Wednesday, October 31, 2012

A reminder to show gratitude

Tomorrow is November 1.
November is often a time for recollection…a time to express gratitude and to be thankful for all we have. There is always something to be thankful for—what is it for you? If it’s a relationship, let that person know. If it’s your clients, show them! If it’s something tangible, pay it forward. No matter what it is for you, consider the ways you can express your gratitude.

So as 2012 begins its final descent, and we gear up for all that 2013 will bring us, let’s take time to be thankful. And set aside time to sit and consider what we have been blessed with this year.

I think William Wordsworth sums it up best when he said, “Rest and be thankful.” Here’s to you and yours!

Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Code of Ethics & Confidentiality: Is it obvious what is right?

Most likely all of us think of ourselves as ethical.  Then why might we look at someone else following the same rules and say they are unethical or walking the line of ethical?  Because it may be we interpret and understand the same rule differently.  Or as President Clinton once said, “It depends on what the definition of is, is.”
Confidentiality is fundamental to coaching.  If our clients thought we revealed their concerns, insecurities, and most private thoughts, it is unlikely they would engage in an authentic coaching process in the first place.  But let’s examine what we mean by confidentiality.  Let’s say I am coaching Sally Dooright, the VP of Operations at Troubled Corporation.  Most of us would agree (I think) that when I promise her confidentiality it means I won’t discuss with anyone what the two of us share and mention her by name.  However, would you say that sharing the conversation is acceptable in a session with my mentor coach?  What if I don’t mention her name, but describe enough about the situation that it would be possible to figure out who she is even if I believe my mentor coach wouldn’t be motivated to do so?  Or fast forward to 2 years later, I have done such a good job for Sally and have coached 20 executives at Troubled Corporation. The VP of HR at Troubled Corporation asks for my thoughts on the trends I am seeing among the 20 clients I coached. 

Do I share trends knowing that I am revealing some of the themes of private conversations among 20 people?  Or how about if HR asks that I run a retreat session and use my understanding of the strengths and weaknesses of the 10-member VP team (of whom I have coached 5) to build an agenda for the retreat.  By implication am I revealing the weaknesses of the VP group – information I gathered in my confidential conversations….?  Finally, what if after coaching Sally I meet the CEO of Troubled Corporation and he says, “Wow that Sally is a real go-getter, I would consider her for the President role next year – what do you think?”  Is it ethical to advocate for my client or to affirm the positive perceptions of my client with the CEO without going into detail on any discussions I had with my client? 

We, as members of the ICF community hope to build an organization of coaches who are ethical and to ensure that the profession of coaching maintains an ethical reputation so as not to risk losing our client base and the ability to serve.

My intention here is provoke our thinking about ethics.  It isn’t enough to read the code of ethics and feel comfortable you walk the ethical line. I believe ethics require a process of continual definition.  Ethic statements and rules need to be lived and challenged in the real world to subject them to on-going ground-truthing.  As our experiences broaden and as our world provides new circumstances for interpretation we need to continue to communicate with each other about the meaning behind the words.

Sandi Stewart, PCC

The ICF Code of Ethics

Applicable Code Sections:Section 3: Professional Conduct with Clients

16) I will carefully explain and strive to ensure that, prior to or at the initial meeting, my coaching client and sponsor(s) understand the nature of coaching, the nature and limits of confidentiality, financial arrangements, and any other terms of the coaching agreement or contract.

Section 4: Confidentiality/Privacy
As a coach:

22) I will maintain the strictest levels of confidentiality with all client and sponsor information. I will have a clear agreement or contract before releasing information to another person, unless required by law.

23) I will have a clear agreement upon how coaching information will be exchanged among coach, client, and sponsor.

25) I will have associated coaches and other persons whom I manage in service of my clients and their sponsors in a paid or volunteer capacity make clear agreements or contracts to adhere to the ICF Code of Ethics Part 2, Section 4: Confidentiality/Privacy standards and the entire ICF Code of Ethics to the extent applicable.

