Spring Conference: Session Confessin’, Part I

Can you believe it? In two months we’ll be convening in Chicago for The Association’s Spring 2022 Conference. In person. For real.

We recently checked in with the presenters to help us get some buzz going. They’re as excited to see you as we are, and we’ll be spotlighting the speakers and their sessions over the next month or so. Space for the conference is limited to keep everyone as safe as possible, so we do recommend you register sooner rather than later.

First in our series, we welcome Kari Knutson, an educator, professional speaker, counselor and performer who’ll be with us for two sessions in the Resilient & Thriving Workforces track.

The Association: In keeping with the conference theme, what are you most jazzed about for our time together?
Kari Knutson: I am jazzed that we are meeting in person! Connecting with people in real-time with no Zoom link between us will be amazing.  I can’t wait to meet everyone!

The Association: Please give us a sneak peek at your sessions. What are actionable takeaways and/or key phrases and ideas that attendees will take away? (Details, please!)
Kari Knutson: I am excited to be a part of the Resilient & Thriving Workforces track, where I’ll be presenting two sessions.  In the first presentation, Boundaries, Rapport, and Relationships, we will talk about different kinds of boundaries and how setting and keeping boundaries can help us to protect and honor important parts of our lives. We will talk about what it looks like to use our ‘wise minds’ to navigate the middle ground between thoughts and feelings and how that helps us to create more realistic and meaningful boundaries. One actionable takeaway is information on how to create healthy boundaries and what they look like in real life, as part of realistic situations, with our authentic personalities. 

The second presentation is Coaching and Mentoring: Utilizing the Power of Relationships.  In this talk, we will focus on the important ways we engage with others in relationships that nourish, support and encourage us, as well as relationships that help us expand what is possible.  We will explore how cultivating coaching and mentoring relationships can lead to positive outcomes and tangible results both personally and professionally. Participants will learn the differences between coaching and mentoring and look at their own skill sets and areas for growth to see how they might be a coach or mentor to someone, and the benefits of receiving coaching or mentorship for themselves.

The Association: What can attendees prepare or think about prior to your sessions? 
Kari Knutson: For Boundaries, Rapport, and Relationships, I would like for attendees to think about areas in their lives where setting boundaries could have a positive impact, either personally or professionally.  Having a specific idea or situation where a boundary could be useful will help participants more easily apply the information from the session to real situations in their lives.

For Coaching and Mentoring: Utilizing the Power of Relationships, I would have attendees reflect on the following questions:

  • What areas of your profession do you excel in?
  • What lessons have you learned that would be truly helpful to someone else?
  • What specific skills do you have that you are willing and able to teach others?

I would also ask them to think about these questions:

  • What areas in your profession do you struggle with?
  • Would you be open to coaching or mentorship opportunities, why or why not?
  • What specific skills would you like to cultivate that you don’t currently have?

The Association: What favorite Zoom meeting outfit will NOT make it into your suitcase this June?
Kari Knutson: My cushy Oofos flip-flops.  I dressed in ‘presentation clothes’ for every online presentation over the last two years, which meant a nice top and pants. But I never wore anything on my feet other than my comfy flip-flops.  I’ll also be leaving behind my mug that says, “You’re on mute,” which I used numerous times for Zoom calls.


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