At the start of a new year it is always a good time to reflect upon your achievements over the last 12 months and look ahead, perhaps to set some goals for 2020. Too often we neglect our own personal development. When under pressure to meet deadlines, deliver projects and achieve objectives, this is often the task that is cut from a hectic schedule. Arguably though it is one of the most critical actions to focus on, perhaps at times one of the hardest. Evaluating one’s strengths and weaknesses can be a challenge and setting out plans and objectives to improve can be at times uncomfortable. Everyone has at some point had the infamous career question ‘where do you see yourself in 5 years from now?’
ISBL professional standards are a great way to self-assess and identify areas of development. They provide a robust, well-researched and developed framework essential for our sector.
There are also lots of ways to develop yourself and others. One of the options to consider is mentoring. This is a fantastic way to support your people with their development plans, and all too often is a technique, perhaps with coaching, that is overlooked.
I am lucky enough to have worked in several organisations that have supported the role of mentors and advocated this as a model to support the development of their people. Mentoring offers tremendous benefits not only to the individual recipient but also to the individuals providing the mentoring. It’s a fantastic skill to develop and make a significant impact on the development of people working in your organisation, not to mention the culture that may exist. It’s not without its challenges and at times will need patience, tact and sensitivity – perhaps the difficult challenge in being a mentor is to say nothing – this alone can be powerful in helping an individual work their way through a problem or a challenge.
Not only is mentoring a great technique to support new team members, but with some support, experienced people in your organisation can reach their potential too by mentoring others.
As we dive into 2020, take a moment to reflect on those in your team and working around you and think about their development needs. Perhaps 2020 could be the opportunity where they could raise their contribution either through mentoring someone else or being mentored. Consider the environmental factors that you can create across your team or organisation to allow others to flourish. It might just be an effective route to making 2020 more successful than you imagined possible.