ICF Ireland coaching support for Waterford Chamber Regional Leaders Programme

ICF Ireland, Waterford Chamber of Commerce and Waterford Chamber Skillnet are excited to announce their new partnership. They are joining together to augment the coaching support on the highly successful and impactful Regional Leaders Programme for the coming 2024/2025 session.

The Regional Leaders Programme is designed by the business community, for the business community. The programme provides an important platform for experienced leaders to enhance their career, testament to its seven years success and its in excess of 500 alumni. Together these alumni ensure a powerful network of business people supporting each other.

Building on other ICF partnerships such as with Ulster University and Northside Partnership, ICF Ireland continually seeks opportunities to enhance the role and impact of coaching in society. This is a fantastic opportunity for experienced ICF coaches in Ireland to work with a range of business leaders, bringing their own expertise while also strengthening their coaching muscle and network across a variety of industries and contexts.

We are therefore looking for ICF coaches to volunteer some time over the course of the programme to support aspiring and experienced managers/ senior leaders to reach their leadership goals and potential. This prestigious programme boasts a significant breadth of impressive leaders across industry at various stages of their leadership journey. This is an opportunity that would suit ICF coaches  with experience in industry, business and entrepreneurism, even if early on their own coaching experience.

The commitment involves:

Each coach agrees to coach two people, for a minimum of three sessions over a six month period, between September and April. This equates to six meetings in six months.

Meetings can take place virtually and at a time convenient for coach and coachee. The meetings can be scheduled directly with the coachee or can be arranged by Waterford Chamber.

In return, ICF coaches are welcome to attend any of the monthly networking and speaker events which Waterford Chamber hosts on this programme. Volunteer coaches are also invited to the opening and closing lunches in the beautiful Faithlegg House Hotel.

To apply:

Please click on this link to complete the brief online application form, clearly outlining your suitability for the volunteer role and how you can bring value to the Regional Leaders programme.

Deadline for completed applications is Wednesday 15th May COB.

Should you be successful in this process, we will follow up with you for a brief bio and photo for inclusion in the programme brochure.

ICF Ireland is kicking off its 20th Year Anniversary Celebrations.

The Countdown to our Big Birthday Gala begins, and we are kicking off the celebrations of ICF Ireland’s 20th Anniversary in November, with two very exciting events in July.

Belfast Celebration Luncheon

Our first event is a Celebration Luncheon in Belfast. ICF Ireland are inviting you to Belfast to for a celebration luncheon with the ICF Global Board.

We will have lunch on arrival @12.30pm followed by networking and conversation with the ICF Global Board about coaching developments North and South of Ireland and some dreams and visions for the future. This event will be held in the spectacular Long Gallery – Parliament Buildings in Stormont Estate in Belfast.

So Save the Date for the 17th of July at 12.30pm. Due to limited capacity at the venue, only 40 spots are available! You can book your place for the Belfast event below.

Anam Cara Celebration Evening-Dublin

Our second event is the”Anam Cara” celebration evening on 19th July. ICF Ireland members are invited to join ICF Global Board members for an enjoyable evening. ‘Anam Cara’, an old Gaelic term in the Celtic philosophy of friendship, refers to the Anam – in Gaelic for ‘soul’, and Cara in Gaelic for ‘friend’. This event will take place in the stunning Castleknock Hotel in Dublin where we will all meet at 6.30pm for a special evening filled with inspiring conversations, and shared experiences reflecting on the transformative power of coaching impact of coaching and its profound influence on individuals and communities in Ireland. Don’t forget your dancing shoes!

Save the date for 19th July at 18:30. Due to limited capacity at the venue, only 30 spots are available! You can book your space for the Dublin event below.

