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Are you optimizing your development experiences?
February 07, 2017

3 characteristics of a development activity

Whether you are a junior supervisor or a seasoned executive – you want to continue growing professionally, don’t you?

I don't mean this in the sense of climbing the corporate ladder – I mean this in the sense of acquiring more knowledge, skills and experience (which in turn will help you climb the corporate ladder).

There are all kinds of development experiences to help you continue growing professionally – like attending a conference and telling your peers about it afterwards, on-the-job training, a specific course, a project, a special assignment, a mentor, a lateral transfer, etc.

But regardless of the development activity you decide to pursue – such activity must possess at least three characteristics in order to be meaningful, full of learning and useful.

In other words – every time you enroll yourself in a development experience – make sure such development activity has these three characteristics:


The experience must be challenging. Challenging means …

It must not be easy. Easy doesn’t get you out of your comfort zone – and you end up learning nothing new.

It must not be too difficult either. Too difficult puts you into your panic zone – and instead of learning, you end up putting out fire after fire.

A challenging activity puts you into your growth zone – where you have to stretch yourself – and as a result you end up learning the most.


The experience must develop at least one of your strengths.

Yes – you may use such activity to develop one of your areas of opportunity – but make sure your strengths are developing as well.

In the long-term – you end up growing MUCH more when you grow your strengths than when you develop your areas of opportunity.


Make sure such experience is 100 per cent aligned with your professional aspirations.

This might sound obvious – but the number of managers involved in activities not 100 per cent aligned with their professional aspirations is alarming.

On a different note – but just as important:

Be grateful.

The more consciously grateful you are about your learning and growth – the more likely it is that you will be successful with your development and progress.


Always keep developing yourself.

And when you get a chance to learn through a development activity – make sure such experience contains these three characteristics.

You will be genuinely glad you did.

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See you next month!
Joseluis Romero - Publisher
February 7, 2017. Copyright: All rights reserved
I publish "Leader Newsletter" on the first Tuesday of every month
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