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Report on the 5th Annual ICF Coaching Conference

Rey Carr, Ph.D.
CEO, Peer Resources

[Harbour View]
Coal Harbour: The setting for the ICF Conference (Photo: courtesy Tourism Vancouver)
Coaching has been described as the world's most rapidly growing profession and the basis for this was demonstrated during the Fifth Annual Conference of the International Coach Federation (ICF) held in Vancouver, British Columbia, October 25-28, 2000. Sold out since July, the Conference included 1600 participants who were treated to inspirational keynote speakers, a wide variety of workshops, plentiful displays and exhibits, elegant meals, and a multitude of schmoozing opportunities.

Over the next few paragraphs I will highlight some of the outstanding features of the coaching conference and identify a number of current trends and issues which emerged. I will focus mostly on the keynote addresses and share a few comments about the individual breakout sessions I attended, but for people who want to gain more detail, tapes are available from the ICF office. (If you would like to leave your own comment about the conference or reaction to this report, a fill-in form appears at the end of this report.)

The comments that follow will be skewed by two conference experiences: (1) I only report on the sessions I attended or learned about from other participants, and (2) I was a conference volunteer. My volunteer task was to be a "greeter." Along with many other volunteer greeters, our role was to welcome people to the conference, answer any questions, and generally initiate conversation that would help participants feel personally welcomed and warmly engaged.

Given the size of the conference, the vastness of the facilities, and the number of sessions and events, it could have been easy for participants to feel intimidated, lost, or alienated. As a greeter my role was to ensure this separation didn't occur. I know how important feeling connected can be in determining the professional and personal outcomes of a conference. I have attended dozens of huge conferences only to be a badge among an ocean of badges. Feeling insignificant can greatly reduce the value and impact of the conference proceedings.

To assess how the greeter role may have influenced my conference perspectives, here are four yardsticks to use. First, of the five things I know about Vancouver, incoming participants asked questions that always fell within my limited range of knowledge. I was an expert.

Second, attendees from around the world often commented on the beauty of the mountains, the accessible harbour, the remarkable glass buildings, and the lush green of Stanley Park all visible from the conference hotel. As a Canadian citizen I felt responsible.

Third, as a greeter I was propelled into conversations with strangers, stretching my comfort zone and creating soulful connections. I was empowered. And finally, conference organizers provided each greeter with a way-cool sleeveless, fleece vest that included the ICF logo. I was committed.

[Julio]
Julio Ollala: Inspiring coaches to a world view
THE ENEMIES OF COACHING (Keynote Address by Julio Olalla)
Although billed as a pre-conference session, almost a thousand people filled the Westin Bayshore Ballroom to listen to the Newfield Network's Julio Olalla talk about the Enemies of Coaching. Personable, charming, scholarly, and centered, this Chilean-born coach trainer who loves to play soccer, provided an excellent overview of the depth and breadth of the coaching field.

To help the audience join with him, Julio provided an energetic salsa tune over the loudspeakers and had the early-morning crowd on their feet swaying to rhythms and clapping to a beat that produced smiles and cheers from the group.

[Book Cover]
Ken Wilber: His book was a catalyst for Julio Ollala.
Pacing across the raised platform stage, he introduced the assembly to a way of seeing coaching that was based on Ken Wilber's A Brief History of Everything. Julio illustrated this world-view with a four-box diagram (divided into interior, exterior, individual, and collective quadrants) which he used to help coaches identify which type of coaching was more typical for them. The value of this diagram, according to Julio, is in its ability to help us conceptualize that "the range of what we think and do is limited by what we fail to notice." He asked participants to reflect on "which areas in your life do you have difficulty making conversation" and "what price do you pay by having this difficulty." By coaching from just one side of the box, we "isolate ourselves from the natural world."

"Science and technology fill only one quadrant of the diagram," Julio pointed out, and while they can be considered the gods of the current century, they are not, according to Julio, "sufficient to help us deal with the full range of human experience. When a person is wondering about how to say I love you," Julio quipped, "he is not waiting for the correct software to end his puzzle."

Failing to understand how people come to their life experiences, including a transcendence of rationality, immersion in paradox, and a lack of knowing what we don't know, is a primary enemy of coaching. Coaches need to have a deeply focused world view and an ability to see and reach beyond your own boundaries. Put simply, Julio explained, "coaches need to be weird."

