ICMA (International City/County Management Association) deploys Coach Connect, a Turazo solution, to to facilitate ICMA members finding coaches to assist with career development.
Michael Colella, Customer Success at Turazo, spoke with Craddock Stropes, Senior Management Analyst for the City of Carlsbad, California, about her experience using Coach Connect. Craddock is one of the most active mentors on the ICMA-Turazo platform.
ICMA is the leading organization of local government professionals dedicated to creating and sustaining thriving communities throughout the world.
What’s your background and overall approach to using Turazo’s ICMA Coach Connect?
I've been participating with Coach Connect for more than a year and have met lots of great coaches on it. It's a wonderful service that ICMA provides. I’ve seen a very impressive roster of colleagues there.
There's a diversity of backgrounds and experience, people at different career levels, some specialists, and some professional coaches. When topics strike me, I pop onto Coach Connect see if there's someone I can connect with to discuss something. It’s one of the most high-value programs I’ve seen.
Walk me through how you find a coach.
I peruse bios and photos and use filters if I'm looking for a specific career path. I indicate specific objectives or intentions every time I meet with a coach.
I'm on a Carlsbad diversity employee committee and recently connected with someone who had diversity expertise, as well as rich government and private sector experience. I also checked her out on LinkedIn and found her blog. Because I've had many coach-partners, I can discern with whom I can expect to have a really valuable 30-minute conversation. It’s also helpful when coaches speak about their approach to coaching and a little about why they're on Coach Connect.
You thoroughly vet your potential coaches.
It has to be right for both of us. I don't want to waste their time or mine. There's a pot for every lid. A coach that may suit me may not suit someone else. It’s a two-way street that resonates.
What were your early goals for using the tech tool? Is it different now that you are an experienced user?
We’d had a coaching program in Carlsbad, so I was looking for an alternative for general career advice. Those objectives were long-range, building a relationship over time. But this is different. I've leveraged the diverse pool of experienced coaches and professionals. If there is a specific issue nagging at me, I'll find someone who can offer a little piece of wisdom I'm missing. Someone to help me work through an issue or solve a problem.
You could give a master class in the mentee-coach relationship.
When you have to warm up to a conversation, you really only have 15 minutes left for a high value conversation. I change my statement or objective for every meeting and coach, and the sessions are much more effective when the coach reads them. Making coaching accessible to as many people as possible is valuable. And this is a really wonderful tool and resource.