Friday, February 10, 2012
In celebration of International Coaching Week (February 5-11), a different guest blog post was highlighted on the ICF blog each day this week. This is the final in this special series.
How many coaches do you know who have directly helped lift whole families out of deep poverty? That is Martin Baldwin, an inspiration for ICW, epitomising the best that coaching can achieve.
So where does coaching come in? Martin started coaching Estuardo after he ‘failed’ as an administrator at Cosecha where, paradoxically, he behaved arrogantly and stubbornly, yet was unable to take initiative or be proactive – the latter typical of the local culture of deference to the boss.
Martin asked questions unheard of by a man brought up in poverty by a poor single, Mayan mother. Where do you want to be in 10 years? What are your hopes and dreams? Poor children say they dream of becoming a lawyer, but they know it’s pie in the sky. Martin asked Estuardo about ideas he could turn into reality. Using the ‘Celebration of Life’ model Martin eventually enabled Estuardo to conceive of a fulfilling life in a culture where he had no home of his own, no social security and a limited support network; to develop realistic goals and self-confidence based on his own hitherto unrecognised values, gifts and skills.
Estuardo discovered he is ‘a people person’: good at respecting, teaching them, and building relationships. He understands these ‘Western’ values whilst remaining true to his own culture.
After Martin returned to the UK in 2007, he put his trust in Estuardo, by now his Guatemalan deputy, and appointed him the charity’s local Director.
Estuardo is responsible for:
- A team of six Guatemalans, of disadvantaged Mayan descent;
- The educational programme of 35 students. (Cosecha’s philosophy is to support them through to completion, which could be for as long as 14 years);
- A commitment to their families of the means to sustain the child through their education; and
- A £40,000 annual budget, in a country where a qualified teacher earns £100-£120 per month.
|Estuardo and a lot of happy, smiling faces|
I met Martin in a sleepy English town. Little did I imagine when I offered pro-bono coaching how it fitted into this wonderful world-changing web...
It’s hard to do this story justice in 500 words! Read more, or please donate, at Cosecha's website.
Professionals in Leadership blog
Caroline Talbott - catalyst for change