What are the top three areas you want or need to grow to live a better life — both professionally and personally life. I can guarantee you at least one of those growth opportunities is not an issue at work, but it comes to work with you every day.
That is why Total Person Development (TPD) is the future of leadership development. You don’t just hire the work person, you hire the total person. To optimize every employee’s performance, you need to develop the total person.
The TPD concept was not something companies did much of when I started my career. For years, most companies focused on developing only the hard skills (technical skills to do the job) while hoping their employees would figure out their personal issues.
This approach, however, is insufficient in driving better performance. Why? The problems they faced at home significantly impacted their work performance. So much so that the hardskill development was doing little to improve their total performance.
As leaders, the goal is to elevate your team’s performance and satisfaction through development and communication. Following are three steps to implementing Total Person Development into your organization:
Step 1: Implementing TPD into your business, like many strategic processes, requires leading by example.
Suppose the leader does not embrace or buy into the concept of developing a person’s professional and personal aspects. In that case, there’s a more significant challenge in transcending this concept throughout the organization.
As a leader, making the mental shift to embrace TPD starts with being vulnerable and transparent with your team about the challenges you face, professionally and personally. To lead others, you must first lead yourself.
It’s also important to share how you’re overcoming your challenges and what you’re learning in the process because if you aren’t addressing your own “total person” with your team, what makes you expect them to do the same with you?
You don’t need to share your challenges with the world (on Facebook), but you do need to share with your team. It takes transparency and vulnerability to get it.
Step 2: The leader creates a development plan for each direct report that focuses on the top three areas of development that are going to have the greatest impact on their performance.
I recommend focusing on the top 3, 4 or 5 development priorities professionally and personally that will significantly impact that direct report. Then, build the development plan around those 3, 4 or 5 development priorities. For example, if one of your direct reports has significant relationship issues, what resources can you wrap around your team member to help them work through it. You don’t need to solve the issue but help them put a plan around it with the right resources to get it resolved.
Make sure each of your leader’s development plan includes action plans with due dates.
Step 3: Have each leader create development plans for their direct reports.
This step is when you begin to scale TPD within your organization. Like compounding, the more people who embody TPD and create development plans for their direct reports, the more your culture will resemble the principles of TPD.
As each leader who has their own development plan begins creating development plans for their direct reports, you exponentially multiply the positive benefits of TPD. Great leaders create more great leaders. For example:
•An organization has eight Leadership Team members reporting to the company Leader, and they all have Leadership Development Plans in place that include professional and personal priorities.
•Each Leadership Team Member has four direct reports (employees) in their department and develops Leadership Development Priorities for each of them.
•Result: 40 people in addition to the Leader embracing Total Person Development and your organization performing better than it ever has before.
As the TPD concept cascades through your organization, you will notice your people challenges start coming down while performance and satisfaction skyrocket up. This is because your entire organization is transitioning from being reactive to proactive around development and engagement — the result: a high-performing team filled with high-performing leaders.
Regardless of where you are in your leadership journey, understanding and embracing the concept of Total Person Development will help accelerate your success, as well as build high performers at all levels of the organization. Remember, Those Who Plan—Profit!
Steve Van Remortel, chief strategist and talent adviser at Stop the Vanilla LLC, is a speaker, trainer, consultant, podcaster and author of Stop Selling Vanilla Ice Cream and Stop The Vanilla in your Career and Life