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Management Tips:

How to construct a self development plan for you?

Self development, or personal development, is about developing your own skills and knowledge so that you are continuously learning and developing yourself. If you are committed to self development, you need to take ownership of it by following the guidelines below:

1. Develop Leadership qualities.

2. Take responsibility for your own development.

3. Identifying your own needs for your development and improved work performance.

4. Use a range of motivational methods, formal and informal, as methods of self development.

5. Learn how to apply the motivation techniques.

Self development and self improvement has become an essential feature of todays work - life.

Self development is the process of improving yourself through a deliberate process of self motivation. This definition includes a number of assumptions that are worth exploring.

1. It assumes that it is always possible to develop yourself, not just your outward behaviour but also your inner thought processes and feelings.

2. It assumes that you need to organise yourself rather than expecting other people to be responsible for your development.

3. Finally, it assumes that self development needs to be undertaken deliberately rather than left to chance.

You are unique

You are unique and you are the most important person in the world. If you don’t take responsibility for your own development who else will? Indeed, who else can? Nobody else, no matter how hard they try.

The door to development is with you. It is presumed that managers are responsible for developing their people but closer examination reveals this is not true. Managers are responsible for providing their people with development opportunities, but it is always up to you to take advantage of those.

The four stages of

self development

1. Personal audit - undertake an audit of where you are now.

2. Setting self development - Vision, Mission, Goals and objectives.

3. Identifying development needs - identifying the knowledge and skills that are necessary to achieve your vision, mission and goals.

4. Constructing the development plan - analysing the information that has been revealed in 1 and 3 above, and identifying the gaps. The gaps will form the basis of your development plan.

Setting self

development vision

Now you are ready to develop your personal vision. These are the types of questions you need to ask from yourself.

* Where do I want to be in the future in the long term?

* What is my career development path?

* Do I want to continue to work for the same organisation?

* Do I need to update my skills in the light of new technology?

* Do I need to learn new management techniques?

* Do I need to develop any personal skills?

* Do I have the right balance between work and home life?

* Do I spend enough time on my favourite leisure pursuits?

* Is there anything I have always wanted to do and not done?

* Do I need to undertake any further Professional education?

Personal and

professional vision

You have to construct personal and professional vision, mission, goals and objectives for you. Your personal and professional vision must be specific. “I want to rise up and be a leader” is general.

You can define it by “I will be the CEO of a company” It is specific. You must also use the ‘SMART’ formula. Your vision must be something that should be “achievable” by you. It must give you “results”.

Demarcate the ‘year’ by which you can achieve your vision. This can be constructed as follows. “Before the year 2010, I will be the CEO of a company and make that company the most outstanding company in Sri Lanka.”

Based and built on your vision, develop missions for your vision. Missions means what steps you are going to take to achieve your vision. Example, I will complete my MBA in 2008. I would have worked in all Departments, by that time and gained full experience to be a CEO etc. Develop at least five such missions.

Goals and objectives

Based on your vision and mission, develop goals for them. Goals mean what are the various actions you are going to take this year to achieve your vision. Similarly develop objectives for your goals. Objectives means your weekly and daily plan to achieve your goals.

Keep your vision, mission, goals and objectives in a place where you can see them daily.

Every day, early in the morning and before you retire to bed, glance through them and get motivated to act on them. Visualise the achievements to follow. That means how you will enjoy and rejoice once you achieve your vision.

Creating a vision


Creating a vision is about mentally putting yourself in the future and looking around you to see what you have in your life at that point of time. Think about everything you would like to have in your life and simply draw a picture of it.

Don’t worry about your ability to draw: that is not the object of the exercise. Your brain thinks faster than you can articulate the thought, so drawing is the quickest way to translate your ideas into something more tangible.

Self development demands the following five basic steps:

1. A clearcut aim: What exactly do I want?

2. A deep desire to achieve you vision, the foremost essential requirement for success.

3. A deep faith or belief in yourself and the higher self that you will definitely succeed. The faith reinforced by confidence is a power which will yield results.

4. To expect or visualise the successful outcome of the result, as an upshot of your ‘burning desire’ and deeper faith on your success is perhaps the most powerful ingredient of success.

5. An experssion of gratitude (in advance!) for getting what you have desired earnestly.

Final tips

1. Put yourself first (and others a close second)

2. Strive to improve your current performance.

3. Deliberately seek out opportunities to shine and excel.

4. Get mileage out of changes (at work, home, socially)

5. Experiment/try new or different things

6. Review experiences

7. Reach conclusions from experiences.

8. Plan to implement what has been learned.

9. Tolerate short term discomfort in the interests of longer term achievements.


Gamin Gamata - Presidential Community & Welfare Service
Ceylinco Banyan Villas

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