Monday, February 20, 2012

The best award: Learning, serving and recognition.

Posted on Monday, February 20, 2012 by International Coach Federation

“The south also exists”

Receiving the Chapter Award in Las Vegas was a great honor and recognition. Though the best part of it is the support of the Uruguay Chapter members, who believe that a promise of professional coaching and ethics support by a global organization could be the future for a better living.

This is a story of vision, persistence and a great deal of time devoted to members, actually 80, may be one the secrets to create something bigger. You also need an organization offering leadership opportunities and ICF was that chance.

During the 2nd Congress of Coaching in Argentina, August 2007, I made a public statement: Uruguay will have a formal Coaching organization that will begin joining the few professionals in the market and develop a community of Coaching working towards a change. The vision of creating the ICF Uruguay Chapter is the blog of the Coaching Community of Uruguay where all this started:

"América invertida" ("Inverted America"), by the Uruguayan painter Joaquín Torres García
Uruguay is a country with 3,5 millions of inhabitants. Coaching appears about 7 years ago with very few coaches who have almost no relation between each other.  Within South America, Uruguay is one of the latest countries where the Coaching practice has been developed.  Despite being considered a traditional country due to its conservative beliefs, it has a great potential. We face the challenge of creating something new, going through local resistance to this kind of disciplines. 

People were invited to join the idea of leadership, coaching and thinking different with the view of developing a profession that was pretty unknown. More than 250 people join this community, but not more than 10 professional coaches could be identified at that moment.

In 2010 Coaching bloomed as the bamboo analogy. We carried out the 1st International Coaching Workshop with about 120 participants, created the first local Association (AUCOP), and launched the idea of the ICF Uruguay Chapter. Only four ICF Members where identified.

Being invited to the ICF Leaders’ meeting in Peru at the 1st LATAM Conference in July 2010 was the first step to see a wonderful work of existing chapters.

Founders of ICF Uruguay, Dec 2010
Then attending the Dallas Conference was the opportunity to see a global view and reinforce the challenge to go for it.

We founded the Chapter with almost 30 ICF members December 9th, 2010.  Since then, we have been growing not only as a Chapter but also as coaches.

In 2011 Coaching has been developed faster than ever.

  • More than 7 different learning offers of coaching are offered in the Uruguayan market.  Most of them opened this year.
  • Local business associations and government are being visited establishing cooperative work.
  • Initial contacts have been established in order that ICF LATAM Chapters may work together with the LATAM Network of Human Resources Associations.
  • Three Mentor Coaching Groups were held to align 30 local coaches into the credential process.
  • We have met with local Coaching institutes and are working with them in order to help them to accredit their programs.
  • Media interviews were carried out announcing ICF Uruguay Chapter.
  • On March we launched our website with a look-and-feel as the new ICF Global Website.  It was offered as a model to other chapters in the search of creating a regional voice and image for ICF. 
  • We also launched our Newsletter Coaching Uy in March.  At the present moment we are in the process of preparing the next issue.
  • An initial blog was added to the web.
  • Our ICF Uruguay Facebook Page with almost weekly news and pictures is on almost 100 members.
  • Near 20 meetings with an average of 28-32 members and invited coaches were held by the Chapter during this year.  President of ICF Colombia; Vice President of ICF Argentina; Director on Ethics of Argentina; former liaison with LATAM from ICF Spain (via video-conference call); and VP Damian Goldvarg MCC were some of our invited speakers for our meetings. 
  • During August we sponsored an International Human Resources Congress (300 participants) bringing Ivonne Hidalgo as speaker expert and president of ICF Venezuela.
  • We also sponsored the visit of Tim Gallwey, with near 300 participants, as a way to locally position ICF.
         o We had a private breakfast conversation between Tim and our members, the next day of Tim’s Conference.
  • During May, 100% of our members renew their membership.
  • A radio program about Change and Possibility was co conducted during the last three months of the year.  Coaching and ICF were the main messages to creating awareness within the community.
  • Creative ideas are in process for the growth and renewal of memberships as of 2012. 
  • Our goal for 2011 was100 members before the end of the year, we reach almost 80.
  • Uruguay was the first LATAM Chapter launching the “I Care For…” campaign in Spanish.
  • ICF Uruguay Chapter has the biggest percentage of penetration per capita by far (members / coaches / future coaches).
  • Uruguay is now in the Coaching world and we will deliver global coaches to serve worldwide.

During this year we learned a great deal of experience about ICF not only in its committed global view from Ed´s initiative but also as being part of the Marketing Global Committee helping in the development of the new Coaching World and the Brand Plan which I think is a great step that goes much further than the use of a logo.  Leadership means Coaching… not to be listened but listening and giving time one person at a time.

Closing 2011 I would say it was one of the best years of my coaching career.  Not from a business point of view, but the experience itself of coaching and developing a Coaching community was remarkable rewarding.

It was unthinkable to live this experience more than a year ago. I strongly motivate all ICF Members to get committed to their chapters and develop themselves as leaders. There is no limit to reach whatever you want.

Thanks to all the new ICF friends, Global Committee, ICF staff and colleagues and Damian’s coaching, who helped to go through!

2012 will be a great year for Coaching discipline and for LATAM development.  That is the next Challenge.
Gerardo Silbert is coach trainer, founder of Silbert Coaching /Comunicación. With focus con Life Coaching, he is applying for his PCC. With 30 years of experience in advertising and marketing in Argentina, due to coaching he choose to change his live into service and help and he moved to Uruguay and began his Coaching carrier 8 years ago. Actually he is president of ICF Uruguay and part of the Coordination development Team for Latam.

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