ICF Global Leaders Forum 2015

Global Leaders ForumTo celebrate its 20th anniversary, the International Coach Federation convened chapter leaders from around the globe in Atlanta, Georgia, March 5-7, 2015. Approximately 170 chapter leaders from six continents and 56 countries came together to celebrate the history and growth of the profession, understand and align around the ICF global vision and strategic plan, and forge connection and renewal within the community. The coaches gathered represented an extremely diverse mix of all the different niches found in the profession.

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Listening, Humility, and Connecting: How are They Present in Your Leadership?

I’ve got to admit, in my 20’s, and 30’s I probably did more talking than listening at work. Connected to that was a healthy sense of ego; maybe not arrogance, but definitely ego – trying to demonstrate what I knew or what I could solve. My listening on the job was often more about hearing and understanding than connecting. It is interesting to me now how often I see connected ‘talking’ and ‘ego,’ as well as ‘listening’ and ‘humility.’ Hmm, I wonder what that means?

I don’t know exactly when or how my evolution began, but it was tied to a desire to become a more effective leader. Part of the evolution came from greater security as a person and a leader. I had success which gave me the ‘permission’ to explore, to expand my thinking and what I did differently. Part of that exploration was with my father, the engineer.

My father is very different from me – more introverted (contemplative and quiet). After my mother passed, I had the chance to get to know my father on a much deeper level. I learned to be ‘present’ with my father without speaking, simply enjoying his company. When we did talk there was more of a give and take to our conversations that hadn’t been as present. I was able to find out more of what he was thinking, and feeling. For a guy who liked to talk this was a major shift for me!

At work I began to seek out people who weren’t like me. They tended to be more introverted, or have different values. I asked more questions. I not only listened for their answers, but looked for the common ground where we could connect. This activity opened a new appreciation for the diversity of others, not only in terms of personality, but also values. I came to appreciate their gifts and what they had to contribute. These interactions led to better discussions and decisions as an organization.

Perhaps the greatest part of my evolution was no longer feeling compelled to offer my opinions first, no longer needing to always ‘prove myself’, no longer be the guy with all the answers. With a little more humility came more peace, and more willingness to engage with others in deeper and more meaningful ways; a greater willingness to listen and reflect. I am still evolving.

Listening in order to connect is one of the greatest gifts we give to one another. It demonstrates our respect for them, and how much we care. Often, in the ‘connecting’ the other person will feel greater support and more valued, the cornerstone of engagement. Genuine listening creates the space in which to learn; to reduce our conflict and improve our ability and willingness to compromise. What do you observe about your ability to listen to connect? What do you see around you? Is there a change that would be beneficial for you?

Here are some thoughts for listening to connect.

1. Be more interested in what others are saying than what you are saying. To borrow from Covey, “Seek first to understand, then to be understood.” It is the chief way that we send the message that your ideas and you matter to me.

2. Empathize as a routine part of how you listen. Compassion and empathy send a powerful message about how you care.

3. Help people to feel valuable. People who feel valued are more secure which leads to greater capability.

4. Help others to listen better by helping them to take time to ‘breathe’ – emotionally and mentally. In a world that is full of ‘busyness’ breathing is the pause that allows us/others to ‘reset’ and to ‘refocus.’ In that moment is a time for them to listen to connect.

I would invite you to take time to reflect, to listen, to connect on a deeper level with those you work with, those you love, and, if you are so inclined, with your God.

To a better you…

Jim
James Struck, President
B.A., M.A., Reality Therapy Certified
Leadership Vision, LLC
www.ldrshipvision.com

Jim StruckJim has been owner/president of Leadership Vision, LLC in Carmel, Indiana since 2006. His firm is dedicated to improving leadership effectiveness of individuals and teams so they experience greater performance in their business lives, and greater satisfaction in their personal lives.

Prior to Leadership Vision, Jim spent 25 years in the collection industry; including 21 years as CEO of Mutual Hospital Services, Inc., a hospital-owned healthcare receivables management company in Indianapolis.

