 2023  |  Time: 11am – 12pm CST  |  Location: Virtual



Date: Thursday, September 14, 2023  |  Time: 2pm – 3pm CST  |  Location: Virtual



Date: Wednesday, September 20, 2023  |  Time: 11am – 12pm CST  |  Location: Virtual

(Visit learn.lyrahealth.com to register for Lyra Gatherings. This may require creating a new account. See the “Additional Learning Resources>Recommended Learning” section below for details.)

Additional Learning Resources


Empowering Managers to Lead in a Changing World of Work with Adam Hickman

Listen in less than an hour!

During this conversation, Vice President of Learning and Org Development at Partners Federal Credit Union, Adam Hickman, dives into some of the changes in the workplace and the implications of those changes (ex: technology) for what companies need out of their people managers so that they can have engaged and productive employees.



The big idea: Why we need to learn to fail better

(Amy Edmondson, the Guardian)

Why Kindness at Work Pays Off

(Andrew Swinand, Harvard Business Review)

Recognize the “performance paradox” and break free from stagnation at work

(Eduardo Briceno, BIG THINK)



Achieve Your Learning Goals– Tap Into Skillsoft Books and Videos!

Skillsoft Books and Videos offers you access to a library of more than 40,000 audiobooks, videos, live events, and related content. You can locate this wealthy resource under Learning Item Number OLC930045 in Oracle, or simply visit Oracle Learning.

NOTE: You must use Mozilla Firefox to access the library. 


Access On-Demand Courses or Register for Monthly Gatherings with Lyra Learn!

Lyra Learn offers interactive and research-backed courses about specific mental health topics led by clinicians and subject matter experts. New courses are added every quarter.

Complete the following steps to register for Lyra Learn and Lyra Gatherings:

  1. Visit learn.lyrahealth.com
  2. Upon reaching the log in page, go to “New user? Register”
  3. Complete the registration form (enter #vanderbilt511 for the customer code)
  4. Check your email for the link to complete the registration process

Communicate & Share Your Ideas

Got content suggestions? We’d love to hear from you. Email us your questions, thoughts, suggestions or requests for the newsletter or workshops and trainings at ele@vanderbilt.edu. Continue to encourage your teams and colleagues to opt-in to Rooted in Learning. Also, please note that a Vanderbilt email address is required to subscribe.

Happy Learning!

The Employee Learning and Engagement Team

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