A Community of Practice is a wonderful community, indeed. It is an hour-long call, moderated by a certified coach/ICA instructor, that gives ICA students the opportunity to practice coaching in a safe environment, and get feedback from the teacher and other students. It’s a place to sharpen the saw, if you will.
I decided to participate in a different Community of Practice than usual in ICA. I’d just been doing the General/Life Community of Practice. I thought I’d start trying out new ones. Tonight, it was the Business Community of Practice. I had come on the call with the intention of “listening and learning.” There were only three participants, so I stepped up to be the official observer. As an observer, my job was to watch for the 11 “core competencies” of coaching as established by the International Coaching Federation.
Jerry from Australia coached Jenny from the United States, who had some challenges around starting her business. I took copious notes on Jerry’s excellent coaching of Jenny. The thing that was an “a-ha!” moment for me was noticing that Jerry’s coaching was very similar to how I coach my clients, and noticing that Jenny’s business issues were similar to my clients’ issues. I had never thought of myself as a “business coach” before. I think I had stopped myself from going there because of what I “thought” business coaching was and the reality of it. I thought business coaching was limited to coaching executives and going into corporate environments. I learned that 80% of business clients come from small businesses, entrepreneurs.
I’ve thought of myself as a life/strategy coach for creative people, entrepreneurs and people in the performing arts. I realize that I am in fact a strategy coach for entrepreneurs and small business owners. I could still coach people in the performing arts, with the latter possibly being more from the business end. (I’ve long been involved to some degree with the performing arts, and so I am seeking a niche that could incorporate people in show business.)
This will keep me up tonight! The wheels are already turning, and they’re LOUD!
April 13, 2007 at 4:25 pm
I readily agree with you, Communities of Practice has been the most helpful module for me. In fact, I truly wish that the rest of the modules would be modeled in likeness of the communities of practice, it would certainly help me keep my focus on the call, I tend to wander in many other classes.
I enjoy your Blog very much, great job!