May Monthly Update

International Coaching Week is just around the corner (8th – 14th May) and we’re excited that so many members have already embraced the theme of the week and offered a wide range of different activities to promote the power of coaching to the general public. It’s still not too late to get involved and you can find full details here: https://icfireland.com/event/international-coaching-week-8th-14th-may-2023/This is a great opportunity to promote the value of coaching across society and we’d encourage members to join with us in promoting the various ICF circles and members’ events by sharing details with your own networks and social channels – together we can raise awareness of the power of coaching.
Pro bono coaching opportunities
The ICF Ireland board is currently identifying a number of partnership opportunities which enable us to share the power of coaching with organisations working to improve society and in support of the UN SDGs (https://sdgs.un.org/goals ). Our goal is to support these organisations and enhance their impact in the work they do improving the lives of people and the planet. For members it will provide an opportunity to broaden areas of work and for some to gain coaching hours. We’ll be sharing more details in the coming weeks and months – so stay tuned!
What does it take to start your own coaching business?
Join us for our next ICF Ireland webinar at 12:30pm on the 17th of May 2023 when Roland Hesse presents a thought provoking session that covers many of the different aspects involved in setting up a sustainable, thriving, coaching business. Roland is an experienced Managing Director who made the transition from employee to founder and in this webinar will highlight all of the different aspects to setting up a successful coaching business. To register, please sign up here: https://www.icf-events.org/chapter-event/how-to-make-your-coaching-business-a-success/
Calling all Coach Supervisors
The ICF is currently conducting research into coaching supervision. If you have served as a coaching supervisor within the past two years, you are encouraged to share your insights on what is required for effective coaching supervision by completing the following survey: https://intlcoachfederation.qualtrics.com/jfe/form/SV_3CchugblKGF90WOPlease note, the deadline for completing this survey is 1pm on the 8th May 2023.
Upcoming Community of Practice Events
ICF Communities of Practice (CPs) are a great way to build your global network while advancing your coaching knowledge. CPs provide a platform for sharing best practices, emerging trends, tools and tips among coaches to advance their professional development and deepen their subject matter expertise. Plus, CPs are a free ICF Member benefit and offer Continuing Coaching Education (CCE) units needed for ICF Credential renewal.
Executive and Leadership Community of Practice: Coaching in Crisis: Second Order Coaching on May 8 at 4 p.m. (Dublin). Leadership during times of crisis puts even the most seasoned decision-makers to the test. Join Tom Kolditz, ACC, for a discussion about the dynamics of crisis leadership and how to best assist clients in navigating these situations.Coaching Science: Coaching Millennials: A Qualitative Study on May 17 at 2 p.m. (Dublin). John Schaffner, PhD, will share his research about how coaching benefits millennials. Learn how coaches can encourage emotional access to others, efficacy enhancement, learning to see, learning to help, and the identification of the self.If you miss any of the CP sessions, don’t worry. The newly enhanced ICF Learning Portal offers you access to past CP session recordings. With upgraded filtering options in the course catalog, it’s now easier than ever to find the content you need. If this is your first time accessing an CP on the enhanced ICF Learning Portal, please find instructions here.
ICF Thought Leadership
The ICF Thought Leadership Institute is a global hub of shared knowledge for human development designed to help create and reveal the future of coaching.In April the Thought Leadership Institute released a number of updates that you might be interested in.With the shifts in workplace cultures and expectations following the pandemic, they’ve just released updates to the Future of Work collection with fresh perspectives on these rapidly changing workplaces. – view hereThe Future of Planetary Ecology Collection explores the many ways coaching can support, and even lead, sustainability efforts across disciplines – View hereUnleashing the power of coaching in education: the world is changing at an astonishing pace, As educations systems struggle to keep pace, the question becomes: how do we prepare people to thrive in a time of extraordinary change? Download and read the newly released Manifesto for the Future of Education – view here.
If you’d like to know more about the ICF Thought Leadership Institute, visit here: https://coachingfederation.org/thought-leadership-institute
ICF Reciprocal Coach
ICF Reciprocal Coach is a global peer to peer coaching platform where ICF members can engage in various rounds of peer to peer coaching for a nominal fee.  This can be a great way to build hours, keep your coaching muscles active, or gain recordings for coach mentoring or performance evaluation purposes. 
There are various rounds starting in May and June.  If you’re interested, you can checkout and register here.

2023 is shaping up to be an exciting year!

Hello ICF Ireland Family & Friends,

2023 is off to a beautiful start for ICF Ireland – thanks to all of you and your continued engagement in advancing the coaching profession in Irish society. Here are just a few of our January and early February accomplishments: 

  • Ten new members joined in January – bringing the number of Ireland Charter Chapter members to 527!
  • On 13 January, we held our first in-person event in Dublin. It was wonderful to have members of the ICF Ireland family and Board members past and present have a chat, get to know each other, and have a good time!
  • We partnered with ICF Philadelphia to bring Laura Janusik and her enlightening and interactive (and sold-out!) webinar, “Using Silence to Maintain Presence and Evoke Awareness.”

