Community Outreach Groups: Ready for Take-off

by Tara Rodden

Back in the
January '07
issue of the IAC VOICE, IAC President Natalie Tucker Miller introduced
me as the "test pilot" for the COGs. I am happy to report that the
first COG is ready for a test flight!

The first
Community Outreach Group will come together to train COG
leaders. Members who would like to lead a virtual group of
IAC coaches are invited to join the first COG. We are
specifically looking for people who would like to lead one
or more COGs on the following topics:

  • Certification

  • The Masteries
    (as a whole and individually)

  • Ethics and
    Risk Management

  • Transition
    between the Proficiencies and the Masteries

Here are some
of the features you can expect from the COGs:

  • Specific:
    Each COG will take on a particular topic so that
    participants will have the opportunity to go deeper in their
    learning with the goal of achieving mastery. This means that
    each COG will have a project focus with specific outcomes
    toward which participants will work.

  • Collaborate
    : COGs meet for the purpose of constructing
    new knowledge or creating new products. COGs can be formed
    around the needs of the IAC, its membership or the
    profession at large. For example, a COG might be created as
    an ethics sounding board for specific issues that arise in
    practice or to act as an organizing committee for a
    conference. The possibilities are nearly limitless.

  • Discrete:
    Each COG will meet for a specific length of time. The COGs
    will be scheduled in advance so that community members can
    plan ahead to fit COG participation into their schedules.

  • Flexible:
    The web setting will allow group participants to log on at any time,
    from anywhere, to read material, listen to podcasts and post questions
    or comments. COGs may also include live chats, whiteboards, and other
    real-time features so that coaches will get to interact with each other
    and the expert COG leaders who will serve as hosts and facilitators for
    each COG.

  • Accessible:
    The BaseCamp messaging format is much like a blog. Blog
    posts are typically short, easy to read and conversational.
    The BaseCamp format also allows participants to subscribe to
    the RSS feed as for any other blog. Participants can comment and engage in conversation. (By the
    way, if you don't know what RSS feed is, don't worry, we'll
    explain all this in the

    first COG

  • Individual
    : Each group will be limited in size so that
    everyone will have the opportunity to participate in a
    meaningful way by contributing to the fruitful discussion of
    the topic. Participants will enroll in each COG separately.

  • Professional
    : The COGs will be moderated and monitored
    to keep discussions on track and held to the highest
    standards of professional discourse. Coaches will be able to
    learn how to disagree without acrimony and how to discuss
    contentious issues with courtesy.

  • Personal
    and professional growth
    : Both group members and
    facilitators will be able to take on new challenges and
    acquire skills in new teaching methods and subjects.

And here are
some of the benefits of getting involved:

  • Connecting
    with other like-minded professionals, particularly important
    for this "virtual" profession

  • Staying
    current with the coaching profession; helping define and
    contribute to its needs and growth

  • Finding other
    coaches to collaborate with to enhance coaching skills, grow
    practices and share resources

  • Learning how
    to collaborate with other professionals (sounds silly, but
    this takes practice)

  • Contributing
    to the coaching community for the greater good

COG 1:
Learning How to Create and Run an IAC COG
will run from
Monday, March 19 until Friday, March 23, 2007. To sign up,
or if you have further questions,

click here
I look forward to hearing from you!

Peace be with
Tara Rodden Robinson

Tara Rodden Robinson
PhD is a coach, educator, and writer working toward IAC certification.
She teaches genetics, hikes, and walks her dog in Corvallis,

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