Models: Professional Development

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It has been a privilege to train and mentor thousands of people. “Model of Professional Development” is a four-stage template (model) I use to “know where someone is” in their professional development and where to focus next. The stages are:

  1. Content
  2. Process
  3. Perception
  4. Receptivity

Everyone starts at the Content. This is the level where one learns the information, data, policy, etc. Often, our college classes provide this level of our professional development. This level is best described as the “verbal” level of communication—”what we say”. Perception and Receptivity are the “art of communication”.

While the Content is the “what” of communication, the Process level focuses on “how” to deliver the “what.” The Process level is the non-verbal aspects of communication. Process (“non-verbals”) is a collection of techniques and strategies with three major categories: what we do with our eyes (visual), voice (auditory) and body (kinesthetic). These categories can be further described as:

• Visual: whether we make eye contact or not

• Auditory: whether our voice sounds like we are sending or seeking information

• Kinesthetic: whether we stand close or far from a person; whether we gesture or not

Perception is the “timing” of when to use these techniques and strategies.

The ultimate level of communication is “Receptivity.” This is the “when” of whether the listener wants to have communication with us. Literally, the recipient gives the speaker permission to communicate. It is on this level of professional development that the communicator decides “if” to share or wait until another time to share information.

The fours stages can be displayed as a stairstep moving up in complexity.

(4) Receptivity – permission: “if”
Art (3)Perception – timing: “when”
—————————————————————————————
Science (2) Process – non-verbal level: “how”
(1) Content – verbal level of communication: “what”

The first two “lower” levels, Content and Process, are referred to as the “science of communication”. When someone is at these levels of professional development, their goal is to be consistent in their expectations, policies and behaviors. People find someone on this level as reliable and predictable. The stages of Content and Process, often result in the person using the words “always” and “never” as in “I always…” “I never…”

Perception and Receptivity are the “art of communication”. On this level, the artisan switches from being consistent on a behavioral level to being consistent on a principle level.

Instead of “I always do this …”
the person operates from
“I always consider these factors…”

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