I was certified as an Integral Master Coach with Integral Coaching Canada in 2014 and quickly set about becoming certified with the International Coach Federation (ICF), an organization that brings credibility and professionalism to the coaching community. My passion is working in the social profit sector of high-performance sport and ironically, for many of my clients, they have yet to access the benefits of coaching to support their own growth and development as leaders. While in sport we have used ‘coaching’ as a means of helping athletes achieve their full potential, the role of coaches beyond the field of play has been minimal and reserved for a handful of ‘executives’. My mission is to change this.

As someone who cares deeply about ‘scaling impact’, I offer the following lessons learned to other coaches who have a desire to serve the social profit sector:

  1. Start with heart: Leaders who serve in the social profit and cause-driven sectors often have high altruistic and ideological motivations. They are likely to put others ahead of their own leadership needs. Reminding leaders of the importance of taking care of their own needs, modeling the behavior they want to see in their staff and setting leadership goals that have meaning, will open up their minds to the benefits of being companioned by a certified coach.
  2. Language matters: From the beginning, I have avoided the use of the term ‘executive’ to define the contribution we make as certified coaches. Instead, I have communicated the benefits of ‘integral coaching’ and ‘leadership coaching’, inviting any sport leader who wants support on their developmental path to feel like they can access my services.
  3. Be affordable: I coach because it brings me joy and in part helps me feel like I am making a positive difference in the sector I care so deeply about. I offer competitive rates based on what I feel my sector can afford, and provide discounts for multiple sessions, coaching packages, and organizational coaching. In addition, I offer pro-bono coaching services each year to a female sport leader who is looking for support. On some occasions, I exchange my coaching services for another service that has equal value so that we both walk away feeling enriched.
  4. Communicate impact: I invite clients to share the impact of the experience with others, which in turn has helped me generate new business. Word of mouth testimonials feels like one of the greatest expressions of gratitude and offers an opportunity for you to communicate the work you are doing to support leaders in their growth and development.
  5. Seek out influencers: I have been intentional about working with organizations who in this early stage of growth, can serve as champions for leadership coaching. These leaders now want to support the generative effect of coaching on their staff, coaches, and athletes. This, in turn, is opening up space for others to learn about how coaching can benefit them.

The role of social profits in today’s economy cannot be underappreciated. The people attracted to serve in these sectors need the same level of support as for-profit leaders. The risk of not providing leadership development opportunities is that future employees move towards other opportunities, where they feel they can continue to learn and grow in a supportive and holistic manner. Let’s work together to ensure this risk isn’t realized.

Dina is an Integral Master Coach with Integral Coaching Canada TM and is a certified PCC with the International Coach Federation. She has been working in sport for over 27 years as an executive director, communications specialist, and sport consultant. She is the co-owner of the Sport Law & Strategy Group, the go-to place for Canadian sport leaders looking for strategic insight in the areas of the law, communications, governance, Integral CoachingTM, and risk management. Through her work, Dina works with sport leaders, coaches and athletes to enhance their leadership capacity, emotional intelligence, and presence. Dina has been part of a dozen international events including 5 Olympic Games and 3 Pan-American Games. Dina and her husband Pierre are the grateful parents of 3 children whom she believes are her greatest teachers. When she is not working to contribute to the betterment of sport, Dina volunteers her time with SchoolBOX, the West Ottawa Soccer Club, the Bridlewood Community Association, and Tracy’s Hope Legacy Fund.

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