Also, your new Board of Directors met in January to start strategising how we will continue striving to achieve ICF Ireland’s vision of ensuring coaching is an integral part of a thriving society in Ireland, and every ICF Ireland Member represents the highest quality of professional coaching. With most of our 2023 Board members being new, we took the opportunity to revisit ICF Ireland’s 2021–2023 strategic goals, which are the pillars of our 2023 planning:

  • ICF Ireland Coaches are associated with excellence – We support you in being the best of the best through credentialing by accredited training schools and upholding ICF ethics.
  • Members of ICF Ireland have a sense of family – We do all we can to ensure you feel valued, respected, supported, and included.
  • Strong partnerships benefit coaching across Irish society – We create partnerships that enable coaching to happen across Irish society.
  • Irish society thrives through coaching – We create opportunities for people to experience coaching and take those vital first steps toward the change they want to see happen in their lives.

Our complete 2023 plan is still in the works with the new Board having met for the first time on 14 January. You will hear more about them in the coming weeks. Until then, please:

  • Sign up for the 28th March webinar with Prof. Jonathon Passmore: Developing a Coaching Mindset.
  • Renew your membership if your anniversary date is coming up.
  • Be on the lookout for a Member Survey and a few short LinkedIn polls. We hope to hear from you – your feedback will be extremely helpful as we finalise the 2023 plan. 
  • Come meet some of your Board members at the Kingstown College Coaching and Mentoring Conference 2023 on 8th March from 9am–5pm at the RDS in Ballsbridge, Dublin. We can have a chat about some great new ICF member benefits, etc.

And email memberrelations@icfireland.com to let us know if you want to get more involved in ICF Ireland. 2023 is shaping up to be an exciting year!

My very warmest wishes, 

Eileen Jameson
ICF Ireland President 2023

ICF Ireland Chapter Awards 2022

On 18th November 2022 ICF Ireland held their annual Awards. The categories for the awards were:

  • Coach of the Year 2022
  • Rising Star of the Year 2022
  • Coaching Circle of the Year 2022
  • Organisation Culture Award 2022
  • President’s Award 2022

The nominees for each award were amazing and there was such a high caliber this year. Well done to everyone who was nominated.

The Winners:

Coach of the Year 2022: Heather Blackmore

Heather Blackmore receiving her award with Paula O Kelly-ICF Ireland President 2022, Eileen Jameson-ICF Ireland President 2023 and Roel Wuite-Chief Operating Officer 2023.

Rising Star of the Year 2022: Margaret Quane

Margaret Quane receiving her award with Paula O Kelly-ICF Ireland President 2022.

Coaching Circle of the Year 2022: South West Coaching Circle

South West Coaching Circle receiving their award with Paula O Kelly-ICF Ireland President 2022, Eileen Jameson-ICF Ireland President 2023 and Roel Wuite-Chief Operating Officer 2023.

Organisation Culture Award 2022: Tusla Child and Family Agency

Tusla Child and Family Agency receiving their award with Paula O Kelly-ICF Ireland President 2022, Eileen Jameson-ICF Ireland President 2023 and Roel Wuite-Chief Operating Officer 2023.
Tusla Child and Family Agency receiving their award with Paula O Kelly-ICF Ireland President 2022, Eileen Jameson-ICF Ireland President 2023 and Roel Wuite-Chief Operating Officer 2023.

President’s Award 2022: Paula King

Alan Brereton of Kingstown College accepting the award on Paula Kings behalf with Paula O Kelly-ICF Ireland President 2022.

Well done and kudos to all of our winners, it was thoroughly deserved.

New Board 2023

Hello, and a Very Happy New Year to all our Members and followers. 

Knowing the coaching ethos I can imagine you may have woken up this morning, January 1st 2023, with a sense of gratitude for the year and what it brought to you.   

2022 seemed to go past in a blur for many of us as we tried to catch up on those lost moments of the pandemic, seeing family, children, grandchildren, meeting clients face to face when possible and opening our hearts and minds to those of our ICF family, and their families, caught in war, confusion, grieving and loss. There has been that niggling question of the economic crisis and its impact on Ireland and what we coaches can expect as our clients face all the demands on their time, and how we can support them to remain committed to their intentions for coaching. 

