Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Taking Off The Blinders Reveals The True Self

Rhona Post, MCC
The second Energy Work and Coaching SIG call (held Monday, March 21) was a great success. I’ve received really positive feedback including “great, practical exercises to use with clients” and “thought provoking and interesting teleseminar.”

I invited Sandy Mobley, an MCC executive coach and fellow energy practitioner to join our dialogue.

On the heels of my talk last month about the intersection of embodiment and presence resulting in our expanded capacity I used this call to educate participants about the behind the scenes practices they can do to strengthen a centered, coaching presence, which results in their increased competence to listen deeply, ask powerful questions, and build trust and intimacy.

Sandy and I are both Strozzi (http://www.strozziinstitute.com/) certified coaches, and energy healers (http://www.coreindividation.com/). We encouraged SIG participants to try a variety of centering postures, including the Strozzi exercise of practicing length, width and depth, following one’s breath, and moving one’s breath from head to heart. We drew some distinctions between being centered and being grounded, and invited participants to spend the next thirty days practicing these different exercises as they interact with others.

I encourage coaches on the combined energy work and coaching path to engage in a spiritual practice, like Insight meditation, as a way to learn about their own thoughts, feelings, and sensations. Meditation is a powerful tool/technique to reduce suffering.

April’s talk will take place for 60 minutes beginning at 11 a.m. (New York) on Monday, April 18. During this call, we will delve in the waters of embodiment-what does it mean to embody coaching qualities of compassion, respect or empathy? The goal of the Energy Work and Coaching SIG is to strengthen seasoned coaches’ competence and confidence to explore the parts of ourselves that we often ignore, deny or avoid, and to use this increased awareness in relationships—at work and at home.

Rhona

For more information on Energy Work & Coaching, please contact Rhona Post, MCC, via e-mail at rpost@thehealercoach.com. Learn more at http://www.thehealercoach.com/.

Monday, March 28, 2011

I support youth!

Do you coach teens or young adults?

• Are you passionate about coaching youth?
• Or are you a corporate coach who just happens to have a couple teen clients?
• Do you include parents in your coaching sessions?
• What about getting permission to coach minor youth?
• Who in the world pays for youth coaching?
• Is there any difference between coaching adults and coaching youth?
• What about college youth?
• Do you coach youth with AD/HD?
• How can I build my practice coaching youth?
• Where do I find information about coach specific training for working with youth?

The ICF Teen SIG is just the place for you to get ideas, share resources and connect with other coaches who work with teens and young adults. We have guest speakers to provide us with ideas and information. We have a “pot luck” where we each bring in ideas and resources to share with each other. We have an online "group site" where we can connect with each other individually for collaboration, information and support.

My name is Sandi Lindgren: this is my second year as the Teen SIG leader. Randy Nathan started this SIG in 2006, when there were only a few of us. We felt a bit isolated, and unsupported in our endeavor to coach this population. Under Randy’s leadership, the TEEN SIG group grew to over 45 members. Now, I am HAPPY to report, we are now 100 members strong! (Woot!) We are passionate about youth! We are not picky about what age you call “youth.” We are very eclectic and varied in our experience as coaches. And–we want YOU! That is, IF you are interested in supporting youth though coaching!

We meet the first Tuesday of each month at 12:00 p.m. EST (US). The call in number is: 1.218.895.3033, pin:8275657#. Please contact me for any questions, ideas and also if you’d like to be a guest speaker and share YOUR insight and wisdom about coaching youth! Email me at sandi@isupportyouth.com.

-Sandi Lindgren, LICSW, PCC

Friday, March 25, 2011

Applying for an ICF Credential? Enhanced application coming soon.

Early next month, the enhanced online credentialing application* will be unveiled at Coachfederation.org.

This enhancement project has been a long time coming—ICF Credential applicants have long noted that the application process was not user-friendly. Staff and volunteer leaders took this feedback and are ready to share the new online credentialing application.

Most notably, the new application process will make applying for (and renewing) an ICF Credential much more streamlined and simple for applicant use—everything will be broken into logical steps and applicants will be guided through the process like never before.

