Consulting Conference Workshop Demos Coaching Techniques for Activating Possibilities

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Asking powerful questions can help management consultants create compelling results with their clients says executive coach and Certified Management Consultant Rachel Foster. Foster will lead a workshop on how consultants can make effective use of coaching techniques at Consulting Conference 2010, May 28 - 29 in Vancouver, B.C. Her workshop, Activate Your Inner GPS (for great possibilities and solutions) will be interactive, creative and participatory, with team coaching sessions and de-briefings.

In keeping with the conference theme – charting a course to value – I've coined the phrase GPS, referring to the great possibilities and solutions that are activated when we ask powerful questions

Asking powerful questions can help consultants create compelling results with their clients says Edmonton, Alberta-based executive coach and consultant Rachel Foster. Foster will lead a workshop on how consultants can make effective use of coaching techniques at Consulting Conference 2010, the management consulting conference sponsored by the Institute of Certified Management Consultants of B.C. May 28 – 29 in Vancouver, B.C.

The workshop, Activate Your Inner GPS, a value-abling tool for clients, will be run ‘coaching style’ says Foster, explaining that means it will be interactive, creative and participatory, with team coaching sessions and de-briefings.

“In keeping with the conference theme – charting a course to value – I’ve coined the phrase GPS, referring to the great possibilities and solutions that are activated when we ask powerful questions,” says Foster. “As consultants we often go in as experts, wanting to help fix things, whereas with the coaching approach we ask questions that help our clients discover the solutions for themselves.”

As an example, she cites a situation where she sees a team needs more educational opportunities, which might prompt the question ‘how can you as a leader support your team to learn and grow?’

Rachel Foster, CMC, is a certified executive coach (CEC from Royal Roads University) who works part-time as an internal leadership coach and facilitator in organizational development with Covenant Health, Alberta, and also has her own coaching and consulting practice working with clients in the private and public sectors.

She says objectivity, creating an environment of safety and confidentiality, and the willingness to broach difficult issues are all keys to successful coaching – as is deep listening.

“It’s very important to listen 100 per cent without allowing your own agenda to come into the conversation – what I call taming the monkey that’s chattering in our head all the time with our own views and judgments,” says Foster. “It’s also important to listen around the edges. By that I mean listening not only to what’s coming out of the client’s mouth but also paying attention to their body language and the feelings you get from them.”

Foster is a proponent of Steven Covey’s principle: seek first to understand before seeking to be understood. She also employs an appreciative inquiry approach that focuses on the positive, looking for opportunities to learn and grow and build on successful experiences and elements.

“It’s building on what we already know and uncovering our own brilliance – it really is a transformative journey.”

Activate Your Inner GPS is one of 12 sessions at Consulting Conference 2010, which is designed to help business consultants enhance their consulting value to clients, to themselves, to the profession, and to society. The conference will also feature a keynote presentation with internationally renowned management consultant Dr. Alan Weiss, author of more than 30 books about consulting.

For more information about the conference, and to register, see the Consulting Conference 2010 website: or call 1-800-268-1148. Note: early bird registration deadline is Friday, April 9.

For conference updates, check Facebook (Consulting Conference 2010) or Twitter (consultguru).

CMC-Canada fosters excellence and integrity in the management consulting profession as a whole. CMC-Canada administers, and its provincial institutes confer, the Certified Management Consultant (CMC) and Fellow Certified Management Consultant (FCMC) designations in Canada. The association and its members advocate for the CMC designation and are dedicated to advancing the profession and delivering the benefits of those efforts to the client community.

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Stephanie Slater
CMC-BC
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