At the end of last year I offered some tips for those looking to undertake some professional development in the new year. Whether it is a personal resolution or part of your formal development plan, certain principles apply to successful development. In a series of posts, I will highlight some of the key steps necessary to begin and sustain your developmental journey. I'll begin today with the first critical step - building awareness.
The essence here is to look both outside yourself and inside yourself. What does it take to wake up to the truth? Awareness can come from the outside in or the inside out. A clue on the outside provides a reality check and signals to you that something is amiss. Ideally, you get feedback from others - your boss, peers, significant other, friends, even enemies. Perhaps, you have the results from a 360 degree assessment. In other cases, you take the cue from personal reflection and introspection. What does your gut tell you? What patterns of thought get in the way and keep you from being effective? A blend of outside input, inside reflection, and a chance to test your discoveries will create a perpetual feedback loop of ever increasing awareness.