Many of us have created a practice around things in our lives that are important, such as meditation, yoga, exercise or sport to help improve our skills and how we feel about life, however, have you taken the same approach to building your skillset to get that promotion, new job or in starting up your own business?
Wikipedia defines Personal development as including activities that improve awareness and identity, develop talents and potential, build human capital and facilitate employability, enhance quality of life and contribute to the realization of dreams and aspirations.
I am sure many of you have heard of Maslow’s hierarchy of needs, but may not be aware that he suggests all individuals have an in-built need for personal development which occurs through a process called self-actualisation. He also states that all individuals have a need to see themselves as competent and autonomous and that every person has limitless room for growth.
In my role as a consultant I meet many individuals seeking career advice, about how to get their next role, change career path or industry or start up their own business. This requires looking at transferrable skills or identifying new skills or knowledge that need to be acquired.
In the time poor world within which most of us live, the thought of having to find time to do this can be quite daunting.
But it needn’t be too difficult, why not take half the time you currently spend watching TV or on social media and dedicate it to reading books, listening to webinars, reading blogs, watching videos/podcasts or you may wish to sign up for a formal course.
You might also like to look at methods of accelerated learning. Colin Rose, in his book “Master it Faster” suggests 6 stages are key to becoming an effective learner which can be applied to any type of informal or formal learning. These are:
Motivation – you need to be self-motivated and feel positive about learning
Acquire - acquire information through reading, listening, observing, practicing, experimenting and experience. Information is all around you: the trick is to acquire relevant and meaningful information and develop this into knowledge and skills.
Search – search for a personal meaning in the information you’re acquiring, it makes it much easier to remember things when you understand the context.
Trigger – you can’t and won’t remember all that you read, hear and experience. Help yourself to trigger recollection to in different ways such as taking notes, practice discussing and experimenting with new ideas and skills to help you learn and develop.
Examine - regularly examine your knowledge to help reinforce what you have learned. Try to keep an open-mind, question your understanding and be open to new information.
Reflect – reflect on your learning. Think about how and why you learned, including how you felt about a particular topic or situation, before and after you developed your knowledge. Learn from your mistakes as well as from your successes and always try to remain positive.
Just as you did with any of the other practices you have created, you need to set your intent and create the space to set yourself up for success. I hope you have enjoyed these tips for creating a practice of personal development and it motivates you to develop yourself more.
Written by Michelle O’Neil