2022 is fast-approaching. It’s a brand new year, full of opportunity. Have you begun to think and plan for your learning and growth? Your potential is within your reach! Make 2022 a special stepping-stone on your journey — a springboard!
Where are we going? As we review the input coming in from readers and clients, we’re sorting and prioritizing many skill and knowledge areas of focus for our coaching compendium. Today, you’ll find seeds for reflection as well as a taste-test of topics you can anticipate seeing from us — to assist you in drawing insights to set your own direction for continued growth and development.
First: Seeds for Reflection
We’ll share some questions for you to ask yourselves to help you determine how you want to prioritize and approach learning in the near future.
What is your mindset about your own development? People tend to lean in one of two directions when it comes to their interest and willingness to learn and grow.
- Do you believe that each person’s basic abilities, intelligence and skills are established as children or by the time they reach adulthood, and aren’t changeable? Or, do you believe you already know all you need to know because of your past education and experience? This would likely foster a belief that you already either have the knowledge and ability to do something, or you don’t, and there’s no benefit in trying to grow or improve. This is a Fixed Mindset.
- Do you believe our abilities, intelligence and skills can be further developed throughout life, through continuous learning efforts? Or, do you believe we can master new knowledge and skills even as we age, given time and effort? These leanings probably mean you’re interested and excited about finding the right opportunities to learn, now and into the future. This is a Growth Mindset.
A Growth Mindset is an important driver of motivation to develop and grow. It enables us, individually, to establish our Why, the reason and purpose and desired outcomes for ongoing educational efforts. With a Growth Mindset, you can position yourself for growth that will enable you to reach your potential.
2. Cognitive Biases Directly Related to Learning and Growth
What are Cognitive Biases? They are subconscious, strong opinions or pre-conceived notions about people, events, and life. Everyone has cognitive biases.
Sometimes a Cognitive Bias is rooted in a misinterpretation we’ve made as we experienced past events or situations based on our personal standpoint. Our brains work quickly to process information, making connections between prior thoughts and memories to make sense of what it is observing. In the process, our thinking can be affected; what we think of as intuition or gut feeling is sometimes, instead, misconception.
Research has shown there are dozens of Cognitive Biases that influence our perceptions. Cognitive Biases impact how we think, behave and make decisions in everyday life. Following are examples:
- The majority of the population rate themselves as above average in positive personality traits and performance
- Almost all professors believe they out-perform their peers
- Most people think they drive better than average
- Most people think their own thinking is best
- Many stick with their beliefs even when shown conflicting information from valid sources
What do you think could be implications of the examples above? Ask yourself what these opinions mean, and how they could drive conclusions people draw about one another and specific decisions they might make.
There are cognitive biases about Control that impact our thinking, and that can help or hinder our passion and ability to reach our potential.
- Are you are confident in your ability to control what happens in life, and believe that, in general, actions you take and your knowledge and skills enable you to make a difference?
- Do you believe you have no control over what happens, in your life overall? Is it your opinion that circumstances are the cause of just about everything? Is it your perception that what you do doesn’t matter?
What impact do you imagine these two beliefs might have on people’s interest and decisions about training and development?
Our research and experience shows that when you believe you have the abilities to learn, to increase skill mastery, and to make a difference–and know that your actions do matter, you’ll seek out learning opportunities and ways to expand and deepen your knowledge. You’ll exercise self-leadership to develop and implement a strategy of your own, to succeed. To do more. To take the next step. To reach your potential.
Conversely, we’ve observed that people who believe that what they do doesn’t matter will not be motivated to pursue and invest in learning opportunities. Instead, they will tend to disregard such opportunities. They will most likely not exercise the self-leadership that can enable them to reach their potential.
When people act with deliberation and intention to learn, they typically discover that learning inspires and equips them with knowledge, resulting in positive change in the way they think and do things.
For example, we wrote about adding and stopping behavior and habits in our earlier 5-part series on managing behavior. Many who believed they could learn and build new skills, despite difficulty changing habits in the past, succeeded. And, mastering that behavioral knowledge and skill helps build one’s capability to manage change effectively; The change-skills and confidence we develop by making self-directed change prepares us to respond effectively not only to change that is imposed on us and obstacles we encounter, but also to adversity.
“It is your reaction to adversity, not the adversity itself, that determines how your life story will develop.” – Dieter F. Uchtdorf
We don’t often consider the impact of Mindset and Cognitive Biases on an individual’s motivation to seek and leverage continuous learning. These are critical factors that drive decisions and attitudes about the value of learning. Cognitive Biases and Mindsets may be subjects you’d like to learn more about in 2022.
Second: Defining Areas of Focus
Many of us have thought about improvements we’d like to make in ourselves and in our lives. For example, I would like to reach more people with my writing; I’d also like to get fitter and better muscle toned. In addition, I would like to broaden the scope of the reading I do.
