As I sit here in the lobby between the last two sessions for the day, it is a great opportunity to reflect on what has been the first full day for ICF Global 2012 here in London. So here is part one of my update with the balance to be written and added to.
Janet Harvey (ICF USA) raised the energy levels from the start, and ticked all the ‘housekeeping’ boxes as the conference finally got underway.
A few meaningful quotes which were shared by Janet that touched me included the fact that ‘coaching is borderless’. This was re-enforced with each attendee of the 56 countries standing up as their country and flag appeared on-screen (must have had the Olympic presentation handed over to the ICF for use!). Coaching also creates change within businesses, individuals or corporations in many ways and ‘has the potential to be the new currency of the world’ according to our introduction.
Katherine Pope (ICF UK) then gave us the traditional English welcome, passed out the scones and tea and advised how ‘chuffed’ she was to have us all here, which was pretty cool. Then it was onto our keynote speaker for the day- Dr Brene Brown- recent author of Daring Greatly.
The theme of this impressive session was ‘vulnerability’ and how it affects people’s growth. We either can learn to choose to be vulnerable then learn and grow from that, or to fight it and think it is a sign of weakness. Vulnerability was discussed and presented as being a myth, and to really accept and be vulnerable is a massive step of courage.
There was so much I took from this session, that to write about it in a small blog post doesn’t do it justice, so instead a few of the key points that stood out to me were:
‘a lot of people or business owners stay small to avoid the criticism and judgement of going too large and failing’- in other words they maintain the status quo to avoid being vulnerable.
‘being vulnerable is a sign of courage, to think otherwise is a myth’
The Myths of Vulnerability
Vulnerability is a Weakness:
Is it weak to be vulnerable to start a business? To care for someone with cancer? To recover from a serious illness, miscarriage etc., to say ‘I love you’ first? All these take courage, so there goes that myth!
I can opt out of being vulnerable:
Many professions believe they can’t be vulnerable such as lawyers, doctors, engineers etc., you need to be aware of your vulnerability and know how you ‘do it’ or else it will be doing you!
Let it all hang out:
Today many people post their lives on Facebook, Twitter etc. believing they are ‘out there’ and being vulnerable, where in fact this is the far from the truth. You may get some nice comments back to cheer you up from those with whom you hardly speak to and may feel good short-term, but to really use this, call a friend and talk about your problem- do it with someone you trust. But the question is do you build trust 1st with someone, or be vulnerable 1st? a bit of the chicken or the egg! Trust is built-in small amounts.
I can go it alone:
Sometimes we feel we don’t need others and can get by in isolation, where in reality isolation is the most dangerous emotional state to be in. We need to share issues to be vulnerable to avoid the risks of isolation.
The final point is that the barriers to vulnerability are shame and guilt. People feel they will suffer these if they open up and become vulnerable. Shame is a focus on self- “I am a mistake” while guilt is more behavioural “I made a mistake”. Shame can have detrimental results as can lead to the isolation and other potentially dangerous scenarios.
These key points as I mentioned earlier, don’t do the session justice, but my learning was the whole eye-opening on the impact of the role of being vulnerable in all honesty I hadn’t given it a lot of thought in professional or personal context, so found this session very enlightening.
Session 2: Team Coaching
It was from here my learning continued with a highly interactive workshop on Coaching teams, so my connect skills took a ramp upwards.
The key learning’s in this session where the identification of what a team coaching environment is vs. individual- you are coaching an independent group of people with a common duty. The group becomes the entity to be coached or what was referred to as a 3rd entity- think for example if you were coaching John, Paul, George and Ringo- it wouldn’t be them individuals, the 3rd entity you work with are the Beatles. Husbands and wives referred to as an ‘amazing couple’ (or an entity) is another example to demonstrate the concept. As a team coach, you need to change the mindset in which you are coaching, it is no longer the individual but the entity.
We moved into our teams of 8 and had 2 group coaches and the balance of the learning came from working through an introduction to a group coaching model from CRR Global. A great bit of connection here with our group consisting of Iceland, Bulgaria, Taiwan, Canada and UK. We worked as a board directors for a financial company in the role play and were coached through the ‘designed partnership alliance’ process which was intriguing to experience, as the dynamics of the team moved from individuals in their own silos, to a cohesive team who changed language, tone and body positioning as the activity progressed. From a session I went to mainly ‘check out’ I left with a high degree of interest in the concepts, so will have to do some more homework while here.
Session 3: ICF Coaching Survey outcomes
Covered off summaries on the ICF global coaching survey from this year, and I won’t bore anyone with data as all can be found on the ICF website., but was informative.
I am now about to run off to my last session today to learn about running a Coaching Boost camp, so looking forward to that!………………………
WOW…back from the Boost Camp planning session with Pauline…mate a new friend in Nelly from Massachusetts, who has become my ‘Planning Partner’ to hold me to account in 30 days for how I will plan a Retreat!
I went into this session with just an interest in what it was all about, but now I have the outline for a retreat and someone to hold me accountable to fit! Great learning there!.
That’s the day over, now time for a well deserved beer!
Wow. I learnt a lot just bu reading this. I’m pleased you’re getting a lot out of the conference.