000: Lighting the Fire
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Hello and welcome to The Global Campfire of Coaching. This is the very first episode. It’s actually ‘Episode 0’, so it’s a prologue, if you will, an introduction to let you know what you can expect from listening to this podcast going forward.
So first off: what kind of Coaching are we talking about here? Well, let me read you the definition of Coaching by the International Coach Federation: ‘Coaching is partnering with clients in a thought-provoking and creative process that inspires them to maximize their personal and professional potential.’ I have to say I really like this definition. You’ll notice that it talks about ‘partnering’ with clients. So we’re not talking about somebody like the football coach giving instructions to the player, telling them what to do. We’re talking about Coaching as a means of helping somebody discovering something or making something happen for themselves. That’s what’s meant in the last part of the definition, where it talks about maximizing the client’s potential; they do that themselves. At the same time, the definition leaves open how exactly that should happen. It says it’s a ‘thought-provoking and creative process’, so there is a lot of room for interpretation, creativity and for evolution.
And that is one big reason why I have decided to started this podcast: I would like to start a global conversation on: “ What is Coaching?”, “What is good Coaching” and “How can we become even better Coaches?” What is out there that somebody might have discovered that is working really well for them and, more importantly, for their clients, and how can we adapt and incorporate that into our own lives. Whether we are Coaches, Coachees (i.e. clients) or maybe sponsors. Maybe you are responsible for Training & Development in your company and you’re thinking about how to bring your staff to the next level and how to do something fresh and exciting to motivate them. Maybe, just maybe, Coaching is the answer for you.
And that is why I have chosen the tile ‘Global Campfire of Coaching’. It’s supposed to be a place where we can come together and we can talk about our ideas of Coaching, our Best Practices of Coaching and also our stories of Coaching. I’m personally a big fan of stories; I think they are a really good way of transmitting information and lessons learned. And, well, that’s what you do at a campfire: You tell stories. You sit under the stars, maybe roast some marshmallows and you talk to each other. You have a little bit of distance to the hustle and bustle of everyday life, so you can reflect a little more by taking a step back and having that contemplative atmosphere. And that is exactly what I’m going for with this podcast: to take a little break, to take a step back and think about issues that might bring you forward and about what it is that you need in your life to reach the next level.
For that I’m going to invite a whole lot of different people to sit down with me at the Campfire and have a chat. Basically, the group of people I want to make this podcast for and the group of people that I want to help me make this a reality and to make this interesting and exciting by being guests on the show, that is the same group of people. And that group consists of 1. Coaches who have been doing this for a long time, who have a great treasure chest of experience that they will hopefully share with us. They can give us valuable information and inspiration on where this path of being a Coach or being coached by a masterful Coach can lead. Then there is 2. aspiring Coaches, people who have just started on their journey to become a Coach or who are thinking about it. They might need a little bit of guidance: “Is this the right thing for me? Is this something that I might want to sink my teeth into?”. And then there is 3. the clients, the Coachees, the people that the Coaching process really is all about. People who have maybe had a Coach for a while or people who are thinking of working with a Coach. I would like them to understand Coaching even better and to have high expectations of their Coach. I would also like them to know what a Coaching session entails and to know what Coaches want to achieve for them and with them. And in that way, maybe, the Coaching sessions can become even more powerful, maybe just a little bit. Obviously, in the confines of a Coaching session your Coach isn’t going to tell you about their aspirations and their dreams and the way that they work. So by listening to this, maybe you can understand them a little bit better and that way work together even better and get a little bit more out of the Coaching session for your money.
As you might know, Coaching and the title ‘Coach’ are not protected designations. So anybody can go and call themselves a Coach. That’s why I think it is important that we exchange information on who is a good Coach, on what makes a good Coach and how you can recognize them. As clients, I want you to have very high standards so that we as Coaches will rise to meet them. And the same is true for 4. People who work in large or small companies who hire Coaches for their staff. The more you know about Coaching, the more discerning you will be and the more able you will be to tell good Coaches from mediocre Coaches. And that means: if you hire a really good Coach you will have a great experience and you will have great results. That will then lead you to tell other people that Coaching is very useful, very powerful and they should try it out.
So there you have it, that’s what the Global Campfire of Coaching is all about: spreading information, exchanging opinions, advancing the Coaching industry and advancing Coaching as a profession.
I truly want this to be a global conversation, because I believe that everybody has something unique and special to add to this discussion. In the first episode we’ll talk to Emily Kamunde-Osoro from Kenya and we’ll hear about what Coaching is like in Kenya. In the second episode we’ll talk to Nancy Boyer from the United States. And then we have further interviews with Coaches from Canada, England, Bulgaria, Italy, Argentina, … . So we’ll already get some, I would imagine, quite diverse inputs right out of the gate. The more global this podcast can be the more of a success I will consider it. So if you live in a country that I haven’t mentioned so far and you are involved in Coaching in one way or the other, then reach out and let me know, I’d love to talk to you!
As for myself, I’m an Erickson Certified Professional Coach and an Associate Certified Coach (ACC) with the International Coach Federation. That means I have coached more than 100 hours and I have gone through extensive Coach training and have passed several tests in order to reach this degree. I’ve been involved with Coaching for about 3 years now and I love learning more and more about it. So in talking to everybody who I’ve mentioned before, I will continue to learn; I love to share learning so I hope that will learn along with me. I am originally from Germany, that’s where I was born and grew up. I’ve also lived and/ or studied in the Netherlands, in France, in Belgium, in Switzerland, in Turkey, in the US and arguably in Argentina (because I’m spending so much time there given that my wife is Argentinean and we go there quite a bit) and now I live in Kenya which is an exciting new adventure. I’ve been living here for about half a year and I am quite involved with the local chapter of the International Coach Federation so we’ll hear quite a few people from here, I would imagine. This is a great opportunity, I think, for anybody to learn more about Coaching here, but by doing that also hear more about what it’s like in Africa. I, for one, didn’t know much before coming here. I had never visited Africa before before actually moving here. So you’ll get to know quite a few people from Kenya. That alone is such a gift and such a pleasure, because that is something that many people don’t get the chance to do. So besides everything else, just listening to people from different countries and hearing about their different approach to a subject that you thought you knew very well, that can also be an opportunity to learn a lot and to ask yourself questions about things that you have taken for granted before.
So anyway, my goal is to publish one episode per week. Originally I intended for the episodes to be about 30 mintues long, but having recorded four interviews already this week, I can already tell it’s going to be a little bit longer, probably closer to the 40 minute mark. I’d rather go a little bit longer than cut out part of the conversation and have you miss out on some really amazing insights that my conversation partners have provided. I’ve previously done another podcast, you probably haven’t heard of it, it was in German and on Tennis. The biggest lesson learned I took away from that is that getting guests is a big challenge, so if you like what you hear in the episodes that I have recorded so far and you want this to continue, then the biggest contribution you can make is thinking about who you might know that would make for a really interesting guest and tell them about this podcast. Have them come on the show. Maybe that’s you yourself? And after that any way that you give me feedback, that you interact with me will provide incredible motivation for me, so whether that is rating the podcast in iTunes, Stitcher, Spotify or wherever you’re listening or leaving a review, writing feedback, writing follow-up questions to the guests – any of that will significantly contribute to me being – as we say in German – motivated up until the tips of my hair to put as much work into this as I can. All that to hopefully provide some interesting insights and value for anybody that’s interested in Coaching in any capacity.
Alright, that should probably do it for the introduction; go ahead and listen to the first episode with Emily and let me know what you think of it. Talk to you soon!