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Personality Development and Training
The saying that "first impression is the last impression" is a time-tested fact. No matter how biased a person is, he/she is likely to be affected by their personality and the initial impression they make. Research even proves that innocent and smart-looking people are less likely to be judged guilty by a jury in a court of law. This is to say, whether we like it or not, our impressions and personality greatly affect the people we interact with.
Usually personality is considered as merely a physical appearance, but it is way more than that. Personality is characterized by consistent patterns of behavior, thinking, and feeling. It is a constantly evolving construct that develops in social and experiential contexts, with heredity limiting its development. Thus, one may define personality development as a change in personality due to many environmental and heredity factors, which may be intentional or unintentional.
Need for Personality Development
One may be curious about the need for personality development training when it develops naturally as one grows. Well, personality indeed develops over time, but for starters, we can give a constructive direction to this development in children and adolescents so that they become more adaptive and well-adjusted. Further, not all personality traits of a mature adult are adaptive, so that these personality traits can be modified or changed based on need. We develop personality and train such development to increase one's success in personal, professional, and social life; to help one find meaning in life; to help attain holistic development, and sometimes to adjust and at least become functional in one's settings. Thus, given the wide range of impact personality has on one's life, its development is a matter of great interest and importance.
Various methods for developing personality have been proposed by psychologists, educators, and personality trainers. These methods and their forms differ based on culture, age, gender, and individual personality. The major areas of personality development are professional, social, spiritual, physical, cognitive, and emotional. Personality development training may target one or more than one of these reasons. Some of the most common themes in personality development are as follows −
- Cognitive skills Training − The training methodology focuses on refining cognitive abilities like thinking, perceiving, attention, problem-solving, decision making, and memory of individuals. These include a set of interventions that include cognitive task practice, modeling, skill learning, and real-life application. For example, attention will be improved through attention and concentration exercises, including meditation and mindfulness, whereas problem-solving will be improved by giving model problems for solving. These are used in army training pedagogy to teach the recruits how to react and solve problems in dire situations.
- Interpersonal Relation Training − This set of training methods focuses on improving one's social interactions and communication skills. These may include training an individual in the skills to improve interpersonal communication, relationships, emotional understanding, etc.
- Communication − Personality development also requires learning how to communicate in different situations and how to interpret both verbal and non-verbal cues. Communication skills development will thus include learning, choosing, and interpreting verbal and non-verbal communication.
- Stress Management − This included learning methods to prevent and manage stress. Such training may include training individuals to meditate, change their outlook, become resilient, etc.
- Conflict management − Conflicts are a normal part of one's life, whether personal, professional, or social. Managing conflict is also important, but the strategies to manage it may differ based on the context of the conflict. The training focused on conflict management will help individuals learn different methods to manage and resolve conflicts, like negotiation, compromise, avoidance, and accommodating.
- Time management and motivation − this includes teaching people to stay motivated and how to do justice to professional work and personal and social life.
- Finding meaning in life − Finding meaning in one's life is important to living an actualizing and satisfying life. Therefore, a component of personality development training also focuses on helping individuals find meaning in their lives. It includes strategies like spiritual pursuits, meditation, exploration, and self-understanding.
- Learning positive emotions and attitude: Living a successful life requires having an optimistic and progressive outlook toward situations. Positive personality development requires one to learn to appraise situations positively and to have a constructive attitude towards them. This can be learned through perceptive change, being objective towards the problem, avoiding emotional thinking, and having a solution-focused approach.
Dressing, career, speaking, leadership, group dynamics, physical health, emotional regulation, emotional intelligence, gestures, and facial expression are just a few topics in personality development training.
While personality development is an important aspect of the overall development, success, and, of course, the well-being of an individual, it is not an easy task. A person can develop and change their personality through many strategies. These strategies are scientific and based on an individual's characteristics, development, and environment. One can and should build a personalized and customized set of personality development strategies that suit him/her the best.
Individuals can develop a personality without professional help, but they may sometimes require professional help based on their needs and personality characteristics. In such cases, it is always suggested to approach a trained personality coach. Furthermore, one should be very cautious while using personality development training as it may have an undesired effect, especially on children, if appropriate and holistic methods are not used. Overall, personality is an important part of one's life and affects one's success in personal, professional, social, and spiritual aspects. Therefore, everyone desires a personality that is adaptive, successful, flexible, and respected. Furthermore, thus, such a personality can and should be developed by strategies that focus on the development of different aspects of personality.
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