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Volunteering – an opportunity and special approach

Volunteering – an opportunity and special route for your approach to Continuing Professional Development (CPD)

A message from Lise Lewis, EMCC International President

 You may have noticed that we now have an EMCC web page promoting the volunteer opportunities available within the EMCC International workgroups. This can be accessed on the EMCC home page by selecting ‘About EMCC’ and choosing the link ‘Volunteers’. Countries affiliated to EMCC also wish to attract local volunteers and you can approach your Country Board directly to find out more about these. Early feedback suggests members find it helpful to have specific projects advertised in this way as it helps to make a decision about volunteering and to understand what’s involved.

As you know EMCC is a not-for-profit organisation and has been run by volunteers since we were founded in 1992 - nearly 25 years ago!  Through your efforts we have developed a viable membership body and achieved an international profile with a strong voice in contributing to the wider mentoring/coaching/supervision community.e noticed that we now have an EMCC web page promoting the volunteer opportunities available within the EMCC International WorkGroups. This can be accessed on the EMCC home page by selecting ‘About EMCC’ and choosing the link ‘Volunteers’. Countries affiliated to EMCC also wish to attract local volunteers and you can approach your Country Board directly to find out more about these. Early feedback suggests members find it helpful to have specific projects advertised in this way as it helps to make a decision about volunteering and to understand what’s involved.

The EMCC International Executive Board (IEB) works hard to attract, deploy and recognise the valuable contribution of all who support EMCC work. We want to extend our volunteer support and believe that offering specific projects will attract new volunteers from the 96% of members who are not currently engaged in the work of EMCC.

Earlier this year I held three webinar sessions inviting existing and potential volunteers to talk about their experiences and to ask questions. I wanted to hear people’s views and to learn more about what makes it worthwhile being a volunteer and what will attract people to be volunteers. What is obvious from the online discussions is the intense enthusiasm people have about the work they’re involved with. I gained an overwhelming sense of people’s willingness to make a difference and share in the passion that EMCC promotes for professional practice. Here’s a flavour of some of the comments:

  • Volunteering has provided an opportunity for additional learning and making a lot of new contacts not possible through normal working.  There are many useful things that unite people within EMCC.  You can also see EMCC are making a difference in the market.  EMCC brings a professional environment by virtue of its professionalism and background. 
  • The value of seeing the huge number of volunteers at the annual conference and the tremendous feeling of being part of a bigger community as volunteering can be isolating.
  • Volunteering is interesting, it’s an opportunity to learn a lot about coaching and mentoring.  Networking is the main reason I volunteered.  It’s fun and interesting to share practices and knowledge.

Recognising volunteer efforts

How to recognise the work of volunteers is an ongoing quest and I wanted to hear what people thought of what’s currently offered as recognition and what’s intended to implement in the future.

We continue to create ways of appreciating volunteers’ contributions accepting we are unable to offer financial reward to individuals within EMCC available resources. Also different people will have different views about how they want to be valued.

What we’ve aimed to achieve with the volunteer opportunities on the EMCC website is to offer meaningful tasks that bring a feeling of accomplishment and worthwhile activity. The aim is that everyone benefits – the individual who experiences a developmental opportunity within the shared community of EMCC, the EMCC in raising standards and the industry that gains a benchmark for professional practice.

Those responsible for deploying volunteers, the IEB and WorkGroup leaders aim to thank individuals in a way that is meaningful to them. This is, of course, a personal perception and we want to hear that you do feel valued and what form this takes.

At the moment we see the benefits of volunteering as:

