Personal development is very important for both the employee and the employer. A personal development plan can help employees or trainees align their career wishes or ambitions with future job requirements and/or the employer’s long-term goals. But how do you write a personal development plan that really benefits both parties?
What is a personal development plan (PDP)?
A personal development plan, also known as a PDP, is a plan stating what you want to achieve and how you plan to do it. In it, you describe every step you need to take to achieve the goal. You have to be as specific as possible. That makes it easier to stick to the plan and set better priorities. So make your goals SMART: Specific, Measurable, Acceptable, Realistic & Time-bound.
Self-awareness is required
So writing a personal development plan requires careful thought and reflection. What are your ambitions? In which field do you want to develop? What skills do you need to learn for this? How can this contribute to your current job? But also: what are you already good at? What are your core qualities? How can you use your personal characteristics in your current job?
And that’s where DISC comes in!
DISC & PDP
With a personal development plan, you start working on your development points. But you can only really work on your personal development if you know what your current qualities and pitfalls are and how you can capitalise on them.
A DISC analysis can help you with this. It provides insight into your personal behavioural style and communication preferences. You will also find a personal style description, elements that stimulate you in the work environment and points of interest. In turn, you can use this to write a better plan with points that will benefit both you and your employer.
Small effort, big result!
Creating a personal development plan with DISC
So this is how you can write a personal development plan using DISC:
By using DISC, you can better focus the personal development plan on the specific skills relevant to your behavioural style. This will make you a lot more likely to actually achieve your goals. And that’s what it’s all about in the end!
1. Your personal behavioural style
First, do a DISC analysis that maps out your personal behavioural style. Each style (Dominant, Influence, Stability and Conformism) has certain qualities and characteristics that influence the way a person sets goals and works towards them. Useful to know!
2. Set goals
You can use the information from your DISC report to set goals. For example, it contains points of interest and pitfalls that you can include in your PDP. It also gives you more information about the characteristics and qualities of certain DISC behavioural styles and how to use them.
3. Create an action plan
Identify the skills you need to develop to achieve your goals. Then make an action plan describing how you will do that. For example, will you go on a training course? Or do you prefer a coaching programme? Be as clear as possible and describe the action points SMART. This will help you take the next step.
Almost no single plan is perfect in one go. It is therefore important to keep track of your progress and see if you are achieving your goals. In fact, you may also need to tweak your action plan a little bit to make sure you do achieve them. There is no shame in that at all. Sometimes it is hard to reflect on yourself. Do you struggle with this? Then be sure to ask for help!