In December 2016, Director of the Graduate Education Program and Assistant Professor of Education Gina Marx, was elected Vice President/President Elect of the International Coach Federation Heartland Chapter forKansas/Missouri. According to the federation’s website it “is the leading global organization dedicated to advancing the coaching profession by setting high standards, providing independent certification and building a worldwide network of trained coaching professionals.”
Marx has been involved with the International Coach Federation and coaching since 2004. She is a Professional Certified Coach, which is the second of three levels of certification the federation offers. On top of meeting the criteria for the first level, the Professional Coach must have 750 hours of coaching.
The federation states coaching is “partnering with clients in a thought-provoking and creative process that inspires them to maximize their personal and professional potential.” Marx said Newman University teaches leadership coaching, also known as life coaching.
Coaching is solution-based forward thinking. There is a difference between a coach and a mentor, facilitator, therapist, or counselor. “A coach would never give advice. It’s not about what my brain thinks will work for your brain to do — you have the answers inside of you,” said Marx.
There are 11 core competencies all credentialed members of the federation must abide by. The first is a strong code of ethics. Marx said leadership coaching includes such things as listening fully, asking powerful questions, etc. The client always sets the agenda. “Many people may not realize it,” Marx said, “ but all the great athletes and CEOs have a coach.”
For the past two years, the federation has held a Global Leaders Forum and this year it was held in Warsaw, Poland, for chapter presidents to attend; the vice-president of the chapter can pay for the vice-president to go, which happened in Marx's case.
A total of 203 leaders from 68 different countries attended this year’s forum, which took place from March 23 to 26.
The main purpose of the forum was to share ideas and co-create solutions for growing the coaching profession and supporting chapters. Marx said, “I got to meet with people all from over the world. I also was able to meet with the Mid-West Advisory Council, which encompasses Minnesota, Wisconsin, Iowa, Nebraska, Kansas, Missouri, and states clear up to Pennsylvania.” Everyone from these states will meet once a month through video calls to encourage and learn from each other, and host a Midwest Regional International Coach Federation conference every two years. The conference will be in Pittsburgh the summer of 2018.
Marx continued, “It’s amazing. The forum expanded my resources and my networking in the coaching field. I spent time with coaches from Indonesia, Chile, Poland, Argentina, and many others places. It was a phenomenal experience meeting, along with learning from, people with the same goals, credentials, and purpose who each brings a unique perspective from their region.”
One of the main opportunities at the forum were the two major labs everyone was involved with. Marx explained "idea labs," were held to share issues and challenges chapters from around the world had. The next day consisted of "solution labs" where everyone co-created solutions and shared ideas of how to address those concerns raised from the previous day, into their own chapter. “We had the benefit of the brilliance of people from all over the world to help our chapter,” said Marx.
Newman offers an MS.Ed. in Organizational Leadership, where students go deeper into coaching. Marx said, “We’re working on building our program at Newman to be an Accredited Coach Specific Training Hour program. It won’t be a full program but the hours can be used for recertification or relicensure or used to help in achieving the portfolio path of certification.”
Currently, there are three courses students can take in coaching: Leadership Coaching Techniques, which is required all education department's master's programs, and then I and II, where the graduate student has their own personal coach, goes deeper in the competencies, and then coaches other individuals in various business and organizations. Marx mentioned many students have expressed they want to go on to become Associate Certified Coaches — the first level of coaching offered by the federation — but the university has lacked the next step, which is 10 hours of mentoring and preparation for the 155-question test, 60 hours of coach-specific training in the competencies, and recorded coaching sessions that are transcribed to meet the first level of coaching accreditation.
Marx expressed excitement that Newman received approval this spring to pilot a workshop this summer 2017 in preparing for a new course called Leadership Coaching Applications III, which will be offered the second eight weeks of spring 2018. “We then will be able to qualify students to apply for the Associate Certified Coach credential" said Marx. She also said they will open the coaching program to the community, businesses, and mid-level managers.
Marx concluded, her goal “is for the Heartland Chapter to win the Prism award in 2018, which is awarded for an outstanding chapter.”