I am thrilled to announce our new Board of Directors. 

I spoke some time ago about New Years Resolutions and asked Members to step up to a role in the 2023 ICF Ireland Board. And WOW, we were overwhelmed at your response, for which I am enormously grateful. Thanks to your response, we now have a new ICF Board to take us into our 20th anniversary year. 

Barbara Edwards, Roel Wuite and myself Eileen Jameson – President 2023 are absolutely delighted to welcome the new Board Members.

Stephen Clements has accepted the role of  Director, ICF Relations. Stephen won the Coach of the Year Award in 2020 and brings his well-known capacity as a coach, mentor, supervisor and networker extraordinaire to help us in Ireland to tap into all the amazing benefits offered by ICF Global and to keep us all informed about initiatives that can benefit Members.  

Siobhan Bradley becomes our Director, External Relations. Siobhan is an executive leadership, life and conflict coach with great experience in Foreign Affairs, Tourism, education and business sectors across Ireland. Siobhan will be advocating at the highest levels for the integration of coaching and a coaching approach to reinforce the development of the coaching industry in Ireland. 

Clodagh Swanson joins us as Director, Member Relations. Clodagh is no stranger to the ICF Ireland Family and was President of the Board in 2015. Clodagh is passionate about the coaching profession, relationship management and continuous learning and development. Clodagh will be listening to our Members’ needs and making sure that their opinion is heard when it comes to learning and social events for Members.

Annette Tully steps into the role of Director, Marketing and will support the development and sustainability of the ICF Ireland Chapter and the ICF Brand in Ireland. She will be supporting training schools in their journey to become ICF accredited, and work with coaches who have yet to benefit from all the values of becoming an ICF Member. Annette brings fantastic experience in marketing and development of a coaching culture and will be instrumental in supporting the Chapter to promote the benefits of Coaching to benefit society.

Marianna Rolikova embodies the energy and dynamism needed in the role of Director of Social Media. She brings a portfolio of international and global experience of running massive social media campaigns for political and social agenda. Watch out for ICF Ireland increasing its social media footprint!

With so many highly capable and experienced candidates it was a considerable challenge for the panel to nominate the Directors mentioned. Many of the other candidates have expressed their passion for coaching and willingness to support coaching in Ireland, by accepting to become an Associate to the Board. Once the planning for 2023 is underway, the Directors will reach out to these members to find areas of mutual interest and benefit for all.  

Associates are of key importance to the continuity and sustainability of the Chapter as well as providing extra resources in specific areas to harvest our greatest potential for success across our four strategic goals. 

And so with all these wonderful appointments, the Board would love to kick off 2023, our 20th anniversary year, with a celebration of the ICF Family. We invite you to please come and meet the Board, and your fellow ICF family coaches, at our first social event of 2023, on Friday January 13th from 1800 – 2030. Please see the event notice on our web site.

May 2023 be an excellent year for you personally and another step towards an Ireland that thrives through coaching.

My very warmest wishes, 

Eileen Jameson,ICF Ireland President 2023.

Credentialling – A Personal Account

Emer Doyle, MCC describes her journey to becoming a Master Coach.

What length of time did the ICF credentialling process take you to go from PCC to MCC?

Personally, for me, the process of transitioning from PCC to MCC occurred in stages. My head and my heart fully leaned into the process at different times.

As a result, from the moment I fully committed to the credentialling process and all that it entails, to receiving the passing results of my MCC assessment, the process took me approximately 15 months. 

What challenges did you face, and how did you overcome them?

I feel I faced and overcame some predictable and some unexpected challenges along the journey. Looking back, I would break down the 15-month journey into three stages and three very different experiences.

Stage 1: Attachment

The first stage consisted of nine months. During the time, I selected an MCC mentor coach and identified a number of suitable clients to work with (four to be exact). I recorded and personally listened back to at least 20 coaching sessions during that time and submitted nine of those recordings to my mentor coach for feedback to aid the process of selecting two recordings required for submission to ICF. 

