Recently I was reviewing the agenda for a conference deciding whether or not it was worth attending. I love to learn, so conferences have great appeal, plus I get to meet new people! Several presentations caught my eye and I explored them further. The one of greatest interest was scheduled for 7:30 a.m. That is early even if you are staying at the conference hotel. Reading further I saw that the presentation was categorized as “Personal Development” and no continuing education credits were given for the session. That explained the timing of the event.
Presentations that were focused on technical knowledge, the law, entering into agreements or respecting clients’ rights were all eligible for continuing education credit and were scheduled at more reasonable hours. They were also of little interest to me.
I share this experience, not that it is unique, rather that it demonstrates that we have to take charge of this area in our life. “Personal development” or “the soft skills” is generally not provided through the education system or through our employers. The exceptions are my workshop clients who recognize and support this important part of development for their teams and employees. Kudos to you…and you know who you are.
Personal development and those “soft skills” help you understand what makes you successful. What is your unique value and how do you bring that to the table? Do you know how to use your natural talents to their greatest advantage? Can you develop them into strengths to share with your team? It is great to know your talents and strengths but if you can’t share and communicate those with others then what good do they serve?
This is not taught in the technical courses. You have to make time on your own and invest your own money and energy into developing these softer skills that will make you successful. If you are part of an organization that does invest in “softer skill” development, count yourself among the fortunate few and go thank your manager and leadership.
As I wrote about this topic, it forced me to consider the question, do we really want to award continuing education credit for personal development? Would that result in people attending personal development presentations just for the credit? Showing up only because they have to? I want people in my workshops and signing up for coaching because they want to be there. Then I know that the people in the audience are eager to grow, eager to learn and eager to make a difference in their lives and the lives of others.
Personal development and those “soft skills” help you understand what makes you successful.
Start your own personal development plan. Contact me to learn more, email@example.com.
Are you a leader of a business or organization? Then let’s talk about building your teams and your next group of leaders. Call me at 713-705-3815.