[Book Cover]
Joseph Campbell: His book launched a new paradigm.
After a short break, Julio introduced a three-step coaching model inspired by Joseph Campbell's, Hero with a Thousand Faces. The steps were divided into (1) "The Call" (the force inside us that is trying to join the world, trying to make itself happen); (2) "The Belly of the Whale" (all the disappointments, voices of doom, resignation, assumptions, and other bad stuff associated with our life experiences as well as our journey of self-discovery); and (3) "The Return" (that which makes us whole).

Julio exhorted the group to create a context, which he called a "sacred space" where clients could explore and give meaning to their "call." In addition he emphasized that a coach needs to demonstrate respect and caring when clients are "in the belly of the whale," enabling them to feel dignity and support, and to collaborate with clients to help them embrace "the return."

Other enemies of coaching which can interfere with this three-step process (besides only coaching from one quadrant) described by Julio were: (1) inability of the coach to legitimize the coachee's experience; (2) buying the coachee's story; (3) ignoring the embodiment of the coachee's life experience in their non-verbal body expressions; (4) forgetting magic (acceptance of the unknowable and unexplainable); (5) being significant (missing the "lightness" that allows you to laugh at yourself); (6) not gaining permission to coach; (7) minimizing trust; and (8) an absence of ritual.

Julio's ideas presented smoothly, humorously and with the continental flair of his Latino-accented voice generated considerable intellectual and emotional self-reflection among the assembled group. Although some comments afterwards indicated the lecture was cognitively challenging, virtually all participants felt his remarks were directed towards improved coaching practice through a wider understanding of the purpose of coaching. A standing ovation and a request for more salsa brought the session to conclusion.

[David]
David Whyte: Arousing the hearts and souls of a capacity audience. Born in England, he now lives on Whidbey Island (north of Seattle)
THROUGH THE EYE OF THE NEEDLE (Keynote Address by David Whyte)
As if the morning wasn't reflective enough, an afternoon session with poet and coach, David Whyte led the 1000 participants into the world of heart and soul in the corporate world. David's belief is that we are all passing through the eye of a needle causing considerable pressure on our identities as we struggle to survive. What we need is a way to reconcile or reconnect that which is inside us (our imaginations, aspirations, heart and soul) with our everyday, outer life. (Note: some of the comments made here were combined from a keynote by David Whyte which occurred at the official conference opening the following day.)

Change, David told the audience, is what happens when we tire of ourselves, and poetry is a way to open our own inner compass. Typically we must despair of our previous identity in order to make changes. Reciting his own poetry and often pausing to repeat various phrases or stanzas to help the audience absorb the meaning, David Whyte took the group on a journey of imagination. "To go on the Grand Tour, a man must be free from self-necessity," he emphasized several times as he quoted from his own work.

Revisiting our childhoods, Whyte suggested, can be a way of reconnecting with ourselves. All too often as we grow, we start to name the various selves in our life and this naming activity can actually decrease our involvement in our own lives. Great poets, Whyte believes, can help us to lighten up on ourselves and recognize lessons in life. A poet (often referred to as a Muse) can unlock our collective memory and bring us to the deepest experience of humanity.

Many of the comments he made and the various lines from the poems he recited were stunningly beautiful and stimulated a deeper sense of reflection and understanding. At times they were difficult to note down; not because they were complex or spoken too quickly, but because they demanded attention and infusion. Consequently the following points are more from memory than notes.

David's latest book is called: The Heart Aroused: Poetry and the Preservation of the Soul in Corporate America. (To order this book in Canada, go to Chapters.ca. To order this book in the US or outside of North America, go to Amazon.com.)

[Rich]
Rich Fettke: Shouts of "great hair" didn't deter him from energizing the audience to a greater purpose.
THE POWER OF PARTNERSHIP (Keynote Address by Rich Fettke)
As a kickoff to the Saturday morning of the conference, Rich Fettke, the current vice-president of the ICF, led a session about harmony and working together. When participants entered the ballroom they found a miniature percussion instrument on each chair. Rich used these tiny instruments to help the group develop a spirit of cooperation by challenging the audience to listen to each other and keep their rhythms in tune to what they could hear in the group.

