President’s Message

I wanted to share with you some of the information that came from the 2017 ICF Global Leadership Forum  (GLF) in Warsaw.  What an exciting experience!  To be around so many ICF Coaches from around the world, it was amazing!  Sharmin Banu and I both learned so much and we will be scheduling a Town Hall Meeting to invite all our members to ask question, and help us think of ways to educated our larger community about the value of Coaching and how it differs from other professions such as, consulting, teaching and counseling.

What we learned at the GLF was that the numbers show your professional ICF coaching association is healthy and in high-growth:

ICF Membership grows—

  • 30,000 members from 140 countries
  • Credential milestone last year: 20,000 ICF Credential-holders

Chapters are added Arkansas-Oklahoma, Bahrain, Costa Rica, Dominican Republic, Egypt, Jordan, North Florida, and Tunisia

  • Currently have: 131 chapters and charter chapters in more than 70 countries
  • Compared to March, 2016: 125 chapters in 60 countries

Regional Advisory Councils develop toBridge between ICF Chapters and Global (ICFWA met with the Western RAC in Warsaw)

  • Bridge between ICF Chapters and Global (ICFWA met with the Western RAC in Warsaw)
  • Work to create synergy in regions and offer guidance on how to best serve members in local communities
  • How to leverage our relationships with other ICF Chapters in the Western Region to expand our network and participate with each other.

ICF Global Leaders Meet and Strategize—

  • First year in 2016 in Charlotte, NC: 170 leaders from 56 countries
  • This year in 2017 in Warsaw, Poland:  203 leaders from 68 countries

Strategic Plan to Expand the Scope and Influence of ICF by—

  • Establishing a Thought Leadership Institute to capture what coaching is today and inform our decisions for the future
  • Expanding activities of the ICF Foundation (which ICFWA will explore joining this year)
  • Creating offerings for organizations and corporations building coaching cultures

ICF Foundation Ignite Program

We also heard from Dave Wondra and Janet Harvey about the ICF Foundation Ignite Program, working to encourage ICF Chapters to connect with the local community and build relationships through Pro Bono coaching.  Our chapter has begun the process of developing a ICFWA program where we can bring coaching to nonprofit organizations, supporting those who support others and elevating the coaching conversation.  We are going to be very interested in finding coaches who would be interested in participating in that project. We will have more information coming in the next few months.

Sharmin, Janet Harvey, Dave Wondra and I, exploring a Palace in Warsaw, Poland. I love selfie sticks!

What This Means for You

Well, let me ask you a question, what would it mean for you to have an opportunity to participate in a few coaching initiatives with the ICFWA chapter?  What would it mean for you to have the opportunity to share the gift of coaching and help spread the value and meaning of coaching to new people and businesses?  And, what would it mean to you to help communicate what makes an ICF Coach special? Ultimately, how would your bottom line benefit from participating in this process?

My biggest take-aways:

  • We are a Global Organization and we have access to a Global Network
  • We are in a rapidly growing professional field
  • Certification, Credentialing and Highly trained professionals generate a value and expertise in our profession.
  • We have the skills and firm foundation to really communicate the value of ICF Coaches to Businesses and Individuals
  • We need to find ways to engage with our larger community, our allied partners and to leverage our coaching integrity by participating in activities that share and educate people to the value of what we love to do

We will be sharing more information on our website and newsletter updates, and I invite you to help our chapter continue the journey of ICF to ‘lead into the future’ with Excellence, Relevance and a Strong global voice!

When you see the information on the Town Hall, please join in the conversation.  Or share your ideas directly with me at

Thank you,
Lyssa Danehy deHart, MSW, LICSW, PCC

Dear Master Coach

Dear Master Coach:

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The Business of Coaching

The Key to Entrepreneurial Freedom

By Beth L. Buelow, PCC,

“We’re one, but we’re not the same.” ~Bono, “One”

In last quarter’s newsletter, I wrote about boundaries that we set up between our personal experiences and beliefs and what we share with our clients and prospects. There’s another set of boundaries that are important to define: those that separate us from our work.

We’ve all heard the expression “You are not your job.” It usually makes its way into conversation when we’ve had a stressful day, received criticism, or are just plain tired and afraid our work is consuming us. We feel it’s important to separate ourselves from the work, to remind ourselves that we are not it, and it is not us.

But what if it is?

What if the work is us? What if it’s a business, a book, an online course, a piece of art, or a product, that’s completely born out of our hearts and minds? The blood, sweat, and tears you shed are a personal reflection of what’s inside of you, not something you can easily separate yourself from on evenings and weekends.

I felt this when I started my business. Since I am the direct service provider, write and create everything myself, and am technically a solopreneur, anything that happened to my business – acceptance, rejection, abundance, scarcity, victory, defeat – happened to me.

In time, I worked through that and developed a healthy sense of space between me and my business. It’s been critical for me to remember that my business is about the message of “introvert pride of ownership,” not about me personally. As more people are involved in that message, whether they are clients, colleagues, social media communities, blog readers, or podcast listeners, it becomes less about me and more about the collective.

That said, the challenge of separation between self and business still pops up. Nowhere else was this truer than around the publication of my book, “The Introvert Entrepreneur.” It took me a while to sift through the conflicting feelings that vacillated between humbling vulnerability and cautious pride. Then I realized the core conflict:

The book is me. The book is not me. How to reconcile those two true but seemingly incompatible statements?

In true introvert fashion, I turned those thoughts around in my head for weeks. And I realized that the conflict isn’t only true for me, or for my book. It’s true if you have a business, create music, art or dance, act, or have a child. I’m not a parent, but I can imagine there being a sensation that “The child is me. The child is not me.” You share blood, but you don’t share a body.

