Questions on professional development of skills

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Evaluating the importance of professional development in a person's professional life & how it could enhance his knowledge, skills & attitude to perform better

Professional development is defined as,

The application of planned learning activities designed to maintain and enhance one's competence in health education following a previously attained level of professional preparation.

The process of increasing the professional capabilities of staff by providing (or providing access to) training and educational opportunities.

The skills and knowledge an employee gains to optimize her personal development and job growth. Skills and knowledge attained for both "personal development" and "career advancement".

Career development is how individuals enhance their careers within and between organizations

Personal development is a process of individual self-development and the development of others. At the level of the individual, personal development includes goals, plans or actions oriented towards one or more of the following aims:

Improving self-awareness & self-knowledge

Building /renewing identity

Identifying/ improving potential Developing strengths/ talents

Fulfilling aspirations

Building employability /human capital

Enhancing lifestyle & quality of life

Defining & executing personal development plans

Professional development also enables,

The Power of Positive Thinking

Professional development depends on positive thinking. Positive thinking leads people to achieve beyond what they think they could. It boosts energy and makes people be capable of reaching success avoiding wrong, weak attitudes on making & working towards plans.

Professional development is all about the willingness to "be better" & preparing plans towards achieving them. The main difference between a person who has a professional development plan(PDP) & who doesn't is, if a person is unhappy with his/her current profession or the position he/she has, a person with a PDP is putting effort on entering a better stage taking it as an opportunity& make realistic plans on enhancing his/her professional value (gaining more knowledge in the field he/she is planning to enter by improving educational qualifications, understand what is holding him/her away from stepping to a profession stage which he/she prefer & be skillful as a multi-task person making further qualification while working at a non preferable working environment) & sooner gain happiness in his/her profession.

A person who doesn't have a PDP continue his/her profession unhappy & later maybe quit the job & go to a different organization for the same post as he/she didn't gain value for him/herself to be someone skillful, knowledgeable & who has the right attitude at the tight time.

Setting Goals

Professional development is all about goal-setting. Under PDP, goal setting is done checking many criterias including its achievability, time-bound, measurability& how realistic they are. To create a PDP only a person needs to have a strong attitude. Weak attitude people won't be interested in preparing a PDP & look for obtaining success.

Once a person start to prepare a PDP setting goals, he/she understands/ identifies the qualifications, knowledge & skills he/she should be fulfilled with & prepare themselves to work towards achieving them & finally end up accomplishing goals.


Negative experiences including past failures and can be difficult to overcome. Preparing a PDP is about having a foundation for moving beyond- becoming a better individual learning from those experiences. PDP can be used to boost a person's energy & attitude on preparing him/her become strong to make required changes in his/her lifestyle at different costs. Being able to stick to set plans & making necessary changes in life aren't always easy but with having measured goals which are set believing that they achievable & realistic, loosening attitudes & skills can bloom again.

Suggesting a system where the employees can review their management skills, soft skills & assess their own performance

Soft skills are,

The ability to engage and interact effectively with others, obtain acceptance, build consensus, and provide assistance, direction and leadership as needed.

A sociological term relating to a person's "EQ" (Emotional Intelligence Quotient), the cluster of personality traits, social graces, communication, language, personal habits, friendliness, and optimism that characterize relationships with other people

Management skills are,

Skills required in Managing business & human activity in an organization getting people work together to accomplish desired objectives & goals

Management skills pyramid

Examples of soft skills & management skills:


Fluency in some language

Team participation / building

Establish & maintain rapport among team members


Active listening

Empathic communication


Maintain unity of the team under different circumstances





Problem solving

Defuse arguments with timing, instructions and polite, concise language

Predict risks, failures or success


Decision making

Maintain meaningful conversation (discussion/debate)

Grab others' attention to conversation

Sense on personal grooming

Prevent meaningless conversations being taking place

Proactive Attitude

Soft skills, management skills of employees plays a major role in an organization's operations & its' performance. Therefore managers should suggest employees a system to track their soft skills, management skills & encourage them to review them for the betterment of themselves & also which would be an indirect betterment for the organization being fulfilled with quality workforce.

Suggestions for employees to assess, review their soft skills, management skills & performance.

Manager Appraisal: 

Employee performance being appraised by a manager through observation (without employee active participation).The manager observes the employees' behavior in the working environment & how well his/her undertaken duties are being done. This assess the employee's efficiency at work with concerned to time management, socialization, team work, provide customer satisfaction, ability to attract customers through communication skills & personal grooming etc. The appraisal can be done in every

month. One copy can be sent to the management for decision making purposes & another can be sent to the employee to review his/her performance & skills, by him/herself.