When he was able to quiet the audience from rattling their tambourines, he helped the participants consider the eleven core competencies developed by the ICF. By working together with many successful coaches, the ICF was able to develop these competencies into explicit standards of practice. Rich emphasized the value of mutual support by pointing out that the oldest and largest living things in the world, the Redwood trees, have roots that are only six feet deep. The way these trees have managed their longevity and tremendous size is because their roots all interlock with each other. Besides, Rich said, going it alone is a struggle and typically all it does is "get you stuck."

[Kashtin]
Kashtin: Innu Canadian musicians (Claude McKenzie and Florent Vollant) did not play at the conference. (Photo courtesy of Sony Music)
 

Rich, who is a graduate of the Coaches Training Institute and one of the first people to earn the ICF Master Certified Coach (MCC) designation, shared some anecdotes from his Success Coaching work. Rich works in Northern California and he said that just like the Innu, who have 100 words for snow, "people in Northern California have a hundred different words for therapy." He shared with participants that he has a "W.A.I.T." sign taped to his telephone console to help remind him to maximize his listening to clients. WAIT stands for why am I talking?

Rich was energetic, focused, and engaging and was like a cheerleader for coaching and the International Coach Federation. He demonstrated the kind of attitude that is typically associated with coaches attending the ICF Conference: open, dynamic, and willing to engage and share ideas. His ability to be open to the group may have, in part, come from something he learned from his mentor: that the word "intimacy," his mentor told him, means "in to me you see."


[Richard]
Richard Brodie: An Internet guru who said to Bill Gates many times, "I'm not working here anymore."
HARNESSING THE POWER OF THE INTERNET (Keynote Address by Richard Brodie)
One of the most unusual choices for a speaker was Richard Brodie, the prime developer of Microsoft Word, former assistant to Microsoft CEO Bill Gates and author of Virus of the Mind, the first book to discuss the idea of memetics. Not a coach, but a futurist, provocateur and thinker, Richard showed himself to be able to easily woo a group of 1200 coaches by explaining the power of the Internet and viral marketing or the ability to create advertising on no budget.

He had done his research and knew his audience and advised the group to follow your passions. He asked the group, "who would I let coach me?" His answer: "people whose lives I like, not necessarily people I like." Coaching typically occurs either when a person is experiencing being in the pits or finds that success does not bring fulfillment.

Recalling some of his days at Microsoft (he worked there on several different occasions) and telling some tales about Bill Gates, Richard revealed his own humour, intellect, and insights. He described the Internet as akin to exceptionally low-cost real estate and a place where opportunity to make a difference in the future of humanity is truly a possibility. He likened the Internet to the great California Gold Rush.

In the old days shouting was a good way to communicate one-to-many; then came the printing press and the many became the multitudes. The Internet is a revolutionary tool because it has shifted communication from one-to-many to many-to-many. This means that ideas can be replicated much more quickly. He called these "idea bombs." Brodie believes that self-replication is the most powerful force within the universe and once you gain people's attention, get them to repeat (replicate) the idea, and pass it on, you have created a revolution. (Conference participants were overheard later that night asking each other if they wanted to engage in a little replication.) The acceptance of psychiatry, Brodie thought, was probably vastly improved when the public learned that analysts went to see their own analysts.

[Book Cover]
Richard Brodie: This book makes him a meme guy.
The science of "memes" is like the DNA of human society, according to Brodie. A meme can be anything but typically it is a word or phrase that gets passed from one person to the next so that the word or phrase becomes part of our common everyday language. An example he used revealed that the US invasion of Panama, which had originally been nicknamed "Operation Blue Spoon" was renamed "Operation Just Cause" by General Colin Powell because he knew that US soldiers were not ready to fight for a blue spoon.

He suggested that coaches could create this opportunity for coaching. For example, when returning from taking your car to an auto mechanic, you could say you consulted with your auto coach. When making funeral arrangements, you can let people know you talked with your death coach. Or if you were talking with the produce guy at the local grocery store, you could call that person your vegetable and fruit coach.

While audience members laughed at his examples and some may have been offended by the notion of extending the word coach so cavalierly into society, his point was that word-of-mouth is still the most powerful way of distributing information. It has virtually no cost or expense and can send information around the world. Brodie finished his talk by describing his own life purpose: "Being a special agent for progress."