  • Encouraging you to include your volunteer achievements in your personal profile, for example, being an EMCC official representative in forums/meetings of specialist areas: EMCC work groups etc
  • Being presented with an EMCC volunteers “pin” by the EMCC International President (or deputy)
  • Receiving an annual ‘Certificate of Thanks’
  • Using the EMCC volunteer logo and a choice of EMCC volunteer banners in email communications and other marketing materials
  • Publication of your role as a volunteer on the EMCC website accessed through ‘About EMCC’ and under the ‘Volunteer’ tab
  • Recognising your contribution to the development of the profession which is a criterion when applying for the EIA at Master Practitioner level
  • Opportunities for networking locally, nationally and internationally 
  • Gaining credibility within the profession
  • Giving something back
  • Helping others
  • Learning through experience
  • Gaining recognition from members for your contribution in support of their practice and credibility as a coaches / mentors and supervisors
  • An opportunity to engage others, for example, to invite a colleague to participate in a country / international project
  • An outlet for using skills other than mentoring / coaching / supervision (e.g. project management, HR, finance, marketing etc)
  • Plans for the future:
  • CPD credits contributing to attaining EIA at all levels
  • A ‘volunteer’ feature in the newsletter, for example,  ‘volunteer of the quarter’ which celebrates project achievements and publicises new projects
  • A special volunteer thanksgiving meeting at some point at the Annual conference
  • An induction process created as a resource for welcoming new volunteers and providing them with the information needed to fulfil a volunteer role
  • Appointing an EMCC International Volunteer Coordinator. The intention of creating this role is to have a point of contact for members to talk about becoming a volunteer and available opportunities
  • The volunteer opportunities published on the EMCC website will be continuously updated and communicated in a membership mailing, in the EMCC newsletter, on LinkedIn, in Facebook, etc. We hope that Affiliated Countries will support this initiative by promoting the volunteer opportunity web page in country communications
  • Video sessions of pre-recorded keynote speakers available free to volunteers
  • Free webinar sessions on topics of interest to volunteers
  • I will complete individual letters of recognition for voluntary contributions
  • How EMCC organises Volunteer Support
  • A list of WorkGroups/Project Teams can be viewed on the EMCC website
  • Our recruitment and selection processes are objective, transparent and fair
  • Membership of Work Groups/Project Teams is regularly reviewed by the responsible IEB member to make sure opportunities are open to all
  • Those responsible for the deployment of volunteers make sure that the tasks assigned meet the volunteers’ needs, recognises their contributions and increases satisfaction and willingness to remain as a volunteer
  • Roles will have a fixed term determined by the appropriate IEB member / work group leader.  At the end of this period the volunteer can elect to fulfil a further period of work, propose to join an alternative group, take up an alternative role or cease to be a volunteer.
  • Pre-agreed expenses related to volunteer work will be reimbursed within the EMCC financial policy.

Expectations for being an EMCC Volunteer

  • EMCC volunteers are committed to their role as an active participant.  In practice this means that all volunteers contribute to the action plans of their Work Group/Project Team 
  • Volunteers are asked to sign a volunteer contract that defines EMCC expectations of volunteers AND what volunteers can expect of EMCC in return
  • Volunteers will be members of the EMCC through membership of their affiliated country or direct membership with EMCC where no affiliation exists.

The aim of this blog is to update you on progress with recruiting and recognising the efforts of volunteers.

I hope you have been inspired to join our growing community of volunteers.

I’d welcome hearing from you and do take a look at the volunteer opportunities on the EMCC website.

Lise Lewis

EMCC International President

September 2016

How to Communicate with Coachees & Mentees Online

When I first started with asynchronic, online communication for coaching purposes, I got so many different kinds of messages, short and very long ones, emotional or factual, blunt or polite etc. I was used to apply my skills in analysing non-verbal communication that helped me guide my clients. Online I couldn’t make sense of it all. This is when we decided to dive into theories of Computer Mediated Communication (CMC), language strategies of linguists Levy & Brown and speech acts from Searle. This proved to be very helpful in understanding what was going on. As a coach, I soon realized I needed new skills to be able to effectively coach online.

An integrated approach for e-coaching

Online coaching and mentoring truly requires additional skills integrating text based coaching. The communication and guidance process changes significantly in nature. As writing becomes a vital skill, the eCoachPro method is developed based on theories and insights from literature and communication studies, scientific language models. Crucial elements of this method are the use of language in a more strategic way:

  1. How do I analyse a written message from my clients?
  2. How to write an effective response, keeping my clients engaged and getting them into the action mode?

In the exhibit you will find the eCP method for text based coaching and mentoring in more detail that will give you a pragmatic approach to working online.

Try using this approach on one of your clients written messages. I am keen to hear your experiences or alternative approaches to online coaching and mentoring?

Do you want to know more about the science behind online coaching: language strategies and a pragmatic approach to online coaching? Together with the EMCC I am organizing a free webinar on 14th September, 12.30 to 13.30 CET. Subscribe now, I am very much looking forward meeting you online in September.

Looking forward to a fruitful online discussion about what you think about online coaching? Feel free to comment.

