November 14, 2018



In this fast-paced way of life that we live, some people may find it hard to focus on all the goals that they have set for themselves. I came across an article recently that asked the question "Why do we separate our personal development goals and our career goals?" Looking at it, it seems absurd, yet most of us do it.

Project Goals vs Personal Goals

Everyone has personal goals that want to achieve and work at. In addition, every project has certain goals that need to be met. So how do we go about aligning both, so we can "kill two birds with one stone", as so to speak? The following steps are a loose set of guidelines that you can use in order to try to do this.

  1. First, you need to identify what the personal goal of your team member is. Often this will be something very high level, such as becoming an Enterprise Architect.
  2. Once the personal goal is understood, you then need to make it less abstract, and with them, break it down a few levels so that you can identify individual skills that they don't have today or need to improve on. This makes it much more actionable.
  3. Once you have a set of skills to work on, choose one of them to work with and improve on. By the way, their progress on this is also a good  point of discussion in your 1:1 sessions with them.
  4. You then need to try to connect their day-to-day work with their personal goals. You will also need to identify what they are good at and work out what they can help with in order to make the project a success.
  5. Lastly, one thing you can also try is to ask them "What is some of the work in the past that you missed, or worked on, that was/would have been beneficial to you?". This will help you with some ideas on some work that they would enjoy & benefit from.

One thing to remember is that you need some time to process the information in order to come up with a good plan. It is okay to say that you don't know the answer, or what to do next. That is far better than giving some superficial response

There is no personal growth goal that can be solved in 5 minutes

In the past, leaders may have been seen as always having the answers, but nowadays I believe that the more important ability is to ask the right questions. As a leader, we feel compelled to look smart and we default to giving answers. Being real and authentic, by struggling through a problem and saying you don't know the answer, can go a long way in building a strong relationship. It has been said that the best leaders are the ones that care for you. So be sure to take the time and help your team members grow.

Until next time keep learning!