Friday, December 23, 2011

Making the most of the (new) Provisional Member category

Beginning April 1, 2013, all ICF members will be required to have completed at least 60 hours of coach specific training* to be a member (or maintain membership) with the ICF. Unless you hold an ICF Credential or have already completed the obligatory 60 hours of coach specific training*, you should now consider how to fulfill your training hours.
This is a great opportunity for you! ICF has developed a Provisional Member category that will allow current members one year (beginning April 1, 2012) to obtain the 60 hours of coach specific training prior to the policy taking full effect on April 1, 2013.

So now for the tough question, how will you fulfill your hours? If you aren’t already enrolled in a program, now is the time to find the program that best suits your needs. If you are starting at the very beginning, this may seem like a daunting task. For tips on how to choose a coach training program, check out this August 25 post.

You are by no means required to use an ICF approved coach training program, but if that is the route you choose to take, you can search all ICF approved programs by various criteria at Coachfederation.org in the Training Program Search Service

Still trying to wrap your mind around the new membership eligibility requirement (MER)? Download the frequently asked questions document and bookmark the MER page at Coachfederation.org for the most up-to-date information. 

*Definition of Training that is accepted as coach specific training:
(These are aligned with the requirements for the
ACC Portfolio Application credential path.)
  
  • Training from an Accredited Coach Training Program (ACTP) or a program that has received the ICF Approved Coach Specific Training Hours (ACSTH) designation.
  • Training from a Continuing Coach Education (CCE) Provider, subject to these limitations:
         - All hours approved in Core Competencies will be accepted.
         - A maximum of 12 hours outside of the Core Competencies will be accepted.
  • Training that is specifically marketed as teaching coaching skills, that teaches coaching skills or teaches how to apply technical skills in a coach-like manner and teaches coaching skills in accordance with the ICF Core Competencies.
Requirement for 60 hours:
At least 48 of the hours must be:
  • Direct interaction with a trainer (voice-to-voice or in-person training; not cyber courses, mail-in courses, or self-study).
  • From a program other than ICF conference, SIG, Virtual Education, or chapter events.
  • Teaching the ICF Core Competencies (all Core Competencies must be covered).
The remaining hours may be self-study, from an ICF event, teaching coaching-related topics, or a combination. However, all hours must be part of a program with the purpose of training coaches.

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

The path to better networking

Taking a cue from a November blog post on networking tips, we asked our Facebook fans for their best networking tips. Take a look below to see how our Facebook fans responded:
  • “Taking a genuine interest in the one I’m talking to, and make that person feel really special.” (Jacky Chua)
  • “CARES which means coming from a place of commitment, abundance, result oriented, excellence, and resilient.” (Johan Van Bavel)
  • “Be strategic. It’s not a ‘spray and pray approach;’ it’s a ‘connect with a few and offer value in the process.’” (Tammy Redmon)
  • “Connecting, connecting, connecting!” (Katerina Kanelidou)
  • “Listen, truly listen. Engage. Be genuinely curious. Always be prepared with something to leave with whomever you’re networking with. If there is a real connection, set up a specific next call of action. (Example: ‘I’ll call you Tuesday at 11 a.m..’)” (iPEC Coaching)
  • “Remember you always have something in common. Be inquisitive.” (Nora Whalen)
  • “I like BNI. It’s a business network. I’ve got several new customers from there. But, off course, always be prepared with whomever you are meeting.” (Wändell Coaching & Consulting)
  • “Smiling and listening.” (Rodolfo Rosales)
  • “What intentions do you set before you network? What is your first impression like? What is your 30 second intro? How can you refer business to someone before you ask for business? How fast do you follow up with the people you meet?” (Harvest Sales Coaching Café)
  • “Listening, commitment, result-oriented.” (Sercan Savran)
What about you? What are your tips when it comes to networking? We’d love to know—leave a response below or join the conversation at Facebook.com/ICFHQ.

Monday, December 19, 2011

The Neuroscience of Coaching and Stress

Stress is, if not one of the main reasons people come to coaching, certainly is something that comes up with almost every client. I once heard the amazing (and now deceased) Dr. Paul Pearsall speak at an ICF Conference about having a balanced, healthy unstressed heart. His conclusion--it is perhaps impossible in today's world unless you live on a remote South Sea island.

In neuroscience, we use the term "emotional regulation" for what is basically the ability to deal with stress. And as I read through the literature, it dawned on me that this is a huge amount of what we do with our clients. We help them not only "emotionally regulate" in the moment of our conversation, but we also help them build skills for more competency in this area. In order words, we help them become more resilient and capable in the face of day to day life.

So let me walk you through what current neuroscience research has found are the effective tools for dealing with stress, and how we most typically do this through coaching. In order of effectiveness (from lowest to highest), we have:
  1. Controlling the environment so as not to encounter stressor. Interestingly, this may sound bad at first, but it is actually quite effective if you can do it. And we help our clients do this all the time. For example, we might explore options with them to get rid of a 60-minute commute. Or help them see they can make boundaries with an in-law. As coaches, many of us (myself included) have designed our lives for a more peaceful experience. I dislike office environments with fluorescent lights and people asking me for things all day long. So I am a coach and trainer, I often work at home in my pajamas while hanging out with my cats, voila, stressor controlled.
    The reason I have this near the bottom of the list when it actually works so well (and some scientists argue is actually the most effective strategy) is that relying on control is probably a losing proposition. We simply can't (and shouldn't try) to control everything and everyone so as not to bug us. And the feeling of needing to be in control when you can't be actually causes more stress. Still, it works great when you can do it.
  2. Naming the emotion. As coaches, this is often how we start when someone is dealing with an emotional challenge--we ask, "What's going on?" We reflect what we are hearing, often teasing out deeper understanding for the client. The challenge of this strategy (as anyone who has worked with human beings for any length of time knows) is that people often don't know what they are feeling. As coaches, we help them understand and name through metaphor, by using our own intuition, through body sensations, and basically, any tool we have. Over time, we help people develop competence in this area so that they have more words and understanding of the vague sensations within.
  3. Reframing–finding an empowering way to look at the issue. The act of reframing (also known as taking a new perspective) invites our powerful thinking brain to the party, which calms down our limbic system (aka "stress") responses. In other words, reframing enables our clients to actually think and not react. Being asked to try on a new perspective is like stopping a runaway train. It gets us out of the limbic system, which got activated by stress, and into the pre-frontal cortex. And when we can think about things using our higher, more developed mind, we do pretty well.
  4. Mindfulness–meditation, being present to body sensations, focusing on gratitude/love. The number one, hands down, most effective solution to any neuroscience challenge. Stress, creativity, improving memory, being more emotionally intelligent -- being mindful has been proven again and again to make a huge difference in all these areas.
    As coaches, I believe we absolutely help our clients become more "mindful." Even just a good coaching conversation brings people present into the moment and makes them pay attention to what is going on, rather than putting their attention on regrets from the past or worries about the future. In many schools they call this "process coaching," where we take our clients deep into what they are experiencing, right here, right now. It can be almost like a guided meditation in dialogue, as we walk with them through a metaphor, or help them put their body sensations into words. It's powerful, and can release old patterns and issues that have been stuck for years, simply by helping people be present.
Trust me on this one: If you do ONE THING for your client's brains--and your own--help them find a way to spend time being present. This calms and strengthens and develops the parts of the brain we need the most. Fun brain fact: Einstein's brain? Not bigger than yours or mine, but bigger in areas that are shown to increase through meditation.