Employee presentations:

Employees are asked to do a presentation in front of co employees & managers regarding achieved & couldn't achieved given targets. Customer/ managerial complaints & rewards he/she got by providing/ not providing the expected service. Co employees too can give their opinions & feedback to the addresser proving him right or wrong. Here the addresser's communication & presentation skills will get sharpened & even get to be proud of his/per performance or take it as an opportunity to assure the organization for better performance in future being guilty for his/her failures. This even helps employees to be keen on their personal grooming

Learning log/employee journal: 

Employees can be encouraged to use a learning log to record their performance & positive/negative results they got to experience when putting soft & managerial skills in to practice in working environments.

Peer Appraisal: 

An appraisal form prepared by the managers is given to the employees who are in a similar/ low position. This method can be used to check employee work efficiency, unity or conflicts among co workers. The purpose is to get a closer/ clear idea about the organizational culture among employees.

Sample career plan including my personal development plan

(Abbreviations: L-long term, M-medium term, S-short term)

Long term/ short term targets:

Complete a degree in business management successfully(M)

Complete a diploma in health & fitness successfully (M)

Complete a diploma in advertising successfully (S)

Have a standard figure (S)

Improve fitness level & flexibility (M)

Be a part time gym instructor (L)

Have a stable financial state (L)

Learn "jeet kune do" or "thai chi" (M)

Be a part time martial arts instructor (L)

Be independent personally (M)

Be independent professionally (own an advertising company)(L)

Improve my financial level to be able to donate 1/3rd of my income to the poor (L)

SMARTER objectives on the goal "have a standard figure"

Specific: Have the body standards 34" 26" 34"

Measurable: Workout 3 days a week according to the set time schedules

Achievable: Having the will power & interest to put effort on achieving it

Realistic: Having the resources,

Knowledge in fitness& health,

Exercise equipment, software, machinery & fitness DVDs

Time bound: 3months

Evaluate: get feedback from both knowledgeable/ non knowledgeable people on fitness & health on my appearance

Review: check progress weekly

Action plan on the selected goal (including SWOT analysis)


Having the need to achieve it

Mentally strong

Knowledgeable in fitness & health

Weaknesses/ limitations:

Laziness & tiredness

Injuries, wounds, corns

Climate changes


Opportunities/ Rewards:

Exercise equipment & machinery provided by family

Prepare healthy meals to fit my diet

Threats/ barriers to overcome:


Steps for achieving objectives:

Eat food enriched with iron to overcome laziness & tiredness

Obey the set work out schedules

Set a plan for a proper time management schedule

Deadline: 2months from now

Indicators showing I have reached the target:


Measuring tape


PhotographCurriculum Vitiate

Harindri Fernando

No: 17, Fair Field Garden, Colombo 8.

Tel: 0112690982

Mobile: 0779382396

E-mail: [email protected]

Job Objective : To reach the pinnacle in my career as a dynamic, motivated and conscientious performer in all my undertakings and do my duties with integrity and diligence to the satisfaction of the organization

Personal Information : Age : 21 years

Date of Birth : 21st January 1989

Nationality : Sri Lankan

Marital Status : Single

Educational Qualifications :

G. C. E. Ordinary Level Examination (2004) (Musaeus College, Colombo 07)

International Foundation Program (Singapore Informatics, Colombo 03)

Diploma in Airline Marketing, Fares/ Ticketing, Reservations, GDS, & Airport Operations(International Airline Ticketing Academy, Colombo 04)

Diploma in Hardware Engineering & Networking (Turnkey IT training, Colombo 03)

Higher National Diploma in Business Management(International College Business & Technology, Colombo 04)- (partially completed)

Professional Experience :

Extra Curricular Activities : Musaeus College

Member of the Buddhist Society

Member of the Social workers club

Member of the Media Unit

Member of the Wild Life Conservation project

Wushu Player

Non Related Referees :

Prof. Jayantha Welihinda

B Sc Chem. (Hons), PhD C Chem., M.I. Chem. C.

Dept. of Biochemistry,

Faculty of Medicine,

University of Colombo

Kynsey Road,

Colombo 8.

Tel: 0112697485

Mr. Bertram Senarathne

Retired Branch Manager (Gabo Travels pvt. Ltd, Panadura)


Watson Peiris Mawatha,


Tel: 01126472

I hereby certify that the above particulars are true correct to the best of my knowledge.

…………………………….. ………………………………

Date Signature

A system for PDP to be reviewed continuously to observe a positive progress in skills

Maintain a journal: To record how well I do in putting the prepared PDP into practice, whether I'm directing myself to the right path or losing direction, plan alternatives if the prepared PDP doesn't seem effective

Check progress with the use of progress indicators:

See how well I'm obeying the prepared PDP or not, check for any changes to be made in the objectives set, check weather my commitments have worked.

