Does your company offer a mentoring program? If not, it should. The benefits of mentoring programs are vast and range from individual-focused benefits, such as improvement in critical job skills, to organizational-level benefits, such as reduced employee turnover.
Do you believe in the importance of feedback? Do you value it and think of it as an important component of your career development? If so, you don’t need to read any further – although this post will validate your perspective. This post is for those of you who do not believe in the importance of feedback. You know who you are! You’re the ones that say things like “I don’t care what other people think”, “I’d rather not know the truth”, or something similar that rationalizes why it’s ok to ignore or deny other people’s opinion of you.
This may stress you out, but the end of the year is approaching. Along with a million other things, you’ll soon need to think about goal setting for next year – whether you set traditional goals annually or if you use quarterly OKRS (objectives and key results).
When it comes to development planning, there’s no shortage of excuses for falling behind and taking shortcuts. Which of the following sound familiar to you?
- “I just don’t have the money to spend on developing my skills.”
- “I wish I could do something but my manager is holding me back.”
- “I just don’t have the time to focus on development planning activities.”
- “I can’t come up with development goals that are measurable enough.”
In my last post, I provided a few examples of SMART goals for developing competencies or “soft skills” (as opposed to technical skills). Samples were written for the common yet vague goals to “be a better communicator” and “improve leadership skills.” If you haven’t already done so, I recommend you read that post first before continuing with this one, because this post is a continuation of that example. This post will focus on leadership development activities as opposed to leadership development goals.
If you’re reading this blog you’re probably looking for SMART goal examples targeting a competency or “soft skill” for development in your IDP template (or perhaps helping a client to do so.) When setting development goals, people have little trouble translating the tangible ones into SMART goals. “Increase revenue by X% within six months”….”Reduce customer wait time on the phone by 4 minutes by end of Q3”….and so on.
Well it’s about the end of the quarter. Time to check in on your goals. And don’t forget about your development plan. Do you even know where it is?
A quarterly check-in may sound stressful if your behind on your development plan or even your goals, but it will only get worse if you don’t do it. Everyone falls behind at some point. The good news is checking in regularly provides you opportunity to review your progress, assess your obstacles, and take action to get back on track.
After searching far and wide, or perhaps by asking HR or a colleague for help, you’ve obtained a development plan template because you realize it’s important for you to have your own development plan. You’re committed to work on your development and really looking forward to it. It’s all downhill from here.
Experiential learning, as you might guess, is learning by experience. Check out the wiki for more detail. It’s a great way to learn because it allows for application of newly acquired knowledge to real-world situations. Check out this recent ATD post for a few examples of how some companies have implemented impressive and robust experiential learning programs to develop their employees.