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Effective communication in the workplace
Effective communication in the workplace

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6 Creating a personal development plan

An image of a small plant in soil, bathed in sunlight.
Figure 5 Watch your plan grow throughout the course.

Research suggests that creating a plan will make it more likely that you achieve your goals.

So you’ll finish each week of this course by identifying opportunities to practice and further develop your communication skills. You will be able to follow a structured process called personal development planning.

To find out more, watch this video on personal development planning produced by the Open University’s Careers and Employability team:

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Video 5
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The video explains the five main steps of personal development planning, which are:

  1. identifying an area of development
  2. planning what to develop
  3. taking action
  4. recording achievements
  5. reviewing what has been learned.

Activity 6 Personal development planning

Timing: Allow 20 minutes for this activity

Download and save this Personal development planning table [Tip: hold Ctrl and click a link to open it in a new tab. (Hide tip)] . You can use this table to plan your long, medium and short-term goals.

Choose a goal that reflects what you have learned about this week and work through the table. For example, you might want to think about an aspect of miscommunication that you’d like to avoid in the future.

Long term goal: Avoid miscommunication

Short and medium termAction requiredConstraintsResources – who or what can help me?Target dates for action
Make sure I always consider the perspective of the person I’m communicating withAsk others for their view before I present my ownForgetting to do it in the heat of the momentI could ask a trusted colleague to observe my approach in meetings etc. and give me feedbackStart on Monday with this new approach

You will be using this approach to goal setting each week throughout the course.


This is an ongoing process, and one which may help you to identify other skills that you wish to improve or develop as you progress through the course.

Next week you will have the opportunity to understand goal setting in more detail. Each week thereafter you will review your progress and identify whether you wish to add any more to your plan.