Last September, EMCC UK hosted its first ever conference specifically for coaches and mentors operating within organisations. The conference was a collaboration between EMCC UK, Intercoach, In’coach and the Belgian Network of Internal Coaches which brought together a wealth of coaching and mentoring (C&M) expertise and experiences from across the UK, Belgium, Holland and France. It had a truly European feel to it with 85 people enjoying a unique learning opportunity, as well as networking with European colleagues.
Inspiration was provided through keynote speakers from KPMG, PwC, NHS and Deloitte, with each telling their story with refreshing openness and honesty which in turn sparked healthy debate and an understanding of the uniqueness of each journey.
The conference gave lots of opportunities for interaction through the exploration of public and private sector case studies from Belgium, Holland, France and the UK. A dynamic open space environment enabled participants to glean useful tools and techniques from practitioners. Finally, a Q&A session with a panel of experts brought the stimulating event to a close.
Learning from the conference and key areas for the internal C&M community to consider are:
- Establishing a strong ‘voice’ to advocate C&M which is capable of riding the sea of change
- Demonstrating the value of C&M to the business through evaluation and outcomes
- Communicating the different applications of C&M: not just reserved for the Executive/Leadership/high potential people but as an organisation enabler to support change, build resilience, enable capability and impact performance
- Placing C&M where it can best serve the organisation; being mindful of the context, culture, climate, pressures and priorities
- Building your offer using a strong foundation; maintaining standards and ethics – holding firm on aspects of ethical practice and boundary management
- Being business and commercially savvy: so that you are connected to the organisation and your offer is relevant
- Providing support to your coaches and mentors; through learning, sharing, supervision and CPD to ensure their health, resilience and to grow their capability
Participants congratulated EMCC UK for leading the way, with one participant commenting: “It genuinely was the best conference I’ve ever been to. So wonderfully inclusive, and I loved the European feel to it.”
Plans have already begun to make this an annual event, with the next one probably in Belgium.