This week’s Friday Five looks at your personal learning & development.
I work a lot with L&D departments – committed teams focused on providing the very best growth opportunities for staff across their business. In many ways though, it’s a thankless, hopeless task.
Individual attitudes to learning.
No matter how good the L&D programme and support structures, the single biggest factor in the success of any investment of this type will always be the attitude of those engaged in the process.
Positive, self-motivated people with great attitudes will learn and develop themselves regardless of what the organisation does or does not provide. Here are five things to consider in the context of your own personal growth:
1. Master growth list – write down everything you can think of where learning new skills or developing a character quality would be beneficial to you in your work (& life more generally). Keep this as a master list. Add to it whenever you can.
2. Create & maintain your own PDP – lots of organisations encourage a personal development plan. In my experience, it’s the exception rather than the rule if these are current, active and influencing someone’s behaviour. Regardless of the degree to which your company helps with this, take responsibility for your own development. Own your PDP! Take the most important two or three things from your master list and make those your current growth priorities. If this is done in collaboration with your manager or coach, so much the better.
3. Set a goal – turn those priority areas into goals. Very specifically, what are you going to do and how much of it and by when exactly? Make it visual. Put it somewhere you are continually reminded of it. Best way I know to do this is the LMI Goal Planning System (if you don’t have a great system for planning & tracking your goals, drop me a line and I’ll be glad to share it with you).
4. Take systemised action – I would say ‘take action’, but it’s such a common story that we learn something (we go on a course…read a book…do some online learning etc), go away and do something as a result, which is great, but then fail to build the infrastructure around that action so that it keeps on being done. For example, a manager learns about how to have an effective one-to-one with their team members, goes away and does nine brilliant one-to-ones in month 1….and it never happens again! Systemised action means booking those meetings into the calendar as recurring appointments for the next 12 months! Learnt something new on Excel? Set a reminder every day at 9.27am to review and practice that action for as long as it takes to never forget it!
5. Review & share – the very best way that any learning and development is cemented is when you review and share it with others. Simple stuff. Rarely done.
“How was that course / book / webinar?
“That’s good. See ya.”
“Could we grab a coffee and take 15 minutes to review what I learned on that course, what I’m planning to do differently as a result and how best I might be able to share that with the rest of the team?”
I hope that’s prompted some useful reflection about your own learning & development. Have a great end to the week and if you have any suggestions for topics in this #fridayfive series, I’d love to hear them.