Recently, I've been taking a course which is all about self-development at work.
We've talked about some of the more informal ways that many people use to develop their knowledge or skills and how some organisations may want to formalise that a little, especially if they give their people time to learn while at work.
This week, we were tasked with creating our own development plans. This involved setting goals, identifying sources we could use and deciding when we would work on it. It got me thinking about how in many organisations, the default sources would be courses. In your organisation, if someone comes to you for help with their development plan, how often do you try to match their goal with a course - either one you have available internally, or one you've found online?
One of my development goals is to give better feedback. It's not new to me - I've been on courses before, spent lots of time giving feedback in various roles in the past and have even trained other people how to do it. It's just a focus for me at the moment and as a lifelong learner, I believe we can all always learn something new. Anyway, when it got to the box 'sources', I started typing 'find a course, read a book...' then I realised that the best thing I could do would be to evaluate myself each time I give feedback. So, I've committed to doing that this month. Each time I give feedback, I'll take some time to ask myself what worked, what didn't, and what I'd do differently. I might also read a book about it and I've set up Flipboard to bring me articles about giving feedback too, so I'm hopeful that this combination will make a difference.
We do not learn from experience... we learn from reflecting on experience.
So the next time you're supporting someone with their development plans, try to encourage them to think of the resources that would help them most. The answer isn't always a course. It could be a book, video or podcast. It could be a conversation with the right person, or observing someone else. It could be reflecting and journaling about their experiences. It could be a course. It's likely to be a combination of several resources.
I'll let you know how I get on!
PS. This is the course I'm taking: Modern Workplace Learning