Monday, October 29, 2012

Creating the Perfect Coaching Plan

Every coach has his or her own unique way of coaching clients, but one thing every coach should have in common is the creation of a coaching plan.  The way you go about setting up your coaching plan should be unique, but it should also share some characteristics with techniques used by other coaches.  Here are some things to keep in mind when creating a coaching plan for your clients:
  • Build your coaching plan around the cause of the problem being addressed—not the end result.  This is a difficult one for some who seek coaching to wrap their heads around.  We all want certain results, but the key to getting those results isn’t by actually focusing on them.   It’s by addressing the underlying weakness.  For example, if someone needs help communicating, your coaching plan should strike right at the heart of the underlying problem.  You must figure out why they are having this problem if you’re going to help them get results in dealing with it.
  • Develop your own coaching plan template.  It doesn’t really matter how it looks, but this should be something you use with every single client.  Make sure you’ve got a space for goals, a space for the problem, and a separate space for the root cause of the problem.  This will help the person you are coaching understand exactly what they’re working on rather than the end result they want to achieve(which is probably already very clear to them).
  • Put your own coaching style into it.  Just as no two coaches and no two coaching clients are the same, so no two coaching plans will be the same.  The template you draw up should accurately reflect not only the personality of your typical client, but your own as well.  Together you are a winning team, so you’ve got to find ways to utilize your strengths to help your client become the winner he or she can be.  One of the best ways to do this is by personalizing your coaching plan template.
Of course you didn’t become a coach without knowing a lot of other aspects of building the perfect coaching plan, like the creation of SMART (specific, measurable, attainable, realistic, timely) goals. 

But by keeping these other thoughts in mind, you’ll be able to build a winning coaching plan every single time.

Anda Tudor
About the Author: Thank you for reading my post! My name is Anda Tudor, and I am Public Relations Manager at We are a worldwide marketplace for online coaching services. Our company’s mission is to provide the best coaching services to as many people as possible who want to improve their life to be happier, healthier, and more successful individuals. Apply to Become Our Coach and Receive Coaching Leads for Free.

Friday, October 26, 2012

Tis the season for networking

Last month, we asked our Facebook fans to share their best networking tips. Take a look below to see how our Facebook fans responded:

  • “Be generous.” (Sovann Pen)
  • “Consistency! Be ‘kleenex…’ The first brand that everyone thinks of when they need a tissue. If you network only now and then…people won’t remember you. If you network consistently and follow up with each person you meet, YOU will be the first person who comes to mind when they need a coach!” (Inspired Heather Paris)
  • “Take interest in everyone!” (Sheri Maass)
  • “Involved in community service projects.” (Hasril Bin Noordin)
  • “Join your Chamber and attend after hour mixers.” (Bonnie Geffen)
  • “Smile and listen.” (Nina Ljungars Ripstrand)
  • “Be curious about other people. And be polite! Introduce others, include them in your space, know what others want to meet the person you are speaking with.” (Karen Eckhart)
  • “Connect, be curious and go beyond talking about work. People don’t want to do business with what you do, they want to do business with someone they connect with.” (Jennifer Daure)
  • “My first networking tip would be to prepare and know whom you want to be introduced to before you go to the event. When talking about networking at events, I often hear people say they had a great time spending the evening with X and Y, but feel frustrated because they didn’t manage to meet with the right people. Preparing helps greatly.” (Damien Colmant)
  • “Referral.” (Dolly P. Pasaribu)
  • “When you are at a networking event of any kind, NEVER thrust your business cards to into someone’s hands. It’s a bit like physical spamming. Instead, ask people about who THEY are and what THEY do, then ask for THEIR business card. Then, take an interest in the card instead of just jamming it into your pocket or bag. Take it in your hands. Look over it well. Comment on it. A business card is a little bit like a hairdo…it is personal and to be appreciated. You will be remembered for acknowledging someone for their creativity or association just by taking in their business card. It will also assist you in remembering who they are. Do not offer YOUR business card unless it is requested. I find I have more people follow me and ask for my card when I use these practices. They appreciate I appreciate who they are in the world.” (Patricia Hirsch)
  • “Look for the individuals who are shy and having a hard time breaking into group conversations—make them comfortable by asking about them. Introduce them to others, and follow up with them afterwards. Your kindness will engender gratitude and possibly loyalty that will earn you blessing if not referrals.” (Creative Alternatives Coach for Confidence Seekers ~ Deah Curry PhD)
  • “Just be aware and present…the rest happens.” (Ashutosh Tewari)
  • “Conventional networking can be draining at best and even painful for introverts, so rather than forcing yourself to do the Chamber breakfasts and Lions lunches, find a Biznik or MeetUp group to participate in. networking happens more naturally in the context of learning rather than in what can feel like to an introvert a pressured self-promotion competition.” (Marketing Made Easier for Counselors and Coaches ~ Deah Curry PhD)
  • “Talk with passion about your job, your personal interests, your goals. Be really you and observe any opportunity that the World present you.” (Bernadette S C Castilho)
  • “The Bible, God, Holy Spirit, and of course, Jesus Christ my God, Savior, King of Kings Lord of Lords. Fellowship with the church, that is the ultimate networking in this hurting world.” (Ricardo Em)
  • “Here’s one more networking tip: present the gospel.” (Ricardo Em)
  • “How about the simple advice of ‘have fun’ and help others enjoy the experience also!” (Becky Scott)
  • “Mine is very simple: be really there! Not on the phone, BBs or any smart phone… Use that time to be there!” (Jissell Espinal)
  • “Do more listening than talking.” (Sharon Jansen)
  • “More listening stop talking.” (Yael Sne)
  • “Share resources.” (Marcio Batista)
  • “Meet people, not connections; reach out to the person behind a business card, not to the potential client.” (From-You-To-You)
  • “Make conscious connections, notice what interests you about a person, be present, bring your presence, your essence, and presence yourself—notice if the other person is interested, and when the conversation feels ‘done,’ then consciously disconnect. The conscious disconnection allows you to recognize the nugget or gift you gave and received from the person, and to be real—don’t promise to meet for coffee or call if you don’t intend to, if it doesn’t inspire you. Thank them for their time and share what you are leaving with. This all allows you to remain authentic, honest, and honor both yourself and them, they’ll remember that. It also allows you to be present for the next interaction, not carrying the last connection with you to influence the next conscious connection. There’s no need to meet everyone or feign interest, honor, and consciously connect—intention, attention, the connections on your path will emerge naturally.” (Inner Phoenix Coaching)
What about you? What does this mean for the coaching profession and our future? We’d love to know—leave a response below or join the conversation at

