Personal development skills are qualities and abilities that help you grow both personally and professionally. In other words, they are skills that help you nurture your personal development. Understanding and improving these skills can help you maximize your potential. This process is also known as self-development or personal growth.
How to improve your personal development skills
You can enhance your personal development skills by taking classes, learning from the people around you, gaining new talents and improving upon existing ones. Follow these guidelines to develop yourself personally:
Overcome your fears: Fear can prevent you from growing and progressing. If you are afraid of public speaking, for instance, take a class or join a group that helps people become better public speakers. If you are afraid of taking risks, find a mentor who can help you make good decisions and build your confidence. Grow and learn by trying things you might not be comfortable doing. If you are shy, try starting a conversation or introducing yourself to new people at a reception or workshop.
Read: Reading can expand your knowledge and vocabulary and keep you informed. It can also stimulate your mind and can improve your critical thinking skills. Try setting a goal to read at least one educational or motivational article a day, or one book a month.
Learn something new: Learn a new skill or topic, whether you do it yourself or sign up for a class. You might, for instance, take courses to learn another language, a new software program or how to write creatively. Consider watching a webinar on professional development topics such as entrepreneurship or social media marketing.
Ask for feedback: Approach a family member, friend, colleague or manager, and ask them to give you feedback on a recent project or accomplishment. Use their positive comments as well as their constructive criticism to find ways to improve. Sometimes you need an outside, unbiased opinion to get a different perspective.
Observe others: Watch and learn from the people who inspire you. This could be someone you know, such as a supervisor, family member or public figure. Identify the qualities you admire in them, and try to replicate those in yourself.
Network: By interacting with many types of people, you can learn new ideas and understand how to communicate and work with different personality types. You can also meet people and develop relationships that might help you in the future. Network through industry organizations and shared interest groups, or attend conferences and events on topics that interest you.
Keep a journal: Writing in a journal every day or week can help you gain self-awareness and reflect on recent events, decisions and conversations. You might keep a hand-written, private journal, or you might choose to share your thoughts and experiences by blogging. Use it to set and assess goals and progress.
Meditate: Many people meditate to gain clarity and awareness and to reduce stress and anxiety. Meditation can help you focus on your self-development and goals in a healthy, positive and calm way. Even scheduling a break from work or quiet time to yourself can help you relax and focus.
Get a mentor: If you need help identifying ways to build your self-development skills, talk to a mentor. This individual could be a manager, professor, someone you admire or a professional personal growth mentor.