Six Aspects of Career Development

When moving along a professional path there are certain periods or better to say cross-roads when several questions can come to mind:

  • What position would I like in a couple of months or years?
  • What skills could be useful to develop?
  • Would it be good to have an office near my home to avoid spending lots of time in traffic jams?
  • What kinds of people would I like to see around me?
  • Why not try something new?
And etc.
To address these questions and explore the situation from different angles you can use Dilts Pyramid of Neurological Levels. The purpose of the exercise is to evaluate where you are now, where you would like to be and what is the difference between those two stages. I am using this tool from time to time for myself and for project members that are coached by the Agile Practice. It helps you to see what exactly you should be doing to get to the required destination. Note, if you are going to use this tool, please allocate 40-60 minutes for it because the process needs time and concentration and only then it brings value.

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Exercise - Session I:

1. The first point of investigation is the environment. Types of Questions: Where, When, Who and with Whom, etc.
Ask yourself the following:
  • What is your work surroundings: people, places, etc?
  • With whom do you interact with most of the time, who you report to, who reports to you?
  • What are the benefits and limitations of your current work environment?
Write down your answers to all the questions as go along the exercise, as you will need them at a later stage in the exercise

2. The second step is about behavior and the following questions can come to mind: What, How, Which?
  • How is your behavior?
  • What you do in your work environment?
  • What do you think, say, or hear?
  • Which actions of your colleagues impact you and how do your actions impact others?
3. Going further we should pay attention to the skills we have: How?
  • How do you go about doing things?
  • How are you able to do what you are doing?
4. Reflecting on a deeper level can help us to identify what values and believes we have shared and understood in a current position/team. Why?
  • Why do you do something?
  • Why do you believe in something?
  • Why do you like or dislike what you are doing?
5. At the next stage we can ask:
  • What kind of person has such environment, behavior, skills, beliefs? A professional, a master, a good specialist? and etc.
6. At the top of this process we define the mission we implement. Mission is something you belong to, it's bigger than a personal identity. E.g. your mission can be about growing and developing into a technical specialist or making work of others easier, or providing the world with innovation
  • What is the mission of the person with such an identity, values, skills, behavior and environment?
  • What inspires you and gives meaning and purpose to your daily work?
When you have answered all the questions describing your current professional situation, let’s talk about your intentions.

Exercise - Session II:

Moving from the top (mission) go to the bottom (environment) asking yourself similar questions about a desired mission, identification, believes and etc.

Exercise - Analysis:

While doing the exercise, fill in the following matrix, it will help you to summarize the output.

Environment
  • How are your work surroundings: people, places, etc?
  • Who do you interact with most of the time, who you report to, who reports to you?
  • What are the benefits and limitations of your current work environment?
Behavior
  • How is your behavior?
  • What you do in your work environment?
  • What do you think, say, or hear?
  • Which actions of colleagues impact you and how and which of your actions impact others?
Competence
  • What is the role of the person that has such an environment, behavior, skills, believes?
Beliefs and Values
  • Why do you do something?
  • Why do you believe in something?
  • Why do you like or dislike what you are doing?
Identity
  • Who is the person that has such environment, behavior, skills, believes? A professional, a master, a good specialist? and etc.
Mission

  • What is the mission of the person with such identity, values, skills, behavior and environment?
  • What inspires you and gives meaning and purpose to your daily work?
Compare the results and work out specific action items in order to archive the desired state.

P.s. This technique can be performed not only in a verbal mode, but also in a format of a body game, that can be used for environment, behavior, skills etc. for changes to be integrated into your future. If you are interested in how this game works in practice and you are in Kiev office, contact me and I will show you.

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