Friday, June 29, 2012

Make a mission yours

Last month, we asked our Facebook fans, “What is your mission?” Take a look below to see how our Facebook fans responded:

“Shortly: to saw grains of acceptance and peace in teams and coachees: being a ‘peace instigator’.” (Martin Jessen)
“Changing lives through Opening minds.” (Joe Cross)

“Manasa Vaacha Karmana – synergy of vision, word and the feed to make things better, by rising above myself and prevailing situations.” (Anil Santhapuri)

“A-ha moments that bring about positive changes.” (Jennifer Bridge)

“Helping people become better communicators in business and in life.” (Effective Connecting)

What about you? What is your mission? We’d love to know—leave a response below or join the conversation at If you don’t have a mission…now is the perfect time to do some brainstorming!

Thursday, June 28, 2012

ICF Hungary provides free outplacement coaching for the employees of the bankrupt national airlines

Almost fifty coaches are contributing to a joint project run by the Hungarian Chartered Chapter International Coach Federation (ICF) and MALÉV F.A. (the Hungarian national airline company, under liquidation). The massive CSR project involves providing pro bono outplacement coaching to former MALÉV employees in order to help them overcome the loss of their jobs and to ensure them a better chance for a career change.

MALÉV went bankrupt in February 2012, leaving a thousand people unemployed and the whole country in shock. The grounding of the company brought an end to 66 years of almost continuous service and to many life-long careers.
The pro-bono outplacement coaching project of the Hungarian Chartered Chapter of ICF involves 50 percent of our members. We provide coaching on a voluntary basis in our spare time. The coaches are supported by ten mentor coaches and supervisors. Former MALÉV staff members were offered a 3-months outplacement coaching process and 90 employees grabbed the opportunity. As a result of the coaching, some of them have already been hired by new employers; many others are attending job interviews with higher awareness, equipped with an updated CV, strengthened self-confidence and refined interviewing techniques. Some of them decided to start their own business.

The real challenge lies in the fact that some of the careers cut short by the liquidation of the company had been specifically connected to the airline industry. Competencies, skills and strengths have been identified during coaching, beside their special knowledge and experience connected to the airline industry. All ICF volunteers are working on supporting these valuable people to find their places in the world again and are using the power of coaching to identify and learn the strengths that will serve as a solid base for their future.

Dismissed employees found themselves in an emotionally difficult situation, a real grief, since many of them had been working at the airline almost as family member since their high school graduation or the completion of their college degrees. They were forced to enter the labour market, in many cases for the very first time in their life. Most of them were disappointed, depressed. The coaching focused on dealing with the shock of accepting a final change and overcoming the fear of a new job.

The most frequent results of the coaching are growing self-awareness and self-esteem, and the ability to deal with the grief consciously. 

The project involving 140 people is managed by Dóra Hegedűs, past president and member of board and Beáta Schäffer, CSR responsible of ICF Hungary. This project is an excellent professional challenge for the chapter that builds a strong cohesion among its members and increases the sense of belonging – resulting in a renewal ratio of 91 percent.

Read the full story.

Wednesday, June 27, 2012

The importance of owning your goals

This is an article about client- centered goal setting and not about health care. However, spending 25 years in the health care business taught me something about the importance of setting  goals in collaboration with a client. For openers, in the absence of a measurable goal, you didn’t get paid by the insurance company. More importantly though, it helped a client and his or her family, navigate the waters of recovery. Even if the individual had sustained a severe brain trauma, it was still beneficial to engage the family, and the client as much as possible, in the goal setting process. It always improved motivation, sometimes a lot, and sometimes a little depending on the level of injury, but it was always important.

Proper goal setting translated hopes such as, “I want him to get better” to actual steps that would bring about change. “I want him to get better” became “I want him to be able to eat at his favorite restaurant." From there, the steps to reach that vision could be constructed. 

Perhaps the client needed to be able to get in and out of a car. Or maybe he had to practice reading a menu so he could successfully order food at the restaurant. Those activities became the steps toward making the hope a reality.

My new career as a coach draws on some of these same principles of goal setting. The idea and the vision are always important but the more specific you can be about what you want, the easier it is to get there. Equally critical is the motivation piece.  The motivation can be intrinsic or extrinsic or a combination of both. Usually, the more the goal resonates with one’s personal values or internal visions, the more powerful the motivation to reach a goal will be. That isn’t to say that every task will be a joy but if it can get bundled into the framework of an overall goal that a client owns, the unpleasant nature of certain tasks can be minimized.