Get feedback: Taking feedback from others on how hard I should work towards achieving my goals, check weather my commitments are sufficient, take instructions on how changes to be made to expect better results & improve my skills

Task 02:

1. Skills a person needs to pursue to manage a variety of work based problems

Poor time management:

Time management is very important at work. Employees are getting paid to get work done on time. If the given tasks aren't completed by the time they are needed then it will lead the management to think again weather to keep him/her in the position any longer or not. Therefore to be an impressive employee people should work fast to save time & put hard effort on getting the job done with accuracy & on time

Work overload

This issue happens when either the employee is too good or too bad. If the employee is too good at his/her performance, the management wants to get more work done from him/her. But having too much workload will even end up giving him/her too much work stress leading him/her to perform less & maybe even leave the job. But this problem can be solved if the employee is a good team worker or good communicator. Being a good communicator, he/she can talk to the management regarding his/her problem & expect a direct& reasonable solution from them. Being a good team worker, he/she can make others get involved in the work load been given (with the managements' permission) &avoid too much stress.

But if the employee is bad at accomplishing the tasks been given to him/her, then the work overload problem occurs too. Then to solve this problem he/she needs to be motivated by managers & co workers to work hard or form groups & let the pending work load get finished fast while letting that opportunity become a motivational factor for him/her working in a team than working alone.

Negative rumors

Negative rumors may lead to management depressions on the employee & mistreat him/her. This can take place for many reasons but the most common reason is if the employees doesn't interact with the co employees well. Then conflicts occur as they too decide to avoid him/her thinking he/she doesn't belong to their organizational culture. To prevent this situation the employee should have skills in socializing & interacting with different people.

Employee absenteeism

This clearly shows that the employees aren't happy with their job. It can be either because of organizational culture or managerial problems. The organizations hire employees to get work done from them. If the employees don't show interest on at least attending office then the managers should take the responsibility of it. To prevent this issue lot of motivation is essential including reward systems, changes in leaderships (organizational structure) etc. therefore decision making skills, listening to the employee, negotiation skills are needed as a manager.

Team work conflicts

Conflicts arising at a team can be usual. But if it happens regularly, it should be treated. Conflicts in a team arise when poor leadership, when the leader or co-members aren't listening to others opinions& ideas take place. To overcome this, leader & the members too should be good communicators/ listeners & good decision makers when appointing a leader to the team. Negotiation skills are important too.

Lack of supervision

When the managers tend to forget their responsibilities other managers should stand against it from spreading all over the organization. A good manager should have good observation skills on whets happening around him/her. When the managers don't supervise the employees who are under them, then the organizational culture gets changed & later it will soon effect on the overall organizational performance directly. Therefore that type of managers needs motivation & reward systems keeping them have aims to reach performing better.

2. Positive & negative points on the statement "many employees leave organizations due to their managers"

When an employee is about to get terminated there are a number of factors an organization needs to take for consideration in order to cleanly end the relationship between the company and the employee. As the company hold responsibility for the employee throughout his/her period of service the organization should understand the significance of being keen on employee exit management and also as the employee is aware of the need of his/her contribution to the organization, the employee too should obey the exit procedures before making a move on his/her service termination.

Followed exit procedures under employee exit management

Voluntary termination

Involuntary termination / Dismissal

Termination by mutual agreement

The above mentioned statement is concerned about involuntary termination. Dismissal is where the employer terminate the employee forcibly due to employees faults on not contributing to the organization with quality of service or been proved on disobeying organizational discipline or damaging its reputation.

Positive points

Negative points

The managers are observing employees' behavior & discipline

An opportunity to get rid of unwanted employees

Protect endangered organizational reputation

Opportunity to identify why employees being misled

Loosing his/her knowledge to the organization

The organization might lose the customers he/she only handled

But some employees leave due to dissatisfactory work environment created by the managers.

Positive points

Negative points

An unfair redundancy method being followed to make employees leave the organization by themselves rather than the organization to force them to leave

Predictable financial failures of the organization, so the employee can go find another job

Poor leadership

Lack of supervision

Losing his/her knowledge to the organization

Lack of motivation

Lack of creativity

3. How time management & communication influences carrier development

The points below shows the advantages & uses of good communication & good time management for carrier development

Good time management-

Report to office on/ before time

Be impressed by the management as a punctual employee

Ability to complete the tasks given/ multi tasks within less period of time

Ability to prevent the problem "pending workload" from occurring

Be stress free from late work completion

Avoid possibilities of being scolded by managers

Be a motivating personality to others

Good communication-

Clear message sending & receiving preventing misunderstandings

Be a good listener

Prevent problems go further& get worsen

Give & get feedback

Better socializing

Adapt to different cultures

Learning styles people tend to follow & how organizations set training programs based on them

Understanding people's individual learning styles, ways of learning new things will help select learning activities to make sure learning to be most effective. There are four different styles, although it is possible for one person to share qualities of more than one from these.

