4 Steps to Achieving Positive Customer Claim Experiences

Claim reporting can be challenging for even the most seasoned Risk Management Teams, as each claim is unique. Insureds in the Construction Industry face large, multi-million-dollar claims that can take years to resolve. However, with a strong process and execution, the claim submission process can be constructive and beneficial for all parties. In a recent sit down with River Steenson, CRIS - Senior Construction Risk Engineer at AXA XL, he provides four steps to achieving positive customer claim experiences:

1.      Start the Insured/Carrier Collaboration as Soon as Possible

2.      The Carrier Should Provide Coaching and Feedback Throughout the Claims Process

3.      Maintain Continuous Dialogue Start to Finish – Nothing Should be Done in a Vacuum

4.      Get the Claim to the Finish Line

Start the Insured/Carrier Collaboration as Soon as Possible

            Collaboration is crucial when creating a successful claims experience, so the sooner an Insured engages with their Carrier, the better. River notes that when the Insured starts communicating with the Carrier in advance of a potential issue and before notice of a claim, it allows the Carrier to evaluate, and when necessary, triage the situation with the policyholder. This allows the Risk Engineers and Claim Managers to “collectively figure out where the risks are and provide support to the Insured so they can take critical action to mitigate the default from both a cost and schedule impact.” By collaborating with the Carrier as soon as possible, Insureds are more likely to mitigate their risk and achieve their ultimate goal - finishing the project on time and on budget – all of this made easier by quickly and collaboratively identifying the cost to cure the defect.

The Carrier Should Provide Coaching and Feedback Throughout the Claims Process

            Once the Insured and Carrier have engaged with one another on the claim, they must establish a strong working relationship utilizing transparent and direct communication. This includes constructive feedback and coaching from the Carrier to the insured, as the Carrier has significant experience that can significantly benefit the project team. Scheduling meetings and training sessions with an Insured’s risk management and project team, the Carrier can obtain vital project details and set document and claims expectations. In our sit-down with River, he states that Carrier feedback and coaching opens an “opportunity to identify all challenging issues on the claim early and get on the same page [with the Insured].” Through coaching and feedback, the Insured knows precisely what the Carrier wants and how they want it.

Maintain Continuous Dialogue from Start to Finish – Nothing Should be Done in a Vacuum

            Collaboration and communication between all parties involved should carry on throughout the claim.  Notable parties include the Contractor, Broker, Carrier, and Consultants (if used). As River states in the episode, “Each party plays a key role in making sure [everyone] sees the facts, nuances, and things to consider.” Continuous dialogue creates transparency as well as strong, trusting relationships. It is vital to resist working in silos as they are more likely to develop problems when expectations are not clear and directly communicated. It takes collaboration by all parties to make sure the claims experience goes smoothly and benefits all parties.

Get the Claim to the Finish Line

            Lastly, River discusses getting the claim to the finish line. River suggests that the Carrier and Insured should start the claims process with the end in mind –  a successful and agreeable claim resolution. By starting with the end goal, parties involved can be intentional with every meeting by keeping everyone on the same page, working towards an efficient way to close the claim. In addition, starting with the end in mind helps Carriers and Insureds pave a path towards resolution and lets them know what is expected along the way.

            Communication and collaboration are critical components to a positive claim experience. Direct dialogue creates clear expectations, allowing all parties involved to clearly understand what they need to do to reach a claim resolution. To learn more about achieving positive claims experiences, listen to our podcast with River Steenson, 4 Steps to Achieving Positive Customer Claim Experiences.


