How do you determine your personal-professional development goals? 

As a manager, do you ask the people on your teams to identify personal-professional development goals? 

Does your performance appraisal ask you to list some personal-professional development goals? 

  • Personal-Professional development areas: Your role in the organization, what skill and behavior areas will help your career, and support the company’s success. 

Within a workplace, your personal-professional development must include a focus on supporting the organization. It is excellent when you want to improve yourself, and those are personal development areas. When listing these areas on a performance appraisal, you need to show the connection to the organization and how when you improve these areas; it will help your career and the organization. 


How do determine personal-professional development areas: 

Recently I worked with a team in this area. Below is how we set up the development areas and how each person documented their personal-professional development areas. 

Framing Questions

It is best to email or share these questions and think about your answers. It is even better if you write down your responses. 

  1. What are my best hopes for my role and future within this company?
  2. What current skills/talents do I have that I would like to improve or strengthen?
  3. How will those improvements make a difference to this company and my work?
  4. Seeing myself 3 years from now, what skills/talents am I using that I currently do not possess or have mastery of?
  5. How did I develop or gain those skills/talents?  
Let people talk and ask questions

In a team meeting, we asked people to share and talk about the questions and share their personal-professional development areas. 

(BTW – this team had high psychological-safety and trust. If you think people will be fearful about sharing in a team meeting, don’t have a team meeting. You can have a 1 on 1 with them, ask them to write their responses, and then go to the steps below.) 

As we discussed, heard the responses and thoughts from the framing questions, we began to see some common and outlier skill development areas. 

From discussion to indicators 

Now that we discussed early ideas and supported divergence to build more resilient ideas – we moved into personal-professional indicator areas. 

For this discussion, the Goldsmith Wheel of Change is super helpful. 

personal professional development goals within an organization

Each person wrote their response in detail to the following questions, based on the wheel of change: 

  1. What do I choose to create or add?
  2. What do I choose to eliminate or decrease?
  3. What do I choose to preserve or amplify?
  4. What do I choose to accept or hold?
From Indicators to documentation and follow-up

The responses to the wheel of change questions created enough of a personal-professional development statement that you can work on and see progress or regress on every week or month. 

Suppose your manager asked for your personal-professional development areas, or you are just creating some for yourself. In that case, you can look at your responses and, weekly, write down or reflect on what you did that moved you towards those areas. 

Personal-professional development areas work best when they:

  1.  are something you value and find relevant, 
  2. the organization values, 
  3. you can make an effort towards improving – 
  4. and most importantly, there is a way to follow-up and adjust as needed.