Monday, February 27, 2012

Do not save already have it

"Don’t say you don’t have enough time. You have exactly the same number of hours per day that were given to Helen Keller, Pasteur, Michelangelo, Mother Teresa, Leonardo da Vinci, Thomas Jefferson, and Albert Einstein." H. Jackson Brown.

The most valuable resource a manager or employee can have is none other than time. As a famous English writer once said, better three hours early than one minute late, more and more business people with important leadership roles in organizations tend to compromise their relationship with other employees around them just for the sake of saving time. I believe it is a situation you are familiar with: unanswered e-mails, inefficient communication, confused employees etc. Basically, while trying to save more time, we alter our relationships with people around us, by forgetting to approve certain meetings, answer questions or finish a certain task. But how can we earn our business partners’ respect if we are constantly blinded by this “I need to save more time” hypnosis?

- Or how can you earn your own respect by finishing everything you have to do on time?

Radu is one of the key employees in the construction business he works. He was responsible for organizing the entire sales process and the business connection with the clients. He knew how to handle his job and many could’ve learned from his work experience. However, Radu had one major flaw: he was easily influenced by his lack of time – meaning he was always in a hurry. If he wanted to delegate a task for another employee, then everything had to be well understood from the very beginning, because he never had or thought he could find the time to give further explanations. His priority were always his clients, which sometimes, made him forget that he was part of a team and that they all worked for the same goal. If a colleague wanted to ask him something or require his assistance for a particular task, he would have had to wait for a long time because Radu was not willing to waste his time on things that “could wait.” However, things got worse in time, because while trying to save more time, he spent too little with his colleagues, sometimes even speaking too directly to them, using harsh words like “ You must finish this right now” or “Bring me the latest chart on our monthly profit.”

Nobody could properly talk to Radu because he was always on the go. He thought that he needed to do things faster so that he could make sure he would finish everything on time. Because if he didn’t finish the job, another company would, thus making him loses his clients.

The department was run in this manner for a while, until one evening, when everyone left the office, Radu overheard a conversation between two of his colleagues. They complained that they didn’t understand a thing from the past few months in this company and that they couldn’t find a solution because Radu was never there to help them. This conversation wouldn’t have been a problem for Radu if the ones who took part to it were simple employees in the company; however, these two individuals were Radu’s key partners. This was the first feedback that made him realize that there are far more important things than time. After this, he started to work with a coach.

Sometimes, when we feel we don’t have enough time, we tend to become irresponsible with the people around us. But the problem is not our lack of time, but our impression that we don’t have enough time. I have met numerous business people who were always needed at the office, but despite their busy schedule they were the ones who answered to e-mails or who maintained a direct communication with their clients, without complaining they don’t have enough time.

Because there is no such thing as “lack of time,” but a lack of collaboration and delegation with the people around you; a lack of trust in yourself and your ability to finish things on time and a lack of trust in others, because you don’t believe they could finish the job properly.
Rodica Obancea, ACC

Every manager values his time and it is ok not to waste your time with irrelevant activities. The challenge, however, is to trust yourself and believe you can finish on time, while collaborating with others. This is what a team really is.

Rodica Obancea, ACC is passionate about change, emergence, living systems. She works within business environment, with managers, teams for achieving ambitious results. For more information, visit

Thursday, February 23, 2012

A penny for your thoughts

Last month, we asked our Facebook fans for the best piece of advice they have ever been given. Take a look below to see how our Facebook fans responded:

“You have choices…many of them, so feel free to make another one.” (Sinead Moffatt)

“All my advice comes from my Lord and Savior Jesus Christ!” (Ricardo Em)

“John 3:16.’” (Ricardo Em)

“Know thyself – do thyself.” (Paul Coughlin)

“Learn first from the client.” (Anne Drake)

“Charge more than you think you are worth.” (Dean Miles)

“You don’t have to have everything perfect to start your business…just start!” (Dawn Osborn Langerock)

“Have faith in God.” (Patti DuBose)

“Listening is not the same as waiting to talk.” (Eric Laramée)

“The more time you let pass to fight for your dreams, the farther they will be.” (Adolfo SG)

“ONLY make decisions that move you toward your goals…if the decision is taking you away from your goal, you are making the wrong decision.” (Debbie Ruston)

“Breathe!” (Laura McCafferty)

“Be yourself, be there and resist the pressure to give advice!” (Mandu Lilian)

“Be present!” (Magdalenda Giec)