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Driving Company Success through the Utilization of BIM

Building Information Modeling (BIM) is a robust process serving as the foundation for digital transformation across the AEC industry. This three-dimensional data rich process helps project personnel create and manage data throughout the lifecycle of a construction project. As stated on Autodesk's website, BIM is revolutionizing how projects are delivered across industries, adding intelligence and efficiency to project execution – and connecting teams, data, and workflows at every stage of the project in the cloud for better project outcomes. We recently sat down with Dr. Nathan Blinn, VP of Construction & Strategic Innovation at Eagle Construction of VA, who has an extensive BIM background. He provides excellent insights into the realm of building technology and gives us three takeaways that will help companies drive success through the utilization of BIM: 

1. View BIM Management as a Multiplier, Not An Expense 

2. Don't do BIM in a Bubble 

3. And, Don't Overlook the "I" in BIM  

View BIM Management as a Multiplier, Not An Expense

             Mindset matters. If you go into a situation with a negative outlook, then the outcome will most likely be negative – and vice versa. Building Information Modeling can be negatively perceived as some view its application as another budgetary line item. However, when utilized correctly, this is not the case at all; it is a multiplier. According to Nathan, BIM is "something that has the opportunity to institutionalize knowledge and to help create opportunity as well as drive value. " This powerful technology can be a multiplying factor for the several sides of a construction project. For example, the Management team can use the data to make smarter decisions through improved comprehension of the overall project.


Additionally, with BIM utilization project control teams better understand their trade's scope of work and the trades have better information leading to improved project execution. In this way BIM can drive substantial value to various construction project components; however, Owners and GC's alike will have a more difficult time finding success with the wrong mindset and attitude. BIM is not a secret recipe that will fix all your problems. Utilized correctly, however, can be a dynamic tool to enhance and drive your building process, leading to informed decisions that drive positive results and create unique solutions through data. 


Don't do BIM in a Bubble 

             Building Information Modeling is a tool that communicates essential information to the teams involved in a construction project. Owners, architects, contractors, subcontractors, and other project personnel can use a BIM model to better understand the functional and physical features of a structure. However, as Dr. Nathan Blinn states, "if your trades, if the rest of your company, if your field teams are not on-board with you and cannot leverage the tool [BIM] that you are putting in front of them, then none of it matters." A company will fail to see success if it implements BIM in a bubble as a construction project is not a single-entity operation. BIM is most effective when leveraged across the different teams involved so valuable data is efficiently shared and addressed, allowing project personnel to make data driven decisions earlier and more effectively. 


Don't Overlook the "I" in BIM


             BIM is a tool, not a solution. Like a hammer or a screwdriver, BIM can be "wielded" correctly or incorrectly. When appropriately used, operational data is produced – this is the "information" part of Building Information Modeling. As previously mentioned, it is valuable when this data is communicated across the different levels of a construction project. In our sit down with Dr. Nathan Blinn, he explains that "when you have informed members of your team at all levels, you can understand what everyone is working on, as well as identify opportunities for improvement." The information component of BIM makes the tool powerful, so it must not be overlooked. It is the piece that can make or break a project's success. 


The utilization of BIM can occur by anyone in the industry, including Owners, insurance carriers, builders, architects, contractors, etc. With the right attitude and execution, companies can find great success through utilizing this technology. To learn more about driving company success through Building Information Modeling, listen to our podcast with Dr. Nathan Blinn, Driving Company Success through the Utilization of BIM. 


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Email Nathan at nblinn@tecofva.com
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4 Opportunities to Improve a Contractor's Prequalification & Subcontractor Selection Process

Subcontractor Default Insurance (SDI) is a policy that protects general contractors and construction managers from the loss associated with a defaulted subcontractor. Contractors take on a substantial amount of risk when employing subcontractors for large construction projects. General contractors must do an excellent job of mitigating that risk by selecting and managing their subs carefully, so they may avoid running into any significant problems in the future, such as a default; this is what makes the prequalification process vitally important. In a recent interview with Jeff Nolan, Risk Engineer at Cove Programs, he gives us four steps to improving a contractor’s prequalification and subcontractor selection process:  