One the hardest parts about making a vision a reality is that visions feel so good. Ideas and dreams are energizing. Getting specific about the dream and setting forth goals to make the dreams come true can be a bit more difficult. Where do you start? Why do you want to do it?  What strategies and activities will lead you to successfully completing the goal? How will I know I have accomplished the goal successfully? These are the questions that a coach can help you answer. The coach is a collaborative partner that helps lead you to greater insight, improved motivation, and ultimately success.

Ann Holm is an ICF certified coach with a lifelong interest in brain science. For 25 years, she coached brain injured clients toward cognitive recovery with an emphasis toward optimal functioning in the community. In 2009, she started a coaching practice in order to serve any client who wishes to uncover personal potential through increased awareness of how the brain works, and knowledge of psychological type preferences. .Ann holds a B.A. in Psychology, Speech and Hearing Sciences (1983) and a M.S. in Speech and Language Pathology (1986), both from the University of Michigan. She received Life Coach training from the Coaches Training Institute in 2008.  She is also an MBTI Master Practitioner and currently one of less than 100 MBTI practitioners worldwide certified to administer the newly released MBTI Step III.  Her website is

Friday, June 22, 2012

Is your ICF Chapter doing great things?

We want to hear about it! Nominations are being accepted for the 2012 ICF Chapter Award through August 1, 2012. This is your Chapter’s opportunity to share recent best practices, contributions, and accomplishments with the larger coaching community.
Up to six Chapters (categorized by small, medium, and large) are annually recognized for their exceptional work in their local communities.

Award categories have changed in 2012: I Care For – Pro Bono Coaching Award and Breaking Barrier Award. Read more about these award categories at

Download the application.

What can your Chapter do over the next year to be eligible for a 2013 ICF Chapter Award?

Wednesday, June 20, 2012

Step-By-Step Guide to Getting PR (Public Relations), Publicity, Blogger and Traditional Media Exposure for your Coaching Business

This guide is based on Owen McGab Enaohwo’s interview with Jason Womack.
While he was a high school teacher, Jason Womack started offering a class once a month to teach students about other aspects of life they wouldn’t find in books such as how to study for a test or how to organize their work space. This glimpse into helping people lead more productive lives made Jason decide to become a coach.

Today, Jason is an Executive Coach, the CEO and co-founder of The Womack Company, a personal development firm that presents techniques to enhance personal productivity and team effectiveness, and he’s the author of the book, “You’re Best Just Got Better: Work Smarter, Think Bigger, Make More”. He’s been featured on CBS and Fox News and has been published in magazines like Inc. and Entrepreneur.

Jason believes that most people these days treat their PR like a transaction instead of like a relationship. In this interview he offered some very valuable tips to help you stop making transactions and start building relationships.

Here are the actionable highlights from the video:

1. Find the journalists and authors who write about what you’re working on so you can start building relationships with them.

Jason talked about how he goes about finding the journalists and authors he wants to build relationships with. He does two specific things that help him do this.

Action Step 1 – Make a list of the magazines, newspapers, blogs, radio shows, and television shows where you would like to be mentioned or have your material offered. Then set Google Alerts for all the journalists who write in your domain. When one of them writes something, read it and send them the thank you email using the 4-step process above

Action Step 2 - Do a Twitter Search

1. Save searches with certain keywords then check in to see who has typed sentences with those key phrases in them
2. Jump into the conversation if and when appropriate
3. Follow them
4. Tweet at them if you can
5. Add something to their post and tag them
6. Then, find out which journalists are tweeting, blogging, Facebooking, LinkedIn-ing about that subject and find a way you can join the conversation

