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Personal & Professional Development


The personal and professional development is a process through which the skills, ability and competency of an individual can be improved. In this rapidly changing environment it is essential to identify the strengths and weaknesses. The optimum utilization of personal and professional development plan will help in overcoming the weaknesses. This report aims to study the contribution of self-managed learning in lifelong development and focuses on acquired interpersonal and transferrable skills by reviewing one’s own skills. The report highlights various learning styles to overcome problems and communication at various managerial levels.

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Identifying approaches to self managed learning

The self-managed learning process refers to process where an individual attains learning while working on different subjects. This process helps an individual to set the goal for life and identifies the situation through which the desired goals can be attained. The self learning process is an ongoing process that keeps with an individual throughout his lifetime. The approaches to self managed learning are: Social networking sites, internet, conferences and seminars, etc. through these approaches individual gains knowledge to manage the skills and attitude. This also helps an individual to acquire self learning (Freese and Samaras, 2006).

Learning against aims and objectives set in the development plan

The knowledge can be acquired by developmental process to enhance the skills and learning ability. The training session helped me in developing the leadership ability and now I am able to effectively manage the team. The knowledge about current issues was acquired through books, journals, newspaper, etc. I am able to manage multiple activities by guidance and consultation of experts. This also helped me in time management (Rhoton, Bowers and Shane, 2001).

While preparing the developmental plan attention was given and the feedback helped in highlighting the mistakes. Rescheduling of activities is required to overcome the weakness and it is not possible to implement the plan in short period. The program was evaluated on the short term. The communication is required for proper flow of information in the company. The process of implementing the developmental plan will be affected by high cost of the plan and less time availability (Elliott, 2011).


In this paper, the organization taken into consideration is Intercontinental Hotel. It is well known for its luxurious services and customer satisfaction. It has 4600 hotels in more than 100 countries. The intercontinental hotel group plc is a public limited company. The brand reputation of the company is very high. Being a part of this group will assist a lot in the personal and professional development and the company also focuses highly on the development of its employees (Our history, 2013). The work based problem faced by the employees of hotel relates to the lack of skilled and trained employees.

The work based problem can be solved through various techniques. The techniques such as seminars, conferences, workshops, brainstorming sessions, leadership development program, employee recognition programs, etc. helps in resolving various issue. The work based problems at the Intercontinental hotel can be solved by organizing seminars, conferences, workshops and brainstorming session for the employees. The hotel operates in more than 100 countries and employs people from varied places, cultural background, cast, language, etc. The hotel should conduct the brainstorming session (Guskey, 2000).

The brainstorming session is defined as the group creativity technique where the members of the group formulate a solution for the problem by their combined efforts. The use of this technique will provide a chance to all the group members in developing their skills and in enhancing their knowledge.

The seminars and conferences can be conducted by the hotel in order to improve the communication and the interpersonal skills of the employees. The seminars and conferences will also enable the competency and the ability of the employees for understanding the clients from different cultural background (Day, and et.al., 2007). The information can be communicated by the company at different levels of management such as strategic, tactical and operational level (Paul and McDaniel, 2004.).

Assertive communication style: This form of communication is considered as the healthiest form of communication in which the communication is very clear and precise and does not include any kind of manipulation of the facts and figures. In other words, this style states that a person can communicate confidently by not resorting to games or manipulation. The assertive style of communication is born of high self esteem. This style is considered as the most healthiest and effective communication style (Sahlberg, 2009). This style of communication is mostly used by the top management for deriving the solutions for work based problems. In this, the person knows himself and do not push beyond, just because of sake of others or because someone else needs something from us. The behavioral characteristics of this style include:

  • Achievement of goals without hurting others
  • Expressive socially and emotionally
  • Accept the compliments
  • Make choices and take responsibilities 

These above characteristic must be included in the interpersonal and transferable skills of the top management. Thus it will help in solving the work related problems in an organization

Submissive style of communication: The submissive style of communication is mostly used at the lower level of management or the operational level. This style is about avoiding the conflicts and pleasing the other people. In this, individual behaves in a manner that the demand and the needs of the people are very much vital for him and other people have more rights and more to contribute. The behavior of the person following this style of communication has characteristics such as: feelings and desire are not expressed, avoids confrontation, and finds difficulty in taking responsibility or decisions, blaming others for failure of any event or task, refuses to take compliments and so on.

Aggressive communication style: This style of communication is used by the middle level managers or the tactical level. This style is all about winning and may include winning at the expense of someone else. The person behaves aggressively and considers his own needs as the most important one. This style includes manipulation of facts and figures. The person involved in this communication style accomplishes his work by making use of pressure on employees or by insulting them (Bandura, 2002.). The individual are only concerned about their work and completes it anyhow. The behavioral characteristics of this style of communication are that the person is willing to attain the goals at the expense of others, loud and hostile, demanding, unpredictable, explosive, etc. this style proves to be ineffective as the content of the message may get dissolved as people to whom it is communicated are busy in reacting the way it’s being delivered. This style of communication may lead to stress as it offends others and negative reactions are delivered. All the above styles use various verbal and non verbal communication ways.