I eventually chose and submitted two recordings to ICF. During this stage of the process, I was painfully aware of how attached I was to being enough as a coach and doing a “good job”. I found it frustrating how much noise my head was making and how driven my ego was by the attraction of the illusive MCC title. In a nutshell, I was attached to my ego and absorbed by the fear of never actually completing coaching sessions that would “hit the mark”.

Being in a state of fear and desire to control the outcome of the credentialling process interfered with my ability to be in a fully present detached state of being. So even though from the outside it may have appeared that I had demonstrated every core competency required to pass the exam and I had selected two recordings which were endorsed by my mentor coach, I knew there was still a niggle remaining; my own internal gremlin which was a toxic combination of fear and control.

At the end of this stage, I faced one of my biggest fears; I did not pass my first attempt at the MCC recording evaluation assessment.

Stage 2: Detachment

The second stage consisted of three months. 

I found the feedback I received from the ICF assessors to be detailed and valuable and for the most part, I agreed with their comments. However, to say I was disappointed and upset with the results would be an understatement. I experienced a roller coaster of emotions ranging from frustration to embarrassment. I was mostly frustrated with myself and the realisation of how much attachment I had placed on the result as a measure of my worth not only as a coach but simply as a person. It was a classic example of searching for a sense of self-worth outside instead of inside, and how did I not see it?!

I also did not realise how much fear I held around what other people would think of me, or how much my ego wanted to use the MCC as a symbol of my success to others in the realm of self-employment. A significant part of my work involves mentor coaching other coaches who wish to apply for an ICF credential. What would they think? Who would want to work with me as their mentor when I am not even passing the exam? What a fraud I am to remind my mentee clients that there is no such thing as failure, only feedback, and to let go of the need to pass the exam when my ego is having an internal tantrum at my own results?! 

My ‘be perfect’ driver and need to control were now in overdrive, naively I had set myself a three-month time frame to successfully complete the MCC credentialling process, and here I was nine months later, feeling like I was back at the starting line. My head was running the show and enjoying the task of counting the ever-mounting challenges I thought I now had to overcome to pass….did I even want to try again?!

So in short, after I allowed myself a few days to wallow as a victim, I decided to change my whole approach. Looking back now, this was the moment my heart intervened from her quiet solitude.
I decided to re-visit my personal contract with this credentialling process. It was a tri-party agreement between my head, my heart and the MCC. After a little internal resistance and a conversation with my mentor, I committed to taking some space away from the process that I was so heavily involved in for the previous winter months. It was the beginning of the summer and I took three months to invite myself to completely detach from the process.

I reflected on some very honest questions I asked myself and explored with curiosity and non-judgement what I truly desired for myself. Why did I want this MCC so much? What did I value about it? Who is it for? What am I distracting myself from? What am I afraid of? What do I need to know about myself? What void am I trying to fill? What limiting beliefs am I holding onto? What am I hiding from? How do I wish to be? Space for this internal conversation to unfold over the summer months was the greatest gift I could have given myself. Energetically my whole perspective about the process and my state of being within it shifted, a weight was lifted and I could feel myself detaching from ego. I let go. 

I needed to fail at my first attempt to experience a new knowing about myself. What I thought was my biggest fear, was actually my biggest gift. I found a capacity for resilience and resourcefulness in myself I did not know even existed. I now began to measure my power as a human being and a coach based on my willingness to be vulnerable. I was blown away by the love and acceptance I experienced from fellow coaching colleagues, peers and coach mentees when I summoned the courage to share that I had applied for MCC and not passed on my first attempt. I fully realised none of them was measuring my worth as a coach based on a credential, but based on their personal experience of me, my authentic way of being and willingness to be open, honest and vulnerable. I needed to be shown that again and this process has afforded me the opportunity. 

Stage 3: Alignment

After the summer, I woke up one morning and I just knew it was the time to re-engage in the MCC application process. I was scheduled to begin coaching a new client that week. I had not worked with this person before, I had no idea what they would use the sessions for, only that there was a clear sense of how committed they were to the process. I had set the intention, that the sessions I was to submit for evaluation would present themselves and that was all I needed to know. I let go of time-frames, etc.

Not surprisingly, it transpired that within five weeks of collaborating with this client, I had selected two recordings and submitted them to ICF for assessment. Eight weeks later I received my results and learned that I had been awarded the MCC credential. By letting go fully of my attachment to the outcome of the process, the MCC came to me. 

