Coaching for Social Change
This is the third blog of a series from an interview with Patrick Williams, Ed.D., MCC, the founder of The Institute for Life Coach Training, the first-of-its-kind training institute that specialized in training psychotherapists, psychologists, counselors, and helping professionals in building a successful coaching practice. He co-authored Therapist as Coach: Transforming Your Practice and Total Life Coaching: 50+ Life Lessons, Skills, and Techniques to Enhance your Practice and Your life and Becoming a Professional Life Coach: Lessons from the Institute for Life Coach Training.
He is interviewed by Katrina Burrus, MCC, Ph.D. host. Katrina authored When the Visionary is Blinded: Coaching Brilliant and Toxic Leaders and Global Nomadic Leaders: How to Identify, Attract and Retain Them. Katrina is founder and CEO of MKB Excellent Executive Coaching that helps managers, leaders, and organizations to excel. Patrick mentioned that he was training trainers to coach for social change and Katrina asked how he evaluated his coaching for social change in remote fields for non-profits. She asked the following:
How do you evaluate the outcome for coaching for social change?
We have a pre-test and a post-test with each training. However, anybody who has worked in the non-profit world and also often in the for-profit world will understand that sometimes people don’t follow through after the training like we would like them to. But when they do, we have some great light ups. So if 18 people were in the training, we have “what did they know” like skills prior to the training and then after the training and what changed for them? Are they a better listener? Are they a better communicator? Are they able to manage complexity better than they thought? We’re going to create a training class to train other trainers to use our methodology.
Tell us about your train-the-trainer for coaching for social change?
This is very exciting because, in the early years, I thought I’d get some Bill Gates brand and have the money to do this in 50 locations. But that dream was quickly squelched because there’s a lot of request for funds. Since we survive primarily by the training budget of a non-profit or an NGO organization, we came up with the idea that it would be great if we had other ambassadors who could provide our training, who could be approved CGV trainers for coaching for social change.
So in fall 2014, we started our first inaugural class and it consisted of 10-hour teleclass with six 90-minute calls combined with outside work. And then those people who are approved will have access to a private website with a private membership organization where they can then deliver our training. We provide them with support, forms we use, pre-test, post-test, and a toolkit how to contact organizations because we want them to be ambassadors and spread the word.
And if I get 50 to 100 trainers around the world supporting me to help the underserved or non-profit NGO organizations, I think you can make an impact on change.
What is your next project with regards to coaching for social change?
That’s a great question because one of my friends says that I have lots of bubbles over my head and sometimes people just need to capture them. I founded the institute for life coach training in a federal prison. And we implemented the coaching approach for social change with eight federal prisoners. They’ve completed our ICF approved 40-hour foundational class and I went to their graduation. And it was as moving to me as it was to them.
We then did a second program. One of the prisoners that contacted me via email, I became a friend of him and his mentor. I finally got to meet him in prison. He’s not out yet. I’m making a documentary with the local film producer here called, “From the Inside Out.” And it’s going to be both about the transformation that occurred with these prisoners through the use of the coaching approach and about the judicial system itself around the world but mostly in the United States.
The United State imprisons more people than any other country in the world. It’s a broken system. And we think teaching the coaching approach after the first bust and before the person arrested goes to prison or just before they reenter society, the coaching approach can be most helpful. We’ve proven that it can help while they’re in prison too. It changes a lot of their behavior and a lot of their decision-making.
How did the prisoners’ behaviors improve through coaching for social change?
The exciting thing in this federal prison is we heard from both the prison’s psychologist, the warden, the associate warden, and the prisoners themselves that when their families came to visit, they noticed they were different. They noticed they were less conflicted. They noticed they communicated better. The warden noticed that these eight men got in fewer fights, fewer conflicts, that they seem more compatible with each other.
Now, this is just coach training with eight men out 1,800! One woman who took the coach training was in prison for 17 years. She now works for the mayor’s office in Washington D.C. She is now the head of the Office of Returning Citizens, which means prisoners that are reentering the Washington D. C. community. So that is a huge change. A lot of prisoners often go back to prison because they don’t know how to adjust to the life that has changed while they’ve been in prison.
So again, I’m really excited about this project. This documentary is to bring some awareness and publicity to these positive outcomes. We’re going to present this documentary at the film festivals. And, hopefully, somebody like Robert Redford will pick it up. Who knows? Right?
Where can people get more information about what you’re doing?
At the Global Village, ILCTCoaching the ICF-approved training with the prisoners. That’s the other school I founded.
Special thanks to Patrick Williams, Ed.D. MCC, a great coach, author, speaker and entrepreneur. This entire interview is also available on EEC#8 Excellent Executive Coaching podcast or on iTunes. Subscribe to Excellent Executive Coaching and rate it if you like it or leave a comment below. Patrick was interviewed by Dr. Katrina Burrus, MCC who coaches managers, leaders, and organizations to excel.