Richard Brodie's book, Virus of the Mind: The New Science of the Meme,is available at Amazon.com.

 
[Totems]
Haida Totems: Carvings found primarily in British Columbia
AN INVITATION TO DEEPER INTIMACY (Final Keynote by Oriah Mountain Dreamer)
Sixteen hundred participants waited outside the Ballroom doors for the gala event and concluding banquet of the conference. The hotel staff had decorated the entrances with many live Douglas Firs and a reception in the foyer of the Ballroom gave the attendees yet another opportunity for schmoozing. When the doors opened, the Ballroom appeared filled with a fog-like mist and along all the walls were authentic and weathered carved totems, depicting the symbols of the Aboriginal Peoples of the Pacific Northwest.

[Eagle]
Haida Eagle: A symbol for one of the two original clans of the Haida Peoples

Art work typical of the Haida Peoples covered a massive wall behind the stage and the lighting defined the trees and totems surrounding the round tables created for the diners. A great sense of mystery, magic, and anticipation filled the air. A blessing was given by a First Nation's representative in both English and his native Salish tongue.

Following an elegant dinner and a show of appreciation and celebration of the work of conference organizers and ICF Board members, the last keynote speaker was introduced: Oriah Mountain Dreamer, a Canadian woman, poet, mother, sister, daughter, spouse.

Oriah asked the assembled delegates "What do you ache for? What longings do you have? How can you achieve the intimacy, presence, and person you want to be? Why do we have such difficulty, not in expressing who we want to be, but in actually living that life?" Part of the reason, she discovered, was that we are asking the wrong question. The true question we must ask ourselves is: "Why do we have such difficulty being who we are?"

She shared some details about the paradoxes and uncertainties in her life and the struggles that she experienced in trying to find ways to be the person she wanted to be. In one story she told of a friend she had been talking to and who started to complain of a headache. Oriah saw a white light around the person's head and said we'd better get to the hospital. Her friend it turned out had a brain aneurysm. This experience helped her realize how fleeting life is, how vulnerable we all are to sudden and immediate life changes, and how important it is to become who we are.

Oriah, who was given her name by Aboriginal Elders who recognized her skill in understanding dreams, found that poetry was a way for her to express her own soul longings. She recited and read several of her poems. One of the most widely-circulated and well-known works is The Invitation, often read at weddings, funerals, and other sacred occasions. Unfortunately it is sometimes attributed to "Anonymous" even though it was written by Oriah Mountain Dreamer and was included in her 1995 work, Dreams of Desire.

[Oriah]
Oriah Mountain Dreamer: Inspired coaches to live their passion and dance as if nobody's watching.
Oriah recited The Invitation to pin-dropping silence and when she concluded she shared a humorous anecdote that altered the reflective mood in the room. Anyone familiar with the poem knows that it speaks to the highest and most cherished level of intimacy between people. Oriah Mountain Dreamer related a story where a man was asked by a woman whether he would be able to provide the level of intimate and knowing response called for in each of the requests made in the poem. The man enthusiastically said to the woman, "Yes, many times, yes." Oriah added with a twinkle, "a man might say anything when he thinks he can get into your pants."

[Book Cover]
The Invitation: Reflecting on who you are.
Her personal message and call to intimacy, presence, and the ability to fully love another and be loved was a powerful message that was delivered with grace, beauty and spirit. Her willingness to disclose her own life path touched the souls of listeners and made the 1000+ assembled coaches and guests aware of their own power and vulnerability.

At the end of her recitation and talk, she shared with the audience that she was awaiting the outcome of a variety of tests to determine whether she has incurred a brain tumor. The group was clearly stunned by this news. She had discussed with her doctor whether she would be able to give this talk and she decided to go ahead regardless of the outcome. Her courage and determination to be herself inspired people throughout the room. Tears and prayers supplemented a standing ovation.

Amazing grace
How sweet the sound
That saved a coach like me
I once was lost and now I'm found
And a coach I'll forever be.

The book version of The Invitation, is available through Amazon.com. This book contains the original poem and and a more comprehensive series of chapters describing how to put the vision of the work into practice.

