Self-development – Development of one’s own capabilities or possibilities – Webster Dictionary

One of the things that puts a skip in my step, a twinkle in my eye and new energy in my being, is the opportunity to witness someone’s growth and development or transformation. There is nothing more fulfilling than to be involved in such success. These experiences often allows me to step back in gratitude and say “wow”!

In order to grow from one level to another, however, one must work, sweat and exert effort. It starts with the willingness to be honest about one’s bad habits, flaws, unpleasant characteristics or behaviours.

Here is a brief true story that inspired me when it happened.

One day I left my office and on my way to another section of the building I encountered an employee who appeared to be upset. The employee was expressing their anger out loud in the presence of non-employees. I went up close to the employee and quietly asked them to calm down pointing out that the environment was not the right one for such expressions. The employee listened and calmed herself and proceeded to complete what she was doing.

About 15 minutes after, she reported to my office in tears and proceeded to explain what transpired before. She indicated that she had an encounter with another employee and did not like how she was spoken to; she became really upset as a result. I listened to her story and then proceeded to point out that she needed to be assertive enough to tell the person how she felt.

I proposed that she proceed to do so as it can help the individual to grow. The following morning I heard a knock on my door, it was the said employee coming to inform me that she did take my advice and was pleasantly surprised how well she was received. She was apologized to and the person who offended her even requested her to act as her “buddy-checker” . As a “buddy-checker” she would be responsible for pointing out similar behaviours if and when it rises, keeping the person in check.

There is much more I can share but I want to pause here and zoom into the take-aways from this incident, providing tips for self development.

TAKE-AWAY NO. 1 – Do not shy away from confrontation when it offers you an opportunity to address something that is making you uncomfortable or is hindering you from developing a healthy relationship with someone else. Don’t stifle the discomfort hoping that the unpleasant behaviour experienced never occurs again. Initiate a conversation.

TAKE-AWAY NO. 2 – When someone approaches you and begins to express how you have offended them, be sure to fight the urge to become defensive. Listen to what the person has to say and immediately try stepping into their shoes; switch places in an effort to understand their perspective. Don’t allow pride to takeover.

TAKE-AWAY NO. 3 – It is a great idea to ask someone to help you develop by being the one to promptly pull you aside and alert you when you are slipping or showing tendencies of repeating unhealthy behaviours. It can be that nudge that is needed to help you outgrow bad habits and develop your character.

TAKE-AWAY No. 4 – Many times the opportunity for growth is found when we are willing to examine ourselves and admit that there are some things about our behaviour, personality or character that are unpleasant; selfish behaviours that fail to uplift others. Do not be ashamed to embrace the cracks in your life that needs fixing. Seek to be more concerned about becoming more like Christ and thereby building healthy relationships with others.

In addition to the take-aways above look for books or articles to read that would help you to grow. You can visit this blog for more inspiration!

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