2. Write to the journalists and authors of the articles and books you read to start building a relationship with them.

Jason was at a conference listening to a lady on a panel speak. While he was listening, he made a list of six different article ideas for the magazine she worked for which happened to be Entrepreneur. When the discussion was over, he walked up to the lady and used the following formula to start building a relationship with her:
  • Thank You – He thanked her for what she contributed to the discussion
  • Here’s Why – He went on to tell her about one specific thing he really enjoyed hearing about
  • Here’s Someone Similar – He brought up another article or book he had read that related to what the lady was talking about
  • Here’s what I would like to add – He showed her his list of ideas
  • The lady took the list and eventually contacted Jason to write an article for Entrepreneur.
Action Step – For the next five days, read an article or blog post and write to the journalist or author who wrote that article. Use Jason’s formula:            
  • Thank You – Thank them for taking the time to write the article.
  • Here’s Why – Tell them what you learned and why it matters to you.
  • Here’s Someone Similar – Provide the name of someone who’s writing something similar
  • Here’s What I Would Like to Add – Let them know your idea and make sure the collateral you send them outlines the idea fully without giving away too much for free.
3. Create a piece of collateral to give to the journalist or author so they can see that you do have good ideas to contribute.

Jason says there are two reasons most journalists delete most of the stuff people send them; people send ideas that are only half though out and they send the information without first building a relationship with the journalists.A good example of this type of collateral is a press release. Jason has a five-step formula he uses to write his press releases. The formula is:

I. Problem
II. Significance
III. Statistics
IV. Solution
V. Case Study

Action Step – Construct a press release using Jason’s formula that addresses a problem and then shows the journalist the solution

4. Define the success of your PR campaign so you’ll know what to do and what not to do next time.

Are people calling or emailing you and saying that they enjoyed your piece and telling you why or how it helped them? Are they leaving comments on your blog post?

Action Step – Find a blog post or article you wrote that didn’t get any feedback. Reread the piece and see if there’s something you can change that will make people comment.

5. Make a “So That” list so you know why you’re doing the things you do.

Jason says that once you know why you’re doing the things you’re doing to get PR, you can better assess whether those things are worth doing or not.

Action Step – Make a list of all of the things you do to get PR for yourself and after each one write “so that” and then write the reason why you’re doing each thing. This will give you a better idea of whether or not what you’re doing is a good idea or not.

Want to make sure you get the same results with you PR Campaigns?

Watch the full interview now by clicking on this link and when you are done share other PR or Publicity getting ideas on this blog by using the commenting form below.

Owen McGab Enaohwo provides time-strapped coaches with Virtual Assistants at H.Y.V.A.™ and he is the host of The Coach Blueprint™ a video interview series where successful and proven coaches come to teach tips, strategies and ideas that are currently working for them.

Tuesday, June 19, 2012

Cleaning our own temples first: practices and projects

Energy Work and Coaching Community of Practice
Facilitator: Rhona Post MA MCC, Core Individuation Energy Practitioner (
When:  June 22nd 11:00 a.m. (New York)
Where:  +1.712.451.6000   Pin: 427724#

This year our community of practice focus has been on the exploration of specific practices coaches can do to strengthen the ability to maintain a centered presence with clients. The core competence of a coaching presence is both a learned and an unlearned or non-attached way of being that results in an increased effectiveness to ask powerful questions, and listen without judgment. Most important, the practices we are engaging in help us cultivate a non-reactive persona, one who listens and observes others with compassion and kindness.

Members of the Energy Work and Coaching community are both practicing coaches and healers, who have studied alternative healing, including Reiki, Acupuncture, Core Individuation Energy Work, Astrology, Touch and Light healing, etc. With continued personal development in these fields we have deepened the connection to our four aspects of mind, body, spirit and emotion. Learning to work effectively with each of these aspects is part of what we cover during our practice sessions. What are some practices you are doing that help you stay centered with clients? Can you recognize when you are off center? What happens? How do you get yourself back on track? We will ask these and other questions during our June conversation.

We will also review some of the practices and projects coaches have engaged in these past two months in the areas of personal and professional completions—actions coaches have taken to close the gap(s) between where they find ourselves currently and where they wish to be. Incompletions cloud our ability to remain present and focused on what shows up. First, we become aware of the incompletion we carry. Then, we design a practice or project we can engage in that will assist us to “complete” on the incompletion. We’ve discussed the value of meditation and alternative healing modalities to help close the gaps.
Rhona Post

We’re looking for future topics and facilitators of these topics for the fall monthly programs. Please bring your ideas to the table or email me at The concept of a community is a place where our gifts are received. My hope is that others in this burgeoning community will take the lead as subject matter experts, or even co-lead with me. There are many ways to work with others, and we appreciate the insights our merry band of coaches contribute to the expanding conversation around how we can strengthen our core competencies by learning and utilizing diverse healing modalities with our current coaching models. 

