It turns out that when subscribers write in and ask me for a little help there are usually countless others who have the same concerns, so much so that the ‘mailbag’ entries on this blog tend to be the most read, forwarded and re-blogged.
I’ve split up the reply to the recent email below because there’s quite a bit of detail – if you find it useful I’m sending out Part 2 tomorrow.
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What does a good PDP look like?
I wonder if you could help me with something or steer me in the right direction?
I’m looking to pull together a ‘proper’ PDP and just wondered if you had any examples of a good format?
I have done a bit of a brain storming in terms of my strengths and development areas, also a little bit of career mapping and steps to get there, but I’m just not sure what sort of format to put it onto?
(It’s a bit of a brain dump at the moment on paper)
I thought you were the right person to ask.
Appreciate your advice.
First of all thanks for asking, I hope I can help.
I approach Personal Development Plans a little differently to what some would call text book – so forgive me if it sounds like I’m being awkward, you’ll either love this or hate it – either way it’s yours to use if you so wish.
The biggest problems with PDP’s is that they start at this end – the ‘where you are’ – and cut through to get to somewhere else, an unseen horizon – and the best advice I ever got with this kind of exercise is start with the end in mind and work backwards.
If you want to align your PDP, if you want it to get you to where you really want to go – you’ve got to start there and work back to now.
If you remember at the recent FAME management training day I ran, I asked everyone to write down how they wanted to be referred to on their last day of work – this next exercise works on a much larger scale.
Worksheet 1 asks you to spend 10 minutes and imagine you’ve walked into a packed church, sat down at the front with the heady smell of lilies and respectfully low chatter and then start to listen to the eulogies at YOUR OWN funeral – bear with me, it’s not as dark as it sounds.
On the worksheet write down in each box what you want each group to say – not what you think they might say now – what you want the following groups of people to say on that very last day.
Quadrant 1 – Everyone from your family who is alive now or might yet be born – Grandparents, parents, uncles, aunts, brothers, sisters, sons, daughters, nieces, nephews, grandkids.
You have to be quite specific – Who’s going to thank you for their education, their twenty first birthdays, their weddings, your time, your wisdom, your commitment, your care?
Quadrant 2 – Everyone who you count as a friend – again you have to be quite specific – What do you hope they view as the most meaningful characteristics of your personality and what are they remembering you doing, what are going to be the most important times they spent with you?
Quadrant 3 – Your business life. Everyone who you will work for and all those who will work for you (maybe even add in a couple of customers)
What do you want them all to say about you, right at the end?
Quadrant 4 – Your wider local community
Think deeply – what do you want them to have seen in you? What contributions, what achievements would you like them to have remembered?
The magic of this exercise is that once you’ve got it all down – you’ll have worked out how you want to be thought of on your last day – which sounds dark, but when you understand how you want to be remembered all you’ve go to do is – live like that.
After that tomorrow’s two exercises make sure you start to do things that get you there and only the things that matter.
Making sure that your PDP gets you to where you’re planning to get to, not just help others achieve their own.
Part 2 tomorrow.
See you then
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