1. Don’t do Prequal in a Silo or Vacuum

2. Develop a Risk Mitigation Process

3. Consistently Apply the Developed Processes 

4. Capture the Lessons Learned 

Don’t do Prequal in a Silo or Vacuum

           According to Jeff Nolan, the “goal of prequal is to ensure that the subs being considered for the subcontract award are capable of successfully performing the subcontract.” The general contractor must evaluate a subcontractor’s financial stability as well as their operational capacity. If a contractor goes through the prequalification process in a silo, they fail to take advantage of the feedback loop; significant information on a subcontractor’s previous experiences gets shared with people who are interested in knowing. A GC will learn more about subcontractors if they communicate with other contractors and project personnel on how a sub performed on previous projects. The prequalification process should be more than just checking boxes. It should be an extensive evaluation process where general contractors communicate important information about a subcontractor to the entire project team. The more engaged and synergetic a GC is during the prequalification process, the more likely they are to select a successful subcontractor, allowing for better performance on the overall construction project. 

Develop a Risk Mitigation Process

           Once a GC builds strong communication with the project team during the prequalification process, they should then develop a risk mitigation plan that is more elaborate than a simple checklist. In our sit down with Jeff, he states that “being targeted and relevant is a critical part of the risk mitigation plan.” When a general contractor selects or is about to select a subcontractor for the project, they should evaluate and pay close attention to the items that could potentially create risk. For example, a GC might choose a sub whose operational capacity does not quite match the construction project size. The general contractor should identify this issue and figure out what they will do to mitigate this risk. Then, they should target this concern in the risk mitigation plan and formally document / communicate it to the people who can act on the proposed solutions. By doing so, the GC will monitor the risk and be prepared to act quickly and decisively should the sub begin to fail, potentially saving them from an SDI Claim. 

Consistently Apply the Developed Processes 

           One of the biggest lessons learned from SDI claims is that the inconsistent application of processes is a common factor in many subcontractor defaults. If a general contractor is not consistent with their qualification and risk mitigation processes, they are bound to overlook important information. They must identify and address risks each time they are awarding a subcontract. In our interview with Jeff, he says that it is key for the general contractors to have a “clear understanding of what happens when things are outside of limits and how they will be addressed.” A GC is more likely to overlook potential problems with the sub if they are not consistent with their risk mitigation plan. 

Capture the Lessons Learned

           The fourth step to improving a contractor’s prequalification and subcontractor selection process is to capture the lessons learned. It is beneficial to take note of the lessons learned from any subcontract defaults, regardless of whether the default results in an SDI claim. By doing so, a GC will evaluate the process as a whole and determine what is driving optimal results. Documentation of the lessons learned will also help general contractors improve their risk mitigation practice and add quality information to the feedback loop for future projects. 

A contractor is more likely to see success on a construction project if they go through the prequalification and subcontractor selection process with a thorough and proactive mindset. By avoiding silos while doing prequal, developing a consistent risk mitigation plan, consistently applying that plan to all prequalification evaluations, and capturing the lessons learned, GC’s are better positioned to see improvement in their subcontractor performance and avoid subcontract defaults. To learn more, listen to our podcast with Jeff Nolan, 4 Opportunities to Improve a Contractor’s Prequalification & Subcontractor Selection Process.


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Email Jeff at jeff.nolan@coveprograms.com
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5 Considerations for Mass Timber Construction

       Do you know the difference between mass timber and wood frame when it comes to construction? Some Individuals may perceive both as large pieces of lumber used for building various structures. Even though both materials derive from trees, mass timber is used for larger projects as it is engineered to be stronger, straighter, stiffer, and lighter than concrete or steel. Typically used alongside other construction materials, mass timber is a sustainable element that can benefit projects. In a recent sit down with Cheri Hanes, Senior SDI Construction Risk Engineer at AXA XL, we receive five items to consider when using mass timber on a construction site:

1.       Know Your Partners

2.       Be Strategic with Placement Strategy

3.       Put the Right Strategies in Place to Manage Water

4.       Materials / Supply Chain Management

5.       Think About Fire

Know Your Partners

                When first considering mass timber, you must understand who you will be working with and their experience with the material. Cheri Hanes states that "people need to choose to do business with those who have as much experience [with mass timber] as possible" and that it is worth seeking out those who have specialized in the material. By working in conjunction with mass timber experts, you are more likely to avoid problems as these firms already know the nuances and attributes of the material. By knowing your partner's experience level, you can better prepare yourself for potential successes and roadblocks.

