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.
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.
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About the Author
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