Most of my New Year’s Eves for the last eight years have included a visit to St. Mark’s Cathedral in Seattle, spending time walking the labyrinth. Walking and meditating and being in silent communion with others always clears my mind. I often bring a journal along to capture any a-ha! moments. And on the New Year’s Eve on the cusp of publication year, the moment came as I wrote out my intentions and old burdens to release to the burning bowl.

There really is no conflict. The book is me. And, the book is not me.

It contains my blood, but it’s not my body. It’s a separate entity that will have a life of its own. The ideas in the book came through me, not from me. Every word was pulled from somewhere: from clients, colleagues, friends, mentors, coaches. The book doesn’t belong to me, it belongs to you and anyone else reading it. It’s part of my identity, but it’s not my identity.

In the end, we’re inviting people to look not at us, but at our message. They own their response to it. Their response is part of their journey, reflecting something about them and their needs in that moment. It’s not about me or you or what we’ve said or done.

It’s liberating to realize that we don’t own (nor do we have any control over) others’ reactions. That liberation allows us to be proud of what we’ve produced without being attached to how people will respond to it.

Here’s how I invite you to see it in your own life: there’s a phrase in fishing, “catch and release.” I’ve always thought the concept had an application to entrepreneurship – and life – but wasn’t clear on how the dots connected until New Year’s Eve. Here’s where I landed: We can gently catch what comes to us and through us, and then we can release it out into the world to let it do its thing. We can receive the ideas, the inspiration, the words, the praise, the criticism, and once we’ve gotten what we need or want from it, we can release it all back to its source.

Doesn’t that feel lighter? More spacious? More forgiving?

It sounds good in theory, but how will it feel in practice? Challenging, I’m sure. In fact, I can almost promise that a healthy “catch and release” approach will take work. But in the end, it’s worth the effort. Each time you successfully release, you’ll move closer to what author Elizabeth Gilbert calls “going home.” You’ll return to your heart home, that place where you are driven to create and share and create some more. You’ll develop healthier boundaries. You’ll be able to experience more distinction between yourself and your creation.

The result is why many of us are entrepreneurs to begin with: Freedom.

To Consider: In what ways do you identify personally with your business and its manifestations? How does that personalization serve you? Where would it benefit you and your business to adopt a “catch and release” perspective?

© 2017, Beth L. Buelow

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Coach Spotlight by Nora Tabler

In Interview with Darien Fleming
Certified executive/career coach and corporate trainer in the Seattle area.

I met Darien at one of the downtown Seattle coach meetings and was instantly drawn to her magnetic personality and inquisitive mind. With a BA in English and JD law degree from Boston College, it was immediately apparent to me that she had the right background for coaching attorneys and other professionals using strategic thinking and problem solving skills in her work. She shared with me that her clients rely on her for good judgment, clear communication, professional maturity, focused service, commitment to their development, and high positivity. She gives dynamic presentations, asks powerful questions, focuses on perspective shifting, employs fierce honesty and holds clients accountable. All to the end of helping professionals and teams find fulfilling, engaging and successful work.

But I’m getting ahead of myself. Let’s back up so we can track her journey to becoming a successful executive/career coach.

Nora: What got you started in coaching?

Darien: As a trained lawyer, there was an element of “natural coaching” in most of my client and fellow attorney interactions. Over time, I transitioned from being an attorney to a staff position where I supported lawyers in their professional development. As I got deeper into this work, it was the coaching piece that was the most appealing to me. I discovered CTI and enrolled in their coach program becoming ACC certified in 2016. I also completed the Gallup Strengths program.

Nora: How did you figure out your niche?

Darien: I was attracted to helping lawyers and legal staff professionals find the “joy in their work.” Since my background was in law it was a logical place to start my coaching career because I “get” their world.

Nora: What do you enjoy the most about coaching?

Darien: I LOVE it when I receive a text or email from a client who is sharing a success story about when they changed behavior to reach an agreed upon goal. I love it when people see their own power!

Nora: What do you enjoy least about coaching?

Darien: Having the patience to build my coaching practice.

Nora: How do you market yourself?

Darien: I joined Women’s Business Exchange and Women’s Business Owners. I also attend the Seattle satellite meetings. I established a coaching presence on Facebook and Instagram. I also get a lot of referrals which is rewarding. I am looking forward to attending some of the ICF-WA events this year too.

Nora: What is challenging about your work?

Darien: My biggest challenge is to understand that “transformation” is really about small, behavioral changes rather than big and bold actions… over time, the small actions add up to big transformations. It requires me to practice patience.

Nora: How do you stay current with coaching trends?

Darien: I attend Gallup strength calls, read the ICF Global magazine and attend coaching conferences.

Nora: Do you have any advice for new coaches?

Darien: Remember that clients are “naturally creative, resourceful and whole” (CTI language) and to keep yourself centered in this knowledge while coaching. The power is within each client.

Nora: Any favorite quote?

Darien: Nothing is impossible, the word itself says ‘I’Mpossible’. (I named my company I'Mpossible after this Audrey Hepburn quote - it’s a wonderful play on words.)

Nora Final words: Darien, I think you are going places! I look forward to watching your progress.

Interviewed by Nora Tabler, a certified coach and former ICF-WA board member, who draws on a diverse work background including sixteen years as Executive Director of the Washington Defense Trial Lawyers, six years as a public affairs consultant and government lobbyist and three years as a development officer for the Seattle Aquarium to assist clients with career/life integration, career transition or growth of a practice or new business.



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