Learning, Sharing & Defying Gravity: Reflections on the 2018 Consulting Psychology Conference

In the digital age, it’s tempting to think that you can stay fully connected to your professional world, even if you never leave your desk. Email, Skype, webinars, LinkedIn, message boards, Twitter… that has to provide enough information to keep us up-to-date and on the pulse of the learning and development world, right?

Fortunately, all of us at MRG have committed to making sure we get out of our offices and into the world – and whether that’s to visit clients and partners, deliver a presentation, or attend a conference that educates us about our own roles and functions, these escapes always serve as a reminder that no amount of technology can replace immersive, face-to-face interaction.

Earlier in February, we found this point proven once again when we attended the Society of Consulting Psychology‘s Consulting Psychology Conference. SCP puts together an impressive program: a day of pre-conference workshops, two full days and one partial day of general and concurrent sessions, plus a full slate of social activities.

And the four of us who were there wore quite a few hats during the trip: MRG was proud to offer our support to the organization as a Platinum Sponsor; Tricia Naddaff taught an Individual Directions Inventory certification the day before the conference, which Maria Brown and I attended as students; Tricia and Maria delivered a presentation sharing new research on leaders who deal effectively with diversity and inclusion; and Staci Nisbett and I were there to attend, absorb, and continue to develop our understanding of the challenges consulting psychologists are facing and how assessments can help them overcome those challenges.

All in all, it made for a very intensive and exciting week! In the few days between our return to the office and Tricia and Staci’s departure for the MRG Summit in Sydney, I squeezed in a few minutes to catch up with everyone and gather their reflections on the event:

Staci’s take:

“One of my favorite things about going to a conference is getting the chance to explore a new place. I loved how walkable Savannah is, and I had no idea that there was such a thriving arts scene there.

It struck me so clearly how much value CPC brings to its community. It draws together people from a wide variety of backgrounds and areas of focus and invites open discourse and sharing best practices.”

Tricia’s take:

“Christine Porath‘s presentation on Mastering Civility: A Manifesto for the Workplace was fantastic! Both eye-opening and reinforcing. Great evidence on the high human and productivity price organizations pay when they allow incivility in the workplace.

CPC is a great place for MRG to network, learn and engage.  The members of SCP are professionally experienced,  intellectually interested and interpersonally warm, making for rich dialogue and debate that ultimately helps all of us be more effective in our work.”

Maria’s take:

“This was my first visit to Savannah, and it was fun to spend a little time getting to know this laid back city with a quiet but cool vibe.

Spending time with SCP’s members, it became clearly evident that this is a community of people who are truly invested in helping others succeed. Everyone was open to learning about different ideas and points of view, and most disagreements led to constructive discussions. There were many noteworthy moments during sessions and ideas that will inspire further research, but one thing that stuck with me: while listening to a panel discussion I was reminded that every person’s path in life is made up of a unique combination of experiences. We need to be careful when judging others because we will never know the entirety of those experiences.”

My take:

It’s always the sign of a good conference when you come home ready to talk your partner’s ear off about all the amazing things you learned! There were several presentations that had me doing just that. I’m a social media addict and a political news junkie; in our current contentious era, that means a lot of exposure to (and I’ll admit, occasional participation in) incivility. Christine Porath’s jaw-dropping statistics about the severe impact of even witnessing incivility has already made me more conscious of the content I consume and when I choose to consume it. I also enjoyed Joann Lublin‘s stories about her own career and the careers of other women working their way up in male-dominated industries in times that were more overtly hostile to gender parity than our own. Her book Earning It is definitely on my reading list!

I also have to admit that the image of MRG’s logo projected above the keynote stage, and our table in the hallway, with our banners and brochures laid out, made some happy memories for me! As a marketer, I certainly get a boost from seeing us look our best, and looking around at our presence at SCP, I tried to take a moment to be proud that the quality of our image in the world is finally starting to catch up to the quality of our assessments.

A hardy thanks to Marissa Berman, Heather Kennedy, and the team that put on this terrific event. We look forward to being part of it for many years to come!



About the author

Lucy is the Head of Marketing at MRG. She's a passionate people person who talks with her hands even when she's on the phone. She will not rest until everyone on earth has taken their IDI.

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