Next Top Credit Union Exec Looks at the Bigger Picture
Tina Hall doesn't just preach the people helping people philosophy--she lives it. After beating out five other finalists to win CUES' Next Top Credit Union Exec contest on Nov. 10, Hall offered to split her $20,000 prize with runner up Ronaldo Hardy, forgoing the chance to partake in two CUES educational opportunities so that he too could attend the trade group's CEO Institute I in April.
"From my own values perspective," she told Credit Union Times, "I really believe in creating win-wins and I think that this was the right thing to do for our movement because rather than giving one person two experiences, it gives two people an amazing experience."
It was the values of the movement that first got Hall hooked on credit unions when she was a senior in college and a member of a student volunteer group at Boeing Employees CU. She recalled how the group's leader, a development educator, kindled her passion for the credit union philosophy from day one.
"When he spoke," she said, "he spoke with such passion and conviction, it convinced me that credit unions are here for a social purpose and to help communities thrive. That just spoke to my heart."
Today, Hall, 35, is herself a development educator and vice president of organizational development at Seattle-based Verity Credit Union. She earned the title in the CUES competition, which was designed to recognize young credit union professionals for the work they are doing to advance their credit union, with a three-part employee coaching program she calls "work/life transcendence."
In the first class, Hall encourages participants to reflect on this question: "When the sun is setting on your life, what do you want to look back on and be proud of?" They talk about how to work backwards from that goal to make their vision a reality and complete partner exercises, journal entries and group assignments.
The second part of the program begins with a refresher course on the themes from the first class, and then Hall digs into new material. She tells her students, "You're here for a greater purpose and it's important for you to show up that way in how you communicate and engage."
The last part of the program is a hybrid coaching piece that combines Hall's training as a sales coach with her training as a life coach. The one-on-one sessions, which take an hour a week over eight weeks, begin with an assessment of where the employee is and where he or she wants to be in terms of family, community, work and health. The participants drive the agenda, choosing the topics they want coaching on, whether it's communicating with a manager or communicating with a spouse. Hall stressed that what she does is not counseling--her role is to draw out the answers, not supply them.
Based on what she has learned from the pilot program, Hall intends to modify the curriculum for her next group by making the teaching more personal, asking tougher questions and pushing the concept that everything in life is a choice, whether it's conscious or not. She said she'd also like to move into the coaching phase earlier in the process and apply an internal net promoter score at the beginning and end to gauge how many employees are passionate advocates of the credit union.
For the next five months, Hall will continue sharing the progress of her project on the Next Top Credit Union Exec blog, where she and the other finalists have been publishing monthly posts and videos since June, when they were selected from among 41 applicants by online voters.
Asked to name the best part of winning the contest, Hall deflected the focus from herself. "When I look to the future," she said, "I think that this creates an opportunity for us to, as a community, share information and help each other succeed. I'm so excited by the energy that's out there and what we can do with it."