Personal and Professional Development

Benefits of Self–managed Learning

Self-managed learning is a type of learning that enables adults to take full control and responsibility for their learning. It requires individuals to identify ways through which they can acquire knowledge in different areas. Through self-managed learning, individuals set learning goals and ways of achieving them. It also allows them to develop learning strategies that assist them to achieve their goals. Since it is inconvenient for individuals who work in different organizations to leave work and enroll for full-time studies, self-managed learning serves as a suitable alternative (Peckham, 2012).

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Self-managed learning is beneficial to both individuals who embrace it and organizations. The first individual benefit of self-managed learning is that it makes learning meaningful because individuals are responsible for their learning. This implies that they focus on things that create value. The second benefit of self-managed learning is that it enables individuals to identify their weaknesses and ways of overcoming them. The third benefit of self-managed learning is that it helps individuals to build self-confidence. This occurs because they acquire the ability to learn new skills. The fourth benefit of self-managed learning is that it equips individuals with knowledge that enables them to increase their effectiveness as they work with other people.

Self-managed learning enables individuals to discuss their issues more openly and obtain constructive feedback. Most importantly, it makes it possible for them to set their targets and make an assessment of their weaknesses. It also enables them to experience a continuous feeling of development, which is directly connected with career advancement and job satisfaction (Self Managed Learning, 2011).

Apart from individual benefits, self-managed learning is beneficial to organizations. The first benefit of self-managed learning to organizations is that it builds a culture of learning among employees, which is an essential survival gesture. The second benefit is that self-managed learning leads to a good working environment in organizations since employees acquire knowledge on how to work with their colleagues effectively.

This reduces staff turnover because most employees feel comfortable working with their colleagues. The third benefit of self-managed learning to organizations is that it leads to increased profitability and also gives organizations a chance to grow. It enables them to know their staff well, which leads to high job performance. Employees are also able to stay focused, which helps in the achievement of organizational goals. Self-managed learning helps organizations to succeed in different ways. However, employees must clearly understand how learning is achieved (Boer, 2006).

Self-managed Learning Approaches

Individuals who engage in self-managed learning can learn through the research they conduct or assistance obtained from their universities and workplaces. Self-managed learning can be conducted through different approaches. The first approach is through conferences and seminars. Seminars and conferences allow individuals to learn through the experiences of other people. They allow individuals to share what they know with their colleagues and listen to what their colleagues have. This is important because it enables them to acquire new knowledge. Seminars and conferences also play a vital role in self-managed learning because they enable individuals to perfect their presentation skills and attain self-confidence. It is beneficial to both individuals and organizations.

The second approach of self-managed learning is the use of social networks such as Twitter, Facebook, and My yearbook, among others. Social networks enable individuals to share important information with their friends, which enriches their knowledge base. Through social networks, individuals get an opportunity to acquire knowledge of how successful individuals achieve their success (Cunningham & Bennett, 2000).

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The third approach that can be used to achieve self-managed learning is the use of the internet. The internet is an important resource that can be used by individuals to learn since there are numerous articles on different topics. This knowledge can be used for self-development as well as improving work skills. Different sites help individuals to learn various subjects systematically. Self-managed learning helps individuals to acquire skills and knowledge that are beneficial to them and their organizations.

Promoting Life-long Learning

There are different ways through which life-long learning can be promoted in the context of personal and professional development. For individuals to embrace life-long learning, they need to adopt reflective learning. For example, they should take part in active learning techniques and establish positive interactions with diverse peers. These steps enhance their commitment to life-long learning.

Individuals need to adopt positive pedagogical practices since they play a crucial role in promoting life-long learning. This implies that individuals should adapt learning strategies that enhance their learning processes. This enables them to enjoy learning, hence they develop a life-long learning attitude. For instance, individuals can choose to study areas of their interest because this enables them to conduct detailed research.

Another method of promoting life-long learning in the context of personal and professional development is through effective time management. Combining work and studies is always challenging hence individuals should know how to manage their time well. This enables them to complete essential tasks within stipulated deadlines to avoid crisis hence they develop the desire to pursue further studies in their areas of interest (Jackson, 2010).

