Professional Skill Development Techniques


N. Shankar
P.V. Muthu Perumal
Mohamed Sathak Institute of Management
Kilakarai, Ramnad District, Tamilnadu


During earlier days of Industrial revolution, most of the  organisations believed that getting work form the workers were only by  brawn and muscle.. That was considered as the main principle management style.  It took  so many years for the management to come out with the fact that no workers were working whole-heartedly and not  contributed the best results  which was due  to  fear and force.  It was later understood that worker's basic desire  was freedom of action and deriving satisfaction  should be the outcome of  efforts from independent and non compulsory work.

Workers wanted to be led by  a person - a remarkable leader.  They wanted  him  to be unique in all  aspects. Hence the  nature of a true leadership should be understood. There are some special features with  the leader. He does  extra-ordinary performance out of ordinary people.  He is wanted  to be a team builder, Problem solver, having creativity, good communicator, innovator negotiator, learner and having time management skills besides strong acumen in technical skill.  In management there is no one as ordinary people.  . This could be explained by Dr. George  Odiorne's  book  by name Human Resource Portfolio.  He classified the employees into four categories. They are 1. Dead  woods 2. Work Horse 3. Problem Children 4. Stars.  Dead woods are the employees with low potential and low performance. Next is work horse and these are the category of employees with low potential and high performance. Similarly problem  children. are designated as persons with low performance and high potential. Finally Stars are the  employees with high potential and high performance. According to  Odiorne, the low potential workers are dead woods and problem children.  But they could be brought to  the fourth category (stars) by exploiting their talents  in which the leadership role is enormous. 

Today's organisation  has the basic duty of creating or transforming the workers  as  potential leaders to withstand for quiet long period of time. For that it needs to offer  programmes as Personal development  Programme.

Personal Development :

It is a broad term that refers to development of individual behaviour with a variety of training, education, support opportunities available to the workers. There are  varieties of things under Personal Development. They are Boosting self confidence, Conquering fear of  future, Creating Personal Development Plan, Learning to set goals, Interpersonal relations improvement and  exploring of how perception creates reality.  These skills lead an individual  to live a better life, feels himself comfortable and a better citizen.

Professional Development:   

Professional development means to developing professional ability.  They are  leadership quality, crisis management, stress management,  decision skills,  and analytical skills in the organisation. Key skills are not specific in the curriculum but can be developed and used in wide range of situation.

Types of Skills:

There are two types of skills   First one is - Skills that can be transferred. It includes IT skills, motivating skills team working etc., These skills help an individual in all aspects of life.   Second one is that skills that can be acquired.  Those skills can be added or developed in our life.

Importance of Professional Skills :

Skill development is the one focusing on identifying the present skills, values and learning styles and focuses on the areas for future development.

1. Professional skill development is helping   in setting obtainable and realistic goals. 

2. Professional skill development is important to update the skills related to the profession.

3. Professional development guides the persons to evolve as  an effective leader in the organisation

4. Professional skill development is motivating the professionals to  attain  the level of excellence in their own field.

5. A sense of positive thinking is created in Professional skill development.

Techniques of improving the Skills :

It is understood that no one is perfect under the sun. Every one is having deficiency of skills, however it should be built up in the ongoing process of life. If not we would be isolating ourselves from the main stream. There are ways by which the skills could be improved and enhanced. The way of enhancing the skills differ from one profession to other. Some skills may suits for one  and may not for another. Hence the techniques followed depends on the persons and profession.

Role Playing is an exercise which  offers an opportunity to learn the concepts and the like.

Training imparts Competency to an individual. .The benefits  of training is that it provides deep  knowledge and acquiring  leadership. The skill development  training programme is  ongoing and continuous, collaborative

Affinity technique is the one  in which the members of the group try to work together towards a common goal.

Some other methods are  Coaching,   Counselling,  Mentoring, Professional bodies,  Chairing meetings,  Management Meetings,  Drill down,  Thinking Hats,  Decision tree.

Besides that brain storming technique, team building exercise, communication  skill exercise, decision making exercise are other skill development  techniques to improve the personal  and also  professional.

Personal Skill Audit:

It is the one producing the personal skill profile of the individuals.  It is giving a clear idea of the gap of skills lacking and skills to be acquired.  The skill audit is done by the following ways.

1. The individual is asked to attend the questionnaire to find out the preferred learning styles with their associated weakness and strength.

2. Next important step is personal planning to make him more aware and develop as a learned. This is future plan

3. Compiling a personalised portfolio of the individuals. 

This shows the skills already acquired and the skills to be acquired. So the gap between the two is the skills to be learnt.

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Source: E-mail January 13, 2011


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