Stay on Top of Your Game with Professional Development

Stay on Top of Your Game with Professional DevelopmentWhat are you doing to maintain a competitive edge in today’s workplace? Kudos to you if you already have a professional development plan for 2018. But if you don’t, it’s not too late. Our Professional Development Planning Template will help you get started. Research shows that less than 10% of leaders actually have any sort of development plan for their leadership. What’s more, as leaders age, the less effective they tend to become. Why? Because after getting into leadership positions, many stop growing and changing. They may fall into a rut and get too comfortable. Or they simply don’t see a need to change or make time for critical growth. If you want to stay on top of your game, take your leadership development to heart, committing to it regularly—even daily. It’s a process. It’s not easy. And it may require some new tools and tactics. But professional development does get results when continually and proactively pursued.

Here are some proven tools and tactics to push your leadership to new heights:

1. Practice Periodic 360-Degree Feedback

One of our clients’ favorite leadership tools is the 360-degree feedback from our 2.5-day executive workshop. This assessment gives our clients honest feedback from their colleagues anonymously – what they think and feel about their leadership and management style and abilities. Information is power, and great leaders know that if they can close the gap between what they understand about themselves and how others perceive to be their strengths and weaknesses, they’re more apt to succeed at whatever they do. Now what people do with this information is what really matters. So we always encourage leaders to use their results to help them choose their professional development goals and strategies.

For example, if the feedback from your peers show that you struggle with confidence in a team setting, then you may go on to develop a goal tied to confidence and a number of activities to support those goals. (Examples might include taking a public speaking class, reading books about building confidence, or noticing and celebrating successes more often.)

Whether you choose to use a 360-degree feedback tool or another resource, consider taking it periodically to see how you’ve changed, to what degree you’ve grown professionally, and what new opportunities exist to take your leadership on to the next level.

2. Commit To Personal Accountability

This is where things get tricky because without personal accountability, you’ll find it near impossible to achieve goals, dreams or whatever it is that you’ve outlined in that personal or professional development plan.

Personal accountability is about digging deep. It’s about getting to the heart of the matter, understanding why you want or need to commit to something new, taking ownership of the change, and doing what it takes to progress no matter how challenging it becomes.

Personal accountability also requires a willingness to deal with your progress along the way. It pushes you to take action around how you manage setbacks and successes, keeping in mind that real growth is always a process.

3. Tap People And Other Resources To Help

Regardless of how you want to develop professionally and personally in your life, there are people and resources that can empower you in the journey. It could be your executive coach, a confidant or a trusted mentor. The support could also come from online training, MAP webinars, or classes at a nearby college.

Point is, for certain aspects of your professional development, you may need someone to help. For others, you may need something, e.g., an experience or instruction. Do your research and carefully explore your options, making sure the help you get truly addresses deficits and aligns with your goals and needs.

Contact us to learn more about our professional development tools to maximize your leadership impact.

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