1st International Meeting of Coaches in Prague builds up steam in the run up to the Global Convention on Coaching event in 2008

At the 1st International Meeting of Coaches in Prague hosted by the Czech Coaching Association CAKO coaches from across the globe were brought together for three days of presentations, workshops and dialogue to foster the sharing of knowledge and ideas. The climate was of respectful international collaboration amongst coaches from different professional backgrounds and approaches to coaching.

Everywhere you look these days you see the term coaching. Coaching took off as a niche in the personal development industry in the 1980’s. Since then a number of organisations providing specialist coach training and development services have been at the forefront of a rapidly growing industry. One of the themes highlighted at the CAKO IMC was the fact that expertise in the practice of coaching is drawn from a number of different traditional areas of practice. As this is the case it is important to ensure that practitioners are appropriately qualified both in coaching practice and have relevant training or qualifications in related domains of practice. Discussions and a presentation by leading UK Coaching Psychologist Pauline Willis highlighted that the Business and Psychological underpinnings of coaching are key areas which are gaining popularity and importance. Increasingly advanced coach training programmes¬†are looking to traditional disciplines such as psychology, organisational development and management for tools and techniques that will increase the depth and power of the coaching relationship.

The open and collaborative climate set in the Czech Republic though the 1st IMC is a fitting precursor to a major event due to be held in Dublin 2008. The Global Convention on Coaching or GCC as it is known, has been brought together to support the mutual exploration of the future of the coaching industry by all stakeholders in coaching. Difficult questions such as ‘what does the specialist domain of knowledge for coaching consist of?’ and ‘what training and qualifications are really needed for a practitioner to set out shop as a ‘professional’ coach?’ will be covered through the process of dialogue and scenario development.

One of the leaders of this initiative speaking at the Czech conference was Australian Psychologist and co-editor of the ICPR, Dr Michael Cavanagh. At the end of three days of sharing and dialogue, Michael extended a warm invitation for all coaches and other stakeholders in coaching, from all backgrounds and all countries, to come forward and take a place in a global consultation process that will continue in the spirit of openness and collaboration that was modelled in the Czech Republic in September 2007. Support for the GCC has been strong across the coaching community with a number of prominent names stepping forward to take part in the working groups that form the operational engine of the convention.

Participation in the open consultation in the lead up to a convention event to be held in Dublin in July 2008 is open to everyone who has an interest in any aspect of coaching as a domain of practice. The consultation leading up to the convention over the next six months is taking place online, so participation is free and easy if you have computer access. If you are interested in taking part you can complete the online application form at
www.coachingconvention.org