Om.

Ann Betz, CPCC is the co-founder of BEabove Leadership and is on the faculty of the Coaches Training Institute, where she also serves as a consultant on the neuroscience of coaching. A long-time student of consciousness, she is currently pursuing a graduate degree in neuroscience. In addition to her more academic studies, Ann uses poetry to help people understand and integrate new awareness, and is the co-author of the new book "Coaching the Spirit, poems of transformation," available in December 2011. Ann coaches and trains internationally, and writes blogs on consciousness (http://www.beaboveleadership.com/), coaching and neuroscience (http://www.yourcoachingbrain.wordpress.com/) and poetry (http://www.eccentricspirit.com/). Ann can be reached at ann@beaboveleadership.com or at 651-253-5798.

Friday, December 16, 2011

Three simple ways for ICF members to connect and save more

So you belong to the ICF…but are you really maximizing your membership? This occasional topic series will highlight those things you can do to ensure you are making the most of your connection to the ICF.

  1. Connection with ICF and other members via social media. The ICF has a presence on Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter, and YouTube. If you haven’t already connected with the ICF through these channels, they are a great resource for small snippets of information as well as meeting other ICF coaches.
  2. Community with local coaches through ICF Chapters. There are more than 120 ICF Chapters in over 50 countries across the globe. Chapters provide ICF members educational and social opportunities. Search ICF Chapters.
  3. Valuable monetary discounts. By holding membership with the ICF, you are eligible for valuable discounts when it comes to applying for an ICF Credential, registering for the ICF Annual International Conference, as well as other special offers. Learn more so you can save big!
If you do not currently hold ICF membership, treat yourself to the gift that keeps on giving beyond this holiday season. For only $195 USD, you can join our borderless community of 19,000+ coaches.

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

What We Hold-- Holds Onto Us

SIG: Energy Work and Coaching: The Next Wave
Host: Rhona Post MA, MCC, Certified CI Practitioner
December’s Topic: How What We Hold-- Holds Onto Us


My meditation teacher, Michael Gregory (www.mindfulnessmeditationcenters.com) provides straightforward guidance for mindfulness practice. Watch your breath. Observe yourself as you observe your breath. Although simple in theory, breath watching can be challenging as we are constantly pulled toward our senses, qualifying what we think, feel, see, hear, and smell. We are captivated by our stories. I think of my mind as a large screen television with access to more than 150 channels. Whether I’m watching dramas, horror, documentaries, commercials, or re-runs about my life, I’m pre-occupied with my narratives.

I am not alone. Our stories explain why we do what we do, how we see the world, who we can trust, who we should avoid, what we want or don’t want, etc. Not to mention the many hours of the behind-the-scenes interviews we conduct where we berate or deliberate with ourselves, act as the hero or the victim of our stories.

It’s a merry go round, for sure, and some of us want to get off. Why? We want more peace, more joy and a greater sense of equanimity.

The purpose of the Energy Work and Coaching SIG is to provide coaches with another vantage point from which we can work. Using an open forum approach, we explore topics that will help us coach from a strong centered presence, using our intuition to guide us to work more deeply. We practice with a variety of somatic, energetic and ontological coaching tools. Our goal is to foster community—a place where our unique gifts are received. The more we model what is possible for our coaching clients, the easier it becomes for them to take the risks necessary to transform their relationships to their stories.

In November, my coaching colleague, Sandy Mobley (http://www.thelearningadvantageinc.com/) and I led a discussion about the power of positive thinking as it relates to changing our neural programming. We practiced with several tools, including the GAP, Length, Width and Depth (http://www.strozziinstitute.com/) and a loving kindness meditation. 
Rhona Post, MCC

December’s topic is all about holding patterns—from the physical to the emotional clutter keeping us from experiencing joy. As a Core Individuation practitioner, I have learned to energetically remove holding patterns so that my clients feel whole. During the month of December, I am offering a discounted rate to ICF coaches for a healing session. Please call or email me at rpost@thehealercoach.com. I look forward to our SIG call Monday, December 19 at 11 a.m. (New York).

For More Information: Contact: Rhona Post via email at rpost@thehealercoach.com or via telephone at +1.941.554.8466. You can also find me on Facebook or Twitter.

Monday, December 5, 2011

Stop following the herd!

If you have you ever gone furniture shopping, you will relate to this story. My husband and I were in need of a new bedroom set. So, one day, we set out going from one furniture store to another, searching for that “perfect” bedroom set. After five hours of going from store to store, we finally found the “one” but because it was more than what we had budgeted, we decided we would go home and sleep on the decision.The next morning, we awoke to discover that we BOTH had forgotten which store we had found that one particular bedroom set that we both loved (and no, we did not write it down…as that would have been the smart thing to do!).

