Frederick News Post December 31, 2016 – Brandi Bottalico.

Elisabeth Vismans was good at her corporate job, but she always wanted to paint.
When her children went to college in 2005, she finally pursued it and has won several awards since.
“It felt like coming home,” she said. “And what I wanted to do is to show people how wonderful it is to do what you were meant to be doing, as a way of showing your quality within to the world.”
In 2011, Vismans combined her passion for painting with coaching to start her business, Quality Within, in which she uses verbal and visual language to help people find what they are meant to be doing in life.

She is one of about 225 professional coaches in the Maryland Chapter of the International Coaching … Federation, or ICF. It is a global organization dedicated to advancing the profession by setting high standards, providing independent certification and building a network of trained coaching professionals.

Coaching is the profession in which people work with clients in a thought-provoking and creative process, inspiring them to maximize their personal and professional potential, according to the ICF.
The number of ICF Maryland members has doubled in the past year, said Irvine Nugent, the group’s president. Between Maryland and the Washington, D.C. chapter, he estimates there are probably about 1,100 members. He said that within the United States, the D.C. market is a focal point and is well-developed and competitive for coaching.
He said the federal government was one of the early embracers of coaching, which has helped the profession grow in the area.
Maryland’s largest segment is leadership coaching, which typically includes clients who are executives, corporate and government employees. Other segments of the industry include life coaching and health and wellness coaching.
Nugent’s company Sonos Leadership, based in Frederick, focuses on leadership coaching.
“Leaders are dealing with increasing pace and growing complexity and therefore trying to deal with that is difficult,” he said. “Coaching is being brought into the training mix.”

Frederick-based professional coach Anne Kelly emphasized that professional coaches are certified by the ICF. Coaching isn’t to be confused with mentoring or therapy, she said. Coaches are not meant or trained to provide therapy, as some people misunderstand, and it is inappropriate for a coach to do so.

“It’s like going to see a podiatrist and he pulls one of your teeth,” she said.
Kelly, who owns A New Leaf Coaching, said having a coach can be the extra bit of accountability that helps people reach their goals and become more aware of their actions.
While there are different styles, all professional coaches have to follow 11 core competencies, Kelly said. Professional coaches have to meet ethical guidelines and professional standards, establish an agreement, establish trust and intimacy with the client, have a coaching presence, listen actively, question, communicate directly, create awareness, design actions, plan and set goals, and manage progress and accountability.
Kelly, who mentors other coaches, said her clients are primarily federal executives. She was a leadership trainer for the government starting in 1992. In 2004, she was sent to the U.S. Department of Agriculture training center in Frederick for her government job, in which she learned about coaching.
“I had no idea what coaching was and I thought I would listen to people complain all day,” she said. “After a couple of years, I liked it enough to start my own company.”
She started a quarterly coffee between coaches in Frederick — which Vismans has continued — where they meet and share ideas.
She said there is a variety in the type of coaches in Frederick, from spiritual coaches to life coaches to organization coaches. All have a a common goal in their practice: establish a partnership with their clients.
“And that’s the very definition of coaching,” she said. “If at all times we are partners, we don’t lead, we don’t push clients to a certain course of action. We really are partnering and listening.”
She said she’s heard people say that coaches “listen clients into action.”
Kelly said she’s seen an increase in the number of coaches since she started the business in 2005.
“It’s just become more known,” she said. “It’s more known as a profession.”
The International Coaching Federation released a study in July 2016 that showed there are approximately 53,300 coach practitioners worldwide. Among the 90 percent of the respondents with active clients, the average annual revenue from coaching is about $51,000.
The survey estimated 2015 global revenue from coaching at $2.4 billion. That’s a 19 percent increase from the 2011 estimate, published in the 2012 Global Coaching Study.
Vismans has been marketing one of her upcoming workshops “What’s your superpower?” as a powerful way to begin the new year.
Vismans said she helps clients determine their top values, which helps people make decisions in line with those values. She believes everyone needs a coach and she has her own. She said she’s determined that her values include freedom of expression, freedom of choice and having a positive influence on others.
One of her most powerful questions is to help people determine things in their life by considering “What do you want?” Then, she said, she digs deeper.
“It’s not about the ‘he said, she said,’ but it’s about the story behind the story, what drives you, what motivates you to do this and not do that,” she said.

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