This HNC personal and professional development assignment is describing process which an individual undertakes for in order to achieve his goals in life. This process helps an individual to gain confidence. It helps to achieve career goals and personal goals and also helps an individual to make the best use of any opportunity.
Importance of Personal and Professional Development
The following section illustrates importance of Personal and Professional Development:
- Individual is able to understand the learning process and how it affects themselves and their career growth eventually.
- Helps in improving skills like communication, leadership, problem solving, time –management, presentation, listening etc.
- The overall process helps in learning of strength and weakness. Thus an individual tries to utilize its strength and rectify his weakness.
Modern personal development is way beyond coaching and mentoring. The process has evolved over time and now there are various techniques used for overall development. The new techniques create a balance in the individual by making the process more realistic (Kuh, 1995).
The overall process of personal and professional development consists of following phases.
- Identification- This stage helps an individual to identify his goals and makes him realise about his strengths and weaknesses.
- Plan- In this phase proper learning plan has to be made which helps in achieving required targets set in previous phase. Person must consider his strength and weakness in order to make a proper plan.
- Do- This stage requires proper mapping between plans and actions. Every plan should have a supportive action.
- Recording- This refers to recording of the learning process and outcomes.
- Review- Every plan might not result in successful outcome. Proper evaluation of the experiences is done in this phase for further planning.
Task 1 –The Process of Strategic Planning
1.1 Evaluate approaches to self-managed learning
Self-managed learning is a way in which an individual can manage his own learning curve. Every organisation can have several self-learning programmes which fit into their policies. Self-managed learning can be customised for an individual. It involves encouraging individuals to take responsibility for their own learning and development needs. (Armstrong, 1996).It is based on the fact that people retain more when they find things on their own rather than training. Self-managed learning process involves answers to following questions
- Where have I been?
- Where am I now?
- Where do I want to get to?
- How will I get there?
- How will I know that I have arrived?
Approaches to Self-managed learning-
The following section illustrates different approaches which can be taken for self-managed learning.
- Internet- An individual can learn a lot using internet. There are various sites on internet which can be used by a person to learn about any subject. Search engines make this even more feasible. Anybody can just search for a required topic and get lots of information in just fraction of seconds.
- Seminars and Conferences- This way can be effectively used by an individual to groom his presentation skills. Seminars and conferences result in lot of discussions and due to this the content of the topics can be studied in a very detailed way. It gives an opportunity to the presenter to express his views and the audience on the other hand can enhance their knowledge.
- Social Networking- Social Networking sites like Facebook, Twitter and Instagram has made whole world seem smaller. Everyday people interact with others, involve is discussion in forums and can read through content of various pages. Numerous information pages on these websites can help in enhancing knowledge.
- News Groups and Bulletin Boards- These serve as a forum where a group of people come together and share their knowledge and experiences. These are intended to share public messages thus spreading knowledge and learning to wider audience.
1.2 Propose ways in which lifelong learning in personal and professional contexts could be encouraged.
Lifelong learning is a continuous process of knowledge enhancement. The various ways which can be used by an individual to support this process are SWOT technique and Self Reflective learning.
- Self-Reflective Learning- It involves process of self-examination and helps an individual explore his own learning process. In this process individuals learn from their own experiences rather than knowledge transfer or coaching .It is an important way to collaborate theory and actions. This technique was introduced by Donald Schon in 1983. He says that idea of this technique is that the practitioner analyses his past experiences and learn from those experiences (Byod,1983).It helps us in many ways and the basic outcomes are:
- It broadens knowledge.
- Helps in developing skills in various domains.
- Helps in changing attitude.
Various learning cycles were developed by research analysts in the past which are effectively used today. Basic examples are Kolb’s learning cycle and Gibb’s Reflective cycle. The diagrams below illustrates the cycles mentioned.
- SWOT Analysis – SWOT Analysis technique can also help in lifelong self-learning process. In this analysis the person finds about his strength, Weakness, Opportunity and Threat. This analysis helps an individual to plan his further course of action. For example- a student realises that he is not confident enough for his speech. This comes in category of his weakness. The student can plan future course of action by trying to give more seminars and speaking in public forums. SWOT Analysis helps relating real issues in life to practice and helps a lot in self-review. The basic pillars of this analysis are(Hill,1997):
- Strength- It is the basis on which success can be built. Knowledge, skills, trainings and experiences come in this category. The analysis should also include the new strengths which are to be acquired over time.
- Weakness- Weakness should be identified and modelled effectively. An individual should be very honest about identifying his weakness.
- Opportunity- It is very important to be awake about new avenues coming along and can enhance our growth further.
- Threat- Threats should be identified and proper steps should be undertaken to prevent and deal with them accordingly.
2.1 Evaluate own current skills and competencies against professional standards and organisational objectives.
2.2 Identify own development needs and the activities required to meet them.
The goals which I would like to focus on are listed below.
- Personal effectiveness like communication skills, presentation skills, listening skills, problem solving skills and decision making skills. All these skills are needed to effective manage a team and work in an organisation. These skills can be improved by taking part in sessions, delivering a seminar or presentation.
