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Reimagining Coaching – Highlights of ICF Conference (2019)

By May 9, 2019Uncategorized

I have a confession to make.

It’s been several years since I’ve attended any big coaching conference. Client work has always taken priority and taking a day out of the business seems a luxury. In the past I’ve booked, paid up and then not shown up on the day as something ‘more;’ urgent always dives into the diary.

Only this year I was determined to attend. In the last few years I’ve increasingly felt rattled by what I’d describe as the curse of the coaching industry.

It’s the explosion of coaches bursting into the scene without any accreditation or qualification yet calling themselves coaches. Let me be clear an accreditation alone doesn’t make someone a great coach. Personality, life experiences, ability to create a safe space, genuine curiosity and high personal standards are just some of the characteristics shared by great coaches. However, someone who has invested in a quality coaching accreditation will have learnt about powerful principles, techniques and be bound by a code of ethics.

You only have to be in a room of accredited coaches to see why these qualification matters. The ICF (International Coach Federation) conference on May 7th, 2019 didn’t disappoint. The talks were informative and it was lovely to bump into old friends and meet people I’d gotten to know online in real life.

My favourite speaker at the event was Laura Watkins who has carried out extensive neuroscience research looking at how the brain performs complex decisions and manages change. She had so many value bombs in her talk. I particularly loved her explanation of different coaching tools and their role in coaching. It got me thinking of how I could shake up my coaching style once in a while and try something new.

Head tools : mindset, visualisation – life wheel or vision boards

Heart tools: understand emotions, emotional labelling

Breath : using breath to shape our state

Body: yoga, pilates, walking (ecotherapy)

Hand: journaling, expressive writing for mental and physical health

Laura had many easy tips for helping our clients to build a strong brain as they face challenges, change and uncertainty. Constantly adapting to thrive. Developing our brains for their competitive landscape. Having a fixed vs growth mindset as we have brain plasticity. Change may feel like hard work as there are already pathways there but it is possible.

Other interesting highlights from the conference:

  1. The growth areas for coaching are a) Internal coaching as large organisations are building their own pool of coaches. b) Team coaching and understanding the complexities of coaching a team
  2. Millennials expect a coaching style of management – personally I think this is an opportunity for all you millennial coaches out there
  3. Coaching apps will follow the lead of mindfulness apps
  4. 61% of organisations with coaching are high performers

A most productive day!

If you’re a coach longing to connect with a positive coaching community for accountability, support and a splash of humour then do join my FB community

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