Professional Development Strategies For This Year

If you’re like most people, you probably made at least a few New Year’s Resolutions as 2020 was coming to a close. Unfortunately, most people’s New Year’s Resolutions don’t make it very far out the gate. They wind up being abandoned just a few days into the new year.

If one of your resolutions focused on professional development and you want to maximize your chances of succeeding in that goal, here are a few simple strategies you can employ in 2021 that will help get you where you want to go:

Get Granular
The main reason people wind up abandoning their New Year’s Resolutions is that they shoot for the moon. “I want to lose a hundred pounds” is simply too big a goal to tackle in one go, and it’s the same with your professional development.

Sure, you might want to get a dozen new certifications but set more granular goals. Focus on getting the first of those, and when you do, set a new granular goal for the second, and so on. Doing so gives you a much more immediate, objective-oriented milestone to focus on, rather than an impossibly large, amorphous goal that seems always just out of reach.

Celebrate Milestones
Building on the example above, if you’ve got your eye on a clutch of new certifications, take the time to pause and celebrate after you get each one. More generally speaking, this could be described as taking some down time for you, or being good to yourself, but however you phrase it, it amounts to the same thing.

Life can’t always be about the struggle to improve. Sometimes you have to sit back and breathe in the smell of success. Do that. Give yourself time to relax and bask in the glow of your accomplishments. You deserve it!

Master The Fine Art of Delegation
A lot of small business owners or managers tend to be micromanagers. Unfortunately, many of them may not even realize it! If you even suspect that this might be you, it’s well worth doing a frank and honest assessment and seeking the opinions of people you trust, and if delegation is something you struggle with, now’s as good a time as any to get better at it.

The simple truth is that few things will free up more hours of each day than learning to delegate some of the responsibilities you’ve taken upon yourself to your subordinates. If you’re honest about it, they’re probably not your personal responsibilities to begin with, so by delegating them, in many cases, you’ll simply be returning them back to their former owners anyway.

Commit To Communicating More Often and More Effectively
Most managers tend to think they’re pretty good at communication. A great many employees have a very different opinion. All that to say, the odds are good that you’re not as great a communicator as you imagine yourself to be, and even if you are better than average, there’s always room for improvement.

Good communication, both in and out of a business context is good for company morale. When you come across as sincere and approachable, your people just operate better as a team, and that helps the bottom line, so not only will improved communications make you a better person, it’ll make your company better too. That’s win-win!

There are plenty of other things you can do to jumpstart your personal and professional development plan for 2021, but even if you limit yourself to just the ideas above, you’ll be miles ahead of the game and off to a stellar start!