Friday, November 05, 2004

A City of Coaches

Quebec City….a gorgeous place, especially from the vantage-point of the 22nd floor of my hotel next to the conference centre. The lights sparkle in the old city and as magnificent a place as it is, it pales next to the incredible people I’ve been spending my week with at the International Coach Federation Conference. 1,300 people from around the world fill the rooms absorbing and sharing trends, knowledge, perspectives and ideas for the future of this fairly new profession.

One of the challenges Coaches have is explaining what it is we do….as nothing about our craft is cut and dried and able to be compartmentalized. My favourite part of these events is meeting new like-minded people and listening to their approach to this strange world of facilitating change. Many a time I feel myself wanting to skip a session to keep the conversation going. I know I will go home having new friends who already feel like long-time, lifelong friends. In sharing my perspectives with these extraordinary people I feel myself growing in leaps and bounds, ready to create new concepts, materials and ways of working with my clients. They help me see who I am in the truest sense of the word. It’s like being turned inside out where people can see into the depths of me and see the possibilities of what’s to come. For those of you who have worked with a Coach, just imagine being around 1299 or so more of them! Boggles the mind. The energy is tangible. We all speak to strangers and begin a conversation in a heart beat. Because of this and the greatest room-mate anyone could have, I’ve been introduced, talked about, shared future plans with and come away with an experience to remember and friends who are keepers.

Ideas are germinating (get ready those of you I work with ‘cause you are going to benefit from all this new-found energy and ideas).

With all that’s happening, the city fades into the background. Oh I’ll remember the view, but that memory will fade. Those memories shared with new friends will stay for a long time to come.

And if I come away from this with only one lesson it would be to make connections. A meeting of minds and sharing of future dreams far surpass geographical location as they stay in your mind and heart forever.

Donna Karlin

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