How do I create a development plan for my team members?
In this Is This Mic On? we tackle the question, “How do I create a development plan for my team members?” Read on to hear what we had to say about listening, planning in partnership, and individual responsibility.
Ups and downs. That’s been the theme for my team (every team?) the past year and a half. But we’ve finally adjusted. There’s Focus. There’s structure. There’s, dare I say, enthusiasm? I want to build on this momentum, channel my inner Ciara, and have my team level up (..level up, level up, level up). I’d like to help them create development plans, but where do I even start?
– Next Level
Dear Next Level
We’ve learned a lot. And we continue to learn a lot (that growth mindset does not sleep, if we are lucky!). One thing we did learn: that focus, structure, enthusiasm that your team has wasn’t all a result of your work. It wasn’t the accomplishment of you alone. It was a collective victory. Now, you did play a key role. As a leader, you kept your hand on the wheel while creating an environment that allowed your team to surface solutions, ideas, and new ways of working. Collective intelligence is the power that comes from leveraging a diversity of voices and comes from a leader having the presence of mind to know that good ideas are title, tenure, and age agnostic.
Creating A Development Plan:
So go back to your (newly planted) roots and ask them:
- What do you love to do?
- What do you want to do more of?
- What will you do to get there?
- How can we support you?
Remember: we’ve learned a lot. We’ve flexed new muscles this year. Team members have worked in new ways, on new projects, with new people. Their answer to “what do you love” may be quite different than it was last year, two years ago. So start there. Get curious. Ask again. Listen.
2- Planning in Partnership & Individual Responsibility
Then, create development plans in partnership with your team members. The responsibility of managing one’s leveling up…is that person. For example, you’re responsible for you, not your manager. Similarly, each person on your team is primarily responsible for their own leveling up.
You’re there to play a role in this part of their career journey. Help find new projects. Identify the skills that will get them to their there. Maybe create a learning experience for your team in a training or connect your high-performing team members (aren’t they all?!) with a leadership coach for 1:1 coaching to spend dedicated time on their own skill development.
But first: ask them.
Keep your hand on the steering wheel. Your team is brilliant, high-performing, solution-oriented, resilient. Trust they’ll be that for their own career and development – you just need to open the conversation.