“The ability to step out of your comfort zone and proactively manage yourself is key to personal growth and success”. – Roman Grassmann

20/08/2021 | Roman Grassmann

Roman Grassmann is currently a Management Consultant at Capgemini Invent. With M.Sc. and B.Sc. qualifications in Industrial Engineering and Management, he has a background as an Industrial Engineer in Management Consulting with a focus on digital and sustainable technology. 

Roman seeks success in his career but believes that it comes to those who really know themselves: their strengths, their values and how they perform best. For this reason, he is always looking for ways to accelerate personal growth to overcome obstacles and the social and economic challenges of the future.

"Knowing where you belong can accelerate your own advancement”.

Roman Grassmann

Driven by this desire, Roman participated in one of the Santander Open Academy, in collaboration with Esade, focused on the integral development of emotional intelligence, self-learning and self-concept: three major and currently necessary areas of expertise. 

This scholarship helped him to take an active role in the development of work processes and methods, by learning an essential toolkit that helps him to achieve his goals. In addition, it has prepared him for successful leadership in the context of business consulting by providing him with the conviction that good leadership can only be realized with a strong personality.

At present, Roman has increased his employment competitiveness by improving his soft skills and is ready to take on new challenges. In this article we will share with you Romans insights and first hand experiences around the topics of personal development: the importance and ways to maximize personal productivity for yourself and your team.

What exactly is personal development and how can it be promoted?

Personal development consists of various activities that develop a person’s abilities to enhance their human capital and move closer to their life goals. Roman believes that it can be fostered by strengthening your cognitive capabilities, as well as your emotional and social intelligence.

Cognitive capabilities

On the one hand, cognitive capabilities relate to your personal and creative productivity. In this respect, Roman highlights features such as taking care of yourself to increase your productivity and self-managing a positive state of mind.

“We achieve extraordinary results when we feel joy and happiness”.

Roman Grassmann

Barriers to personal productivity include a lack of assertiveness, perfectionism, and procrastination. However, Roman identifies five tools to overcome procrastination:     

Tool 1: the Pomodoro method —a time management technique that breaks work down into shorter and more manageable tasks.

Tool 2: focus on the positive feelings that follow the completion of a task.

Tool 3: relate the task you have been avoiding to a “prize”.

Tool 4: remember the importance of deciding the next step.

Tool 5: set a deadline and create a psychological contract.

Emotional and social intelligence

On the other hand, in terms of emotional and social intelligence, he identifies three key aspects to promote personal development: the importance of feedback, managing oneself, and getting out of your comfort zone. 

The importance of feedback

According to Roman, receiving constructive feedback allows us to learn how to handle the criticism we receive from others. In this way, we will be able to respond with flexibility to the different problematic situations that we will encounter throughout our lives. Furthermore, we get to know our strengths and weaknesses. In both the work and personal environments, it is essential to receive feedback from those around you. This feedback must be given and used effectively if it is to contribute toward improving your function.

So, how should effective feedback be given? For this, Roman refers to the SBI structure: this means explaining the situation, behaviour, and impact of actions in an objective way.

Managing oneself

Managing and leading ourselves successfully is the prerequisite for good leadership of others and outstanding performance. Some of the components of managing oneself include knowing: 

- How you perform best

- What are your strengths 

- What are your values 

- Where do you belong

- What should you contribute 

By identifying your individual answers to the above components, and by setting related plans and targets, you will really get to know yourself through your experiences (e.g., internships, jobs, education, conversations). Transferring your answers to your personal and professional lives will allow you to create opportunities, from which you can further grow. It is also more efficient to work with your strengths than on your areas of improvement.

Book "Managing Oneself" from Peter F. Drucker

“We are what we do repeatedly. Excellence is not an act, but a habit.”

Roman Grassmann

This development cycle can be used to understand the learning process —to move from unconscious incompetence, toward conscious incompetence and then unconscious competence, before finally reaching conscious competence. 

Getting out of your comfort zone

Confronting yourself with new and challenging situations can establish valuable new opportunities and skills. Roman suggests that staying too long in the comfort zone prevents us from progressing and reaching our full potential. Moving out of this zone will also allow you to set a good example, as a leader, for your team; help you to find full capacity; and make you more comfortable in new and different situations.

“Motivation is the engine to get out of the comfort zone.”

Roman Grassmann

This personal development occurs in the learning zone, which is the space between the comfort zone and the danger zone. The learning zone is where the limits of existing skills and experiences are pushed, where learning is real, and where growth takes place. Knowing your own motivation, and that of your team, will help you all to move out of your comfort zone and into the learning zone.

“New skills and opportunities are developed by confronting yourself with unknown situations.”

Roman Grassmann

Broadening the fundamental skills for the personal and professional development

Roman says that proactively engaging with his personal development has helped both in his professional career and private life. Therefore, his participation in the Santander Open Academy provided an ideal opportunity for his further development. This Santander Scholarship, launched by Banco Santander and Esade, has supported him and has shown him the importance of developing soft skills.

“The professional development program from ESADE Executive Education has helped me in my personal development, to reflect upon myself, and to provide essential toolkits and methods for personally developing and preparing successful leadership”.

Roman Grassmann

For example, in terms of managing oneself, Roman has identified his strengths, weaknesses, values, performance factors, and future aspirations. He has also chosen to work for a company that complements his characteristics, with matching values and culture, where he is surrounded by high-performing teams. As a result, he has achieved several goals, such as pitching to 7000+ people in his organization on the —very relevant— topic of “Getting out of your comfort zone!”.

Roman would wholeheartedly encourage everyone to become familiar with the importance of feedback, the concept of managing oneself, and establishing a “getting-out-of-your-comfort-zone” mentality.

For this reason, given the importance of developing fundamental skills that are required in the labour market, Banco Santander, again in collaboration with Esade, one of the most renowned global institutions for the quality of its education, launches Santander Skills Scholarship | Upskill your Talent – Esade. These scholarships are aimed at boosting your career by broadening your soft skills in: leadership, creativity, personal productivity, influence and emotional intelligence, negotiation, communication and complex problem solving and decision making.

Participants will choose one of these seven digital training modules, based on the experiential learning model of “learning by doing,” which combines theory and practice. In this two-week course, they will be able to train in competencies that are increasingly required in the labour market, and are transversal to any sector or profession. In addition, a certificate of achievement will be issued by Esade accrediting the knowledge acquired.

Are you over 18 and, like Roman, want to get out of your comfort zone to boost your professional and personal development opportunities? Sign up for the Santander Skills Scholarship | Upskill your Talent – Esade and improve your skills. Don't miss out!

(At the moment the Santander Skills Scholarship | Upskill your Talent - Esade has reached its end, but we encourage you to take a look at the Santander Open Academy to find the training that best suits you and give a boost to your professional career. Seize the chance to develop your knowledge and skills!)

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Roman Grassmann, Management Consultant at Capgemini Invent.

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