David Houlston


Joined in: 2019

Job title: Talent Partner

As someone who has delivered training sessions in several countries and numerous industries, David knows a thing or two about learning and development. He talks to us about how to make the most of your own development opportunities. 

I don’t know about you but sometimes the word training can feel quite daunting. You feel the weight of expectation on your shoulders; the time requirement, the ice-breakers, the ‘now you’re good to go’ sentiment.

But what about development, how does that word make you feel? For me it makes me feel like there is something in it for me, like every little bit of the energy I invest will ultimately lead to something positive.

Development isn’t just getting into a classroom, virtual or otherwise, it is everything we do every minute of every day. So how do we make it all count? Well, the difference is our purpose, our commitment and our willingness to reflect and adapt.

Yes I do matter!

If you are used to finding yourself lost under a pile of work you aren’t alone. I often treat myself like a resource not a person, tirelessly working through tasks, without a second thought for my own purpose or objective. It is easy to lose sight that we are a company’s greatest asset. Taking time to set personal goals, ask questions and reflect are an entitlement not a luxury and are crucial to your development.

A helping hand

So who is responsible for your development? Well, initially my answer is you. Without being committed to your own development there is little hope that anyone else will have much of an impact. But that doesn’t tell the whole story. You aren’t alone. The talent development team exists to support you with your learning and in this ever changing world strives to build an environment that empowers you to work towards goals. Your manager and team around you are invaluable. Ask for support and don’t underestimate the power of sharing time with your colleagues, discussing best practice and exploring new concepts. You might just learn a thing or two.

Let’s get personal

The world of development is constantly changing; as technology changes, as the world changes and as we change. But one thing is always the same. Every person’s development journey is unique to them. Our goals are our own and so is our route to achieving them. A willingness to self-reflect, take on feedback and ask for support is the key to unlocking your potential.

Take the power back!

Learning and Development is going to take place whether you pay attention to it or not. It is happening all the time. To really make the most of it you need to ask yourself, what do I want? How do I get there? Who can help? By asking the right questions we can take control and make every minute matter. We can force our way from beneath that pile of work, look at what is going on around us and use every experience to grow.

The best thing about development is that it is available to everyone. But much like life it can move pretty fast, If you don’t stop and look around once in a while you could miss it.