ICF CERTIFIED COACHING – PROS AND CONS

Being a president of ICF Vancouver chapter is very strong position. Could you describe the most important activities that you are doing in this role?
Founded in 1995, the International Coach Federation (ICF) is the leading global organization dedicated to advancing the coaching profession by setting high standards, providing independent certification, and building a worldwide network of credentialed coaches. ICF seeks to advance the art, science and practice of professional coaching. Currently International Coach Federation has 135 Chapters and 25,015 credential holders worldwide. Vancouver Charter Chapter is part of the global network and locally we serve about 400 members in the Vancouver area. Our Board mandate is to provide leadership by encouraging the professionalism of coaches through compliance with ICF standards; practices and ethics; facilitating collegiality and professional development among coaches; serving as a resource and creating awareness of the professional standards of coaching among coaches; individuals; organizations and groups seeking coaching and the general public and advocating for the professionalism of coaching.

Photo: Private collection

        ICF Vancouver has three major activities throughout the year. Over ten years now the Coach Giving Program is responsible for leadership of all coach giving activities of the Chapter. Under the direction of the Coach Giving Chair the committee searches for, develops, and monitors opportunities for Chapter coaches to coach with non-profit organizations for the benefit of the organization or individuals associated with the organization. The strategic intent of this activity is to raise the professional profile of the ICF Chapter and coaches. We partner with non-profit organizations and coach their leaders for a nominal fee and in return our credentialed coaches build their coaching hours.

     Key Program Highlights:
• Up to 8 hours of coachee-focused one-on-one coaching over 6 to 8 months.
• Coaching goals personalized to the coachee and linked to the organizational objectives.
• The Manager of the Coachee supports coaching as a leadership development tool and agrees to the goals of the coaching engagement.
Pre-work for the coaching engagement:
1. Both key client contact of the organization and coachee complete the ICF Vancouver Leadership Coaching – pre-program-questionnaire-organization and leaders-to assess whether coaching is right at this time.
2. Coachee completes the assessment to identify coaching goals.
3. Coachee’s Manager reviews and approves the assessment to identify coaching goals. Both Coachee and Key Client Contact confirm their approval of coaching goals.
4. Coachee interviews 3 potential ICF Vancouver affiliated credentialed coaches using How Do I Select A Coach document before selecting the best fit.
5. Coachee enters into Coach-Coachee Coaching Service Agreement with his/her Coach.
6. Coachee shares his/her approved Assessment to Identify Coaching Goals with the Coach.
7. Coaching begins.
8. Post Coaching survey to be sent via survey monkey both the coach and the coachee to measure the success of the ICF Vancouver Charter Chapter Coach-Giving Leadership program

    Overall, in 2018, ICF Vancouver has 76 clients receiving coaching through the coach giving program. This is the main source of income throughout the year for the ICF Vancouver Chapter.
Another activity that ICF Vancouver Chapter sponsors is The Coaching Roundtable through the local Human Resources Management Association. This sponsorship provides credentialed coach speakers for the roundtables over the year. Coaching Roundtables started in 2014 and since then over 400 HR professionals have attended.. Some of the topics covered in 2018 are; Conversational Intelligence, Coaching CEOs and Executive Leadership Teams, Coaching and Systems Thinking, The Recruiter Coach. These events are always sold-out and we have a LinkedIN group of 120 members. Since 2015 ICF Vancouver Chapter has also been attending the annual Human Resources Tradeshow. Our Coaches engage with the attendees to showcase the art and science of coaching.
ICF Vancouver also runs events under the coaches engage program where we bring coaches and coaching enthusiasts together to network, to share interests and expertise. Cross-pollination of highly skilled membership enhances our creativity and mutual opportunities arise to co-create capacity for more coaching throughout our communities and beyond.

A lot of licensed coaching schools are under the roof of ICF. How do you nourish that diversity? How do you provide a quality of programmes which these schools perform?
A coaching program that meets the accrediation standard determined by the ICF Global is perceived as a high standard elite coaching program.
Coaches worldwide recognize ICF as an industry leader and turn to ICF for information about training and continuing education.
If you want to make informed decisions you need to research and the first place to go to is the ICF website. Training Program Search Service can help anyone to find accredited coaching schools based on the country, and region the coaching training is available for as well as the program type, delivery method, language and coaching specialty you want to select.
When I run the accredited coaching program search for British Columbia, Canada area there are 24 accredited coaching schools and some schools offer programs in more than one specialty area. It is then up to the individual to research and find out which program would be a good fit for their needs.

Could you share some interesting statistics regarding coaching schools, certified coaches, gender, methodology …
The 2016 ICF Global Coaching Study is the third research project commissioned by the International Coach Federation (ICF) to provide an up-to date picture of the coaching profession worldwide. The study was conducted by PricewaterhouseCoopers LLP with a six-month survey period that began in July 2015. Available in nine languages, the survey was completed by 15,380 respondents from 137 countries, making it ICF’s most extensive industry research project to date. Members can access the survey through www.coachfederation.org
Some highlights of the survey are

• 15,380 respondents from 137 countries
• Approximately 53,300 coach practitioners worldwide
• $2.356 billion USD estimated 2015 global revenue from coaching

     Coach practitioners who responded to the survey are almost equally split between those under age 50 (46%) and those age 50 and over (54%). Almost one in five coach practitioners (19%) are in the 50–54 age range, and a little more than half of coaches are between 45 and 59 years of age.
Females account for 67% of coach practitioners and 66% of managers/leaders using coaching skills. Regionally, the female share of coach practitioners is highest in North America and lower in emerging markets. The regional pattern among managers/leaders using coaching skills is broadly similar to coach practitioners.

