Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Got to use: coaching tools

Last month, we asked our Facebook fans “what is your go-to coaching tool that you use the most frequently in your coaching practice?”

Several responses were shared and all are listed below for your reference. If you aren’t already using some of these tools in your coaching, consider how you can incorporate them into your own practice.

“My intuition.”
(Allison Crow Flanigin)

“Quotes, they provide me with inspiration [from Believe in You, To YOUR Success and all the famous people out there].” (Queenie TCoach)

“Back to the Basics (usually the P2W method).” (Mimi Nelson)

“Open heart and intuition.” (Dóra Hegedũs)

“Lateral thinking tools, such as C&S along with PO.” (Daniel Tolson)

“My own intuition and opening heart.” (Sercan Savran)

“Curiosity.” (Michelle Clarke)

“Love.” (Zohra Dali)

“Transactional Analysis to help clients work out why some interactions go smoothly and why others go pear shaped.” (Redgate Consulting)

“The best coaching tool is…the Coach!” (João Catalão)

“Coaching is really a form of healing. Who you’re ‘being’ as a coach as a ‘model of excellence’ heals, intuition, mindfulness, etc. Which tools from which school of thought one uses plays a smaller role.” (Johnathan Brooks)

“I combine BEING present, focusing on desired outcome, curiosity and intuition. Holding these intentions allows each moment to unfold perfectly for my clients.” (Matt Naskrent)

“Silence. Learning how to actively listen—and then some—made all the difference in the world to my coaching success.” (Darcy Eikenberg)

“Listening intuitively.” (Ayca Gencoglu)

“The Core Protocols and Commitments.” (Vickie Gray)

“The creative use of ‘white space’ before and after each coaching session.” (Richard Pett)

“I go on a curious journey with the client to support them to find their own direction and actions that will take them where they need to go. Tools? Me being present and keep asking questions and give back what the client says.” (Jeanine Eshuis-Hamaker)

“I use Wheel of Life.” (Anil Santhapuri)

What about you? What is your must-use tool in your coaching? We’d love to know—share it with us on at

Monday, July 25, 2011

Coaching Minor Youth – What about the parents?

Coaching youth, especially minor youth who live at home with involved parents, can be a challenge. It’s important for the coach to have strongly defined boundaries and a firm policy on confidentiality. It is also important for the coach to bring parents into the coaching relationship enough to support the youth being coached, while maintaining confidentiality. It is also imperative for the coach to be clear that it is the youth (their child) that is your client.

Maintaining confidentiality of the youth client is key to the success of the coaching. Whether the parents, the school or another organization hires you, the youth themselves are the client.

ICF Code of Ethics in section 4 includes Confidentiality/Privacy:
“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.” (22)

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

Although it is not specific to youth, my interpretation is that the parent hiring you would be the ‘sponsor’ and the youth your client. In the U.S. you would need written parental permission to coach a minor. Sometimes, parents believe that since they are the parent and are paying for the coaching, they can be privy to the coaching sessions. Parents often want to be involved, and want to support their child. This is good, but can be a challenge for some coaches to handle.

Coaches need to be clear prior to the beginning of the coaching what the parameters are going to be related to confidentiality. This conversation should happen at some point with both parent and child present, so they each know the other also has the same information.

The ‘Ethics FAQs’ on the ICF website gives an example of this:
Q: I am coaching a 12-year-old boy and his father calls me to ask how it is going. May I speak with him in generalities?
A: Only if your client agrees, or has agreed already in the contract that all three of you have signed.

Youth coaches differ on their levels of parental involvement. Currently there is no agreed upon guideline on how to do this. Here are my recommendations of what to do when coaching minor youth:
  • Obtain written parental permission to work with minor youth.
  • Youth (regardless of age) should also sign the agreement.
  • Prior to this permission, a clear agreement that is understood by both youth and parent explains the limits of confidentiality.
  • Include the parent in the intake session.
  • Have part of the intake session be without the parent present.
  • Include in the agreement how the parent can support their child being coached, and how important information will be shared. (If possible it is best for the youth to do this. If not, I would encourage this sharing to be done with the youth present).
  • Follow all legal, moral and ethical expectations of you as a coach as well as any other professional codes (e.g.: social workers, counselors, psychologists, educators, etc.) related to breaking confidentiality (e.g.: mandatory reporting, duty to warn, subpoenas, etc.).
  • If the parent is having difficulty, consider finding a parent coach to support the parent with the process, as the child is coached.
If you coach youth and would like more support, or would like to connect with other youth coaches, please contact me for information on how to join the ICF Teen Coaching SIG.

If you're interested in receiving News & Information to support your work with teens and young adults, sign up here.