What key points do you need to be mindful of when going from PCC to MCC?

In my experience, the key difference between the credentials is the shift in focus from coaching the WHAT of the client to coaching the WHO of the client. Coaching the ‘what’ means focusing on the problem/challenge the client brings and thinking about your role as a problem solver. Whereas coaching the WHO means focusing on understanding the client and what they really want. MCC is fully focused on coaching the who of the client and letting the what follow. The attention at MCC level is placed on the desired state-of-being of the client. The role of the coach is to be curious about the client, i.e. coach the client, not their content. 

What advice would you give those intending on pursuing this path?

I would highly recommend the journey to anyone. It has been a very humbling experience and an extremely valuable learning journey not only for me as a coach wishing to deepen my competence but also as a human being and how I wish to be with others. What I thought I would gain out of it, I have received but also much more. The actual credential itself was an added bonus.

For anybody considering embarking on the journey towards MCC I would recommend:

  • Take some time to really consider why you wish to go on the journey.
    • What would you like to achieve as a result? 
    • What do you wish to learn about yourself? 
    • Who are you doing this for? 
    • What do you value about this process?
    • How are you willing to be fully engaged with the process?
    • What might get in your way?
    • If you are simply approaching it as a tick the box exercise, I would not recommend it. 
  • Ensure you are in a place where you have enough space and time to commit to this journey. The process of recording, transcribing and acting as your own observer takes time. However, the learning that takes place as a result is well worth the effort.
  • Ensure you select a mentor coach that meets your specific learning needs. 
  • Do not be afraid of receiving feedback. Allow yourself this gift. 
  • Be open to recording a number of different clients. It takes time to find the right fit.

What difference has the MCC credential made to your work?

A significant part of my professional work involves acting as a mentor coach to other coaches who wish to apply for an ICF credential. I feel this process has hugely helped my ability to accompany somebody on that journey as I know first-hand what to expect on the way. With my private 1:1 coaching clients, this experience enabled me to fine-tune my ability to fully understand what it means to partner with your client in a conversation. I have become much more confident in being able to identify for myself what type of working opportunities that come my way I am suitably aligned with and which ones I am not.

I have given myself permission to say no as much as I say yes to potential work opportunities. I feel much more at peace with my own sense of self and style as a coach. I notice looking back now as I embark on renewing my MCC credential this year, that I feel much more at ease speaking about the purpose of pure coaching and what the process itself entails, with coaches I mentor and professional clients. I now use my ability to simplify the definition as a metric for the growth in my knowledge. However, I feel the learning journey is never over as a Coach. I have also just completed the ICF PCC Assessor training programme which I thoroughly enjoyed. 

Looking back at the process, is there anything you would have done differently?

I trust my experience of the process was exactly how it was meant to be. If I was told beforehand about the roller coaster of emotions I would experience, that I would not pass at my first attempt, that it would take me 15 months and not three months to complete it, I wonder would I have avoided it out of fear. But I doubt it.

Embracing the unknown and being open to the unexpected allowed me to grow immensely as a coach. This experience is about the journey and not the destination. I do think I would not be so hard on myself. I would remind myself that there is no such thing as the perfect recording.

What support did you have during the process?

Before I began the process, I did not share with many people what I was embarking on because I wanted it to be personal to me and wanted to be detached as much as possible from the opinion of others, positive or negative. I think it is invaluable to build a strong relationship with your mentor coach who will be your champion, your challenger and supporter along the way.

I engaged regularly in a coaching community of practice. I took the opportunity to watch live coaching demonstrations as often as possible. I participated in the ICF reciprocal coaching service.
I was also very fortunate to act as a lead mentor on an ICF-accredited coaching training programme for a number of years, which allowed me the opportunity to continuously fine-tune my use of core coaching competencies.


Emer Doyle, MCC
Master Certified Coach, Multi Sensory Facilitator
ICF approved Mentor Coach


Mentor Coaching vs Coaching Supervision

This article is very relevant to all ICF Coaches who are interested in one-to-one development with a Mentor Coach or Coach Supervisor. The differences between Mentor Coach and Coach Supervisor have been clarified by the ICF in the last couple of years, following a rich debate in the coaching world. As a practising coach, you may be wondering ‘what is the difference’ and ‘who can best support my development?’ The answer to this question very much depends on your experience as a coach and what your ultimate goal is within your coaching practice.