Thursday, October 25, 2012

Business Breakthrough with Caterina Barregar and Teresia LaRocque

In this interview Caterina shares the key strategies and actions that has taken her from little clarity, motivation and commitment in building her business to an unstoppable momentum of getting paying clients, increased confidence and enthusiasm to share her coaching message with anyone who will listen.

Meet and be inspired by Caterina Barregar

Teresia LaRocque MCC, is Director of Entrepreneurship and Business Building Mentor for the Erickson Business Center – at Erickson College International Teresia is a pioneer in the booming profession of personal coaching, the first recipient of the International Coach Federation’s Master Coach Credential in Canada and cofounder for the Vancouver International Coach Federation chapter. Teresia is committed to supporting coaches to take their talent and passion for coaching and make their entrepreneurial dreams come true.

Teresia is the founder and facilitator of the Passion into Profit Program, a customized business building program offered through the Erickson Business Center. For free business building tips and advice, join us on Facebook at

Thursday, October 18, 2012

What is your Business Model?

What services will you offer to share your mission with the world? If you choose, a coaching business can go beyond the traditional 1-1 coaching practice. The key is to begin thinking now what your ideal business model looks like. Watch our video blog and consider all the different possibilities for yourself.

Teresia LaRocque, MCC
Teresia LaRocque, MCC, is Director of Entrepreneurship and Business Building Mentor for the Erickson Business Center – at Erickson College International Teresia is a pioneer in the booming profession of personal coaching, the first recipient of the International Coach Federation’s Master Coach Credential in Canada and cofounder for the Vancouver International Coach Federation chapter. Teresia is committed to supporting coaches to take their talent and passion for coaching and make their entrepreneurial dreams come true. 

Teresia is the founder and facilitator of the Passion into Profit Program, a customized business building program offered through the Erickson Business Center. For free business building tips and advice, join us on Facebook at

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

From the Inside Out

Energy Work & Coaching Community of Practice
Leader:  Rhona Post, MA MCC CIP
When:  Friday, October 19, 2012

11:00 a.m. to 12 p.m. (New York)
Pin: 427724#

My favorite coaching teachers demonstrated that coaching is both art and science. Science or strategy alone will not strengthen our core competencies, nor will art; rather we need practice in both arenas to confidently respond to life situations.   

Over the past 30 years I have studied a variety of learning tools that helped me better observe my relationship to self, others and to life. With regular practice, I have honed my instincts/skill to both observe and shift varied mental states to produce more spaciousness and openness. 