A recent letter that went out to all ICF members said that the new online application will:

• Streamline applying for an ICF Credential;
• Have easy-to-follow instructions;
• Allow coaches to create an application and complete forms incrementally before submitting their work for review (and payment) when complete;
• Show coaches their current application status when they access their credentialing record;
• Send an automated e-mail to coaches when their credentialing application status changes, as well as provide reminders for tasks needing to be performed;
• Track correspondence between applicants and ICF staff in one location for easy reference; and
• Make renewing an ICF Credential easier.

And that’s just a start. ICF staff members are investigating the possibility of adding additional features at a later date, including the ability to allow applicants to track continuing coach education units (CCEUs) as earned and credentialing exam scheduling functionality.

If you recently submitted an application that is being reviewed, waiting for an exam opportunity, have started an application but have not yet submitted it or are getting ready to apply for the ICF Credential, visit the full article at Coachfederation.org for further direction on what you need to know.

Look for updates on the launch of the new online application at Coachfederation.org in the ICF News section (on the home page of Coachfederation.org). Should you have any questions regarding these enhancements or the new application (once it is available), contact the ICF Credentialing staff via e-mail at icfcredentialing@coachfederation.org.

*Enhancements were only made to the online application process, NOT to the actual credential requirements.

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

We are ICF

Like other professional organizations, members of the International Coach Federation choose to be a part of its ranks for numerous reasons. For Gürkan Sarioglu (an executive and leadership coach in Turkey), it came down to the Code of Ethics; Code of Conduct; globally recognized accreditation and credentialing process; and the experience sharing through regional and global conferences.
Gürkan joined the ICF global community in 2007.




When asked what member benefit provides him the most value, Gürkan responded “All the information I could reach through the ‘members only’ section of the website is the most valuable benefit for me, as I could come across at least one or two articles, surveys, or papers on almost every subject I am looking for, which would enlighten me, inspire me or make me knowledgeable.” 

Other reasons people choose to be a part of the ICF will be shared in future blog posts.

Learn how you can become a member of the ICF here.

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Strengthening our ICF Community: What Will You Do?

For the past 15 months, the ICF Global Membership & Community Committee has spent almost all our time discussing, listening, researching, and making recommendations about membership. It has been all membership, all the time. And it’s been good. Really good. We have learned a lot through extensive conversations with ICF members, and our recommendation for minimum eligibility requirements for membership has been approved by the ICF Global Board (look for more on that next month).

However, with our focus on membership (and quite appropriately so, given the direction provided to us by the Board), perhaps we have unconsciously drifted away from the “community” part of our Committee name. Membership AND Community Committee.

So how do we renew our focus on community? I believe the answer lies beyond the rules and procedures, the research and recommendations.  Community can’t be mandated. And community is not the responsibility of just a few hundred Chapter Leaders, and Global Board and Committee members. Community is up to each one of us, in our day-to-day actions as ICF members.

Community at the 2010 ICF Annual International Conference

So as the evolution and growth of our ICF community continues, and as we steadfastly pursue raising the standards for our organization, and for the coaching industry itself, I’m curious: What will YOU do to contribute?

• Are you a coach in a region where an ICF Chapter is just now emerging?  What could you do to lend a hand to those who are leading the charge?

• Are you a member of an established ICF Chapter, attending its meetings and events?  How could you help your Chapter Board with all the behind-the-scenes work they do?

• Do you read the monthly Coaching World newsletter?  What special knowledge or experience could you write up as an article?

• Are you a graduate of an accredited coach training school?  When will you go back and tell new coaches-in-training about what the ICF offers and how they can get involved in your local Chapter?

In this month’s Coaching World, our ICF President, Ed Modell, writes, “The future of ICF is in our hands! Remember we are ICF. Let us co-create our future together.” Indeed. So what will YOU do?

Kara Exner, M.C.Ed., CPCC, ACC
Chair, 2011 ICF Global Membership & Community Committee

Thursday, March 17, 2011

Get up-to-date with ICF Credentialing

Interested in the current work of the Credentialing and Program Accreditation Committee? You will want to listen to this recent 60-minute call recording.

