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In some circles the words, personal development, when put together, can almost seem to be offensive.

I noted from a strand in a LinkedIn discussion that they are almost offered with embarrassment as a suggested way of moving forward.

Why is that so?

Is the suggestion that undertaking any form of personal development means that we are in some way deficient?  That perhaps we are not already perfectly developed and in no need of such development?

Or is it based in fear?

“What on earth would I find out (and have to solve)  if I really considered that the reason I have not yet achieved as I would wish to or got the job of my dreams , might it be down to some deficit on my part rather than a dire economy?”

But the truth is that we are all just ‘twits on the train’ – learning and developing as we go along.  No one, and I mean no one, is ever ‘done’.  There is not a person on earth that would not benefit from personal development in some form.

True when you are looking towards basic survival than your impelling needs lie elsewhere but for most of us in the western world our problems and struggles could be lessened by a little personal development along the way.

This often need be no more than a little introspection as to why we not only feel as we do but why we react as we do – anger is often based in fear – and a little understanding how we are perceived by others.  Not in terms of trying to please others – you cannot please all of the people all of the time and all that (and certainly should never ever try to) – but it is helpful to know how your attitude and demeanour is experienced by others as a way to achieve the results you want.

And the great thing is you do not even need to ask anyone the cringingly awkward – “So, what do you think of me?”

You can gage how you are doing by considering when things have gone well – you were offered a job, asked to head a team or your opinion particularly sought; what was it you offered that helped people see you in a positive light?

Equally, when things have gone poorly it may very well be down to sheer bad luck and a poor economy but sometimes it may be the result of misunderstanding.  Did your delivery intimidate or confuse?  Were you clear on your intention?  A key to this might be another person’s reaction to you – you are going along well and suddenly things went off?

Of course, it certainly can be the ‘other person’ but law of averages would suggest that it cannot always be about other people – sometimes we are the cause of our own misfortune.

A strong example of some personal development consideration is when working with ex police officers.   I often hear how their problem solving skills are not appreciated – often when they step in and problem solve for others by bringing dynamic and high energy that worked well in their former career but is not so well received in the private sector.  And then the suggestion that the world beyond policing “could learn a thing or two” from them!

This might be a moment to consider what how this different approach might not be wrong, just more suited to these people and circumstances.

Some subtle personal development and openness to how you could fit well into a new environment might be useful.  With a little balanced self reflection and a willingness to learn new ways with no criticism, which is often borne from fear, will serve everyone so much better and take you a long way to integrating skills and allowing you to bring your skills and attributes to a new market where you will be highly valued.

If I or any of the team can help – just get in touch.  We are always pleased to hear from you.