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  • Writer's pictureIrina Ketkin

Unlocking Your Professional Growth: A 3-Step Approach to Self-Evaluation in L&D


As a learning and development professional, it's essential to continually evaluate your work and skills to ensure you are delivering high-quality training programs and meeting the needs of your organization and participants. Self-evaluation is a crucial aspect of professional development that can help you identify areas of strength and areas for improvement.


In this blog post, we will share the 3 steps that learning and development professionals can follow to self-evaluate their work and truly unlock their potential. By following these steps, you can gain valuable insights into your performance, identify areas for improvement, and develop an action plan to enhance your knowledge, skills, and effectiveness as a trainer or facilitator.


Table of Contents:



Step 1. Define your professional goals


Start by defining your professional goals and objectives. This could include things like improving your knowledge and skills in a particular area of learning and development, increasing your effectiveness as a trainer or facilitator, or expanding your network of industry contacts. As always, it’s important that your goals are SMART (specific, measurable, attainable, relevant or realistic, and time-bound). To give you an idea of what a SMART goal for L&D might look like, check out this list:


  • Improve facilitation skills: Attend a facilitation training program and apply new skills in at least 3 training sessions by the end of the quarter.

  • Develop expertise in a specific area: Enroll in a certification program in instructional design and complete it within 12 months.

  • Increase knowledge of industry trends: Attend at least 2 industry conferences or webinars annually to stay up-to-date on the latest trends in L&D.

  • Improve communication skills: Complete a public speaking course and deliver at least 3 presentations to colleagues or clients by the end of the year.

  • Expand technical skills: Complete a course in e-learning development and create at least one e-learning module by the end of the quarter.

  • Develop leadership skills: Attend a leadership training program and lead at least one L&D project by the end of the year.

  • Enhance project management skills: Attend a project management training program and apply new skills to plan and execute a successful L&D project by the end of the quarter.

  • Build cross-functional knowledge: Attend at least one cross-functional meeting per quarter and identify at least one way to align L&D efforts with the goals of another department.

  • Seek mentorship and coaching: Meet with a mentor or coach at least once per month to discuss progress towards personal and professional goals.

  • Develop cultural competence: Attend a diversity and inclusion training program and incorporate cultural competence into at least one L&D project by the end of the year.


When defining your professional goals, it's important to consider both short-term and long-term objectives. Short-term goals could include improving your knowledge and skills in a particular area of L&D, such as instructional design or facilitation techniques. Long-term goals could include advancing to a leadership position within your organization or expanding your expertise in a specific industry or field. To define your goals, ask yourself questions such as:

  • What skills or knowledge do I need to improve to be more effective in my role?

  • What areas of training or facilitation am I most interested in?

  • Where do I see myself in 5-10 years, and what steps can I take to get there?




Step 2. Review your performance


Reflect on your performance and identify areas of strength and areas for improvement. Ask yourself specific questions about what worked well in your training sessions or learning projects and what could be improved.


Consider feedback you have received from colleagues, supervisors, and participants in your training programs. This could include:

  • Colleagues and supervisors: Ask for feedback on your performance, including areas of strength and areas for improvement. This could be done through informal conversations or formal evaluations.

  • Participants in your training programs: Collect feedback from participants on the quality of your training sessions, your communication skills, and your ability to meet their needs.

  • Self-reflection: Reflect on your own performance and identify areas where you could improve. This could include reviewing training materials you've created, reflecting on how you manage group dynamics or assessing your ability to adapt to unexpected situations during training sessions.





Step 3: Reflect on an obstacle you want to overcome


Based on your self-reflection and feedback from others, develop an action plan to address areas for improvement. This could include taking courses or attending workshops to improve your knowledge and skills, seeking mentoring or coaching to improve your performance, or making changes to your training methods or materials.


Your action plan should include the following:

  • Setting specific goals: Use the feedback you've received to set specific goals for improvement. For example, you may set a goal to improve your ability to analyze learning needs data.

  • Identifying concrete actions: What do you need to do to achieve your goals? This could include attending a workshop, watching an online course, or seeking out a mentor who can provide guidance.

  • Establishing a timeline: Set a timeline for achieving your goals and taking specific actions. This will help ensure that you stay on track and make progress toward your objectives.


To help you develop an effective action plan, we've created a free personal development template that you can download and use to guide your self-evaluation and professional development. This template includes prompts and exercises to help you set goals, identify actions, and track your progress. Download the template now to take the next step in improving your skills and performance as a learning and development professional.


Monitor your progress toward your professional goals and objectives. Use data and feedback to track progress and make adjustments to your action plan as needed. It's important to regularly review your progress and make changes to your professional development plan to ensure ongoing success.




Self-evaluation is a crucial aspect of professional development for learning and development professionals. By following the 3 steps outlined in this post – defining your professional goals, reviewing your performance, and developing an action plan – you can gain valuable insights into your performance, identify areas for improvement, and take concrete steps to enhance your knowledge, skills, and effectiveness. Remember to seek feedback from a variety of sources, set specific goals and actions, and regularly monitor your progress toward achieving your objectives. With a commitment to self-evaluation and professional development, you can continue to grow and excel in your role as a learning and development professional.


How do you grow as a Learning and Development pro? Let us know in the comments below.

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