Most of the practices reveal insights we can use to release tension, discontent, stress, and most any destructive emotion. Our bodies harbor our histories, our emotional patterns, even where and how we hold or use our breath. As a somatic coach and mindfulness practitioner, I train to watch and work with breath, using the faculty of curiosity to better appreciate the state in which clients find themselves. Something as simple as watching our breath reveals multitudes about how we relate to our stories. The combination of mindfulness, somatic coaching and Core Individuation Energy work allows me to go more deeply into the experience(s) clients are sharing, and provides a witnessing posture supporting them to release and accept themselves as whole human beings. Over time clients experience more ease and equanimity despite the many challenges they may confront.

Tenzin Rinpoche, author of Awakening the Sacred Body, introduces readers to the power of breath, as it not only strengthens health and well- being, but also helps us change our relationship to ourselves, and others. In September we began using his text as we explored the power and insights of the throat Chakra. Breath work provides a gateway to reduce the obscurations caused by varied mental states.

Rhona Post, MCC
In October we will continue to work with Rinpoche’s book, as we explore the lessons and benefits of opening the heart Chakra—the true nature of mind. Whether you work in corporate or non-corporate settings, you are always working with opening the heart/mind. The addition of a breath work practice enhances your yoga and sitting practice and will inform your coaching so that you better harness the art and science of a profession that continually grows and changes. Additionally you will strengthen your capacity to ask powerful questions, listen with an intention to hear, modulate your emotions so that you experience greater ease and tranquility. 

If you want to build mastery in your practice, you have to be open to learning about yourself, working from the inside the out.

I encourage new and veteran community of practice participants to sign up for healer coaching sessions. You can email me at or call me at +1.941.554.8466 to set up your session.

Tuesday, October 16, 2012

Celebrating coaching excellence

During ICF Global 2012, three organizations were honored with the International ICF Prism Award. They were: Banner Health, United Nations Secretariat, and Roche Turkey. The Royal Australian Navy was awarded an honorable mention.
Banner Health was unable to join us in London.
This award is presented annually to organizations that have demonstrated high standards of excellence through the implementation of coaching programs for cultural change, leadership development, and more.

Banner Health, one of the largest, nonprofit healthcare systems in the U.S., has flourished despite major challenges. Their massive coaching program has offered leadership development to more than 2,000 employees through one-on-one coaching sessions and several classroom opportunities. Banner employees have seen improved conflict resolution, teamwork, productivity, patient satisfaction and clinical outcomes.

United Nations Secretariat
Coaching came to the United Nations Secretariat as part of an action plan to help managers deal with a tremendously complex global operating environment. However, coaching did more than help them deal with complexity; it has started to re-shape the culture of the organization. In 2009, Encompass LLC began developing a coaching program as a component of the UN Secretariat’s Management Development Program. In all, more than 1,000 employees have been coached. The program has had the greatest impact on job effectiveness. There was an 87.6 percent return on investment (ROI), which indicates for each dollar invested in coaching there is a $1.88 return.

Roche Turkey
Roche Turkey, a subsidiary of a multinational healthcare company Roche Group, coached high potential leaders to become “internal” coaches, then offered another 45 high potential employees, 12 coaching sessions with an internal or an external coach. Roche Turkey has dramatically increased employee engagement from 55 percent to 66 percent; expanded its talent pool by 22 percent; developed its leadership talent and enhanced internal promotions and international assignments. As a result of the coaching initiative, Roche Turkey has been rated as a “high-performing” company rather than being in the “indifferent” zone in terms of engagement.

Royal Australian Navy
In 2009, the Royal Australian Navy shifted their focus. They wanted to move their culture from one of “can do at any cost” to focusing on “balancing the needs of people and task to achieve the mission.” To accomplish this goal, they focused on a leadership development program, which offered a three-day workshop that fed into individual and group coaching options. The coaching programs were adopted to accelerate the transition of learning into the workplace and achieved an astounding ROI of 723 percent. A total of 460 people were coached and the results included improvements in trust between ranks, the effectiveness of communications, and the sense of professionalism held by Navy personnel.

Learn more about the International ICF Prism Award and its recipients, past and present.

Monday, October 15, 2012

Automate with Respect

If you're a small business owner or the manager of a company, chances are that the thought of leaving the country or signing off for more than a week terrifies you. Without you at the helm, won't everything fall apart?

Although that used to be the case for many business owners, automation is an increasingly sought after goal, thanks to the popularity of books like "The Four-Hour Work Week." The more you can outsource your job, the more free time you have to enjoy the rest of life.

