Tips for Incorporating Coaching for Social Change into Your Work - International Coaching Federation
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Tips for Incorporating Coaching for Social Change into Your Work

Posted by ICF Foundation | September 26, 2019 | Comments (1)

At the very heart of coaching is individuals who believe there is a better way in the journey of life. These inspiring individuals, at their core, want to make a positive difference in the world around them. These individuals are coaches like yourself. You may recognize the desire in yourself to help others, but perhaps aren’t sure of how to begin. This article is meant to provide a starting place.

The ICF Foundation lives in the question of, “What is coaching’s greatest possibility for humanity and the planet?” As we connect with coaches, we often begin with following reflective questions:

  • As a coach, when have you experienced the power of coaching to impact humanity?
  • If coaching could be applied anywhere, where could you aim to make the greatest difference?
  • What has worked for you to be effective with coaching in social progress?

As you reflect on your responses, you will begin to find where your passion lies. This will provide a direction for what types of organizations you may want to consider supporting. There are many nonprofits, NGOs, corporate social responsibility departments and businesses that focus in your similar area of passion.

Below are a few additional options to get connected and to start coaching for social change.

Connect with Your Local ICF Chapter to Participate in its Ignite Initiative

Are you involved with your local chapter’s pro bono initiatives? More than 46 ICF Chapters have been involved with over 76 ICF Foundation Ignite initiatives. Ignite uses the collective power of ICF Chapters to accelerate the UN 2030 Sustainable Development Goal #4: Education—ensuring inclusive and equitable quality education and promoting lifelong learning.

If your chapter is not signed up for Ignite, consider asking your chapter leadership to support this initiative. You could even offer to be the Ignite Project Manager.

Connect with the ICF Foundation to Support Global Initiatives

As the ICF Foundation continues to grow its global partners, we reach out to ICF Members for pro bono coaching opportunities. Often our partners have criteria, such as geography, that help us find the best coach and fit. If you would like to be connected to the ICF Foundation and learn more about the work we do, sign up now.

Find a Way to Participate in ICF’s International Coaching Week

Do you participate in International Coaching Week (ICW)? We often observe that many pro bono initiatives begin in this week and then grow into more established initiatives within chapters and training schools.

ICW is a week-long celebration that educates the public about the value of working with a professional coach and acknowledges the results and progress made through the coaching process. This year’s ICW takes place May 4-10, 2020.

What can you do in your local community to celebrate?

Determine a Local Partner You can Assist

Over the years, the ICF Foundation has heard many stories of the work individual coaches are doing in their communities. One coach in London, England, is working with a local school to establish a coaching culture. Another was so passionate about helping her children’s school, she worked to build coaching capabilities with teachers, parents and students, and a coach in Sweden shares her coaching talents with a local nonprofit entrepreneur group.  ICF Foundation conducts an annual survey, and recently learned that, over 70% of coaches said they had provided pro bono services over the last 12 months. Visit the ICF Foundation blog to learn more about the work your peers are doing!

Where is your passion? Who can you help locally to support it?

Consider How You can Bring Awareness of Social Progress to Your Clients

As coaching and coaches continue to evolve, the ICF Foundation is increasingly hearing coaches ask, “How can our role as coach help our clients achieve a systemic intervention within their organizations?” In a recent blog article, Tracy Sinclair, PCC, mentioned that coaches have a unique lens by which to perceive their client’s organizations. She asks, as do we, how might that view be a resource? What is our role in corporate social responsibility?

These questions, among others, are at the forefront of the minds of ICF Foundation Board of Trustees and ICF Global Board Directors. How can you bring awareness of social progress to your clients?

These ideas are just the start! As you begin to discover your passion and coach in this area, you can begin to help accelerate and amplify social change through coaching.

ICF Foundation

Established in 2004, the ICF Foundation (one of the International Coaching Federation’s six family organizations) connects and equips professional coaches and organizations to accelerate and amplify impact on social progress through coaching. The ICF Foundation's programs include our Social Impact Pilot Project, ICF Coaches for Good and Ignite: Engaging Humanity Through Education is part of the ICF Foundation’s long-term strategy to advance social progress through coaching by aligning with the 2030 Sustainable Development Goals set forth by the United Nations. To learn more or to get involved with Ignite, please contact the Foundation’s staff at  

The views and opinions expressed in guest posts featured on this blog are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the opinions and views of the International Coach Federation (ICF). The publication of a guest post on the ICF Blog does not equate to an ICF endorsement or guarantee of the products or services provided by the author.

Additionally, for the purpose of full disclosure and as a disclaimer of liability, this content was possibly generated using the assistance of an AI program. Its contents, either in whole or in part, have been reviewed and revised by a human. Nevertheless, the reader/user is responsible for verifying the information presented and should not rely upon this article or post as providing any specific professional advice or counsel. Its contents are provided “as is,” and ICF makes no representations or warranties as to its accuracy or completeness and to the fullest extent permitted by applicable law specifically disclaims any and all liability for any damages or injuries resulting from use of or reliance thereupon.

Comments (1)

  1. Thanks ICF Foundation for this great article and ideas on how we can take action in support of social progress. When coaching one person, if we hold a mindset that we are both doing our own work in service of humanity, the ripple effect of coaching is ignited. In this way, by coaching one person, we are potentially tapping into coaching the whole of humanity. Imagine if every conversation were to ignite that ripple!

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