professional development

Welcome to the newest series here on the blog - The How To Series. Join me over the next several weeks as I provide many practical “how to’s” related to a variety of topics. Let’s get started.

I have written about personal power and professional development for years now. I love these topics and spend all my time, in several formats, with one or the other.

After all these years I am still amazed at the number of people that do not realize the connection between personal and professional development. For many people, they are two very distinct and separate things.

For these people:
Personal development is a foo foo, touchy-feely, out there in the ether kind of thing. They think it is for the “New-Age” or “Self-Help” crowd. It’s rainbows and unicorns.

Professional development is facts and figures. It’s job specific and based on the latest, greatest techniques from the great business minds. It’s not emotional in any way, shape or form.

First, let me just say that ALL development is emotional. Good training involves your head and your heart. You can know everything there is to know about your life and your career, but if that knowledge doesn’t involve you inwardly – if you don’t buy into it with all that you are – it’s only half effective – at best.

As a Motivational Speaker and Coach, if I fail to get both your mind and heart involved – I have failed.

The same thinking is true for personal and professional development. It is not an “either/or” question when it comes to the need.

My belief is this: When you develop yourself personally, the benefits will reach professionally. In fact, I believe that the best way to expand professionally is to greatly enhance your personal development.

They belong together. Always have, always will.

So how do I do it DeLores? How do I develop personally so I can explode professionally?

4 How To’s:

1. Agree from the beginning that this is going to take work.

When did we become a bunch of sissies? Stop whining already. Progress, development and growth all take work. They all take deliberate action. It gets hard. Get over it already! The benefits of bettering yourself far outweigh the struggle you go through along the way.

When you grow as a person you:

  • Brighten your self-image
  • Strengthen your self-confidence
  • Increase your personal power
  • Live happier
  • Worry less
  • Fight stress
  • Make the world a better place

All of it takes work. Settle that within yourself from the start.

2. Set goals.

Strong personal goals set with intention and a plan of action will be the foundation upon which your development is built. Your goals will remind you of your destination- your action plans will determine your path and provide the steps to take along the journey. You MUST have both.

One good resource to get you started setting goals is: How To Set Goals: Ultimate Goal Setting Guide to Having Your Best Year Ever by Craig Ballantyne. Craig gives you a good and easy to use system for setting S.M.A.R.T. goals.

In order to develop personally so you can power through professionally – you will need some goals.

3. Get the best personal development tool out there.

I’m not talking resources like books or systems now – I’m talking about the best tool you can have in your personal and professional development tool kit.

You need to get a journal.

Ladies – you probably get this. Gentleman, stay with me here.

This journal is very specific. It is not a daily diary of people you saw, things you did, etc. This journal is about recording your progress from point A to point B. From goal #1 to it’s completion and so on down the line.

You need to see where you are going and document where you have come from. The visual of the progress you make and the problems you encounter will allow you to stay focused, determined and strong. I cannot fully explain what happens when you journal, but I can tell you that it is a tool that you should not be without.

Journal online at places like Penzu or go the traditional hard copy way. Whatever you choose, do it and do it daily.

4. You will need a good personal growth book.

One of my all-time favorites is the long-time bestseller by Dr. Stephen Covey, The Seven Habits of Highly Effective People. This book will lead you through many life changes and help you pursue both personal and professional growth. It is simply a classic.

I would also humbly recommend two of my books - Clean Out The Closets of Your LifeandOh, Yes You Can. Both offer a practical, “how-to” approach to personal development.

Once again I return to my belief that when you develop personally, the benefits will reach professionally. I have seen it time and time again. A woman makes a decision to grow, expand, stretch personally and she begins to become a better worker, leader, boss or business owner. Before you know it she is beautifully, confidently pushing forward into new greater heights – ones that she never thought possible!

Find a resource that is powerful and meaningful to you. Use it on a regular, consistent basis. Journal it and your goals and do the hard work.

I’m rooting for you!

Your Turn:

Share your thoughts, comments, and suggestions for additions to the list.

P.S. I am not only rooting for you, but I’m here if you need me for personal coaching. I would love to work with you!