• Thursday, May 30, 2024
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Personal development and leadership coaching ( 2)


Find joy in everything you chose to do. It’s your responsibility to love it, or change it” (Chuck Palahniuk).

The issue of personal development affects and influences virtually everything a person does because it relates to the kind of personal foundations that the person has. By personal foundations, I am referring to an individual’s core values, personality, distinctive qualities, motivations, attitudes and perception. These are factors which make him or her emotionally and socially different from other people. They also largely define a person and most often reveal the real reasons why people do (or not do) certain things.

Specifically, personal foundations relate to how a person deals with some of the most important issues that define him or her and show his or her purpose and direction in life. These are what would normally propel a person to take active interest in continuous self-examination and purposely invest in self-development. It is this constant self examination that makes a person to seek answers to self-defining questions like “Who am I?” “What do I want?” “Why am I here?” “Where am I going from here?” and “How do I get to where I’m going?”

When we practically relate these questions to any area of our lives, situations and endeavours, they always reveal a lot about our knowledge, attitude, approach and perception to life generally, as well as to specific issues relating to career, relationships, lifestyle, personal goals, finances etc. That is why personal development has universal application. This personality-related development would in many instances touch issues like personal attitudes, stamina, energy, belief systems, humility, courage, trust and relationships, among others.

These are the foundations of true success in life and are usually the issues of focus when a personal coach is involved in facilitating and supporting specific lifestyle changes. Unfortunately, because of limited knowledge and awareness of the importance of these issues and their effects on performance, they are not given due attention and consideration. I have made the same mistakes, but I now strive to correct these mistakes as much as I can as a team leader. That is why we have promoted the issues of personal development in the CEED Group even more than professional development.

Professional development is quite similar to personal development and there is often the overlap and interweaving of both. For avoidance of doubt, professional development involves a range of activities, interests and approaches that place emphasis on developing an individual’s interest in lifelong learning. It is focused mainly on increasing personal knowledge, skills and competence. Professional development for instance is what an organisation would have in mind when personnel are sent on specialised training courses. But, it takes personal development for the ‘trained’ personnel to effectively apply the acquired knowledge and skills for the benefit of the organisation.

A lot of leaders place so much emphasis on training, which will provide technical and professional knowledge, but they often become frustrated when such trained people do not perform to their satisfaction. The challenge is that such training has not engaged the heart of the personnel, so there is head knowledge but the heart to perform excellently is not affected. That is where coaching comes in and becomes useful in practically linking professional development with personal development. It is the same as connecting the head knowledge with the heart, so that the hands can be most effective.

To put it in another way, quality coaching ensures that the personnel thinks with the head by displaying personal creativity and innovativeness; loves with the heart by being passionate and enthusiastic about tasks; and works hard with the hands by being active and energetic in task implementation. Getting as many people as possible to this stage and ensure maximum workflow efficiency and effectiveness for team benefits is the essential responsibility of the team leader. That is what makes transformational leadership a daunting, but wonderfully exhilarating experience.

My recommendation to corporate leaders in particular has always been to invest more in personal development, especially by giving due attention to the 4P’s of emerging leaders. They must seek out and work with people that are promising. It is the promise of a great future ahead that will inspire a leader to commit to the long but eventually rewarding process of turning talents to treasures.

Secondly, the leaders must work with people who are patient and ready to pay the price of personal development. This is not always easy because both the leader and the personnel often want to see instant results. The leader wants good performance and the personnel want better wages as soon as possible. However, with good knowledge and understanding that personal development is the goal, realistic ways to get around this issue can be developed.

Thirdly, team leaders must be aware of, and work well with people that are passionate. The passion must not just be about their work, but also about life generally, their dreams, relationships with others etc. People that have such passion are generally people of promise, who are ready to wait patiently for what they desire because they have a winning attitude. Such people are also committed to continued self development. The presence of promising, patient and passionate people in a team always provides the leader with the fourth requirement – they are productive. You can read more about the transformational power of coaching at www.ceedcoaching.com.

Emmanuel Imevbere