Coaching Summer School 2012 – REVIEW, by Paul Dumitru

Truth is timeless! I just came across a little black rectangular notebook from six years ago, while rummaging in a green box in my room. Flicking through its pages, I found some thoughts from back then, and remembered what used to concern me at that time. I chuckled over some ultra-serious thoughts. But that’s how old writings work: when you look back, they seem either childish, or way too grave.

The notes from Coaching Summer School 2012 will probably fit the latter. But there’s more about this kind of notes: they remain valid even after years pass. They remain true.

The Coaching Summer School (CSS 2012), which is put into shape by I’Consultants (aka Raluca and Serban Chinole), started in a hot summer morning, on June 15. Ten people – some new, some from the last edition of the event – sat in a circle, in the neat space called The Attic (La Mansarda), in Cotroceni, Bucharest. This is a versatile space, serving both as a working space and workshop room. I’Consultants also organizes networking events here and delivers services like supervision for wannabe coaches.

The first day started with a short review of CSS 2011, remembering the 3Ps (Problem, Positioning and Possibility). Serban listed the challenges that most of us who attended the previous edition had. We talked about how things evolved for each of us from last year and then we all settled for a new experience. We began by drawing the “wheel of sales” adapted to our individual needs and levels of development, followed by a short 1 to 1 coaching session.

Lisa Bloom, story coach, followed. She talked about how our own stories can help us identify specific things that make us and our services special. To do that, try to identify the “pivotal moments” in your life and career that brought you where you are today. Wait, there’s more: “Try to discover when you find authentic enjoyment in what you do” Lisa said. “What is it that makes you happy? Cause that’s where you should start from”. In other words, develop the things you are passionate about, because you will be genuinely motivated to grow them. In my case, drawing and writing are my passions and my aim would be to integrate them into my services.

Next was Alan Seale, coach and founder at the Center for Transformational Presence. Alan believes that the Universe is made of energy in motion, so it would be useless to try to stop problems from occurring, but rather strive to understand “what they want to tell you”. Alan also talked about how understanding your clients is easier if you put yourself in their shoes. Not literally. Just try to imagine yourself as one of your clients and notice his needs, fears, reasons to be happy. Understand his context.

The second day, we took off with a visualization exercise put up by Raluca, where we tried to see ourselves 10 years from now. I imagined a house with a nice attic and big windows. The future me seemed pretty sharp and self confident, he seemed happy. Although, I have some doubts about his manners, as he kept me at the door.

This was shortly followed by an intense workshop held by Serban on packaging products and words that sell. We also made a step in front of the camera after crafting our USP (unique selling persona) and composed focused, intense messages that sell.

Successful blogger and entrepreneur Dragoș Roua (a digital nomad as he calls himself) was the special guest of the day. He talked about having a blog. It takes up to 3-4 years to build a successful one, with a rate of at least one article a week. What can you write about? You can start with yourself, with what you notice, with what you do. Remember just two key-attributes: authenticity and authority. Everything else will follow. And, luckily, you could start with a “30 days try”.

Last but not least was Bill Turpin, trainer and coach. He explained how the extended DISC model can help you build meaningful relationships. “Build on who you already are”, he said. “Begin to recognize what the others see as valuable in you, because that’s what you’ve got to offer”. He also presented the top 5 strengths of a character: empathy, activator, relator, developer, and command.

Along the way, I kept writing and filled 12 pages. This is pretty serious stuff and, for what it’s worth, these pages stand now beside me, representing less than 20% of the things we talked about, even less if I consider the whole experience. Every I’Consultants event turns out to be a great space for meeting valuable people and connect with them in a rather profound way, based on energy and intuition. But no, that’s not here, in these pages, only “ultra-serious” stuff. Yet, time will tell if they’re just a projection, or an authentic window to the future.