Self DevelopmentOn board of an airplane you are instructed to put on your own oxygen mask first, before helping others. It makes perfect sense: if you can’t breathe, you can’t help others.

Many people struggle with the way they use their time. Some tasks are put on the back burner, because there is no time for it. However, mostly it is not about time, but about priority; other tasks are given priority.

Take self development: in training classes there are always some no-shows. These people are registered for the training, but at the last moment felt that something else had a higher priority.

You are a leader: you lead yourself and others in your area of speciality. You know your learning should never stop. Your conscious self development is like your oxygen mask. You know what areas you want to become better at, what new areas you want to develop and what behaviors you want to stop doing. Yet time can be challenging and on a daily basis priorities might shift.

Here are 5 efficient ways you can work on your conscious self development:

  1. Read
    Reading is an efficient way to learn about virtually everything. I prefer to read using the Kindle app on my iPhone and my iPad; it allows me to read conveniently everywhere. Currently I’m reading Marshall Goldsmith’s latest book: Triggers*, which gives useful hints about triggers that derail us at work and life and provides us with helpful triggers to stay focussed.

  3. Keep track of your progress
    Being aware of your progress makes you aware of where you need to adjust. An easy way to keep track of your progress is to keep a daily journal. This can be as simple as writing down the things that went well during the day and the things that need improvement. Active questions as described in Triggers is another effective way to keep a daily focussed progress report.

  5. Training
    A classroom training delivers focussed information packed in a short time frame. Classroom trainings can cover virtually every topic ranging from a few hours on a behavioral topic to a full day on a process. The additional benefit of a classroom training is that you can easily combine it with team building and team improvement.

  7. Work with a Coach
    A coach will guide you in the process of your leadership development in a guaranteed & measurable way. Your coach will keep you accountable, keep you on track and will provide suggestions. The Stakeholder Centered Coaching program is time efficiently integrated in your daily activities and will lead you to guaranteed and measurable leadership improvement.

  9. Work with a Mentor
    A mentor is someone who has experience in the field where you want to develop and will be your sparring partner when you need it. For instance, alliance mentoring will provide practical guidance in your actual alliance projects. Working with a mentor is a time efficient and focussed way to improve on one specific area of development.

Tell me, where is your oxygen mask: what areas are your focus areas of conscious self development and how do you ensure success?