Personal Development Plans can often be “something and nothing” – a paper exercise mandated by HR for line managers and direct reports to undertake as an annual ritual. When they are at their best they:
- Identify clearly the difference between where you are now and where you want and/or need to be
- Link immediate (short-term) objectives and actions with longer-term, wider personal goals
- Have both a developmental (learning) perspective and a career management perspective
- Link goals explicitly with values
- Provide an appropriate level of stretch
- Are motivating and create a bias for action
- Are shared with your support network
- Can be monitored to check that progress is happening and how fast it is happening
- Are a “live” document that you refer to at relatively frequent intervals, to benchmark how you are doing
- Are flexible enough to allow for new goals and to respond to unexpected opportunities
Try using the grid below as a framework:
|Development area||Evidence||How I want to be different in performance in my current role?||What am I going to do to make that happen? By when?||How do I want to be different in career development?||What am I going to do to make that happen? By when?|
Some useful questions to ask
- Why do I want this?
- How does this goal align with my personal values?
- How does it align with the values of the organization?
© David Clutterbuck, 2014