Effective Ways to Enhance Your Personal Development Skills

By Indeed Editorial Team

Updated 18 November 2022 | Published 27 May 2021

Updated 18 November 2022

Published 27 May 2021

The Indeed Editorial Team comprises a diverse and talented team of writers, researchers and subject matter experts equipped with Indeed's data and insights to deliver useful tips to help guide your career journey.

Personal development involves evaluating your personal goals and values while developing your skills to maximise your potential. Working on yourself can help you achieve greater success and maturity with the long-term benefit of personal fulfilment. You can continuously develop yourself through methods such as self-help, education and mentorship.

In this article, we cover what personal development skills are, how you can improve your skills and how you can use them in your workplace with relevant examples.

What are personal development skills?

Personal development is a process where you seek to improve your skills on a regular basis. The goal of personal development is to strive for personal and professional growth. You should aim to understand and improve these abilities to attain your full potential.

Related: 15 Key Areas for Development (With Examples and Tips)

Importance of personal development skills

Personal development is important because it helps you create a strategic plan to better yourself in order to meet your personal and professional goals. This plan should be part of your day-to-day routine so that you can achieve the following results:

  • Sense of fulfilment

  • Improve your strengths

  • Work on your weaknesses

  • Advance in your career

Related: How to Set Personal Development Goals (Plus Benefits and Tips)

Examples of personal development skills

Personal development skills can be characteristics and talents you already possess and want to improve upon or ones you can obtain through training and education. Individuals may value various personal development abilities based on their objectives. Here's a list of skills people practice to achieve personal growth:

  • Leadership

  • Work ethic

  • Integrity

  • Adaptability

  • Self-confidence

  • Problem-solving

  • Organisation

  • Interpersonal

  • Communication

Leadership

Leaders have the talent to guide their followers and motivate them to reach shared goals. They improve morale and build confidence.

Work ethic

A good work ethic involves discipline, determination, responsibility, reliability and hard work. Individuals with an admirable work ethic typically are positive and productive.

Related: How To Demonstrate a Strong Work Ethic to Your Employer

Integrity

Honest individuals are trustworthy as they adhere to their values. A person with integrity speaks the truth in spite of the challenges. Such an individual is rewarded with advancement opportunities because of their solid reputation.

Adaptability

An adaptable individual adjusts easily and swiftly to changes and new things. They are able to thrive in all environments and mingle with many types of personalities. In addition, they can remain calm even in a crisis.

Read more: Adaptability Skills: Definition, Examples and Tips

Self-confidence

A confident person believes in their decisions, actions and abilities. They have the assurance to think they can succeed, try new plans and pursue ambitious targets.

Problem-solving

A problem solver has the talent to handle surprising or challenging situations. They can remain calm in the face of obstacles and evaluate all options to select the best answer and solution.

Organisation

Organisational skills include keeping your digital and physical spaces tidy and the ability to schedule, plan and prioritise. These abilities can help to enhance efficiency, prevent miscommunications and save time.

Interpersonal

Also termed social or people skills, interpersonal skills are the nonverbal and verbal reactions and behaviours when engaging with other individuals. They influence the impression you make in social settings and help build relationships with others.

Communication

Good communication skills involve the ability to write, speak and listen effectively. They enable you to convey your feelings and ideas and understand those of others. Excellent communicators can speak confidently and clearly, using an appropriate and positive tone for each situation.

Related: 10 Helpful Tips for Communication Skills in the Workplace

How to enhance your personal development skills

Effective ways to improve your personal development skills include learning new skills, enhancing existing ones, seeking mentorship from others around you and taking classes. These guidelines can help you in your personal development objectives:

  • Get advice from a mentor. Ask a senior person in your company or a professor, manager or someone you admire to be your mentor. You can use their advice, experience and expertise for your own self-development.

  • Meditate. Meditation is a great way to reduce anxiety and stress and gain a sense of clarity. It can assist you to concentrate on your personal development objectives in a calm, positive and healthy way. You can schedule quiet time or regular breaks from work to focus and relax.

  • Maintain a journal. You can write a journal regularly to obtain self-awareness and think about recent conversations, decisions and events. You can keep a paper journal or blog to share your experiences and thoughts. Utilise it to create and evaluate targets and progress.

