Coach Gathering

On December 2, life and leadership coaches gathered for the annual meeting of the thousand-strong Metro DC chapter of the International Coach Federation (ICF). CoachThink was there. 

I facilitated a World Café to stimulate open communication and to challenge our community to think together deeply.  To examine our mental models of leadership and authority-to-act, see what might be holding us back, and explore what is possible for us.  

In Paris, after the latest attacks, people used social media to discover ways to move forward constructively. They said, “It depends on us to write the next chapter. It’s our responsibility to create the reality we want to live in tomorrow.”  They decided that the World Café could be used to stimulate communication among citizens from every horizon, to generate creativity within boundaries but without hierarchy.  

For a community of helping professionals, participatory self-governance also seems logical. Here are a few more reasons I decided to facilitate a Community Café:

  • Café conversation is a great way to experience the richness of our community—the design ensures that we mix it up and meet each other
  • Professional associations must evolve to meet the changing needs of the members
  • Change works best when those affected participate in meaningful ways
  • Co-creation happens through dialogue
  • The ICF and the World Café both celebrated 20 years since inception in 2015
  • We coaches love to talk

In ICF DC Metro, our morning coffees have been one of the most successful forms of community learning and support so far.  What other forms of gathering create the optimal conditions for us to have the conversations and experiences that matter most to us?

Last Wednesday, we asked ourselves, “Does age matter?” And, “Given what we’re learning, how do we want to shape the future of coaching and the future of our practices?”

I’d like to ask more questions of our community. Questions like these:

  • How do professional associations advocate for members?
  • What body of knowledge underpins our profession?
  • What is the science of coaching?
  • How does advocacy interact with the science of coaching?

What do you think?  Join the discussion at CoachThink.