Turn the spotlight onto your own personal development.

“Self-development is invaluable to not only ensure your own success, but it also enables us to develop others.” – John Maxwell

It’s easy to get caught up in trying to support the personal development and performance of our own employees, that we forgot self-reflection, and investing in developing ourselves is also just as important to our team’s success.

When was the last time you stopped and focused on yourself? Self-reflection, personal development, and self-leadership are all integral components in determining our leadership effectiveness but more often than not it’s something we rarely schedule a time to focus on.

Last week we touched on the concept of two-way feedback, in particular, the importance of leaders asking their employees what they need from them to support their performance achievement. We highlighted the importance of making sure you are asking for feedback as well as providing it to your team.

This is not only a key contributor to building a trusting feedback environment, but also essential in providing leaders with open, constructive feedback that can be used to improve leadership effectiveness and overall development.

How can we support the success of our team, if we are not supporting our own success?

Here are some tips to help get you started.

Build your self-awareness.

This can feel extremely daunting, especially if your line manager doesn’t currently provide you with much feedback on your performance. But trust us, the investment is worth it!

Help to build your self-awareness in a few ways. When completing Performance Development Review (PDR) discussions with your employees, make sure you ask them what they would like you to be doing more of, and what they would like to see you do less.

This can be a very powerful discussion between an employee and their leader and done well, can help provide you with a clear picture of how your team see your effectiveness, where to focus your efforts, and help to identify the leadership support that will be appreciated by your team. This initiative can be a great boost for team culture and help to bridge the divide that sometimes exists between leaders and their teams.

With the end of the financial year just around the corner, why not factor this into your end-of-year PDR discussions if you’re not doing it already.

Your line manager won’t have all the answers.

In most leadership roles, your job centres around the team you lead and not your line manager. As we often see in 360-degree leadership assessments, how your employees see you as a leader can be very different to your line manager.

This is merely because the type of activities and tasks you work with your line manager on, is often quite different to the leadership role and relationship you have with your team. The reality is that you don’t lead your line manager, so they’re unlikely to be in a position to give you a robust assessment of your leadership effectiveness.

What your line manager will be able to provide you feedback on, however, is the type of work and deliverables you are accountable to them for. This might be related to targets, goals, budgets, service levels, project management, etc. This might be covered in your own personal PDR, or you might need to ask for it specifically.

Identify your areas of motivation.

Understand what you are good at and play to it. There is usually a link between what a person identifies as a strength in their own performance, and an increased level of motivation for the task or behavior.

This is generally a normal human response, where people tend to spend more time given the choice, on the things they enjoy and are good at rather than the things they don’t find so easy.

Identify your strengths in this way, now think about the things that you’re not that motivated by and things you struggle to do. This correlation can often help you to identify areas of your job role, tasks, or responsibilities that you might unknowingly avoid.

Set yourself a plan to build your muscle in these tasks. Find support around you to help develop those skills, book time in your diary to focus on your personal development, and see whether your motivation improves as your skills and knowledge grow.

Build your Personal Development Plan

You shouldn’t have to wait for someone else to identify your development needs. By now, if you have gathered feedback from your team, from your line manager, and completed a self-assessment, you should have more than enough information to start setting some personal development goals.

Follow these steps to build your Personal Development Plan:

  1. Gather the feedback you have collected on your current performance.
  2. Prioritise the areas for development, growth, or improvement based on focus areas that will give you the ‘biggest bang for your buck’.
  3. Write your priorities down into a plan, identify a few ‘quick wins’, and deliver something quickly. (i.e., participate in a webinar, listen to a podcast, read a professional development book, etc.). Accomplishing some of your goals quickly helps to build momentum and motivation.
  4. Ask your HR, L&D team trusted HR Advisor or line manager for support in identifying actions to support your personal and professional growth.
  5. Set reminders in your diary to review your progress and completion of actions, revise, set new goals, and go!

Make a commitment to yourself!

Most important of all, set yourself small achievable goals. It’s unlikely that you will smash out an MBA within the next 12-months, but that’s not what this is really about. Yes, long-term development goals are great to have, but this is about the small, achievable, and self-rewarding goals that will make you a better leader for your team, and leave you feeling more engaged and empowered.

There’s no better time to get started than now!


Need help?

If you don’t know where to start, would like to structure a process for receiving feedback from your team and line manager or want us to help develop a robust Personal Development Plan for you, please reach out to the team at BespokeHR – we’d be more than happy to help!