WHY could we not remember which store it was? Because most furniture stores look and “act” alike. They carry similar furniture, most (if not, all) finance your purchases with their credit departments, they have delivery and set up options and sales people that follow you around like puppy dogs. They all follow the same play book. That was until IKEA came along. IKEA looked at what all the other furniture stores were doing and then...did the OPPOSITE. IKEA carries very distinctive low quality, low cost, Scandinavian furniture. As other furniture stores try and sell you on the longevity of their furniture, IKEA sells you on the fact that it won’t last long which allows you can “change your furniture look” often.


As you walk around the IKEA, you write down the aisle and bin numbers of your products and then venture into their warehouse where, you, not a salesperson, retrieve your furniture parts. Yes...I said parts. Then, what about set-up, you ask? Not at IKEA. You take home tons of boxes, unwrap everything yourself and then put it together, piece by piece, following their so called “directions.” And as far as salespeople, well, let me know when you find one of those too! But what they do have is babysitting for your children and a gourmet fast food restaurant for customers with picky taste buds. The experience starts the moment you walk into the store. And today, they are one of the most highly successful and profitable furniture brands out there, with millions of LOYAL customers (I am actually one of them!). Why? They broke the mold and gave customers what they truly wanted (which is not necessarily what customers always tell you they want!).

So the lesson…Be different…be very different. In some shape or form…

Just be Different.

You can differentiate via price, features, services, niche market, and/or customer service, to name a few. To be successful, you must distinguish yourself from the herd. Find your differentiator (I call it your black jellybean – people either love them or hate them and they do not appeal to everyone (that’s ok!) but they always stand out from the other jellybeans). GO FOR IT!

Gail Nataupsky founded The Republic of Engagement in 2011 with the clear and passionate vision of improving the lives and experience of all business owners, employees and customers. With THE REPUBLIC Of Engagement, her attention is focused on the success of her clients as reflected in their business growth, their achievements in their personal lives and their overall happiness. As an expert in evidence-based strategic engagement, Gail teaches business owners how to solve and overcome business challenges and prosper from the opportunities. Professionally, she holds a B.A. in history from Boston College and a graduate certificate in Architecture from Harvard Graduate School of Design Currently, she is working on becoming a certified professional coach from the world renowned leader in coach training, the Institute for Professional Excellence in Coaching (IPEC), and a certified Energy Leadership Index (ELI) Assessment and Energy Leadership Development System coach. She is a Certified Marketing Specialist, a member of the International Coach Federation (ICF) and a member of the Internet Marketing Association (IMA) Please visit her blog at http://republicofengagement.wordpress.com/ or feel free to email her at Gail@RepublicOfEngagement.com.  

Friday, December 2, 2011

How's your business plan looking?

December is Write a Business Plan Month. If you have a business plan in place, take time this month to review it and make any changes you have wanted to make. If you don't have a working business plan, take time to write one!

For those who have a business plan in place, what sorts of tips can you provide those starting from scratch? What resources do you recommend?

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Are You in Love With Your Coaching Business?

The below post is by Jayne Warrilow, a 2011 ICF Annual International Conference speaker. Watch for posts from other 2011 conference speakers on the ICF blog over the next several months.

Many people have talked about the importance of loving what you do for a living. Yet for many of us, the reality is quite different. Yes, we love the coaching but what about our business? Somewhere between our dreams of achieving our ambitions and the practical realities of actually running a coaching business, we lose our passion. We lose touch with the very thing that could lead us to success and instead find ourselves chasing the money, or simply following the path of least resistance. If this is you, rest assured its never too late to fall back in love with your coaching business.

As a business owner you have a tremendous opportunity to embrace what you do with passion. You are truly without limits. If you are like most coaches you probably became self-employed because you liked the idea of more personal freedom. You wanted to be your own boss and had some great ideas you wanted to try. In the early days, I bet you were full of passion and excitement. All you could think about was your business - it was an exciting time. However since then, you will have been through a lot. You've worked hard and will have received some level of rewards. Your love of the business will have ebbed and flowed. Ask yourself now, are you still in love with your business? Is it time for you to rekindle the flame?

Passion is key. It acts as the rocket fuel to success and propels those who would otherwise slip into mediocrity to the top of their field. Here are some suggestions for you to reconnect with your original passion:
  1. Get present: You are unlikely to achieve success if you lose yourself within your business. Too many coaches work so hard and such long hours that they forget to sit back and enjoy their success. Get present. Bring yourself into the now and realise everything you have accomplished since the day you first began.
  2. Know your why: Remind yourself why you went into business in the first place, what were your original dreams? Get back in touch with your initial motivations to remind you of the bigger reasons behind what you are trying to achieve.
  3. Discover the magic of flow: Think about the energy you bring to your business. You are giving off certain messages via your energy whether you realize this or not. Your personal energy is fuel for your business. Don't allow anyone or anything get in the way of you being who you know you can be. Find your flow!

Jayne Warrilow
Set your performance meter high. Great quality of service, impeccable integrity and a caring attitude towards your customers will always attract referrals and repeat business. If you follow these suggestions your clients will notice and they will begin to reflect your passion back to you. If you do this right you won't be the only one to fall in love with your business, your customers will too.

Jayne Warrilow is CEO of Resonant Coaching, specializing in advanced level training for coaches. Jayne’s powerful work which she has successfully implemented in the C-Suites of global organizations, integrates a holistic, energetic approach into coaching ultimately leading to resonance, to the next level of mastery and beyond. For more information: www.resonantcoaching.com.

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

How can you give back?

This time of year is often synonymous with feelings of gratitude and thankfulness. While you count your blessings this year, consider those ways in which you might be able to serve others this holiday season…and beyond.

Regardless of how crowded your schedule is, volunteer opportunities abound everywhere.
Consider the organizations in your community that run on volunteer manpower…how can you help them? For you, it may be offering your services via pro bono coaching. For others, it could mean volunteering your time to serve (be it a soup kitchen, a nursing home, an orphanage, or animal shelter).