Personal Skills and Competencies Audit

For individuals to work professionally in an organizational setting, they require different skills. The first skill that individuals require to work professionally in an organizational setting is time management. Employees require time management skills to keep accurate records of meetings, deadlines, and appointments. Time management skills help them to complete different tasks within set deadlines. They also ensure that individuals do not engage in an unnecessary rush after they realize that they do not have time, hence avoiding stressful moments. For instance, if senior managers request certain information during meetings, individuals need to record such activities to ensure that they deliver the required information in good time. Individuals can make use of software schedulers or organizers to ensure that they keep track of important events.

The second skill that individuals require to work professionally in an organizational setting is communication skills. Good communication skills are vital in an organizational setting because organizations apply such skills to establish beneficial networks, increase sales, and ensure that their customers are satisfied. Communication skills entail both written and verbal communication, which should be applied professionally. Individuals should learn how to write the clear language, which does not have spelling and punctuation errors. Effective verbal communication avoids the use of slang or unnecessary fillers. Interpersonal skills are also an important factor in communication skills. Individuals should train themselves on how to work in both team environments and individually.

The third skill that individuals require to work professionally in an organizational setting is the ability to prioritize. It is the ability to determine the most vital activities that should be completed before completing other activities. Individuals are sometimes forced to attend meetings and meet strict deadlines at the same time. This requires them to develop prioritization skills for them to know which tasks they should complete first. For example, the CEO of an organization might request certain information to organize an urgent meeting. An individual should provide such information first before embarking on other activities.

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The fourth skill that individuals require to work professionally in an organizational setting is sales and presentation skills. Individuals require sales and presentation skills in different situations, such as selling different products to clients and communicating ideas to bosses. Selling skills require individuals to develop good listening skills, apply problem-solving skills, and think creatively. Most successful salespeople do not necessarily specialize in sales but learn how to communicate effectively and use negotiation skills to convince their clients. They do not experience problems in presenting information and establishing beneficial networks.

Development Needs and Opportunities

To succeed in my endeavors, the following are some of my development needs that I should address effectively. The first development needs that I would address is the acquisition of public speaking skills. It is because I am not an effective public speaker, and I would be required to conduct meetings and attend seminars regularly. The second development need is confidence. This would enable me to express myself and approach potential clients without fear.

Confidence is very important for success in any organization because it enables an individual to establish networks and positive relationships. The third development need is better organizational skills. Organizational skills are very important because they would enable me to complete my tasks in good time. When an employee is assigned different tasks that should be completed within certain timelines, one needs to possess good organizational skills. The fourth development needs that I would address is time management. Good time management skills are essential because they would ensure that different tasks are completed in good time.

There are different opportunities in the organization that would be beneficial to me. The first opportunity is the new roles and projects that are developed in the organization from time to time. It is a good opportunity that would give me a chance to participate in the projects. As a result, I would acquire more experience in areas such as public speaking and organizational skills. The second opportunity is the ability of the organization to grow fast.

This would enable me to develop my sales and presentation skills as I meet new clients. The third opportunity is the fact that some employees move from their departments to other departments regularly. This often creates vacancies in different departments. This would be beneficial to me since I would be able to fill the vacant positions and enhance my experience. The fourth opportunity is customer complaints, which require solutions. I would take advantage of this opportunity to come up with some solutions to customer complaints.

Personal and Professional Development Plan

A personal and professional development plan is important since it enables individuals to focus on what they should do to achieve individual and career growth. A good personal and professional development plan is comprised of specific development objectives that individuals would like to achieve within specified time frames. The first objective in my development plan is to acquire the ability to communicate effectively with my workmates and seniors. Effective communication is very important in the workplace because it would enable me to negotiate crucial deals, present ideas to my bosses, and interact well with my colleagues.

My second development objective is to enhance my level of efficiency and competence at work. Different tasks require individuals to apply specific skills to perform effectively. This contributes towards professionalism hence, I would endeavor to perform my duties efficiently and in a professional manner. My third development objective is to attend workshops and seminars that equip individuals with knowledge and skills on how to increase their competency and achieve efficiency in their work. Although individuals can increase their competency and efficiency through experience, it is essential to acquire further training.

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My fourth development plan is to learn time management skills. Time management is one of the most important skills that individuals should possess to perform their duties effectively. It ensures that tasks are completed in good time. My fifth development objective is to acquire problem-solving skills. Individuals face different problems in organizations that require solutions hence they should possess skills that would enable them to solve the problems.

