What Are the Different Types of Personal Development for Management?

Wanda Marie Thibodeaux

Similar to the employees they oversee, managers have to develop in order to keep pace with the changing needs of the company and perform to the best of their ability. Personal development for management falls into five basic categories: self-improvement, developing strengths and talents, social development, maintaining mental and physical well-being and developing mentoring skills. These categories often intertwine, with no one form of personal development necessarily being more important than the others.

Woman holding a book
Woman holding a book

The first type of personal development for management is self-improvement. This means the worker becomes more aware of who he is and gains knowledge about what he likes or dislikes and can and cannot do. It also means the worker increases his awareness of his environment, sets goals and fulfills aspirations he may have. A worker can take many paths in this type of development. Examples include meditation, trying different activities, talking with others, taking classes or modifying behavior.

The next type of personal development for management is developing strengths or talents. The key word with this type of development is "practice." The worker engages in activities that require the use of specific abilities, often repeatedly, to refine those skills. For example, the worker may give presentations to improve his communication skills.

Personal development for management also may fall into the social category. Social development is extremely important for managers because they must be able to recognize the sources of conflict and diffuse tension in the workplace. They also must be able to show workers they are appreciated or where they need to improve in a courteous way. To develop socially, a worker may learn about sociology and psychology, become involved in different groups outside of work, study verbal and nonverbal communication, do cold calls or even set up an online daily blog others can read.

Some personal development for management involves health and personal well-being. For instance, the worker may exercise and eat a good diet so he has the mental alertness and physical energy to be an effective manager. He also may engage in various therapies to let go of issues that may result in continuous anxiety or stress. The exact managerial position sometimes has some impact on how important this development is. For instance, people may not take the manager of a weight loss clinic or exercise facility as seriously if he is overweight.

Workers also can engage in personal development that relates to developing others. For instance, the worker may provide specific training, introduce employees to others who could improve the employees' careers and conduct performance reviews. Serving as a mentor also is an example. This is a kind of personal development because it shows the worker how to spot the strengths and weaknesses of his employees and formulate action plans on how to develop their strengths and minimize their weaknesses.

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