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  • Writer's pictureBarbara Mayfield, MS, RDN, LD, FAND

Are you growing?

Updated: Dec 3, 2022

Images of a growing plant and 5 stages of growth.

Are you growing? How do you know? What does it feel like to grow?

This is the growing season where I live. In our yard, we are growing several new patches of grass, dozens of flowers and bushes, and six new trees – a red maple, three redbuds, and two hemlock trees.

Pruning, weeding, and watering are all necessary to achieve the results we desire. As we drive by nearby fields, we enjoy watching the growth of corn, soybeans, and other crops. To witness growth is invigorating.

Likewise, continual growth is necessary for us as humans, even after we have attained our full stature. To thrive we need to continually grow. Life-long learning keeps us vibrant.

In what ways are you growing? What new knowledge are you learning? What new skills are you developing? How is your mind expanding?

Begin with assessment

I am a firm believer in assessing our starting point when determining where we want to grow and develop. When assessing knowledge and skills I have created a simple table that can be filled in with whatever areas you want to assess your knowledge and skills.

For example, in a speech I am working on related to leadership communication skills, a couple of the skills I am having the audience assess are demonstrating empathy and explaining a problem using understandable context.

For each area you assess, rate your level of knowledge and skill from absent to proficient:

Assessment of My Knowledge and Skills

1 = absent, never practiced

2 = limited, rarely practiced

3 = emerging, seeking more practice 4 = growing with frequent practice 5 = proficient or expert

To give you an idea of potential areas for assessing your knowledge and skills in nutrition communication, here are three:

  • assess an audience and tailor communication, accounting for audience characteristics, needs, beliefs, and behaviors

  • design and deliver effective presentations that successfully engage the audience and utilize visual aids

  • create written communication for targeted audiences via a variety of channels

Assessment leads to goal-setting

With this baseline of where you are now, you are prepared to determine where you would like your knowledge and skills to be and the steps you need to take to get there. In other words, how you want to grow and develop.

Growth can occur even when we reach the expert level. Experts are experts because they continually grow their knowledge and skills. A stagnant expert will cease to be an expert.

Need a tool for taking action? Check out my Action Plan for Change. Find it here: with Tip Series #18.

For those seeking to grow their nutrition communication knowledge and skills, get a free copy of my resource: Jump Start Your Journey to Communication Excellence, which you can find here along with other free resources to supplement Communicating Nutrition: The Authoritative Guide.

How are you growing this season?

"The pursuit of knowledge is never-ending. The day you stop seeking knowledge is the day you stop growing." ~ Brandon Travis Ciaccio

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