For more information on this community of practice group, or to sign up for a healer coach session, please contact, Rhona Post, at 941.554.8466 or by email at

Wednesday, June 13, 2012

Masterful Coaching at the inaugural UK ICF Regional Event - North West

"The human soul longs, perhaps more than anything else, to express itself and be heard or seen. It doesn't need to be fixed, or told what to do next, or given a solution. It simply longs to be witnessed. Coaching that does not include this capacity to deeply listen misses out on the essential core of the client’s being, and can only really be skin-deep." Aboodi Shabi

May 16th, 2012
I'm writing this on the train on my way to Newcastle for the UK ICF Regional Event in Durham tomorrow.  The event has been organised by UK ICF Ambassador, Jan Portillo, as part of the UK board's strategy to increase our Chapter's presence and reach throughout the UK during our year as host country to the ICF's first global conference outside of North America. Regional face to face events have been on our agenda for some years and we are delighted to be now getting them off the ground, thanks to the commitment and efforts of our regional members.

As many of you know, we operate as a volunteer workforce, both as board members and as ambassadors, and often things take longer to organise and achieve than we might like given that we are fitting commitments into our otherwise busy personal and professional lives.  Why do we do it?  For me that's easy to answer!  Because it feels great to be actively involved in a global network of like-minded people committed to raising awareness about this wonderful profession called coaching.  I've been an ICF member since 2005 and on the UK board since 2009. I have enjoyed my membership most since being on the board. Why? Because it’s given me insights into the behind the scenes developments concerning our commitment as an organisation to continually strive to set the gold standard for coaches globally.

What do our board roles involve?
  • Answering member queries;
  • Interacting with other coaches across the world;
  • Meeting coaches from other professional coaching bodies;
  • Networking with people in the media and with people dedicated to research into the impact of coaching,
  • Being called upon to debate and tousle with real life ethical dilemmas in which we and/or members find our/themselves,
  • Being part of a global leadership team working through both diverse cultural coaching issues and the varying stages of professional coaching maturity experienced in the 100+ countries where the ICF Chapters are represented and are continuing to emerge; and
  • Talking to buyers of coaching to establish what they want more of from us as a professional body and from our coaches.
All of these activities have stimulated my own thinking and awareness about professional coaching and cause me to truly take on the identity of a professional coach far more deeply than I had previously done.
Coming to Newcastle is like coming home to me.  My parents are both Geordies, originating from a small hometown in Newcastle called Hebburn and, as a child, I came here for family gatherings and to be with our extended family. Happy times!  My father was a professional sports coach and gained his professional coaching certificate from the Professional Football Association in 1961, the year I was born.  So here I am now, many years later, to attend a UK ICF regional event in the North East thanks to the commitment and dedication of Jan Portillo (ably supported by Christine Huntley) to bring world class coaching mastery to your home territory - on your doorstep.

May 17th, 2012
The participants arrived at the fabulous venue, South Causey Inn, where we are welcomed by the owners and settle into a delightful room complete with a roaring log fire (I know it is May, but this is England and the event preceeded our current heatwave!) 

UK ICF North East’s inaugural event – May 17th, 2012

Participants on the day comprised coaches, non-coaches, ICF members and non-ICF members.  Aboodi started the day by the group asking:

“Why are you here?” 

“ It’s in the North! I will support anything that is here”
“Of Aboodi’s reputation”
“The publicity for the event talked about letting the soul speak”
“I want to learn more about deep listening skills to enhance my work as a chiropractor”
“It’s a 2 hour journey rather than 5”
“I’m passionate about the North!”
“Of the style of communication and identity in the North East”
“I want to practice weaving conversations beyond techniques”

Comments affirming Aboodi’s opening comment that we long for connection and community more than anything else.

What followed was a highly experiential masterclass (working alone, in pairs, as a group, with archetypes) which was thought-provoking and stimulating, offering questions and new perspectives about coaching and the world in which we work. Through several interactive exercises (and a bit of dancing after lunch!) we experienced what it is like to truly deepen our capacity to be present to the client, to listen and understand beyond the narrative and to serve our  client in discovering the true expression of who they are.

