Spotlight: Karen Nash, Ingram Content Group

1 - Where are you from, and how did you choose to live in Middle Tennessee?

I’m an Army brat and have lived in several cities across the United States, from Washington, DC to Baton Rouge, LA to Hackensack, NJ. I moved from New Jersey to Nashville about 25 years ago to be close to my family.

2 - What is your professional background, and why did you become a coach?

My professional background crosses many different areas that all support me in my work as a coach. Early in my career, I worked in pharmaceutical sales, sales administration and sales training.This allowed me to see a field from multiple perspectives.The next phase of my career, I completed my Masters of Organization Development (MSOD) and worked in consulting for a local firm and then in my own company. I added graphic recording to my skill set, enabling clients to gain insight about themselves by seeing words, images and patterns that I’d write and draw on large charts during meetings.I also completed coach training with Coach Academy International and became active in ICF and ICFTN. What I find most satisfying about coaching is being able to see individuals and groups increase their awareness, grow personally and professionally, and achieve goals that were deeply meaningful. In this phase of my career, I get to do what I enjoy most, coaching and consulting, at Ingram Content Group and my company, Graphic Transformations.

3 - How did you choose your specialty area?

At Ingram, I coach individuals and groups who are high potential associates. Often it is during times of transition. I also work with private clients from the MSOD program at American University and through referrals to Graphic Transformations.

4 - What are the greatest challenges and greatest rewards of your career?

I love seeing a client have a new awareness, either gradually or with a sudden bolt of insight. When someone releases a belief that has been keeping them from progressing. When someone’s perception shifts from seeing a situation as a failure to recognizing their own growth. From feeling powerless to seeing their strength. A challenge I face is being patient with my own growth. Another is balancing things I value that sometimes conflict, work and family, for instance.The great thing about recognizing this is that doing my own development work (even when it’s hard or I’m resistant) gives me greater empathy and understanding for my clients.

5 - What is something that most ICFTN members would be surprised to learn about you?

I’ve done graphic recording in some very interesting places including under magnificent sequoias in northern California, in a soundstage in Nashville with charts posted twelve feet high and thirty feet wide, and in a meeting room overlooking the ocean in Senegal in west Africa.

6 - How do you enjoy spending your free time?

Kayaking.Traveling. Riding my razor (not electric) scooter to keep up with my super-speedy four-year-old son on his Spiderman bike!

Karen Nash

A Few Thoughts on the Coaching Relationship ... When Does Coaching Begin?

Whether an internal or external coach, a leadership, career coach or life coach, our engagement with a client follows a process codified in our coach competencies and our ethical standards.  The twists and turns that a conversation can take with a client who is anxious, confused, upset, obfuscating or hyper-distracted can be challenging and frustrating for both the coach and coachee.  Having a clear roadmap for the coaching relationship and intentional focus on the coaching engagement goals increases the likelihood both the coach and client will have confidence and trust in the process.  It is also more likely that when the process of coaching is honored, the goals of the coaching engagement will be met and the client in a better place than where you started.

Our May speaker, Jane Creswell will speak about the importance of the initial contracting process between coach and client.  Launching a new client engagement is like anything else in life, the end is only as good as how well you began.  We certainly want to meet the client where they are, be sensitive to the social, emotional and development needs they present and set a pace with which the client is comfortable.  So how do you know that the contract between you and your client is solid?  One of the most critical factors to consider in answering this question is the level of commitment to coaching the client confirms in your initial contracting conversation. 

What other factors have you found are critically important in your contracting conversations?

I want to hear from you, ICFTN coaches. 

What if you could reimagine your coaching practice?  How would you like to connect in new ways?  Your ICFTN Board is discussing the varied ways we can facilitate connection and professional development for chapter members. In April we began quarterly new member orientations. In June we will begin offering virtual professional development sessions in addition to the robust line up of live, face to face chapter meetings. This first session will be on the subject of Ethics. We have other ideas we are discussing but would like to hear from you about what else would make your membership in ICFTN valuable.

  • What do you feel you are missing? What are your searching for?

  • What are you being challenged to address in yourself? What new experiences do you need to have?

  • What new story could you tell about your work if you stepped outside the usual discourse?

Let me hear from you at [email protected].  We are anxious to deliver maximum value for your membership. 

Another way for you to provide feedback will be in the annual ICF coach survey. You will be receiving a link from ICF to a survey in May. PwC conducts this comprehensive survey of the coaching industry exploring topics including:

  • Industry size and revenue

  • The business and practice of coaching

  • Perspectives on industry trends, including technology, regulation and more

This research will yield insights that can help you grow your coaching business and understand where you fit into the marketplace, better understand the coaches in your community and make strategic decisions to contribute to the success of the Middle Tennessee coaching community. The research findings also help ICF lead the future of coaching, with data that informs resource allocation and provides clarity on how to best move the mission and vision of ICF forward.

Please look for the link and participate in this important research.

Donna Yurdin, ICFTN President

Donna Yurdin