Time management refers to the process of planning of control over time to be spent on the particular tasks and activities in order to enhance the effectiveness, efficiency and productivity of the person. The time can be managed by using various tools and techniques while accomplishing the tasks, projects and to comply with the goals on a given date. Time management also includes personal activities.

With time, the effectiveness of the message may get deployed. It is also possible that the information or the message delivered is of no use after a specific period of time and thus its validity gets exploited (Myths about Stress and Time Management, 2013). Several strategies and techniques assist in managing the time such as setting priorities, using planning tools, getting organized, scheduling the time appropriately, delegating the work to others, optimizing each and every activity by breaking it into the smaller tasks, planning routine activities in an appropriate manner. The three time management strategies are.

SWOT Analysis

The best way to encourage the lifelong learning for the personal as well as professional development is by analyzing one’s own strengths and weaknesses. Through SWOT analysis the information regarding the opportunities can be provided which will help in the achievement of goals and eradicating the issue and challenges that might occur in future. The area that requires improvement can be identified by evaluating our own weaknesses. The edge over our competitors can be created by grabbing the available opportunities.

Self reflecting learning: The lifelong learning in the personal and professional development can be encouraged with the help of self reflecting process. One can gain knowledge regarding the increased use of different skills at a workplace with the help of self reflective learning. The enhanced and improved knowledge, skills and ability in varied fields will guide the individual to work on more challenges (Penuel and et. al., 2007).

Apprenticeships:the apprenticeship helps an individual to gain specific knowledge about the field in which he wishes to pursue his future relating to the particular interest area.

Linking higher education with industry: The most suitable way to enhance the lifelong development of individual is to integrate the higher education with the industry in which one desires to work (Sahlberg, 2009).

There are various learning styles such as Kolb’s learning cycle, reflexive modernization theory, pragmatic and activist theory, etc. Kolb’s proposed a theory of experiential learning which proves highly useful in developing practice. This cycle comprises of four various stages of learning from experience. It suggests that it s not essential to have experience for learning. Kolb’s model consists of four stages: concrete experience, reflective observation, abstract conceptualization, active experimentation (Kolb's Learning Styles, 2010). Pragmatic learning style is one in which the person is keen to test various thins by practicing, and is practical and realistic. The individual follows technique oriented approach. In activist learning style, the person is flexible and open-minded and enjoys new situations. The person is optimistic and does not resist changes (Learning styles, 2013).

There is need to invest heavily in the learning and the development with the increase in pressure of results. The company cannot develop the skills even after making huge benefits, until the person is interested in learning. The self managed learning proves to be vital at this stage. The initiative from individual to learn will provide positive outcome for both individual and company. There are several benefits of self-managed learning to the individual and organization such as:

Benefits to individual

  • The communication skills of individual is enhanced by self managed learning
  • Self managed learning assists in improving the time managed skills
  • The learning, research and the analytical thinking skills are also enhanced through self managed learning (McKenna, 2004).
  • The team work skills of a person can be improved through self managed learning
  • The motivational level of the individual is also increased after the completion of self managed session of learning.
  • Helpful in achievement of goals.

Benefits to organization

  • The objective and goals of the company can be achieved effectively as employees develop self managed learning.
  • The improvement is observed in the work quality which is highly benefiting the organization.
  • There is effectiveness in decision making and best decisions are taken for the company.
  • The performance of the employees is enhanced through skill development which further benefits the working in an organization (Schrock and Cydulka, 2006).


From the above discussion, it can be concluded that the development of personal and professional skills are very essential for the organization. The organizational goals can be attained by an individual through their personal and professional development. These skills can be developed by using several techniques.


Books and journals

  • Books and journals Hager, J. P. and Holland, S., 2006. Graduate Attributes, Learning And Employability. Springer.
  • Klein, M., 2005. Survival Analysis: A Self-learning Text. 2nd ed. Springer.
  • McKenna, S., 2004. Predispositions and context in the development of managerial skills. Journal of Management Development, 23(7), pp.664 – 677.
  • Paul, L. D., and McDaniel, R. R., 2004. A field study of the effect of interpersonal trust on virtual collaborative relationship performance. MIS Quarterly, 28(2), pp.183-227.
  • Penuel, R. W., and et. al., 2007. What makes professional development effective? Strategies that foster curriculum implementation. American Educational Research Journal, 44(4), pp.921-958.
  • Repa, K. B., 2010. Your Rights in the Workplace. 9th ed. Nolo.
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