One of the things I regularly write and speak about is the importance of a personal development plan. Last year, my personal development plan was focused on increasing my coaching capability. I set a vision of where I wanted to be at the end of the year. I figured out what skills and experiences would help me achieve that vision. I decided to invest in myself by taking a comprehensive Executive Coaching program. The end result: I now have two coaching certifications and completed 350 coaching sessions in the past 12 months. It is incredibly powerful to be of service in this way while achieving your personal development plan.
So what’s next? This year I am focused on becoming a better writer and public speaker. While I have a strong baseline from which to build, it is time to take my game to the next level. To do that I have enlisted the help of a support team, including a prominent author, amazing writing expert and a presentation coach. I will work with them to prepare for upcoming speaking engagements and refine my skills over time. I have very specific actions and milestones in my development plan, which makes the plan tangible and ensures success.
What is in your development plan for 2018?
As we enter the second month of 2018, what have you set as your development priorities in 2018? If you are not sure how to make progress or achieve your desired outcome, I offer you the simple process I use to create development plans for myself and our team.
- Set a development vision. Make it specific. What are you trying to achieve? What capabilities do you want to have at the end of the year that you do not have now? What does good look like? What benefit would you derive from those new skills?
- Create a learning plan. How will you acquire these new capabilities? Do you need to take a course? Perhaps there is a book to read or a podcast to listen to? How will you gain the knowledge needed to take your skills forward?
- Apply the learning – repeatedly. If you are developing new capabilities, the key is to apply your learning. Over and over. Give yourself a break in the beginning when you try new things. When I first started coaching there were moments where I was anxious about trying something new – but I just went for it. While I didn’t always get it right the first time, people still derived value from each coaching session. The discomfort we experience as we apply new techniques or refine our approach is what learning feels like. The courage to try new things fuels my ongoing development as a coach.
- Find a mentor or a coach. One of the most helpful aspects of my coaching program was having a mentor coach listen to sessions and bring awareness to growth areas. I am doing the same thing as I complete yoga teacher training. I teach a class with my teacher in the group and then get real-time feedforward to make the next class even better.
- Celebrate small wins. As you make your way through this learning journey, reward yourself when the milestones are achieved. Transformational development doesn’t happen overnight. It happens one step at a time.
Join me on my development journey
Speaking opportunities are a key part of my professional development in 2018. Having to refine my point of view and prepare to deliver an engaging talk is a constantly evolving journey. I am speaking at some great events in 2018. Perhaps you can join me at one of the stops on the ‘Chief Yoga Officer Speaking Tour!” or attend my upcoming online workshop.
- Wisdom 2.0 Conference (February 23, 2018, San Francisco) I will be speaking about the transformative power of seeing Supporting Lines, not Reporting Lines when leaders look at an organizational chart. I will also talk about how to create powerful development plans to support the personal and professional growth of your team.
- CPA Canada Not-for-profit Executive Forum (February 26, 2018, Toronto) I will be speaking to a group of non-profit CFOs about their role in supporting open and inclusive cultures. Only 19% of CFOs believe they have a role in building culture (Robert Half 2017). That is something I aspire to help change in this session.
- MEECO Leadership Development Conference (May 23, 2018, Estes Park, CO) I will be speaking to a group of master level executive coaches and top executives about supporting internal coaching cultures. I will talk about managing the complexity of my dual role as c-suite executive and company-wide, internal executive coach.
- Chief Yoga Officer Leadership Development Online Workshop (March 2018 – TBD) Thanks again to the many people who supported me in my goal to speak on the People’s Stage at Wisdom 2.0. I truly appreciate the opportunity. As committed, in return for that support I will host an online workshop in March 2018. I will announce the details in the coming weeks. Subscribe at ChiefYogaOfficer.com to be notified of the event details.