As President of the ICF Chapter I want to emphasize the importance of engaging with you to learn more about your perspectives and interests and what we can do as a chapter to better meet the diverse needs of our community. Here are some of the actions our board is taking:
We need an involved, engaged chapter now more than ever to make a difference as leaders and coaches with our existing and future corporate and individual clients. You will soon be receiving a reminder email from ICF Toronto inviting you to take part in our programs, events and services by paying your $100 annual Activity Fee. Let’s stand together as one ICF!
Being a coach during a pandemic continues to be challenging to navigate. Our clients need us more than ever, but some coaching engagements have been forced to end as many businesses struggle to survive. Maintaining total confidentiality/privacy with our coaching can be challenging for us and our clients with kids and partners in the same residence.
Through all of this, I continue to be inspired by the resilience and supportive community of ICF Toronto coaches. I’ve found ICF’s COVID-19 resources for coaches really helpful and I hope you are leveraging these to keep strong for yourself, family, friends, and your clients.
Our new ICF membership virtual programming offers the opportunity to build:
In April we kicked off our virtual webinars with the most well attended event in our history – over 300 people celebrated the accomplishments and contributions of our ICF Toronto award winners (click HERE to learn more about this year’s winners) and learned from a former ICF Toronto Board member, Michael Bungay Stanier. Our other webinars were also very highly rated. Focus on your personal and business development needs by registering for our May 27th session, "The Roadmap to Resilience: How to Thrive in Challenging Times", with Mark Black.
There is a great reason this month to pay your activity fee for 2020 and sign up for our month-long International Coaching Week program! You can also increase your visibility as a coach by making sure your profile is up to date in our “find a coach” directory. These are only a few high value activities and services you have access to as an ICF Toronto Chapter member.
Here are a few messages from ICF Global to be aware of:
Installment payments for your ICF Global membership are now available for coaches who have not yet renewed their ICF membership. Click HERE for more information on eligibility and payment process.
ICF Global has launched the new Digital Badges for ICF credential-holders. If you are an ACC, PCC or MCC, you will have received an email from firstname.lastname@example.org letting you know you have a new badge to accept. Read more here about what you need to do to accept and post your badge.
From April to June, Board members are joining leaders from over 140 ICF chapters at ICF’s annual Global Leadership Forum (GLF), virtually of course. We are learning and sharing strategies and initiatives, best practices, challenges and successes to create thriving chapters around the world. ICF Toronto is proud to have introduced our first Ignite initiative this past year, and you may recognize some faces in this video introduced at GLF: 2020 Ignite initiative.
We are committed to continuing to learn and be agile in meeting the needs of you, our ICF Toronto community and making a difference in our world.
There is no question that we are experiencing the impact of a global crisis – personally and professionally - that touches us physically, mentally, emotionally and spiritually. There is a quote by Rahm Emanuel that states: “Never let a good crisis go to waste."
So a few questions for you, are:
Where are you adapting?
What are you learning about yourself as a coach? as a leader?
Where are you creating opportunities to do things you never thought you would do (at least within the time frame you are now doing them)?
Here are some of the opportunities our Board has created for you as a result of COVID-19:
We have upgraded our virtual platform to offer online webinars and Zoom meetings (something we have been talking about for a while now, and COVID-19 created the sense of urgency to make this a top priority).
We have a strong lineup of programs now posted on our website for April and May, with more to come in June and July.
Our ICW planning committee is preparing an exciting virtual program that extends beyond International Coaching Week (see below).
As a result of stepping into the realm of virtual programming, we can now bring greater value to existing and new members who live well outside the GTA. More members engaging in our programs creates a stronger community with more resources, experience, best practices and thought leadership.
While there are many opportunities, there are still challenges that affect us as a result of the impact of an unstable world, where social distancing requires that we make adjustments to how we live and work. As an example, working from home may be a gift to some, and a “worst nightmare” for others. Some of us may be restricted to a smaller living space than we are used to; others may have young children competing for attention while we are on calls with clients. Some of you may share one of my circumstances of making sure parents or in-laws are safe and still feeling connected, in a world where all they have is a phone and TV - no internet or computer. There are days when focusing is a challenge. Isolation feels lonely; grey skies put a damper on our spirits.