- Business skills are important to effectively analyse a business situation. These skills include decision making, financial knowledge, managing budgets and projects. These skills can be improved by undertaking some organising task like organising a cultural festival in university.
- Leadership skills are important for overall growth of an individual. It is a competitive world and thus leading becomes important in order to be ahead of others. This helps in gaining confidence and makes a person responsible. This skill can be improved by leading small team at college level. Attending seminars on leadership will also help to gain some advanced knowledge (Hughes, 1996).
- Analysis and Research skills help an individual for learning further. New ideas and improved techniques are outcomes of this skill. Good managers and employees always focus on innovation in order to be different from others. This skill can be improved by attaining knowledge about the subject and reading articles written by other authors.
2.3 Identify development opportunities to meet current and future defined needs
Goal based learning can be modelled effectively by realising opportunities. Various development opportunities are listed below.
- Presentation skills can be improved by taking more presentations and engaging in seminars. Joining university debating club will also help to acquire this skill faster.
- Writing skills can be improved by undertaking more research papers. I can effectively become a part of my university magazine and enhance my writing skills. Preparing more essays for classrooms will also serve as a good learning process.
- Will try to work in team skills by becoming member on student union in the university. I will try to understand other members in the team and effectively express my views. Working in team also needs supporting other members when needed.
- Leadership skills can be improved by taking responsibilities of a small group or team in the university. I will take leadership of the student cultural team will effectively manage all the responsibilities and enhance my growth.
2.4 Devise a personal and professional development plan based on identified needs.
|LEARNING OBJECTIVE/GOAL||CURRENT PROFICIENCY||TARGET PROFICIENCY||DEVELOPMENT OPPORTUNITIES||CRITERIA FOR JUDGING SUCCESS||TIME SCALE||EVIDENCE|
|1||Presentation Skills||Comfortable for classroom level but not for bigger audience||Confident Presenter even in a big forum||Making a new presentation on PDP and taking a session at inter classroom level||Achieving A Grade in presentation||By the end of this semester||See Evaluation Template Topic ‘Presentation Skills”|
|2||Writing Skills||Can write well but lack flow in writing||Good and descriptive writing with proper flow||Becoming member of university magazine||Writing some good articles for the magazine||By next month||See Evaluation Template Topic ‘Writing Skills”|
|3||Leadership skills||Effective leader but not able to delegate tasks||Confident leader who can delegate tasks||Becoming leader of university cultural team||Successful planning of the cultural event||By end of this semester||See Evaluation Template Topic “Leadership Skills”|
|4||Research and Innovation||Was not able to introduce new ideas||Should be able to introduce at least one development idea||By joining research and innovation team||Successful implementation of the proposed idea||By end of next year||See Evaluation Template Topic “Innovation Skills”|
|5||Planning and Organising||Able to organize small events||Should be able to organize events on larger scale||By organizing university technical festival||Successful planning of the event||By end of this quarter||See Evaluation Template Topic “Planning and Organising skills”|
|6||Technical Skills||Have knowledge about general software||Learn more programming language||Will join online technical forums||Implementation based on 1 technical language||By end of next year||See Evaluation Template Topic “Technical skills”|
3.1 Discuss the processes and activities required to implement the development plan
Personal development plan ensures effective leaning of an individual. It gives a structured way of development of an individual. This planning requires lot of analysis and it happens over time. Personal development plans works best only when following considerations are kept in mind (Vroom, 1964).
- Individual should think deeply about his life and ambition. He should know what success means to him personally.
- Correct information should be available to make right decisions.
- Every individual should have a group where he can share his development process.
- Person should be able to find new avenues for his progress.
As already discussed the overall process of personal and professional development consists of following phases.
- Identification- This stage helps an individual to identify his goals and makes him realise about his strengths and weaknesses. It is very important that the individual is honest about this identification process and makes a true analysis of his ambition and goals in life.
- Plan- In this phase proper learning plan has to be made which helps in achieving required targets set in previous phase. Person must consider his strength and weakness in order to make a proper plan. Techniques and process planning should involve identification of ways in which the goals can be achieved.
- Do- This stage requires proper mapping between plans and actions. Every plan should have a supportive action. Individual should be honest enough to follow the plan on day to day basis. Deviations in the plan can hamper overall growth.
- Recording- This refers to recording of the learning process and outcomes. Every detail should be well documented so that it can help the individual in future strategies.
- Review- Every plan might not result in successful outcome. Proper evaluation of the experiences is done in this phase for further planning. This makes the overall process to form in continuous learning phase.
3.2 Undertake and document development activities as planned
Recording and documenting is an important aspect of personal development planning. It is very important for an individual to document the activities involved in self learning and growth as it increases accountability and makes the plan more realistic for further modifications. The various development activities undertaken are illustrated below (examples included)
- Presentation on Business Strategy- This presentation was done as a part of the assignment and was done in front of a large group of people. This helped in enhancing my presentation skills and served as a source for improved confidence. The presentation went well and received an appreciation from the instructor
- Organising university technical festival of was next plan for improvement for planning and organising skills. This activity gave increased confidence for handling major projects like a technical festival. This event was attended by 1000 students and I was the part of accommodation team which effectively handled the accommodation requirements.