Once you’ve decided you want to pursue continued learning, development and growth in 2022 and beyond, you’re ready to think in terms of subject matter, priorities and how you can make it most doable for yourself.
One of the great advantages of self-led development is the ability to choose subjects that apply to either or both your work and personal life.
What is professional development? It’s the process of obtaining and strengthening knowledge and skills that will:
- Build your performance in your current role and keep you up to date in your field
- Develop knowledge and skills to prepare you for future roles and advancement
- Increase your marketability and competitiveness as a candidate
Reaching your potential in any chosen field of work requires ongoing development in addition to experience.
What is personal development? It’s about helping you to become the best version of yourself. It includes knowledge and skills that will:
- Support you in strengthening personal characteristics and attributes such as self-confidence, self-awareness, and skills developing, improving and sustaining good relationships
- Enhance quality of life in various ways, such as managing priorities and stress
- Strengthen capabilities for building and sustaining trust, effective inter-personal communication, problem-solving, and self-assessment
Our plan for writing in 2022 aligns with our business purpose and coaching approaches, and includes both professional and personal development. This plan is designed to be well matched with needs anticipated by employers, our readers, current clients and potential clients. We will continue to leverage all of our expertise and experience in coaching and custom training to deliver an uncommon, high value coaching experience to our clients.
Third: Map Your 2022 Journey Into Knowledge and Skill Areas
This is a sneak-peek into what we’re thinking so far. As we continue to gather and assess information through research and input from readers and clients, we’ll keep refining our plan.
This listing is intended for use as a tool to help you think about your development in the coming year. Our next article will guide you through your next steps with suggestions to create your development strategy and goals, and determine how you can make it realistically doable for yourself.
In the meantime, your assignment, if you choose to accept it, is to reflect and begin selecting training and development topics for yourself for the year ahead.
Take this project one step at a time, to prevent becoming overloaded. Select topics based on priority and choose only one to five at a time. You’ll be able to tweak and change your plan throughout the year.
It may help you in choosing your topics to ask yourself questions such as these:
- What subjects could I learn more about that would give me a sense of fulfillment, positivity and accomplishment?
- What areas have I recognized that provide opportunities to improve?
- What subjects have I worked on but not yet achieved the level of mastery I want to have?
Topics are grouped in small clusters, to make make it easier for you to find what you’re looking for based on your areas of interest. However, it’s likely that many are topics of universal interest.
We recommend browsing each group of topics to select those that you would like to include in your development plan.
Individuals: Are you looking for learning opportunities to achieve your aspirations, drive stronger results in your job performance, and tackle job-related challenges and problems? Are you focused on building knowledge and skills to become more current or more competitive for future growth and advancement? Or, are you seeking development to continue becoming the best version of yourself?
The following topics may interest you:
Managers: There are 3 primary types of services we offer to organizations:
- Have you identified individual employees to invest in developing? This includes those whose performance needs improvement to better meet job expectations, as well as helping prepare Promising Talent for future roles.
- Do you have cross-functional groups? We provide customized coaching to small teams, such as group leaders across teams or shifts, supervisors, or first-line managers, to help them apply effective teamwork, leadership and/or management practices uniformly, strengthening the desired culture by driving change and consistency across organizations.
- Are you interested in exploring use of a coach to obtain a professional, objective and confidential perspective to further your own development in your current role and beyond?