Here are a few strategies I use for all of the above:
When I notice that it is taking me longer than usual to complete a task, I realize I am losing my focus and need a break, so I tune in to what I need and push myself to.... walk around the house for a stretch, move to another room that has different lighting or access to windows, go for a walk outside, put some music on and do a short workout, give a friend a call, etc.
When I feel overwhelmed because too many things are asking for my attention all at once, I pause and breathe. I step back to get a fresh perspective of what’s going on - then ask myself: "what is the most important thing for me to do RIGHT NOW?"
There is a plethora of articles about managing ourselves during times of crisis.I was browsing through the ICF Global site last week and came across this article, which I thought I would share with you:
Living and Leaving a Crisis Stronger, an article posted on the ICF Global site by Lena Gustafsson, PCC, April 2, 2020.
I encourage you to sign up for the wonderful speakers scheduled for April and May - now posted on our Chapter website. Looking forward to “seeing" you at these events.
In my first monthly announcement as President, I want to convey how extremely excited I am to work with our Board and membership to achieve our vision of being a thriving community that shapes marketplace awareness of professional coaching and ICF credentialed coaches.
There is an expression about the month of March that it comes in like a lion and out like a lamb, and March 2020 is certainly coming in with a roar, but I think the roar will continue for a while.
As incoming President of the ICF Toronto Chapter, I believe that health and safety is our number one priority. The unknown factors are changing daily around COVID-19 and we are taking a cautious approach to what WHO has now confirmed is pandemic. We are currently examining all of our processes and programming in light of the impact of COVID-19. As you now know, our Board of Directors and Conference and Awards Planning Committees have made the decision to postpone the VISION 2020 Conference and the ICF Toronto Annual Awards Gala event until further notice. We will continue to uphold the highest standards for ICF Toronto as the top professional coaching organization in Canada and make decisions consistent with keeping our coaching community and the greater community safe and healthy. Remembering that our coaching community has a broad reach, I want to share the following resources provided by ICF Global to help you consider new opportunities you might create for your clients and your business using virtual coaching and webinars. Resources: https://coachfederation.org/covid-19-resources-for-coaches
With all of the quick changes and decisions that have been made over the past week, I want to acknowledge the incredible work of:
The Conference Planning Committee (Kirk Fox, Marina Yerokhova, Carmelo Millimaci, Rajan Mathew, Bachir Chehab, and Zeina Keisse). They not only created an outstanding, sold out conference, but also worked under tight time constraints through our COVID-19 contingency planning.
The Judging Committee for the ICF Toronto Awards (Kanchan Prinsloo, Fabricio Avila, Ralph Cochrane and Mary-Ellen Hynd) who reviewed all applications for the PRISM Award and for our two new awards: the Outstanding Individual Contributor and Lifetime Achievement awards, and selected the winners for 2020.
The ICF Toronto Awards Gala Committee (Alicia Saint, Nadia Lavrentyeva, Alex Fullgraf and Hossam Bakir). They organized the ICF Toronto Awards and the Awards Gala evening created to celebrate excellence in coaching in our ICF Toronto community.
Our Virtual Assistant team (Kim Leitch, Arlene Larkin and Lorie Winter) for the guidance and support they give to all of us to make things happen as seamlessly as possible.
I also want to thank Jane Graydon, for her exemplary leadership over the past year, her continued role on the Board and her mentorship to me in my new role.
We will communicate more information in the coming weeks about our Member Meetings, International Coaching Week and other initiatives that we have planned for the year. Although we will be moving to a virtual platform, at least in the short term, and heed the advice of keeping physical distance from each other, we will certainly find every opportunity to remain connected as a community and we encourage you all to do the same. If you have any ideas or suggestions around how we can support our coaching community during these challenging times, please reach out to me. This is uncharted territory for all of us, and we will manage through it together.
Remember that our new ICF Toronto membership structure starts April 1st. We encourage you to renew your activity fee and keep engaged with our community. We recognize that these might be challenging times for many of you and appreciate any way you can support the ICF Toronto Charter Chapter. For more information go to Bonnie Grogan’s message in the March 15, 2020 e-newsletter and make sure to check our ICF Toronto website on a regular basis for updates.
I am very interested in hearing from ICF members and welcome your ideas any time (email@example.com). I look forward to serving you in this new capacity!