In recent posts, we explored the ins and outs of professional development. We discussed how you can support employees’ career goals, examples of professional development goals, and professional development platforms. But how can you become the best version of yourself as a manager?
In this post, we will go over some examples of professional development goals for leaders. While these examples focus on employees, they also translate well to leaders who are working with volunteers.
Vital learning explains that managers should have six key goals:
- Enhance communication: great communication skills can turn a manager into a coach and a mentor. Learn how to give productive criticism and lift up your employees.
- Develop coaching skills: as Minnesota Senator Paul Wellstone said, we all do better when we all do better. No one comes into an organization knowing all of its ins and outs. Your job as a manager is to make your team better and more united.
- Work on motivating: positive reinforcement builds trust between you and your employees and it makes criticism more digestible when they know you appreciate them.
- Be more productive: “Leading from behind” is a crucial practice that shows you are with them. Set a good example by being efficient and demonstrating care in your work, and when your employees need help, lend a hand.
- Be more flexible: As a manager, your focus should be on supporting your employees. It is important that you are adapting to their needs and the organization’s needs in order to have a productive, unified team.
- Improve retention: By leading from behind and working to motivate employees, you will improve your retention rate. Continuously work to be a boss your employees want to work for.
Think through which of these goals may help you become a better manager and put them into action. In a previous post, we discussed how to set a professional development goal. The Education Service Center of Lake Erie West laid out a framework (PDF) to properly set what they call IPDP (Individual Professional Development Plan). This includes:
- An area of focus. What do you want to accomplish?
- An action. What action will you take to get there?
- Why? Why do you want to achieve this goal?
In your case, a goal like this may look something like this:
I want to learn how to give more positive reinforcement so that I can build trust between my employees and me.
According to Indeed, setting goals for yourself shows your team the importance of developing their own goals. Professional development goals also help define the values of your organization. If you take the time to set some professional development goals, you will become an even better manager than you were before.