Guest Blogger: Sharon Teitelbaum
I want to encourage EACH of the coaches and aspiring coaches reading this who are not yet members of our professional organization, International Coach Federation (ICF), to become a member. In doing so you will:
1. Maintain your access to the ICFNE listserv (and so the listserv will not lose you), and
2. Have access to all the benefits of ICF membership.
As an ICF member since 1997, I’ve gotten immeasurable value from my membership, and I can’t imagine why you wouldn’t as well.
Just as an FYI, here are some of the benefits I’ve received from ICF membership: (Of course, the benefits you receive may be completely different.)
- Staying up-to-date with the evolving ethics, guidelines, and nuances of the profession
- Finding out about best practices so I don’t reinvent the wheel
- Getting credentialed, which has greatly enhanced my credibility in the marketplace
- Early, discounted access to global, national, and regional conferences
- Having the privilege of leading a balance session at an early ICF Conference
- Getting business liability insurance from a recommended ICF partner
- Finding great courses that meet my continuing education requirement for MCC renewals
- Serving on the ICFNE program committee for many years and working elbow-to-elbow with other coaches, I made some great new coach friends who are still my inner circle
- Getting to know many other coaches, some of whom are now referral partners: we refer appropriate clients and other business opportunities to each other
- Coaching at the Massachusetts Conference for Women two years running – amazing experience
- Finding my long-term, long-time, dearly trusted web host thru ICF; his accessibility and technical savvy supported me in having a successful, affordable website very early on (and still)
Here are some of the benefits I’ve received from the ICFNE listserv:
- Getting clients, including one particular long-term client who has turned out to be one of my all-time favorite clients – I would have missed her altogether without the listserv
- Having other coaches to refer TO when I am not the right coach for someone – this has made me a reliable go-to person, which has been good for my business and my network
- Having experienced, collegial colleagues to turn to when I was self-publishing a book, looking for an accountant, needing a template, searching for a workshop exercise, and many other things
- Immediate access to colleagues (this is actually amazing) without imposing on any one person
- Staying in touch (in a way) with the ICFNE community, since I no longer go to many ICFNE meetings
- Learning! I have learned so much from my colleagues on the listserv! About how other coaches think about things, about the assessments and other resources they use, about who is doing what.
If you ask 5 long-term ICF members why they value their membership, you will get 5 different answers. There are so many ways to benefit from this affiliation. I don’t want you to miss out.
Think of it this way: ICF membership is $245. If even one new client finds you through your ICF affiliation, you would earn back your membership fee, right? Or one new workshop idea or marketing strategy could do the same, or an ICF colleague could bring you into a project.
I hope you will take the long view and invest in yourself by joining ICF, ideally by the end of the month, and holding onto your place in the listserv. You are needed and wanted in this community.
Sharon Teitelbaum, MCC