It’s easy to listen: first, click here. Login: coachcredentialing; Password: suzee. After you log in, choose “Recordings” from the menu across the top. The recording you will want to listen to is #2411.

Next week: learn more about the enhanced online credentialing application, to be introduced this month at Coachfederation.org.*

*Note: Enhancements were made to the application, not to the credentialing requirements.

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Co-Active Summit Experience

  • How do we connect, together, to create collective action in the face of our perilous global situation?
  • What's calling you, right now?
  • What moves you, personally, to make a bolder commitment?
Last month, I had the delicious opportunity to present a session at CTI’s Co-Active Summit, on Marco Island, Florida. As a long-term student of designed learning, I got to play in, and contribute to, a most elegant design. Many factors combined to make this event sing. Here are a few:

• The Summit was designed as a whole to directly engage a relevant question for the many of us who see the pickle that we as a species have gotten ourselves into: “What is my piece?” Many people I know see the problems, but feel overwhelmed, or have difficulty discerning how they can be part of the solution. This process engaged us collaboratively and creatively in the question; doing so is in itself part of the solution.

• The community process began months ago with proposals that were voted on by the community (my own proposal was solicited and eventually selected.) So, before we even arrived at the venue, the community had a stake in the agenda, and shaped it in significant ways.

• Top notch keynoters Kevin Cashman (his comments about presence as a "meta-competency” were music to my ears; this is what I’ve been teaching for years) and Lynne Twist (“we have less than 4 years to change the trajectory of civilization. You’re part of it. GO!”) were compelling and provided incisive input on the themes.

• A central participatory experience provided an overarching metaphor to which all other components of the design connected. The image of a transformational leap, taken with preparation and rigor, and with unknowable results, served the process well. Assembling, with 450 people, a giant jigsaw puzzle in about 15 minutes (get it? “What’s your piece?”) was both fun and powerful.

• Concurrent sessions ("Pathways" sessions, including mine) had been selected by the community, and arranged consistently with the metaphor. These sessions provided a strong personal developmental stream within an overall community context.

• The two remaining co-founders of CTI, Karen and Henry Kimsey-House, were conspicuous on stage, both in convening and holding the space for the event. They also raised the stakes by declaring that the future trajectory of the CTI organization would be significantly shaped by the unfolding process that everyone was creating together. ("Hey! This is for real!")

My own experience was significant. The new half-day workshop I developed and presented strongly validated a somatically-based approach to experiencing ourselves in an evolutionary context. And, I am newly committed to aligning my work more explicitly and directly to the context of the accelerating environmental/spiritual/social crisis that is unfolding on our earth.

More broadly, this event is a bold response to the moral imperative for us, as change agents, to engage ourselves and our clients in these crucial questions, and to contextualize our work in the broadest possible frame.

Without judgment, I found myself pondering the incongruity of convening a conversation about responding to our environmental crisis in a high-end Florida venue, accompanied by a certain sense of indulgence and a high carbon footprint. This may well be necessary, for now, but illuminates the necessity of learning how to initiate and sustain our conversations and resulting actions through forms that are themselves sustainable.

Doug Silsbee, PCC
The real value of the event, and the long term payoff for the environmental cost, lies not in the delicious experience itself but in what it catalyzes in terms of on-going action. How will the CTI community/organization be shaped by this? What actions will the 450 participants take as a result? And, how will I translate my three days of inspiration into years of committed action?

We can't fully know the answers to these questions, but I'm optimistic about all three. And, something has come alive in me... I'm listening.

Posted by Doug Silsbee, PCC, author of The Mindful Coach, and leader of the ICF-approved Presence-Based Coaching training program. For other posts, or to comment on this one, visit http://www.dougsilsbee.com/blog/summit.