Aboodi Shabi - one of the UK's most senior coaches and a pioneer and leader in the European Coaching Community. He was a founding co-President of the UK ICF and has served the profession at all levels internationally.

“Coaching is about challenging the paradigms by which we live, not about doing more things faster”
“Coaching is about helping our clients to create possibility and building new capacity in our clients”
All agreed that it had been a fantastic day* and that they got real value from the material*.  The sense of belonging and community was intense and the excitement for a whole range of events being hosted here in the North East was heartily welcomed.  
Our great thanks to the participants, to Aboodi and to Jan for making this happen!  Looking forward to hearing more about your community in the not too distant future...

Here’s some participant feedback about the day:
  • Re-connecting on lots of levels;
  • Opportunities for reflection;
  • A different sort of engagement which deepened throughout the day;
  • Challenging my thinking and shaking me up;
  • Listening to, and learning from, a highly professional coach;
  • Working with others and learning from their open hearts and minds;
  • Valuable exercises to highlight my unconscious and learned behaviours;
  • Completely experiential;
  • A different approach: I got everything and more;
  • Watching and hearing a master in action; and
  • Loved it. Getting back to my coaching roots.
If you’d like to get more involved in the UK Chapter, keep an eye open for news of elections coming soon for the 2013 Board or contact Anji Marychurch and become an Ambassador now!

If you’d like to know more about the UK ICF coaching projects going on around the country, take a look here - Community Coaching Projects – and if you are involved in a project we don’t yet know about, contact the UK ICF office and tell us about it!

Deborah Price
Article written by Deborah Price, PCC - UK ICF Past President.
An ex-barrister with 25 years of experience as an executive in both large corporates (Chappell International, CBS Songs, Virgin and BMG) and SMEs (Hit & Run Music, The Performance Partnership) plus 10 years of experience in the field of personal development has given Deborah a depth of expertise that gives her a sound understanding of learning and development theories and combines this with a very practical ‘hands on’ approach as a coach. She is a credentialed coach with the ICF, a certified NLP Coach, a Boas professional certified coach in the via™model, a Good Boss Practitioner and an Archetypal Profiling & Branding Coach (Pearson Marr Archetypal Indicator).

Deborah has a great knowledge of people and behaviours which she uses to challenge people's thinking and actions at a deeper level. This encourages self reflection and stimulates changes in behaviour enabling clients to achieve and be leaders of sustainable high performance.

Currently running her own training, coaching and consultancy practice based in London, Deborah works with international clients (both corporate and individual) across various sectors. This involves a variety of Management Development and Executive Coaching assignments in UK, mainland Europe and the Middle East.

Monday, June 11, 2012

What story is told by your actions?

The plane is full.

We all stand in line and slowly crawl forward to our assigned seats.

There's always someone who takes forever to stow away their bag.  Just when they are all set, they remember that they need to take their book out….and have to start all over.

The flight attendants stand with that very special smile and say good morning a thousand times.

When you finally get to your seat, you glance quickly at the people with whom you will share the next few uncomfortable hours and wonder, which type will they be?

Will they talk your ear off?
Or will they pretend you don't even exist?

And you wonder, which one are you?

Do you give in to the craving for human connection, at the price of being bored to tears for hour after hour?

Or do you just dive in and you navigate the way of friendly banter alongside the distance that will allow you take a nap and not engage in conversation.

Inevitably, what compels us, what calls for our attention, what we crave for, is the story. 

We are always drawn into interaction with others because we long for a great story.

It is a basic human need; to hear stories and to have our stories heard.

As coaches, we have the great honor of being witness to others' stories.  We are blessed by the skills to provide a safe space for the telling of stories. 

It is not only a great ability, it is also a great responsibility.

To provide people the opportunity to tell their stories and be truly heard, is one of the greatest gifts that coaching can give.  When we can do this, we are offering the very best support.
Lisa Bloom, PCC

So next time you are travelling, tune in to the story, it will be worth your while!

Lisa Bloom, PCC is founder of Story Coach Inc. and the Certified Story Coach Program.  Download her ebook ‘Using Stories to Get Great Clients’ at

Friday, June 8, 2012

Ongoing ICF Webinar series back this month: Choosing a Mentor Coach

If applying for an ICF Credential is in your future, you will not want to miss this! 

