I use the word develop a lot in my political work, or in terms of how I talk and think frankly about it with the people I’m frank with. A comrade recently remarked that this language might be a bit offputting to some people, something I recognize at least in part (since, after all, there are people I’m more and less frank with). This post is a placeholder to remind me to first think through more of what I mean by “developing people” then after unpacking to pack it back up again, to condense stuff back into something of comparable shortness.


Here’s a crack at it. “Developing” means working with people – including pushing people and supporting people – so that they increase their skills and abilities, their ideas and analys, their confidence, their dedication, and their useful (pro-development!) relationships with other people. Development is or should be mutual, though may not be 50/50.