Thursday, March 10, 2011

The Bucket List of Fun and Adventure

A couple of weeks ago over dinner, my husband and I compiled our “Bucket List of Fun and Adventure” for the next six months. We do these lists twice a year. We find that there is magic in building them! We get positive emotional hits when we are envisioning, researching, collaborating and then doing enjoying the adventure! This exercise and the list keep us on our toes as we honor our shared values of fun and discovery. We have some really great adventures together as a result. Our energy and vitality at dinner, that night, noticeably increased with our enthusiasm…despite the blizzard raging outside.

Our clients are coming to us to make changes in a positive, desired direction- whatever that may be. We coaches need tools and strategies to access those sweet spots of positive change for ourselves and for our clients. With all that is going on in the world; how do you show up in your life, alive and vibrant, amidst life’s inevitable blizzards?

After a particularly trying time in our family, I looked at my husband and said, “Who am I to life coach anyone when we are running into this problem in our life?”

He looked at me and said, “Who better to share and coach others than someone who has lived it, survived it and thrives in spite of?”

We are all a “work in process.” We have the opportunity 24 hours, 7 days a week for 70-80ish years, if we are lucky, to get this life thing- to live. Our challenge personally and professionally is to learn how the “good stuff” can bubble up to the top instead of sinking to the bottom. Through all my life challenges, I have learned and collected so many ways to do just that. What I am talking about here is resiliency- the ability to bounce back from adversity.

Do you know the question all resilient people ask themselves when they are challenged?

If you want to learn more about this and get the answer to that question then you may want to join me on my webinar, “Rise and Shine Anytime” 5 Steps for Bringing Your Best to Work and Home. Learn more about it here: http://www.annejolles.com/Rise-Shine/Webinars.html.

If you are ready to access more energy, focus, enthusiasm and positivity for increased productivity and success, this webinar series is for you! (Not only that, but it is an easy way to earn CCEUs!) Sign up today to get the specially discounted price (only $125 USD) by calling me at +1.781.878.8589 or e-mailing me at abjcoach@comcast.net.

You won’t want to miss it!
Anne

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

Nonprofit Special Interest Group Off to Strong Start

I have been amazed at the richness of the conversations we have had so far during our nonprofit special interest group calls. We have a variety of participants ranging from those who are just dipping their toes into the nonprofit waters to those who have experience working with social sector organizations throughout the world. Members of the group hail from Europe, Canada and the United States. Our calls are one hour and are held on the second Monday of each month at 12 p.m. (New York Time/Eastern Standard Time).

Our last call focused on ideas on how to connect and build relationships with potential clients within the nonprofit community. There was a consensus among us that the nonprofit sector is not easy to break into when you are viewed as an “outsider.” One of the recommendations was to join the local chapter of the Association of Fundraising Professionals or some other group that has nonprofit professionals as its members. Another idea was to volunteer to do speaking engagements in the nonprofit community in order to connect and build relationships.


Our next call, on March 14th, will be about group coaching in the sector. Our calls are only moderately structured, with half the time devoted to discussing the “topic of the month” determined by the group, and the remainder dedicated to an open forum where people are free to ask questions or get feedback from the group. Please join us!! We have new participants every call. The call-in number is +1.212.457.9879 and the pin is 622186#.

Karen Ramsey, ACC, March 2011

Tuesday, March 8, 2011

We are ICF

Some coaches choose to be a part of the International Coach Federation for its global reach…others for the ethics and standards it provides…and still others for the educational and growth opportunities. Whatever the reason, coaching professionals across the globe continue to partner with the ICF.

Here’s what one member said recently:

Nancy is an executive coach in the US

“I choose to be part of the ICF organization as we govern ourselves. I am proud to be a PCC working on becoming an MCC as I continue to grow as a coach. The ICF makes sure that I continue to grow with our high level continued education programs online and at the conferences each year. This keeps me at the top of my game as I am challenged to grow my leadership skills, which in turn grows my business and my clients' businesses. Every year, conference brings us a smorgasbord of speakers and training from all parts of the world--which exposes all of us to see from new eyes. This gives me a chance to connect with old friends from around and world and to make new ones. Without the ICF, I would not be connected on such a deep level to the world and what others are thinking and feeling.” –Nancy James, PCC, an ICF member since 2007.

