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Leading International Coaching Centre opens in Geneva, Switzerland

The University of Cape Town Graduate School of Business’ Centre for Coaching (CFC) is expanding to Western Europe, opening a new base in Geneva, Switzerland. Currently the CFC operates throughout Africa, Australasia and Europe, with offices in South Africa and Australia.

Coaching courses available through the European branch – which will kick off in October 2013 – include the Foundations of Coaching course, a three-day introductory course that introduces the principles and methods of coaching grounded in an integral approach, while gaining hands-on experience and insights directly applicable in work and life. The longer Associate Coaching Course, which will also be offered, runs over six months and has a similarly broad-based approach. It is designed for participants to acquire the competency, emerging as coaching practitioners, and is thus particularly well adapted to professionals currently in managerial and leadership roles.

The Geneva branch is a significant leap for the centre and signals a number of exciting opportunities, believes CFC Academic Director Janine Everson. “Geneva is a hub for international business, so it is the logical place to open an English-speaking initiative such as this,” she says.

The Centre will naturally not only be limited to English. In time, the plan is to develop a francophone offering, as both of the Centre’s Swiss partners are fluent in French and have established coaching practices in French and English.

The Centre will offer a unique three-way mix of academic grounding, international accreditation and solid corporate experience, says Everson

In addition, the integral approach that the CFC is known for, will offer the Western European market something new. “This approach is not currently mainstream,” she says. “It is unusual in its scope and depth of focus, as well as its pragmatic and usable approach.

“The feedback that we have received from our corporate clients around the world suggests that there is a deep need for this kind of approach, and that we are filling an essential gap in the coaching market in this region.”

The integral approach in our coaching has been extremely successful and the CFC is expecting a significant uptake in Geneva, says Director Craig O’Flaherty. “The success that coaching has driven in prominent companies such as Toyota and Barclays gives us enormous confidence in our approach,” he says.

“Nearly half the world’s Fortune 500 companies use Executive Coaching as a non-negotiable leadership tool and we believe there is significant scope to grow this.”

“Our integral approach to coaching is not simply an ‘on the couch’ style intervention”, says Daniel Ahlers, Swiss Partner, and a Certified Professional Integral Coach who has been based in Switzerland since 1995. “It is a future-centric approach that allows individuals proactively to achieve their goals through prioritisation and creative problem-solving. It works not because the individual is taught what to do, but because he or she is given the tools to teach him- or herself what to do.

“The change in behaviour occurs when the coachee learns, unprompted, to respond differently to his or her world, with positive results.”

This style of coaching has a sound theoretical base and is grounded in a combination of Eastern and Western philosophy and research, somatics and neuroscience, spiritual teachings of all denominations, psychology, narrative and linguistics.

Its benefits include increased productivity, higher quality of work, improved performance, better relationships between employees, management and customers, and greater job satisfaction. A recent survey by Manchester Inc. of 100 top companies showed an average financial return of almost 600% on coaching investments.

“Increasingly, we are seeing that investments in ‘soft’ skills such as coaching can turn around the performance of a company,” says O’Flaherty. “Success is not sustainable if your staff are not being developed.”

“Coaching grounded in an integral approach can inspire solutions from all angles, in areas such as conflict management, open dialogue and service delivery. What makes it different from other forms of coaching is its three-pronged approach that combines academic theory and practical skills with real-life experience.”

The CFC offers one-on-one executive coaches to individuals and organisations, as well as consulting and leadership development services that aim to promote a transformational culture in leadership environments.

It links to over 25 years of coaching course development and experience in alliance with New Ventures West in San Francisco, boasting a number of international accreditations and practices. For the past twelve years, it has been a source of quality coaching, respected coaching theory, and high-level consulting on leadership development for blue-chip organisations worldwide. It continually engages in research – in teaching and corporate roll-outs.

“We are committed to helping this burgeoning industry, coaching, to mature and reach its full potential,” says Everson. “We are committed to ensuring that it becomes a widely recognised business tool, no longer a luxury but an essential driver of performance at individual and organisational level.”

Issued by: Centre for Coaching (South Africa) and Centre for Coaching (Switzerland)

Contact (Switzerland):  Daniel Ahlers
Contact (South Africa):  Janine Everson