I have been on a quest for a few years to find the right personal development initiative for me. When I was working in a corporation, I was constantly being challenged to grow and stretch my skills by mentors and advocates. It was a time when I grew personally and professionally in defining who I was through experiential learning.

Here are some of the options I considered:

  • Getting a PhD.
  • Becoming certified in a different assessment tool to add to my toolkit.
  • Become a certified coach (even though I have been an executive and career for years).
  • Specializing in an area of executive or career coaching.

Some of those personal development initiatives are more business focused and I was looking for something that has the potential to be life changing.

One of my friends said to me as I was evaluating different PhD programs that going through that process will change you. The person that enters the program will be vastly different from the person who leaves the program. Now that’s the definition of personal development and it’s what I see happen with my clients when they conquer their barriers.

Setting Personal Development Benchmarks

Once I had established my benchmark of personal development, it changed the way I looked at my options. I knew I was looking for more than a webinar or series of spaced out workshops to get a certification.

While the PhD program was luring, the cost-benefit analysis for me did not work out. At this stage in my life, I was not in a position to put my business on hold for a few years to complete a program. Additionally, the programs that were most attractive to me were not local.  Yes, the program would fulfill my personal transformation needs, but the cost-benefit from a business perspective was not compelling.

Obtaining another assessment certification did not make the cut either. Most of these programs are a few days in length and would not give the type of personal development experience I am looking for.

So the last two prospects on my list – becoming a certified coach and specializing in an area of coaching were left. I researched for many months on all the programs available and read books from people who were coaches on the type of coaching process they used.

Many programs fell off my radar screen because they were webinars and they took 12 -18 months.  I wanted an in-person experience where I could directly interact with my cohort and teachers.

Two programs made my short list because they satisfied three requirements:

  1. The method was flexible and complimented my behavioral brain based work.
  2. The program satisfied the core requirements for International Coach Federation (ICF) certification through the Professional Coaching Certification level.
  3. I believe it will be a life changing personal development experience.

This month, I attending the program I selected. When I emerge I will be certified in neuro-linguistic programming (NLP) and through the process will work on my personal development for 20 days. I am jazzed, excited and ready to open myself up to the possibilities. That’s personal development waiting to happen. What have you got planned for yourself?