Be Strategic with Placement Strategy

                Another critical factor one should consider when working with mass timber is the placement strategy around the material. When thinking about placement strategy, Cheri suggests asking the following questions: Which subcontractor will you use, will you do it with internal forces? Who is going to hold the subcontract if there is one? Who is going to manage the work? Are you going to use the manufacturers and consultant's expertise? By asking these questions, you can better strategize the placement of work, leading to preferable results.

Put the Right Strategies in Place to Manage Water

                When utilizing mass timber on a construction site, it is critical to think about managing water as it is an element that can damage the material. A project team can mitigate water risk through technology that notifies managers of weather warnings and leak detections. Cheri states that it is vital "builders have a rain crew ready with the right instructions and equipment to clear water from the structure in the event of some kind of water release – whether it is external or internal." Temporary measures should be in place if water gets into the structure as it is under construction. A project team can alleviate potential water risks by implementing wet works permit protocols to help mitigate water damage. By putting the right tactics and strategies to manage water on a project, you diminish the risk of potential water desolation. 

Materials / Supply Chain Management

                Another item that a project team should consider is understanding where the materials are coming from. Tracking the production and transportation of mass timber will help with the sequence of materials placement. In our interview with Cheri, she says the project team should "have the materials arrive on site sequence, even if it costs more" because it will save time and handling of the material. In addition, by effectively managing the materials and supply chain, you are more likely to see project continuity and drive your team to stay organized and on schedule.

Think About Fire

                Fire is another element that can destroy mass timber. Even though mass timber has less fire risk than wood frame, strategies should be in place to help assuage any potential hazards. Like the wet works permit protocols used to prevent water damage, there are hot works permit protocols that should be in place to help prevent/mitigate fires. Technology is available that can assist in alleviating the risk of fire and should be considered for mass timber projects. Cheri mentions that "builders can utilize technology to monitor for smoke or heat." Another way to manage this risk is to have on-site security to watch for fire and vandalism. The project team can talk to the local fire department and tour the facility when building a structure. This will help the fire department prepare for any potential hazards that could take place. By implementing these protocols, you can mitigate the risk of fire, which will help keep the project safe and on schedule.

                Mass timber is a durable and sustainable material used for various construction projects and comes with many benefits. By considering these five points when using mass timber, you and your team are more likely to succeed when choosing mass timber for your project. To learn more, listen to our podcast with Cheri Hanes, 5 Considerations for Mass Timber Construction, to learn more about mitigating risk when utilizing mass timber.


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Utilizing Technology to Impact Healthcare Development

As technology has advanced, so has the healthcare industry. New devices and software programs are benefitting healthcare on several different levels. From smartwatches that can monitor individual heart rates to Building Information Modeling (BIM) that can assist in developing extensive healthcare facilities, technology is improving health maintenance across the world. With this comes an abundant amount of data and analytics that experts can evaluate to progress the industry. In a recent sit down with Ken Henry, Senior Vice President of Development at Pacific Medical Buildings (PMB LLC), and Eli Dresner, Managing Director of Client Solutions at Pivotal Analytics, we gain three insights into utilizing technology to impact healthcare development:

1.       Ask Questions

2.       Consistently Balance the Quantitative and Qualitative Data

3.       Study Healthcare Data and Reach out to Leading Data Providers 

Ask Questions

Eli, who works for Pivotal Analytics, a technology development firm dedicated to the transformation of health system planning and care delivery management1, suggests that those involved in the development of healthcare facilities be curious and ask a lot of questions. He states that "the data integration and utilized information comes from asking interesting questions about the market." What data assets can you utilize to have a quantitative leg to stand on? Where can you get insight that previously wasn't available? By asking specific questions and exploring different data assets and insights, you will gain new perspectives. Different outlooks will benefit you when it comes to developing various healthcare amenities as you can build for the needs and desires of varying communities and socioeconomic classes. 