“From my father: there isn’t a problem without a solution, there is always a way to make things happen. Just pause, think, search and you (we) will find it.” (Katerina Kanelidou)

“If you love that you do, there is no way you cannot succeed.” (Don Young)

“Just do it! ~Nike” (Veronique Pigeon)

“We do not give any advice to our coaches but we ask with distinctions. My coaches give me great open questions to explore.” (Carmen Lloveras)

“Trust yourself.” (AuthentiCity Coach Laura)

“There’s never a wrong time to do a good thing.” (Ajith Kumar Chelote)

“Life is not about ‘finding’ yourself—create yourself!” (Sherry Prindle)

“Fly like a butterfly, girl! You can do amazing things! Just go with your gut and fly!” (Debbie Brown Kemp)

What about you? What is the greatest piece of advice you have ever been given? We’d love to know—leave a response below or join the conversation at

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Vitality, positivity and grace are now available in pill form...

Wouldn’t that be great?  No, it wouldn’t!  But I bet it would sell!

I think that is what many of us are striving for... vitality, positivity and grace. Sounds good.  And it feels good when we can land there. Unfortunately, we often seem to be looking in all the wrong places. We Americans have never been more medicated, in debt, overweight or addicted. Yikes! Sorry to remind you of that reality.

These times are full of uncertainty and turmoil, and they are full of potential for positive change. Chaos often precedes change. This can be a time for transformation for us. I know at times, I feel very vulnerable as many of my friends, family and colleagues do. We can’t stop what’s going on in the world but we can learn to do things differently if we choose. We can learn to be more resilient. Resiliency leads to resourcefulness. That is a skill set we really need today.

"Vulnerable?  Not in This Dog's Dictionary!"
And it has to start right here inside each of us... It all depends on us making different choices.  The big challenge is,

“How do we access our best during these challenging times?” 

Though the circumstances are certainly different, the question is the same one that each of my parents were faced with in their lives.  They faced even tougher times.

Top Two Strategies
There are two strategies that most resilient people in the world use. 
  1. The first is to remain calm during adversity. If unable to do that, then they are able to return to calm quickly following and recenter themselves in order to re-focus. This can be learned. 
  2. The second step is to engage in the practice of positive inquiry. Just asking questions and being curious is an admission that you don’t have all the answers. Whew! What a relief that is! Direct your energies by asking questions that point to the positives or strengths in a situation, like:

  • What is going right?
  • What is in my control?
  • What is the lesson here?
  • What do I desire?
When I am able to do that, I land in a place closer to vitality, positivity and grace. 

Questions bring us beyond what we already know...beyond what we currently feeling. They help us to find the answers so we can start living them.

Feeling vulnerable feels like the new normal.

That’s not so bad as long as we don’t assume we know what the future holds.  Getting comfortable with this discomfort can help us to stay right there instead of searching for the many ways we do to alleviate the feeling.

Finding new ways of coping and moving in the direction of resourcefulness, are not just important but I will go as far as to say your life depends on it!

So, let’s gather all our strategies and tools for bringing our best to just this moment... Because that is all we really have.  And let’s gather our resolve to make the most of our precious time on earth.

Anne Jolles is offering a 5 week webinar, “Rise and Shine Anytime” 5 Steps for Bringing Your Best To The Next Moment.  You will learn strategies and tools to increase positivity, resilience and grace while earning 5 CCEU’s from ICF. Watch this video: Rise and Shine Anytime 2012.  Learn more at

Monday, February 20, 2012

The best award: Learning, serving and recognition.

“The south also exists”

Receiving the Chapter Award in Las Vegas was a great honor and recognition. Though the best part of it is the support of the Uruguay Chapter members, who believe that a promise of professional coaching and ethics support by a global organization could be the future for a better living.

This is a story of vision, persistence and a great deal of time devoted to members, actually 80, may be one the secrets to create something bigger. You also need an organization offering leadership opportunities and ICF was that chance.

During the 2nd Congress of Coaching in Argentina, August 2007, I made a public statement: Uruguay will have a formal Coaching organization that will begin joining the few professionals in the market and develop a community of Coaching working towards a change. The vision of creating the ICF Uruguay Chapter is the blog of the Coaching Community of Uruguay where all this started:

"América invertida" ("Inverted America"), by the Uruguayan painter Joaquín Torres García
Uruguay is a country with 3,5 millions of inhabitants. Coaching appears about 7 years ago with very few coaches who have almost no relation between each other.  Within South America, Uruguay is one of the latest countries where the Coaching practice has been developed.  Despite being considered a traditional country due to its conservative beliefs, it has a great potential. We face the challenge of creating something new, going through local resistance to this kind of disciplines. 