TRENDS AND ISSUES
The conference was packed with breakout sessions, learning labs, formal networking opportunities, and balance programs. Basically divided into six tracks (reflecting various professional coaching goals), conference sessions were generally packed, often turning away late arrivals from entry and preventing people in the back from receiving leader handouts.

I attended sessions during every available period, including a session on helping clients manage dilemmas, a session on soul and spirit, and a session on the future of coaching. I also attended some disturbing sessions and I talked extensively with other participants about what they found worthwhile, puzzling, or unusual in sessions they attended.

Rather than going into detail about individual sessions, I will identify themes and issues that emerged from a compilation of sessions. Persons interested in specific sessions are encouraged to review the conference schedule and request audio tapes.

[Haida Mask]
The Growth of Coaching
Various sessions remarked on the growth of coaching as a profession. The attendance at the ICF Conference and the fact that the conference had been sold out four months prior to its delivery all indicated a significant interest in professional development. The ICF reported that it expects its own membership to double to close to 6,000 coaches next year and that its bank account will reach the million dollar mark. Over 12 countries from outside North America were represented at the conference, and many of these countries have their own coaching organizations.

The backgrounds and experience of coaches have increased considerably over the last few years. While many coaches have extensive business backgrounds, more and more coaches come from professional counselling, psychology or therapy careers. In addition to business, corporate and executive coaching specialties, coaches are marketing themselves in particular areas such as ADD coaches. relationship coaches, midlife transition coaches, spirit coaches, and writing coaches.

[Haida Mask]
Congruence Between Practice and Person
A theme that was raised on a regular basis was the ability of any coach to be able to "walk the talk." Unlike other helping professions, where the practitioner may never have experienced the career activities or life situations of the client, in coaching it is much more likely that the coach has not only experienced such circumstances, but has put into practice the very skills, attitudes, or changes he or she is helping a client gain.

Effective coaches are described as demonstrating character, success, and fulfillment within their own personal and professional lives. Their spiritual lives are balanced and they are centered, focused and purposeful. They typically learn from their mistakes or dilemmas and turn that learning into lessons that strengthen their coaching practice.

The ability and opportunity for a coach to act as a positive, life affirming, goal achieving role model, although not actually espoused in any one session, seemed to be continually assumed as the coach works toward helping a client achieve similar types of progress. While passions may lead coaches in different directions, what appears to unite coaches as a profession is that they live their passion, articulate their vision, and put into practice everything they believe in.

The idea that a coach is the embodiment of all that he or she is expecting the client to be able to accomplish appears to be a fundamental principle of coaching that separates it from other helping professions. It has powerful implications for coach training, for selecting a coach, and for coach certification.

[Haida Mask]
Ignoring Origins
Several sessions posed theoretical models of how coaching is accomplished or how to think about coaching. In virtually every case information was presented as if it was a completely new idea. In one session, the presenters, both highly experienced and well-known coaches, showed considerable ignorance about principles of human behaviour which are commonly detailed in basic undergraduate psychology courses.

Some sessions presented examples of what they described as key coaching skills without recognizing or acknowledging that such skills have been associated with interpersonal communication skills courses for more than 40 years. While one session moderator made an attempt to identify the origins of coaching, it was narrowed down to such a single source as to be ludicrous and insulting to the pioneers of a myriad of people-helping interventions.

While most keynote speakers continually cited the work of other authors, too few breakout session leaders acknowledged the origin of their work or ideas or even knew that such work had historical roots or was associated with other published practitioners. Conference participants who had graduate degrees were particularly sensitive to what appeared to be little attention to "literature reviews."

[Haida Mask]
Coaching Schools Accreditation/Certification
Several issues emerged in discussions about coach training or coach schools. Along with an increase in coaching there has been an increase in the number of coaching schools or coach training organizations. According to the Peer Resources coaching schools website, there are now close to 48 different organizations providing coach training described as a complete curriculum.

What do these schools have in common? Virtually anyone who can pay the fee can enrol in just about any coaching school. Admission standards are rare. One cynic in a session on coach training said the only competency standard common to all coaching schools was the ability to write a cheque.

While people do drop out or leave coach training prior to completion of the full curriculum, it does not appear that there are any standards of continuous progress review and that virtually anyone enrolled is guaranteed to finish and receive certification by that school.

