April 2020

Message From The President

Lori RaggioDonna Jones Daley, Esq. ACC, BCC

What’s Possible?

It’s impossible to be unaware of external conditions that confront our organization, our broader community, and our loved ones. Our individual efforts seem to be overshadowed by the enormity of today’s challenges. 

For many of us, it feels as if the world has collapsed around us. Daily routines have been altered. Bold visions for our careers, businesses, and family seem obstructed. Suddenly, without warning, we have been forced to pause.

I believe, however, that there is power in pausing. 

As coaches, we understand the significance of creating space for our clients to engage in reflection, to re-examine ways of thinking, and to create paths for transformation. Similarly, as an organization, we are positioned to engage in a “reset.” We have an opportunity to create room to examine our program content, activities, and relationships to ensure that they meet your needs. 

 As I reflected on a recent conversation I heard with Mark Cuban, owner of Dallas Mavericks, I was reminded of the benefit of connecting with our core values during times like these. After sharing his story, Mark was asked what advice he would provide to businesses to meet today’s challenges?

Without hesitation, Mark declared, “now is not the time to sale, but to be of service.” His heartfelt answer resonated with me. 

As I assume a leadership role within our Chapter, I want to focus our collective energies and efforts to support you in successfully navigating uncertainties you may be experiencing.

Over the next several weeks, we will begin sharing resources and programs with you that will demonstrate our service commitment. Leveraging the strengths of our core values, creative thinking, and collaboration skills of our Board, we invite you to let us know how we may better serve you.    

As we prepare to celebrate our 10th Year Anniversary in November, we stand in gratitude to previous leaders of our Chapter. As visionaries, they implanted service as part of our Chapter’s DNA. Please join our amazing Board of Directors and me in defining What’s Possible, as we collectively transform our Chapter “to be of meaningful service” to our members and the broader community in times of uncertainty.

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International Coach Federation COVID-19 Resources

ICF is committed to providing its members and credential-holders with the support and resources you need to care for yourself and meet the needs of your clients during this tumultuous period. They have created a COVID-19 landing page, which includes updates from organizations including the World Health Organization, wellness and hygiene information, ideas for our own coaching practices, resources for supporting clients, and more. Please click this link to learn more about the resources available to you.

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Power: Force vs. Vulnerability – May 19

This workshop will explore the idea and experience of power from the perspective of force and vulnerability. We will discuss new research in the area of confirmation bias and the purpose of the rational mind as well as explore the experience of force in our own culture.

Date & Time:
Tuesday, May 19, 2020
11:00 AM – 12:30 PM


Click Here to see a Preview of Power of Force Webinar!

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Tips for Experiencing Positive Emotions

by Rayna Schroeder, Thriving at Work Coach
ICF Maryland Chapter, President 2019

I was in rush hour traffic in a snowstorm. It could have felt like a prison or a monastic retreat.*

In today’s times, the opening sentence could be, I was in a global pandemic that could have felt like…” We know as coaches that it is not the circumstances that are important to determining our outcome, it is our perspective and our reaction that is important. During these times, recognizing the power of choice and the power to choose our response is critically important to our wellbeing.

I have a background in Positive Psychology and one of the many things that excite me about positive psychology is around wellbeing and positive emotions. We see positive emotions as indicators of wellbeing. While true, there is more to the story. Positive emotions aren’t just indicators of wellbeing; they are creators of wellbeing.

Physically, at a basic biological level, experiencing positive emotions have an impact: lower levels of stress-related hormones like cortisol and higher levels of growth-related and bond-related hormones like oxytocin. It enhances immune system functioning, something we all need in today’s environment. Barbara Frederickson, Professor at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, likes to say that, “With positivity, we are literally steeped in a different biochemical stew,” experiencing lower blood pressure, less pain, fewer colds, better sleep, lower risk of hypertension, diabetes or stroke.

