Kaizen is a Japanese term meaning continuous improvement. It sits well with our natural self-actualising drive to want more, to be better, to improve, streamline and make the most of life. And it is equally relevant in your personal and professional life. For more about Kaizen, read The Little Known secret of Mastering Anything
Any professional organisation has a requirement for continuing education. Here in NZ there are various professional institutes such as for Managers, Financial Advisors, Directors, Chartered Accountants, various therapists, Lawyers, etc… The list is almost endless. Often done on a point’s scheme, the members have to accrue a certain number of points/credits to remain in good standing and a practicing member of the institute. This all makes perfect sense as new competencies are always being developed – and skills do naturally deteriorate or can sadly morph into something un-useful unless we keep ourselves in check.
However, beyond what is ‘required’, many are so passionate about their chosen field that they naturally extend and better themselves beyond ‘necessity’ and pursue skills that contribute to their excellence. And it’s no different for you in your personal life. Because don’t you want to be the best you can as a parent, friend, sports or social club team member? It’s only natural, isn’t it?
- Expertise / Purpose
- Eloquence / Proficiency
- Enterprise / Profit
Expertise – is about knowing your stuff; having expert knowledge on the content material. Picking a subject to specialise in and learning it inside out. Become the specialist, the ‘go-to’ person for those who need an expert in whatever it is you do. Whether it’s your work, home life or hobby. This is Doing-precisely what you want.
Eloquence – is becoming the ‘best version of you’ as a boss, parent, friend, etc. Becoming highly skilled in your relational and communication skills. Precisely-doing what you want.
Enterprise – is how well you get yourself out there; your selling and marketing. It’s about niche marketing to those who specifically need what you are an expert in. Don’t think this is relevant to personal parenting or social contexts? Well, you want ‘buy-in’ and respect from your kids and friends, don’t you? Otherwise they’ll not listen to your expertise and eloquence. Enterprise is what leads to you making a difference.
There are many individual goals that can be set within each of these areas. A good coach can help you clarify and support you to achieve these goals. As an example, I’ll share with you some of my ongoing ‘Kaizen’. Don’t worry, it’s just an example and I am coming back to how you can use these skills in your own life.
Expertise – I will continue to focus on self-actualisation psychology. In particular the four Unleashing trainings that make up the Self-Actualisation Diploma. I will continue to read psychology (in particular self-actualisation psychology) books. I will develop the Self-Actualisation trainings so I can deliver them in any format; even modular chunks that can be delivered in 2-4 hour segments if necessary.
Eloquence – I’ve achieved the major milestone of becoming a Neuro-Semantics Master Trainer. But I will continue to develop (I’ve already signed up for an advanced Group and Team Coach training in Hong Kong this year). In designing the Unleashing trainings I will be mindful of incorporating the best training skills I can, and will continue to refine and refine. I’ll continue to learn from great presenters, speakers and teachers wherever I can.
Enterprise – I will collaborate and form alliances with companies and individuals. I’ll network more, read more on promoting myself and building a business. And I’ll actually apply it.
Now I won’t go into the many ‘sub’ goals that are involved in these areas and the ways that these goals are synergistic and support/enhance the other categories. But what I have noticed is that it has helped me to simplify and define more clearly the long term Kaizen of my life in general.
So, now back to you! Here are some self-coaching questions for your own personal development;
- Where do you want to excel? As what? At what?
- What are you so passionate to know/learn about that it gives your life purpose and meaning (work, sports, parenting)?
- What do you love and want to know more about?
- Where do you want to be the expert?
- Get a notebook and set some goals around learning.
- What do you need to get better at?
- Where can you become more elegant? (communicating to your kids, employees, etc.)
- What other areas can you master that will make your expertise and eloquence even better?
- What do you need to improve? What else?
- In your notebook, define and put in order of importance the things you need to improve. Set some goals for doing this.
- Who do you need to talk to, or with?
- Whose help do you need to achieve your goals?
- Who would benefit from you achieving your goals?
- Who do you most want to influence? (kids, staff, bosses)
- In your notebook, list these people and develop a plan to speak with them.
As you answer these questions, you can start to develop an overall vision and mission for making your life truly meaningful.