I attended an international coaching conference in Sweden two weeks ago. There were over 400 coaches coming from different countries around the world. The conference lasted three days and it was packed with sessions all related to coaching somehow. I tried to get the most out of the program so I ran from one session to other. Yes, some sessions resonated really well with me, but of course, as in any large event, there were also sessions during which I was wondering what on earth I was doing there. You know the feeling?
Anyhow, at some point I realized what really was valuable about the conference. It was meeting and talking with other participants! I started a habit that after each session I began a conversation with somebody I had not discussed before (this was easy as there were so many of us). I asked this person what was his/her learnings and takeaways from the session, and vice versa told my own. And every time a lively discussion started. It was truly fascinating to hear what the other person wanted to ‘take away’ from a session as the takeaways might be totally different from mine. Listening to the other person’s thoughts and viewpoints brought new thoughts and learning for me as well. So our mutual discussions helped us both to become more reflective and learn more.
I asked some of the participants if they were willing to share their learnings and takeaways on video. These videos will be put on the ICF Finland website (www.icffinland.fi) in the near future. So go have a look and get the feeling of what the conference was about ( I will notify separately when the videos are on display).
With these videos I can go back to the discussions with my colleagues and the atmosphere of the conference. And I also remember how these discussions, sharing our learnings, helped me learn more and increase my takeaways. Thank you all you wonderful coach colleagues from Denmark, Holland, Turkey, Germany, Sweden, Norway, England, Canada , Finland and more, with whom I had a pleasure to share our learnings during the three days in Malmö!