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Your self development

Image consultant gives advice during job fair.
Image consultant gives advice during job fair.
Photo by John Moore/Getty Images

We’ve all heard of professional development. But what about personal development? Here’s how you can tap into it to enhance your career, today!

Perhaps you’ve always admired John because of his ability to conduct a strategic and effective meeting in under 20 minutes. Or, maybe you are impressed by Sheila's public speaking ability where she can capture the room and make a sound sales presentation with only 5 minutes of preparation.

If you have admired any of these people within your career, why not step out of your comfort zone to find out more? Here’s a process to acquire the skills that you need and apply what you learn:

  1. Ask: The abilities that we most admire in people are sometimes the ones they do not even realize they have. Perhaps it has always come naturally? Take the opportunity to ask about the skill and learn how it was developed. Now, you can determine how you want to acquire it.
  2. Practice: After you've asked, now it’s time to put what you've learned in to practice. Deliberately put yourself in an environment where you can actively do the action at hand. For example, if you find that you take too long answering emails, give yourself a limit by setting a timer for each email. For public speaking, you can join a Toastmasters group if opportunities are not readily available in your workplace.
  3. Forward: As a coach, this is my favorite part. I encourage my clients to “forward the action”, and you should do the same. Pick a time to share your skills with the world! Maybe there is a presentation coming up next week that needs another presenter. Or, maybe it is your turn to run the office meeting. In order to forward the action, you must do the action.

Personal development is all about acknowledging that you want to grow, identifying where, and stepping out of your comfort zone to do it. Ask…Practice…Forward… It doesn't matter what you do. Just do something today to get moving and increase your personal development.

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