Sandi Lindgren, LICSW, PCC

Friday, July 22, 2011

ICF shares coaching with HR professionals

The ICF would like to thank all ICF members in the Las Vegas, Nevada area who assisted us last month at the SHRM (Society for Human Resource Management) conference!

This was the ICF’s first appearance at a SHRM event—and what a great experience it was. SHRM is the world’s largest association dedicated to human resource management. More than 13,000 human resource professionals from around the globe were in attendance—providing a unique way for us to share the value of coaching in business. 

Alexis and Betty in the ICF booth
The multi-day event included an international expo hall where the ICF was situated. As we did at ASTD in May, we promoted the benefits of coaching through conversation and several targeted collateral pieces that showed people how to find an ICF approved  coach training program, how to apply for an ICF Credential, how to hire a coach, and why hire a coach. Very popular among the HR crowd was our case study that highlighted the 2010 ICF International Prism Award recipients, Genentech and the TINE Group.

Thanks to all ICF members, training programs and friends who dropped by our booth at SHRM! And a very special thanks is in order for our volunteers from the Nevada Professional Coaches Association: Sarah Christman, Stephanie Glover, Betty Mahalik, Alexis Vernon, ACC, and Richard Ziebarth.

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

How to build a successful virtual team

Sharing motivation towards the goal is a key requirement to raise trust especially for virtual teams

How virtual teams have their common coffee breaks
How eye to eye contact happens in virtual teams

Managers and participants of virtual teams are facing special challenges, opportunities and chances compared to physical teams. Physical teams see each other face to face and they make regular eye contact with one another. Those are important fundamentals for human beings to build trust and to feel valued and part of a team, which is key to team success. Members and managers of virtual teams have the advantage of working in a special communication environment and this awareness can act as a driving motivation for the team. An increase of trust level and team results takes place for a virtual team, whenever paying attention to the diverse virtual communication options and whenever sharing motivation to the common goal. The easiest way forward is to put the real motivational drivers for the goal openly on the table right from the start of a project.

Let’s have a look at a real quick win story from sharing motivation towards a common goal of a virtual team consisting of Jose from Spain, Mark from U.K. and Martin from Germany. All three are working in the same project for a telecommunication company based in Budapest. To introduce the characters of the involved project members, Jose wants to be involved in everything; he likes to talk and is new to the project. Martin is emotional, tends to keep information rather than spreading while Mark drives projects forward and works successfully together with Martin since years. Martin works as an external consultant and fears to be replaced by Jose for future projects. His hidden agenda is to avoid sharing his competence with Jose during the project with the intention to grant his services are required for the coming projects. The project started with a conference call between the three engineers. The kick off agenda below highly supported this virtual team to open up, to speak about their real driving topics and concerns which helps to raise the level of trust.
  • Introduction of the team, presentation of the expected project goal – Moderator - 20 Min
  • Each participant shares expectation toward the team which supports best results. (What do I require from my team colleagues that support a better project outcome?) – All - 20 Min
  • Each participant shares their motivation to achieve the goal and intention to add value to the project or results – own Experience – own Strength - All- 20 Min
  • Other issues - All
  • Completion round – All – 10 Min
During this kick off Jose shared his motivation and wish to learn from as well as to support the experienced team. He planned to learn for his coming management position starting directly after finishing with the project. This share of information and openness changed Martins ‘keeping information’ behaviour to an ‘open and sharing experiences’ behaviour which is a key win communication habit for virtual teams. Physical teams share their private stories and create a team feeling as well as a social embedding benefitting from common coffee or tea breaks. Those common coffee breaks help to gather people’s point of view, to feel as part of the team, raise the motivation and share experiences. How did Mark, Jose and Martin spend their virtual coffee breaks and gain from the common breaks? They called each other on Friday afternoon, just to exchange private stories about hobbies and weekend activities. Additionally they placed an informal once a week 10 minutes conference call, while relaxing with a cup of tea, water or coffee without any agenda and chatting about any topic coming up. While physical teams have the advantage to discuss with each other with eye to eye contact, the Budapest virtual team learnt from the experiences of blind people, who are more attentive on all other senses. They concentrated on the voices and found their own magical practise to cover the lack of eye to eye contact. Whenever they thought about, to call or not to call their colleagues, they decided to call and communicate with them. They exchanged on their weekly project call;
  • What happened in the last week
  • Acknowledged about the successes and steps forward
  • Gave their intention to the need for improvements
  • Required action points and nomination of owners
  • They kept the big picture the moderator reflected were the team is on the way to the goal.
The management as well as the client called them ‘dream team’. They won an innovation price at the end of the project. The positive effect of adding communication topics to the agenda is a clearing of the team atmosphere, an honest and open working environment right from the beginning.

