Questions to Design A Personal Development Plan
We are ultimately responsible for our development, even if we have a manager or coach who is guiding, prompting, and supporting us.
Here are the biggest obstacles humans encounter when creating a development plan:
- We postpone development because it is an important but not urgent action. It keeps getting pushed back to a later date and sometimes it never happens because it is never urgent.
- We don’t know what we don’t know. Our blind spots or ignorance prevents us from realizing the skills, information, or experiences we need to grow.
- We get “shiny-object” syndrome. Everything excites us so we either try to do too many things at once or get so overwhelmed with options that we shut down.
- We haven’t taken the time to think about what types of development will benefit us over the long term.
- We don’t know how to gain the training, coaching, or knowledge-building in an area, so we don’t do anything.
With any of these obstacles, it can be challenging to work through them without the support of a leader, mentor, or coach to challenge us and help us create a plan.
Questions to Begin the Process
Here are some questions to begin the process of creating a meaningful development plan - or you can use this to coach others:
- Where are you struggling right now? What parts of your work role are difficult or frustrating?
- Where do you want to be (1 year, 3 years, 5 years, 10 years)?
- What skills/knowledge/experiences will round you out?
- Which skills/knowledge/experiences you want to gain?
- What is motivating you to achieve these skills/knowledge/experiences?
- How would you benefit if you gained these skills or knowledge?
- Would investing time to achieve them be worth the investment?
- How much time are you willing to commit to your development?
- How do you learn best?
- Who can you ask for ideas on how to gain the skills/knowledge/experiences?
- What is a realistic next step?
- How will you hold yourself accountable?
- What will you do to increase your motivation and likelihood of success?
- What are the likely obstacles you will face?
- How might you overcome these obstacles?
Determining the best development plan might take several conversations with more than one person. Sometimes we have to slow down to go fast. The clearer we can get about where we want to go, why we want to get there, and how we will get there, the more likely we will succeed.
Take ownership of your development plan and be intentional about what you decide to do.
About the Author: Leigh Ann Rodgers, Founder of Better Teams, Team Consultant Academy, and FORWARD, is an IAF Certified Professional Facilitator with 20 years of experience in the human development field. Leigh Ann is a skilled meeting facilitator, trainer, and coach working across the globe to help leaders cultivate teams that are happy and high-performing.
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