Most organisations of any size provide opportunities for their managers to build and develop their skills through training of some description. This is often a challenge for smaller businesses and even more so for the many solo enterprises where time, money and options are far more limited.
Still, the fact is that we cannot develop our business if we do not develop ourselves and it goes beyond physical skills and strategies. Those skills and strategies will bring a limited return on investment if we do not develop at a mental, emotional and even spiritual level.
Aptitude will never increase whilst attitudes remain the same
So, what can be done about this? My answer is to approach it in two phases:
First, invest in yourself through carefully selected training. This doesn't have to be about extensive in-house or open programmes but can include participation in shorter presentations, industry-specific conferences, high quality webinars and online programmes that can be timed to suit a busy personal schedule and even the tightest of budgets. And go beyond the usual skills development such as leadership, team building, communication, presenting, sales etc.
Dig deeper and look at developing YOU as a person, increasing your self-awareness, your emotional management, your inner strengths and attitude.
Second, and of equally high importance, is to get yourself a coach. Everyone in business, at every level, needs a coach. A good professional coach will help and support you in a number of ways:
• Developing your skills through feedback and objective questioning
• Providing a sounding board for your ideas and innovations
• Offering specific guidance where appropriate
• Helping you develop deeper self-awareness
• Assisting you in developing or changing your business strategies
• Putting that training into high impact effectiveness
A good professional coach is going to become a silent partner in your endeavours and will help you achieve a level of performance AND self awareness that you may never achieve without. So, whatever your position and whatever your organisation, remember:
There can be no real professional development without personal development