Unlike a photograph, it is impossible for us as human beings to overdevelop
Every year, as part of my Chartered Accountant membership, I have to complete an online declaration to state that I have been keeping up with my Continuous Professional Development (CPD).
This is typical in the professional arena, particularly for accountants and solicitors etc. Keeping up with CPD demonstrates that you are capable of doing your job effectively and that you are adapting to any market changes appropriately; that you are continuously developing yourself, recognising that things are constantly changing.
Now as a coach, there is no requirement to keep up with CPD, although to be a worthy coach, this is actually vital. Every coach should be able to demonstrate the professional development plan they have pursued over the last year, as well as their current plan, to indicate that they are at the top of their game.
And if a coach doesn’t have such a plan…. well beware! It’s a bit like engaging a coach who doesn’t have a coach themselves. They clearly have so much belief in coaching that they don’t follow their own advice!
However, having a professional development plan should also apply to every individual, shouldn’t it?
We should recognise that the world is a constantly changing place, and in order to keep up with that constantly changing place, there has to be an element of CPD in all that we do.
We never stop learning, although all too frequently , people choose to stop learning when they leave full time education. But isn’t that only the start point of our development? Up to that point, we have received an education to prepare us for going out into the world.
As far as we are aware, there is no limit to the learning capabilities of human beings, and the more that we can learn, the more that we can earn. So keeping up with continuous professional development, having your own CPD benchmark, and having a plan to improve your development every year is a really sensible thing to do.
And that’s why I encourage all business owners to make sure they have an annual plan, not just for growth in their business, but also for their own personal development – after all, that is what will help them set themselves apart from their competition.