The following topics may interest you:
|Mindsets (Positive, Self-Leadership)|
|Job Search (Search Strategies, Resume Writing, Interviewing)|
|Cognitive Flexibility (New ways of thinking, anticipating issues, taking initiative)|
|Managing One’s Behavior and Habits|
|Goal Setting (SMART Goals, Monitoring Performance)|
|Grammar and Punctuation|
|Working With a Coach (Mindset, Coachability)|
|Time Management (Prioritizing, Use of Time, Focus, Efficiency, Effectiveness and Quality)|
|Reputation and Relationship Skills|
|How Framing & Re-Framing Can Improve Relationships|
|Self-Regulation, A Foundation for Emotional Intelligence|
|Building Effective Work Relationships|
|Giving Criticism or Corrective Feedback Constructively|
|Accepting Feedback Constructively|
|The Benefits of Listening Well|
|Soliciting Feedback Effectively|
|Giving Praise and Showing Appreciation|
|Work Ethic (Building and demonstrating self-discipline, dedication, cooperation, accountability, cooperation, etc.)|
|Public Speaking and Making Presentations|
|Building and Applying Business and Industry Knowledge|
|How to Stand Out as an Employee|
|Gaining Respect and Demonstrating Expertise|
|Starting a New Job|
|Developing and Completing an Action Plan|
|Critical and Creative Thinking|
|Problem Solving (The Five Whys, Methods)|
|Transferring New Knowledge From Training to the Job|
|Transitioning into a Leadership Role|
|Understanding and Enabling Employee Motivation|
|Developing Strategic Thinking Across an Organization|
|Coaching Skills for Managers|
|Communicating Business Information to Employees (Business Metrics & Performance, Bonus Programs, News and Updates)|
|Kouzes & Posner: 5 Practices of Outstanding Leaders|
|Managing the Workplace Climate|
|Company Mission, Vision, Purpose, Goals (Cascading these to the individual)|
|Interviewing and Selecting Candidates to Fill Job Openings|
|Onboarding and Orienting New Team Members|
|Building Credibility and Influence|
|Developing Organizational Agility|
|Building Resilience in Organizations|
|Brainstorming (Conducting Brainstorms, Evaluating and Choosing Solutions)|
|Problem Solving and Decision Making for Leaders|
|Harassment Awareness and Prevention|
|Handling Employee Complaints|
|Building Customer Loyalty Through Your Workforce|
|Performance Management and Communication (Setting Goals, Team Huddles, One-on-Ones, Delivering Performance Appraisals)|
|Solving Employee Performance Issues|
|Leading and Managing Change|
|Improving Performance Using Key Performance Indicators / Metrics|
|Optimizing the Impact of Training|
|Recognizing and Rewarding Employees|
|Performance Management and Communication (Setting Goals; Team Huddles; 1x1s; Delivering Performance Appraisals)|
|Building Teams (Teamwork; the 4 Stages of Team Development; Conflict Resolution; Decision Making)|
|Developing Effective Suggestion Programs|
|Building and Sustaining Employee Engagement|
|Optimizing ROI on Compensation, Commission and Bonus Programs|
|How Businesses Have Shifted to Persevere in Times of Crisis|
|Human Potential and Competitive Advantage|
Once you select your initial few topics, you’ll need a Development Action Plan. Our next article will be focused on describing the purpose and process of this plan, how you can make it doable, and how you can use it to drive your success. It will include tips, forms and examples to make it easy to set up and to monitor.
Is a spark of desire for continued development alight and front of mind? Or, has it been pushed further back by various priorities and demands or a feeling that you don’t need it? We all need to be told to get going, now and then.
Don’t ignore that spark. Opportunity is here at your door. Start now to build your plan by choosing your topics. Your future self will thank you, as will your family, friends and colleagues .
Are you ready to take the next step? On 12/14/2021 we launched our guide and Free Download of Editable Templates (in Word and PowerPoint) to create your Development Action Plan! LINK: https://rosannamnadeau.com/2021/07/17/whats-in-an-action-plan/
Frequently Asked Questions
Question: What if I have a couple of questions about Development Planning or if I would like to explore getting some help to create my action plan?
Answer: Please contact us using the information at the end of this post. We will be pleased to help.
Question: How much does coaching cost?
Answer: Each individual’s coaching program is tailored to meet his/her needs, in terms of subject matter, specific coaching resources required, and duration of sessions. The fee, for our 20-minute exploratory session, is discounted. Please contact us for pricing and scheduling.
Question: If I am not ready for coaching, but I have questions, can I contact you?
Answer: Yes. We are happy to assist you and will be available on a limited basis to help you move forward. Feel free to contact us.
Recommended Reading and Sources
“What You believe Ultimately Affects What You Will Achieve,” — LINK: https://www.gatesnotes.com/books/mindset-the-new-psychology-of-success
“What is a Mindset and Why it Matters,” — LINK: https://www.verywellmind.com/what-is-a-mindset-2795025
“What is Mindset?” — LINK: https://sourcesofinsight.com/what-is-mindset/
“Mindset,” book, updated edition 2017 by Carol Dweck
“Carol Dweck: A Summary of Growth and Fixed Mindsets,” — LINK: https://fs.blog/carol-dweck-mindset/
“List of Common Cognitive Biases,” — LINK: https://www.verywellmind.com/cognitive-biases-distort-thinking-2794763
“4 Ways of Thinking That Enable Career Success,” — LINK: https://www.forbes.com/sites/tonygambill/2021/11/23/4-ways-of-thinking-that-enable-career-success/?sh=3169edabfe1f
“Cognitive Bias,” — LINK: https://searchenterpriseai.techtarget.com/definition/cognitive-bias
“What is Cognitive Bias?” – LINK: https://www.verywellmind.com/what-is-a-cognitive-bias-2794963
“How to Identify Cognitive Bias: 12 Examples of Cognitive Bias,” — LINK: https://www.masterclass.com/articles/how-to-identify-cognitive-bias#what-is-cognitive-bias
“Cognitive Biases: What They are and how They Affect People,” — LINK: https://effectiviology.com/cognitive-biases/
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