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Does Individual Development Plan work?

Updated: Jul 26, 2022

First let's start by understanding what an Individual Development Plan - IDP is.

The PDI is a method that seeks to improve an individual's knowledge, skills and attitudes, so that they can expand their potential for action.

The problem is that most managers do not see the PDI as a management tool, but as a waste of time.

Due to the busy schedule, usually the leader leaves to talk to the team only when he needs something, and this is a serious mistake, because little by little, without realizing it, he loses the respect of the team.

The lack of time, or rather, the wrong distribution of time, causes most managers to be overloaded with operational activities to carry out, and they forget about management activities.

This is because the manager likes operational activities because he feels safe.

That is why it will be important for you to set up the scope for a good PDI for your managers, and then encourage and accompany them to put the project into practice, because it is not the PDI that will impact the team's results, but the actions that will come to from a good PDI.

1. Defining the goals

To set up the individual development plan with your team, you need to define the objectives. Defining the level of expected behavior, what the professional needs to develop, how long this process is expected to take place, in addition to determining what subsidies the corporation will offer to make this happen, will make all the difference.

This step is very important, because if the objectives are not set, the time will come when the team will feel that they are working in vain, so this should be the first step in the process. Although it seems simple, this step demands attention and methodology.

You can use tools like Meta SMART or 5W2H to support you in the process.

2. What stage is the employee in?

After defining the objectives, it is necessary to know which phase the employee is in. That is, observe how he is developing, what are his difficulties, what is his level of engagement with the process, that is, at this stage it is important to identify how much the employee is really motivated to develop.

Without this well-designed phase, the PDI may seem like just a feedback conversation, with no commitment to development.

At this point, having an Assessment tool can help establish the starting point in a more assertive way, without having to rely only on the manager's opinion about the individual, facilitating the process of identification and self-knowledge.

This is explained by the fact that without methodology, monitoring becomes a matter of opinion. Offering more accurate data on employee behavioral mapping will make the PDI truly gain credibility and assertiveness.

3. Assess strengths and weaknesses

Observing the strengths and weaknesses of each employee and working so that the positives are reinforced and the negatives improved is an indispensable function of the HR or Leader, as it is desirable for the individual to be aware that the need for improvement does not classify him in a negative way. and that there are ways he can develop his talents.

4. Applying assertive feedback

Giving feedback is one of the best ways to show employees that they are being watched and that their progress is important. However, when you apply feedback the wrong way, the result may be the opposite of what you expected. During feedback it is important that it is not just about the “what”, but also the “how”.

At this stage, it will be important for the employee to be aware of the “choices” he will need to make to get closer to his goal.

Helping the employee to assemble scenarios based on his choices will not only make him commit to the process, but also create more creative alternatives to achieve his goal.

5. Self-knowledge and constant self-development

For an individual development plan to actually work, it will be essential that those involved are engaged in constantly conquering self-knowledge and self-development. We understand that development is not an event but a process, so it is natural that when a specific objective is achieved, new ones are born. Preparing the employee for the new concept: lifelong learning, that is, lifelong learning, will be fundamental to the development process that both will be about to start.

Reflecting on these points, you will be closer to transforming PDI into something natural, and essential for your organization's results.

My invitation is: Take the first step.

Negotiation for HR Professionals

Here is a constant and daily practice present in the life of HR professionals, Negotiation. The problem is that most Human Resources professionals believe that this skill has nothing to do with their profession, as this competence is not part of their training grid.

This is because we believe that negotiating is a seller's thing and not HR's.

The art of negotiation is culturally associated with the ability to sell something, and the vast majority of HR professionals do not believe they need to be a salesperson.

I didn't see myself as a salesperson.

I spent much of my career believing that selling was immoral for someone in the humanities.

I believed that if I needed to sell my service or my skills, it was because they weren't good enough.

I believed that if anyone really wanted “my help,” they had to ask me.

I spent years on end with a performance below my ability, just for the sake of EGO.

My key turned when I understood that negotiation is part of the lives of people who want to make a difference. And even better, that there are several profiles of negotiators, and I just need to find which one was mine and also identify what the profiles of the people around me were.

Let's see if you identify with any of them and if you identify with some of them in the people around you:


The negotiator with this profile is quite informal. He is the one who allows himself to be known. With it, you can chat about family and friends, for example. Makes decisions quickly and is uncomfortable with a lot of bureaucracy.

The great quest for a catalyst is recognition. That's what he wants. It is the subject who seeks pleasure, seeks to win. Praise or the possibility of praise are secrets to negotiating with a catalyst.


Also more relationship-oriented, the negotiator with a supportive profile does not mind taking extra time to talk about personal matters. It's the type that considers people more important than any job.

Like the catalyst, he is not very fond of bureaucracy. The difference between the two is in the speed of making decisions. The catalyst decides in an instant and sometimes puts himself at risk. The supporter's decisions are slow and he always seeks diplomacy with the other party.

It's a more condescending profile. He waits for help in the decision-making process. As he is very sociable, he finds it difficult to say 'no'. The supporter seeks 'sociability'. He wants your consideration, your friendship. If the catalyst seeks pleasure, the supporter runs away from pain.


It's a less relational profile. Don't expect him to ask how your family is doing or how your weekend was. As the name implies, he is very interested in analyzing data and information and likes to work with rules. He is always dealing with spreadsheets, documents and contracts.

It is the most bureaucratic of profiles. He's a perfectionist. To conclude a negotiation he will have to analyze, because the great search of an analyst is security. And because of that, it takes time to decide.

How to trade with him? Organize the data, collect histories, prepare spreadsheets and always have documents to show. Don't miss information, because they are what make him feel safe to reach a decision.


Forget happy hour invitations and don't even think about asking where he's going on vacation. A negotiator with a dominating profile is focused on results and on the pursuit of fulfillment. Unlike the analytic, however, he makes decisions quickly, because he is a rational, objective and independent person.

The worst strategy to use with a dominator is wanting to talk about personal matters. Criticism and praise don't work, but if you figure out what his goal is and show that what you have to offer will help him get closer to it, then the deal is done. It is usually the profile of those who reach positions of director and presidency.

That's why I've often been using a phrase I've heard that says the following:

Don't treat people the way you would like to be treated.

Treat people as they would like to be treated.

So, how much can this truly impact your results?

Is all this making sense to you?

Yes, HR needs to be a negotiator if it is to achieve more strategic positions within an organization.

For me, day after day, it becomes clearer how much this skill differentiates operational from strategic HR.

Reflection time:

Even if you're thinking, this won't work for me, stop and look around you.. see all the things you've built up to this moment, think about the projects that you, even if contrary to the opinion of many people, managed to carry out. It doesn't have to be just professional projects, it can be personal projects too. Understand that the way you do one thing is the way you do (or can do) all things.

Now remember a project you have that you haven't been able to carry out. Open your map, imagine what you can do differently. At this point, ask a mentor for advice. That mentor could be someone you trust a lot, or even someone who has already gotten where you want to be. If you believe, this mentor could even be God, the universe...make a minute of silence. Don't question the advice, just listen to the advice J

Muito bem, respire fundo, se imagine conquistando seu desejo.

Abra os olhos e anote o qual foi o conselho do seu mentor.

Se fizer sentido, coloque o conselho em pratica.

At the end of the day, every power of persuasion starts in people's imagination!

Tatiane Souza is the founder of Gente Mais Consulting and Training and Fabrika Productions and Events. President and founder of the institute Far Beyond Cinderella, speaker, mentor, trainer and columnist for Portal Gente Mais.

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