by Andy Howie
During the summer, I was walking up a mountain in Austria, focusing on the peak I was aiming to
reach, when I began to think about work. I had planned to completely switch off from work, so it
was a surprise when my mind didn’t cooperate, but it felt okay so I went with it and an image began
to form of a possible future: a Space2think centre for coach development – a coaching school.
I thought: a lot of our work is about coaching, so why not make it more explicitly focused? The
essence of a Space2think coaching school would be our ethos, which is probably best described
as ‘person-centred’ coaching. We put an emphasis on coaches being self aware, not just learning
techniques but understanding themselves and what they bring to the coaching relationship. I
believe that in helping others develop their coaching practice we could encourage that same ethos
to influence their work.
I am uneasy about the concept of ‘master coaches’, so there is no sense in which we would want
to create that perception of Space2think. The coaching school would be a place where we too
would be open to learn alongside others. That said, Rob and I do have solid experience of
coaching and training coaches that we have forged together over many years, and that has already
influenced others. I think of associates who have absorbed our ethos by working alongside us,
delivering programmes, and I can envisage some of those people becoming involved in the school
I don’t think it is a coincidence that at the point these ideas about a coaching school began to
develop I was sharply focusing on reaching the peak of a mountain. My environment enabled me
by giving me the space to think, and it influenced the pattern of my thoughts. I have worked for
almost 40 years now and in another four or five years I will have a genuine choice about whether to
continue working or not. I guess as I near the summit of my career I feel I need to consider and
plan the route I will take and I am beginning to feel that the final steps of my working life should be
taken with more focus. I would like to move away from engaging in a wide variety of professional
and personal development work and concentrate more sharply as I continue towards the peak of
my coaching journey.
A coaching school feels like it would be pioneering and enable Rob and I to express our creativity
in its establishment. I believe that our work over the years has revealed that we both have
pioneering and creative spirits, and it would be fulfilling to express ourselves in preparing the next
generation of coaches.
There are still many questions to answer and practicalities to overcome but a peak can only be
reached by taking one step at a time. This blog is one of those steps.
What do you think about a Space2think coaching school?
If you have any insights please do share them with us.