Self-development as a Training Method
During the 1980s and 1990s, self-development has moved from the periphery of development activity into the mainstream of management and business development. This can be attributed at least in part to advances in information technology, which have made it more possible to deliver training directly to individuals at their workstations. Increasingly, training and development programmes will include some self-development element in their overall design and delivery. Here are just a few thoughts about the role which self-development can play in the overall development 'mix' within your organization.
Why self-development is attractive
The attraction of self-development for organizations is that:
The attraction for those undergoing self-development is that:
Uses of self-development
Individuals might use self-development to:
In each case self-development is, for the individual concerned, an effective and personally controlled way to achieve what is required.
A common misconception
A common misconception is the belief that, because self-development is personally managed, it needs also to be carried out in isolation from others. This is not necessarily true. Self-development can be:
The learning skills required
Self-development is learning or development activity in which learners themselves take the primary responsibility for choosing what, when and how to learn. This requires some specific learning skills on the part of the individual:
Some initial training and guidance may be required to help raise learners' awareness and understanding of what self-development requires of them as individuals. Ultimately, however, the responsibility for practicing and acquiring proficiency in these learning skills rests very much with the individual. Individuals undergoing self-development have the freedom to choose what they will learn. This implies that they also have the freedom to choose not to develop particular skills or knowledge. Such freedom carries with it the responsibility for the results of such choices. As part of their initial preparation for self-development, individual learners may need to be made aware that they have a responsibility to ensure that they:
The question of choice is paramount in self-development. Self-development methods are any of the methods which learners may choose to use, in achieving identified development goals. A key role for trainers is to ensure that learners are aware of the wide range of both formal and informal opportunities which exist for self-development. Information on opportunities and methods can be included as part of the learner's initial briefing and preparation for self-development. Possible self-development methods include the following:
Trainers need to be proactive, both in providing resources and materials, and in seeking opportunities to ''invite' learners to seek guidance and support where appropriate. Trainers must, however, avoid being overly prescriptive, as this may constrain and inhibit the learner. When starting out, there are number of key concerns which learners may have about their self-development. Key questions which learners may ask include:
Trainers may also need to consider setting up a 'Study Centre' containing books, articles, videos, case-studies and other materials which may be useful to learners. In setting up a facility of this kind, key issues which trainers may need to take into account include:
For more information...
DBA is an experienced designer and developer of self-study materials to be used for self-development. If you would like to know more about how we can help to develop materials which are relevant to your organization's needs, please get in touch and we will be glad to give you further information. You can contact us by post, telephone, fax or by e-mail.