What is it for you…how can you give back? If you already regularly volunteer your services or your time (or both), what do you do? Do you have any advice for someone trying to find a way to get involved? Share your feedback in the comments section below or over on our Facebook page.

Monday, November 21, 2011

What Are You Thankful For?

The below post is by Ernest Mark, a 2011 ICF Annual International Conference speaker. Watch for posts from other 2011 conference speakers on the ICF blog over the next several months.

I love Thanksgiving Weekend. I love the spaciousness and the time to share and enjoy good food, to be with loved ones, to relax with leftovers, to unwind and be thankful. In the regular bustle of life, I often feel I’m just rushing through my days, i.e. getting the kids to school, rushing to work, bouncing between meetings and then rushing to pick up the kids and getting through the night routine. Phew, it’s exhausting thinking about it… and there is so little time to smell the roses.

This week I get to experience both the bustle of the preparation and the space to smell the roses, or in this case, the food, wine and good company. I love cooking and typically throw myself into Thanksgiving preparations, it’s my vehicle for expressing love for my family and friends. Our dinner is a potluck, so it’s a collective sharing of food, love and mutual appreciation for each other. When the meal begins, there’s usually a quiet moment as everyone settles into exploring the landscape of their plates. Then the conversation comes back and time seems to slow down to match our need to take it down a notch and enjoy each other. And in the spaciousness of this holiday, there is gratitude.

In the spirit of the holiday, I’ve been thinking about gratitude and spaciousness this week and noticing the possibilities of experiencing it. When I pause, I notice the bustle slows down, my breath gets a little deeper and my heart softens. I feel the possibility opens up for me to be more present, patient and loving with my family and others around me. And in the pause, I am taking a moment to be kind to myself which creates the possibility to be truly open and gracious with others.

As we wind up 2011 and head into the holiday season, what are you thankful for? What do you notice when you take a moment to pause and feel gratitude? Who would you like to share that with?

Ernest Mark is a coach and consultant working in the non-profit social justice sector. He works with a broad cross section of leaders and organizations across the sector and brings an approach that is fiercely culturally relevant and community led. Ernest lives in Oakland, California with his wife, Mimi, and daughters, Olive and Juniper. Ernest can be reached via email at ernest@ernestmark.com.

Friday, November 18, 2011

Create a better conversation…next week and beyond

Next week, November 21-27, is Better Conversation Week. This week is set aside to create better conversations with those in your life (from your significant other or your best friend to a client or acquaintance). Even those who converse constantly can use a simple reminder to consider their own conversations. [Non-meaningful conversing is an unfortunately simple thing to do…and we are all guilty of it in some form or another.]
If you add up how many different conversations you have in a given day, the number for many would be pretty significant. But how many of those conversations are “good?” I know what you are thinking... “What is a good conversation?” I think most people would agree that a good conversation is one in which both parties are genuinely interested, both parties listen, and both parties allow the other to speak.

Now consider your daily interactions. How many of those conversations would fall into that category? Probably less than you realize.

Not only that, but consider what your conversations are about. Is it small talk? Is it practical conversation (around whose turn it is to do the dishes, who let the dog out, etc.)? Is it substantial (where you walk away feeling fulfilled)? All of these forms of communication can be good…but your entire day’s worth of conversations should not fall under a single category. Like everything else in life, there needs to be balance. A really good article I came across on The New York Times website, though almost two years old, is a really interesting look at the correlation between the kinds of conversations you are having and how happy you are: Talk deeply, be happy?

So my thought for Better Conversation Week is to not only focus on creating better conversations…but really pay attention to the kinds of conversations that dominate my talk life. What about you? Share your thoughts below in the comments field, over on our Facebook page or via Twitter.

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Striking a balance

A popular topic these days seems to be the often bewildering work-life balance. For some people, it is one and the same. Others draw a distinctive line when it comes to the boundaries between work life and home life. To see how coaches handle a work-life balance, we reached out to our Facebook fans with the following question in October: “coaches, what do you do to maintain a healthy work-life balance?”

Take a look below to see how our Facebook fans responded:
  • “Gym every morn, bible/spiritual read for 20 mins each day, play with kids, do homework with kids, talk to wife in private after kids are in bed, read before sleep—something fictional.” Bret Snyder
  • “Work and life? So when I work I’m not alive? I feel most alive when I’m working…and of course I do a lot of things: meditation, meeting friends, reading, cooking (that’s my latest happy discovery), gym, sleeping, etc. Life’s good! Including work.” Tatiana Saliba
  • “I look at work as life. It’s a choice. While working, I work my ‘muscles’ for creating a deeper connection to things I want to master. There is no separation.” Carol House Jackson
  • “Trabajar con pensamiento de Coach en todo momento, enriqueciendo asi el alma de cada persona que impactamos y sobre todo hacerlo y vivir con pasion!!!” Jose Tony Santiago
  • “There’s no such thing as balance! Only resilience.” Lisa Austin
  • “Reflect on my life wheel everyday.” Leona Wan
  • “Work at it!” Sylvia Baumgartner
  • “I start each day with a swim, after that I am ready for whatever the day brings. It’s all life, when you love what you do you know you have cracked it when you never get a Monday morning feeling.” Denise Chilton
What about you? How do you maintain a balance between your work life and your personal life? We’d love to know—leave a response below or join the conversation at Facebook.com/ICFHQ.

Monday, November 14, 2011

How a positive mindset impacts us

SIG: Energy Work and Coaching: The Next Wave
Presenter: Rhona Post, MA MCC
Date: Monday, November 21 2011, 11:00 a.m. (New York)

Building upon the input from the October session, how our private and public identities often keep us from experiencing wholeness, our November session steps us into the conversation about how what we think shapes our actions, reactions and outcomes.

Joining us is Sandy Mobley, MCC and certified Core Individuation practitioner to discuss the value and benefits of having a positive mindset. We will expand the conversation to focus on the integration of energy work to support an individual’s ability to resolve or release conditioned patterns that have limited one’s experience of creativity, joy and satisfaction.

