Tuesday, February 8, 2011

This Coaching Week – Can coaching help bring peace on earth and goodwill to all people?

Posted on Tuesday, February 08, 2011 by International Coach Federation

It’s coaching week! In some ways it seems to me it’s a bit like Christmas in the coaching profession–a time when we go out into the world, bearing (our) gifts and bringing a message (and method) of goodwill for all people.

Perhaps you are doing something for Coaching Week? If you are, I hope you have much joy and success with it. I’m mindful of the words of two people I admire; Martin Bell, a former BBC correspondent who saw more war zones and troubled situations than perhaps it’s fair for anyone to see, who said “Good things happen because we make them happen, bad things happen because we allow them to.” I hope that whatever you are doing, it’s helping more people to make good things happen. And that dear friend of collectors of wisdoms and quotes, Winston Churchill, with his “We make a living from what we get. We make a life from what we give.” I hope that through your sharing your gift of coaching you are receiving not just a living, but a fuller life.

And I’m also mindful of sometimes how hard it is to take coaching out into the world. Including the difficulty explaining something as intangible as coaching. I recently came across this wonderful video of a coach openly, honestly, and humorously struggling to say what he does–http://www.nicaskew.com/commission/coach/ FILM EXAMPLE THREE
‘INTANGIBLY INARTICULATABLE’. I’ve been trying to help ICF Bulgaria raise awareness of coaching in their country–so we’ve put together a series of masterclasses, where coaches and people in the profession are beamed from around the world into a videosuite in Sofia. Coaching someone live by webcam as they sit in front of a large audience is definitely an experience! But it’s working well–membership up 300% since the series launched two months ago and monies coming in to enable them to do great works. It seems that giving people the experience of coaching is more effective than talking about it.

And even so I’m still wondering what it is that’s at the heart of what we bring. I love the line in Nic Askew’s video– “A truly honest conversation.” For me that comes close, and it certainly is a gift to bring to most peoples lives.

And these words from an article in The Times of 1st February 2011 are ringing in my ears: “One Royal Marine officer active in Iraq asked “What could we do differently?” was told time and time again: “ You could start by just listening.” He said that the most effective tactic was to do just that.

As coaches this is at the heart of what we do in the world. If there is a profession that can help bring more listening into lives, it’s us.

So there you have it. Coaching can indeed help to bring peace on earth.

Have a Happy Coaching Week.

And just to say–for all those currently in the news in their struggles for democracy, fairness and a future for their children, and for all those affected by the natural disasters, I hope I can speak on behalf of many in our global community to say you are very much in our thoughts, and we are there for you if you need us.

Neil Scotton, PCC, February 2011

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