Social and personal development involves a series of benchmark areas that allow people to grow and mature in a range of areas, namely educational, occupational, and interpersonal. Personal development is generally broader in scope than self-help because it encompasses improvements to someone's entire state of being rather than corrections to specific bad habits. Social development is largely concerned with a person's capacity to cultivate emotional intelligence that leads to positive relationships with others. Social and personal development is often geared towards children who are in their crucial years of growth, although various personal development seminars and social development courses are designed for adults as well.
Different types of personal development involve learning how to cultivate individual strengths and interests, as well as how to improve and maintain healthy self-esteem. People who are self-aware enough to know about their unique potential usually have increased levels of confidence and a better overall quality of life. They are also highly employable and able to contribute value to various groups in both their work places and personal lives. An additional aspect of personal development for many people is the ability to identify components of their lives that need improvement and to map out ways of achieving those objectives.
Psychology professionals who study personal and social development often agree that much of this development occurs during early- to mid-childhood. Factors that influence self-image, social skills, and emotional intelligence usually have the most impact on children during this time because their brains are still developing in many ways. These factors can include the home environment and quality of education children may experience. Dysfunction or instability in one of these areas is often one of the root causes of adult difficulties in at least one aspect of social and personal development. These kinds of development processes often evolve throughout most people's lives and continue well into adulthood.
Social and personal development is closely tied to abilities regarding interpersonal communication and relationships as well. People who are well developed in these areas are able to tailor their emotional responses to appropriate levels for various situations. They are also able to cultivate trust in other people and to anticipate their emotions and responses. The ability to work harmoniously with a range of personalities is a valued part of social development that translates into high employability. Psychologists who examine work place dynamics sometimes report that this part of social and personal development has a high value in the business world.