Now that you have already identified an area of development from empirical evidence (survey results or received feedbacks) it is time to structure an action plan that maximizes the chances of you reaching your goal.
The science behind results
When we research the science behind how people maximize their chances of achieving their goals, we come up with a series of papers which show that specific plans - with what, where, when and how - outlined in advance (I'm going to run 10km in the park on Monday at 6am) are much more efficient (i.e. have a better chance of being completed) than vague plans (I'm going to run once this week).
How do you use this in your IDP?
Inspired by these insights, we have created a place where you can record what specific steps you will take to develop in your chosen area. Below is a hypothetical action plan from one of the members of the Qulture.Rocks team (the one who writes to you):
You can see that there is a Type for each task. The types of development actions were initially based on the 70/20/10 model, which says that our professional development takes place through three main groups of activities:
Professional Challenge, in other words, the challenges we face at work
Mentoring and Feedback, in other words, feedback, mentors, coaches, and managers.
Training and Study, in other words, classroom, courses, workshops, lectures, etc.
Regardless of the validity of the 70/20/10 theory numbers, the framework serves as an interesting mental model of how - from where - we will extract our development.
A frequent mistake we observe in IDPs is the excess of activities related to training. It is very easy to simply put "Do an Excel course" when Heitor wants to develop his financial modeling skills. However, the reality is usually more complicated, and there are rare cases where we can get the budget, time, and approvals necessary to participate in courses and other activities of this type.
There are three extremely creative ways in which we can develop our work, according to the much more efficient model: first of all, the feedback from our colleagues, managers, and direct reports. Secondly, seeking experiences within our work environment that can develop us. And thirdly, to seek people who can help us on this journey.
Leveraging feedback as a development tool
An efficient and simple way to build your action plan is to base it on feedbacks that are requested throughout the life of the IDP and that can inform and motivate the process. In the example above, where an action plan was built to develop the ability to Delegate more and with more quality, one of the activities may be a request for weekly feedback on the topic:
In that case, the request would most likely be made to members of the team - direct reports - who could assess the manager's progress on the subject.
Searching for constructive experiences
Look for projects, contributions and other activities that, at no cost, can expose you to the areas in which you want to develop. For Heitor, from our previous example, who wanted to develop his attention to detail, an interesting way to look for experience in this area would be to volunteer to perform the annual audit of the accounts of the foundation of the company where he works, a work where attention to detail is essential. In addition, real interaction with other professionals who need attention to detail can teach some tricks and techniques of how Heitor can be better at this. Which brings us to the second category, people.
Finding a mentor who can "guide" us
Another way to develop attention to detail can be to seek, within the company, a mentor with whom Heitor can meet periodically (something like once a month) to discuss experiences, techniques and tips on how to develop better in this competence. This mentor can be easily found in a survey with colleagues, managers, or even asking the HR area if there is someone who has "Guidance for Details" as a great positive highlight in Your Feedback Panel.
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