A few coaching schools have formed their own grouping as a way of working towards a common set of standards and even the possibility of the exchange of teaching faculty. ICF continues to provide an independent certification system, but their recent foray into identifying competencies has yet to be integrated into their certification criteria. In addition their accrediting of coaching schools has the appearance of a conflict of interest since those people who make the accrediting decisions are more likely to be graduates or associates of the schools being accredited.

In one roundtable discussion, certification was described as a political or marketing tool. Political in the sense that it had power to build the treasury of the ICF and increase the enrolments of schools that offer it. The idea that certification was a marketing tool was based on the notion that it is a way to attract clients. Several members of the roundtable thought certification misdirected clients or potential coaches to look at the wrong criteria for determining value. One person perceived that the majority of successful coaches are not certified and could care less about certification, and that certification typically appealed to new coaches or coaches with very little academic background.

[Haida Mask]
Networking, Sharing Skills and Coaching Coaches
While virtually all conference sessions were filled to capacity, sessions that emphasized skills and actual coaching demonstrations were exceptionally packed. Coaches had a strong thirst to see other coaches in action. The sessions I attended that focused on skills, and the ones I heard about from other conference attendees, all emphasized or demonstrated two key skills: deep listening and powerful questions.

Although in some cases audience members had been recruited ahead of time to act in a role play or demonstration, it was clear that the leaders also demonstrated genuine compassion, caring and respect for their volunteer or "client." This way of being present with clients was also demonstrated in the ways in which leaders handled questions or comments from participants. With only one exception (and that from one of the leaders of the coaching world), the session leaders listened and appropriately responded to audience members with the same compassion.

In some cases leaders provided brief activities or exercises to help participants practice or simulate the principles or skills being demonstrated. These were typically not role plays, but often focused on real issues experienced by audience members. In at least two cases, the conversations initiated during the simulation were continued after the session was over in order to bring the interaction to a more natural conclusion.

Networking was formally scheduled into the conference program, but considerable additional time for networking was informally used by virtually all conference participants. Coaches genuinely shared with each other their practice concerns, strategies, and policies and were eager to learn how others engage in coaching. Literally hundreds of short peer coaching sessions to took place as coaches used their listening and questioning skills to help each other strengthen, enhance, or develop their work.

Some coaching schools held special events for their graduates and current participants. Many people had only known each other online or through teleclasses. The conference provided an opportunity for people to meet in-person and match a voice to a face. On many occasions there were great cheers of recognition and considerable hugging. The free food was cool too.

What was remarkable about the conference as a whole was the upbeat and positive attitude coaches had towards each other and towards coaching. Jokingly referred to by some conference participants as the Amway or Mary Kay of coaching conferences, this conference acted as a significant boost to the inspiration, morale, and dedication of the majority of participants. Coaching conversations were taking place in all areas throughout the conference area. The massive crowd often squeezed into smallish rooms showed incredible cooperation and sensitivity to each other. It was almost as if, one person remarked, all participants had suddenly become Canadians!

[Flag]
Oh, Canada: The True North, Strong and Free...
Final Note
Throughout this conference participants remarked about the smooth operation, high quality speakers, variety of nutrition options, terrific organization, informative exhibits, beautiful facilities, and courteous hotel staff; and, oh yes, the highly spirited greeters.

Everyone agreed that the conference organizers, led by Vancouver coach and Conference Chair, Jan Marie Dore, did an absolutely fantastic job. They deserve every ounce of appreciation that was continually expressed by attendees. Jan was very gracious in pointing out that she got her start in coaching through a course with Peer Resources.



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Monday, December 11 at 12:32 PM:
Chris Newell from canewell@axionet.com wrote:
"Thank you for doing this Rey, you are truly a gem! I was unable to attend the conference, but your thorough report has walked me through it as if I were there! Chris"

Monday, December 04 at 07:15 AM:
Gustavo Pez from genzerca@telcel.net.ve wrote:
"This is great. I did not have the chance to attend the conference and you have provided me with trends. Thanks"

Friday, December 01 at 11:02 AM:
The Creator from UpperWorld.com wrote:
"Son. You have provided many people with sound and good information concerning the ICF conference in Vancouver, which as you know, is a a holding room for heaven's gate. Of course, you are aware that I am the original coach. As I created the world, I ran out of creative steam and so called upon myself to have a 'strength conversation', looking at what I had accomplished so far in eternity and what my current and future eternal goals were. Well, it was just the ticket and I've been using coaches ever since. Now, as you look around at current coaches, you will recognize those whom I created in my image because they are the ones that listen twice and speak once and show patience in waiting for their partners to give themselves their best advise. You, I created especially to witness the work I have performed and to tell the world. For this, I lend you the title, 'Spiritual Cryer'. Continue to send my message to the people who choose to listen."