ICF Global started a quarterly webinar series earlier this year targeted toward those individuals who are interested in applying for an ICF Credential. The series focuses on 1) the process of applying for an ICF Credential; and 2) a review of skills expectations.
The series continues this month with the topic “Choosing a Mentor Coach” on Friday, June 15 at 12:00 p.m. (New York). This presentation is the second in the series.

Space is limited—register now to reserve your spot!

More about the June 15 session: Mentoring is broadly recognized as an important part of the development of a professional Coach.  One of the requirements for those that are seeking an ICF Credential is to work with a qualified Mentor Coach.  In this presentation, Tracy Stevens, MCC will provide information about mentoring requirements, what to expect in the mentoring process, and how to select a quality Mentor Coach.

For those unable to attend, the presentation will be recorded and post to and ICF social media channels after the live presentation is complete. In addition to the June 15 call, the remaining webinar dates for 2012 are Friday, September 14 and Friday, December 14.

Wednesday, June 6, 2012

A look at the creation of the ICF Core Competencies

When the ICF was formed, a large part of the desired vision for the organization was to create and solidify coaching as a viable profession. In order to do this, it was determined that there was a need to look ahead and consider what would have to be in place to support this initiative, as well as successfully push back against any form of external regulation around this emerging profession.

To that end, in 1998/1999, related committees were formed to determine:
  • A common definition of coaching;
  • Competencies that define the expression of coaching;
  • A system of assessment and examination of coaching skills;
  • Levels of credentials and required training and practice hours; and
  • Ethics & Standards.
The committee, that was formed to determine the examination process, was called the Portfolio Exam Committee, and was co-chaired by Pamela Richarde (Coach U) and Laura Whitworth (CTI). At the time, coaching was still very young, with no universally excepted standards,  thus the various coaching education organizations were still not well connected. 
It was the job of this committee not only to do the work that was assigned, but to bring together a disparate group of organizations that were training and educating coaches at the time.

When given the job of heading this committee, Pamela and Laura reached out to all of the 'known' (visible) coaching programs that they had access to at the time, and invited them to be working members of this committee. There were eight organizations that agreed to embark on this ground breaking work: 
  • Coaches Training Institute (CTI), Laura Whitworth;
  • Coach U, Inc, Pamela Richarde;
  • Hudson Institute, Frederic M. Hudson;
  • Newfield, Terrie Lupberger;
  • Coach for Life, Peter Reding;
  • Academy for Coach Training (ACT), Fran Fisher;
  • Success Unlimited Network (SUN) Teri-E Belf; and
  • New Ventures West, Pam Weiss.
When they gathered as a group, with the above individuals and various volunteers from each organization, they realized that there was a need to first agree upon a common definition of coaching. After completing that initial step (a major one!), they needed then to determine the competencies that were present in the art and science of coaching ("being a coach" and the "process of coaching"). As most all of the programs were from different philosophical approaches and contexts, it took the group some time to filter out the context and come up with the core elements that were present in all of the approaches. They worked diligently via weekly telebridge meetings for over a year. They then, after many delightfully challenging and creative meetings, ultimately achieved consensus on the foundational elements of what are now known as the Eleven ICF Core Coaching Competencies.

Once the competencies were created and agreed upon, they next outlined a virtual examination process to assess these competencies. A solid year after they began this process, the coaching community had final agreement on: The definition of coaching, the core competencies of coaching and the beginnings of a way to assess this competency effectively! This was amazing and a tipping point for coaching as a profession. This work has laid a solid framework for how coaching and the profession of coaching continues to evolve today.

Over the years, the ground breaking work created by these coaching educators, has been the foundation for the creation of other competencies by emerging coaching associations and organizations. Some have added to these core competencies. Others have developed focus market specific competencies to bring clarity for coaching in the various contexts (i.e. business, management, executive coaching). And yet others are growing educational programs in universities around the world. With the competencies in mind, many of these communities are now gathering a solid body of knowledge to support the competencies and various philosophical approaches to coaching. All of this has emerged from the fertile ground of work that was done by these eight coaching education providers and volunteers that supported the success of these projects.

As a note, parallel to this process there was a committee working on ethics. They too were successful in creating a foundation for determining coaching ethics and standards for professional coaching. Indeed, this has continued to evolve with the creation of an Ethical Conduct Review board and ICF member support with mediation services available.

