Promoting personal development

14 April 2021

Development is more than just training or sitting in a classroom listening to a speaker; it’s about focus, absorption and action. It’s about behavioural change.

Personal development is something we can all encourage our teams to take charge of for their own growth, but also for motivation, both of which leads to greater commitment and performance in a role.

When we think and talk about personal development, our team often see it as a tick box around what courses they’ve attended in the past 12 months, but it’s so much more than that. When considering our personal development, we MUST consider:

  • Articles and books we’ve read that impacted us and activated a change in our approach
  • Video/clips we’ve seen that did the same
  • Conversations we’ve had with colleagues, peers, managers, specialists etc.
  • What we’ve learned simply by doing – doing the job, trial and error, mistakes and failure
  • Audio books, blogs, twitter feeds, subscriptions, Podcasts and so on…

We all learn in different ways, it’s important to recognise this and take advantage of every learning opportunity – actively acknowledge that learning is taking place, consider how the learning changes your views, awareness and behaviour and what you will do to ensure the new learning sticks.

To help learning stick, try:

  • Talking it through with someone, especially you, as their manager
  • Writing it down – on a blog, tweet, Facebook post, LinkedIn post etc
  • Take a photo – share it on Instagram and get a conversation going about it
  • Write a personal action plan –as a document or with a picture board if prefered
  • Teach it to others – in a team meeting for example, share the learning with their team

Managers and organisations can encourage this love of learning in many ways, some top tips are below to help you get started:

  • Understand, through discussions and sharing, where people’s key skills, comfort-zones, desires and learning needs lie and work together to enhance these
  • Encourage lessons learned in team meetings
  • Encourage people to conduct a lessons-learned analysis regularly, for example, at the end of a project
  • When people share learning or lessons learned:
    • Encourage them to share those lessons with others to aid their learning too for maximum impact
    • Ask them coaching questions to gauge how they will use this learning e.g. ‘what will you do differently as a result of this?’, ‘what have you taken from this learning?’, ‘how will you change as a result of this lesson?’ etc.
  • Encourage people to learn through exploration –scheduled time each week, even if it just an hour, to research and learn new skills –,, YouTube, TED Talks etc. all great resources to learn new knowledge and skills
  • Discuss learning opportunities with your team on a regular basis – what guidance and support do they need from you?
  • Consider opportunities for learning – getting people involved in different or new projects, job shadowing, job swaps etc.

These are just some of the steps you can take to encourage personal development in your organisation, to explore more or review how you can do this with impact, contact…..