Life is a Learning Curve

March 24, 2016Uncategorized

Why does personal development matter? Because the world is changing at an unprecedented pace and most of us want to be able to ‘thrive’ or at least ‘survive’ and this will require us to keep learning and developing our skills.

At Space2BE we believe that the opportunity to develop yourself should be available to anyone who wants to do so. That is why we’ve been working on finding a way to provide access to our executive, leadership and personal coaching and training programmes beyond our corporate clients, so that everyone can access high quality development support. We should all have the power to be who we want to be, and our personal development coaching puts that power in your own hands.

What is personal development?

In simple terms, personal development is the process of improving yourself – in terms of the way we see ourselves and the outside world, the confidence we have in ourselves and our abilities, and the way in which we communicate and influence the people around us.

In practical terms, personal development can cover a wide range of elements and is not limited, as many people believe, to the skills you need at work. Throughout our lives, the emphasis is inevitably on academic and professional achievement but it takes much more than that to be great at your job, your life and as a leader. It takes self-awareness, emotional intelligence, an understanding of what you want to be in life as well as what you want to do.

In its best form, personal development improves not only your employability but also your emotional wellbeing and your overall quality of life. At Space2BE we believe personal development should include:

  • The improvement of your performance in your existing job
  • The technical skills and knowledge you need to progress up the career ladder in the future should you want to
  • What you need to fulfil your potential as a person
  • Improving your self-awareness
  • Helping you meet your aspirations
  • Injecting passion into what you do every day.

Why does personal development matter?

Being great at your job, or a great manager and leader takes a lot more than technical skill. In his book,Working with Emotional Intelligence, the author Daniel Goleman talks about the importance of self-awareness in personal development. To become better, you need to understand yourself and your strengths and limitations, understand your emotions and have confidence in yourself.

Personal development will help you:

  • Understand yourself better
  • Properly assess your strengths and weaknesses, and where you can make improvements
  • Help you handle stress and change and become more resilient
  • Improve your relationship with those around you.

Life is a work in progress

At Space2BE we see personal development as constant work in progress. Every day brings a new opportunity to improve ourselves and therefore our lives. We don’t think that anyone should ever stop learning – learning keeps us eager and enthusiastic and passionate. As Henry Ford once said:

‘Anyone who stops learning is old, whether at 20 or 80. Anyone who keeps learning stays young. The greatest thing in life is to keep your mind young.’

Making you a better leader

When it comes to leaders, good leadership begins within. It’s often the case that organisations just expect their managers and leaders to be as good at managing themselves as they are at managing others. It is too easy, though, for a leader to neglect their own personal development simply because they run out of time.

It has been well-documented that self-awareness and emotional intelligence make you a better manager and leader – a survey of top executives at 15 global companies, including Pepsi and IBM, found that success at this level could be attributed to emotional intelligence rather than to technical skill and intellect.

Many of the things that make for a great leader aren’t taught in a classroom or listed in a book; they have to be learned, developed, experienced and understood. Over our years as executive coaches we have seen first-hand the benefits that a relationship with a coach can bring.

You’re only as strong as your weakest part

It’s essential that we know ourselves and fully understand our strengths and weaknesses because without self-awareness, you can never know what is holding you back from reaching your full potential. Everyone can improve in some way, and that begins with taking the time and care to understand what those improvements should be.

With self-awareness comes self-confidence – the knowledge that you understand yourself and how you interact with others.

Engaged people are more productive

Fulfilment at work is far more important to us than it was to our parents’ generation. According to a survey by PwC, opportunities for career development and ‘excellent training and development programmes’ were the biggest draw in potential employers for the Millennial generation (those entering the workplace after 2000).

In other words, no organisation can afford to neglect the development of their employees. Employees who feel that they’re not developing in their job are far more likely to look elsewhere, for an employer who will encourage them to become better at what they do. No one wants to stay in a job where they feel they’ve got nowhere to go. We all need something to aim for.

Watch this space for how you as an individual can confidentially access our wealth of corporate and people expertise in leadership development, executive, leadership and health and wellbeing coaching.

We are at our most fulfilled when we feel that we are achieving something and reaching our full potential. That goes for everyone – from the leader at the top of the organisation, through every level.

 “There’s only one corner of the universe you can be certain of improving, and that’s your own self.”