  • Network actively. Interact with key industry leaders and professionals to learn new concepts and comprehend how to work and communicate with different types of personalities. You can meet individuals and build relationships for your personal and professional growth. Join interest groups and industry organisations to network with people, or attend events and conferences on subjects you are interested in.

  • Observe other people. Take note of the people that inspire you and learn from them. They could be public figures, family members or your supervisors and managers. Identify their admirable qualities and attempt to emulate them.

  • Get feedback. Ask a manager, colleague, friend or family member to provide you feedback about a recent accomplishment or project. Utilise their constructive criticism and positive comments to find ways to improve. You can get different perspectives from their unbiased opinions.

  • Learn new things. Learn new skills or topics by joining a class or watching tutorials online. Some popular subjects include creative writing, coding and language classes. Watch webinars on professional growth subjects like social media marketing or entrepreneurship.

  • Read. Reading extensively is a good way to keep yourself informed and boost your vocabulary and knowledge. It can enhance your critical thinking skills and stimulate your mental faculties. Try to set goals like reading one motivational or educational article each day or a book every month.

  • Overcome your fears. Unfounded fears can hold you back from progressing and growing. For instance, if you're scared of public speaking, you can join a class or group that helps individuals improve their public speaking skills. If you're wary of taking risks, seek advice from a mentor who can help you develop your confidence and make smart decisions. Try new things to learn and grow gradually and steadily. If shyness affects you, try to enter into conversations with strangers at workshops and receptions.

Related: How to Develop Your Skill Set to Advance Your Career

How to practice personal development skills at work

Personal development skills can help you in all aspects of your life. It can also help you to grow in your career. Here are some ways to apply personal development skills at work:

  • Guide your colleagues. A good leader has communication skills, vision and confidence. Aim to build leadership skills to help your team be productive and progress without seeming controlling.

  • Be passionate about your work. A person with an excellent work ethic is determined, reliable and productive. They motivate their peers by completing their work on time.

  • Be honest. Being truthful is the base of a positive and healthy relationship with your supervisors and colleagues. Stick to your values and practice sound ethics. Integrity can enhance your reputation, satisfaction and respect at work.

  • Adapt to changes. A flexible person is able to easily handle changes in life and work. They can work productively both in a team and alone, accept new concepts, function well in a range of conditions and manage several projects simultaneously. Adaptable individuals respond positively to change and can make challenges less strenuous for others involved.

  • Have a sense of self-efficacy. If you are confident about your decisions, you can inspire trust in others. Your positive energy will help motivate and inculcate self-reliance in the people around you. With confidence, you can handle challenges more competently and reach your goals.

  • Work through problems. When handling an issue, evaluate your choices and decide on the ideal solution. Know how to research various scenarios and when to request advice. People who have critical thinking skills and can resolve complex challenges are more capable of making informed decisions in both work and life.

  • Be organised. Plan your tasks ahead of time so that you can finish them efficiently. Learn to prioritise and give importance to important projects first. A well-organised person is able to collaborate effectively with others and meet deadlines.

  • Be a team player. To be a good team player, you need excellent people skills. They enable you to motivate others and collaborate with them. Build your social skills to develop relationships with acquaintances, customers, clients and colleagues of all backgrounds and skill levels.

  • Listen attentively. A competent communicator pays attention to others. Focus on what your clients and coworkers have to say and articulate a carefully thought-out response. Use professional communication and listening skills in all tasks from job interviews to phone conversations.

Related: How To Write a Development Plan (With Example)

How to highlight your personal development skills

Employers love candidates that are motivated intrinsically to succeed on the job. Here's how you can showcase your personal development skills in your resume:

Example

Create a section titled “Skills” in your resume and include both soft and hard skills. List the personal development traits that are applicable to the position with examples of how you applied them in your previous roles. If you possess multiple skills, categorise them appropriately.

Example:

Pertinent skills

Adaptability: Adjusted processes to accommodate added responsibilities, including time tracking and task scheduling.

Organisation: Produced an efficient web-based filing platform for clients utilising colour-coded documents, folders and tags.

Time management: Managed over six projects simultaneously and completed all of them within deadlines.

Related: 20 Positive Traits To Demonstrate in the Workplace

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