Before you go...
To Become a Highly Successful Coach
Coaching Communities have been part of The Coaching Academy support programme for students and qualified coaches since our inception in 1999. A Coaching Community is a local group of people with an interest in all things coaching, meeting up generally on a monthly basis. We've revamped our coaching communities website to make it even easier for you reap the benefits of getting involved.
Coaching Communities have been part of The Coaching Academy support programme for students and qualified coaches almost since our inception in 1999. In fact – as part of a prior training programme syllabus in the early 2000s – attendance of a number of Coaching Communities (previously referred to as Coaching Circles or Coaching Exchanges) was a compulsory part of the Coach Training Programme – such was the importance placed on a student being an active part of the local coaching community.
Essentially a Coaching Community is a local group of people with an interest in all things coaching, meeting up generally on a monthly basis to
• discuss coaching
• share skills and experiences
• practice coaching
• learn from experts and each other
• benefit from peer-to-peer coaching supervision
• share a drink or two with friends.
Over and above the obvious benefits to coaches in terms of learning and support – the Coaching Communities offer students and qualified coaches the opportunity to have regular face-to-face contact with fellow coaches. This can have a positive impact on motivation – both to complete a coaching qualification as well as moving forward with a coaching career.
I have heard many examples also where members of local Coaching Communities have successfully won a substantial contract that required additional coaches to deliver the coaching. Where is the first place that the coach turns for affiliates? Well – of course those coaches in their Coaching Community with whom they’ve spent regular, quality time over a period of months, built rapport, developed mutual respect and shared ideas and goals.
The Coaching Academy has revamped its Coaching Communities website to help make finding and communicating with your local Coaching Community far easier.
Check out – www.coaching-communities.com
You’ll see both a useful ‘Search’ facility to find the nearest Community to you. Coaching Community Co-ordinators can also post a ‘Calendar’ of their meetings which you can access and even download onto your PC/Laptop/Smartphone diaries.
How about becoming the catalyst for the next new Coaching Community? Simply post a message onto the Coaching Academy e-Groups asking for local coaches to contact you if they are interested in meeting up each month. I think you’ll be surprised how many coaches in your area would value that additional support resource. Once you’ve liaised with your local coaches and established things like
• Where are you going to meet?
• When are you going to meet?
• What do you all want to get out of the group?
then simply e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org and we can add your new Coaching Community to the website.
I’ve been involved in Coaching Communities for a long time, on both sides of the fence. In that time I’ve dealt with many Coaching Coordinators who have taken on responsibility for running the meetings. So I am in a relatively good position to finish by giving you my top tips:
1. Don’t let the burden of responsibility rest on one person’s shoulders. Often Coaching Communities are set up with the best will and intention in the world by a protagonist with the time and energy to devote to making things happen. Invariably, these kind of people find that their coaching careers bloom making it more difficult to spend the time on keeping the Coaching Community going. So ensure that management of the Community (venue, admin, contacting coaches etc.) is delegated to a number of members – perhaps some kind of rota. This will ensure longevity and keep all members engaged.
2. Keep things fresh. People will only continue to attend your Coaching Community meetings if they are consistently getting something out of it. So mix up the style and content of the meetings. Guest speakers, practice coaching sessions, peer-to-peer supervision, book reviews and the odd social event are just some of the different things that can happen.
3. Utilise your Members’ skills. A Community’s best asset is its members. Many Communities give members an opportunity to practice their presentation skills by delivering a session to members each month. Perhaps sharing ideas they have learnt from recent training they have attended, books they’ve read or relevant coaching subject matters they have knowledge of.
4. Be proactive! You will get out what you put in. So the more you involve yourself in your local Coaching Community the more of a positive experience you will find it. Coming along once in a blue moon just won’t yield the same results.
5. Sharing is caring (cringe!) One of the most valuable advantages of the Coaching Communities is the opportunity to share your ideas, goals, concerns and coaching successes/challenges. Use the space, time and unconditional positive regard found at Coaching Community meetings to share – both good and bad. This component of peer-to-peer supervision will help you realise you are not on your own, that other coaches have the same experiences, and benefit from the associated learning and development which will ultimately result in you being a better coach.
Which is what you want, right?!
Don’t just take my word for it; you can also jump on to the members’ area to listen to the virtual seminar with community leader Neil Nutburn.
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