Personal development courses span a wide range of topics. Becoming a more effective communicator, learning how to make decisions and solve problems, improving knowledge of personal finance, learning effective time management and mastering stress reduction strategies are some of the subjects covered in personal development courses. These types of courses are often offered by adult learning centers, colleges, community centers, libraries, private companies and executive and life coaches.
In some work environments, employees are required to take personal development courses to help them advance in their careers. Employees who can clearly articulate their thoughts, listen carefully and communicate well over the telephone and in writing are an asset to the professional environment. For this reason, some employers contract with government or private entities that offer communications skills courses. In these cases, attending personal development courses is often a requirement of the job and necessary for career advancement.
In some work situations, skills are needed in the areas of problem solving, decision making, time management, critical thinking and stress management. A manager who has worked his way up the ladder might need assistance with learning how to make effective decisions and to manage greater and greater levels of stress. In signing up for a stress management course, he can gain more personal awareness and learn new strategies for coping with his day-to-day challenges on the job. If he signs up for a conflict resolution class, he would learn how to deal with challenging employees, how to mediate conflicts between workers who are not getting along and how to communicate effectively to defuse emotionally charged situations.
Outside of the work environment, personal development courses can help people increase their self-awareness in many aspects of life. Signing up for a personal finance course at a local library or community center, for example, is one way for the head of a household to learn strategies for more effective management of the family budget. Likewise, a stress management course might be helpful for a single mother who has to juggle a job, parenting responsibilities and managing her household.
Some personal development courses are aimed at helping participants balance various aspects of their lives. Gaining greater spiritual awareness, reducing stress, practicing healthy eating and exercise habits, balancing work and leisure and learning ways to achieve family harmony are examples of topics addressed in courses that take a holistic approach to personal growth. These types of courses are often offered by religious organizations, spiritual retreat centers, life coaches and personal development counselors.