Skills for Business and Management

by Martin Sedgley

Personal development planning

Primary question setting – see Activity 1

Setting personal objectives

One way to consider your personal objectives is through the concept of well-formed outcomes (Bandler 2010; Harris 2016):

Box 13.2 Well-formed outcomes

When you create your personal objectives, ensure that they meet these criteria:

1 Positive
Your statements of intent need to be expressed in positive terms, i.e. what you want to experience, not what you want to avoid.

2 Personal
These must be set and sustained by you. Because these outcomes are about what you want, you define them in terms that are so meaningful they compel you to reach them.

3 Ecological
This refers to your personal ecology. Imagine what it will mean for you to achieve this outcome, and ensure that there are no negative consequences to that.

4 Sensory
They are expressed in terms that mean you will know you have reached the outcome because you had already defined what you will see, hear and, most importantly, feel when you get there.

Here is an example of a well-formed outcome in the context of university group-work:

I will listen carefully to others’ views in group meetings so that I can relate my own views to theirs, and agree on shared objectives that motivate us to work together supportively.

Try that for your own learning journey now:

Activity 13.2

Keep this statement of your well-formed outcomes prominently visible so that you see them regularly, reminding you of the activities that you want to engage in each day to fulfil yourself as a proactive person.