For example, what triggers a “victim consciousness” and how does that consciousness shape the person’s worldview? Is the person even aware that his/her victim consciousness informs all that he/she says and does? Have you noticed how blind we are to our conditioned tendencies? Or how hard we fight to hold onto what we know and do, even when these tendencies are harmful to our health?

Rhona Post, MCC

As I build the healer coach identity, I am grateful for the support and input my coaching colleagues provide on these calls. We are opening up the door to deepening our spirituality and skill to work more effectively with powerful emotions—two areas where we often feel vulnerable whether we are coaching others or coaching ourselves.

If you are interested in healer coaching and would like to experience working with a certified energy practitioner, please contact me at rpost@thehealercoach.com to set up your healing session.

Rhona Post, MA MCC, Certified Core Individuation Practitioner; +1.941.554.8466

Friday, November 11, 2011

Networking tips to try

Networking: we all have to do it. Like everything in life, some people are better at working a room than others. But being a little shy doesn’t mean that you cannot learn to network effectively.
 
Below you will find three simple networking tips that you can put to use at the next event you attend:
  1. Check your attitude at the door. Before you even walk into the room, you need to prepare yourself mentally for what lies ahead. Three ways to prepare yourself: push negative thoughts out of your mind; determine what you hope to accomplish/who you hope to interact with; and take a deep breath and smile!
  2. Be prepared. Your mindset is not the only thing that needs to be prepared before a networking event. If you often find yourself tongue-tied around new people, two ways to feel comfortable include having your introduction in place and several questions ready to ask. Your introduction shouldn’t take any more than ten seconds to recite and it should be clear and interesting. Practicing will make it sound natural (and you will be more confident when it comes across smoothly). Also, having a few open-ended questions ready will make starting conversations a breeze.
  3. Remain curious. Approach networking and meeting new people with a curious mind. On that note, it is important to network across industries (not only your own). Make a point to expand your horizons and attend meetings of groups you are not already a part of.
Have a few tips of your own? Share it with us below in the comments field, over on our Facebook page or via Twitter.

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Broth, soup or stew – where are you?

The below post originally appeared on Joanna Bennett’s blog, Minimalist Self, on November 1. Joanna is a student at Adler Learning in Toronto.

No, this isn’t a post about cooking.

Although, if food could be used as a metaphor about choice and the quality of the menu items we pick daily, then perhaps this is a recipe for discovery about ourselves!

At Adler last week, we engaged in a variety of creative exercises to assist with our coaching studies. One morning we were handed a sheet of coloured art paper and a few pastels. Our task was to create the cover of a book we were going to write in the future about our past 5 years as professional coaches. Not only an excellent visioning tool to use with clients but what a great way to design our own future!

The title, “Broth, Soup or Stew – Where Are You?” came to me in the previous week when the term ‘soup’ came up a few times. Is a client comfortable sitting in their own ‘soup’ or is it slowing them down? When discussing scenerios that could be worse than soup, I said “they are stuck in stew!” Since clients come to us to accompany them as they embrace an exciting new path, I thought of broth as a healthy choice to sip on – or inhale in one gulp!

So as a coach, I ask: Where are you?

I love soup. On a beautiful autumn day, homemade cream of [insert root vegetable here] satiates my need for something comforting. I could improve the nutritional value by making soup with yummy lentils! (low on sodium of course!) Regardless of content, we’ve all heard about soup being good for the soul. I’m gripping a spoon in one hand and the bowl with the other, head bent over blowing off the steam.

Some days however, I want to fill up on stew. Chunky ingredients stuck together with dumplings ideally, paired with a hearty glass of red wine. I’m in winter now, lights out, the winds are howling and hurling snow at the windows. Candles are burning low and so am I. Sometimes it’s necessary to go underground and hide out. It may also become difficult to remember what life has to offer. I leave a light on at the door to remind me of the way out.

So what does a a simple, clear broth offer me? Not a lot of sustenance. Doesn’t support a spoon or even cling to it. Broth can easily drop in temperature. But since I can drink it from a mug, my hands can wrap around it to keep it warm longer. I don’t even need a spoon. If it becomes stale, I get up, go to my kitchen and reheat it. Requiring only one hand to hold the vessel, I can transport it to a cozy chair by the window. As I pause to look out at the trees, I am mesmerized by the dancing colours. I look down at my broth and see reflections of my environment. This place makes the most sense to me.

There are times when we need to sit still. Hopefully, there are just rare occasions when we need to hide. For the creative, resourceful and whole human being, building momentum on our mindfulness allows for conscious appreciation of what we have and where we are going.

I think I just made myself hungry! Time for lunch.


Joanna Bennett
 Joanna Bennett is a highly creative person who desires living as consciously as possible and engaging with those around her. After many years of 'naval gazing' as an actor and the sometimes solitary work as a freelance sign language interpreter, Jo is embarking on a new career that embraces moving forward in this valuable life and allows her to have meaningful conversations with others. With the goal of becoming an ICF certified coach, Jo is thriving on the education at Adler Learning in Toronto! One passion that does tie together all careers and the values above is her love of writing. For more thoughts on mindfulness with a focus on self-employment, please subscribe to her blog: http://minimalistself.wordpress.com/.  

Thursday, November 3, 2011

Three easy things ICF members can do this week

So you belong to the ICF…but are you really maximizing your membership? This occasional topic series will highlight those things you can do to ensure you are making the most of your connection to the ICF.
1) Are you aware of the ICF Resource Partners? ICF Resource Partners offer discounts or special pricing to ICF members on their various goods and services. Currently, there are 15 partners offering such resources as audio services, insurance, and everything in-between. Learn more about each and how they can help grow your business.

2) Do you know about the member-only tools and resources at Coachfederation.org? Various marketing materials exist at Coachfederation.org that can assist in growing your business. Examples include: Top ten indicators to refer a client to a mental health professional, How to write an effective press release, and Tips for an online media room. These items are saved on a page called Assets and Tools. Take a look at available Assets and Tools.

3) Are you using the ICF logo in your marketing initiatives? If you aren’t, you should! The logo is downloadable at Coachfederation.org and is a great way to show the world your affiliation with the ICF through your website, business cards, e-mail signature, etc. The logo is available in different file formats and in color or black and white. Download the ICF logo.