Consistently Balance the Quantitative and Qualitative Data

Eli also advises healthcare developers to balance the quantitative and qualitative data consistently; listen to the data provider the same way you would listen to the doctor or patient. In our sit down with Eli, he states that "the data provider generally will never have the boots-on-the-ground knowledge of a market." As much as the data provider can tell from their data, insights, and models, they still do not fully understand what is happening in a given market because they do not live in it day-to-day. By pairing the quantitative information from data providers with the qualitative information from healthcare workers, developers will gain a more insightful look into the market. With this, they will better understand what to look for when constructing future facilities.

Study Healthcare Data and Reach out to Leading Data Providers

Ken Henry from Pacific Medical Buildings, a healthcare real estate developer, advises construction companies, architects, engineering firms, and consultants "to learn more and study healthcare data as much as possible" and to "reach out to leading data providers." This will help you understand the language of health system providers and better understand the industry's challenges. By working with a data provider such as Pivotal Analytics, developers will gain better insight into the marketplace, allowing them to build more efficient and effective healthcare accommodations. Ken states that "getting to know a group like Pivotal will definitely be beneficial regardless of what type of company you work with."

The healthcare industry is constantly evolving and adapting to meet the needs of the diverse world in which we live. With progressing technology and data, developers have the potential to enhance health maintenance continuously. By asking questions, balancing quantitative/qualitative data, and partnering with leading data providers, developers will positively impact the healthcare industry.  Listen to our podcast with Ken and Eli, Utilizing Technology to Impact Healthcare Development, to learn more.


1.    https://www.pivotal-analytics.com/about


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Email Ken at khenry@pmbllc.com

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Email Eli at edresner@array-analytics.io

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SDI Claims - Leading to a Better Way

Often, when people hear the words "insurance claims," they are associated with negative connotations. These include the anticipation of lengthy resolutions, undesired tasks, and conflict. However, to the contrary, claims can bring people together when all parties collaborate effectively. In a recent sit down with Derek Fennell, Assistant Vice President of Subcontractor Default Insurance Claims at AXA XL, we gain insight around four steps that help lead Carriers and Insureds to a better way of handling claims:

1.      Communicate Early

2.      Create an Atmosphere of Trust

3.      Educate the Insured

4.      Rip Off the Band-Aid

Communicate Early

    The first step to creating a better claims atmosphere is to communicate early. According to Derek, "In the marketplace, there seemed to be a pattern where Insureds would put the Carrier on notice of a claim and then a period of months or even years would go by – there would be intermittent discussions, but nothing." Poor communication can lead to conflict as the Carrier may have questions about conducting Proof of Loss. The more the Insured talks to the Carrier, the more the Carrier can communicate about documentation requirements as the Proof of Loss is being prepared for submittal. When the Insured can provide approved documentation, the chances of getting a suitable yield to satisfy the overages increase significantly. The claims process can be contentious, but early and effective communication can be a clear, successful step towards claim resolution.

Create an Atmosphere of Trust

    As a foundation to communicating effectively, the Insured and Carrier must establish a relationship built on trust. Both parties will find better results and expedited claims when the Carrier fosters an atmosphere of trust, allowing the Insured to feel comfortable while informing the Carrier with project/claim details.  In our interview with Derek Fennell, he states that "It is really difficult when everyone retreats to their corners and it's really hard to resolve issues when you have an Insured that doesn't have trust in the Carrier." Usually, in the context of construction claims, the relationship between Insured and Carrier is adversarial; however, it does not need to be as everyone is trying to obtain the same fair and equitable results.