Here are a few things you can do to help you experience positive emotions and improve your wellbeing at a time when we all really need it:

  1. Look for what is going well to balance the instinctual drive to look for what is wrong. As human beings, we instinctually look for what’s wrong. We had to for our survival otherwise the Saber-toothed tiger outside the cave would have killed us off and we wouldn’t be having this exchange. Humans have a negativity bias and it’s a great protection mechanism that keeps us alive looking for what’s wrong. The downside is when we habitually look for what’s wrong, we pick up that lens and look at everything through it – what’s wrong with the world, my family, myself. As human beings, we find what we look for and what we focus on grows so our world can potentially look bleak and hopeless if we only focus on what’s wrong. To provide balance, we need to pick up the “what’s right” lens and find ways to look through that as well. As an exercise, try thinking of (writing it down is even better) three things that went well for you today and why they went well. Try the exercise for one week and see how it impacts how you look at the world. Imagine starting your next client conversation or Zoom meeting by asking what’s gone well since the last time we talked?
  2. Experience positive emotions more often than negative emotions to flourish. In her book Positivity, Barbara Frederickson talks about languishing and flourishing. Languishing is described as a downward spiral fueled by negativity, becoming rigid, burdened and lifeless. Flourishing is becoming alive with possibility, resilient to hard times where our behavior is creative, alive and uplifted. The Positivity Ratio is experiencing positive emotions three times more often than negative emotions in the same timespanto flourish. That means experiencing positive emotions NOW, not waiting until the pandemic is over. Experience positive emotions like joy, gratitude, serenity, hope, inspiration, and love. The goal is not to eliminate negativity as the ratio is not 3:0, it is 3:1. The goal is to eliminate inappropriate negativity that is neither helpful nor healthy; negativity that outlasts its usefulness. I have two cats so snuggling with them or being outside walking with my husband gives me a lift of positivity. What works to give you a quick boost of positivity?

  3. Practice scientifically proven strategies on how to be happier. In her book, “The How of Happiness”, Sonja Lyubomirsky, a professor of psychology at the University of California, shares twelve scientifically researched happiness strategies. Here are two of them:
  • Practice Acts of Kindness – How about being kind to yourself today?
  • Savor Life’s Joys – What can you appreciate about today? For me, I am watching my cats give each other a bath after dinner and feeling grateful for the beautiful view outside my window.

I invite you to steep yourself in a “positive biochemical stew” that will help your immune system and your emotional and mental wellbeing by practicing any one of these strategies – today.

*Condensed from the opening of Kevin Cashman’s book, “Leadership from the Inside Out.”

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An Interview with Irvine Nugent

Former ICF Maryland President

by Peter Costa

  1. What led you to become a professional coach?

    A significant influence was growing up in Northern Ireland during “The Troubles” (Northern Ireland conflict). It gave me a direct and powerful experience of what can happen when people fail to listen and understand each other. It also instilled a strong desire to help people get past this barrier.

    Following a family tradition, I joined the seminary. After ordination, I was sent to South Florida where my work included leading a chapter of Catholic Charities and, later, a large parish. I felt real angst about these leadership roles, which required a new set of skills, so I pursued formal training, earning a doctorate in management.

    I later left the priesthood but stayed in a similar field, leading a large charitable organization. The work was rewarding, but I became burned out by the daily fundraising efforts.

    A friend suggested I talk to a coach that he knew, thinking it might help me decide on my next step. That person was actually a member of the Georgetown Executive Leadership Coaching Program, and I was soon convinced this was the right path for me. I did exactly what I’d counsel others against - leaving my house and a paying job and moving to another part of the country to enroll in that program!
  1. What do you enjoy most about coaching?

    Coaching is a privilege. We get to journey with another person to a place where they can express their fears and doubts, and in doing so help them to become more positive, effective leaders. We can create a sacred space that is full of surprises. That work is hidden, but its impact is expressed across the organizations they touch.
  1. What are some highlights of your coaching career?

    I’ve had some high-profile roles, including my past leadership of this IFC chapter, but the real highlights have always been the work I’ve done with my clients and the ongoing relationships that have grown out of that work.
  1. Do you have any advice for folks who are starting out in coaching?

