Personal development is important to us all but it is not always easy to stay focussed, especially if you’re a busy leader with meetings, decisions, projects and people all demanding a slice of day.
These factors can create a situation where you feel like you’re chasing your tail, with little time for personal development, and ignoring the moments that give an opportunity for empathy, mindfulness, creativity and growth.
However, there are a number of techniques that can help you, even when your day is overwhelming, to engage in personal development.
We have listed our top five below, from an article by Forbes Coaches Council, which you can see in full here.
Self-reflection should be number 1 on every busy leaders’ list.
Self-reflection allows you to acknowledge areas which might be causing issues, and equally, to know when you have achieved something important.
By taking the time to ask yourself some important questions, (for example, what do I want, how can I help, or can I do something differently?) you’ll be able to assess your strengths, weaknesses, and motivation, enabling you to better understand yourself, your reactions and actions.
Once this understanding has been reached you can then begin to address areas which may need work, allowing you to better manage difficult situations, adapt to circumstances, and direct your life the way you want it to go.
2. Practice Mindfulness
Mindfulness allows for a moment of reflection, concentration, and an increased awareness of what is going on around you.
Good leaders understand that sometimes it is necessary to pause, take a breath, and wait, before launching into speech or action, especially if this concerns another person.
Weighing options and considering outcomes, all require a level of mindfulness to bring us into the moment and ensure that we act responsibly.
Mindfulness can also spark inspiration and creativity which can help when problem solving and conflict resolution, and leads to a greater understanding of others.
3. Celebrate Achievements
Most successful business people are driven by their passion and a desire for success.
However, we can often become so involved in our day-to-day business dealings that we miss a moment of personal achievement and it is only later that we realize we have achieved our goals.
Learning to identify targets and goals, and realizing when they have been reached, it important as it gives meaning to the madness!
Celebrate your successes, whichever way you prefer, as it will encourage happiness and satisfaction.
4. Practice Empathy and Awareness
If you were paying attention to number 1 on this list, you’ll realize that mindfulness leads to increased empathy and awareness, of oneself and others.
Empathy makes you aware of how others are feeling and why they are feeling that way, leading to a greater rapport and affinity with colleagues and employees.
Leaders that are aware of the environment they function within will learn to pick up on subtle changes, giving time to act in a compassionate, proactive way.
Focussing on the kind of leader you’d like to be, and working on strategies in this list to help achieve this, will help you improve personal development in these areas.
If you manage a highly diverse team, consider taking some training in cultural awareness, as perspectives can alter greatly when considering different business practices and social norms. If your team is struggling with these issues then cultural awareness training can help shift conflict, improve relationship dynamics and increase productivity.
5. Morning Musings
We aren’t all morning people, but starting your day in the most positive way you can will help you retain a sense of balance and equilibrium throughout a difficult day.
Creating enough presence and drive to be successful in business takes huge amounts of energy, but by allowing yourself a few minutes each day where you can recharge your batteries and give thanks for the things that make you happy, will restore your balance and boost your energy levels.
Try to begin each day by connecting with yourself and meditating, or by running through a gratitude list.
If you aren’t a fan of meditating, try going for run, or a walk, each morning at the start of your day and use the time for contemplation and musings.