People were invited to join the idea of leadership, coaching and thinking different with the view of developing a profession that was pretty unknown. More than 250 people join this community, but not more than 10 professional coaches could be identified at that moment.

In 2010 Coaching bloomed as the bamboo analogy. We carried out the 1st International Coaching Workshop with about 120 participants, created the first local Association (AUCOP), and launched the idea of the ICF Uruguay Chapter. Only four ICF Members where identified.

Being invited to the ICF Leaders’ meeting in Peru at the 1st LATAM Conference in July 2010 was the first step to see a wonderful work of existing chapters.

Founders of ICF Uruguay, Dec 2010
Then attending the Dallas Conference was the opportunity to see a global view and reinforce the challenge to go for it.

We founded the Chapter with almost 30 ICF members December 9th, 2010.  Since then, we have been growing not only as a Chapter but also as coaches.

In 2011 Coaching has been developed faster than ever.

  • More than 7 different learning offers of coaching are offered in the Uruguayan market.  Most of them opened this year.
  • Local business associations and government are being visited establishing cooperative work.
  • Initial contacts have been established in order that ICF LATAM Chapters may work together with the LATAM Network of Human Resources Associations.
  • Three Mentor Coaching Groups were held to align 30 local coaches into the credential process.
  • We have met with local Coaching institutes and are working with them in order to help them to accredit their programs.
  • Media interviews were carried out announcing ICF Uruguay Chapter.
  • On March we launched our website with a look-and-feel as the new ICF Global Website.  It was offered as a model to other chapters in the search of creating a regional voice and image for ICF. 
  • We also launched our Newsletter Coaching Uy in March.  At the present moment we are in the process of preparing the next issue.
  • An initial blog was added to the web.
  • Our ICF Uruguay Facebook Page with almost weekly news and pictures is on almost 100 members.
  • Near 20 meetings with an average of 28-32 members and invited coaches were held by the Chapter during this year.  President of ICF Colombia; Vice President of ICF Argentina; Director on Ethics of Argentina; former liaison with LATAM from ICF Spain (via video-conference call); and VP Damian Goldvarg MCC were some of our invited speakers for our meetings. 
  • During August we sponsored an International Human Resources Congress (300 participants) bringing Ivonne Hidalgo as speaker expert and president of ICF Venezuela.
  • We also sponsored the visit of Tim Gallwey, with near 300 participants, as a way to locally position ICF.
         o We had a private breakfast conversation between Tim and our members, the next day of Tim’s Conference.
  • During May, 100% of our members renew their membership.
  • A radio program about Change and Possibility was co conducted during the last three months of the year.  Coaching and ICF were the main messages to creating awareness within the community.
  • Creative ideas are in process for the growth and renewal of memberships as of 2012. 
  • Our goal for 2011 was100 members before the end of the year, we reach almost 80.
  • Uruguay was the first LATAM Chapter launching the “I Care For…” campaign in Spanish.
  • ICF Uruguay Chapter has the biggest percentage of penetration per capita by far (members / coaches / future coaches).
  • Uruguay is now in the Coaching world and we will deliver global coaches to serve worldwide.

During this year we learned a great deal of experience about ICF not only in its committed global view from Ed´s initiative but also as being part of the Marketing Global Committee helping in the development of the new Coaching World and the Brand Plan which I think is a great step that goes much further than the use of a logo.  Leadership means Coaching… not to be listened but listening and giving time one person at a time.

Closing 2011 I would say it was one of the best years of my coaching career.  Not from a business point of view, but the experience itself of coaching and developing a Coaching community was remarkable rewarding.

It was unthinkable to live this experience more than a year ago. I strongly motivate all ICF Members to get committed to their chapters and develop themselves as leaders. There is no limit to reach whatever you want.

Thanks to all the new ICF friends, Global Committee, ICF staff and colleagues and Damian’s coaching, who helped to go through!

2012 will be a great year for Coaching discipline and for LATAM development.  That is the next Challenge.
Gerardo Silbert is coach trainer, founder of Silbert Coaching /Comunicación. With focus con Life Coaching, he is applying for his PCC. With 30 years of experience in advertising and marketing in Argentina, due to coaching he choose to change his live into service and help and he moved to Uruguay and began his Coaching carrier 8 years ago. Actually he is president of ICF Uruguay and part of the Coordination development Team for Latam.

