The Critical Factor You're Neglecting in Your Professional Development

Most of us have participated in some kind of professional development training, such as short workshops, online courses, or master classes. Additionally, we may have read insightful books that offer knowledge we can use in our work.

However, some individuals may feel that they have exhausted the best self-help resources and that new material provides diminishing returns.

As a coach, I have observed this sentiment in many people. Although it’s possible to acquire a great deal of knowledge, what’s missing is reflection. It’s essential to have someone or something that can offer feedback on the practical application of what you’ve learned.

You need someone who can give you an honest evaluation of how you apply your newfound knowledge in your daily life.

Feedback is Essential

Having a coach who can provide me with valuable insights and guidance in applying the knowledge I acquire has been essential to my success.

As a coach myself, I believe it’s crucial that I lead by example and invest in my own development, as how can I expect others to invest in me otherwise?

It’s similar to a surgeon performing surgery on themselves; without proper feedback, it’s challenging to achieve optimal results.

This is why dancers and gym-goers use mirrors to observe and refine their style.

Engage in professional development with others for a more collective experience

If you are unable to access a coach for any reason, the next viable option is to seek out a group of people who can provide you with feedback.

There are organized professional groups available that offer this service. Alternatively, you can create your own group. For instance, I conducted some professional development training for executive assistants several years ago.

Consider what methods you have established for individuals to approach challenging subjects, interact, work together, and make decisions, essentially establishing an environment for negotiation.

Barbara training - professional development

During the training session I conducted for executive assistants, my role wasn’t just to impart knowledge, but also to facilitate their development and learning.

The group was inspired to continue sharing, growing, and developing together, so they organized regular meetings to discuss progress and receive feedback.

You can also adopt this approach to receive feedback and continue leveraging information for growth, otherwise, you may end up stagnating and hitting a plateau like the person mentioned in the Facebook post. Share your professional development experiences in the comments below.

How well do you roll with the punches?

Discover how you score against key resilience indicators and increase your ability to minimise stress, maximise time, live well and roll with the punches.


How it works:

  • Answer 25 simple questions
  • Generate results instantly
  • Receive feedback to enhance your score

Listen to the Podcast here

About the Author

Barbara Clifford - The Time Tamer
Barbara Clifford (The Time Tamer) is a co-founder of The Hinwood Institute. She is the lead trainer and coach in Time Management. She is a recognized leader in Stress Management. An experienced coach, speaker, columnist and facilitator, Barbara’s work with The Hinwood Institute assists people to unclutter mess, make order from chaos, and swap the shackles of overwhelming for freedom. Barbara’s clients move from the relentless hamster wheel to waking inspired, motivated, making decisions with purpose and achieving peak performance. She lives in the desert of Alice Springs, Australia working with people around the country.

Her professional experience has included contracts with small business, Not For Profits, Aboriginal Organisations, Media, Marketing, Aged Care, Universities, Health Services and Cruise Ships


  • Be open to feedback
  • Equip yourself with someone or something to provide honest feedback
  • Join groups that encourage feedback and growth


  • Implement acquired knowledge without seeing how it reflects in your work
  • Be closed off from feedback
  • Hit a plateau where growth becomes stagnant

P.S. If you’re interested to know how resilient you are, check out our FREE quiz below!

resilient leader scorecard