Personal development is the process of improving oneself, covering areas such as self-awareness, talent and skill development, increase in employability, enhancement of quality of life, and ultimately the realization of one’s dreams and aspirations. In short, it is a form of coaching that focuses entirely on the “self,” on the individual. The keyword here is “improvement”—improvement in any area of your life that you want to see growth in. This concept though is not limited to “self-help”as both employers and educators agree that personal development programs are also investments geared towards increasing human capital, improving productivity, innovation and quality of life. For companies, an employee’s personal development can be linked to the organization’s own strategic development goals.
The individual often functions as the judge of his own improvement. However, biases and prejudices may often cloud one’s own judgment. Objective personal development assessment, of which there are many tools and methods readily available, may include defining the key results and main strategies to employ, measuring progress and identifying levels of development. Assessment often starts with introspection or “personal assessment“in which you identify your own needs, motivation, skills, passion and values. At this stage (oftentimes called the goal setting stage), you can use the S.M.A.R.T. philosophy in creating objectives (S.M.A.R.T. simply means that objectives must be specific, measurable, achievable, relevant (sometimesrealistic )and time-oriented). One assessment tool worth mentioning is the Leadership Matrix Survey, which determines a person’s leadership style. An organization can use this tool to determine which type of leaders suit which types of projects and members.
Personal development can also include developing other people. This may take place through roles such as being a mentor, teacher or coach. The difference of being a mentor/teacher from being a coach is that the act of coaching is a “non-directive way”of developing an individual. Its premise is “aid in learning”rather than the traditional “teaching”. Through coaching, individuals are given the chance to identify new ways of improving their performance, achieve their objectives and find solutions to challenges on their own.
Becoming a personal development coach requires a person to:
Whether or not you need the help of a personal development coach depends solely on you. If you feel there is room for improvement in one or more aspect of your life, and, if you are ready to make changes, then personal development assessment and coaching may help you. Sometimes, it takes a simple question as “Am I happy and contented with my life right now?”to start this whole process.