I carry out continuing professional development, but how can I develop myself more personally?

Personal development has a greater scope than continuing professional development, covered in April QW, because it involves everything that you do as an individual. It is sometimes summarised as “becoming the person that you really want to be”.

To effectively do this you first need to take stock of where you are personally and decide what is needed to bridge the gap to the “ideal” you. This involves an honest assessment of strengths and weaknesses, particularly in areas such as:

• Dealing with people

• Personal ethics

• Personal competencies

As well as taking the opportunity to ask those whose judgement and honesty you trust, you can look back over your own performance in recent months. Ask how many of your objectives you have met and how well you have worked with others in meeting these objectives, including the balance between how you are performing both at work and at home. There is no point in hiding faults or failings at this stage – this is your personal assessment, after all.

The next stage obviously depends on what you discover during your self-assessment, but typical areas you might choose to work on are issues such as:

• Reliability – do you over-promise and under-deliver on tasks?

• Team working – do you support colleagues in their work or are you single-minded in achieving individual objectives rather than team goals?

• Communication – how well do you pass information to others and how good are you at picking up verbal and non-verbal communication?

• Planning – are you often surprised by events and then think that you could have anticipated things? Wherever you identify an area to improve, you need to consider next how to go about improving.

Areas that can be considered are:

• Time management – we need periodically to establish our priorities and manage the time available to deliver the desired result

• Assertiveness – it is often easier to say “yes” when we want to say “no”, but these additional bits of work often prevent us from doing what is important

• Communication – we can all improve at this and spend time testing how well we communicate in the various media we use, considering both giving and receiving.

Whatever you decide to do in order to develop yourself, there are always learning techniques or methods that can help you gain an understanding of your own competencies, help you improve your personal and professional life and grow as a person.


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