Mentor Coaching

In brief, a Mentor Coach is defined by the ICF as someone who will provide (a) coaching for the development of one’s coaching (b) coaching for personal development and (c) coaching for business development. A Mentor Coach is essential for you to engage with in order to progress your ICF Credentialling Journey.

For example, I engaged a Mentor Coach when I wanted to achieve my goal of becoming a PCC with the ICF. Mentor Coaches typically focus on specific competencies that you need to develop as a coach to attain a certain level of competence. Mentor Coaches are long established within the ICF Credential Framework. Coaching Supervision is a growing trend internationally and this led to the need for the ICF to clarify the distinctions.

Coaching Supervision

ICF defines Coaching Supervision as follows: “Coaching supervision is the interaction that occurs when a coach periodically brings his or her coaching work experiences to a coaching supervisor in order to engage in reflective dialogue and collaborative learning for the development and benefit of the coach and his or her clients.” Coaching supervision offers the more experienced coach a richer and broader opportunity for support and development.

In coaching supervision, there is a lot more focus on “who you are and how you are being with your clients in the broadest sense”. It provides a wide-angled lens to review your coaching practice with a fellow practitioner. I personally trained as a Coaching Supervisor with the Coaching Supervision Academy in the UK in 2014. Their ethos is as follows: “Who you are, is how you supervise/coach/lead.” Unexpectedly, this programme had a powerful impact on me as a coach as well as training me as a Coaching Supervisor.

Investing In Yourself

I was giving advice to an individual recently who has decided to train as a business coach. My advice was this: Once you start on the coaching journey, your own learning and development will be central to your ongoing success. At different points, we all need Mentor Coaches or Coaching Supervisors and you need to choose what is right for you at a particular point in time.  Either way, I believe that this investment in yourself as a Coach is invaluable.

ICF Global’s position on coaching supervision

If you’d like to also read ICF Global’s position on coaching supervision, please check out the following link:


Amanda Cahir-O’Donnell, PCC
Accredited CSA Global Coaching Supervisor


The Art and Challenge of Presence in Transformative Work

In our practice as coaches, we are very familiar with the need to be present for our clients and we see this competency as being fundamental to the art and effectiveness of coaching. The quality of one’s presence is, in fact, one of the principles distinguishing characteristics between the ICF credential levels, particularly PCC to MCC.

We are typically skilled at being present for clients in one to one settings and a growth area is often developing the capability to be present for self, in this context, as a potentially useful area of insight in the process. We use parallel process as one way of understanding and exploring this dynamic, i.e. how what’s going on in the system and with our clients is paralleled in their work with us and in us as coaches. In the normal course of our work, we deal with this without too much struggle and regular supervision or other reflective practice keeps us clean, sane and improving professionally.

However, from personal experience, when we are involved in deeply transformative work with client teams and systems, this mirroring ramps up to new levels and the challenge is great indeed. Our ability to embrace this challenge, to deal effectively with the extreme personal struggle and emotions and to stay truly present with our clients, as they equally struggle, is the fundamental difference between success and failure, between everything coming apart at the seams and continuing to progress together on the journey.

When we are about to enter the bottom of the U in ‘Theory U’ with client teams, the ‘you know what’ begins to hit the fan. This is the time of letting go – when elements of the system, individual and collective, which have formed the basis of identity and survival up to this point, need to be shed or changed. It’s a time when what is to emerge and replace them is not yet known and so the unconscious response is typically fraught. Fear, anxiety, anger, confusion, stress, pressure, resistance and blame are all in full flow and the client’s reaction to this can be to get rid of the ‘most obvious cause’ of their pain – the team coach!

You will experience your own version of all of these feelings; your defensive system will be fully activated in parallel to theirs. You will also want to react in a way that blames and judges them and so the inevitable outcome of a breakdown of the process is set up.

So the challenge is also the opportunity – you are called in these circumstances to engage deeply and authentically in your own personal transformation and development, to role model it for your clients, so you can be fully present with them as they use your example as permission to engage fully in their own.

In the transformative work of systemic team coaching this is a fundamental key to success.

Be warned, however: this work is not for the faint-hearted!!


Gerry Ryan, MCC