Professional Development Circles

Cultivate your community with circles

We believe having a connectional community makes your ability to navigate professionally more seamless. We also believe we are made better as we interact and learn with and from those around us. It is with these beliefs in mind that Professional Development Circles were created.

Designed as small, organized groups of people leaders, Professional Development Circles draw together faculty and staff from all levels of the Institute for collaborative problem solving, encouragement, connection building, and leadership fluency. 

It is our intention to nurture and cultivate a growth mindset and build skill sets to aid in the successful management of other people. While we provide a set of curriculum guides to aid you in jump-starting your initial circle meetings, this is a self-directed learning opportunity. As such, participants have the freedom to create their own path for the experience, focusing on their specific learning and development needs.

How the Program Works

  1. Participants who have expressed interest will be notified when circles are formed and placed in a diverse group of 8-10 participants.
  2. A kickoff meeting will provide an opportunity to meet group members and jump-start your first circle meeting.
  3. As a group, you'll utilize the provided curriculum as a guide while identifying other topics based on need and relevancy.
  4. Meetings continue for as long as the group maintains interest. We recommend meeting at least two hours a month.
Professional circle member reviewing curriciulum guide

Who Should Attend

Professional Development Circles are designed for any Georgia Tech faculty or staff members who manage people and have a desire to engage in discussion and co-inquiry around leadership and people-management related topics, as well as a willingness to co-create a learning environment that generates an experience to learn from yourself and your circle members. Circles are structured for those who prefer more conversation and less structure; multiple deep-dive sessions; and shared responsibility for the facilitation and direction of the learning.

Professional Development Circles gathering an first circle meeting

How You Will Benefit

By participating in Professional Development Circles, you will be able to:

  • Enhance your support network of colleagues.
  • Engage in a mindset shift.
  • Explore topics around leadership development.
  • Supplement workplace performance.
  • Contribute to the betterment of the Institute.
  • Develop relationships outside your sphere of influence.
  • Create opportunities for cross-collaboration.
WLPD leading the first Professional Development Circle meeting
“Continue to offer this kind of opportunity to connect with others across campus in small groups of peers without a designated leader. It may not pan out every time for every group, but when it works, like it did for our group, it is of value.”
Past - Participant
Past Participant
“I think the Workplace Learning team has done an enormous amount by making this opportunity available. The rest is up to the team to remain committed so we can all benefit form this developmental opportunity.”
Past - Participant
Past Participant
“This has been extremely useful, and I really like my circle. Thank you for setting up this program! Kudos!”
Past - Participant
Past Participant
“My circle is amazing! We have created a meaningful, supportive connection that may last the rest of my career. Thank you setting this up. I'm so glad I gave this a shot.”
Past - Participant
Past Participant

Listen: Interruptions Podcast - Learning through Circles

Professional Development Circles are a self-sustaining, collaborative learning experience regardless of position or years of service to Georgia Tech. In Episode 12 of the Interruptions podcast, LaTrese Ferguson, manager of Workplace Learning & Professional Development, emphasizes the need for these informal community networks, and a past participant shares her diverse experiences with the program.

Listen to the Podcast Episode
Interruptions logo


Want to learn more about Professional Development Circles? Need additional support or resources for your current circle group? Want to be notified when circles are being formed?