Professional and Personal Development

What Is Professional Development?
Professional development refers to many types of educational experiences related to an individual’s work.  Doctors, lawyers, educators, accountants, engineers, and people in a wide-variety of professions and businesses participate in professional development to learn and apply new knowledge and skills that will improve their performance on the job.  Professional development is the ONE successful strategy most organizations have to strengthen performance levels.  Those who receive professional development (e.g. teachers) demonstrate positive-changes in skills, knowledge, attitudes, and behaviors.  The new professional practice will be sustained as part of the professionals’ career skills, ultimately positively-affecting the growth and direction of the organization.

Our Principles of Professional Development
We believe these four principles, if followed, can lead to successful and productive professional development.  These four principles are based on the tenets of adult-learning and the fundamental belief that all professionals bring strengths to the profession and want to achieve success and personal career satisfaction.

Principle 1:  Build on foundation of skills, knowledge and expertise.  Professional development must build upon the current foundation of basic skills, knowledge, and the areas of expertise of the personnel involved.  Our professional development workshop links new knowledge and activities with what the attendees already know and are able to do, and this will extend their thinking and productivity.  Those attending the professional development workshop will bring with them different experiences, knowledge and skills.  We provide attendee activities, which meet the current level of expertise, the needs of the attendees, and we develop and provide the appropriate materials.

Principle 2:  We engage attendees as learners.  Our professional development program includes rich and varied opportunities that engage employees as learners, as well as the opportunity to apply new skills and knowledge.  Professional development is effective when the materials are presented in a hands-on manner, using techniques that suit various learning styles.  In addition, we provide attendees the time to try out new methods in a safe environment, before either moving to another topic or attempting the method in the workplace.

Principle 3:  We provide practice, feedback and follow-up after our training sessions with clients.  Our professional development programs offer educational personnel opportunities for (1), practicing the new skills, strategies and techniques  (2), providing feedback on their performance and (3), continuing to follow-up on client activities.  Principle 3 reinforces the precept that information about skills and knowledge must be presented to attendees in a manner that allows them to link new information to their current knowledge and skills, and this allows them to construct their own interpretations.  Our Interactive, hands-on approaches to professional development make use of the sound principles of adult learning.  Modeling specific skills with practice sessions will allow attendees to actively develop new meanings from the new information learned.  Finally, a period of workplace application followed by formal observation and feedback should be used to reinforce the development of new skills.

Principle 4:  We measure the changes in attendees knowledge and skills.  Successful and effective professional development should be manifested by measurable increases in participant knowledge and skills.  The evaluation of a participant’s knowledge and skills is essential to the effectiveness of the professional development program.  In order to evaluate attendees, an appropriate amount and variety of information about what participants do and their effect on people are collected.

What Is Personal Development?
Personal development is a lifelong process.  It is a way for people to assess and utilize their skills and qualities, consider their aims in life, and set goals in order to realize and maximize their potential.

What We Teach About Personal Development
We discuss personal change and how personal development is a key motivator and factor in our attendees’ lives.  After all, personal development is the process of improving one’s self.  We focus on expanding self-awareness, increasing self-knowledge, discovering the individual’s identity, realizing passions and dreams, cultivating potential, enhancing the quality of life, and fulfilling professional aspirations.  All of these factors admittedly demonstrate to attendees the importance of personal development, and this gives them the desire to adopt this important aspect into their lives.  This commitment to personal development will change lives for the better.  The professional and personal lives people dream to achieve, a considerably happier and more fulfilling life than they may have presently, is waiting for them to make the first move.  Take that first step, and they’ll never look back.  Everything they’ve ever wanted can be achieved, and all they have to do is change their thoughts, take control, and integrate personal development into their lives.