The idea of foregoing sunshine, family fun and social activities with friends in August seemed like a big trade-off to attend ICF Converge 2017, especially since I was trying to decide during one of the wettest, gloomiest record-breaking months in Vancouver! Thank goodness I ignored my head, listened to my heart and trusted my gut as I registered for the event. My intuition told me this would be an event not to be missed since ICF Global hadn’t hosted a conference in 10 years, and I’m glad I trusted it. I came back from the conference rejuvenated, replenished and joy-full.
Why, you may ask, did I have such a powerful experience? Let me share.
When you are in a room full of coaches with similar passions and beliefs, magic happens! Truly! You may have had a taste of it at a local Chapter meeting. Now imagine over 2,000 coaches from all over the world in one room. It’s absolutely POWERFUL! The energy is electric as you move around. I was overjoyed to reconnect with many friends and colleagues from all over the world that I had the privilege to meet and work with while serving on the ICF Chapter Board. During workshops I paired-up, worked in groups and socialized with fellow coaches who became new friends. A special treat was spending time with the amazing group of people from Automotive Fuel Cell Corporation, proud recipient of the Vancouver Prism Award who decided to ‘go for platinum’ and received the ICF Global Prism Award on August 25, 2017!
2. Tips, Tools & Strategies
We were spoilt for choice with the many ‘neighbourhoods’ to choose from, including the Community Centre which provided sessions to use coaching competencies and strengthen skills, the Development Zone which offered tools and strategies to build a coaching business and develop strong coaching cultures, Converge University where the science of coaching was explored and Turning Point which examined the future of the coaching industry. As I learned new processes and strategies in the different neighbourhoods, I had the opportunity sharpen my coaching competencies, deepen my understanding of some of the practices and learn new tools I now use with teams I work with. So far, my clients love them as much as I do!
3. Accountability & Growth
Isn’t it interesting how we often work with clients around developing new behaviors and habits, yet we can struggle with putting these into practice ourselves? I have to confess this is definitely one of my growth areas. I was therefore thrilled to learn a great process called ‘Hot Seat’ during the Unconference on the last day (glad I showed up!) and even more excited when a member of the small group suggested we continue meeting. I am now part of what can only be described as an international mastermind peer support group with three other outstanding coaches. We are committed to continuing the growth process started in Washington DC and to keeping each other accountable. I can’t wait to virtually meet this week and discover what else will materialize from this group’s collective intelligence!
All this to say, despite missing sunny Vancouver in August, I am deeply grateful I attended, I appreciate the opportunity to share this story with you since it reinvigorated me, and I strongly urge you to consider attending a regional ICF conference or the next ICF global conference scheduled for 2019 if you didn’t get a chance this year. You too won’t be disappointed!