Seeking opportunities to help others set developmental goals, encourage them, give them opportunities to apply new skills, and provide them with developmental feedback.


Most people want to grow and develop. Most people have aspirations and want to perform well. Without a leaders time, interest and effort, their staff will not grow much. People can't develop themselves without help. People won't grow if the leader/organization shows no interest and offers no support. People won't grow if you don't make it a priority.

Therefore encourage one another and build one another up, just as you are doing.1 Thessalonians 5:11

Skilled Characteristics

  • Challenger

    Provides challenging and stretching tasks and assignments

  • Reflection

    Holds frequent discussions about learning and development

  • Awareness

    Is aware of each person’s career goals

  • Planner

    Helps others to create motivational development plans

  • Inspires

    Encourages and motivates people to accept developmental opportunities

  • Mentor

    Serves as a mentor, personally spending time teaching, encouraging, and challenging others

  • Developer

    Is a people builder and believes in them and their potential

“Treat people as if they were what they ought to be and you help them to become what they are capable of being.” – Goethe

Unskilled Characteristics

  • Task Focused

    Focused on tasks more than on relationships

  • Results Focused

    Very results driven and tactical; no time for long-term development

  • Short-Term Thinker

    Doesn’t see the long-term value and benefit of ongoing staff development

  • Untrusting

    Won’t assign really difficult or important work to others

  • Not Hands-On

    Thinks that development is going to a training course—doesn’t know how personal development and growth really happens

  • Non-Communicative

    May not know the aspirations of people, may not hold career discussions or provide coaching, may not push people to take their development seriously

  • Talent Finder

    May prefer to recruit people who already have skills and experience rather than develop it in their existing staff

How do you encourage the ongoing development of your staff?

Causes of Weakness

  • Doubt

    Does not believe people really ever change or develop

  • Not My Job

    Does not believe it’s his/her role to develop others

  • No Time

    Does not prioritize time for ongoing development of staff – prioritizes ‘work’ first

  • Lack Training

    Does not know how to develop people

What are your plans to intentionally develop your staff this year?


Review the simple application steps below and choose 1 or 2 things you can do to spur yourself on to further growth.

  • Invest Time

    INVEST TIME: Set aside time as part of your leadeship role to invest in people: yearly appraisals, career discussions, creating a development plan with them, daily feedback. Serve as a coach and mentor.

  • Appraisal

    APPRAISAL: You can’t help anyone develop if you can’t or aren’t willing to fairly and accurately appraise people. Appraisals start with the best picture of a person’s current strengths and weaknesses. Then you need to know what competencies they need to develop going forward.

  • Feedback

    FEEDBACK: People need continuous feedback from you and others to grow. Arrange for your staff to get feedback from multiple people, including yourself, on what matters for success in their future roles. Arrange for your direct reports to get 360º feedback every year or two. Give your staff progressively stretching tasks. If your staff have direct reports and peers, ask their associates for comments on what they should stop doing, start doing, and keep doing to be more successful.

  • Mentor

    MENTOR: Mentor people. Encourage people to write down their goals, objectives, and development needs. How often will you meet with them? On what topics does the person want/need mentoring? What are the expectations of the person to be mentored?

  • Development Plans

    DEVELOPMENT PLANS: Help people to identify and match their developmental goals to challenging tasks or assisgnment that they want to try, training or workshops they want to attend, books to read, and people to seek out as mentors.

  • Delegate

    DELEGATE: Delegate tasks to people that will help them get experience in areas where they want or need to develop.

  • Patterns

    PATTERNS: Help people look for patterns in their situations and problems they deal with. What succeeded and what failed? What was common to each success or what was present in each failure but never present in a success? Focus on the successes.. Help them reduce insights to principles or rules of thumb that might be repeatable. Ask them what they have learned to increase their skills and understanding, making them better staff and leaders. Ask them what they can do now that they couldn’t do a year ago. Reinforce this and encourage more of it.

  • Challenge

    CHALLENGE: Convince people that taking on new challenging assignments is good for them. Be a leader that champions learning and growth. Offer people opportunities for new work or projects that expand and challenge their perspectives and experience.