Educate the Insured

    Once trust is established, and both parties communicate openly and effectively, the Carrier should seek opportunities to educate the Insured to allow for enhanced risk management. Derek suggests that the Carrier should "take the analytics developed during claims and give the feedback to the Insured in ways that make the Risk Managers understand risk more." By sharing their vast claims experience and educating the Insured on risk management trends, the Carrier can assist Risk Managers in creating strategies that help prevent future claims from happening. Though Risk Managers cannot see every catastrophic issue that may arise on a construction site, the valuable insight they gain while working with their Carriers can better prepare them for future claims.

Rip the Band-Aid Off

    The fourth step identified by Derek, which helps lead to a better way for insurance claims, is "ripping the band-aid off." Derek Fennell describes this as giving "the message very early so the project team is prepared and the risk management team is prepared, which will often lead to a better result." By informing the Carrier of any significant project nuances early on, all parties involved have more time to process and prepare for the claim. Through this process, any major factor such as insufficient documentation may be identified, impacting the timeline or scope of the claim submissions. By ripping the band-aid off, these topics are discussed upfront and help to establish clear expectations for the entire claims team. As a result, both the Carrier and Insured can collaborate to identify the best path forward and potentially make adjustments that would mitigate the setbacks that have been identified. All of this is made possible by early communication, an atmosphere of trust, and up-front knowledge of the claim.

    Although many see the claims process as a challenge, there are paths that will help lead to a better way. By communicating early, creating an atmosphere of trust, and educating the Insured, the Carrier is further likely to build a smooth process for those involved. To learn more about the SDI claims, listen to our podcast with Derek Fennell, SDI Claims – Leading to a Better Way.


Connect with Derek on LinkedIn
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Email Derek at derek.fennell@axaxl.com 
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A Case Study in Advancing from Coverage Expert to Construction Claims Leader of North America

Are you someone who is looking for opportunities to advance your career? If so, you can take action you can take to excel professionally, which will help you increase your experience and drive you towards professional success. In a recent sit down with Karen Rice, Vice President and Head of Construction Claims North America at AXA XL, we gain three career tips that helped Karen advance from a coverage expert to a construction claims leader of North America:

1.       Provide and Seek Honest Feedback

2.       Surround Yourself with Smart People

3.       Keep Learning and Enjoy Yourself While Doing So

Provide and Seek Honest Feedback

                A vital part of anyone's personal or professional growth is honest feedback. Whether positive or constructive, feedback allows individuals to gain new perspectives on their strengths and weaknesses as seen by their peers and supervisors. As Karen Rice states, "seeking it is as important as giving it" as it can be a learning experience for both individuals. Those who give honest advice demonstrate a sense of leadership; strong leaders want to see those around them flourish in their careers. Additionally, those who want to succeed in their career are generally willing to accept honest feedback, good or constructive. Without asking for professional advice, it can feel as though your career is stuck in neutral, as you will not be aware of your teammates’ feedback and desired outcomes. Whether it is personal or professional, honest feedback will assist you in reaching your goals and milestones.

Surround Yourself with Smart People

                Attitudes are contagious. If you surround yourself with positive people, you are more likely to be a positive teammate and leader– and vice versa. Surrounding yourself with intellects who constantly challenge one another, you will likely begin to expand your way of thinking and grow professionally. The best leaders encourage and challenge their employees to complete all their tasks to the best of their abilities. In our interview with Karen, she says that "you are going to lose good people if you don't empower them to get the job done." Most individuals indeed want to be challenged in the workplace as it pushes them to grow. With this in mind, make sure to surround yourself with intelligent people equipped with can-do attitudes to help empower you to succeed.

