CPD – A blessing and a curse?
“Oooh look there’s another course being advertised by the ICF".... "a colleague has just signed up for a course on Somatic coaching"..... "I’ve just seen someone celebrating becoming accredited with DISC on LinkedIn"…. "I want to do all of that and MORE!!!" "How can I be the best that I can be if I don’t have all of those accreditations – do all those courses?" "It’s all so interesting! I can’t possibly start/ continue working with clients until I know MORE”! Does any of this sound familiar?
The theme from the supervision space this month is around quenching our thirst for knowledge, what sits behind that & how can it benefit our work & how can it get in the way. Whilst CPD for coaches is, without doubt, of huge importance and an integral part of the professional standards for all the coaching bodies it can also be a shiny penny that gets in the way of us leaning into our own unique coaching approach. It can help feed our inner critic and end up in “comparisonitis” (made up word which fits a well-known phenomenon in the coach’s world!!).
Back to basics
There can be a tendency to forget all the strengths, qualities, skills and knowledge we already have when faced with the prospect of learning new skills or developing knowledge. This thirst for and commitment to lifelong learning is often what has led us to coaching in the first place. However sometimes we can forget the basics of successful coaching. For me this is reliant on the relationship created by coach and coachee. What difference would knowing a load of Positive Psychology interventions make if we lacked the skills and qualities to build rapport? How would being able to remember all the drivers and injunctions from Transactional Analysis help if we weren’t able to create an environment of trust?
When we think about CPD it is useful to keep a definition in mind. This one helps me keep a bigger picture view when thinking about my next investment. “CPD is a process in which individuals can take control of their own learning and development by engaging in an ongoing developmental process of reflection, goal setting and action” (Megginson and Whitaker 2004). I wonder how many of us are as strategic as that in our decision-making?
Here are some questions that might help assess your CPD needs:
When thinking about specific CPD these questions may be helpful:
Your learning journey
At the beginning of your coaching journey CPD can be a really useful way of finding out what approach sits most comfortably with you – what approach aligns with your natural way of coaching (and BEING!)? However there are loads of other ways to find this out before you invest! Having a great network of coach colleagues, using online coach forums, try before you buy etc. My invitation is to set aside time to reflect on the above questions and weigh up the pros and cons – maybe get a bit more strategic about your learning journey. Most of all though… ENJOY!