Professional Development

He who fails to plan is planning to fail. —proverbial saying

Failure to plan is not an option for you as an independent scholar at Walden University. Indeed, you are already actively engaged in your personal planning; throughout this course, you will continue to make plans to achieve success. You began by completing your personal SWOT analysis in Week 1. During the completion of this activity, you examined your personal strengths and weaknesses to understand your level of preparedness and rationale for enrolling in this doctoral program. You then developed your Personal Learning Network (PLN) plan in Week 4. In that plan, you included sample text similar to what you would use to create your LinkedIn and/or Twitter profile. You listed five individuals or groups to add to your network, and you included your rationale for adding each individual or group to your PLN. Now you will complete your Professional Development Plan (PDP) by creating three goals and a list of the resources you will use and steps you plan to take to achieve those goals.

As you know, a plan that contains your primary goals is incomplete unless you match the appropriate resources that can help you achieve those goals. You will do that this week as you assess your leadership strengths and weaknesses, give and receive constructive feedback, and harness the power of technology and social media to promote your PDP.

Learning Objectives

Independent scholars will:

· Assess personal leadership strengths and weaknesses to foster professional development

· Critique peer self-assessment to support leadership development

· Create a Professional Development Plan (PDP) to support doctoral study

· Examine technology and social media to support professional development goals

Discussion: Leadership Style and Constructive Feedback

All of us by nature easily fall in love with our own ideas, our own words. Excellence is born of intelligent criticism. And maturity is the product of the self-confidence that seeks, accepts and benefits from criticism. —William Marsteller, Creative Management: A Euphemism for Common Sense

Regardless of your professional status, effective communication—particularly the giving and receiving of effective feedback—is vital for the achievement of your goals. Whether your feedback is meant to inspire, motivate, resolve an issue, congratulate, or reprimand, you can achieve positive outcomes given the right delivery. Even in circumstances when you need to deliver difficult constructive feedback to someone, good communication skills can facilitate the recipient’s willing acceptance of your message. Giving and receiving constructive feedback is the norm throughout this doctoral program. For some doctoral scholars, it is second nature to give and receive constructive feedback, while others struggle for various reasons. You are gaining experience with this process during each weekly Discussion and, in some instances, your feedback experience is unique, such as in the “Pretend You Are the Instructor” Discussion you completed. Nevertheless, there are countless individuals who will provide you with feedback and many to whom you will give feedback. Developing the tactful skills of communication often takes practice, and understanding your personal leadership style is helpful.

This week you will assess your leadership style, and you will give and receive constructive feedback during your Discussion concerning the outcomes of your assessment. Additionally, you will construct your Personal Development Plan as a guide for your success.

To prepare for this Discussion, review the materials in the Learning Resources and complete “The New Drivers of Leadership” Self-Assessment, adapted from Casse (2014).

Post a 400 word assessment of your results. In your assessment, do the following:

· Summarize your findings, including your scores for each Driver (energy, focus, speed, and challenge).

· Evaluate the validity of this assessment, including whether you agree or disagree with the scores.

· Explain how self-assessments such as the one you completed can help you “know [yourself] in terms of strengths and weaknesses” (Casse, 2014, p. 30).

· Delineate the measures you will take to improve your leadership competencies.

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