From utilizing cloud software for tasks like calculating payroll and invoicing to installing processes into your business's operating system, streamlining the way a company operates can reduce the number of work hours needed and free up time for travel and family.

Unfortunately, with most good things come side effects. Before establishing automated systems in your business, keep the following repercussions in mind:

1. Marginalized Employees
Workers generally grumble about new processes. If someone is used to passing a report to one person, requiring an additional level of approval can cause more work for everyone. Furthermore, adding process requirements can stifle and discourage creativity. Balance your desire for a consistent, productive structure with the ability for employees to remain flexible.

2. Reputation Control
Let's say you've just switched all of your bookkeeping over to a mostly automated system. There's no longer a need to keep your part-time bookkeeper, so you unfortunately have to let them go or reduce their hours. While that sort of small-scale layoff may have no effect on your business, replacing multiple workers at once with a more efficient machine can have lasting effects on your company's image amongst peers and the local community. Be careful with layoffs.

3. Diminished Quality
Any time you remove a human element from a task in favor of less time-consuming alternatives, you create standardization but risk compromising quality. There is a reason that 'handmade' carries value in products. People value the time it takes to create something, from a sweater given as a gift to a personalized service like social media marketing.

4. Fast Growth is Not Always Good Growth
Let's say you're a company that sells soccer balls. For years, you've always kept enough balls in stock to handle the orders that come in each week on the phone. Eventually, you decide to put an order form online, eliminating the need for someone to answer calls for orders all day. Your site quickly gains traction with people searching for soccer balls, and your orders triple in a month.

Unfortunately, you are unprepared to meet the demand, and you lose customers as quickly as they come in due to backorders.
Anita Brady
The lesson is this: before automating a process, make sure that you fully recognize the effects it will have on your business. Be prepared for both growth and backlash, and prepare your employees as well. With everything properly in place, it's possible to automate a business, maintain quality and free up time for everything else in life.

Anita Brady is the President of, one of the foremost suppliers of online business cards, and other office supply items for small businesses and individuals. Anita has overseen strategic marketing and other efforts for many different companies.

Thursday, October 11, 2012

Top Priority! Live Your Ideal Life

As an entrepreneur you can design your life any way you want. If you are not living the lifestyle you desire, you have the power to change that. You are the CEO of your business and your life. Check out our video for tips to ensure that your business serves your ideal life, rather than you being a servant to your business. There is ALWAYS something to create, do, organize, or strategize as an entrepreneur. If we do not decide that our personal desires are priority, they won’t be. When you live a life you love you become your greatest marketing strategy!
Teresia LaRocque MCC
Teresia LaRocque MCC, is Director of Entrepreneurship and Business Building Mentor for the Erickson Business Center – at Erickson College International Teresia is a pioneer in the booming profession of personal coaching, the first recipient of the International Coach Federation’s Master Coach Credential in Canada and cofounder for the Vancouver International Coach Federation chapter.  Teresia is committed to supporting coaches to take their talent and passion for coaching and make their entrepreneurial dreams come true.

Teresia is the founder and facilitator of the Passion into Profit Program, a customized business building program offered through the Erickson Business Center. For free business building tips and advice, join us on Facebook at

Wednesday, October 10, 2012

How do you make things complicated?

We can all benefit from simplicity. In business, in our activities, with our team, simplicity is that one element that not only makes processes easier to perform, but can make every system adaptable as well. However, simplicity is not an “easy conclusion to draw “– because it seems that it’s easier to make things complicated.
Alexandra was running a company in the banking sector for some time and was anxiously waiting to close a deal with another important company which would have strongly boosted her business activity. But for an unknown reason, the General Manager of the company was always postponing the deal.

Alexandra was sure that the reason for this delay was related to several financial issues her company was confronting with recently, which made her business seem unprofitable for that specific year. In order to change this, Alexandra began to invest in serious efforts: organizing new strategies, delegating new tasks, firing a few employees…After a while, things began to change in a positive way, but by the end of the business year, the deal still hadn’t taken place. Alexandra was convinced that her company still didn’t build enough trust and so she felt like she needed to push her limits even further.

But one day, during a conference which involved the two companies, Alexandra organized a meeting with the General Manager of the company she wanted to be partner with and talked about every aspect of their business, except the reason for which the deal would not close. Each of the two leaders avoided direct confrontation on this matter, which left the situation unclear. Both were waiting for the other one to bring the subject in the conversation, but neither actually did it.

