Prioritize development needs into 3 buckets and focus on improving 2

© Tweeter Linder 2015 -  All rights reserved

© Tweeter Linder 2015 – All rights reserved

Your manager and you will discuss a personal development with you on a regular basis. Play it to your advantage. A common focus in these talks and plans is to address weaknesses you need to improve. An alternative way is to use three buckets to define your skills and given them different priority.

This model start with three development buckets. Strengths where you can to invest time on making them even stronger.
Weaknesses you want to address as they are blockers for progress in daily work or career advancements. The last bucket consist of weaknesses are aware of but do not plan to do anything about. Managers today struggle to say no to enough thing to enable focus on the essentials. Don’t end up in that trap with your personal development.

Your development plan should address how you become stronger on your strengths. You do not become a super star by just working with your weaknesses. Especially important are the ones you have set out to be defining for your personal brand. I suggest your development plan to spend 50% of your time on enhancing and expanding your strengths.

Most of us have a good idea of what our improvement areas and weaknesses are. The challenge is to sort and define focus. By combining your long term aspirations with the needs you see in your current role for the next 12 months you can focus on which weaknesses you plan to address right now. The business needs are pushing you to grow into certain new areas. Your own motivation to grow is also making you to add a few. Together they represent areas where you both have strong internal and external motivators to grow. Aim to reach the next level in each area you decide to address.

A common approach is to try to address too many weaknesses. This drags down the result of vital ones. Too much energy focus on correcting negatives. I suggest you dare to declare certain areas as weaknesses you will live with for now as a conscious decision. Thereby you free up time and focus to make the two areas above your priorities.
The world’s best athletes’ did not become best at only working on their weaknesses in other sports. They won by focusing on all aspects of what was vital for their role of the game they loved the most.

Good questions to work with are:

  1. How do my skills and capabilities map on the 3 suggested buckets? – Without a mapping of all three together it is hard for you to see the full development picture.
  2. How much of my development efforts do I spend on each bucket today? – Expect the shift to a model be a change exercise from your current state.
  3. How do I want the split to be the coming year? – A 50/50 split between the top two areas is a good starting point for you to start tuning from.

Good sources for further insights into this area are:

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