Effective communication in the workplace
Effective communication in the workplace

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Effective communication in the workplace

6 Creating a personal development plan

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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:

Download this video clip.Video player: Video 5
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Transcript: Video 5

What is personal development planning? Personal development planning is a process which can help you to achieve your goals in three key areas, your career and employability, your study, and your personal development. The time and effort you invest in planning around these areas will enable you to continue developing effectively throughout your life.
So what does personal development planning involve? There are five stages. Identify. First, identify your strengths, the skills you wish to develop, and then set yourself realistic goals for each area you wish to focus on, careers and employability, study, or personal development. Are there smaller short-term goals that will lead to your larger goals?
Plan. Plan what resources you need and when you intend to work on the goals that you've set. Think about how much time you have available each week. Be realistic to ensure your plans are achievable.
Action. Carry out the tasks you've set yourself for each goal. And be aware of any new skills that you're picking up along the way.
Record. Record how the process is going, the progress you've made, and the skills that you're gaining. Where might you need to develop further? Recording your insights will help to inform your CVs, job applications, and developmental reviews. It may also reveal other aspects involved in achieving your goals.
Review. Take a step back. Collate everything that you've recorded and review what you've learned. You should be more aware of your skills, and also be able to identify the next area or skill for development.
Remember that this process is flexible. You may identify new areas for development at any time, or realise that you've gained a new skill through your work or day-to-day activities. It's important to record what you've achieved and use each stage of the process to help you develop further.
End transcript: Video 5
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 term Action required Constraints Resources – who or what can help me? Target dates for action
Make sure I always consider the perspective of the person I’m communicating with Ask others for their view before I present my own Forgetting to do it in the heat of the moment I could ask a trusted colleague to observe my approach in meetings etc. and give me feedback Start 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.


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