3 Lessons to Incorporate Into Your PD Planning This Year

By Elena Aguilar, Bright Morning Founder and President

Are you thinking about your own professional learning in the year to come? Or about how to support the development of others? If so, keep reading. 

On Monday our January – March 2022 offerings opened for registration, and that includes our new membership options. For 2022, we decided not to introduce too many new offerings (because what we have is really good) but we made the decision to change up our membership options. Why? Because we learned a lot from our 2021 approach and know how to better serve our community. 

Below you’ll find a snapshot of:

  • What we learned
  • How that translated to 2022 memberships  
  • Potential implications for your own approach to PD 

Let’s dive in. 

Lesson learned: There is tremendous value in helping people cut through the noise. 

In 2021 our memberships had slightly different benefits but they all took an “all-inclusive” approach. You invested once and got access to all of our offerings. For some of our members this was exactly what they were looking for and they steadily worked their way through experience after experience. For others, having everything available was overwhelming. Where to start? What matters most for my role? If I don’t do it all, am I missing out? What became evident is that the value of the membership wasn’t just from providing a ridiculously good financial proposition, it was also from providing expert guidance on which learning path was impactful, intentional, and doable for them

What this means for us in 2022: We’re offering targeted memberships for different “types” of folks…and we’re keeping the all-inclusive option. Here’s what you can choose from in 2022: 

  • Transformational Coach Membership: This membership includes all of our core coaching workshops: The Art of Coaching 101, The Art of Coaching Emotions (new!), The Art of Coaching Masterclass, Coaching for Equity 101 and/or Masterclass, and a Transformational Conversations Accelerator.  
  • Transformational Leader Membership: This membership provides access to the experience all leaders need: The Art of Coaching 101, The Art of Coaching When You’re the Boss, The Art of Coaching Emotions, The Art of Coaching Teams 101, The Art of Coaching Teams Masterclass, Coaching for Equity 101 and/or Masterclass. 
  • Transformational Conversations Accelerator Membership: Our first membership designed specifically for more experienced coaches. Coaches meet once a month for 10 months for rigorous practice and feedback. 
  • On-Demand Membership: For those who need a fully asynchronous approach to learning on their own schedule, this option provides year-long access to all of our on-demand courses. 
  • All-Inclusive Membership: The all-access pass: any workshop, whenever you want and as many times as you want it and all of our on-demand courses. 

Potential implications for your approach to PD: If you’re designing a PD scope and sequence, or supporting individuals in creating their own development plans, you might want to consider first getting clear on the user profile you’re likely to serve (i.e., are they new in their role, is there a common set of challenges, how much time do they have available to spend and when…) and then draft a few starting paths to provide an anchor amongst the sprawling sea of choice. Decision-making fatigue is real and so is the power of expert guidance. 

Lesson learned: We’re more likely to make time for what is time-bound. 

Another challenge we saw people experience with the open, all-inclusive membership approach was that they could participate in many of our offerings at several different points in the year. What for some was the perfect amount of flexibility was also a liability for others. When competing priorities popped up it was easy to deprioritize a workshop. What we heard from members who started their membership later in the year was that what first appeared to be a deficit actually ended up being a real bonus: they were more likely to dive in and attend the workshops. 

What this means for us in 2022: Our two memberships with a defined scope of learning (Transformational Coach and Transformational Leader) will be time-bound. We’ll offer three options for the Transformational Coach (January – April, May – September and August – November) and two options for the Transformational Leader (January – July and July – November). 

Potential implications for your approach to PD: Given that the majority of people are Obligers and benefit from external accountability, providing time-bound structures can be hugely helpful, especially in situations where there are competing demands and the easiest thing to deprioritize might be one’s own growth. If you provide people with a menu of options for their development, or various learning experiences, having clear checkpoints could be a big help to many. 

Lesson learned: Our more experienced practitioners are craving and really benefit from experiences designed specifically for them. 

Most of our workshops teach a new set of content and allow participants the opportunity to practice for a bit before they go out into the world and employ their new knowledge and burgeoning skills. This first stage of learning is obviously critical, it is the spark that fuels transformation, but the magic happens in the implementation. There was only one opportunity explicitly for those with a solid foundation to really refine and build expertise: our Transformational Coaching Intensives. At the end of a session a participant shared that they wanted to attend these every month and everyone else agreed. Including us. 

What this means for us in 2022: We’re introducing a new membership that is all about refining and catapulting one’s practice. A space specifically for folks who have been building their skills but want to truly be transformational. And love the idea of building a community at the same time. 

Potential implications for your approach to PD: Some questions you might want to ask yourself: who are you designing for? Do the learning experiences you’re providing consistently introduce new content, or do they also make space for internalization and refinement? How are your most skilled practitioners being stretched? “High flyers” are often the easiest to overlook because they’re already doing well and there might not be obvious gaps to fill (or they aren’t as pressing as others), but these folks are so critical to our schools and organizations. And they too want high quality development that meets their unique needs. 

This is getting long so I’ll wrap things up for now, but I hope this prompted you to think through your own development and what you provide for others – and I hope it got you excited about what is happening in 2022 at Bright Morning! 

Oh, and one last learning: people love exclusive offers! That’s why we are offering one for the first two weeks of our 2022 memberships going on sale! If you purchase your membership within the next two weeks (by November 3rd) you’ll be entitled to three exclusive bonuses (worth $1045!) that add even more value to your membership: 

  • A free companion ticket to bring a friend to any of our 2022 workshops included in your membership. 
  • A signed copy of Elena’s newest book(!!) releasing late spring 2022
  • Complimentary access to any of the book studies we will be hosting in January 2022 (Art of Coaching and Art of Coaching Teams)

Learn more about memberships, including the answers to frequently asked questions, here.