What do you hunger for in your coaching world? How can being in “community” make you a more successful coach? Realizing that growth and education comes from participating in a community, seventeen years ago I created Success Unlimited Network® (SUN), an international learning community of coaches.
In the late 1980’s, I was a sole proprietor coach when I realized there were other coaches who might be interested in carving out the time to form a learning community grounded in spiritual integrity. One of my personal priorities was to focus on learning.
People can align toward a common goal, such as running a race, without being in community. People can engage in learning discussions, as in community education programs, without being in community. Coaches can coach a group of people in an organization without being in community. Coaching learning communities need all three to be present (coaching, learning, and community) for the supportive magic to occur. Coaching With Spirit, John Wiley, 2002, page 244.
As a community builder, having previously started three other communities including the Healthcare Training Network, the Organization Transformation Network, and G-WAC (the Greater Washington Alliance for Coaches), I knew that a community grew when its members share key values. So I put together my five key values (integrity, spirituality, service, personal growth and fun) and seven pieces of well being (authenticity, trust, support, challenge, fun, learning, and friendship) to be the core of a new blend of people. And now, for over fifteen years the SUN coaching community has been coming together for these reasons. And SUN is just one of several coaching communities available for coaches.
The purposes of the SUN community in order of importance, as ranked by 85%+ of the SUN community members in Fall 2003, are:
1. To come together in community
2. To continue our learning and growth
3. To increase coaching skills and competencies
4. To learn new techniques
5. To have fun
6. To revitalize our passion for coaching
7. To share resources
8. To recharge our personal batteries
9. To practice coaching
10. To observe others coach
11. To progress toward our business goals
12. To foster business collaborations
13. To review coaching basics