A career shift is both energizing and a test of will and confidence. Five years ago, I decided to get trained and credentialed in coaching. It was a great decision and this year, 2014, was the best year yet. Following are my top 10 highlights for this year, and I share them in the spirit of gratitude and with a big smile on my face as I think about all the fun I had.
1. Dominican Republic with Jane Kise and Truly Nolen International
What could be better than delivering a workshop in the Dominican Republic with my colleague and lead partner in Intentional Leadership, Jane Kise? We worked with over 100 participants from 26 countries. Three languages were represented too. Set in a beautiful resort in the Dominican Republic, the experience was a invigorating mix of professional challenge, friendly people, and an opportunity to be creative. We combined elements of the MBTI, emotional intelligence, and leadership priorities to create specific goals for each of the participants in their own native language.
2. Intentional Leadership Certification Courses in Minnesota
Speaking of Intentional Leadership, there were a total of 8 cohorts who became certified Intentional Leadership Coaches. Together with Jane Kise, we had 2 of these certifications in Minnesota. A highlight was hosting some of the course participants in my home who came from Germany and the East coast during our December 2013 winter session, and Canada and Michigan for our July 2014 course. Any time we have a course in Minnesota, my doors are open for fun, friendship, and spirited conversation.
3. Projects for MnSCU, The State of Minnesota, and the University of Minnesota
I provided coaching and workshops for some interesting, brand new clients, including emerging college leaders, divisions in the State of Minnesota and the University of Minnesota. One of the highlights was doing a workshop at the zoo on a beautiful, sunny day.
4. International Coaching Federation Midwest Conference Program Committee Round 3
For the third year in a row, I have been on the committee to select the speakers for the Midwest ICF conference. Among the many benefits is the opportunity to see the wide range of topics and techniques that are being used in coaching today.
5. Finished a 3-year stint as the Director of Interest Areas at APTi
Some of the most talented and informed psychological type experts headed up the interest areas for the Association of Psychological Type International. It was an honor to work with them. We worked hard to bring our website up to date. Now our new leader, Carol Linden, will take the baton and move us forward with the next phase.
6. Lots and lots of MBTI Step III Assessments
I used the MBTI Step III quite a bit this year. Many of my referrals came from Hired, an employment entity. I found that a full understanding of an individual’s psychological type helped job seekers understand their strengths and blind spots. I also did the Step III assessments for new certification candidates through the Center for Applications of Psychological Type (CAPT.org).
7. An interesting slate of new individual clients
This was a year of clients locally, nationally, and worldwide. I had the pleasure of working with clients from the UK, Peru, and Germany. I have learned through this experience that to be a 21st century coach, you have to master the art of time zone differences. Your clients can come from anywhere!
8. Smashing Magazine article and e-book
Although I have blogged, published, and been interviewed on an international podcast, I took special delight in connecting with designers through the Smashing Magazine publication in Germany. As a featured writer for Geek Health Week, I wrote a piece called Maximize Your Creative Energy that really hit home with these hard working, sleep-deprived creative types. The article was so well-received that it was featured in the magazine’s e-book. I was happy to remind that these readers that no matter what job you do, you still need sleep, exercise, and minimal distractions to do your best work.
9. Continuing Education Opportunities
I had several continuing education opportunities including the Learning and the Brain Conference in San Francisco and Type for the New Age in North Carolina. These stand out because in San Francisco, I learned about the deeply social nature of the brain. In North Carolina, I spent 2 days with the type guru Roger Pearman, connecting type to multiple other data points including emotional intelligence, the Firo-B, and the Big Five. My roommate for this conference, Cindy Stengal Paris, was “quite the gal” so it was not only a thought provoking experience but a barrel of laughs.
10. Soul Work
One of the more gratifying assignments I took on has little to do with my coaching business. In fact, I guess you can never take the speech therapist out of the girl completely. As part of a grant to reach everyone in the state who needs assistive communication devices such as iPads and Dynavoxes, I visited homes in the northern part of Minnesota Technology for Home is the name of the company and more than once, I have gotten choked up seeing a child beam because he/she can finally communicate effectively.
It was a great year and I am looking forward to 2015. Thank you everyone who made this year so special!