experiences can lead to more visibility
and greater impact, but also higher risks
and expectations within the current role.
In contrast, broadening experiences can
lead to the development of new skills and
familiarity with new contexts, but also
greater ambiguity when stretching out-side
of the current role.
The question to ask is, “Do I want to
pursue mastery or diversity in develop-ment
experiences?” This question can
help provide a focus for the career steps
and, subsequently, the skills to be de-veloped
that will be included in the
ENSURE THE MANAGER
If you’re a manager, you’re hopefully
invested in the development of your em-ployees.
Don’t underestimate the value
that you’re bringing to the table by being
involved in the developmental planning
Direct involvement by a manager in
creating a development plan following
an assessment leads to gains in future job
performance. This is mainly due to these
■■ The manager is made aware of the
goals of their employee and is able to
support them in their development
by checking in on goal progress or
providing opportunities for skill
development relevant to the plan.
■■ It helps to have a manager’s support
and stamp of approval for spending
valuable time on development activity.
For example, if taking on a special
project to improve your financial
acumen, the last thing you want to
find out is that your manager thought
it was a waste of time.
■■ The manager can provide suggestions
that can be incorporated into the
plan. They may have insight into
actions that are the most critical for
the individuals’ development in their
■■ The manager often knows what career
moves are possible, and therefore
which skills need to be developed to
move into these future roles.
SPECIFIC SHORT-TERM GOALS;
In most instances, setting specific goals
that have clear outcomes leads to the
best results from development plans.
However, there may be instances where
a person wishes to master a particular
skill or ability that doesn’t have a clear
outcome (e.g., becoming an engaging
presenter). In this situation, set learning
goals, where the goal is to master a skill
or ability rather than to work towards a
specific result. This framework encour-ages
trying out different strategies and
figuring out what works best, without
the pressure of having to attain a perfor-mance
How can setting a broad learning goal
for the development of skills or abilities
be reconciled with advice to set specif-ic
goals? One strategy is for long-term
goals to be framed as learning goals, with
the inclusion of specific sub-goals that
outline steps for attaining the learning
goal. For example, a long-term learning
goal could be to improve presentation
skills. Three specific, short-term sub-goals
could be volunteering to present
at an upcoming conference, practicing
presentations in front of peers and main-taining
eye contact with the audience.
There is great importance to having
short-term goals within the long-term
goals that are in the development plan.
Short-term goals help maintain a sense
of focus and accomplishment, and make
long-term goals less overwhelming.
However, the long-term goals help pro-vide
a broader vision for development.
DON’T SET TOO MANY GOALS
While the exact number of goals in the
development plan will vary in each cir-cumstance,
having too many can be
overwhelming. In addition, with all the
performance goals on our plate, the first
reaction will be to put development goals
on the backburner if they take up too
much of our energy.
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