‘Keep the fire burning’ – An interview with Dr. Patrick Williams

journey-to-mastery-confRe-posted from the Association For Coaching’s 5th International Conference: Journey To Coaching Mastery website. Conference will be held in Budapest, Hungary October 30-31, 2014

Patrick Williams, psychologist, author, and leadership coach, will be leading a Master Class at the AC International Conference on ‘Using the Coach Approach for Creative Leadership Development and Social Change in NGO’s and Human Service Organisations’.

“The world needs more Global Warming now…not the glacial kind but the relational kind of warming of hearts and minds to effect change from the Inside Out”

The Master Class you’ll be leading at the conference looks set to be a learning feast for the participants. What are your best hopes for this session?

I want this to be an engaging and interactive session…we will do small group reflections and discussion at tables and then share with the group for inspired learnings. My huge hope is that participants get very quickly how any of them could bring the power of the Coach Approach to non profit/NGO’s or other social agencies in their communities …and this can be part of their business…Pro Bono means literally “for the good” not ‘for free” ! People will walk away with new ways to bring coaching to the under-served populations.

The idea is to ‘ignite” the community in leadership conversations and to then “keep the fire burning” long after the training is complete… Thinking about the importance of keeping the fire burning, what keeps your fire burning, so you can continue to inspire others? And what ignites your fire in the first place?

I use this tribal metaphor which came from my trek in Tanzania in 2007 and it inspired me to realize that what we do as coaches is ‘ignite” new thinking and new behaviours in our clients…and on-going coaching ‘keeps the fire burning”. Which means that coaching is what helps actions become sustainable over time. Coaching should not be an ‘as needed’ relationship until after 3-6 months of engaging the client….then the embers of change will stay ignitable with check-in sessions. If clients are looking for a quick fix, that is not coaching!

What ignites my fire is to see change in my clients in ways that often are not predictable. If we maintain curiosity and the concept of not knowing with our clients, we too may become fired up by their creativity and new-found engagement in being more purposeful in their life and work.

With the non-profits and NGOs my trainers teach the Coach Approach to I see social transformation capable of spreading if and when they continue having coaching conversations as part of their leadership and community development.

My goal at this time in my life is to see my legacy, as a coach for 3 decades and the founder of Coaching the Global Village as well as The Institute for Life Coach Training, to be visible in those I have influenced.

This AC International Conference is, as you know, being held in the heart of Europe and aiming to really open up the debate around the journey to coaching mastery. What, in your opinion, are the opportunities here for the global coaching community? And beyond that what are the opportunities here for the world?

I would answer that in two ways –

  1. The opportunities to reach NGOs and/or social sectors with coaching can be very transformative and also bring business to coaches. Many social initiatives are sponsored or supported by major (or local) companies. This would be a way to do well while doing good!
  2. The opportunities for the world is to have many trainers in the Coach Approach (Which is one of CGV’s goals) to bring the essentials of coaching to the social sector and/or NGO staff and boards as well as the people they serve. It does not have to be high tech and can lead to high touch! I wrote an article where I said ‘the world needs more Global Warming now…not the glacial kind but the relational kind of warming of hearts and minds to effect change from the Inside Out.’

Finally, do you have a quote that is meaningful to you in your work, that you’d like to share with everyone?

“I believe we can change the world if we start listening to one another again. Simple, honest conversations, not mediation, negotiation, problem-solving, debate, or public meetings. Simple Truthful conversation where we each have a chance to speak, we each feel heard, and we each listen well.” Margaret Wheatley (Turning to One Another)

JOIN US on the Journey to Coaching Mastery on 30th /31st October 2014 in Budapest, Hungary.

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