Friday, December 01 at 08:50 AM:
Teresia LaRocque from teresia@tlcsuccess.com wrote:
"Thank you so much Rey for providing this. A Wonderful job. I have forwarded this to my coaches distribution list along with a link to your website. Thank you for being a great resource for the coaching community. Much appreciation, Teresia"

Friday, November 24 at 04:51 PM:
David Goldberg from david@twelvechambers.com wrote:
"Thanks for a really great report! I wasn't able to attend the conference so I found your effort especially valuable. I really valued some of your more critical comments .... doubly so because you refrained from pointing the finger at any individual in making them. I'm involved on some committees planning for upcoming ICF and PCMA conferences in both Northern and Southern California and believe that your observations on what worked best could prove to be quite helpful to us. Thanks again. David Goldberg Twelve Chambers Executive Coaching"

Thursday, November 23 at 07:37 AM:
Arline Berman from bizcoach@ix.netcom.com wrote:
"Thanks so much for your comprehensive overview of these speakers and their messages. For those of us who were not at the Conference, this was a real gift."

Tuesday, November 21 at 08:52 AM:
Suzee Ebeling from suzee@intuitioncoach.com wrote:
"Hi Rey, The roundtable sessions "Intuition Coaching in Action" were filled to capacity with coaches who eagerly embraced an opportunity to learn and grow together. The experience of questioning and listening within a loving and supportive community of coaches was incredibly empowering! Thanks for offering this space to remember and appreciate what happened at the conf. ; >"

Monday, November 20 at 07:32 PM:
Carol Gegner from carol@coachexecs.com wrote:
"Rey, I thoroughly enjoyed your summary. I wasn't able to attend the conference but you gave me the essence of what I missed. Thanks for a great report. "

Monday, November 20 at 07:23 PM:
Lisa Rock from lisarock@resultslifecoaching.com.au wrote:
"This summary leaves me breathless, just as the conference did. I have been trying to write a summary for my group of coaches in Australia, most of whom could not make the distance to the conference. I can relax and send them here! Thanks "

Monday, November 20 at 06:07 PM:
Joan Dever from Joan@EncouragementLiving.com wrote:
"Rey: This is a wonderful recap of the conference. You captured the essence so accurately. It highlighted the best and the areas to improve about the conference and coaching. Thank you so much for your feedback. Joan Dever Assistant to Chair"

Monday, November 20 at 04:04 PM:
Ellen Moran, Ph.D. from mselmoran@aol.com wrote:
"Thanks so much for putting this together for those of us who could not attend. I am interested in knowing more about this group."

Monday, November 20 at 03:40 PM:
Marcia Reynolds from Marcia@covisioning.com wrote:
"Nice recap, with acknowledgment. Thank you, Marcia Reynolds Past President International Coach Federation"

Monday, November 20 at 03:09 PM:
Susan Moreschi from susan@choicescoaching.com wrote:
"This is wonderful! Lots of work, but so nice to be able to skim and glean nuggets of gold from the conference. Thanks so much!"

Monday, November 20 at 09:41 AM:
Russ Volckmann from russ@leadcoach.com wrote:
"Thanks for the report, particularly of Olalla's presentation. I would like to invite all to participate in an egroup, integral coaching, which is focused on the application of Wilber's (and related, e.g., Kegan, spiral dynamics) ideas in the field of coaching. http://www.egroups.com/subscribe/integralcoaching"

Monday, November 20 at 08:37 AM:
Cathy Greven from cgreven@canada.com wrote:
"Hi Rey, Thanks so much for putting this report together. I, too, was one of the ones unable to attend. This is just the sort of thing I wish was available at the end of all conferences, as it is impossible to attend all the sessions. This is very much appreciated. Cathy"