Cultural differences are the most difficult part to teach coaches in foreign countries. You are from Turkey. What would be the main differences between Canada and Turkey?
Canada is the second largest country in the world, its population is 36 million. Compared to Turkey it is 10 times bigger yet Turkey’s population is almost 2.5 times more. This sets up the context. Besides, I live in the west coast of Canada which is known for it is laid back life style. My life in Istanbul was competitive, over-crowded, fast paced either reactive or proactive but always very inter-connected with others. I did not have time to reflect as it was not my natural state anyways. It took a lot of mindful work to ground myself, slow down, and reflect rather than react or pro-act in Vancouver. I have downsized from a city of 20 million to 3 million and I believe this polarity benefited me. I had a lot of space to explore my values, what was important to me and to honor the things that mattered most in life. Making comparisons and understanding differences are essential part of a successful integration and it is also helpful to explore your cultural starting points as the person. I have pursued some training programs to deconstruct what was really happening in my thoughts and emotions. First, I have completed a certificate program in intercultural studies from the University of British Columbia. In that program, I was introduced to Milton Bennet’s developmental model of intercultural sensitivity assessment tool which helped me to understand where I was in my own cultural continuum. I also benefited from Philippe Rosinski’s Cultural Orientation Framework tool in later.

Photo: Private collection

What would be the hardest lesson that you’ve learned since you are a coach?
Being a coach you need to practice your learning. There was a year I did not coach anybody and I realized that I was losing my knowledge and practice. The lesson I learned was that it does not matter if you do it for money you need to keep practicing and enhancing your skillset. I have purposefully been a part of my local ICF Chapter for years now. ICF provides webinars, training modules that I can keep advancing my knowledge base and skills at the same time I earn continuing coach education units. My primary profession is Human Resources, and I hold a local designation for my HR credential too. Every year I need to accumulate at least 20 continuing education points to keep my HR designation current. ICF is the accrediting body for coaches. The ICF Code of Ethics is designed to provide appropriate guidelines, accountability and enforceable standards of conduct for all ICF Members and ICF Credential-holders. There are some cutting edge developments happening in coaching profession and there is a good chance you can learn about these by being part of the largest coaching community of the world, ICF. It starts in your local level and grows from there.

Please give us two or three reasons why coaches should be ICF certified?
Based on the 2014 ICF Global Consumer Awareness Survey Credentialed Coach Practitioners command higher fees and report more clients and greater annual revenue from coaching than their peers without a credential. 83% of coaching clients say it is either important or very important for their coach to hold a credential. 93 % of clients who partnered with a credentialed coach report satisfaction with the experience.
Also, findings from the 2016 ICF Global Coaching Study confirms that credibility counts for coach practitioners.

Have you ever measured the efficiency of coaching in terms of business growth?
There are many research projects published to justifying the return on investment in coaching and they can be found at the ICF Global website. One example from Vancouver would be Joey Restaurants Group they won the International Prism Award in 2011, and the award recognizes organizations that have profited through their commitment to coaching as a leadership strategy. Joey Restaurant provided coaching to their most senior leaders adn trained them as internal coaches. In 30 months the restaurants have experienced more than 30 % growth in revenue, reduced turn-over and made the top 100 employers list for the first time. They calculated 682 percent return on investment from their coaching initiative.
It depends how you define success, through a six months coaching program I witnessed 20% of mid-managers who received coaching moved on to other organizations as their values were not aligned well with the organization they worked for. I think it is worthy to say that both the organization and the individuals would be better off without each other in that case. In the same group I also witnessed 20 % of mid-managers moved up in the leadership ladder. When coaching involves there is always a return on investment however the exact dollar value might not be easy to determine always as in my example coaching out an employee who does not resonate with company’s mission anymore instead of moving them up in the organizations is certainly benefiting the company in the long haul.

Ceyda Gultan
About Ceyda Gultan 1 Article
Ceyda (jay-da) Gultan is a certified coach and is the President of the International Coach Federation Vancouver Charter Chapter. Ceyda has 20 + years’ experience working with international, national and local organizations managing projects with its primary focus on enhancing and growing teams, identifying those barriers that hinder either corporations or individuals to becoming the best they can be. Each organization comes with their own unique set of challenges and opportunities and, this is the arena Ceyda thrives in. Throughout her career, she has led a myriad of organizational change, and leadership training and development projects for a variety of international, multinational and local companies. Her in-depth knowledge of the people side of the business comes from working in-house as a Human Resource Professional and as an external Consultant on special projects including: recruitment, corporate culture, assessments and development centers, sales force curriculum, organizational reviews, HR dashboards, webinars and training, coaching leaders, employee engagement and satisfaction surveys, and 360 assessments. Over the course of her career, Ceyda has worked in a cross section of industries: pharmaceutical, hotel and tourism, financial, retail, social service, profit, non-profit, government and private. In every industry, key issues have remained the same, understanding people and what motivates them are integral to determining the success of the organization.

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