Already convinced? Have a look at the Pluform platform designed especially for e-coaching:


Stephen Murphy
EMCC International VP Marketing

6th EMCC International Research Conference

One of the earliest issues that I had to deal with when I got elected as the EMCC International Vice-president Research was the organisation of the 6th MCC International Research Conference. Although it is “just” a two days long event, the organisation, and all the legwork associated with it takes months. Questions around purpose, traditions and delegates came up. Taking some time with these questions took me even closer to EMCC, so the story of the conference – for me – began very early, and it meant a lot more than just the event itself. I am sharing these thoughts as they resonate with a number of conversations that I had at the networking sessions.

Why should EMCC International organise a Research Conference? Despite the fact that I took over my role at the 5th EMCC International Research Conference in Warsaw, which was a great event, I had this question on my mind. The first and very obvious answer is that we – EMCC International – have been organising such conferences for five years now. This is a custom, an emerging tradition of the organisation i,e. that we meet and share evidence based thinking, that we connect with researchers who address the questions of the fields where we – practitioners – earn our daily living. And these habits, customs, traditions do define us. Not having the conference could be a valid option from the perspective of the cost-effectiveness of knowledge dissemination, for example. Yet at the same time it would be a severe cut on EMCCs international activities. One less place to meet, one less place to be seen. So, if for nothing else, the conference would be worthy of organisation as an expression of EMCCs international existence. 

As the question of organisation was settled – I would not say that it was a hard choice –, some additional thoughts came up regarding the purpose. Besides the fundamental purpose of identity, what is the purpose of the conference? What should we aim for? If we take a look at this question from the perspective of EMCC International's strategy, then the conference is a great form of showing the existing knowledge around EMCC, and as our vision is  to be the 'go to body for mentoring and coaching', then what else should we do? Focusing on research enables us to tick one of the flagship endeavours of EMCC International Research i.e. to support the creation and dissemination of evidence relating to coaching and mentoring practices, fostering the spreading of high quality, evidence based practices. Inviting practitioners and researchers to reflect jointly on the practical applications of research, to come up with new understandings and practices together. This falls close to how we imagine reflective practice in EMCC International. So, it sounded good for the conference as well.

And as I write down these thoughts the 'theme of EMCC International Research' – Bridging the Gap between research and practice – came to my mind. This has been around for a while, and despite all of our efforts, the gap still exists. And of course it will continue to be there – if we keep thinking about it, and if we do not change our mindset, focusing on something else. With all these initial thoughts on my mind, the team of volunteers started to organise the conference. We added two twists to the initial concept at the beginning. One of them was on the level of communications: we changed 'bridging the gap' as the main theme of the conference, and introduced 'research to move practice from good to great' to highlight the practicality of the sessions. And we decided not to organise a plenary panel discussion. Although the topics that are discussed in these are usually of high relevance, and they receive good feedback, we opted for something else. An open-space like discussion forum, where we could involve the participants in forming the future of the EMCC International Research agenda, and EMCC International activities. Apart from these, we decided to align ourselves with the traditions of previous conferences.

I’d rather not bore you  with the details of the organisation process, but I can assure you  that we did face a number of challenges, and – in hindsight – managed to handle most of them quite well. 

Instead of this, I’ll take a look at the experiences of the event.

The whole event started with the MasterClass held by Sari van Poelje: a three hours long immersion in coaching intervention theory, based on the concepts of Transactional Analysis. The on-site preparations for the opening took all my time, so I could not attend the session personally but all the feedback that we received praised the work that took place there. I have been on Sari’s programs previously, and I know by heart that she is more than just good in translating theory to practice.

The official opening featured three speakers. Lise Lewis, president of EMCC International was the first to address the delegates. She talked about the history and the present of EMCC, and all the advantages of being associated with such an organisation. 

The second speaker, Katalin Felvinczi, spoke on behalf of ELTE (Eötvös Loránd University of Sciences) – our host university for the conference. Being the university with the longest operating history in Hungary, this institution has much to offer, and not just for current and prospective learners. Different partnerships and projects make the daily scientific life of ELTE colourful. We hope that their co-operation with the EMCC International Research Conference was just a first step on a potential long journey together.