Monday, November 20 at 07:15 AM:
Norm Smookler from norm@tnet.net wrote:
"Hi Rey, Your conference report is very alive and captures where the coaching field is at this time. Thanks a lot! Norm"

Monday, November 20 at 06:37 AM:
Jane Williams from mktsage@charlotte.infi.net wrote:
"Hi Rey! Great report - although I've considered doing it, I have yet to attend a conference and actually prepare a report such as this. What a lovely gift to share with all of us! As Greeter Team Leader, I was delighted to read your thoughtful words about your volunteer time as a Greeter. You truly captured the essence of the experience. May I quote you in recruiting materials for next year? Many thanks!"

Monday, November 20 at 04:45 AM:
Dr. Lee Smith from LSmith@coachworks.com wrote:
"Great job! Thanks, Lee"

Monday, November 20 at 02:48 AM:
Susan Doerr from susandoerr@aol.com wrote:
"Rey, Thank you for demonstrating such a giving spirit by capturing the essence of the conference. I was there and you have brought back fond memories for me. Very well done. Thanks again! Susan Doerr"

Sunday, November 19 at 08:04 PM:
Christine Martin from cmt4coach@earthlink.net wrote:
"I so appreciate having your summary. I was one of the missing when the conference was closed even earlier than July, since I recall having my check ready before May. But that just underscores the challenge we all face with the popularity of coaching and our endeavor to put our collective arms around it all. Cheers! Christine"

Sunday, November 19 at 07:03 PM:
Anil K. Agrawal from akagrawal@home.com wrote:
"Hi Rey: I am delighted to read a lucid and very readable summary of the ICF Conference. You have a wonderful knack of capturing the essence of great speakers. Thank you very much. Love and best regards. Anil"

Sunday, November 19 at 05:28 PM:
linda oprica from oprica@ascentcoaching.com wrote:
"Rey, your summary was well written & obviously well tho't out. Thankyou so very much. I appreciated your commentary on coaching & certification. I always appreciate things that stimulate my thinking. Now I know why you were wearing the vest!!! A greeter extraordinairre. Was great to see you again. Linda O."

Sunday, November 19 at 11:53 AM:
Michele A.Roy from coachroy@telusplanet.net wrote:
"Thank-you for the wonderful summary. It was interesting to revisit the conference through your eyes and ears. Your summary helped me keep the speakers ideas and concepts alive in my heart and mind. I enjoyed the conference in Vancouver I meet some fine coaches and had some great conversations. I am looking forward to experiencing a coaching conference for canadians in the future. Michele Professional Coach CoachU graduate Calgary "

Sunday, November 19 at 10:36 AM:
George Dixon from wrote:
"I had just receive a quote by Gene Fowler from (cstratton@strategicdevelopment.com) that seems to fit what you have so generously provided here. The quote is: "Writing is easy; all you do is sit staring at a blank sheet of paper until the drops of blood form on your forehead.""

Sunday, November 19 at 10:35 AM:
Anneli Driessen from anneli@annelicoach.com wrote:
"Hi Rey, Thank you! Excellent presentation summary! Love Anneli"

Sunday, November 19 at 10:33 AM:
Terry Ramsey from lifestylescoach@home.com wrote:
"It was sure great to meet you in person, as I had heard so much about you from both, Jan and others. What a great and honest perspective you share about the conference! I, too, have very mixed emotions about certification and all that goes with it or not with it. I have only recently come to realize the deep roots and many sources that coaching comes from. It concerns me about all of the people out there calling themselves a coach, though it seems to concern me less, recently. I know I don't have the answers to many of the questions facing our chosen field. I will continue to do my best to uphold essence of coaching, as I see it and continue to ask the questions that need to be asked. Thank you again for taking the time to put this out to our coaches. I value your very thought-pervoking perspective on our 5th Annual Conference. I look forward to our paths crossing again."

Sunday, November 19 at 10:13 AM:
Richard Jaekle from coach4ever@topofyourgame.com wrote:
"I also attended the conference and thanks for providing this summary. I'm amazed at how complete your notes are and it really helped to solidify what I learned. I'd be glad to send you my notes from some of the individual breakout sessions I went to."

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