Time passed and the deal was not closed even in this very day and Alexandra is now frequently thinking about the real reasons why this situation happened.

The question Alexandra asked was: How do you make things complicated? How or why would you change a simple action you have to fulfill into a complicated one?

How do you make things complicated?

What are you postponing now, when the action is still simple to fulfill and wait until it becomes difficult and involves more effort and resources?

Writer at Financial Times, Tim Harford, named this type of behavior “the God complex”, which means that no matter how complex a situation is, you have an overwhelming belief that you are right in the solutions you bring. The problem with this type of behavior is that it gives us a shallow perspective based on the ego of a vast business experience.

Rodica Obancea, ACC
If you are looking for different answers, you will only get them if you act differently – if you act the same way you did, you will always get the same results.

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

Tuesday, October 9, 2012

Congratulations, 2012 ICF Chapter Award winners!

Local ICF Chapters are the core community of the coaching profession…they provide a voice for coaches in countries all over the world. The ICF annually recognizes exceptional Chapters that have either given back to their communities through coaching or demonstrated outstanding success in a key area during the year.

Two new award categories were introduced this year…the I Care For – Pro Bono Coaching Award and the Breaking Barriers Award. An outstanding 22 applications were received for the 2012 awards.

A total of six Chapters were chosen by an awards task force and were honored at a special awards and appreciation luncheon in conjunction with ICF Global 2012 in London, UK.

For the I Care For – Pro Bono Coaching Award, two Chapters were selected based on the establishment of a significant coaching presence in their communities.

ICF Hungary
For medium chapter: ICF Hungary.
In February of this year, MALEV Hungarian Airlines went bankrupt leaving many unemployed and a country in shock. Members of ICF Hungary offered coaching services to former MALEV employees—the total initiative provided 700 hours of coaching at an estimated $100,000. National media outlets saw the power of coaching through the work of ICF Hungary.

ICF Italy
For large chapter: ICF Italy.
In May of this year, an earthquake struck an area of Northern Italy. The earthquake was devastating: it took the lives of 25 people and damage was estimated at five billion Euros. ICF Italy took action and in just a matter of weeks, 40 certified coaches began participating in a project offering free coaching sessions for organizations or entrepreneurs affected by the earthquake. The program will continue through December.

For the Breaking Barriers Award, four chapters were selected based on success in membership growth, an innovative special event, creative strategic alliances with allied organizations, extraordinary fundraising efforts, impactful media relations program; and/or other notable achievements or activities.

ICF Jakarta
For small chapter: ICF Jakarta.
It has been a year of firsts for ICF Jakarta…they were officially inaugurated, their membership multiplied, and they organized two major events. Following their inauguration, the Chapter immediately set to work to educate the public about coaching—first during International Coaching Week 2012 and again at the first ever Indonesia Coaching Summit.

ICF Russia
For medium chapter: ICF Russia.
ICF Russia spearheaded a weeklong event over International Coaching Week 2012 that led to the growth of their Chapter and contributed to the growing awareness of the coaching industry. Throughout the week, more than 70 events organized by ICF coaches, coaching companies, and coaching schools were attended by some 2,500 participants across several regions and cities in Russia.

ICF Bulgaria and ICF Victoria
And for large chapter: ICF Bulgaria and ICF Victoria.
Though far apart geographically, members of these Chapters teamed up to extend their influence by creating the Australian-Bulgarian Cross Development initiative. By doing so, they were able to address membership issues and specific challenges more effectively. One year ago, ICF Bulgaria was a young Chapter with newer coaches and ICF Victoria was experiencing a decline in membership and less involvement with their experienced coaches. The Chapters teamed up, joining young coaches in Bulgaria with experienced coaches in Australia for pro bono coaching sessions. The initiative has led to an increase in attendance by attracting several new members to ICF Bulgaria and re-engaging 17 inactive senior members in ICF Victoria.

Congratulations to all 2012 Chapter Award winners!

Monday, October 8, 2012

Savor the moment

Do you remember your birthdays when you were a kid?

What I remember best was the cake!

My mother would make something very simple, yet it was a cake fit for a queen! 

It was a round and chocolate with rich, sweet icing and Smarties (the Irish equivalent of M&Ms) decorating the top. 

It was always the same special birthday cake.

I remember that most times I would eat the cake, carefully leaving the icing and the sweets for the last.  Then this gooey, sweet treat awaited and became the last perfect, mouth-watering taste.