I was the last one to address the audience, and being in this position I know that they were more eager to hear the upcoming keynote speakers than the third version of 'I am glad to see you all here'. But I had to say that as well. My key message was an invitation to be engaged. To discuss, learn and to make new connections. I highlighted that we were all at the conference representing at least three roles. We were there for ourselves, to learn and to enhance our own practice. We were there representing our own smaller communities – colleagues, local EMCC organisations etc. In this role, our duty was to look out for connections with different communities, and to consider what to 'take home' from the event, and how to inspire our community members through our personal experiences. The third role for us was to represent, and to work for, the whole industry of coaching and mentoring. To act together in driving our common causes forward. Great moments I would say! (I had to mention at least 10 technicalities from fire alarms to lunch breaks as well…)

The first keynote was special, in the sense that we had three presenters on stage. Dr David Gray, Dr Barry Curnow, and Dr Mark Saunders were talking about their research regarding the identity of coaches, and how being consultants, mentors and trainers may surface in our lives. Besides the chance to rate my own self, my own identity, the most important question that came up was related to the professionalisation agenda. Do the coaches themselves consider coaching to be a profession? Or is it just a set of skills that we strive to obtain? Is there a strong motivation in our own community to work on the issues of professionalisation? How could we create an even greater momentum in this process?

The sessions themselves brought good insights and conversations – and that’s the most important feedback that we have received from most of the delegates, and from the presenters as well. From amongst the multitude of topics that were presented what really got my personal attention were the measurement of coaching’s effectiveness and ROI; the coaching of high potentials and the meditation techniques in raising awareness. Highlighting these has nothing to do with the quality, or the relevance of the other sessions.

There is one more topic that I have to highlight: 'bridging the gap'. There were three programme points that related to this during the conference. First there was a parallel session that addressed the results of a recent study regarding the perceptions of practitioner-academics relationships. The key outcomes of this study are available in the new publication that we introduced at the conference: the first issue of the 'Research Provocations Report Series'. The title of this first report is: 'Bridging the gap – towards renewal of research practice and utilisation'. In a nutshell, we took the results of this study and came up with some great questions to address the way how research is done and how it is focused. I am not getting into the details, as the report is available in the EMCC bookstore, and it is free for our members! Please, read it, and get back to us with your comments and ideas. The third thing around the topic of the 'gap' was the open space session that we held at the beginning of the second day. We invited opinions in five different questions: what should be the hot topics of coaching/mentoring research; how to involve different stakeholders in the research and knowledge sharing process – and in an hour a number of interesting ideas, conversations and even project ideas came up. This was bridging the gap in action!

Jonathan Passmore gave the closing keynote, giving us an overview on recent types of research around coaching. I really liked his enthusiasm, and his thoughts regarding the need for even more advanced research projects…. and for a lot more. I would say that we're beginning to understand how the 'magic of coaching' works, but there is still room for the growth of our knowledge.

And this room for growth inspires me – and so do all the results we have achieved so far.

I firmly believe that such events, and the whole organisation of EMCC can really contribute to the professionalisation of mentoring and coaching, and through the activities of us as mentors and coaches, to a higher level of well-being around the world.  We can take the next steps together.

I am very much looking forwards to meeting you – any and all members of the EMCC International – at the next conference!

If you want to read the papers from the conference they are available for purchase in the EMCC book shop

I look forward to hearing from you.

Zoltán Csigás

EMCC International Vice-president Research

Putting the M back in the EMCC - project report

Here's the link to the highlights of the

EMCC International Mentoring Survey project report

For information on mentoring projects and progress in your country (as opposed to EMCC International) please contact your country President.

Feedback on the survey questions have informed a set of EMCC International projects that are listed at the beginning of the highlights summary in the report.  These will be progressed on your behalf: volunteer support to help with these will be most welcome to support our existing EMCC International mentoring group. 

You'll also find update information about work already completed within EMCC International that responds to several of the questions and comments you raise.

Let me have your comments when you've had a chance to review the survey summary.

Lise Lewis

EMCC International President

Strengthening EMCC Coach/Mentor Supervision

Strengthening the EMCC offering in Coach / Mentor Supervision

Since the leading UK human resources professional body: Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development (CIPD) published their paper 'Coaching Supervision - maximising the potential of coaching' in 2006 a curiosity has emerged for the possibilities of supervision making a difference to practice. Not everyone believes that supervision is essential to professional practice, however, there is growing empirical evidence that practitioners and also organisations who sponsor coaching and mentoring are increasingly realising the benefits.

Supervision can take various forms through both informal and formal channels and knowing the merits of each helps us decide which approach will enhance our practice and develop our capability. Supervision generally focuses on areas that will develop our competence as a practitioner, help us gain awareness of what professionalism looks like in practice and support us during those times when we feel challenged in our work as a coach and/or mentor.