Friday, February 17, 2012

ICF request for proposals

If you are interested in serving as a catalyst (a breakout leader), you are invited to submit your request for proposal by March 21, 2012.

Click here for submission details. Hear more about the submission process.

The ICF is going to take London by storm in October! Coaching professionals from across the globe are anticipated to make their way to London, UK, October 3-6, 2012 for ICF Global 2012 – Connect. Learn. Inspire.

Learn more at

Thursday, February 16, 2012

ICF staff makes ripples

For the second year in a row, International Coach Federation staff members commemorated International Coaching Week by volunteering at locally-based International Book Project (IBP). 

IBP is a Lexington, Kentucky based nonprofit whose mission is to promote education and literacy while broadening Americans’ understanding of their neighbors by sending quality used books overseas. IBP sends more than 150,000 books to schools, libraries, churches, nonprofits, and Peace Corps volunteers in over 40 developing countries. Learn more about IBP.

ICF staffers at International Book Project
People from across the city, state, and nation donate books to IBP for their cause. Those books that are not able to be used overseas are stocked in the IBP bookstore that is open to the public. All proceeds from these books are put toward shipping costs of those books that do go overseas. ICF staffers sorted through boxes of books and worked to stock the shelves of the bookstore.

This was a most fitting end to International Coaching Week—and so fulfilling for staff members to get out of the office to help the community, and the world. Check out the IBP blog to see the kind of impact their organization has on the world.

Wednesday, February 15, 2012

Your Coaching Business Can Thrive In Any Economy

“Have you ever had down times in your business?”

“During downtimes, what kind of mindset did you need to have in order to not be distracted or derailed by the negatives?”

“What do you think is the most important thing a coach needs to do to sustain himself or herself in the coaching business?”

These are all questions I asked 11 established coaches, nine of whom are ICF-Master Certified Coaches, for Inspired and Prosperous: 11 World-renowned Coaches Reveal Their Success and Sustainability Secrets – my book that launched during International Coaching Week.

In honor of International Coaching Week, through Feb. 19, 30% of all Amazon Kindle and paperback proceeds will be donated to Coaching The Global Village, a nonprofit that teaches coaching and leadership skills to grassroots leaders in under-developed communities around the globe, in order that these leaders might ignite significant and lasting possibilities in their worlds.

So, what made me write this book? It was the Great Recession of 2008 and 2009. I watched in silent horror as I lost a five-figure corporate contract. As an ICF Chapter President, I found that many of my fellow coaches experienced the same fate. That led me to query: how do coaches who have been in business for more than 10 years make it through this volatile economy and other tough times in the past? What kind of marketing activities bring them consistent results? How do they decide on which business-building strategies to adopt when there are so many to choose from?

My inquiry led me to these 11 coaches who very generously shared with me intimate details of their business journeys – the ups and downs, the good, the bad and the ugly. What I learned from them is priceless, and I wanted to share these insights with my fellow coaches and as many out there as possible. This wish gave birth to the Inspired and Prosperous book.

Whether you are a Life, Business or Executive Coach who wants been-there insights on how to succeed in a volatile economy like this, or an established coach who is thinking of taking on credentialing and wondering if you need it to succeed, this book is for you. To learn more, visit

Like the other blog writers here, I am deeply honored to be part of this profession. It is one of those vocations that can positively revolutionalize the world. My wish for you, dear coach, is that you will access the wisdom, knowledge and priceless insights that these master-level coaches reveal so that you can have a business that outlasts any tough times. Because our world needs you to serve the best of what is possible – right now.

Duanna Pang-Dokland is a Certified Coach who started her coaching business without knowing a single soul when she moved to America from Singapore. An ICF Chapter Past President, she works with coaches, entrepreneurs and corporate executives to design inspired and prosperous businesses they love. Connect with her at 

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Energy Work & Coaching SIG call on Monday

SIG: Energy Work & Coaching
Presenter: Rhona Post, MA, MCC, Certified Energy Practitioner (CI)
When: Third Monday of every month; Monday, February 20 2012
Telephone:  +1712.451.6000 (
Pin:   427724#

What would our lives be like if we could roll with greater joy during our ups and downs steady as we go, yet firm in our commitment to serving others?

I hold this intention both for myself as a master coach and as the leader/participant in the Energy Work and Coaching SIG. Life is impermanent, constantly changing, and we cannot control anything outside of ourselves, outside of our own minds. As I hone my beliefs to better serve myself and others, I experience more ease incorporating energy work in my coaching practice because I hold energy work as a bridge to wholeness, not something antithetical to what is already being said or done.

