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2020 Coaching Conference: Session Summaries

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08.00 - ​Competencies refresh - Working with the new ICF core competency model

Speaker: Tracy Sinclair

This session will give participants an insight into the background surrounding the development of the new ICF core competency model and will also explore each competency. The three key aims are:

  1. To provide students with an understanding of how the new ICF core competency model was developed and the key themes arising from the competency review process.
  2. To teach students the new ICF core competency model in terms of how it is evidenced in coaching practice.
  3. To support students in the integration of the new ICF core competency model into their coaching practice and to help them identify any further relevant professional development they may need in order to apply the new model most effectively.

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09:45 - Keynote 1: AI, robots and populism – Is now the right time for a ‘brain friendly’ insurgency?

Speakers: Naeema Pasha and Kate Lanz

We are facing unprecedented change and challenges as a human society: from the influx of AI and robotics into the workplace, to the deep impact of populism in politics. The reaction (and sometimes cause) are workers who may feel fearful, angry and insecure. These powerful emotions can lead to a range of challenging behaviours at work and beyond.

Can coaches truly address these huge issues? By enabling people to understand how to live well in an increasingly volatile world, through understanding both brain science and people skills, the speakers suggest they can.

This keynote will offer unique insights from cutting-edge research from applied brain science in business, looking at the essential change-attributes that enable workers to evolve and flourish in an AI world.

Coaches, as well as HR and talent specialists, will gain key insights to support them in their important work, enabling their clients to shape businesses to be fit for a sustainable future.

Keynote 2 Brainy coaching

10.15 - Keynote 2: Brainy coaching

Speaker: Professor Patricia Riddell

Some coaching challenges prove difficult to resolve. The coachee appears to want to change and is committed to trying something new, but the habit they are trying to break has become so deeply ingrained that it is hard to shift.

What can we learn from neuroscience that might help our coachees to crack even these most difficult of challenges?

In this session, we will consider why changing habits of a lifetime is so difficult. This should help us to gather the clues we need to tackle these sticky challenges. Ideas from the realms of behaviour change in other disciplines will be introduced to provide some new suggestions for techniques to add to the coaching toolbox.

Brain blue

11.30 - Using the principles of applied neuroscience in coaching practice

Speaker: Professor Paul Brown

Three working principles underpin this session. The brain is: (1) the organ of adaptation; (2) the organ of relationship; and (3) the master controller of behaviour, which is influenced via its emotional rather than cognitive system.

Each of these principles is explored for their practical implications in the practice of coaching. By the end of the session we will have arrived at a conclusion regarding what is at the heart of the art of coaching.

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13.45 - Demonstration - ProReal

*During lunch*

Speaker: Andrew Jackson and David Tinker

ProReal is avatar-based VR software used to support coaching and counselling. It can be used in-person or remotely with individuals and teams, and has a strong evidence base that highlights accelerated insights and outcomes. For coaches who already work remotely with clients, this can bring an exciting digital addition to the toolkit. During the demonstration David Tinker will do a live coaching session using ProReal.

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14:15 - Today´s coach – Exploiting the digital palette

Speaker: Dr Stella Kanatouri

The digital world of coaching can appear both exciting and scary. Digital media opens up new dimensions for coaching practice and has the potential to significantly enhance coaching. Yet there are challenges and unknowns about this distinct form of coaching that need to be addressed to control for the quality of the coaching interaction and to reduce ethical risks. This session will focus on the coach's digital palette and on making best use of it to optimise the coaching experience.

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16.00 - Critical challenges for coaching and mentoring in the new decade

Speaker: Professor David Clutterbuck

Multiple forces will dramatically change the nature of coaching in the next decade – from artificial intelligence to corporate internalisation of coaching provision. Among the many challenges are: a shift in organisations away from dialogue towards ‘instant gratification information sharing’; the increasing obsolescence of traditional models of leadership; the failure of competency models to ensure the quality of coaching; and the lack of diversity, both in the coaching profession and in the clientele that coaches serve. Coaching also needs to embrace a much wider social and environmental agenda to remain fit for purpose.

All of these issues must be taken into account in creating the grand vision for coaching that will be essential in keeping the profession relevant.

16:45 - Awards Ceremony

Speaker: Professor Jonathan Passmore


  1. Outstanding Contribution
  2. Book
  3. Research Paper

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17:45 - ​‘After hours’ session - What AI can do for you - how your coaching practice could benefit from artificial intelligence!

Speaker: Svenja Haus

When coaches think of artificial intelligence, they often feel threatened and worry about being replaced by a machine. However, many still know so little about what AI can do, how it works and what it just can’t do (yet). As coaches we are trained to think and act solution-oriented, but in this point many have not yet managed to recognize the chances and show strong reactivity. In this session I would like to open up the continuum of AI in coaching, explain a little bit how AI works and show the opportunities that are especially obvious to the coach.

18:30 - Close & Final Guest Departures

Information accurate as of May 2020

Published 30 January 2019