Personal Development Planning – Step 1 Identify Need to Change

Introduction

One of the more important things you can do for yourself is to create a plan for your personal development.  For me the personal development plan is an ongoing activity.  Every 60 to 90 days I review the plan and adjust the plan as needed.

Background

Over the years I have tried to set both personal and career goals for myself.  As I have written before I like to learn and grow.  I use the format of a development plan as a way to help me stay focused.  It has also been a way for me to measure my growth from month to month or year to year.

Today’s blog entry will focus on what is a personal development plan and how to put one in place.  I will be writing a series of blog entries on this topic as I will write a blog entry for each of the four steps.  The four steps are the following:

  • Identify Need to Change (This entry)
  • Accept Change
  • Create Plan
  • Take Action and Measure Progress 

Identify Need To Change

This is one of the most important criteria to a good development plan.  You need to identify what skill or area you of your life you want to improve.  You can also identify an area or skill that you want to grow or develop.   Do not necessarily think of a list of your weaknesses but rather on a set of skills or competencies that are needed in your job/career or your personal life.

Get Started By Selecting Three Skills for Improvement

You can use some of the following as sources to Identify Needs to Change:

  • Performance Review – look at your most recent performance review and take three areas or skills that you want to improve.   I suggest three so that you can focus on those three and make progress rather than taking more than three.   The three areas should be the most critical skills or talent that is needed for your job. 
  • Job Descriptions – most job descriptions have a set of skills that are required or preferred for a job.  You should review your current job description and the next job position (one that you aspire to).   Make a list of the top skills that are needed for the two jobs. 
  • Communication Skills – I believe that every job today requires excellent communication skills.  I would include this as one of my three areas.  You can pick from one of these:
    • Improve Writing Skills – you can improve your writing skills for email, memos, or product marketing.  Another area is how to organize your writing or making sure you can express your point or persuade someone in your writing
    • Improve Speaking Skills – you can improve presentation skills, public speaking, impromptu speaking.

This should give you an idea of where to start.  In the blog entry tomorrow comes the harder part of being able to Accept the Change.

Conclusion

I hope this entry helps you to understand the value in being able to “Identify Need to Change”.  This is the first of four (4) blog entries on the topic of Personal Development Planning.  I will continue this topic with three (3) additional entries to provide more details of the development planning process.    

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