22 Nov Remembering our Own CPD is the Golden Ticket to Developing Others

“Let him who would move the world first move himself.” – Socrates

Sue B. passionately shares her insights about the need to remember our own Continuing Professional Development as a golden ticket to developing others.

For me, reaching the end of another calendar year is always a time of personal reflection, coupled with disbelief that another twelve months have passed!

As teachers and trainers, it is very easy to count the years in terms of semesters or courses, in a wonderful, varied cycle of lesson planning, reviews and people dedicated to learning and developing. As sales, marketing or HR professionals, it is all about targets for Q4 or Q3 depending on your budget calendar.

Inward thinking, inward acting. CPD, Continuous Professional Development, is something we have to make an effort to think about and, more importantly act upon.

Attending the 2015 HR Summit in Dubai, I very much enjoyed a great seminar by Deiric McCann, talking about “mindfulness” and practical tools to be 100% attentive and present. Just as the Fish Philosophy inspired me to think about the leadership power that can be unleashed when “Being present” at a conference a couple of years, this session was a useful reminder winding forward to 2015. Last month, our CEO started a three-year leadership journey with Harvard Business School, with full commitment to our ethos of making time to listen and learn.

In summary, we all need to be “mindful” and “attentive” to our own learning in order to be able to truly evaluate how we can inspire our teams and what training will make a difference in the workplace.

The key to any effective CPD plan is the will and the opportunity to look up and look outward. New ideas come from new inputs and seeking these out may mean time and effort, but to be able to be leaders, we have to be good learners!

Risk Assessment and Management

Ten Tips for our Own Development

“For the best return on your money, pour your purse into your head.” Benjamin Franklin

  1. Visit conferences, trade shows and summits. We are all busy but time out to look and listen to what is happening in the marketplace must be on our list if we want to stay relevant. A quick trip round the stands with a smile on our face and stopwatch in hand does not tick the CPD box. Clear your day, prepare your wish list for seminars before you get there, keep hydrated and talk to exhibitors about their products and services. When you are flagging, stop for a snack rather than heading for the door and the comfort of your office.
  2. Spent time with our peers. Find out what is going on in other departments, stop for a chat or catch up for a coffee. Networking with colleagues is a great way to get a new perspective on a situation.
  3. Remember what it is to be a learner or go through training e.g. Look for online or e-learning courses that interest you, learn a language or try a practical skill you have never done before, such as a diving or sailing course. Learning generates creativity!
  4. Ask your company what training is available or whether there are opportunities to sponsor you for external training or professional certification.
  5. Allocate an annual budget for your own resources and personal development and enjoy spending it!
  6. Research and attend conferences or seminars for topics that specifically motivate you.
  7. Go the next level academically e.g. MBA, professional certification for your field. Research and prepare a business case demonstrating how this will improve your productivity for the company.
  8. Decide whether you want to develop vertically or horizontally e.g. if it’s the next level of leadership, then identify what you would need to be able to take this next step up; if its broadening your skill set, then demonstrate that you have a long term plan and how this sideways stretching of competence will benefit both you and the company.
  9. Ask for regular meetings with your line manager to discuss your performance and development. Whatever level we are, we all need input and feedback to be better or to realign our skill set to the changing needs of the business.
  10. Actively seek mentoring roles; by helping and coaching others, you will have a clearer idea of your own development needs!

There is always a calendar of useful events in your area for learning and development shows for your industry. These are worth their weight in gold as entry is often free to the actual exhibition; visiting stands and talking to fellow professionals will free your creativity and provide avenues you may not have considered. Keynote speaker events are often available at a fee and some events even offer free seminars. Do your homework well and you will be truly inspired by professionals. One day out of 365 is very achievable!

Make your personal CPD a reality in 2016, not just a resolution!


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