Other reasons people choose to be a part of the ICF will be shared in future blog posts.

Learn how you can become a member of the ICF here.

Monday, March 7, 2011

Conflict Management Coaching

Coaches from the wide range of contexts regularly help clients to work through their interpersonal conflicts. Related goals may have to do with ways to better manage an ongoing conflict, to prepare for one that is anticipated or to resolve a past dispute that is lingering. Some clients may also want to improve their general conflict competence.

For example, objectives may be about how they react to certain triggers, how to regulate their emotions when involved in contentious discussions or how to enhance their communication skills. Relevant to providing conflict management coaching (also known as conflict coaching) is that the language in the field of Alternative Dispute Resolution (ADR) has shifted from conflict management to conflict engagement. This is premised on helping people to gain the knowledge, skills and abilities to effectively participate in interpersonal conflict, rather than avoid it or wait until things have escalated before addressing them.

The inherent philosophical shift in this language is significant for those of us who either specialize in conflict management coaching or find ourselves commonly coaching clients about their interpersonal disputes.

Not surprisingly, one important requirement to do this sort of work well is to examine the strength of our own personal and professional foundation in conflict engagement. In this regard, some examples of possible questions to examine the strength of your foundation in this area are:

• On a scale of 1-10, 10 being to a great extent, how much do you view conflict as an opportunity to sort out differences and improve my relationships?

• What do you have to learn and work on to build your conflict management foundation?

• What conflict habits do you have that do not serve you or others well? What are you getting from holding on to them?

• What are your ‘hot buttons’? How come these are ‘hot’ for you?

• How much do you consider and take responsibility for your own contribution to disputes?

• To what extent do you regulate your emotions when you are in conflict?

• What are you gaining from blaming ‘the other person’ in your disputes, when you do?

• What is keeping you from letting go of old hurts that have a negative impact on one or more of your relationships?

• How else may you view your conflicts and ‘the other person’ so that you do not react in ways that are counterproductive?

• What keeps you from apologizing for your part of a dispute?

• For what do you need to ask forgiveness?

These are just some suggested questions to consider in your efforts to reflect on your own conflict competence and examine what gaps there may be in this area of your lives. I welcome your further suggestions.

Cinnie Noble, ACC, LL.B., LL.M. (ADR) is a lawyer-mediator and the Founder of the CINERGY® model of conflict management coaching. She hosts ICF’s Conflict Management Coaching Special Interest Group which holds monthly teleseminars on related topics. Cinnie’s website is www.cinergycoaching.com and she may be contacted at cinnie@cinergycoaching.com.

Thursday, March 3, 2011

For your toolkit

If you are looking for a few tools to help grow your business, here are a few that are worth looking into:

Networked Blogs. Want to bring your blog to Facebook (and thus your Facebook followers) without using the Notes function? Networked Blogs is a Facebook app that allows you to promote your blog on Facebook and discover new blogs in the process. The neat part? You can set it up so when you update your blog, it automatically gets posted on your Twitter and Facebook feeds.

To use, simply click on “Go to the App” and then “Register a Blog.”

Another tip: You can add a Networked Blogs widget to your blog to show those followers who found you through Facebook.
Note: You will need a Facebook account to use this blog directory.
Access it here: http://www.facebook.com/networkedblogs

Google Alerts. Want to track what others are saying about you or your coaching practice? Google Alerts allows you to do just that. Came across a piece by Isabelle Bano that sums up how to use Google Alerts; check it out here.

You basically enter keywords that you want tracked (such as your name, your business name, your product name, your Twitter handle, your website, etc.). And then you determine the content (and frequency) you want to receive in these updates. Google Alerts will take it from there by monitoring news, blogs, and live feeds (like Twitter) and send you a comprehensive update.

Clientonomy suggests also including your coaching niche as a keyword.

Another tip: Isabelle suggests keeping track of competitors in this way as well.
Note: You will need a Google account to use Google Alerts.
Access it here: http://www.google.com/alerts

Google Analytics. Want to track how many people visit your website (including such details as average time on your site and how many pages per visit)? Google Analytics might be what you are looking for. This tool on the Google platform can show you your website traffic and will analyze the data for you.

