Submitted by Kate Doherty, PCC
ICF Metro DC Chapter

Nine volunteer coaches from the ICF Metro DC Chapter provided pro bono coaching to Friendship Place staff to support their leadership development in conjunction with the organization’s Emerging Leaders Program (ELP).

The coaching took place over a three-month period. Individuals received between three and seven hours of coaching each. Although the primary focus of most of the coaching was the leadership skills the clients were developing and their experiences trying out new things, we also dealt with issues of grief and loss, concerns about health during the pandemic, work/life balance, the need for self-care in managing the stresses of their case management work and other related issues. 

The program involved nine coaches and nine clients, and included a total of 48 hours of pro bono coaching. The greatest impact was at the individual level. In their evaluations, clients spoke of: increased self-awareness; the ability to look at things from multiple perspectives; what they had gained from deeper exploration of their values and their stories; learning to be more open-minded; understanding the importance of self-care; and improved communications that made them more effective at work. They noted ripple effects that included improved relationships with coworkers and management, and in one case with family members. One client remarked that a visible change in the organization was that coworkers felt appreciated, and a part of the team, because of the organization’s commitment to their development and the support of their coaches.