What is Personal Development?

The Business Dictionary defines it as “The process of improving oneself through such activities as enhancing employment skills, increasing consciousness and building wealth.” For me, personal development can be anything that helps you go after your best self and build a personal development program based on your own personal growth requirements. Personal growth is the positive improvement of our skills, knowledge, wisdom, habits, behaviour, and personal qualities.

Personal development is a lifelong process and considers all aspects of life to help in your personal growth. They could relate to life goals, career goals, emotional health and physical health. Personal development is different from working with business goals. Business goals tend to be very black-and-white (ex: increase profits by 2% by the next quarter, reduce production costs by 15%, and so on).

What are personal development skills?

Personal development is the process of becoming more aware, self-aware, knowledgeable, skilled, confident, creative, productive, effective, efficient, organized, responsible, disciplined, motivated, inspired, innovative, adaptable, resilient, assertive, compassionate, empathetic, ethical, authentic, balanced, healthy, happy, positive, purposeful, secure, spiritual, wise, etc., in yourself and others.

Why are personal development skills essential?

Well, first off, it helps you get ahead at work. It shows that you’re willing to learn new things. And it makes you stand out from others with similar qualifications.

But there’s another reason why developing yourself is so important: You’ll feel better about yourself. When you take care of yourself, you become happier. That means you’re less likely to suffer from stress and depression. So, when you develop yourself, you improve your health too. As an employer, we should allow employees to engage in personal development by allotting 10 per cent of their time to personal or professional growth. Human resource researchers blame lack of personal development plans which target each employee for a dismal performance in the workplace. They conclude that a personal development plan for each member of staff can increase productivity and motivation up to ten times. (lexisclick.com)

The idea that we can all become more than what we currently are and achieve our full potential in life has been around for a long time. It was first introduced by the Austrian psychologist, Carl Gustav Jung who believed it to be an innate part of human nature. He also thought that this drive towards self-actualization could only occur when people were able to let go of their ego or sense of individuality. This would allow them to connect with something greater within themselves.

How do I develop my own set of personal development skills?

The first step is to identify which areas need improvement. You may already possess some of these skills, but there could still be room for improvement. So take note of where you feel you lack specific skills. A more scientific approach is to consider using reputable psychometric analysis tools to view behavioural areas (soft skills) to work on and meld this with feedback that you may have received from people around you. What are some common areas of skill development?

  • Interpersonal and Communication Skills – The ability to communicate effectively with others is an essential skill for success at every level. Whether it’s communicating with clients, colleagues, bosses, friends, family members, or even strangers, effective communication helps us get things done. And when it comes to business, good communication leads to better relationships, which lead to higher profits. This skill involves being able to interact with different types of people. You may need to communicate effectively with customers, clients, co-workers, supervisors, managers, etc. Interpersonal communication requires good listening skills, eye contact, body language, and nonverbal cues such as facial expressions and gestures. Gaining a high social skill capability will help you to achieve higher performance.
  • Organization – This skill helps you manage information efficiently by organizing it according to its importance and relevance. You’ll learn about different organizational tools such as filing systems, project management software, and task lists.
  • Problem Solving – You may already solve problems every day at home, but problem-solving takes on new meaning in business. If you can identify issues early and find solutions quickly, you will save money and resources while increasing productivity.
  • Self-confidence – Confidence comes from knowing yourself and being comfortable with who you are. Self-confident individuals feel good about themselves and don’t let external factors dictate their moods.
  • Good leaders inspire followers by showing confidence, enthusiasm and empathy. Leadership involves taking charge and making decisions while working within organizational structures.
  • Motivation – Motivational skills involve setting clear goals and staying focused on achieving those goals. Motivated workers enjoy challenges and thrive under pressure.

Time management – Good time managers keep track of deadlines and manage multiple tasks at once. Time management helps you avoid procrastination by setting priorities and sticking to those priorities.

  • Leadership – If you’re good at leading others, it could mean being able to motivate team members, set clear expectations and lead change efforts. Leadership involves influencing others toward achieving shared objectives.
  • Conflict resolution – When conflict arises between two parties, there may be no way to resolve differences without some form of compromise.

The important planning phase

Once you’ve decided what you’d like to achieve, then planning how best to do it becomes important. You may decide to set yourself goals, but there are several ways to go about setting them. The most common way is by using SMART Goals. These stand for Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Relevant and Time-Bound. They’re not only useful for goal setting but also help keep you focused on achieving specific results.

Some examples of personal goals (simply need to craft it SMART for your own goal)

  • To be more positive and optimistic about life, myself, my future, the world around me, etc.
  • To have better relationships with people in general.
  • To become more organized and efficient at work/school.
  • To learn to cook healthier meals without having to spend hours on research or reading recipes.

I also like to use the SMARTER model as inspired by Michael Hyatt. It introduces Excitement and Risky to the process.