Start an IAC® Chapter!
Coaching is an interactive profession. So it makes sense that being part of a community of colleagues is an asset in creating, building and running a healthy and enjoyable business.
Advances in technology have made it possible for us to coach anyone, anywhere. While this is wonderful for coaches and clients alike, it can also create challenges. If you aren’t connected with other coaching professionals, it can lead to a sense of isolation or being “all on your own.” Not being connected makes it difficult to stay on top of new developments in the coaching field and learn how others are applying them. If there isn’t an IAC® chapter in your local area already, start one!
Some of the benefits of starting an IAC® chapter include:
- Establishing a personal and powerful way to consolidate coaching expertise, resources, knowledge, and experience that benefit local coaches and their clients
- Raising awareness of your local business and social community to the presence and benefits of coaching, which in turn generates more business for members
- Creating new opportunities for members to find referral partners, develop mentoring relationships, and enter into collaborative ventures with other coaches
- Increasing visibility for your own business as a coaching leader
- Learning how others use the IAC Coaching Masteries® to help their clients and to grow their businesses
- Expanding and evolving your own coaching skills and practices
- Developing your leadership and facilitation skills
- Developing new friendships and a strong sense of community with fellow coaches
How To Set Up a New IAC® Chapter
Starting a new IAC® chapter is easier that you think! The IAC® provides resources, tools, guidance, and support so you can establish a strong chapter that attracts many high-quality coaches to your meetings. There is also a Chapter Coordinator (a member of the Board of Governors) and Regional Coordinators for each part of the world. The Regional Coordinators are available to support, mentor, and coach you through the process of starting – and sustaining – your new chapter.
The following are the basic steps to prepare for and launch a new IAC® chapter.
- Commit to leadership. While starting a new chapter can be easier than you think, it can also require a significant investment of time and energy. The goal is to create a sustainable, relevant and respected gathering of colleagues where they have engaging and enriching experiences they will value. To create this, you’ll want to effectively market and recruit chapter members, as well as lead or coordinate forward-thinking, information-rich meetings that support IAC® members. There’s nothing to be scared of. We just want you to know your full commitment as a chapter leader is essential to setting up the chapter for success.
- Prepare. Before launching your first meeting, consider what type of support you will want or need.
Some examples are:
- Find another supportive member or coach to collaborate with and provide additional perspective.
- Set meeting times and secure a meeting room location you will be able to reserve on a regular schedule.
- Prepare a welcoming invitation to send to potential participants.
- Develop a questionnaire to send to potential participants – asking what they are most interested in, what they would like the chapter to provide for them, and what they want to contribute to the chapter.
- Design a plan for handling email, paperwork, and phone inquiries regarding chapter information. There may not be extensive work for you to do, but it’s good to have a plan in mind in case there is.
- Advertise. Work with the IAC® and other resources to spread the word.
- Create intriguing and/or informative social media posts or memes to attract attention and spread the word. Don’t worry about creating a large number. A few will do.
- Submit your invitation message to the IAC® to distribute to IAC® subscribers and members in your area.
- Advertise locally via a press release, posting at local coaching schools, universities, and professional organizations.
- Follow up with prospective members to remind them of meeting details prior to the first meeting.
- Launch. To successfully launch your first meeting, you will need to take care of some organizational tasks, such as:
- Provide a sign-in sheet to collect participants’ contact information.
- Print copies of policy information or paperwork for participants to review and agree to.
- Create an agenda (see the sample agenda in the Chapter Handbook).
- Facilitate introductions and a create an environment welcome and acceptance (easy to do with a coaching organization!)
- Collaborate on the vision, mission, and culture of your chapter with the chapter members.
- Commit to action items in the first meeting to set the stage for forward momentum.
- Delegate responsibilities to foster teamwork and collaborative growth and development of the chapter.
- Ask for feedback about the meeting and what would make it even more valuable to them. As a coach, you already know participants will feel a sense of ownership and receive more value if they are invited to give input.
Additional questions? Contact the Chapter Coordinator for support.