I’m a learning and development consultant—offering team building, strategic planning, vision setting and leadership training and coaching for other people and organizations.
If there’s one thing being a business owner has taught me, it’s that I need to take charge of my own learning and development. Several months ago, I signed up for a three-day, coaching course in January that will expand my thinking, enhance my interpersonal skills and give me the opportunity to network with other professionals--even though it’s coming out of my profits and the expense initially felt steep and made me mildly uncomfortable.
Don’t wait for someone else to dictate your professional learning—change it up in the new year and boldly take charge of it yourself. When was the last time you assessed your own professional/personal developmental needs and took classes beyond those required by your organization? If you do it regularly, kudos to you! If not, why not start now?
You probably don’t hesitate to sign up for what you want or need in the personal development arena—whether it’s a salsa class, a new language app, a local CPR class or participation in a marathon. And, in the business world you probably don’t hesitate to sign up for technical training courses you need. So, why do we hesitate to sign up for the leadership, emotional intelligence or professional development experiences we need? Here are some real (or imagined) obstacles you might need to tackle:
Real (or Imagined) Obstacles:
Worrying about what others will think: Signing up for leadership or emotional intelligence courses can make us feel vulnerable--like we are advertising our ‘deficiencies’. But, in reality, people usually respect those who work to improve themselves. If you’re a leader, continuously improving yourself is simply being a great role model for those you lead. Plus, most people we work with are already well aware of our strengths and improvement areas, so addressing them is a good thing. No stigma.
Not knowing what you need: If you haven’t made the time to figure out how you could improve yourself, do it now. Ask a friend, family member, coworker or significant other. Or, take a needs assessment to discover where you could enhance your emotional intelligence or leadership skills. Maybe it’s hiring a coach/business confidant to strategize with, or taking an online or face-to-face leadership course.
Permission for Time and/or Resources: Once you’ve figured out what development you need, consider asking your company to sponsor it. Be bold! They should be impressed that you’ve examined your needs and have plotted a course to meet them. But, if you’re uncomfortable asking or if they can’t provide the time or resources you need, it may be worth it to provide your own time and resources to make it happen. Or, come up with another resource-light, alternative. For example, if you can’t make it to a leadership class, start a leadership book club at lunch.
Once you’re convinced of what you need, and have the necessary time and resources, book it right away. You won’t regret taking charge of your own learning and development!
Email firstname.lastname@example.org or call 805.305.5719 to discuss ways Colette can provide coaching, and leadership development and training services for you or your organization.