Emerge and Spread Your Wings

Meaningful Professional Development

I’ve been thinking about goal setting again. Well to be truthful I have been camping at the beach and avoiding thinking about goal setting. But, now I am back to reality, and pondering the motivations we have behind setting goals for our professional development. You see, I have discovered I am more motivated and have better outcomes when I am clear about the purpose of my professional development goals. Strange eh?
I wonder who you are responsible to for your professional goals? Your clients, organisation/employer, profession, self? Are you clear on this? Maybe all of these? Some organisations establish strong links between professional development and performance management. In other words, “we will support your professional development when it suits our organisation’s purpose” Fair enough? Up to a point. However, my take on it is, when we grow a practitioner’s skills in a way which is meaningful to them, fits their values and learning styles, inspires them, the result is of benefit to all – clients, profession, employer and self.
So when setting your professional development goals consider – what inspires your learning? Do you enjoy group discussions and forums, or self reflection. How about courses, or structured learning opportunities such as extra mural papers, reading or research? What about observing or interviewing more experienced colleagues? How do you align your goals with your values to make them meaningful to you?
For adding structure and making your goals achievable the SMART goal formula is an oldie but a goodie.