As I write this I can feel the Pavlovian effect, my taste buds peaked, my mouth watering!

Yesterday I thought about this birthday treat and how I still do the same thing, savoring the very best bits of life.

Let me explain.

Every morning I walk my dog to this really special place.  There is a spectacular view across the valley and each day it looks different; the light changes, the sun is in a slightly different position, sometimes it's hazy and each season brings different colors and light.

Well, I noticed that yesterday I walked with my head bowed for most of the way.  Then as I got to that very special place where I stand each morning, that spot where the view is most beautiful, I lifted my head.  It was breath-taking. 

I had savored the special moment until I could practically taste it.  I didn't look around me at all during the walk.  I waited until I got to the place with the landscape would be most stunning.  It was just like the chocolate icing and sweets that the end of the cake.  Until that moment I hadn't noticed that this is so often what I do, I simply savor the best bit!

We have so many moments to savor in life.  So many special places and amazing people, so many everyday experiences that are truly wonderful!
Lisa Bloom, PCC
How do you savor them?

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

Saturday, October 6, 2012

Flash Mob Coaching

The below message is from a participant of the Flash Mob Coaching activity with Shivani Mair that took place at ICF Global 2012.    

Flash Mob Coaching in action!
How would you feel, if you had to go in the street to offer people a 10 minutes coaching session? Well, I tested it for you. And I’ve been…positively surprised! Despite the bright Smurf-colored T-shirt and the sheet to sign which were together strangely close to the perfect Fund raising kit, despite the horrified – but understandable – reaction most of the people had to this first image, some of them were curious and open-minded enough to give it a chance. And as the outcome was something like “Whoa, thank you, I was sincerely not expecting this at all,” I spontaneously answered that “Me neither!”.

On this fast-everything planet, I strongly believe in the “take your time” approach. Therefore, is it technically possible to have an efficient session of 10 minutes only? And could a flash mob coaching really make a difference in someone’s life? The answer might definitely be yes, if we refer to the feedback given by most of the 35 people’s coaches loose in London’s streets as flash mob guinea pigs.

In conclusion, flash mob coaching could be an innovative and powerful way to allow people to get to know by experience what the coaching is: isn’t it an awesome option? Only the frame of the session could be improved, in my opinion: why not, for example, being dressed as usual and holding a sign with a “Free coaching” mention on it? Zero obligation, only proposition: I bet free hugs and free coaching have the same genes, haven’t they?

Submitted by Martine Corthésy

Thursday, October 4, 2012

Test Kitchen: Serving up new recipes for coaching

Below is part of an occasional blog series highlighting the Catalysts and sessions of ICF Global 2012.

Belma González, PCC
Johnny Manzon-Santos, ACC
Innovation: something new or different introduced.  Test Kitchen: a place used for the process of developing new kinds of food and to develop new recipes - a learning community!

That’s what Johnny Manzon-Santos and I (Belma González) are up to: bringing together coaching innovators to create new ways coaching can be used.

Johnny and I are longtime social justice activists in the USA. We worked with coaches when we were Executive Directors of NGO’s, and eventually decided to become coaches ourselves.

In our practices, we’ve worked 1:1 with social justice/NGO leaders. We work together through Prism Coaching to look at the importance of and value in ‘culturally aware’ coaching as essential to supporting social justice efforts.

In the last few years, we’ve worked with projects around the US utilizing coaching to strengthen communication, build relationship, and encourage innovative responses to issues stemming from social injustice. 

Johnny and I, together with our colleagues involved with these projects, have been meeting in our “Test Kitchen” - where we share ideas, discuss new “recipes”, and identify essential “ingredients” needed for success. The ICF Conference presents an ideal opportunity to invite more people into the Test Kitchen learning community, and to further enhance the ways coaching can support social justice efforts.

Know of projects utilizing coaching in innovative ways? Have ideas of how coaching can be used to further social justice efforts? Come to the Test Kitchen eager to meet other “chefs,” curious to learn, prepped with ideas to discuss and information about innovative projects in your community to share, and ready to commit to utilizing coaching in ways that further social justice!

The Test Kitchen: Serving Up New Recipes for Coaching, Friday October 5, 2:30-4:00 p.m.!

Belma González, PCC, and Johnny Manzon-Santos, ACC, are Catalysts at ICF Global 2012, October 3-6 in London, UK, where they will be presenting “Test Kitchen: Serving up new recipes for coaching." Learn more.