Last Thursday and Friday, Allan and I attended the Association for Coaching Going global conference as exhibitors. We’d like to thank all the attendees who came for a chat at our stand and joined in with our coaching games. We had some great quotes, jokes and tips from coaches as well as some interesting chats. We gave away a free iWAM certification course to lucky winner Julia A. Choukhno.
The main eye-opener of the whole conference for me was the range of different people there. I chatted to a woman who teaches coaching techniques to young offenders, a man who runs a mentoring programme for young people from disadvantaged backgrounds, a counsellor who wanted a fresh approach, a war veteran who had turned to coaching post-trauma, psychologists, doctors, professors, publishers and authors, coaches who loved psychometrics and some who hated them, NLP-ers, business coaches, life coaches, family coaches, career coaches, HR directors, coach managers, fledgling coaches and experienced ones and do you know what? All of them had a different approach to coaching. Each one of them had a different reason for getting into the profession, and each of them had a different way of dealing with clients and running their coaching sessions.
To add to the variation of backgrounds, there were several international attendees who gave us an insight into how coaching is being carried out in Russia, Portugal and the Netherlands to name but a few. For a conference with a focus on Going Global, it was lovely to see people who had come from the corners of the world to be in London for the conference.
This of course is not to mention the extraordinary local and international speakers who appeared at the conference. Although we were on the stand, Allan and I took turns dropping in to sessions and I would personally like to say what a joy it was to attend Julio Olalla’s opening speech on his life in Chile and the US and his use of coaching to spread his message that there is no joy in pushing for a “better life” when surely the best thing is to live a “good” one. He spoke at length about gratitude and morality and the personal touch that we are losing and I, for one, can say I caught a few fellow coaches wiping away a tear during an emotional story of gratitude and generosity in his own life.
Following his talk I was able to attend varied other sessions where the breadth of coaching and what it can do really came alive. It was great to meet so many people and learn so much. Thank you to the AC for putting it all together and their hard work while we were there. And thank you to the coaches who are striving for the best our profession can be, it was a real joy to meet you all.