This tool is a little more advanced and may require a bit more time to understand how to use it. Learn more about it here.

Another tip: If your blog and website are two separate entities, you can set them up in Google Analytics and keep track of traffic on both!
Note: You will need a Google account to use Google Analytics.
Access it here: http://www.google.com/analytics/.


Other cool tools:
Use namechk to see if your desired username is still available at many popular social networking sites.

Use bit.ly to a) shorten your links (for posting on sites where character limit is vastly important, such as Twitter) and to b) track your link traffic.

What are some of your must-use Internet tools?

Tuesday, March 1, 2011

Evoking Coaching Presence with Horses

  • How do you bring yourself into presence in a coaching conversation?
  • Where do you subtly disconnect, making your client an object upon which you act?
  • What might open in your coaching conversations through sensing?
This year's advanced course in Presence-Based Coaching incorporates presence work with horses. Two intense days of indoor work on presence, coaching methods, and contracting skills preceded a day with Karen Head, of Equinection, who has developed a wonderfully nuanced and powerful way of facilitating the interaction between horses and humans.

Horses are being used widely to help leaders develop authenticity. Disparate methods all rest on the fact that as prey animals, horses are exquisitely sensitive to the state of the nervous system of a potential predator. Zebras (horses with stripes!) can tell instantly if a lion is hungry or just thirsty, scattering at the first hint of a hungry lion in the grass, and grazing placidly as the same lion, now simply thirsty, walks right through the herd to get to a watering hole.

Our bodies have the same exquisite sensitivity (after all, our ancestors were prey!) However, our fast pace and the requirement for cognition-intensive living have, for most of us, cost us access to the rich realms of sensation that are essential to our aliveness. Recovering this aliveness, and the presence and authenticity that comes with it, is part of the promise of coaching. Horses are simply another way in, instantly reflecting our inner state and inviting us to be authentic and present with them.

The centerpiece of the day is what Karen calls "the approach." Each coach has time in the ring with a horse. The horses respond to incredibly subtle changes in our nervous systems, often before we ourselves are aware of them.

When the human is present, available, in relationship, the horse responds. When the human is disconnected from herself, anxious without acknowledging it, or seeing the horse as an object or something to be manipulated, then the horse loses interest or moves away.

I experienced this with Karen and a huge powerful horse named Ceili. Being in the ring was complex for me; I have anxiety about horses from a scary experience when I was young. I wanted to be good at this horse thing. I wanted Ceili to come to me, and was afraid he wouldn't.

Ceili stood, ignoring me, seventy feet away on the far side of the ring. (Being ignored is my worst fear in life!) As I became aware of the emotion of vulnerability, and acknowledged that feeling to myself, Ceili turned, walked directly to me, and put his enormous head in my hands, resting his soft lips and nostrils (a horse's most vulnerable place) directly in the cradle of my hands. I wept.

Then, my physicist genes kicked in and I began to think of experiments. "What happens if I put my right hand on his cheek?" In that moment, I made the horse an object, and broke the spell. Ceili sensed the difference before I moved a muscle, and pulled his head back and away. When he showed me I'd left, I softened again, and his warm nose dropped back in my hands. That switch happened three times. (OK. Got it, Ceili! Thanks!)

Presence-Based Coaching rests on being fully present in the relationship. Our client is not someone we "put through our methodology." We do not experiment on the client to see how she will respond to this technique or that.

Rather, we enter each conversation mindfully. We are present with ourselves, aware of our emotions, our sensations, our thoughts as they arise and pass. We are connected to our client, sensing what is the right pace of approach, sensing when the biological organism that is our client is pulling back, when she is opening. We sense our connection, remembering it is the quality of the relational field that exists between us that allows coaching to happen.

Thank you, Ceili.

Posted by Doug Silsbee, PCC, author of The Mindful Coach, and leader of the ICF-approved Presence-Based Coaching training program. For other posts, or to comment on this one, visit http://dougsilsbee.com/blog/horses.