Building on our January SIG call where we explored how our beliefs shape our emotions, reactions and outcomes, on February 20th we’re going to discuss how we can better incorporate energy work and coaching in our practice. What beliefs do we hold about alternative or complimentary approaches to wellness, wholeness, and coaching? How can we invite our clients to reframe their expectations of coaching to include the many alternatives available?

Rhona Post
Great News! You can now invite your friends and colleagues to join us on these calls as ICF is reshaping the special interest groups to become community of practitioners. We’ll be using, and recording our talks, so please invite others to participate. The more the merrier!

I hope you can join our growing band of energy workers/coaches February 20 2012.

For more information or to request a healer coaching appointment, call: Rhona Post, 941.554.8466 or email

Monday, February 13, 2012

Welcome, EcoSoma

The trajectory of environmental, social, and economic change is inseparable from our own development as humans.

There is plenty of evidence that the recently dawned year will present extraordinary opportunities for choices that matter. On the menu this year? Presidential elections in a polarized US. Unresolved debt crisis in Europe. An extraordinary array of grassroots initiatives for social justice and global economic development. Accelerating species extinctions. Deteriorating relations with Pakistan and Iran. More extreme weather events. Women coming into more power. Melting Arctic ice.

The media grabs our attention on some of these. Others we won't see unless we look. All are indicative of the tremendous spasms of change sweeping our earth. All provide opportunities for discernment and choices.

These dramatic events are the inevitable product of human habits. We interpret the world in particular ways, and take actions rooted in our interpretations. Our actions intersect with natural laws, and produce consequences. Since each of us is the perfect reflection of our history, we make the best choices we can see and act on, given our unique constrictions in how we see and interpret our world.

In a Buddhist sense, the collective mess that we have created is literally the only thing that could have happened. It is the only possible result of the uncountable "best possible choices" made by myopic and mostly well-intentioned humans, over generations and millennia.

We have all engaged in a certain detached observation of these phenomena. In so doing, we sometimes make new choices or respond differently.

We suggest it is more accurate, and more galvanizing, to experience ourselves directly AS the earth, and to invite the dramatic felt realization that we are both characters in this tremendous unfolding drama, and authors of it.

We call this way of being the EcoSoma: at home in ourselves, at home in the world. The EcoSoma directly experiences our connectedness and our aliveness in an astoundingly creative corner of the universe at a poignant time in the 13.7 billion year story of evolution, when that very creativity is in serious jeopardy. EcoSomas are authors of this story; our actions and commitments collectively create the story precisely as we live it. We don't know how it all comes out. We do know we are authors.

Thus oriented, our actions, our commitments take on a different meaning. Awake to our context, destructive choices become impossible, and life-affirming choices become the only thing we can do. As developing EcoSomas, our actions increasingly align with these possibilities. We become generative authors of an emerging story.

The work of our generations is to embody this awareness in our commitments, and to catalyze it in others.

Doug Silsbee, PCC
Doug Silsbee, PCC is an author and coach who teaches and writes from Asheville, NC. He is the creator of an ICF-approved training program in Presence-Based Coaching,  a frequent presenter at ICF conferences, and author of two influential books The Mindful Coach, and Presence-Based Coaching. In partnership with CTI Co-Founder Henry Kimsey-House, Doug is offering a September intensive on EcoSomatic Leadership. Visit the EcoSomatic Leadership page for more information, recorded audio exchanges and Henry, and access to a free Feb. 21 conference to explore this more.

Friday, February 10, 2012

Coaching - the wonderful world-changing web

In celebration of International Coaching Week (February 5-11), a different guest blog post was highlighted on the ICF blog each day this week. This is the final in this special series.

How many coaches do you know who have directly helped lift whole families out of deep poverty?  That is Martin Baldwin, an inspiration for ICW, epitomising the best that coaching can achieve.
Martin Baldwin
Martin and his wife Ruth set up the charity Cosecha (‘Harvest’ in Spanish) in Guatemala in 1998. ‘Life education’ is its hub: educating children and ensuring their families have the wherewithal to support them through the programme, be it ensuring they are fed, have somewhere to do their homework, or providing emotional support.

So where does coaching come in? Martin started coaching Estuardo after he ‘failed’ as an administrator at Cosecha where, paradoxically, he behaved arrogantly and stubbornly, yet was unable to take initiative or be proactive – the latter typical of the local culture of deference to the boss.