How are you maximizing your membership?

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

Ignite passion!

I. Care. For. Three simple words that can reflect so much. In late 2010, then ICF President Giovanna D’Alessio, MCC, shared her idea of the “I Care For” campaign with the ICF membership. Drawing from the association’s branding work at the time, ICF members from across the world shared that “they see themselves not only as part of the ICF community, but also part of something much greater.”
Everyone on this planet—coach and client, has something that ignites passion. Be it a favorite charity, a local cause or effort, or some other service to humanity, everyone has something that can spark emotion—and ultimately, action.

The best part about “I Care For” is that each of our individuality shines through. What I care about may or may not be what the next person over cares about. But if we all do our part, we are all helping in our own way. And it subsequently makes the world a better place. [Remember, no act of kindness, no matter how small, is ever wasted. (Aesop)]

So, what is it for you? What ignites passion in your life and how are you feeding it?
Share it below in the comments, write on our Facebook wall, tweet us or shoot us an email at icfpr@coachfederation.org.  

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Words to live by…

Taking a cue from ICF guest blogger Laurie Lawson, we asked our Facebook fans the following question in September: “coaches, what is your favorite quote?”

The response was tremendous! If you are a collector of quotes, the below pool will serve as an excellent source.


“As long as you are going to be thinking anyway, think big.”—Donald Trump (Sinead Moffatt)

“Do, or do not. There is no try.”—Yoda (Vickie Gray)

“If you love what you do you will be successful.”—Albert Schweitzer (Jurgen Domacassee)

“I care not what the others do, but I care very much about what I think I do!”—Theodore Roosevelt (Elina Giachali)

“You can have anything you want if you want it desperately enough. You must want it with an exhuberance that erupts through the skin and joins the energy that created the world.”—Sheila Graham (Christa Lynn Colletti)

“Be where you are right now.” (Demyan Rossouw)

“Don’t ask yourself what the words needs. Ask what makes you come alive…and then go and do that. Because what the world needs is people who have come alive.” (Robben Salyers)

“Whether you think you can, and if you think that you can’t, are correct.”—Henry Ford (Germán Portilla Vallejo)

“No individual has any right to come into the world and go out of it without leaving behind him distinct and legitimate reasons for having passed through it.”—George Washington Carver (Jeremy Flagg)

“The point is to understand, not judge.” (Cynthia Grinfield)

“Your vision will become clear only when you look into your heart. Who looks outside, dreams. Who looks inside, awakens.”—Jung (Mine Kobal Ok)

“If you do not change direction, you may end up where you are heading.”—Lao Tzu (Susanne Cordes-Hoelterhoff)

“Screw it, let’s do it!”—Richard Branson (Katerina Kanelidou)

“A person who never made a mistake never tried anything new.”—Albert Einstein (Gildardo Aguilar)

“Sometimes you have to lose your mind to come to your senses.” (Christel Seierø)

“Forget the failures. Keep the lessons.”—Dalaï Lama (Zohra Dali)

“A maior conquista do homem, é vencer a si mesmo.”—Platão (Joana Darc A. Silva)

“In three words I can sum up everything I’ve learned about life: it goes on.”—Robert Frost (Karim Fayad)

“What you reap today is a result of what you sow yesterday. So what are you sowing today for tomorrow?” (Simon Yap)

“When you really want something, the whole universe conspires helping you achieve it.”—Paulo Coelho, The Alchemist (Christine Haugseth Andersen)

“Coaching begins with trusting that the coachee is ‘capable’.” (Bhaskar Bhattacharya)

“Live to make your lifetime a statement of who you are—not what you feared.” (Marcus Milukas)

“Spontaneity must be well planned!” (Wolfgang Spenke)

“Tell me, what is it you plan to do with your one wild and precious life?”—Mary Oliver (Merle Rockwell)

“If you can dream it, you can do it!”—Walt Disney (Elisabeth Piene Espenes)

“Nobody cares how much you know until they know how much you care.” (Deborah Higgs)

“My fellow citizens of the world, ask not what America will do for you, but what together we can do for the freedom of Man.”—John F. Kennedy (Mattia Rossi)

“Aerodynamically, the bumblebee shouldn’t be able to fly. But the bumblebee doesn’t know what, so it goes on flying anyway.”—Mary Kay Ash (Caroline Charron Stolzy)

“No regrets.”—S. Waugh (Wayne Timms)

“It is never too late to be what you should have become.”—George Eliot (Pierina Curties)

“Get the best people and train them well.”—Scott McNealy (Paul Morrall)

“A man who wants to lead the orchestra must turn his back on the crowd.”—Max Lucado (Paul Morrall)

“Leaders grasp nettles.”—David Oglivy (Paul Morrall)

“Use your life to change the world.”—Oprah Winfrey (Elvira Hopper)

“Accomplishment and success are often the result of commitment and perseverance rather than skill or talent.”—George V. Valkenburg (Elaine Tong)

“The harder you work and the more focused you are…the luckier you become.” (Paul Morrall)

“You can’t ask for a commitment greater than the size of your relationship.” (Clare Sauttner)

What about you? Do you have a favorite quote or words you live by? We’d love to know—share it with us on at Facebook.com/ICFHQ.

Monday, October 24, 2011

My recent ICF travels to Japan and South Korea

On October 7, ICF President Ed Modell, PCC, presented “what is coaching and the benefits of being an ICF member” at the American Chamber of Commerce Japan in Tokyo. His presentation included live coaching demonstrations and targeted human resource directors from large multi-national corporations and coaches in attendance.


On Saturday, the ICF Tokyo Chapter hosted a Global Coaching Forum in which Ed presented the value of ICF membership and the credential, ICF standards, the Global Coaching Study and Minimum Eligibility Requirements. Dr. Linda Semlitz addressed the psychological first aid in disaster recovery. The presentation included how coaches could provide appropriate support to people facing difficulties after the recent earthquake, tsunami and radiation.

A total of 70 coaches and personnel from coaching schools and human resource managers were in attendance. The forum ended with a party that went on through the evening celebrating coaching in Japan.