As EMCC we believe our role is to support the professionalisation of the services our membership offer their clients as well as encouraging the raising of professional standards in the wider mentoring and coaching industry.

To achieve this we've developed 2 additional accreditations in our portfolio of standards offerings:

The European Supervision Quality Award (ESQA) for the accreditation of coach / mentor supervision skills training. This is an independent quality award given to providers of coaching and mentoring supervision training, which recognises that their programmes meet stringent, professional European standards.

A list of ESQA Providers can be downloaded here - 

The ESQA offers:

Providers of mentoring and coaching supervision training with a recognised mark of quality for their programmes

Reassurance for individuals or organisations in their selection of accredited supervision skills training programmes.

The European Supervision Individual Accreditation (ESIA) for individual supervisors provides emphatic evidence that a supervisor works in line with a rigorous Competency Framework, has relevant experience and practises to the highest professional standards

If you want to know more about these accreditations please contact:

EMCC working with the Association of Coaching Supervisors (AOCS)

The AOCS is a fast developing membership body for coach supervisors and is keen to expand internationally ( Following discussions over the past months we've agreed to offer reduced membership rates for AOCS members joining EMCC International where they qualify as direct members and AOCS offer a similar discount to our direct members to join them. Visit our link  to enquire.

EMCC International is sponsoring the Association of Coaching Supervisors summit in Oxford, England on 20/21 May 2015. I will be joined by David Sleightholm VP Standards in promoting the EMCC Quality Awards for Supervision.

Lise Lewis

March 2015 

Venice Conference 2014 & Looking Forward to 2015

As 2015 starts I just want to reflect on the EMCC Conference held in Venice during November 2014 and introduce what we plan for conferences in 2015.

As we pride ourselves on 'continuous improvement' every conference we run incorporates learning and feedback - as a result I have to say that I thought the Venice conference was our best so far and the evaluation supports this! The feedback we received has been extremely positive – in particular the three keynote speakers were very well received prompting comments on their talks being 'informative, stimulating and engaging'.

The keynotes and their sessions were:

Michael J Gelb - By capturing the very essence of Leonardo da Vinci's life and genius, Michael Gelb guided us in a discovery and understanding of the boundlessness of our own full human potential.

Brendan Hall - When Brendan was appointed skipper of Spirit of Australia for the 2009/10 Clipper Race, few gave him much chance of success. Not only was he the youngest of the 10 skippers, he was also the least experienced. In the session, Brendan talked openly about what made his team victorious and his '80% people skills, 20% sailing skills' approach to leadership.

Fons Trompenaars - The idea behind servant-leadership has been recognised and expounded in all parts of the world from ancient times. Now, more than ever, a leader's capacity to both direct the organisation and its people, while at the same time work in their service, is being recognised as vital for creating a sustainable organisation in a globalising world. Not only does servant-leadership answer the cry for a different kind of corporate leadership to provide an antidote to such recent events as WorldCom, Enron and the financial crisis, but it is also the most effective kind of leadership when working across cultures.

In addition to the keynotes we also had two masterclasses and 37 workshops – add all this to the social networking then a very busy and stimulating few days!

So what does 2015 have in store?

Well - there is our third Mentoring eConference which is taking place from 18th to 25th March 2015 when we will be extending our use of the 'e' environment so keep an eye out for more information. Our fifth Research Conference will be held in Warsaw 23rd/24th June and of course the 22nd Annual Conference in Istanbul 19th to 21st November. Plenty of dates for the diary!

Something that I am particularly passionate about promoting are the EMCC quality awards which I highlighted during my opening presentation at the Venice Conference.

As we see impetus growing globally for professionalism in mentoring/coaching I am proud of the work that the EMCC has done and I am keen to celebrate our achievements in this area. We should congratulate ourselves that the Competency Framework which is the foundation for these is based on research and has been adopted by others in our industry as we've made this work freely available.

Our quality awards have also attracted a reputation for rigour, quality and giving credibility to holders for professional practice. Starting probably 9 years ago we started to use the outcomes from the research undertaken on behalf of the EMCC and since that time have produced 4 awards - EQA – EIA – ESQA – ESIA.

To prove that I 'walk the walk' I have been through the process – EQA, EIA and ESQA – ESIA my next challenge!

So what has the overall experience given me:

As a training provider I feel our company is all the richer for the developmental experiences offered by the EQA and ESQA accreditation process.

