Thanks to community leader Lisa Read for sharing the key information about the Sheffield Coaching Exchange group that she runs.

Thanks to community leader Lisa Read for sharing the key information about the Sheffield Coaching Exchange group that she runs.

What is the name of your coaching community?

Sheffield Coaching Exchange

Where do you meet?

St Mary’s Church and Conference Centre, Bramall Lane in Sheffield

When does the group meet?

Every 3rd Tuesday of the month 7-9pm

What does a regular meeting look like?

We start with open networking, followed by a guest speaker who usually runs a workshop style session on a topic linked to coaching. Recently we’ve had speakers deliver sessions on Mindfulness, Reflective Repatterning, Coaching Children and Young people, Public Speaking and Resilience. More networking happens in our coffee break followed by more from the guest speaker or a marketing topic, such as using social media or business planning. Finally we often round off the evening with a book review. The Exchange usually buys the book being reviewed to add to our growing library of resources which we loan out for free to attendees.

How many people attend?

Usually 15 to 30 people at various stages in the coaching journey.

What sort of people attend?

Qualified coaches, those training to be coaches, HR professionals and people interested in personal development. The coaches work in varied settings, we have youth coaches, business coaches and life coaches. We also get a lot of interest from people in the wellbeing industry, including at least two counsellors, some hypnotherapists and a spiritual healer.

What makes your group different to others?

We get fantastic speakers, such as Julie Starr, former England basketball player John Dabrowski. We provide a library of resources which members are welcome to borrow, and they can also suggest books for us to buy. This helps to ensure that the members are well trained. We are a large and thriving group which is growing each month. Since I took over I’ve added several names to our mailing list and have only taken one person off it. We make sure that we always offer a warm welcome to all who attend and that we walk our talk as coaches – in that we listen, ask lots of questions and are continuously seeking to improve our offering. In 2014 we were finalists in a national award for the best networking group (of any kind) in the UK.

What would you say has been the best moment for the group?

Our guest speakers are always high quality and offer tremendous value. This year we’ve had Julie Starr, author of The Coaching Manual and Brilliant Coaching as well as the recent bestseller The Mentoring Manual, Julie ran a fantastic workshop for us on The Ego and Coaching. Through some carefully thought out exercises we all learnt more about ourselves as coaches, and identified how our ego comes into play. We’ve also had training in public speaking, resilience, gestalt coaching and mindfulness, plus many other topics.

What benefits do you experience?

As group leader I get so many benefits. I love connecting with like-minded people and I’m helping to ensure that the standards of coaching in Sheffield are exceptionally high. Leading the group has also benefited me personally because it’s raised my profile, my confidence in myself, and has provided me with some clients. A recent highlight for me was when I led a session on coaching children and young people, I took along a variety of games and exercises aimed at school age children and thoroughly enjoyed seeing what the adult coaches made of them! The night was described by many as ‘profound and enjoyable.’

What benefits do you think the group members experience?

Group members regularly email me to say how much they enjoy the group. They also love connecting with others and feel that they learn a lot from our speakers. Sheffield Coaching Exchange is often described as having a wonderful ‘buzz’ to it by attendees. The group has grown from 6 people attending the first meeting when I took over as leader, to 30+ in recent months, this has all been from word of mouth so I guess people must feel it’s worth attending, and telling others about.

What’s the best thing about your group?

The people, all of them are the kinds of people I thoroughly enjoy being with. They’re kind, generous, and of course great listeners who know just the right questions to ask!

If you want to find out more and join a future meeting then please contact Lisa Read on 07749 791707



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