Martin asked questions unheard of by a man brought up in poverty by a poor single, Mayan mother. Where do you want to be in 10 years? What are your hopes and dreams?  Poor children say they dream of becoming a lawyer, but they know it’s pie in the sky. Martin asked Estuardo about ideas he could turn into reality. Using the ‘Celebration of Life’ model Martin eventually enabled Estuardo to conceive of a fulfilling life in a culture where he had no home of his own, no social security and a limited support network; to develop realistic goals and self-confidence based on his own hitherto unrecognised values, gifts and skills.

Estuardo discovered he is ‘a people person’: good at respecting, teaching them, and building relationships. He understands these ‘Western’ values whilst remaining true to his own culture.

After Martin returned to the UK in 2007, he put his trust in Estuardo, by now his Guatemalan deputy, and appointed him the charity’s local Director.

Estuardo is responsible for:
  • A team of six Guatemalans, of disadvantaged Mayan descent;
  • The educational programme of 35 students. (Cosecha’s philosophy is to support them through to completion, which could be for as long as 14 years);
  • A commitment to their families of the means to sustain the child through their education; and
  • A £40,000 annual budget, in a country where a qualified teacher earns £100-£120 per month.
As a result of Cosecha’s work there are already five families who will never be poor again - four running their own businesses, the largest employing eight people. Each month Estuardo impacts the lives of 300 people in impoverished Tecpan.


Estuardo and a lot of happy, smiling faces
Martin continues to coach Estuardo – visiting twice a year, talking for two to three hours weekly on Skype, emailing between calls. And I coach Martin…helping him to see where his gifts are best employed in continuing support of Estuardo, Cosecha and the people of Guatemala.

I met Martin in a sleepy English town. Little did I imagine when I offered pro-bono coaching how it fitted into this wonderful world-changing web...

It’s hard to do this story justice in 500 words! Read more, or please donate, at Cosecha's website.

Caroline Talbott
Caroline Talbott coaches and develops leaders, especially those who have had success in a profession (eg lawyers, chartered surveyors, engineers, HR specialists) and then moved into a leadership role. 
Professionals in Leadership blog
Caroline Talbott - catalyst for change
Twitter: @CaroCatalyst

Thursday, February 9, 2012

Debts, hope and a new era

“Looking back, you can usually find the moment of the birth of a new era, whereas, when it happened, it was one day hooked on to the tail of another.”

John Steinbeck wrote this in 1954 in his short novel Sweet Thursday. As Steve Jobs apparently said “You can only join the dots looking backwards” Or in the words of the great philosopher Jon Bon Jovi “In my rear view mirror, my life is getting clearer.”

Well, it seems pretty clear to me that we are at the birth of a new era. The world is waking up and changing. Social, financial and environmental issues are front and centre. It’s pretty clear we are all in it together. And that no-one knows the outcome. But knowing that the dots will join up looking backwards has been a great reassurance to me. So far, it has been true that whilst there have been many fearful, dark and unpleasant periods, somehow it has all worked out, and with sufficient distance it all makes sense.

So, whatever is happening now I believe will work out. But who knows? Time will tell. Views from economists, politicians and bar room philosophers abound. Generally, the consensus is that it will be messy. The shift from dependence, to independence (held glorious and the ultimate destination by many in the West), to interdependence, has been written about for millennia and looks likely to me. But what’s at the heart of this change and flux – driving it forwards as the source of the problem and the source of the answer? Something deeper. Something human. Joining Steinbeck again in 1954 in the same chapter:

“Where does discontent start? You are warm enough, but you shiver. You are fed, yet hunger gnaws you. You have been loved, but your yearning wanders in new fields. And to prod all these there’s time, the bas***d Time. The end of life is now not so terribly far away – you can see it the way you see the finish line when you come into the stretch – and your mind says, “Have I worked enough? Have I eaten enough?” All of these, of course, are the foundation of man’s greatest curse, and perhaps his greatest glory. “What has my life meant so far, and what can it mean in the time left to me?” And we are coming to the wicked, poisoned dart: “What have I contributed in the Great Ledger? What am I worth?” And this isn’t vanity or ambition. Men seem to be born with a debt they can never pay, no matter how hard they try. It piles up ahead of them. Man owes something to man. If he ignores the debt it poisons him, and if he tries to make payments the debt only increases, and the quality of the gift is the measure of the man.”