Finally, there was a meeting held that included myself and Ed, as well as key stakeholders from the coaching profession in Japan, including the ICF Tokyo Chapter, six coaching schools, a special interest group (SIG), and other groups. The conversation was around changes to the ICF Credential, membership eligibility requirements and other concerns affecting coaching.


Leaving Japan, we travelled to South Korea. The ICF Seoul Korea Chapter partnered with ICF Korea to host a one day coaching conference. Over 100 coaches, coaching school personnel, human resource managers and others attended a day coach learning. Ed Modell presented on “the value of ICF and the credential.”

Ed also did two coaching demonstrations to show the power of coaching. In addition, a panel of six PCC coaches told the audience why coaching was important in their lives and profession. Ed was also able to tell his life story about how he became a coach and his own personal transformation into coaching.


The coaching conference was a huge success. Members in both Japan and Korea were grateful that we came to visit them and honor them as members of the ICF global community of coaches.

Don Whittle is the ICF Director of Membership at ICF Global. He can be reached at don.whittle@coachfederation.org.  

Friday, October 21, 2011

Time is ticking…we still want to hear from you!

Your last chance to be a part of coaching research history is coming! The 2011 Global Coaching Study will officially close on November 15, after being open nearly six months collecting the viewpoints of coaching professionals from across the world.
As the greatly anticipated follow-up to the 2006 ICF Global Coaching Study, the 2011 study will bring the current global landscape of coaching into clearer focus. Independent research firm PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC) is conducting the survey.

The study is open to all coaching professionals. To reach an even wider audience, the study has been offered in nine languages (English, French, German, Italian, Japanese, Korean, Mandarin, Portuguese, and Spanish) and was compatible across several modes of mobile technology, including smart phones and tablet computers.

Once the study closes in mid-November, the data collected will lead to the creation of a robust “state of the industry” report that will provide coaches, organizations, and the media with an opportunity to learn more about today’s coaching industry. Final reports are expected to be available in early 2012.

PwC has advised that any country which delivers more than 100 survey respondents will be entitled to receive nation-specific data tables drawn from the study. To date, several countries have already surpassed this threshold! Do your part and participate so you too can benefit from more detailed findings about coaching in your country.

These findings will be beneficial when it comes to marketing your coaching practice in 2012 and beyond! You too can take advantage of these statistical findings by participating in this research.

If you haven’t already lent your voice to this research initiative—take a few minutes this weekend to do so! Participate in the study. Learn more about the study.

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Evaluate Your Life

Today, some people will celebrate a lesser known “holiday” known as Evaluate Your Life day. October 19 is a day to STOP and really consider your life—where you are and where you’re headed.


The day can be as simple or as detailed as you want it to be. The entire point of acknowledging this “holiday” is to take an inventory of your life—and to make decisions and goals to supplement what you discover about yourself.

Some people will focus on a single aspect of their life. Be it work life, love life, family life, social life, etc. And others may focus on more tangible subjects, such as appearance, home, etc. Whatever area of your life you feel could use an inventory, take time today to stop and think. Find a quiet place where you can be alone with your thoughts. Pull out a journal and take a few notes. Determine those adjustments your own life can use. And put them to work!

If you need a nudge, a simple Internet search turned up a listing of these 35 questions that you could use to evaluate your life.

Other questions to get you started include:
  • Where are you?
  • Describe your current situation in three words.
  • Think back to who you were five years ago. Are you (today) where you thought you would be?
  • Where are you headed? Is it where you want to be? (If it isn’t, how can you get on the path you want to be on?)
  • What adjustments must you make?
The bottom line? You have one chance at life. Make it the best you can while you can!

Monday, October 17, 2011

Keeping your own counsel

Last night I was flicking through a book of mine which discussed that people join groups as they have a need or a want to be lead. One thing that struck me in this book was that because humans have an unrelenting need to belong to a group, these very groups (like church, self help groups etc) can begin to act as cults. Cults typically have a negative connotation so I looked at its meaning on the trusty Webster’s Online Dictionary:
 
Cult - “Attentive care; homage; worship”, “A system of religious belief and worship”.


I don’t want to get into the whole cult debacle because that could be a subject for another day, but my book stated that essentially (and this is in my own words) groups become a cult when we stop seeing our own greatness or brilliance and rely on the person or thing we worship or pay homage to, to give us answers or direction. In other words, we choose to follow a leader rather than follow our own soul. It was at this moment in the book that I sat up and took notice – not because of cults and what they mean because I have certainly experienced them in my lifetime (my brother belonged to a cult along with a very close friend) – but because we can often seek out others to give us answers rather than rely on our own inherent wisdom.


So let me pose a question to you. When you have a decision to make, what’s the first thing you do? Do you discuss it with all your friends and family to get their opinion (and sometimes feel even more confused) and eventually make a decision after you have heard all their advice? Or do you keep your own counsel and go within for the answer with the belief that you know what feels true or right for you?

Women are always willing to help friends and love ones with decisions and it is usually done with the best intentions. However, this ‘advice’ can often be fraught with projection, judgment and a very personal take on the world. By asking everyone’s advice on a pressing decision we inadvertently end up giving away our own power, our own sense of worth, because we think they have the answer, or the wisdom, not us. We want to be told, or lead to the answer. As well, the more we discuss the decision or issue with our friends and family or work colleagues, the more entangled we become in the ‘drama’ of it rather than the solution.

A great deal of research has been done on ‘paralysis by analysis’ which means that the more choice we are given, the harder it is to make a decision. Supermarkets experiment with this all the time. When they offer customers too much choice, sales go down, but when the choice is more limited, sales go up. Malcolm Gladwell illustrates this point beautifully in his book 'Blink' and states that your first initial gut feeling, or intuitive feeling is often correct and that too much choice hinders that initial knowing.

Perhaps one of the greatest things I love about coaching is that as a coach my job is simply to extract the knowledge, the wisdom, the experience and the intuition which already resides within the client. And I can tell you, when the answer they need suddenly breaks forth, it ALWAYS feels true to them and they walk away with a greater sense of ownership.

