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ICF Michigan Newsletter

September 2016

 

Barb G

Barb Lawton, PCC,
Past ICF Michigan President

Coaches Column  

  

"Let's start at the very beginning..." (The Sound of Music)


Beginnings are full of excitement and risk. Taking the first step toward something new is the most difficult part. In coaching, the first, initial meeting with a client is an encounter of great significance. It's the beginning of a short-term but deeply personal relationship. Let's explore that first meeting from the perspectives of client and coach.

From the client's perspective, meeting a coach for the first time (by phone or in person) is a huge step toward self-development.  It takes humility to admit the need for help and courage to begin working with someone unknown. There are questions about the coaching process and questions about the level of commitment that's required. Most importantly there's the question of "fit". "Will I like this person? Will I be able to trust her? How will I know that she's the one I want to work with?"

As coach, the first meeting with a prospective client represents a new relationship full of promise. I'm acutely aware that she has a right to know what's ahead - what's expected of her - and that she wants to get a feeling for who I am as a person and as a coach. I want to paint a clear picture of what the coaching experience will be like so that she can freely choose to take this journey with me as her guide. I'm aware of the anxiety that accompanies such a big commitment and I want to be sensitive to these concerns.

In preparing for the first conversation, I try to spend some quiet time in  reflection. I remind myself that in this first encounter (as well as with the rest of the coaching engagement) the client's needs come first. I share an agenda during the first couple minutes of our conversation (process, roles, investments and a bit about myself and my style) and check if this will meet her needs and expectations.

Then I turn my attention entirely to her. What brings her to this moment? Why does she think working with a coach would be of value to her?  What would be the best possible outcome of coaching?  What concerns does she have? I pose these and all my questions with a gentle tone of sincerity. I truly desire to understand. I pay close attention to what is said and what is not said - what's just under the surface. I stay with the flow of this part of the conversation until it comes to a natural turning point. Only then will I begin describing the coaching process in some detail so that she knows how I work and what the coaching experience will be like. At the end of my description, I ask if she has any questions about what's ahead or questions about me as coach. I answer her questions with total honesty because I want to establish trust right from the beginning and also want her to have the information she needs to commit to this relationship.  

At the end of the conversation I ask some closing questions: "How does all of this sound to you?" (Does it resonate?  Are you interested?) and "What are you prepared to take as a next step?"  Her answers will fall into one of these 3 categories:  1) an expression of interest in  moving forward with me as her coach, 2) a desire to have a follow up conversation in another week, or 3) acknowledgement on one or both of our parts that she might want to explore other coaches or options.

All in all, we've spent 30-45 minutes engaged in a meaningful, two-way conversation. Our first meeting is now behind us.  Regardless of the outcome or next steps, I feel honored to have encountered a fellow human being who desires to grow and was willing to explore with me the possibilities of coaching.

Barb Lawton, PCC, began her coaching career in 2003 following her coaching certification with New Ventures West and a number of years in business working with leaders at all levels.  She focuses on the development of these "C" qualities of leadership:  Competence, Compassion and Courage. 

 

WELCOME, NEW ICF MICHIGAN MEMBERS! 

Denise Nilssen of Enid, OK
Michelle VanderMeer of Marshall, MI
Amy Prichard of Columbia, SC
Rebecca Pursell of Okemos, MI
Gayle Thompson of Dewitt, MI

 

NEWS FROM ICF MICHIGAN 

BOARD ELECTIONS: Put your creative leadership skills to good use!  

Watch for an email inviting you to nominate a qualified member (including yourself!) to serve a two-year term on the ICF Michigan board. Our board is dedicated to serving our membership and community with the highest standards of professional coaching. Join our leadership team and help make ICF Michigan better than ever! Five positions are open.

 

NOVEMBER MI COACHES CONNECTION
Breaking Coaching Barriers! 

Thursday, November 10 from 9 am - 12 noon Eastern Time

Location: TBD
 

Mark your calendar and plan to join fellow coaches at our November Connection for vibrant discussion around coaching assumptions that could be creating barriers to powerful results. Enjoy a continental breakfast, group discussion, and networking opportunities. More information and a registration link will be coming soon - be on the lookout! 

 

OPPORTUNITY FOR PRO BONO COACHING 

Looking for an excellent opportunity to offer pro bono coaching? Consider Women For Change, a non-profit organization that makes coaching accessible to lower-income women who are seeking to change their lives. The coaching program covers a 12-week period. If you are a credentialed coach with the International Coach Federation or International Association of Coaches, Jackie Browning can give you more information. Contact her at jbrow603@yahoo.com and start bringing positive change to someone's life. 

 

NEWS FROM ICF GLOBAL

ICF GLOBAL CONFERENCE RETURNS IN AUGUST 2017 

Save the date! The first ICF Global Conference since 2012 will be held August 24-26, 2017 in Washington, D.C. at the Marriott Wardman Park.

 

2016 BOARD MEMBERS

Please don't hesitate to contact our dedicated Board members with questions, observations or suggestions.  Click here to learn what our board members are excited about for 2016! 


Mary Selzer, President

Vicki Hepler, President-Elect/Treasurer, Member Relations

Rebecca Kraus, Past President


Jackie Browning, Outreach

Beki Fraser, Education and Development 

Nadine Henry, Marketing


Kathy Vlietstra
, Administrator

MISSION STATEMENT

A dynamic, diverse community of coaches, which grows, develops, connects, and serves members and community with highest standards of professional coaching.

 

COACHING FACTS & FIGURES

In a recent survey, it was discovered that sixty-two percent of coach practitioners identified a Business Coaching discipline as their main specialty, representing a five percent increase from 2011.

 

OPPORTUNITY TO SERVE

Are you excited by the learning opportunities provided through ICF Michigan? Inspired to join the team and continue the momentum? The Education & Development team is looking for two people to support continued programming!
 
We are looking for someone to continue organizing and facilitating the monthly Teleclass series as Rebecca Kraus moves to other areas of involvement. We are also looking for someone to join the group hosting the monthly Core Competency calls.
 
Contact Beki Fraser at Education@ICFMichigan.org for more information. Beki can also be reached (call or text) at 248.320.9556. Let's support the progression of both of these fantastic programs!

 

TOP 10 REASONS TO JOIN ICF MICHIGAN

There are lots of great reasons to join ICF Michigan, whether you are just starting out as a coach or have an established career... 

Check them out here!

 

LINKS TO OUR CURRENT TELECLASSES AND CALLS

 

TELECLASS WITH GUEST DAVID CHINSKY 

September 20 at 1:00 pm 

Topic: "Potential-Based Coaching: Keeping Your Clients in a Space of Discovery, Curiosity
and What If"

Click here to register

BIZ DEV CHAT 

September 27 at 4:00 pm 

Topic: "Making the Offer!"
Click here to register

 

  ADDITIONAL LINKS

 

COACH CAFÉS

 Join us for Collaborative Coaching Conversations both virtually and throughout Michigan!!  


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

 

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