- I volunteered to lead university cultural team which is responsible for performing the cultural meet next year. The activities are going on well and I am able to manage the team. The team size is currently not much, will try to include more members in the team for better arrangements. We have a huge team here where people come from different cultures. It was a difficult task to establish proper sync among the team (Yukl, 2002).
- I wanted to improve my writing skills by joining university magazine team. I tried my best to clear the examination but was not able to do so .There was a tough competition from others and was thus not able to make it among the editors.
3.3 Reflect critically on own learning against original aims and objectives set in the development plan
Personal development plan helps and individual to assess his own growth. Person who undergoes this plan can effectively model his growth based on past experiences. It is very important to review the plan of action and update based on the current situation. The following table illustrates critical analysis of learning against original aims for each goal mentioned in the plan.
|LEARNING OBJECTIVE/GOAL||CURRENT PROFICIENCY||TARGET PROFICIENCY||LEARNING TECHNIQUES||CRITICAL ANALYSIS|
|1||Presentation Skills||Comfortable for classroom level but not for bigger audience||Confident Presenter even in a big forum||Making a new presentation on PDP and taking a session at inter classroom level||Undertaking a presentation can help in improving presentation skills but it should be noted that these skills only enhance with time. It is very important to give presentation on regular basis to gain confidence.|
|2||Writing Skills||Can write well but lack flow in writing||Good and descriptive writing with proper flow||Becoming member of university magazine||Writing articles for college magazine will help in improving this skill. Along with this activity one must indulge in continuous reading in order to gain better knowledge for writing. Reading articles written by other authors will also help.|
|3||Leadership skills||Effective leader but not able to delegate tasks||Confident leader who can delegate tasks||Becoming leader of university cultural team||Successful planning of the cultural event can be only ensured if the leader is able to make effective use of all the teammates. It is very important to understand the expertise level of each person in the team.|
|4||Research and Innovation||Was not able to introduce new ideas||Should be able to introduce at least one development idea||By joining research and innovation team||Proper knowledge of the subject is required for developing a new idea. So it is very important to enhance knowledge through various means .One should try to understand the system and then improve it further.|
|5||Planning and Organising||Able to organize small events||Should be able to organize events on larger scale||By organizing university technical festival||Organising an event requires lot of planning and can be easily done only when the plan is laid perfectly.|
|6||Technical Skills||Have knowledge about general software||Learn more programming language||Will join online technical forums||Technical knowledge can only be enhanced by proper practice and application. It is very important to apply all the knowledge learnt in real practice.|
3.4 Update development plan based on feedback and Evaluation
It is very important for an individual to update the development plan continuously. This helps in lifelong learning and continuous enhancement. An individual should follow below steps for assessing his learning curve.
- Monitor performance regularly to make sure it is effective.
- Proper feedback should be taken.
- Improvement analysis should be done regularly
- Individual should always maintain a level of knowledge and focus of concentrated areas.
- It is very important to change working style if the plan is not working out.
- Finally the personal development plan should be changed to meet the goals
Updating the personal development plan illustrated above.
|LEARNING OBJECTIVE/GOAL||CURRENT PROFICIENCY||TARGET PROFICIENCY||DEVELOPMENT OPPORTUNITIES||CRITERIA FOR JUDGING SUCCESS||TIME SCALE||EVIDENCE|
|1||Presentation Skills||Comfortable at inter classroom level now. Will try to take presentation on university level||Confident Presenter even in a larger forum||Making university level presentations||Achieving appreciations||By the end of this year||See Evaluation Template Topic ‘Presentation Skills”|
|2||Writing Skills||Can write well but lack flow in writing||Good and descriptive writing with proper flow||Becoming member of university magazine and reading more articles as I was not able to clear the examination of editorial board||Writing some good articles for the magazine||By next month||See Evaluation Template Topic ‘Writing Skills”|
|3||Research and Innovation||Was able to introduce new idea of newsletter for the university. Will try introducing few more||Should be able introduce more ideas which become popular over time||By reading more about interests of students||Successful implementation of the proposed idea||By end of next year||See Evaluation Template Topic “Innovation Skills”|
|4||Planning and Organising||Was able to organize technical fest||Should be able to organize events on larger scale which involves more budget||By organizing university technical festival next year as well and enhancing the budget||Successful planning of the event with more budget||By end of next year||See Evaluation Template Topic “Planning and Organising skills”|
|5||Technical Skills||Gained knowledge about C which is one of the programming languages||Learn more programming language||Will join online technical forums||Successful implementation of project in C#||By end of next year||See Evaluation Template Topic “Technical skills”|
Personal Development Plan is a realistic way to improve an individual and an organisation. It provides a structured way of recording growth and improvement. It is usually done in most of the universities organisations as it helps in lifelong learning. My recommendations in the end would be that every individual should be a part of self-learning group (Baker, 1972). The group should meet often in order to monitor status of each individual. Every group member should participate in the feedback process thus helping in growth of the person and the organisation.