Make time to devote to your professional development

Sunny was a patient teacher

I’ve been on the road for the last couple of weeks – away on a combination of business stops mingled with a few family visits. I haven’t seen Grace for nine days and I really miss her. Of course, I miss my husband, too, along with all the routines that I enjoy in my life.

Immersed in a different daily regimen is energizing, though. The last several days I’ve spent with colleagues getting a deeper understanding of the assessment tools I use in my work. After finishing the coursework (and assuming I pass the test), I’ll receive the certification offered by Profiles International. I’ve worked with these tools for ten years and I’m still developing a robust knowledge bank about the scientific foundation of the assessments and the applications for their use. One of my favorite parts of these types of meetings is the interaction with my peers. We share information and ideas with each other that is invaluable for our professional development.

Somehow I think Grace knew she could learn from Sunny. They played endlessly, yet it was always clear that Sunny was the teacher. Grace gladly accepted the role of student. They both walked away richer for the experiences.

Being a student can be fun. When I first got Grace, we lived next door to a couple who were real dog lovers. They had one dog and another that was dropped off every weekday morning by family to stay while they were at work. Sunny was a beautiful, well-adjusted golden retriever who served as an important role model for Grace. She was a dream dog by any standard and I loved that Grace could be around her. It provided the type of mentorship that only another dog could provide to Grace.

We need those situations where we can learn from each other. Just being submerged into sessions with a variety of perspectives is worthwhile. Spending this time not only expands what I know, it shakes up how I think about things and makes it all fresh.

Grace watched Sunny’s every move, especially when she did things Grace was scared to do, like swimming.

It was tempting to think that investing in this time—including travel it’s practically an entire week—was more than I could spare. It would have been easier to stay at home. Yet I know that without carving out time for continual learning, I would have limited my potential for new and better knowledge.

Make time to devote to your professional development. Even if you’d rather be at home.

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5 comments

  1. didiwright says:

    I love this post, Robin. I like the smooth transition from you as a student to Grace as a student. A good reminder that we’re all learning all the time. I’m glad the course is going OK and you’re finding it helpful and interesting. This kind of justifies the time spent away from your loved ones. I know, from my own experience, that it’s not easy to be away and miss them. Last spring I had to go abroad by myself, for 10 days, to visit family abroad. I loved my time there, but I missed home and couldn’t wait to get back. I was particularly worried that my husband might not feed George properly (but don’t tell him that!) 😉
    Grace is so lucky to have had a great dog teacher. When George was a puppy, we were really keen to find friends with older, well-behaved dogs who could teach him manners.
    I love the photos…Grace has got the cutest tummy in the world!
    Best of luck with the test, I’m sure you’ll do brilliantly! 🙂

    • Thanks, Didi. Yes, I felt the time was worthwhile despite how anxious I am to get home. Have you heard the saying” When the student is ready to learn, the teacher will appear?” I love the quote and try to remember to be open to learning because we have teachers all around us, if we’re willing to be open to them.

  2. Very important, observation, Robin. Investing in ourselves is critical to doing our best for others. There’s always a balance between income and investment, of course, but too often I’ve seen leaders shortchange themselves to the ultimate detriment of their team.

    Conferences and Workshops are my favorite ways to self-develop, and sometimes they can help grow business as well!

    Michael

    • Great point that we need to help ourselves before we can help others. Sort of like the flight attendees reminding passengers to put on their own oxygen mask before helping someone else. It seems counter-intiutive, doesn’t it?

  3. I can’t beleive how many posts I have missed… Well, no excuses, Im back now. 🙂
    Ive often thought that if the best qualities of a human could be placed in a dog, that dog would be a golden retreiver. The picture of Grace watching him swim is really cool!

    Im a real homebody and my comfort zone is definitly there. It requires a conscious effort to wisely choose the path when it leads away from home. I want to wish you well on your test, but your probably home already. o.k, on to the next post…. 🙂

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