I think there are 6 main things I have learnt (or relearnt!) that are represented in this model here which is all about finding the space, prioritising and creating trust.
- Prioritise thinking time – one of the things I like about undertaking CPD is that it often gives me time away from the “day job” and gives me space to think. Thinking time and time to just breathe is so important. When I don’t get that I feel stressed and overwhelmed. The CPD I have taken this year has reiterated the importance of thinking space, particularly Nancy Kline’s Thinking Environment.
- Projects take time! – I know this, obviously, but this year I have really been struck by how getting things done takes dedicated time and focus. I carved out time at the beginning of the year each week for my coaching programme and whilst I did not always keep to it, just having it there was so important. You can only do this for a limited number of things, though, so its working out what to prioritise. But CPD should be a priority.
- Trust the process – this is one from Lego Serious Play and also Gestalt coaching. So often this year I have been reminded of this. It has been key to my coaching practice to relax into the session and just trust that the coachee has the answer, which of course they do. Its also been really helpful with Lego Serious Play activities and getting people engaged with these. I have also been reminded of this as I have transitioned in my role and taken on new things. Just trust in itself is important!
- We are all learning all the time. Obvious but sometimes I need to be reminded of this. Taking a formal programme has reminded me of how much I gain from being curious and trying new things. Reminding myself and others that we are always learning is important as it enables people to be kind to themselves as well as giving them the confidence to try new things. I have certainly tried more new things and taken myself out of my comfort zone this year by reminding myself that I am learning and reflecting on that learning is part of the process.
- Learning from others. Undertaking CPD has enabled me to meet with new people, experience different things and learn from others. This is enriching and generally improves my own work as well. Again this can help boost my confidence and make me feel connected beyond my own institution which has been a real source of support.
- Be kind, compassionate and curious. The CPD I have taken in relation to EDI and particularly race equality has reiterated to me the importance of kindness. It is so easy to become wrapped up in the “to do” list or endless meetings and forget that we are all human and that we work better when we feel trusted and respected. I do believe that coming from a place of kindness and compassion, believing people are doing their best enables greater connections and more positive interactions. It doesn’t require CPD for this however, CPD activities, by listening, coaching and giving people space to experiment and have fun have reminded me again of the power of compassion.