Professional development: Improve yourself, always

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  • Self-directed learning
    • Rapidly changing environments by their nature means that people must be continually thinking about their skills and adapting them in order to carry out their work. In this lesson you will look at the big picture of influences that are compelling us to be continuously updating skills. In particular, you will explore the importance of self-directed learning as an approach to your development and review a model to guide you in taking responsibility to adapt yourself always.
  • Self-awareness
    • The first step in any process of change is self-awareness. You have to understand what you do now and be aware of its consequences for your goals and behaviour for the future. You would think we should be good at self-awareness, but there are challenges to the process. This week you will explore those challenges and look at ways to deal with them. One aspect, in particular, is managing the emotions that arise with self-awareness and how you can reduce their influence during the self-awareness process.
  • Self-reflection
    • An important aspect of self-awareness, and an important process in self-understanding, is the action of self-reflection. You will examine its nature and how to encourage it in your self-development. This week you will examine the various tools of reflection and the steps to increase effective self-reflection. The aim of self-understanding is to appreciate your leadership style and the skill and development needs you may need to address. You do not have to make changes as a result of this process, but you do have to accept the consequences of your decisions about what you do with these insights.
  • Self-change problems
    • This week you will look at the process of self-change. Psychologists refer to this as self-regulation: taking control of improving your performance by learning new skills and knowledge. However, this process is not as easy as we would like. This week you will examine the self-change process in more detail to support efforts to adapt yourself always. You will explore the nature of why it is hard to change, the impact of habits on your behaviour and the role of willpower in the process of development, and begin to look at the practices you can apply to increase the likelihood of successful change.
  • The process of change
    • This week you will focus on the process of making changes. You will look through a step by step approach of issues that are needed to be worked on to maximise the likelihood that change will be successful. Contemporary self-regulation research emphasises behaviour, cognitions, and environmental aspects in successful change. You will explore this approach through the underlying concept of social cognitive theory. You will examine the role of behaviour, cognitions, and environment in change and the insights that can be applied to the change process.
  • Action plan for personal change
    • This week you will go through the mechanics of developing an action plan that will address an area that you would like to develop. The first step in your action plan is to clarify the action plan goal. The action plan process also needs to incorporate your reflection on why you want to change. Action strategies related to environmental change, cognitions, and specific behaviours in relation to improving listening to colleagues. Actions to evaluate and modify the plan also need to be built into the plan.