The Importance of specialisation and CPD in developing skills

This year I am focusing a lot more on developing new platforms for my own Provocative Change Works approach. This includes setting up a PCW 1 – 1 development group, so work with individuals around the globe who are interested in greater skills development. I’m keen that PCW doesn’t o the same route as NLP, where often people chase certifications like collecting badges and all too often there’s not a great deal of utilization and integration. In 2017 there seems to be a new level of enthusiasm for people to become “NLP Master Trainers” and yet my observation and feedback across the globe is that “the NLP brand” has peaked and now people are looking for approaches that focus on real life applications.

Many who attend trainings, whether these are NLP, hypnosis or other approaches, tend to be what I call “generalists” rather than have any specialization. Last week as part of another project I looked at a number of practitioner and coach profiles online. Most of had a menu of service options that were to my eyes like a fast food restaurant. One had everything from NLP, to shamanism to numerology. I applaud the enthusiasm but this reminds me of the days when I assisted on large London NLP courses where course attendees would spend literally thousands of pounds on products but rarely developed any original ideas or had any real specialization.

On my own trainings in the UK, USA, Europe and Asia, I notice a similar trend. Typically I’ll asked audience members for their thoughts and observations having watched demonstrations of the PCW model. I’ll often ask which language patterns, metaphors, PCW stances were used. Often I’m surprised that many who have attended many courses are too fixated on content to be able to step back and notice the process that is key to how the client has constructed and maintained the “problem state”

The best coaches and practitioners are able to move beyond surface information and be able to work in a precise and personable manner with clients. They also generally have a good sense of humour and an awareness that it takes a great deal of time and energy to develop real skills. I have talked extensively about this to peers including Steve Andreas and Andrew Austin, both of whom have made the exact same observations! Developing skills requires proper continual professional development. This does not mean simply attending courses but rather constantly refining and reviewing existing ideas.  I often say to students “After the first 6000 clinical hours” it generally gets a lot easier when working with therapy and coaching clients.

Nick Kemp

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