In what might be characterized as one of the most rapidly growing "professions" on the planet, coaching continues to evolve and make it's way into over 117 countries! With a solid set of ethics, standards, code of conduct and competencies, coaching as a profession is well on it's way.

Tidbits of ICF history, shared by Pamela Richarde, MA, MCC.
Pamela Richarde, MA, MCC
Pamela Richarde is a pioneer in the field of professional coaching, and has assisted in shaping what we know coaching to be today. A Master Certified Coach (MCC), as well as a mentor coach and coaching supervisor, Pamela is also a founding member of the Association of Coach Training Organizations (ACTO) and a past President of the ICF. In addition to her competency as a coach, she is a seasoned facilitator, speaker and trainer, having led hundreds of courses in both virtual and live settings in a variety of cultures, regions and business contexts.

Pamela holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Political Science, a Masters Degree in Performance/Directing, with some further doctoral course work hours in human and organizational development. She was born in Berkeley, California and has additionally resided in the UK, the Middle East and the Caribbean, presently making her home in Portland, Oregon. A dedicated explorer, she is also a licensed hypnotist, a union actress, a Tai Chi Chuan practitioner and holds a 2nd degree black belt in Northern Style Shao Lin Kung Fu.

Monday, June 4, 2012

Excellence is Action

Excellence is doing ordinary things extraordinarily well. John W. Gardner

The speed with which we make a decision in an organization is vital. But, if a manager tries to excel in his business, he won’t forget about the importance of planning, building strategies or the analysis of an idea before it’s applied. However, for a successful person, every minute counts and an additional day of planning mean a delay in the action itself. Therefore, it is essential to decide how much time we spend giving feedback, how much we spend for planning and how much we spend doing something right now. Lately, I had the opportunity of closely observing this fact with the help of Adina.

She works in a company that sells software products and for a while now, the business has been running slow. Adina thought that the reason would be the mistakes she did in the past and so, she decided to hold meetings with her employees and discuss these mistakes. In four weeks, Adina made sure that every key employee is aware of what went wrong, by giving them constructive feedback on their work. For the next month, Adina tried to figure out an action plan that would work. Now that they were aware of the mistakes, they needed a new direction. But nobody could agree upon a certain plan, as everyone had a good idea and it was difficult to decide which was better. It was only after a few weeks that an actual plan was created. But it was too late… Adina noticed that the business situation had gotten worse, which meant that her previous plan could not be applied.

In the end, she realized that the only thing missing wasn’t another plan, but action itself.

One of the main reasons that make excellence hard to achieve is that we tend to focus on the mistakes we made in the past, then concentrate too much on the future, which leaves no time to do anything in the present. This way, we lose valuable time giving feedback on the things that can be changed and planning excessively, and forget that the most important moment is actually the present.

Just like Irving Fischer said in his Fischer effect theory that revolutionized the economy: the present monetary value is higher than the past monetary value, or the future one; the money you have now are more valuable than the money you had yesterday, or the money you can have tomorrow. We can apply this concept to our business excellence: what you can do now is more important than what you did before or what you can do in the future.

Rodica Obancea, ACC
In other words, excellence relies on our ability to weigh how much time we spend on planning so that we can act now, in the present. The challenge is to have equal time for planning, action and evaluation. In fact, all excessive plans and delays are another way of saying that you don’t trust your actions and you are afraid of failure. But excellence does not necessarily rely on outstanding ideas or amazing strategies or plans, it depends on simple things, upon which you know when and how to act.

- How can you act NOW to make a difference in your organization?

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

Friday, June 1, 2012

International Prism Award: the epitome of coaching excellence

More and more organizations are utilizing coaching as a leadership strategy and experiencing great results. The ICF wants to reward these organizations! Since 2005, 14 organizations have been honored with an ICF International Prism Award. The award has become an epitome of coaching excellence for companies using professional coaching to achieve impressive returns on investment/expectations. 

If you know of an organization successfully and effectively using coaching—nominate them! Nominations will be accepted through July 20 through the online application form. Selection criteria for the award are centered around effectiveness; impact; strategic significance; and ROI/ROE.

Learn more:

ICF International Prism Award nomination eligibility criteria and application questions.
See past ICF International Prism Award winners.

Peruse case studies of past winners.
Access the online application.