By: Kathy Tompkins
The Women in Retirement Conference, affectionately known as WiRC, is an amazing conference held each January where women "WiRC" together with members from all five sister organizations: ASEA, ASPPA, NAPA, NTSA, and PSCA.
WiRC's primary goal is to address the challenges and opportunities of women leaders in the retirement industry, personally and professionally.
This unique conference brings together a diverse collection of retirement plan experts, all eager to engage and make new friends. This year the WiRC conference was hosted just outside of Scottsdale, AZ, which allowed us to spend our evenings networking outside in the warm evening air. Attendees arrived Wednesday afternoon and the evening started with intentional outdoor networking and social gatherings.
The next two days included presentations on leadership, practice management, advocacy, negotiations, modern prospecting, and a special session on fostering DEIB (diversity, equity, inclusion, and belonging).
Here are some of my takeaways:
One of my favorite sessions was on situational leadership, presented by Rosemary Laack. When I started managing a team, I was surprised at how people reacted differently to company initiatives or procedural changes. Some went with the flow, and some didn't. I realized that no one had trained me on how to lead.
Rosemary's session helped attendees understand that leadership is influence. And you can best lead by exploring individuals' abilities and willingness to complete a task and then matching that with a communication style. After this one-hour session, I was empowered to be a better leader.
Another favorite session of mine was on negotiations, presented by Fotini Iconomopoulos. Did you know that subtle changes in how you say things or even how you hold your stance can make a huge difference in getting the results you want? Fotini supercharged the audience, and everyone looked forward to using their new skills at their next negotiation.
Each session had unique takeaways that you could implement in the office or your personal life to make a positive impact. The best takeaway was all the new connections and information sharing with women leaders in our industry. That's what makes WIRC so unique.
The 2024 WiRC is less than a year away, so it's not too soon to put a placeholder on your calendar. I hope to see you there!