As an individual I feel my practice as a coach is validated with gaining the EIA and I feel motivated to actively continue my professional development – so much so that I completed a doctorate this year in executive coaching.

Commercial benefit of all this:

increased volume of business as the industry has become more discerning about all the services they access for both mentoring and coaching

I believe we have a responsibility as coaches and mentors and as training providers to work ethically and to provide our clients with a quality and professional service

I feel I can do this when I display the EMCC EQA, EIA and ESQA branding in service provision.

What I feel most deeply is a personal sense of satisfaction in the learning journey to gain these accreditations and to feel that I'm supporting the professionalisation of our industry for the benefit of us all and our clients.

Looking forward to working with you all in 2015! 

EMCC Research Conference 2014

We held our 4th EMCC Research Conference at Cergy Pontoise University in Paris 26th/27th June and it was a really interesting and stimulating event.  These research conferences have now grown and developed since the inaugural event in Twente, Holland, in 2011.  We have moved from discussions on bridging the gap between practice and research to a really effective underlying theme of how we can now put this into practice – albeit with still more work to do. 

So important is this area that we tested a new format for EMCC conferences with a panel on the topic – “Is there a gap between research and practice” which provided a number of thought provoking and interesting conclusions.  We plan to introduce more panels into our conference formats from now on.

At the conference we had a masterclass session, two keynote sessions, a panel session and 18 workshops – with subjects covering the whole gamut of coaching, mentoring, supervision and related fields. 

I thoroughly enjoyed the Research Conference this summer and would describe the over-riding atmosphere as one of openness in a relaxed and creative climate.  I certainly came away with a number of insights which I intend to ‘probe’ further.

I would like to personally thank all the presenters and delegates for making the 4th EMCC Mentoring and Coaching Research Conference such a success and I am sure we will make even more progress next year when the conference is in Warsaw 23rd/24th June 2015. 

The papers presented at the conference are available from our website.

I am really looking forward to seeing as many of you at the Annual Conference in Venue – 20th to 22nd November – for what I am sure will be another rewarding, interesting and invigorating event.


Putting the 'M' back in the EMCC initiative

I can't believe that the first quarter of the year has already passed and, of course, lots is happening across EMCC with many activities planned for 2014.  Mentoring is high on my agenda as part of my president portfolio so here's an update for you with more to follow in future blogs.

We hosted our second eMentoring Conference (online) from 24th to 31st January and the response was encouraging with an increase on participants since our inaugural event in 2013.  I think that this event is particularly exciting as we are using a combination of new technology and ways of working to exchange and share learning/best practice – across a number of time zones worldwide. 

There were six streams – which were all moderated by EMCC members (many thanks to those of you involved in this aspect of the event):

International mentoring

Evaluating mentoring

Research on mentoring

What can professional, educational and social/community mentoring learn from each other

Role and education of mentoring programme managers

Supervision for mentors

The total number of members being involved during the event were 129 with 70 topics and 237 posts.

Some of the most popular threads were around the subjects of the ‘elusive concept of best practice in mentoring’, ‘does mentoring work everywhere’ and ‘academic v practitioner’.

Watch this space - can we be more specific here - will the ebook format and book be promoted on the EMCC website or in another form? -  for comprehensive output from the conference which will be available in book and ebook format in the next couple of months. 

A recent activity is progressing the implementation of a suggestion presented to Council at the end of 2013 that will engage directly with mentors and also fulfils EMCC's aim to raise standards in our industry. This suggestion is to recognise the needs of our members who are mentors and to raise the profile of mentoring in the same way that coaching has enjoyed over several years. Our accreditation processes and competency framework were designed to embrace both mentoring and coaching however the reality has been that more coaching organisations and coaches have responded to these opportunities. We plan to address this in response to EMCC membership and a market need. Initially, we plan to attract and invite mentors to share good practice, take advantage of an award for professional mentors and to adopt the Professional Charter initiated by EMCC / ICF. I'm already appreciating the efforts of an international volunteer team supporting this project.

I'll keep you updated on all activities relating to the 'Putting the M back in the EMCC project' in future blogs.

Be in touch if you're interested in supporting this project or any other EMCC work in raising standards and supporting the professionalisation of mentoring and coaching.

Very best to you all from


Annual Conference review

As we start 2014 I would like to offer you my best wishes for the coming year.  It’s a special year for the EMCC as we will be holding our 21st Annual Mentoring and Coaching Conference in November.

