An overview of the English Activity Committeepar Patrick Doyon, PCC
Times are changing. And this applies to the wonderful world of coaching as well! I remember, 10 years ago, when I began my professional coaching career in Montreal, it felt like there were just a handful of us, ICF-certified coaches, promoting and delivering our services in the city. And the group certified coaches operating in the language of Shakespeare was, it seems, even smaller. This is why I felt very fortunate when, back then, I stumbled across an event called “Montreal Coaches Breakfast Series” (or something like this). So, I signed up, showed up to their next monthly gathering, and the rest is history.
At the time, the monthly breakfast seminars were organized and managed by Pat Snow, one of the pillars of our local coach community (soon thereafter, James Hunter and Ed Rudick joined Pat and to help organize the monthly event). 10 years later, and after over 100 breakfast events that attracted over 2,000 attendees in total, I was asked to write a brief overview of what our group does. Although the essence hasn’t changed much, we have expanded our reach and focus over the years to better align ourselves with the changing landscape of the local coach community.
Today, the “English Activity Committee” (aka EAC) is composed of 5 volunteer members, under the direction of Dave Carey, and the group is now an integral part of ICF Quebec. Our mission remains centered around organizing educational activities and networking events for the local coaches. Although these initiatives are held in English, they are open to the broader multilingual coach community. Since most of our activities used to be in person, they mainly attracted coaches from the greater Montreal region. However, with the Convid-19 pandemic going on, we had to move away from in-person events and switch our delivery mode to virtual. This recent (and most likely temporary) change has slightly diluted the interpersonal networking dimension of our gatherings. On the other hand, hosting virtual events has allowed our group to reach a broader audience of participants. In the end, our motto remains the same: “listen to our community; adapt to the context; and try to offer something for everyone”.
Among our core activities, we still organize our flagship monthly coach breakfast conference. This event, held 10 times per year (usually every first Friday of the month, from September until June), is focused on delivering educational presentations to our community of professional coaches. Given the depth, diversity and format of our monthly seminars, and the fact that participants receive CCEUs for attending the events, these monthly breakfast conferences have been extremely popular over the years.
Aside from this monthly series, the EAC committee also organizes other events on a smaller scale. These include: Periodic networking events such as our Coach Dinner Exchanges; Specific coaching conferences with renowned out-of-town speakers; (e.g.: Peter Hawkins presented last time at Concordia University); Mastermind series on specific coaching topics; And good old spontaneous social events (gee, do we miss socializing in-person!).
Recently, the committee hosted virtual presentations on subjects as varied as Resilience (by Laurence Pichon), Resonance (by Olivier Guérin), and Coaching Models (by Sabrina Damato). Some of our upcoming breakfast seminars will focus on Marketing Presence (by Phyllis Reid-Jarvis), on Business Development Best Practices (by Orest Lysymanko), on Burnout Prevention and Recovery (by Dani Oxer) and on Neuroplasticity and Change (by Irena O'brien).
Our group usually takes a pause during the summer and leverages these idle months to plan the next season of events. If you have any suggestion regarding the activities that we organize, please contact us: we love to hear from you.