    I have a few suggestions. First, have patience. Too many people commit to a specific niche too early. Yes, you should pick a general area to pursue, but then take a year or so to find out what types of clients you actually attract and how your experiences with them play out. Find out what comes easy to you and then focus on that.

    Coaching can be a lonely environment. Actively network within the coaching community. Build relationships with your fellow practitioners. You will find the community to be highly supportive.

    Don’t get too hung up on the “business” aspects. Setting up an LLC should be a short conversation with a lawyer. There are many low-cost firms you can use to develop a logo and website. You are not tied to your company name forever - I’ve changed mine twice as my business has evolved. Do be aware that there are many people out there looking to “help” you with lots of tools and services you really don’t need. Focus on what you need now - a name, a logo, a website and some basic tools to use with your clients.

    Most importantly, network and market yourself. That’s certainly much harder in the current environment, but still critical.
  1. Speaking of the current environment, how would you recommend coaches' respond?

    So many of our clients are facing significant challenges right now and may even be scrambling to make their next payroll. I recommend reaching out to them and offering to help, even if that’s just being someone that can listen to them. This is not the time for selling but helping.

    Much of my training was already moving to virtual, so transitioning to fully online has been relatively easy. I’ve had many speaking engagements canceled, so I am using weekly YouTube videos, along with other social media, to stay visible.

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ICF Membership Renewal Deadlines Extended & Installment Payments Coming Soon

We recognize the hardship that this global crisis has placed on many ICF Members and their coaching businesses. To better meet our members’ needs during these uncertain times, we are changing our timeline and renewal process for 2020 ICF Membership Renewals.

ICF Memberships will now be valid until June 30, 2020. If members are unable to renew their ICF Membership by June 30 they will have a two-month grace period. If they are unable to renew by August 31, 2020, they will lose access to your Member Benefits on that date.

We are pleased to announce we will also soon offer an installment payment option to all renewing members globally. If you have not already renewed your ICF Membership when this option launches soon, we will email you at that time. If you have already renewed your ICF Membership, please be aware that you will not receive this message, but your non-renewed members will.

If an ICF Member selects the installment payment option, they will pay half of their renewal fee right away. We will automatically charge their credit card for the second half of their payment 90 days later.

Renew Now

Note: If you have already renewed or joined as a new member in 2020, your ICF Membership will not expire until March 31, 2021.

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Upcoming Events

What’s Around the Corner...Check Out

The following are a few of the exciting webinars/events to look forward to in the coming months. More details will be posted to the website.




  • Resilient Leadership

  • Business Development Webinar – “Who is Watching Your Bottom Line”

  • Ethics Course

  • Four-Part Series on Emotional Intelligence

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Volunteer to Make a Difference in Our Communities

ICF-Maryland is excited to announce its second Ignite engagement, and we are seeking credentialed coaches to join us in igniting social progress in the world.

Through pro bono coaching projects, the ICF Global Ignite Initiative uses the collective power of ICF chapters to accelerate the United Nations 2030 Sustainable Development Goals. The current focus is on Goal #4: Education: ensuring inclusive and equitable quality education and promoting lifelong learning opportunities for all.

In 2019, ICF-MD joined the Ignite movement by partnering with The Arc Maryland to offer coaching to its affiliated leaders. Each participant benefited significantly from the coaching provided by our dedicated pro-bono coaches, including Mary Ellen Waltemire, Margaret Wilson, Rayna Shroeder, Rich Hansen, and Chris Holmes.

For our second Ignite engagement, we have partnered with Easterseals DC MD VA, whose mission is to make profound, positive differences in the daily lives of people of all ages with disabilities, special needs, military backgrounds, and their families. While reflecting on this new engagement, Angie Dabbs, ICF-MD’s Outreach Director, said, “Our chapter’s partnership with Easterseals DC MD VA gives us the grand opportunity to continue making a difference in others’ lives through the gift of coaching. ICF-MD’s member coaches are incredibly talented and passionate, and we’re excited about what’s possible.”

If you are credentialed at the MCC, PCC, or second renewal ACC level and would like to participate in this rewarding opportunity, please contact Angie Dabbs ASAP: [email protected].

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