I was delighted with the success of our 2013 EMCC Annual Conference which was held in Athens from 21-23 November and which was also the springboard for launching the Solidarity Coaching project - read more about this on the dedicated EMCC web page.  As always this event was a great opportunity to meet up with old friends and colleagues as well as making new contacts.  No matter how many of these events I attend I always learn something new and ideas/viewpoints to consider – this year was no exception.  As a result of our gala night out to an atmospheric venue under the gaze of the Acropolis I can now add Greek dancing to my portfolio. 

 We had a record attendance of 249 from 24 countries worldwide.  With two pre-conference MasterClasses, three keynotes and a range of 34 workshops there was plenty of variety and information/learning to be gained.  The ratio of coaching to mentoring workshops was 21:7 which particularly pleased me as part of  my opening presentation at the conference in Paris in 2011 was to say how keen I am to get the M back into the EMCC – and I'm delighted that an increasing number of volunteers are keen to be involved with this project.  The style of workshops displayed a wide range again including Experiential, Lecture and Discussion.  A notable addition subject-wise this year was the sharing of information regarding the ‘business’ angle of what we do which is always a good reminder particularly in the current economic climate. 

I was also delighted that our attendance in the hotel attracted interest from another conference taking place – the annual meeting of the International Paralympic Committee.  They themselves are extremely keen to make mentoring central to their organisation and business cards were exchanged with their President and COO with a view to exploring future opportunities. 

Very best to you all from

President's blog September 2013

Apologies I’ve been later than intended in ‘blogging’ you all. Hope you noticed!

Thought I would take this opportunity to update you on what’s happening with the Global Coaching and Mentoring Alliance (GCMA) formed between AC, EMCC and ICF last November at our Conference in Bilbao.

We meet virtually about every 3 months and have up to 3 representatives from each organisation on the call.

Having taken this great stride together in wanting to cooperate for the benefit of professionalising the industry, we realise that before we can produce any tangible outcomes, we need to gain clarity on our purpose and joining criteria for the future development of the GCMA.

We, therefore, welcomed the opportunity to speak together on a World Business and Executive Coaching Summit (WBECS) webinar in June on the topic of ‘A Shared View of the Practice of Professional Coaching’.

Katherine Tulpa represented AC, Damian Goldvarg for ICF and me for EMCC. The session was an hour long and broadcast we are told to 100’s on the day with 1,000s listening to the recording at a later date. The areas we discussed and shared views about were:

  • What is the profession saying about the professionalisation of coaching – this involved a summary of the ICF research
  • History of GCMA – we talked about several years of bilateral talks between EMCC and ICF developing into tripartite talks with AC before becoming the GCMA with a genuine desire to cooperate
  • The core objectives of GCMA being:
    • To be the collective voice of professional bodies that clarifies, educates and strengthens awareness about our common ground for effective practice
    • To facilitate exchange and distribute information for all industry stakeholders about shared good practice
    • To focus attention on the wider impact of coaching and mentoring on society.

We believe we had a lively discussion between the 3 of us with the WBECS facilitator asking us questions from the listeners. Examples are:

  • What’s the reason for including Mentoring in GCMA?
  • What did we consider about buying a license to be a coach as opposed to being ‘credentialled’?
  • Is there a single coaching credential in the pipeline?
  • Is the formation of GCMA coming from coaches?
  • How can a coach get involved in the GCMA process?

Following the webinar we received a full list of questions from the organiser of WBECS and as GCMA we are currently working on producing a joint response for communication to all our members.

We are also planning a ‘ for coaching’ for members to feed information into GCMA as we are keen to know our members expectations of this Alliance.

As always with any communication to you, I welcome your views and feedback. I hope you read this blog and take the time to let me know what you think – I want to make sure the voice of EMCC members contributes to the work of the GCMA.

Very best to you all from

The richness of diversity within the EMCC

Reflecting on recently working with a multi-cultural team from 5 European countries reminds me of the richness of diversity that exists within the EMCC.

On this occasion, nuances of cultural conditioning and ambiguities arising from the use of language impacting on communication, created a dynamic and sometimes challenging environment.  How easily the phrasing of a sentence or use of a word in what was for most a second language led to misunderstandings and more often humour within the group.

To give you a flavour of content; our work together included an exchange about conflict as a positive or negative activity in team effectiveness. In one culture, voicing a personal opinion was a clear pathway to being ‘ostracised’ from the team whilst others saw the benefits of voicing conflict as generating trust. All were of the belief that in ideal circumstances openness is to be encouraged and welcomed and that the results of observing, growing and sustaining trust heightened motivation in the team.

