“It feels like we’ve been playing musical chairs. The music has stopped and now we all need to stay where we are.” As I write today, in the light of the latest restrictions as a result of the corona virus, this comment from my colleague and coach Tom Wright probably sums up how a lot of us are feeling.

One result of the current times is that it is giving us time to take stock and reflect. As I consider how to respond to the uncertainties of the future I am also taking time to look back.

It seems barely possible that seven years have passed since the germ of an idea that was, and is, ‘Coaching York’ was conceived. Now, at the start of 2020 and a new decade, it seems the right time to take stock – and pass the baton.

I’ve had the privilege and pleasure of chairing Coaching York since its inception. The initial woolly notion of raising the profile of York coaches to provide more local coaching services has gained focus, direction and momentum over the years. Now incorporated as a limited company,  and a clear mandate to be ‘a community of coaches providing coaching in the community’, Coaching York has come of age and can demonstrate traction in community based coaching, commercial coaching and it’s CPD offerings. York’s annual response to International Coaching Week is now a fixture in most coaches’ calendars, gaining attention and recognition from near and far. This year, ICW will be a particular challenge but we will adapt and continue to provide some great and valuable content for our coaches and the wider community.

It’s time for me to stand down as Chair, and pass the baton. Geoff Ashton and Debbie Connors have volunteered to job share the role. I couldn’t wish for a better outcome – Geoff is a tower of strength on community based coaching initiatives, and Debbie, as a local coach and HR practitioner is instrumental in much of our CPD offering. It will be good to see how their energy and experience powers Coaching York through this new decade.

The challenge ahead is to spread the word and promote an understanding of what coaching is, and its attendant benefits. Those who already know are not our target – they know what to do and where to go to secure coaching services. It’s the vast majority who do not know, and could benefit so much from the better conversations, leading to better outcomes, that coaching can provide, that are our target. I look forward to the days when debate with new or potential coachees around the difference between coaching and mentoring outweighs discussion around what bus company Coaching York represents!

My intention is to remain actively involved with Coaching York for the immediate future, and I look forward to meeting with colleagues and friends at the various opportunities our York coaching community provides. In the meantime, stay safe and, in the immortal words of Douglas Adams, ‘Cheerio, and thanks for all the fish’!

April 2020