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Personal Development Is Dying

What happens to the training budgets and staff when a company is in financial trouble?  They are cut, right.

What kind of budget does a small company (1-100 employees) have for training there workers on soft skills?

Where is the average employee getting their soft skills training today?

Are colleges and universities specifically developing self-awareness knowledge in their curricula?

MP900438770(2) These are the questions we need to think about and answer.  We need leaders.  We need good employees that won't leave due to poor management or unhealthy work cultures.  This can't change unless we invest in the personal development of our workforce.

I've worked for a large law firm and smaller companies and I can honestly say that I have only received soft skill training once.  OK, maybe twice, if you call Diversity Training soft skill development.

If this is indicative of what others have not experienced, we are all in trouble. 

How do we expect to have a company of innovators and strategic leaders if we haven't taught them how to communicate effectively with different personalities or if they don't know how to manage their emotions?  Do we expect a one-time seminar or workshop will "fix" them? 

So maybe it isn't about "training" per se, but about building a mentoring program which would supply regular feedback and coaching and development.

Emotional Intelligence is a key factor to an individuals success in life and the job.  Where are we supposed to go to learn how to develop our Emotional Intelligence? Todd Bavol of Adventures of the Job Search Ninja wrote a super post about Emotional Intelligence and if you are wondering what it is, here are the five elements as he simply defines them:

  1. Knowing your emotions
  2. Managing your emotions
  3. Self-motivation
  4. Recognizing and understanding the emotions of others
  5. Managing relationships or, to put it another way, managing the
    emotions of others

These are the areas we should be developing.  Improvement in these areas will make us better, stronger, more employable, better innovators, better leaders.  Or so I think.  What are your thoughts?  Where is this training happening? 

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Comments on this entry are closed.

  • mikelally June 10, 2010, 8:57 am

    Hi Hannah. I am not sure you should limit this to small companies. Big companies are cutting their training budgets too. And soft skills are the first to get cut as “non-essential” training.
    We have to take matters into our own hands. There are plenty of resources out there for us to develop our own training plans. I can’t find a link but I read something the other day about a You Tube University of sorts. Classes being recorded for You Tube.
    I happen to be a big fan of the Personal MBA. http://personalmba.com/
    Josh has done a great job of keeping his program relevant. It changes with the times. Major universities are putting their courses online. If you look hard enough, there are resources out there for us.

  • Craig Watkins June 10, 2010, 3:24 pm

    Hannah: Thanks for bringing this up. This subject is on my mind too. I just read a great book on leadership which made me wish I worked for Disney. It’s called Creating Magic by Lee Cockerell. Tons of practical advice. I agree totally about the need for mentoring. In the recent past, a colleague helped me by giving concrete feedback on my actions immediately. We had an understanding that we would do this for each other. An alternative is Rypple, an online tool for getting anonymous feedback from colleagues. It’s neat and easy to use. I’ve also gotten “on-the-job” training by leading projects in a community group. It’s seems less dangerous to try and fail when your livelihood isn’t at stake, and the people in the group have been generous advisers.

  • Career Sherpa June 11, 2010, 5:00 am

    You’ve made some excellent recommendations and demonstrated the fact that WE are responsible for seeking out the personal and professional development needed.
    Books, online, formal and informal mentoring, community activities- these are wonderful resources!
    Yes, large and small companies are abandoning training on anything but the essentials. Thanks for making that clear.
    There are resources out there. The challenge as you stated, is remembering where they are when you need them.
    Thanks for the idea! (as always)

  • James June 29, 2010, 3:29 am

    As a supervisor I think I would be needing more of number 5, managing relationships. I handle a very diverse group of people, hence, different backgrounds, points of view, totally different ways of motivating each and everyone of them. A mentor like from Mentor club could really contribute so much in developing these skills in me.

  • Career Sherpa June 29, 2010, 4:21 am

    It sounds like #5 is initially what you would want. You may want to think about what really goes into managing a diverse audience as well. How do you respond when diversity clashes or your challenged by the diversity? There is a lot of “management” training available, however, what really should be focused on is managing our own emotions so that we can better lead the team. As leaders, we are only as good as our emotional IQ. I’ve heard somewhere that we can’t motivate others, they can only motivate themselves…true?
    I’ve not heard of a mentor club? Tell me more!