This team motivation approach requires courage to step beyond the thinking of technical issues, adding extra 20 minutes to the existing agendas, spending time for virtual coffee breaks and virtual face to face meetings with the effect of minimising the risk of wasting time and motivation with hidden agendas and rumours, keeping information and helping to maximise team motivation as well as team results. The change of perspective from technical focus to the attention towards team motivation, communication and goals of virtual teams requires courage, stepping into new areas of experience. I wish you great success with your virtual team.

Iris Clermont is an international certified coach and process consultant, the author of the book ‘Team Magic’ and a single mother of three teenagers. During the last 20 years, Iris Clermont has been travelling and working in 20 different countries around the world and working as part of a virtual team or performing team coaching, executive coaching and process consultancy as a combination, mainly in the telecommunications area for corporate companies. Further information can be found from her web page:  

Monday, July 18, 2011

Energy Work and Coaching: The Next Wave

Thank you to all the ICF coaches who joined me for June’s SIG conversation “Deepening our Spiritual Practice.” The curiosity and commitment my colleagues bring to these calls is inspiring. Coaches are curious to learn how others are incorporating a healer’s orientation in their corporate coaching, as well as interested in expanding their own personal knowledge of how to work with energy.

The use of energy work in coaching is a portal that helps clients integrate their four aspects---mind, body, spirit and emotions. As a result, clients feel whole; all their parts fit. As my mom would say, “They have more bounce in their walk.” There is no one way to success; practitioners realize that it is a combination of practices that produce healing. I am using my energy background to help heal my own life, as well as helping clients heal theirs.

Energy work is complementary to the coaching modalities we use. In fact, at the basis of both “fields” is the same commitment to service. The addition of a natural healing practice to our coaching has deepened our relationship to serve. Many of us are guided by compassion, a muscle we cultivate through our spiritual practice.

During the SIG programs we bring the lines closer between energy work and coaching, because in fact the lines overlap. We are human beings composed of four aspects; and we are energetic beings. All of us want to experience more joy, more peace, more love. The addition of an energy healing practice has given me the tools, the confidence and the humility to keep looking for and utilizing “healing” protocols to help clients experience as much joy as they can. Why? Life is short. The more you live the less you die.

Rhona Post, MCC
 To support my fellow coaches on this path, I have developed a ninety (90) minute Healer’s Orientation Intensive, which I am offering twice in July. I will not be conducting the SIG in July, but will start it again by September. For more information on the Healer’s Orientation Intensive, please email me at

Rhona Post, MCC
Energy Work and Coaching: The Next Wave SIG (held 3rd Monday of each month)

Thursday, July 7, 2011

ICF award recognizes organizations that benefit from coaching

The 2010 Global Consumer Awareness Study found that professional coaching is being used to help people around the world improve work performance, expand career opportunities and increase self-esteem.
More than 42.6 percent of respondents who had experienced coaching chose “optimize individual and/or team performance” as their motivation for being coached. Other motivations to choose coaching included to “expand professional career opportunities” at 38.8 percent and to “improve business management strategies” at 36.1 percent.

And since 2005, the ICF has recognized 12 organizations that have used coaching as a leadership strategy and experienced a return on investment (ROI) and/or return on expectation (ROE) through the International Prism Award program.

Recipients of the International Prism Award have committed to coaching as a leadership strategy and have experienced enhanced excellence and business achievement. Winning organizations have been held to stringent eligibility criteria, standing apart from other applicants in terms of their effective use of coaching and documented ROI and/or ROE.

The award is open to any organization—of any size, from any industry, located in any part of the world. All it takes is the time to submit the nomination application. The deadline for 2011 nominations is coming quickly: Monday, July 11. If you plan to nominate an organization for this year’s International Prism Award, please email the completed application to

YOUR organization could be the next International Prism Award recipient! Past winners of the ICF International Prism Award have included:
  • 2010: Genentech and The TINE Group
  • 2009: and Solaglas Windowcare
  • 2008: British Broadcasting Corporation (BBC) and SYSCO Food Services of Canada
  • 2007: NASA (APPEL 4-D Systems) and Deloitte and Touche
  • 2006: University of Texas at Dallas (UTD) and Verizon Business
  • 2005: IBM and MCI
Download the application.

Friday, July 1, 2011

TRY - Power of Creating Your Own Destiny

"The best way to predict the future is to create it" quotes Peter Drucker, writer and management consultant.

What are you doing today to ensure your future?

What steps are you taking to create what you want rather than letting life create it for you?

Get busy drawing, painting, writing or sculpting what you choose to become.

It all starts and ends with you. 

We are each Michelangelo, sculpting our own beautiful David.

As coaches, we help our clients chisel through that block of marble so that they can create their own personal "David" and become their personal best.

Terry Yoffe, CPCC, PCC
Personal and Professional Development Coach

TRY Coaching, LLC