The Power of Community
When I decided to run for the board last year, many of my colleagues wondered why. Hadn’t I done my service as president of the ICF Board in 2000? Wouldn’t I be bothered with the current board structure, so different from the Wild West days of ICF? Would I be helping or getting in the way?
I know the questions came from good intent. I had many conversations with my coach and myself before saying yes. When I raised my hand, I was sure of my decision.
I have never stopped being in service to my coaching community since ICF came into existence. When I left the board, I stayed active, supporting coaching schools and speaking at coaching conferences around the world. I served as president of the Association of Coach Training Organizations (ACTO). I study neuroscience to understand the learning process of coaching and to contribute to our body of knowledge. I attend my local chapter meetings as often as I can. My community keeps my spirit uplifted and my mind active.
As the world is changing, so must ICF. I trust the ICF leadership to guide the organization forward. I also feel change must be balanced with the values and dreams those of us held for our community in the early years. When I asked my heart and gut about my service, I accepted a board nomination.
I am grateful for ICF because of what it provides for our 1) profession, 2) our community and 3) the world.
We are a professional association, not a club. In the early years, we knew we needed ICF to be strong to keep our profession alive as a unique offering in the world.
A profession is defined by a specialized body of knowledge and a repertoire of behaviors and skills. ICF maintains the integrity of our profession and helps us grow our businesses by providing standards of practice, certification and educational accreditation; by expanding coaching awareness with research and marketing; and by creating events for our community to come together for learning, inspiration and connection.
We build trust with our clients by adhering to the ethical standards, supporting the certification process, and committing to the promises we make in our contracts. Both your success and the success of ICF move the profession forward.
As ICF coaches, we have faith in humans to be whole, resourceful and creative. We work together to bring this light to our individual clients and organizational cultures.
That is why I love ICF conferences. At the first ICF conference, I coordinated the huggers. We greeted every attendee with a hug, appreciating their desire to contribute to our budding profession. I was welcomed to the ICF Board at the conference where ICF and the Professional and Personal Coaches Association (PPCA) merged to form a strong base for coaching and to make changes in the world, despite our differences. I have attended almost all the global, European, and Asia-Pacific ICF conferences, forging lifelong relationships and working partnerships to expand our work.
Conferences give us the opportunity to go beyond connecting ideas online to connecting as a vibrant community that champions the human spirit.
I hope to meet you this month at ICF Converge. ICF is providing us with an event that promises to strengthen our coaching skills, build our businesses and engage us in significant conversations about the impact and future of the coaching profession.
Above all, we will make new connections and strengthen existing relationships as we meet in “neighborhoods” with other professionals interested in similar topics. More than 70 sessions will be delivered through 10 different formats, including workshops, learning labs, role-playing and mentoring demonstrations, pitchfests, discussions and explorations of mastery.
The final day is the Unconference, where we, the participants, get to choose the topics discussed. We’ll dance and play together, building valuable relationships with each other, while developing practical solutions that will contribute to own our practice and to the future of the coaching industry.
We’ll also have an opportunity to gather in small groups to dialogue and receive support on any challenges we may be working through in our own practice. The hope is to create a dynamic and engaging experience that can only be done when hearts and minds converge in a retreat-like space.
I love being a significant member of a global community where we stand side-by-side to bring coaching to all corners of the world and help the planet thrive.
We rise above self-protection and self-interest, engaged in a community that is in service to others. Together, we evoke our best human qualities to persevere, create and work for good.
This is my ICF. It is your ICF, too. When we believe in, support and expand the power of coaching together, we shine a bright light in our uncertain world. I never question my contribution to ICF. What I get in return is far more valuable than the time and energy I spend.
It is my honor and privilege to serve my community on the ICF Board, again.
Marcia Reynolds, MCC
2017 ICF Global Board Director