Implementation of Personal and Professional Development Plan

Writing a personal and professional development plan is vital, but its implementation is the most important part. The first step that I would take to implement my development plan is to exercise discipline. For example, I would wake up earlier than usual for me to achieve time-management objectives. The second step that I would take is to set daily goals. These goals would be in line with my objectives hence they would guide me to achieve my long-term objectives. Short-term goals play an important role in ensuring that long-term objectives are achieved. The third step that I would take is to conduct self-evaluation from time to time. This would help me to stay focused on the achievement of my objectives. The fourth step that I would take is to read books that would guide me on how to achieve my objectives.

Evaluation of the Process

My development plan is closely related to the learning process and the expected aims and objectives. The learning should ensure that the basic aims and objectives are achieved. For instance, the process aims at improving my communication skills to enable me to communicate effectively with my colleagues and bosses. The learning process would focus on strategies and techniques that would improve my communication skills remarkably.

The learning process would also focus on time management techniques. It is because time management is crucial and it is one of the aims and objectives that should be achieved at the end of the whole process. For instance, following strict timetables during lessons would contribute towards the achievement of time management objectives. Besides, the learning process would focus on improving efficiency and effectiveness since these form part of the aims and objectives of the development plan.

A periodic review of the plan would also be important. This would ensure that the learning process does not deviate from the initial aims and objectives. For instance, feedback obtained about the acquisition of effective communication skills, increase in efficiency and improved time management skills would be used to make necessary adjustments to ensure that the plan delivers the expected results.

Work-based Problems and Solutions

Individuals face different problems at their workplaces, which require solutions. The first work-based problem is stress. Some organizations expose their employees to a lot of work, which does not give them time to rest. This affects them negatively since they fail to concentrate on their work due to stress. To solve this problem, individuals should get enough rest during the weekends. Employers should also ensure that they give their employees enough time to rest.

The second work-based problem is unfair dismissal. This occurs when individuals are dismissed from their organizations without proper reasons behind their dismissal. This affects them adversely since they are forced to go through many challenges in a bid to cater to their needs. To solve this problem, employees should join unions that fight for the rights of employees. Such unions intervene when employees get dismissed unfairly (Melling, 2008).

The third work-based problem is unwarranted deductions from the salaries of employees. Some organizations do not respect the rights of their employees hence they deduct money from their salaries without genuine reasons. This affects the morale of employees negatively and reduces their productivity. Employees can solve this problem by engaging in talks with senior management to reach a consensus.

Methods and Styles of Communicating Problems and Solutions

To communicate problems and solutions to the relevant personnel, it is important to use different methods and styles to take the shortest time possible. The first method of communication that works well within the context of effective time management is following organizational communication channels. This ensures that problems and possible solutions reach management without major delays. Organizational communication channels ensure the delivery of information to the recipients within a short duration of time.

The second method that can be used to communicate problems and solutions in the context of effective time management is the use of written communication. Written communication in organizations is formal and managers and other administrative staff members treat it seriously. As a result, problems that are presented to managers together with possible solutions in written form are likely to be acted upon immediately. This saves time and ensures that employees get prompt responses, which enables them to continue with their jobs without bothering about their problems.

The third method that can be used to successfully communicate problems and solutions to the management within the context of effective time management is through presenting one problem at a time. Individuals face numerous problems while working in organizations and it would be difficult for the management to solve all problems at the same time. Employees should identify problems that require immediate solutions and present them to the management. This method is effective since managers get an opportunity to handle one problem at a time before embarking on other problems. As a result, problems are solved within a short duration of time.

Reference List

Boer, J 2006, Personal Development, my-skills limited, West Yorkshire.

Cunningham, I & Bennett, B 2000, Self Managed Learning in Action: Putting Sml Into Practice, Gower Publishing, New York.

Jackson, S 2010, Innovations in Lifelong Learning:Critical Perspectives on Diversity, Participation and Vocational Learning, Routledge, New York.

Melling, J 2008, Managing the Modern Workplace, Ashgate Publishing, London.

Peckham, M 2012, Self Managed Learning: Theory and Practice. Web.

Self Managed Learning 2011. Web.

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