Develop yourself with the help of a personal development plan

Caspar Fröhlich is a management consultant and executive coach for executives or management teams. He has already worked for various international concerts and is also one of the editors of the newspaper OrganisationsEntwicklung. He deals intensively with the topic of personal development, career and coaching. In his article about the personal development plan he explains on how to effectively advance your professional and personal development.
A hand stops dominoes from tipping over.

View personal development as a project

Most top managers, but also managers at lower levels, are fully occupied with their daily tasks. At the same time, expectations of them, their leadership skills and their leadership style are growing. Caspar Fröhlich knows that managers who want to "move up" or stay there must constantly develop themselves. He is surprised, however, how few of them choose a systematic approach to this task when the working day is structured very systematically and methodically. Fröhlich is convinced that a systematic approach also promises the greatest success in terms of personal development. Most managers only begin to tackle their personal development when they encounter difficulties: when, for example, their leadership style becomes offensive or their behaviour no longer achieves the desired effect. Fröhlich explains that personal development should be seen as a project. It is best to choose a lean process that can be followed parallel to the normal work flow. As in any project, a goal is first set. Then a strategy is drawn up to achieve the goal within a certain time. Finally, the implementation is followed by a consistent and continuous evaluation - just like in any other project.

Personal development plan as the path to success

Of course, some time must be spent on the personal development plan. It is also important to get support from outside. In his article, Fröhlich summarises which methodological approaches are useful. Everyone can then decide whether to start with a single method or combine different techniques. It also depends on how much time you have available to reach your goal. Getting feedback at regular intervals is essential. Fröhlich pleads for a feedback group of five to eight people from the professional environment who can be honestly asked whether they can recognize a change and if so, how they evaluate it.

At the beginning of the feedback process, however, feedback on current performance must also be obtained. Therefore, the choice of the feedback group is of crucial importance. Choose people you trust and who are willing and able to tell you honestly (nobody who wants to flatter you from a professional point of view or is dependent on you in any way) how they feel about your leadership style and what you can improve. Inviting three of these people to a weekly "meeting" is also useful if this "project" is to be a complete success. These meetings, which can be very short, are about feedback, concrete examples and situations but also about new ideas for achieving the goal.

When Casper Fröhlich himself coaches managers, he advises them to choose a mentor who has reached the career level that you want to reach yourself. This mentor should then be scheduled three to four times a year to discuss what can be done to make the career leap. It may be difficult to find such a mentor, but Fröhlich is convinced that many managers are quite willing to share their knowledge with ambitious employees from their company. Coaching is one of the important elements. If you want to advance your personal development quickly and powerfully, you should try a professional coach who will take the time to make suggestions. Coaches who have made personal development their profession have special knowledge and can of course give advice and suggestions at a completely different level than the private feedback group. It can also be helpful to read literature from people who have already internalized what I want to achieve. What are your role models and from whom would you like to learn? Read their biographies.

Avoid mistakes

At the end of his article, Fröhlich discusses the possible sources of error that he encounters daily as a coach. Even with a methodical approach, mistakes sometimes occur. A common mistake is that too many goals are set and it becomes impossible to achieve them. Frittering is the danger. Goals that are not formulated concretely enough and therefore impossible to evaluate are also a source of error. With feedback, it is a mistake to get feedback from people who are unsuitable. For example, people who do not work with you cannot assess how you are developing. When receiving feedback, many people react instinctively with explanations, excuses, justifications and discussions. At best, take the feedback without comment and process it for yourself at first. This is the best way for you to benefit from it. And finally: don't give up too easily. Here too, the motto is: Practice makes perfect.
Author: IAPM intern

Keywords: Coaching, Personal development, Change of personality

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