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Business, Goals Edition Eileen Duncan President – ICF Australasia

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By: Eileen Duncan •  4 years ago •  

Taking over any role is not an easy task and stepping into an established position with your own set of skills has its own challenges. However, where the established position comes with its own strategic goals, and you have been part of that planning and thinking, then stepping into the role can be almost seamless.

At the AGM in late October, I took over the role of President of ICF Australasia, one of more than 120 chapters of the International Coach Federation (ICF). The ICF is the leading global organisation dedicated to advancing the coaching profession by setting high standards, providing independent certification and building a worldwide network of credentialed coaches. Our core purpose is to advance the art, science and practice of professional coaching. It has over 27,000 members worldwide and growing.

In 2013 the Leadership team of the ICF Australasia comprising the Board and Branch Presidents came together and established three goals; focusing externally, internally and, above all, on our members. The 3 strategic goals of ICF Australasia are:

1. Community Outreach, External focus – Broadening public understanding of the proper function of coaches and their contributions to society and the world.

2. Membership Support Internal focus – Building a cohesive and inclusive chapter with transparent communication. A chapter where every leader and member feels valued respected and actively able to contribute to its success.

3. Professional Development and Credentialing – Supporting members through ongoing professional development to maintain high professional standards of ethics and conduct.

Since 2013 each incoming President has taken these goals and progressed, always moving in a continuous cycle of improvement. This year, as we continue to move forward and respond to these goals, our main areas of focus are:

1. External Focus – Being Loud and Proud as a Coaching Body – celebrating, highlighting and acknowledging coaching externally – being the thought leaders.

2. Chapter/ Development – To continue to work on the transparency and fluidity within the Chapter as a whole and using the website and social media effectively.

3. Member Professional Development – To continue to raise the bar on professional development, attracting a variety of speakers experienced in coaching. To support our membership to obtain a credential and support those who have a credential to grow and develop.

Each area of focus benefits our members. By broadening the public’s understanding of the proper function of coaches, this should and does open up more doors and more conversations. Creating a sound transparent body enables effective communication for members to gain access to information and resources that they need. The ICF is recognized worldwide for its high education standards and its advance education is exemplified by ICF’s Credentials which are becoming a true standard of professionalism in the coaching industry.

Every month there will be at least one professional development event being run for coaches in each of our branches in Australia and in New Zealand, as well as our ICF Australasia monthly Professional Development. To reach the wider coaching community, Virtual Professional Development (VPD) is offered and we aim to increase VPD offering through 2016. Our upcoming Conference at the end of October will be another opportunity for coaches to network with like-minded people and develop their skills over two and half days. The Conference itself meets all three of our goals and we are very excited about this event.

Of course, our goals align with ICF Global Strategic Plan

 ICF Members represent excellence in professional coaching.

 ICF is the most relevant professional coaching organization.

 ICF has the strongest global brand.

 ICF promotes professional coaching.

 ICF fosters professional coaching, coaching skills and coaching mindset being an integral part of society.

When setting such goals, it is important to take into account that the members of our Leadership team are all volunteers, committed to the advancement of coaching. In setting any goals we need to consider competency, contribution and commitment. Being a volunteer brings challenges in juggling our work/home life balance and while we may have the competency and commitment required, there are times when making that contribution clashes with other commitments and goals. Even coaches with all their knowledge and tools have to stop to take stock of what they are doing and check-in to ensure that the balance is maintained.

Having strategic goals in place maintains our focus and commitment to move forward and our volunteers know what they are committing too.

Of course, there are always areas for improvement and regular surveys keep us on our toes. We are mindful that we cover a broad spectrum of coach styles and interest, as well as different skill levels and professional development abilities from new coaches to master coaches. Having started my career as a solicitor specialising in tax, I moved into coaching part time in 2003, and undertook at postgraduate certificate through Middlesex University in the UK while living in Zambia, Africa.

Working for significant organizations in senior positions including as Company Secretary for a large leisure group, Tax Director for PricewaterhouseCoopers in London, Kazakhstan and Zambia, a Senior Associate with McCullough Robertson and Executive Director of Tax with Moore Stephens, gave me sound extensive skills in leadership and management. Today, people development is what I enjoy the most.

Moving into coaching and training has taken me on a different journey and allows me to connect with people at a different level. I have been privileged to train and coach many clients from different backgrounds and with different needs. Each client is a blank canvas and through coaching the canvas becomes a clear picture of focus for the client as they move forward.

Coaching must be the only job in the world where you are happy that clients make you “redundant” because through coaching they have increased their skills, change their perspective and gained new insights and strength.

I joined ICF in 2008 and am committed to their goals and visions. My vision is to ensure that ICF Australasia stands for quality and assurance for both the purchasers of coaching and for those providing coaching. This quality and assurance comes through the rigorous requirement of credentialing and applies a consistent global standard. With this quality comes assurance that ICF coaches have attended approved training and are committed to personal development and training to uphold their credentialing.

Organisation and individuals seeking coaching services can expect a standard from ICF Australasia coaches commiserate to a global standard, which is independent and not subjective.

Through the commitment of our dedicated leadership team of volunteers and the commitment of our members to be part of a world recognised body of coaches, we will continue to grow under our strategic plans and goals._______________________________________________________________

Eileen Duncan has over 25 years as a senior professional working in several countries as a tax lawyer. For the last 10 years, Eileen has focused on coaching and training individuals to excel through career, management, and leadership development. Eileen holds a postgraduate certificate in coaching accredited by Middlesex University and recently applied to be credentialed by the ICF as a Professional Certified Coach (PCC). As the current President of ICF Australasia, she is fully committed to the coaching profession and the development of coaches

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