Activist ("I'll try anything once"):

activists will probably want to get involved in a specific assignment or project to develop the skills on the job. Tackling very practical open and flexible learning programs or activity-based training courses will be most suitable for them.

Activists involve themselves fully in new experiences. They enjoy the here and now & are happy to be conquered by immediate experiences. They are enthusiastic about new things, open-minded & not skeptical. They tend to act first and consider the consequences afterwards. Their days are filled with activity. They tackle problems by brainstorming. As soon as the excitement from one activity is over they are busy looking for the next. They are sociable people frequently involving themselves with others while seeking to centre all activities around themselves.

Reflector (be cautious!):

Reflectors will appreciate working closely with experienced people. They prefer observational learning and discussing plans & reflections with a mentor. They'll also prefer learning from case studies, books & articles.

Reflectors like to stand back to consider experiences and study them from different perspectives. They collect data & choose to think thoroughly before coming to a conclusion. They are thoughtful, consider all implications & possible angles before making a move. They choose to take a back seat in meetings & discussions. They enjoy observing other people in action. They tend to adopt a low profile and have a slightly distant, tolerant unruffled air about them. When they act it is part of a wide picture which includes the past as well as the present and others' observations as well as their own.

Theorist ("If it's logical its good."):

They'll most value theory-based courses with experienced &well-qualified trainers, well-written books/ articles.

Theorists adapt and combine observations into complex but logically sound theories. They think problems through a step-by-step logical way. They absorb different facts into logical theories. They tend to be perfectionists once things are tidy and fit into a coherent scheme. They like to analyze & synthesize. They are keen on principles, basic assumptions, theories models & systems thinking and strictly reject anything that doesn't fit with it. Their approach to problems is consistently coherent. They choose to maximize certainty and feel uncomfortable with subjective judgments, lateral thinking and anything light-minded.

Pragmatist ("There is always a better way") & ("If it works it's good" ):

They'll find that succinct, practical books and open and flexible learning are good ways of quickly putting new learning to practice. They'll be particularly highly involved in working on real-life projects and value the help of people who give some coaching & valuable feedback.

Pragmatists are keen on trying out ideas, theories and techniques to see if they work in practice. They positively search out new ideas and take the first opportunity to experiment with applications. They are the sort of people who return from courses brimming with new ideas that they want to try out in practice. They like to get on with things and act quickly and confidently on ideas that attract them. They tend to be impatient with ruminating and open-ended discussions. They are essentially practical, down to earth people who like making practical decisions and solving problems. They respond to problems and opportunities 'as a challenge'.

Training methods in related to different learning styles

Different training methods can be followed to maximize learning & training of employees finding the most suitable approach for different learning styled trainees.

Consultation - assist an individual or group of individuals to elucidate and address immediate concerns by following a methodical problem-solving process.

Mentoring - promote an individual's awareness and refinement of his or her own professional development by providing and recommending structured opportunities for reflection and observation

Case Study Method - a teaching approach consists in presenting the students with a case, putting them in the role of a decision maker facing a problem

Coaching - improve a person's competencies in a specific skill area by providing a process of observation, reflection, and action.

Communities of Practice - advance professional practice by engaging in shared query and learning with people who have a common goal

Lesson Study - solve practical dilemmas related to intervention or instruction through participation with other professionals in systematically examining practice

Reflective Supervision - support, develop, and ultimately assess the performance of employees through a process of analysis that encourages their understanding and articulation of the rationale for their own practices

Technical Assistance - assist individuals & their organization to advance by offering information & resources, supporting networking and change efforts

Ways organizations could encourage continuous professional development

Arranging Meetings with Experts

Encourage to maintain a learning log

Encourage employees to Write/ record new ideas on professional development

Sponsoring for formal professional development courses

Encourage on doing Individual action research


As organizations' structures & cultures get changed rapidly, it is highly essential to develop our own professional development plans & work accordingly in order to adapt to the frequent changes & survive in the competitive world of employeement. Our lives are the most important projects we'll ever be involved in. our carrier plays a major role in our lives. Therefore we must work hard on enhancing our personal & professional lives to expect a better future. Once we continue developing our professional development plans, there is no stopping for us & carrier opportunities will be waiting to get us hired.