Home Research History of Coaching An Interview with John Lazar: Institutions and Influences

An Interview with John Lazar: Institutions and Influences

26 min read

Once we formed ICCO, then it became a question of what were the critical issues? What did we want to do about them? And what was the offering that we wanted to make available to the larger community?  Obviously, like with anything, there were cost issues and logistics issues, and so forth.  We had other questions, such as whether we wanted to keep it connected with the ICF Conference or not?  How long would our event be?  What was an appropriate price point, given the people were already spending money to attend the conference?

Ultimately, what we decided came out of some wonderful discussions that were held up at Bill’s school of psychology in Sacramento. It was a design for something that we call the symposium, which was a 2- or 3-day event that always had a theme, speakers and different ways of engaging with a topic area. It was meant to be innovative, provocative, and to leave people-enlivened and expansive as a result of having attended.  We ran those symposia for six or seven years, maybe longer, and invariably got rave reviews.

They were designed to be intimate events.  It wasn’t like thousands and thousands of attendants, not even hundreds. It was meant to be an event with 25, 30, 40 people.

What we what we lacked in size, we gained in intimacy, richness, depth, connection, and relatedness.  In that regard, those events were—and perhaps to this day, continue to be—unique in what they provided at an intellectual and practical level on the one hand and in relational, spiritual, and heart space ways on the other.

Bill Carrier:  You probably remember I even attended one of those events.

John Lazar:  I do. If you don’t mind my asking, so what was your experience of having attended that event?  What seemed to work?  What didn’t?  What do you remember? What stands out for you?

Bill Carrier:  The community.  It was a small event, probably 30 people in San Antonio.  I was struck by being involved with a group of peers on the subject of our profession, peers who cared deeply about serving others and helping other coaches learn more about how to serve others effectively and more specifically within organizations.

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  1. Rey Carr

    March 12, 2016 at 10:11 am

    Finally, I understand what happened to that excellent journal, The International Journal of Coaching in Organizations. John is to be congratulated on establishing a publication that lifted coaching into both the world of empirical science and friendly dialogue. I’m grateful for your pioneering efforts.


  2. Vicki Foley

    February 7, 2017 at 7:57 pm

    Bill and John, thank you for this interview. I enjoyed the historical perspective, a bit of reminiscing about IJCO and ICCO, and the suggestions of ways to associate within the profession. John, you are a revered master.


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