Keep Learning and Enjoy Yourself While Doing It

                The final tip Karen shares with us regarding career progression is to "keep learning and enjoy yourself while doing it."  You should seek to learn something new every single day as it will help shape you into a more knowledgeable professional. If faced with an unfamiliar topic at work, take the time to research and learn more about it; not only will this help you better perform the task, but it will show others that you are willing to take on a challenge. If you are enjoying yourself while learning, chances are you will have a better experience at work, which will lead to better results. Staying curious and constantly looking to learn is the best way to keep growing professionally.

                Promotions do not happen overnight; however, that should not deter you from working hard and seeking to progress in your career daily. By consistently seeking honest feedback, surrounding yourself with intelligent people, and enjoying yourself while you learn, opportunities will continue to present themselves to you, culminating in professional growth. For additional career advice – specifically, in the construction insurance industry – listen to our podcast with Karen Rice, A Case Study in Advancing from Coverage Expert to Construction Claims Leader of North America.


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Email Karen at karen.rice@axaxl.com 
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Women in Leadership: Finding Your Path as A Female Leader in the Insurance Industry

Historically, women across both Insurance and Construction industries have been underrepresented. In a recent sit down with Heather O'Neill, Assistant Vice President of Construction Specialty Products at Arch Insurance Group, we gain insights on supporting women in finding their path as a leaders in their industry. Heather's three takeaways that can help anyone find a path as a leader, especially women, include: 

1. Find Trusted Mentors 

2. Don't Be Afraid to Take Risks 

3. Call Someone You Trust and Ask them for Honest Feedback 

Find Trusted Mentors

Finding a trustworthy mentor can help with both professional and personal growth. As Heather states, the best mentors are those "who will give you open and honest feedback and who also have a vested interest in you and your development." When seeking a mentor, Heather recommends searching for those who want to see you succeed and give you the advice to help you reach your goals. Trusted mentors are crucial to your professional development because they will point out your strengths and weaknesses, guiding you to effectively utilize these characteristics. Once you find your mentor, formulate your goals and look for 360 feedback, all in order to help you feel both energized and challenged. 

Don’t Be Afraid to Take Risks

Actor Will Smith once said that "the best things in life are on the other side of fear." With risk comes fear, and with fear comes restraint. Many professionals hesitate to take risks in their work environment because they fear failure. However, it may just be that taking a calculated risk that ultimately leads to being noticed or obtaining that promotion for career advancement. In our interview with Heather, she states that, "When you have some purpose, it takes away that fear of failure and allows you to learn, which is what life is about." So, do not be afraid to create opportunities for visibility as it can be a driving factor towards a leadership position. Even if you are fearful, advocating for yourself and participating in areas where you think you will add value will only help further your career. 

Call Someone You Trust and Ask them for Honest Feedback

 As you find those trusted mentors, consider calling someone and ask them for honest feedback. Heather advises that, "It's important to have a safe space to receive not only positive feedback but those opportunities for improvement feedback." There are many feedback channels, and consider which would be most effective, whether you are the seeker, receiver, or giver. These include[1]:

• Attributed vs. anonymous 

• 1-on-1 vs. 360 feedback

• Individual vs. group

• Face-to-face vs. written

On the podcast, Heather shares her experience working with strong leaders that have shaped her professional journey. Most notable was someone close to home- her maternal Grandfather. "No one can make you think, act, feel, or believe in any way you don't want to" was a powerful phrase that continues to resonate and drive Heather today. It's the ultimate personal responsibility mantra. Heather shares, "It's so empowering to take responsibility for your choices because it means you can make different ones."


To learn more about Heather's career journey and her takeaways aforementioned, listen to our podcast with, Growing Into a Leadership Role as a Female in the Insurance Industry. 

[1] https://www.quantumworkplace.com/future-of-work/10-tips-for-building-a-feedback-culture


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Email Heather at honeill@archinsurance.com
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