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How To Approach Your Personal Development

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I recently I had an interview with a young professional. We discussed the position, with questions back and forth where he made a very good impression. At the end of the interview, he asked an interesting question: what would be your recommendation on how to take care of my development for such positions?

Before I say anything else, this is one of the best approaches one can take. This person wasn’t looking at simply getting a job, he was looking at developing himself for a career that he finds interesting and motivating, and possibly has or doesn’t have the skills for. In essence, he was getting feedback on how others view him and was getting pointers for his personal development. No rocket science, but an elementary, important, and future-oriented question.

If you are strictly thinking about development only on the level of ‘knowledge’, then please remember, that development is not only about this. It is also about social, spiritual, emotional, and physical areas that could be played out in our personality, skills, emotional intelligence, relationships, conflict resolution, behaviors, habits, disciplines, time management, work-life balance, just to name a few.

“If you are strictly thinking about development only on the level of ‘knowledge’, then please remember, that development is not only about this”

But how do you get there? Is there a recipe? A formula? I doubt it. You might read different books and get different answers, but the three main things that have worked greatly as a basis for this development journey have been the following:

Companionship: Today more than ever, many people that pass through our lives leave traces, and influence, and guidance, and so many other things with us, whether we want it or not. Simply said; we are influenced by the network of people that surround us. Be deliberate about the type of people you are spending important time with, what are you learning from them? What habits are rubbing of? Are you developing and elevating each other? Are they there backing you up and are you backing them up? What kind of mentoring and support system do you have? Don’t walk alone, walk strongly accompanied.

Curiosity: Keep your mind and self in a learning mode. Try out new things, experiment with new ways of approaching situations, learn from others, ask questions, engage in a micro-learning, put yourself outside of your comfort zone. By doing this you are discovering new aspects and gaining new perspectives that will enrich you. Research, apply, learn.

“Be deliberate about the type of people you are spending important time with, what are you learning from them?”

Reiteration: Development never ends. It is an unremitting activity. It requires discipline to create the time within that endless cycle to be able to self-develop and to self-reflect on the needs that you must develop. Do it, continue, don’t stop, repeat, and start again.

When your development journey in all areas is important you will find the ways to do it (curiosity). You will find people, friends, mentors, peer coaches, that will be there with you along the way, sharing accountability with you (companionship). And you will be trying new things again and again, improving, learning, going through the next cycle, reaching the next level (reiteration).

To be sure, there are many different approaches to this. This is my ‘recipe’ I am sharing with you.

I am definitely interested in your stories, please feel free to connect with me through LinkedIn and share how you are growing and developing yourself.

Richard Jaimes is a foresighter, strategist and advisor with over 20 years of professional and executive experience within transnational corporations in different industries. He has had the privilege of leading people and organizations, investigating future topics, creating strategies and innovations, advising C-level management, and translating insights into business advantages for top international companies and associations such as Airbus, Osram, German Chamber of Commerce, Frost & Sullivan, Continental, Caritas and Kolping. He is regularly invited as guest lecturer at various international universities including Yale, Clermont Ferrand and IPAG. He is also a founding partner of TurningPoint, lead partner at Quantumrun Foresight, and trusted advisor at Huete&co.

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