I played the oboe for years. Beginning in primary school and through college, I practiced and practiced, joining the band, the wind ensemble, a church group and even formed a professional trio with a flute and clarinet. Now you may wonder why I open a piece on Coaching with my musical skills? Simple. When I was seeking out a music coach, I searched for someone who understood me – and who understood the oboe – and the distinctive value of the double-reed instrument. Not someone who played drums, not a tuba teacher, but a skilled musician that believed in the beauty and joy of the unusual oboe and related to the unique needs and challenges of the oboist.
It is the same with any coaching, whether it be leadership coaching, career coaching, or life coaching. A client brings their unique perspectives – their differences – to every coaching session. Hence, a coach must see their client, hear their client, and truly understand their client, all while respecting their own perspectives and honoring the coaching process. This is embracing diversity in coaching.
Why is diversity important in coaching? To be an effective and present coach, we must seek to understand the client within their context. A client’s context that may include their identity, environment, experiences, values, culture, and beliefs.
The amount and speed with which we receive information has almost become overwhelming.
Add that with the increased pressure to take action more quickly, and the continued stretch of leading (and living) through a pandemic, leaders find themselves with less and less time to think through a problem.
Without this space, I am seeing an increased number of the those I work with are making more reactionary, sometimes short sighted decisions.
The Ladder of Inference is a powerful tool to help leaders identify their thinking process in order to challenge the premise of decisions, thereby increasing the probability of a solid decision. The Ladder of Inference was created by organizational psychologist Chris Argyris in the mid-1970s and became well known when it appeared in Peter Senge’s The Fifth Discipline: The Art and Practice of the Learning Organization.
The Ladder identifies 7 steps, or rungs we climb to make decisions.
Almost ten years ago, I decided that I wanted to become a professional coach. Working in leadership and human resource roles for some of Canada’s largest employers in the financial services sector gave me many opportunities to coach people. I learned that I loved being a coach — aka a strategic thinking partner and an impartial, confidential, accountability advocate.
Want to be a coach?
While still working full-time for my employer and with their consent, I attended coach training (on my own time and dime). Back then, the International Coaching Federation (ICF) was not as well known as the global leader and gold standard for professional coaches. I received my first coaching certification from an organization whose training was not recognized by the ICF.
So I started again and took more coach training. This time, I found a training program that would check all the important boxes in order to meet my coaching goals.
As of the date of this post, I am awaiting a decision from the ICF regarding my application to be recognized as a Professional Certified Coach (PCC).
If you are looking to become a professional coach certified with the ICF, I invite you to continue reading.
Over the years, I have learned a great deal about coach training, mentor coaching, and the ICF.
Welcome to 2021!
Well, wasn’t that an interesting year?
It stretched you, might have frustrated you and it may have revealed more of you.
In the face of an unexpected life twists, three groups of people show up: Innovators, Managers and Resistors
Each group plays an important part. You will have experienced each of these roles this year. Some for short periods of time and some for long periods with a lot of slipping back and forth between them.
Let’s bring your focus to the three roles we all can experience in this coming year.
There will be Pacesetters, Leaders, and Influencers.
- The innovators can shift to be the Pacesetters
- The Managers can shift to be the Leaders
- The Resistors can shift to be Influencers
The following are questions you should ask any coaching company you are considering partnering with for your Coach Training to become an ICF Credentialed Coach...
What are the credentials of the coach facilitators who are delivering the program?Ask for the experience and confirm the credentials of the coach facilitators who will be taking part in your training. Invest some time to speak to the people behind the program you are considering.
Is the program schedule convenient? Does it offer flexibility?Can you do the program from home or on a laptop from anywhere or do you need to be physically present at a facility? What happens if you can’t make a session? Can you make it up or is there a replay?
Does the program have a good reputation?Do they have an abundance of testimonials? Ask them if it’s possible to speak with one of their graduates? Are their trainers ICF credentialed? Search the internet to see what people are saying about them online.