There are some great coaching questions in here. And brilliant insights. We overwork. We over-consume. And still we are not happy - it gnaws us. And there are countries now and a generation being born with financial debts they will never pay. But John of course was writing of the social and the spiritual. Our sense of meaning, purpose, connection, giving. I have heard many coaches driven and inspired by seeking answers to these questions, and the development it draws forth, for themselves and the people they work with – and a great sense of wanting to give back.

In this, International Coaching Week, we are called to go out into the world to do just that. Perhaps we can walk into the messiness, knowing somehow it will all work out. That we can provide a sacred space for people to address their fundamental questions, to let go of things held essential throughout lives and by the passing culture. To find answers that truly work and bring joy, fulfilment and a bright future. Them and us. Together. Learning and growing. Because we want to give. And so we receive. We build the debt of love and kindness between us, each owing in equal measure, that brings us consciously to interdependence and the receiving that brings. Because it is only with and through others - with us, around us, before us and yet to be born - that our lives truly make sense.
Neil Scotton, PCC

Neil Scotton, PCC  

Co-Founder   The One Leadership Project
M: +44 (0) 7834 766 408   T: +44 (0) 1737 243 589
Skype: neil.scotton1   Tw: OneLeadership

Wednesday, February 8, 2012


Last November, when I had the honor of being asked to be one of the guest writers for International Coaching Week on this blog, I got really, really excited, unable to foresee the challenging situation I would find myself in when the time to write this piece came.
You see, for me, International Coaching Week is all about celebration. We celebrate our profession and its value through all kind of activities like workshops, presentations, and pro-bono sessions, educating the general public and giving back to community at the same time.

Yet, in the week when I needed to be in this festive mood the most, my mother was admitted to the hospital in a critical condition.

At the same time the situation in my country was seriously challenging my optimism.

With the deadline for the blog post approaching, I found myself in the corridors of the public hospital with my laptop on my knees, dealing with feelings of fear at the possibility of losing my mother and of despair and uncertainty about the future of my country.

How could I write this article? It just seemed impossible to shift into the mood required. Or was it?

Part of our job as a coach is to challenge our clients to reframe situations, to shift perspectives and find something positive even in the most challenging circumstances. Part of my life has been to challenge myself and overcome what seems impossible.

So here it is - I am challenging myself to be in a festive mood and find the best reasons to celebrate:
  • We are members of a community (ICF) in the service of helping humanity flourishing.
  • We are 20,159 strong and we are growing! The 20,000th member registered on February 1.
  • We have the privilege to be in a profession that focuses on values. We help our clients reconnect with their values and drive a meaningful life.
  • We are change agents; we facilitate positive transformation.
  • We are witnesses of this positive transformation, we watch our clients flourish and we grow together with them.
  • We are in a profession of shifting perspectives!
On a more personal level, I celebrate my commitment to a profession which I love, to a profession that I feel passionate about and is in the service of what I care about most: people.

Yes, there is always something to feel good about, to feel proud of and grateful for. Something to keep us motivated and inspired; something to celebrate!

Katerina Kanelidou, ACC
So, my fellow coaches around the globe: what do we / you have to celebrate this very special week and every other week?

Katerina Kanelidou, ACC, is founder of Creative Empowerment, specializing in leadership coaching and team development. She is a member of the 2012 ICF Global Conference Steering Committee and co-chair of the marketing subcommittee. Katerina loves connecting with people, so feel free to connect with her on Twitter, LinkedIn, or Facebook.

Tuesday, February 7, 2012

Getting your act together and taking it on the road

When I joined the newly founded ICF association in 1999, and was awarded the MCC designation, I was part of a small elite group of pioneers who shared a vision of what might be possible if more people had access to coaching.

Over the past twelve years, my vision for what is possible using coaching has deepened. ICF has grown from a few thousand coaches to more than 20,000 members worldwide. To witness such huge growth in a new profession is inspiring. To be part of a community is a natural drive for us (mammals); I am grateful for the many opportunities ICF provides to encourage the expansion of ideas, theories and practices.

A year ago I started a Special Interest Group to focus on the integration of energy work and coaching. By providing a platform for coaches who were also learning to use alternative/complimentary healing with their current coaching modalities I felt that we would benefit from sharing our varied learning approaches, as well as increase our confidence and skill to promote how we can better bridge “current” coaching techniques with energy work to serve our business and life coaching clients.

