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ICF Michigan Newsletter

October 2014


Dear fellow Coaches,

What an incredible time of year. Warm sunny days are mixed with cloudy and cold ones. Leaves have turned and fallen to the ground, leaving trees barren, and I've already had the first frost on my car. Winter is right around the corner.

Halloween, too, with its rich history, is in the air. Often, Halloween is connected with fright, which is why I thought of writing about fear this month. How can fear be useful and how can we learn to work with it?

Fear, as we know, can be many things, such as phobias, reactions in threatening situations, or something that shows up as resistance. Resistance, as a fear, can be subtle. Behind the question of whether one is procrastinating or trying to avoid a task altogether, is a deeper question: what is the real fear? And how might we grow from it?

This topic is incredibly broad, branching out into limiting beliefs, values, past experiences, etc.; hence I'll focus on using fear as a competency. In my reading, I came across an interesting article about fear in a German magazine, ManagerSeminare, from which I would like to share a few key points. The article is directed at higher-level managers and the examples used translate well into other situations, like those our clients might experience. The article introduces five steps to turn fear into a competency:

1.    Discover the fear
Observe yourself and search for hidden signs. How comfortable are you with criticism? How well can you let go of tasks or responsibilities? Do you work too much and too many hours? These could be signs of social or performance related fears.

2.    Accept the fear
Allow the negative feelings to surface. Acknowledge and face the fear rather than running from it. Fear shows us where we need to make changes and where we can grow. Affirmations help in this process as does having a conversation with the fear. What is it really trying to tell us? Ask why it is surfacing, and what it will take to solve and master the situation. Listen for an answer.

3.    Analyze the facts
Once the fear is identified, approach it with rationale. View the current situation, examine the facts, and accept what cannot be changed, for example, a presentation that needs to be given, or the possibility of losing a job. Analyze what these things really mean to you. What is the worst that can happen? How bad could the presentation go? How bad would losing that job really be? Picturing the worst can help; sometimes the worst possible outcome is much less scary than what we initially perceive.

4.    Check in with your values
To put fears into a more tangible context; look into your values and wishes. What is your goal in life and what is really important to you? Aligning with your values can help you reevaluate a situation and possible scenarios. Would one hold a presentation for the recognition and future opportunities, or decline because one is content where one is, avoiding the shaky knees in the process? Does one fight for the job because it is fulfilling, or might one actually be better off looking for a new one? These are questions worth considering.

5.    Action plan
Get active! Think of what would help to achieve your goals. To deliver a great presentation, prepare for it. To secure a job, get more education, discuss options with the next level up, or start searching for a better position. Focus on the possible rather than lamenting over the unachievable. Be prepared to leave the comfort zone. It will be worth it.

These steps are all about identifying the fear, facing it, and then using it to grow. To me, fear is the question that is unanswered. It is the link that is still missing. It is the voice telling me to pause and reevaluate. Once I listen, understand the positive intention of it, and answer the questions, the fear can be turned into something constructive and motivating. I can then create a shift from hindrance to competence.

Eleanor Roosevelt said, "Do one thing everyday that scares you." I don't do that everyday, but I certainly did at the beginning of the year when I took on the role as ICF Michigan Chapter president. That was quite daunting.... It is a role with many responsibilities. But it is also a role that is extremely rewarding, which is something I was able to feel again at the ICF Michigan State Conference in Okemos.

The ICF Michigan State Conference on October 23rd was a wonderful day of connecting, learning, sharing, and celebrating the 10-year anniversary of our chapter. We had great speakers and I am positive that each participant - from new to coaching to Master Certified Coach - walked away with something for their continued journey in professional coaching. Thank you to the members of the conference committee for putting on such a successful day. ICF Michigan once again has an annual must-go-to event.

ICF Michigan strives to offer many must-join opportunities to connect, share, and learn. See below for all updates on TeleClasses and Coach Cafés. Elections for the 2015 ICF Michigan Board of Directors are coming up. Mahatma Gandhi said, "In a gentle way you can shake the world," and this is your opportunity to join this fabulous, talented, and truly dedicated team to shake the profession of coaching in Michigan, in a gentle way. Stay tuned for more.

Until next time, face the fear and stay energized,


Susanne Cordes-Hoelterhoff

2014 ICF Michigan President

(248) 225-9032



Did You Know?

ICF Michigan and the Michigan Business & Professional Association (MBPA) have an affiliate relationship that allows our members to join and receive the benefits of their many services and programs offered to individuals and businesses. In addition to supporting businesses through Business Knowledge, Facilitated Networking, Legislative Influence and Health Care Reform Connect™, MBPA partners with over 100 companies to offer Financial Savings on products and services. 

ICF Michigan members who join MBPA will receive $25.00 off a one, two or three membership.  To take advantage of this offer, just mention that you are a member of ICF Michigan on the application submitted to MBPA.  For more information about this organization, visit their website at www.michbusiness.org

"Women for Change Coaching Community" - Coaches wanted!

Are you interested in making a difference in the world by using your coaching skills to help others? ICF Michigan is partnering with "Women for Change Coaching Community" (www.Women4ChangeCC.org) to provide volunteer coaches to help financially challenged women make powerful changes in their lives.  If you are looking for an opportunity to provide coaching by telephone, this may be a great fit for you. Better yet - you will receive "paid" coaching hours toward ICF certification! ICF Michigan coaches (men, you are welcome as well!) who have completed or are currently enrolled in coach training are invited to apply. Be one of the first to apply and receive a special benefit! Want to learn more? Contact Sandy@MarshallLeadershipGroup.com

ICF Michigan's Scholarship Program

In a demonstration of ongoing commitment to
the coaching community, ICF Michigan is launching a new scholarship program for current or prospective ICF Michigan coaches. The scholarship program is designed to support and promote the highest standards of professional coaching in Michigan and serve our vibrant community where coaches connect, learn, grow, and succeed to best serve our clients.

Scholarships will cover the membership fee in part or in full and are available to individuals who are studying to become a coach or continuing their coach education. Applicants must be actively involved in current ICF or ICF Michigan Programs, events, or committees and be willing to support the ICF Michigan mission, vision, values, and community. Please see the ICF Michigan website for more information about this exciting new opportunity!

November 17th Teleclass with guest Karen Cappello
Topic: "The Clients You are Seeking are also Seeking You"
Time:  12:00 noon ET
Click here to register


November 19th Core Competency Teleclass

Topic:  "Facilitating Learning and Results:  Managing Progress and Accountability"
Time:  12:00 noon ET
Click here to register

Volunteers wanted!  

Want to grow your network, apply your skills in fun new ways AND make a difference?  Plug into exciting new projects now underway at ICF Michigan.  Interested in learning more?  Contact Sandy Marshall at





Please don't hesitate to contact our dedicated Board members with questions, observations or suggestions.


Barb Grigsby, Past President; Website


Rebecca Kraus, Vice President; Education & Development

Lori Kerlin
, Education & Development (Chair)


Jan Martinez, Education & Development

Sandy Marshall
, Outreach & Volunteers


Lisa Bradley-Mitchell, Sponsorship


Kathy Munoz, Marketing & Branding


Mary Selzer, Treasurer 

Deb Voyt
, Membership & Affiliations 

Kathy Vlietstra
, Administrator


Come and join us for Collaborative Coaching Conversations!  

Click Here
for more information about locations and meeting dates for Coach Cafés.





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"Courage is not the absence of fear, but rather the judgment that something else is more important than fear."


- Ambrose Redmoon 




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