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Mark Scott
Rapport Building and Communicating Organising and Planning Coach Developer

Developing People to Lead a Community of Practice

The third article in a five-part series exploring the value of Communities of Practice (CoPs). The series uses findings from a research project undertaken between UK Coaching and The Albion Foundation to demonstrate the impact of CoPs on coach learning and development

Learning in a community of practice (CoP) looks and feels very different to traditional education methods that we are used to. This is one of the main strengths of learning in a CoP, as it allows everyone to participate, get involved in the learning in a relaxed and more informal way.

In a recent research project, a collaboration between UK Coaching and The Albion Foundation, quotes from those involved show that leading CoPs can be a challenging but worthwhile experience for the leaders and facilitators.

I developed observation skills – seeing who is engaging, who is not, who can be a problem – and learnt to steer conversations when they were going off track. That was something I had to work on: my ability to steer and try and change a group conversation when it wasn’t a conversation I was in.” 

Leading the CoPs has taught me to take the pressure off myself; that I don’t have to be the fountain of all knowledge and to experiment and try different ways of doing things.”

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Mark Scott