To celebrate International Coaching Week, we have an opportunity to get our acts together and take it on the road. I’m asking Energy Work & Coaching SIG members to take the risk and offer one business or corporate client the chance to experience your “healing” skills. With your longer-term clients, it is much easier to ask them to try something new or different because you already have the relationship in place. You’ll be surprised how easy it is to ask. Don’t be attached to the outcome. Be curious and joyful as you give yourself permission to bring more of yourself to the coaching session.

I’m offering pro- bono healer coaching sessions next week, in particular working with several “trauma” cases, because that is an area that intrigues me. These clients are cynical about energy work but they are suffering enough from their traumas that they are willing to try anything to stop the pain. I will tread lightly, build their trust and confidence and take them step-by-step so that they can pace themselves with the combined modalities. I know I have the big guns ready, but often people who are new to alternative approaches need baby steps to start. Unless the client is hemorrhaging on the floor in front of you, baby steps work big magic.
Rhona Post, MCC
What we do matters! That’s why we became coaches. Please use the International Coaching Week to take what you know on the road.

For more information on the Energy Work & Coaching SIG please contact Rhona at or call +1.941.554.8466 to set up your healer coaching session.

Rhona Post, MA MCC
The Healer Coach, LLC
Sarasota, FL, USA

Monday, February 6, 2012

I Care For: People in Conflict

In celebration of International Coaching Week (February 5-11), a different guest blog post will be highlighted on the ICF blog each day this week. This is the first in this special series.

Though it is inevitable to have disagreements in both our personal and professional lives, many of us do not have the skills to effectively engage in conflicts that may emerge. What may start as a difference of opinion for instance, can escalate unnecessarily into a harsh exchange that is full of blame and hurt. Unresolved and poorly-managed disputes can also linger after they are ostensibly over. When this happens, the words and feelings expressed remain as remnants that hang on us and shroud the next dispute and the one after that and on and on.

Conflicts happen for many reasons, including the fact that we have values and needs in our lives that we feel strongly about. It may even be a perceived challenge to how we see ourselves and want to be seen by others. That is, when we become defensive, we are defending something important to us. At these times, when we are offended by something another person says or does, we often react -  in offensive ways  - and perpetuate the cycle of conflict. We lose our perspective about what is important to us and also, what may be important to the other person. Conflict takes a toll in a range of other ways too. The emotional repercussions cause stress for us and those around us and have an impact on our problem-solving skills and abilities, our creativity, decision-making and our way of interacting and being.

A typical scenario that I encounter in my coaching work recently occurred for a former colleague who is aware of my speciality – conflict management coaching. She shared her deep concerns about the conflict-saturated dynamics among members of a Board - of which she is one. The group have apparently been at an impasse regarding some major decisions over the past six months, and their individual and collective well-meaning intentions are suffering due to the in-fighting.  My colleague said that the constant internal and interpersonal disputes among the members are apparently causing some stakeholders to question the Board’s effectiveness. She added that the members have built walls around them - and we are ‘up against a wall.’ 

What does this have to do with Coaching Week?
To celebrate, I have volunteered to help out the Board by using my conflict management coaching skills and also, the coach-approach to mediation that I developed. Together we have just framed the objectives. They are to help the Board members break down the walls, to better understand the dynamics that lead to their conflicts (as to proactively consider how to handle future challenges that may occur), to establish a process for making decisions in collaborative ways and to get on with the important work of fulfilling their mandate. We start at the beginning of Coaching Week - on February 6, 2012.

Cinnie Noble ACC, LL.B, LL.M (ADR),  is a lawyer-mediator and certified coach, specializing in conflict management coaching. She hosts ICF’s Conflict Management Coaching Special Interest Group and is a former Board Member of ICF-Greater Toronto Area. Cinnie is the author of “Conflict Management Caoching:The CINERGY Model” (September, 2011) and co-author with Ed Modell and Diane Brennan, of the chapter entitled Conflict Management in the book “The Handbook of Knowledge-Based  Coaching:From Theory to Practice” (John Wiley and Sons, 2011),  by Leni Wildflower and Diane Brennan. Cinnie’s website is

Thursday, February 2, 2012

Sharing the value of coaching

ICF members Terence Pritchard, ACC, and Yvette Elcock, ACC, joined ICF staff member Kristin Kelly at the HR Directors Business Summit in Birmingham, United Kingdom where the ICF sponsored a booth in the exhibit hall. This year's Summit marked the 10th anniversary of the event and it was the ICF's first appearance.

Attendees represented organizations across Europe and many were interested in learning more about how coaching could work within their businesses.

Learn more about this event at