Another activity centred on emotional intelligence and the team were invited in small groups to share an incident where they had reacted powerfully to a specific situation and to recall the outcome of their behaviour. I noticed some hesitancy in the dialogue and returning to a plenary session individuals voiced their reluctance to share emotional experiences. A discussion followed about the merits or otherwise of this approach. Interestingly no-one had reflected on a positive experience invoking emotion.

Reviewing these two activities together, what had emerged was that generally, emotional displays were perceived as largely negative. Somewhat conversely was agreement that conflict manifested as a sharing of feelings can be healthy and support team cohesiveness.

These reflections encouraged me to progress another of my personal portfolio actions as president and to consider how we can access and share learning from the cultural diversity we have within EMCC and align this with our efforts towards social responsibility.

My question to you all, therefore, is that when viewing ourselves as one EMCC team what steps can we take to increase our understanding of the cultural richness within. Secondly, how will this knowledge benefit our community of mentors and coaches and the wider society?

I look forward to hearing your views

Very best to you all from

Moroccan Women’s Networking Forum

Morroco - networking event

First of all thanks to all of you who welcomed the introduction of my blog. Do continue with feedback and let me know if you have specific areas you’d like me to cover.

This blog covers an invitation to speak at the Moroccan Women’s Networking Forum in Rabat on Saturday 24 November to support the event and promote the work of EMCC.  This opportunity also contributed to three areas of my personal portfolio as President:

1. Social Responsibility

Morocco - social responsibility - 1Women represent 52% of the total population and 25% the working population in of Morocco.  This was the second Forum event run to help women, particularly in rural areas, to promote and sell their products. These include, for example, different typesof couscous, basketwork, soaps, hand embroidered tableware, body oils, salad oils and in fact a whole range of oils that are amazingly multi-purpose.  The women had often travelled many kilometres from their villages to bring their sales items that were displayed within the grounds of the Forum venue.  

2. Putting the ‘M’ back in the EMCC

I felt privileged to be among the guest speakers at the Forum who were sharing thoughts and ideas for supporting the women in their ventures. I was asked to talk about mentoring and the EMCC and to provide case study examples of achievements through mentoring – thanks to Tuula Lillia and David Clutterbuck for their support on these.

3. Growing EMCC

The following day I met again with the President of the Forum and representatives of coaching organisations to progress discussions on forming EMCC Maroc.  EMCC Council supports working towards creating thisMorocco - growing EMCC new affiliate and I feel positive that we will have new members from Morocco joining EMCC in the next few months.  Achieving affiliation will
make a total of 21 countries affiliated to EMCC.  This photo taken at the end of our discussions on the formation of an affiliate shows from left to right Chadia Bennis of Espace Marocain de Gestalt, Patrick Barrau of Association Maroc Coaching, me and Ilham Zhiri, President of the Moroccan Women’s Networking Forum.

Introducing my new blog!

Welcome to my first EMCC President's blog! I’m delighted to have this opportunity to communicate directly with you.

My first thoughts on how to make best use of this blog is as a means to update you on how things are progressing with my personal President's portfolio. So that’s my suggestion and I really want to know what you would like to read in this blog? 


I can talk about internal developments within EMCC, snippets from country conversations and involvement with wider dialogues outside of EMCC in the world of mentoring and coaching.

What’s important is that I write about what’s of interest to you? So if there’s a burning topic to be communicated I’m waiting to hear!

In the meantime, let me update you on my wish shared at the EMCC Conference last year in Paris - to put the ‘M’ back in the EMCC. It’s true we’ve focused mainly on coaching in recent years. However, our foundations are in mentoring and as I learn more about our membership profile, I believe that we can do more to focus some of our activity in that area. Hopefully you will already have heard and may be participating in our first e-mentoring conference. There’s lots of organising happening right now to arrange the web discussion platforms, engage moderators and sign up participants. Your support in encouraging engagement on this from yourself and colleagues will make sure the event is a success and one to be repeated. 

I also put out a request for volunteers to join the EMCC mentoring group and currently have interest from Luxembourg, Portugal and Romania. There’s still room for more in the group so if you’re a mentor or interested in mentoring come and join us.

Well that’s all for the first blog – let me have your thoughts on what you’d like to see in my next blog.

Very best to you all from