So next time you have a pressing decision or are unsure which path to take, before you go anywhere near your girlfriends, your family, your work colleagues or whoever you go to, try and go within for your answer as that’s where it resides. You may well need to do research; you may need to speak to experts, but start getting used to using your own counsel and trusting your own inherent wisdom and knowledge. As you get used to trusting yourself, you will most likely find the decision making process a whole lot easier. And that can only be a good thing.

This blog post first appeared on Anne Loyd's Professional and Personal Coaching Blog.

Anne Loyd
About Anne Loyd: As a coach working specifically with women, I am committed to helping women define and create their vision of a life they would love - in and out of the workplace. Creating a vision is the most passionate and wondrous way to live life. I help women reveal what they want to be, to do, to create, without the limitations of time, education, background and money that we shackle ourselves with. As a New Zealander living in London, I work with women all around the world who have the courage to make a change and who want to be an ordinary woman like you and I, doing something extraordinary. Learn more at www.anneloyd.com.

Friday, October 14, 2011

2011 ICF Award Overview

The ICF annually awards individual members, chapters and organizations that have demonstrated remarkable commitment to advancing the art, science and practice of professional coaching in their community and beyond. These awards, embodied by the ICF President’s Award, ICF Chapter Awards, and International Prism Awards, are presented each year during the Annual International Conference.
This year, these awards were presented in Las Vegas, Nevada, USA during two special ceremonies.

During the Appreciation and Recognition Luncheon for ICF leadership on September 24, six chapters were recognized in two awards categories for their local marketing and community outreach efforts. The recipients of the 2011 ICF Chapter Awards were:

Chapter Award winners. Not pictured: ICF Spain.
Local Spirit, Global Presence—Community Activism Award
  • Heartland Coaches Association—Greater Kansas City: for its partnership with the Heartland Habitat for Humanity (HHFH), a local nonprofit group, to provide professional coaching services to the HHFH team.
  • ICF Gauteng Chapter: for implementing its Coaching Caravan, which enabled the South African coaching community to offer free coaching, training and facilitation skills/services to individuals and community groups who would not normally have the opportunity to experience and benefit from these services.
  • ICF Metro DC: for its aggressive community outreach agenda which included partnerships with: Leadership Arlington (LA), Capital Youth Empowerment Program (CYEP), and Homeward Deployed.
Finding our Voice—Marketing/PR Award
  • ICF Uruguay: for organizing the first International Coaching Workshop (which drew over 100 participants), and for creating the first local association (AUCOP)—all during their first year as an ICF Chapter.
  • ICF Brazil: for the successful implementation of a cross channel advertising campaign, as well as the creation of a local website to facilitate the call for services and advertising of the ICF brand.
  • ICF Spain: for organizing the eighth ICF European Coaching Conference held in Madrid, Spain in 2011—an event attended by more than 450 participants from 29 countries.
During the Annual Business Meeting on September 26, two individuals were honored with the ICF President’s Award: Peter Goryalov and Irina Goryalova of Bulgaria.

2011 ICF President Ed Modell, PCC, selected Peter and Irina, a married couple, for the great contributions they have made in the name of coaching over the last several years. They formed the first coaching company in Bulgaria in 2006 and subsequently founded the ICF Bulgaria Chapter.

Peter Goryalov and Irina Goryalova
In the year since the chapter opened for business, membership has increased to 22 (including seven coaches trained through ICF approved coach training programs and two who hold an ICF Associate Certified Coach credential) and they have begun providing a series of masterclasses using the most modern video conferencing technology to bring top notch speakers “into” Bulgaria.

Also during the Annual Business Meeting, the ICF awarded two organizations with the International Prism Award. ICF has been issuing the international award since 2005 as a way to recognize those organizations that have enhanced excellence and business achievement through their commitment to coaching as a leadership strategy. The 2011 award winners are BC Housing and JOEY RESTAURANT GROUOP, both of Canada.

BC Housing
In 2007, BC Housing partnered with MICA (now Knightsbridge) to create its Leadership Development Program in an effort to develop its leadership talent and create a coaching for performance culture as part of its overall people strategy.

The initiative was first introduced at the executive level and was launched with senior level leader participation. Following a successful pilot, the program was expanded to include all leaders throughout the organization.

BC Housing’s commitment to coaching has helped transform the culture internally by closing the leadership gap, increasing the pool of competent leaders and creating a coaching culture. And overall, they have experienced better performance results.

It has been calculated that BC Housing has experienced a 70 percent return on investment!

BC Housing continues to invest in coaching and most recently launched ‘Coach2Coach’ for its senior leaders to deepen their coaching skills, broaden their leadership perspectives and build a community of practice.

On site to accept the award on behalf of BC Housing was Agnes Ross and Dian Patterson. And from Knightsbridge: Julie Jones, Senior Consultant of Leadership Solutions.
JOEY RESTAURANT GROUP Armed with the knowledge that coaching can benefit leadership in virtually any area of an organization, the JOEY RESTAURANT GROUP began its coaching initiative as the rest of the restaurant industry was faced with recession-related dilemmas.

The coaching initiative began with the strategic selection of the most senior leaders in the organization, essentially so they could be coached and be trained as internal coaches, all while running their restaurant regions! Since then, numerous coaching strategies and processes have been used with employees across the organization for leadership development, conflict management and personal growth.

In the last 30 months, they have experienced more than 30 percent revenue growth, reduced turnover and made the Top 100 employers list for the first time ever. Not only that, but JOEY calculates a 682 percent return on investment from their coaching initiative!

JOEY believes in coaching as a key development tool and an integral part of supporting growth at all levels in the organization—particularly so they will have an abundance of talent ready to step up to the next level of leadership when needed.

On site to accept the award on behalf of JOEY RESTAURANT GROUP was Andrew Martin and Al Jessa. And from Essential Impact: Marjorie Busse, MCC; Dave Busse, PCC; and Carollyne Conlinn, MCC.
Stay tuned: the videos from the 2011 award winners will be posted to the ICF channel on YouTube shortly. Learn more about ICF Awards at Coachfederation.org/awards.