Phase 2 contd...
A personal example relates to my own presenting skills, or rather lack of them! Like a lot of graduates, my business skills upon leaving university were way behind my academic ability. The corporate graduate training scheme I was on, luckily, included a communication skills course, with the main focus on presentation skills. I was pretty bad – bright red, talking too fast, fidgeting and
flapping my hands around. And to make things worse, all of this was captured on video!
This felt like presentation boot camp, but the tutors wisely helped me to break up my improvement efforts and focus on one thing at a time. At the next presentation, I had to hold my hands together and to speak very slowly. It was still a fairly grim presentation however my audience were not exhausted and more importantly I was a lot calmer after the event.
My skills and confidence were gradually built up in this way to the point 6 months later, I was able to present on behalf of the company to over 200 people. And they even laughed at my jokes! J
Step 5 – Activities and resources
This step is for you to identify what you need to do to get where you want to be. This is the time to get creative. There will be a wide range of activities and resources out there, ready and waiting to take you in the right direction. It may be a mix of self-study, learning from others, formal training and “on the job” experiences. You will know best what suits you, your lifestyle, and your budget!
The psychology articles at Uncommon Knowledge are a good place to start. You can also get help at the personal development forum.
Step 6 – When?
You have gone to great lengths to figure out what you should focus on, what your goals are and how you are going to achieve them. But when?
Be realistic about your time commitments and make some adjustments to the plan (or to your life!) if necessary. Treat your personal development as a serious commitment and give it the priority it deserves.
Plan time in your diary for specific activities as you would a regular appointment. If you must make changes, re-schedule for a later date. Also, schedule some dates to review your plan and check your progress.
Step 7 – Reward?
You may like to include a series of rewards as you make progress and achieve mini-goals. It can be as simple as a special coffee and cake after you make that critical presentation. For some people, the improvement is reward enough and no extra incentives are required, but I think small rewards are a good idea.
Next, Reviewing your plan