While writing a blog about continuing professional development (CPD) and professional memberships for communicators this week I had a small revelation about myself. Not only do I love learning, but I actually ‘need’ to keep learning.
I don’t mean ‘need’ to with regard to keeping my communication expertise and knowledge up to date, that’s a given. What I mean is, I realised I’m happiest when I am learning something new.
Working independently in communication allows me to learn in two fundamental ways:
I take charge, fund and make my own time for my learning and development by working independently. I go to the events I want to attend, read up on the topics I want to learn, join webinars and more as my schedule allows to develop my knowledge and skills (which of course my clients benefit from too).
Because I get to research, analyse and understand my clients’ businesses in a deep way I’m always learning something new about the businesses I work with and finding solutions to their challenges. Good communicators spend time learning about the business strategy, stakeholders, culture and purpose. This is essential to help clients and employers to communicate and listen effectively to be more successful and I really enjoy this process.
At the end of January I put myself through a rigorous Chartered Assessment day. No one made me do it. No one paid for me to do it. I did it for myself to prove something to myself.
What is it?
The CIPR is the Chartered Institute of Public Relations. As a Chartered body it can reward members with Chartered status when they prove they have reached a senior level of professionalism in their work. Just as accountants, surveyors, engineers and many other professions have Chartered assessments to demonstrate their ability and commitment to their professions.
For years, getting Chartered with CIPR involved researching and writing an academic paper then presenting it to a panel of senior professionals. It was difficult and a little off-putting for many. So the CIPR reviewed its approach and designed an assessment that was still professionally rigorous but more accessible to everyone, no matter what their route to working in PR and communication. The new Chartered process started in September 2015 with the first cohort of eight successfully passing the assessment in November that year. There are currently 168 Chartered Practitioners of the 10,000+ CIPR members.
It’s been over six years since I started my comms consultancy. And for much of that time I’ve been working with CIPR Inside providing communication consultancy, running the #insidestory awards and continually reviewing and evolving the awards since we launched them in 2012.
On Monday 16 Jan ’17 we held a brilliant judging day as part of the fifth #insidestory awards. I loved meeting the entrants and judges and hearing their stories. Everyone enjoyed the day.
But now it’s time for me to branch out more with my business. So that judging day was my last task to support the group. The committee are all set for the party when the big news of who wins will be announced. I’m coming too. Just try and stop me going to the zoo!!!
Human is the last of my three words to cover in this series of blogs.
It’s much later than I planned. I’ve been busy learning some new skills and also engrossed with the #insidestory awards judging and shortlisting. So here now, is the third and final instalment of #mythreewords.
We’re human, of course, but often in business we can sometimes ‘forget’ to be ourselves and show our ‘human’ side at work. That’s why this is an important word to guide my business strategy and the year ahead. Like voice and moment, human also has many interpretations for me in my work and personal life.
Yesterday I wrote about #my3words. I’ve chosen these words to guide me for the year ahead and beyond. New Year’s resolutions are made with great intentions, then often discarded by the end of Jan because they are too complex, fail to engage or are too vague (be fitter, healthier, get a better job etc…).
So when Chris Brogan’s email landed in my inbox in the new year and he talked about his approach of using three words to guide the year, it made good sense to me. I figure if it’s worked for him for the past 11 years, it’s got to be worth trying it out for myself…
My three words are: Voice, Moment and Human. Each has a multi-faceted meaning across my personal and professional life. Yesterday I explained my rationale for Voice – which is a big one for me.
Today I’ll explain Moment.