A group of alumni of the 2020 edition of the Master in Coaching gathered at Johan Cruyff Institute Amsterdam to attend a workshop entitled ‘Coaching and Awareness’, led by professor-coach Karen Ephraim
“What I personally found very nice and powerful about the Master in Coaching alumni meeting was that we had not seen each other for over a year, but that the same sense of openness and security we all experienced during the program, were there again from the start. Everyone immediately started to share personal things about their work and private lives. That is the power of the Master in Coaching! We also saw each other’s growth reflected in the stories and the way of coaching. And that was also nice to see,” says Renée Kersten, alumna of the 2020 edition of the Master in Coaching and initiator of the meeting.
At the beginning of July, Johan Cruyff Institute Amsterdam made its facilities available for its alumni, and Renée asked coach and teacher Karen Ephraim to lead a workshop for her and her fellow coaches and graduates of the 2020 edition of the Master in Coaching. We asked Renée and Karen about their experiences at the alumni meeting.
As alumni of the Master in Coaching, why was it important to get together?
“In our daily lives, we use a lot of what we learned on the Master in Coaching and this was also confirmed when we saw each other again,” says Renée. “But sometimes you end up falling back into old habits. We saw the meeting as an opportunity to dive into the coach/coachee relationship with the help of creative assignments. I always ‘carry’ the Master in Coaching with me, so we were looking for looking for new awareness and to refresh our coaching skills. When I spoke to Karen about the workshop, I indicated that we would like to address these themes, and in addition to that we thought it was important to socialize, to spend some time together and catch up.
What was the workshop ‘Coaching and Awareness’ about?
“Every moment that you are consciously working on your own development, you also take steps in your development as a coach,” says Karen. “Because these graduates had already made the ‘journey’ of the Master in Coaching together, the contact immediately becomes intense, and you hardly need any time to get working with each other. In the workshop we used photo cards,” she continues, “which represented two themes, or questions:
- ‘What did you take with you from the Master in Coaching that you apply in your daily life?’ and
- ‘Which topics from the Master in Coaching would you like to use more?’’
We worked on this with the help of some poignant questions and we spent an intensive morning together.”
What was it like for the alumni?
“It was clear that these alumni had a need to experience a Master in Coaching day again: working together with one of the teachers on the theme ‘who am I as a coach?‘,” says Karen. “As a Faculty member, it is always great to be able to contribute to this by being able to get the group moving again, not only as a group, but as individuals with a number of questions as well. A movement that was still there by the way, because very little time was needed to get started again. But by organizing this workshop, it was further stimulated from a Master in Coaching approach.”
Do you recommend that alumni-coaches meet regularly?
“It is good for professionals to regularly reflect on the way you do your work. This can be done individually, as we do in the Master in Coaching with the reflection reports and the ‘Report of Journey’,” says Karen. “And there is also added value in doing this together, with people who worked with you in the same Master in Coaching group, or in another one. You all speak the same language, you have been involved in your own development in the same way, and you recognize each other in Johan Cruyff‘s saying: ‘You can only coach others, if you can coach yourself‘.”
What did the alumni take away from the meeting?
“You notice that the power of the Master in Coaching continues to exist, also after the program; there is no need to speak every week or to see each other very often. Our group has a strong bond, which was confirmed again today,” says Renée. “We helped each other, with cases that we deal with, both private and work-related situations. We also reminisced about what has stayed with us the most. The positive vibe in the group is nice, but also important, because in coaching you never stop learning and you can also learn a lot from each other!”