President’s Log: Alma Horn, ACC


Alma Horn

President, 2019-2020

Tell us a little about yourself today as a coach and how you got here

I am an Executive Coach and have been coaching full time for the past 4 years. As a past HR practitioner and Training Academy Head, I was invited to attend a Coaching Training by a Master Coach.  I learned that Coaching can have transformational changes in the coachee because of the empowering nature of coaching. I am currently enrolled in an Advanced Coaching program to further hone my skills as a Professional Coach and inspire sustainable transformational changes in my clients.   

Please give us a brief description of your time as immediate past president of ICF Philippines.

As Immediate Past President of ICF Philippines, I had the privilege of increasing community awareness on the power of coaching.  Together with the Executive Committee, we organized various Learning Events on Coaching and Leadership-related topics, offered special programs involving pro bono coaching services to varied beneficiaries, and launched a major coaching conference called the International Coaching Summit which was participated in by more than 500 local and foreign professional coaches, HR heads, and people managers aspiring to either become coaches or apply coaching skills in their people development programs.

What was the single most pressing crisis – political, economic, or financial that occupied your mind and that of your clients during your time as president?

Our biggest challenge was the launch of our International Coaching Summit where we targeted at least 500 participants.  The Organizing Committee was composed of committed, high energy and results-driven team members who eagerly handled their respective responsibilities.. It took almost one year to get the Summit organized.  We were blessed to have renowned Global Coaches as Resource Speakers that made the Summit attractive to the guests. The most stressful part was the crunch time, when we were nearing the date of the launch and seeing that the attendees were just half of our targeted number. With the attendant huge expenses, the group was happy to have a break-even result.  But with the great teamwork and a lot of prayers, we exceeded the target and generated good revenue from the event.

How would you compare that crisis with the current pandemic that we are dealing with?  .  

With the pandemic, the lockdown and uncertainty started in March 2020, and coaching firms and coaches were adversely affected financially as they started to experience cancellation of coaching engagements and training programs.  ICF Philippines, through its member coaches, offered pro bono coaching services to the community, as we felt that it was the right time to coach individuals who suffered reductions in income, a loss of jobs and who were overwhelmed by Work From Home arrangements.  In addition, one voluntary initiative taken by the members which we are very proud of was the Fund Raising to purchase Personal Protective Equipment for front liners of a designated Covid-19 hospital given the insufficient funding from the government.  The beneficiaries were very appreciative of the ICF Philippines gesture.

How did you help your clients through the crisis at the time? How differently (or similarly) are you applying that approach to your clients today?

Coaches either lowered their fees or completely offered pro bono coaching services to keep their clients warm.  ICF Philippines also organized virtual learning events which were made available to our clients and the public with topics like Resiliency Skills under a Pandemic.  One good thing that came out of the Pandemic is the high attendance in our Virtual Learning Events as there was no longer heavy traffic to contend with.

As a leader yourself, what theme would you build on for today’s environment? What message do you have to all coaches on Defying Challenging Times?

In today’s new normal, leaders should be agile, flexible, more resilient and more adaptable to a changing work environment changes. Communication with clients will be mostly virtual as customer care moves to contactless processes.  Several companies are now using more technology at work to achieve higher productivity and efficiency. People may need to switch careers and learn different skills as some jobs will disappear.  Soft skills are going to be as or more important in a shifting world than specific technical skills (Bryan Hancock). 

Coaching entails lifelong learning and Coaches should take advantage of upskilling themselves at this time by taking online courses that will allow them to learn new methodologies which can inspire sustainable transformational changes in their clients.  Remain connected with your clients to keep them warm – when business bounces back, your clients will remember what you did for them during their difficult times.