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Why Personality Development Programs do not yield desired results?

Today, with the realization setting in about the need to have a well developed personality in order to be successful in life, everyone is trying to join some personality development program or the other. If you take any newspaper on any given day you will find a lot of advertisements, urging people to join some program or the other in the general area of personality development. The sad part is that most of them do not work. Most people joining these programs do not really develop their personality or at best have a marginal improvement. In order to really understand this phenomenon there is a need to go in detail and examine as to why it happens that way?

We must first understand what personality is. Personality is your inner strengths combined with the ability to project an image that is in sync with them. Attitude, persistence, emotional intelligence, communication skills etc. form the basic core of any personality development program. Most trainers in this field concentrate a lot on the inner strengths and on verbal communication. Unfortunately, owing to the English explosion in India, to be able to speak English fluently has become an integral part of personality. The ultimate goal of any personality development program is to make an individual confident of himself or herself and unfortunately this is what is not achieved more often than not. The reasons are as follows.

Lack of confidence owing to poor English: Most people do not really know the language well enough to feel confident speaking it. Once again English speaking classes do not work as already explained in my article “Why English Coaching Classes do not work?” (Link here) This poor knowledge of English also becomes a hindrance in understanding the training one is undergoing in personality development.

Lack of understanding of a First Impression: This is probably one of the most important points that one must understand. Even if you assume that one has been able to develop the personality to some extent, in order to be really successful one has to be able to create a positive first impression otherwise one will never be able to make use of the opportunities in life. Now this is where the problem lies, as the factors influencing a first impression primarily are visual and not verbal which are not being taught in personality development programs at all. In some of the programs they are just gone through in a cursory manner.

Communication skills gaps: Now communication is basic transfer of information from one person to another and if one is not able to communicate well, then they will never be successful in job interviews, social situations, and in many personal situations as well. Communication is usually taught in personality development programs but it has to be understood that any communication is only 7% verbal, 38% vocal and 55% non verbal and visual. Most programs concentrate only on verbal communication and that is only 7%. No wonder these trainees fall flat in the real world.

Most trainers don’t have much clue about visual communication: There is almost no personality development trainer who has even a basic knowledge of grooming practices and the art of visual communication through clothes, and most of them do not know much about non verbal communication either. I have interacted with hundreds of personality development trainers in my career and some of them leave too much to be desired when it comes to their own grooming practices and clothes. Personality is inside out. The inner and the outer self of a person have to embrace each other in harmony to create the overall effect. Personality development trainers only concentrate on inner self which does not work standing alone.

The solution: Personality is a holistic subject having many elements. Any program will not work unless it takes care of all the elements at one go. This is the single biggest problem in this area. Just imagine that if one joins a cooking class and one is taught to cook only one element of cooking food and one is required to go to some other trainer to learn other elements. Will it work? It won’t! The need is for one trainer to possess knowledge of all the elements of personality and the image that one projects. And only an image consultant can do that and that is why there is generally no concept of personality development and grooming training in most of the developed countries abroad, as it does not work singularly. One trainer should be able to guide on the development of inner strengths and the art of projecting a positive, authentic and appropriate image and then coming through on the first impression thus created by leaving a powerful lasting impression.

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