Jim has served as:

* Chairman of ACA’s Healthcare Services Program
* President of the Indiana Pressler Memorial Chapter of the Healthcare Financial Management Association (HFMA)
* Executive Director of the National Healthcare Collectors Association (NHCA)

He writes and speaks extensively on leadership, employee engagement, personal productivity and energy management, and execution.

He obtained his B.A. degree from Hanover College and his Masters from Ball State University.

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Julia Mattern – A Leader Among Us

photo_julieMattern1Julia Mattern is quite literally the face of ICF these days. Featured in the recent ICF Credentialing Legacy series (click here if you haven’t seen it!) It should come as no surprise that Julia was honored at this year’s ICF Global North America – Midwest Conference as a nominee for the Midwest Regional Recognition Awards Leadership Award.

The nominees for The Leadership Award were described as follows:

A coach exemplifying outstanding achievement in leadership in the ICF Midwest Regional coaching community.

 

Selection Criteria

  • Authentically acts, motivates and inspires excellence and commitment to achieve goals that advance development of coaching profession and community.
  • Demonstrates exceptional dedication for greater good.
  • Understands and demonstrates value of diversity in coaching and richness of stakeholders that enhance and strengthen the fabric of coaching profession.
  • Co-creates compelling vision and proactively engages others in achieving it.
  • Motivates/inspires spirit of teamwork/collaboration in building connections and community.
  • Demonstrates commitment to mentorship.
  • Achieves significant accomplishments for the benefit of coaches, their clients, the coaching community and public.

In addition to her nomination this year, Julia has now completed her third year as an integral member of the Midwest Regional Conference Steering Committee.  With the presence of her leadership, this year’s conference was the best ever!

We are so proud that Julia calls ICF Greater Indianapolis her ICF Home!

Kudos to you, Julia!

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Celebrating International Coaching Week: A President’s Perspective

When I left a successful 20-year career to start a coaching business, I wondered how I could help others to continuously grow, expand and stretch to be the masters of their career, business and life.

When our local ICF Chapter set out to partner with a local nonprofit to give back to our community through coaching, in recognition of International Coaches Week, I wondered how we would be able to pull it all together, match coaches with clients effectively and measure success.

Now, having helped dozens of companies through my coaching business, and partnering with the nonprofit health services provider HealthNet for International Coaches Week, I’m continuously reassured that good people come together to do great things.

I am highly impressed with the executive leadership of HealthNet and their commitment to the professional development of their leaders, and their openness and excitement about bringing coaching into the organization.  Having been matched as a coach for one of their leaders for three sessions has also shown me the high caliper and standards of their leaders, and their openness to embrace even higher aspirations for themselves.

My main reason for enrolling in the nonprofit coaching project was to be a part of something that was contributing to our community in a positive way, while also teaching and raising awareness around what professional coaching is, and that coaching is alive, well and growing in the Indianapolis area. I’m excited to be a part of the industry, a part of the International Coach Federation, the local ICF Chapter and this incredible opportunity to contribute in some way to the mission of HealthNet by helping their leaders achieve even more!

Author: Lynn Zettler, President ICF Greater Indianapolis Chapter

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The 7 Pricinciples of Thinking Like Leonardo Di Vinci

This article originally appeared in the February 2012 issue of Coaching World

Michael Gelb is a man of many talents. He is a professional juggler, an author, a fourth degree black-belt in the Japanese martial art of Aikido; as well as a leading authority of genius thinking to personal and organizational development. A pioneer in the fields of creative thinking, accelerated learning, and innovative leadership; his work has been largely inspired by a relatively famous individual known for many of the same talents: Leonardo Di Vinci.

davinciConsidered history’s greatest genius, Leonardo Di Vinci’s innovative thinking and creativity continue to inspire us. From inventing the parachute before anyone could fly, to plans for submarines, flying machines, and the collapsible ladders we use today, his ability to think creatively would be an invaluable resource to a coach or anyone in a leadership position.

Through his research, Gelb has identified seven principles of How to Think like Leonardo Di Vinci. These practical, everyday exercises are something that all professional coaches can use to bring wisdom and personal growth to themselves and their practice.

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