Personal Development Action Plans
A cornerstone of our customized leadership programs is the creation of Personal Development Action Plans (PDAPs). Participants create plans that focus on an individual's development and the behaviour, skills changes, and specific actions necessary to achieve their goals.
The Learning Model
Behavioural leadership programs are designed to promote action on the part of the participant by engaging the following:
- Assessments: Participants self-assess themselves in a number of behavioural areas using a leadership assessment tool. In addition, assessments may be completed by leaders and peers to evaluate a participant’s behaviour in a number of categories.
- Training: The formalized learning component of the program reflects on characteristics and behaviours of leaders.
- Awareness and resolve: Participants develop an awareness of strengths and weaknesses in leaderships skills and behaviours through class instruction, individual debriefs, personal assessment results, comparison to other personal assessments within their groups, and industry norms. In many cases, participants have the opportunity to debrief personally with the facilitator to interpret their personal results. This process is designed to make the participant aware of their leadership capability and develop their resolve to work on the areas that need greatest attention.
- Action: The classic challenge of leadership training courses is that participants leave the program with good intentions and firm resolve, which can evaporate when they return to the job. To set the right conditions for post-program sustainability, SEEC has incorporated a Personal Development Action Plan (PDAP). This plan, created by participants while still on the formal course, identifies specific areas that participants would like to develop, and create specific actions and opportunities to implement the new behaviours. For example, if a leader resolves to present a broader strategic objective to their staff and solicit feedback to promote greater engagement and strategic alignment, the action plan might include lengthening the Monday morning status meeting to include time to present and discuss a strategic initiative or invite the team to add items to the agenda for open discussion.
The effectiveness of PDAPs is enhanced by coaching, both in the creation of a PDAP and in subsequent follow-up as participants work on their plan. This coaching can be provided by a Schulich facilitator or participants’ managers. On-going coaching provides a dialogue and one-on-one support to ensure intentions are translated into action.
The Role of Performance Objectives and Performance Management
Most organizations set performance objectives in terms of key milestones and measurement metrics. Where leadership skill is vital, objectives need to be expanded to also include ‘how’ milestones are to be attained. When performance objectives clearly state the expected leadership traits to be developed, the individual has the necessary incentive to complete a leadership course and continue with post-program improvement.