One of my favorite Ben Franklin quotes is; “When you are finished learning, you are finished.” Learning, and therefore developing ourselves, should be an on-going process, and not just something we do when we go, or return, to school/college, or when we get a new job, for example.
As trainers, professional growth needs to be an on-going process because our increased skill-set will directly impact our learners as well as the whole organization. There exists an unlimited assortment of data on the subject of professional growth. In the following paragraphs, I would also like to make my contribution on this matter.
A critical component of professional growth is comparison. A dedicated professional should be aware of his/her strengths and weaknesses. By learning new skills that will help us make adjustments to improve upon our weaknesses, as well as make enhancements towards our strengths, we should see growth. This growth provides us with the valuable data that we need to be able to compare our previous performance to our current performance.
I liken the approach to a marathon runner who is constantly training and developing him/herself for the goal of lowering the time it takes to finish a race. A locked-in goal gives us focus and a determination to improve. A constant comparison of our performance also keeps us sharp.
In conclusion, I would like to provide an invaluable tip about comparison. Do not compare yourself with others, because the outcome is often either a feeling of superiority over others, or a feeling of inferiority because of our perceived inadequacies. Either way it is a lose-lose approach. Focus on yourself instead, because that is the only thing that you can control.
What’s your number one tip for professional growth?