In a time where many are now calling themselves a coach, it is excellent training, accreditation and a high level of consciousness that will set you apart from the rest. At the European branch of the prestigious American coaching school The Institute of Professional Excellence (iPEC), you learn all the skills and insights you need to soar high as a coach and leader. “We support coaches and leaders to tackle tomorrow’s leadership challenges.”

‘The leader as coach’: that headline adorned the latest issue of The Harvard Business Review. It describes a business landscape in which leaders don’t manage their teams from an ivory tower but in which they work together, using a coaching approach to leadership. This tendency is all but new to Simone Noordegraaf, formerly a leading lady in the global world of finance and business services. Since 2017, she has been both an executive coach and the CEO of iPEC in Europe and Asia. “Life coaches, sports coaches, business coaches, health and wellness coaches…we train them all,” explains Noordegraaf. “At iPEC, we teach our students excellent coaching skills and models, as well as principles of consciousness. As an individual, you view the world through filters based on your experiences, values and assumptions – they either limit what you see or expand it. This affects how you act in different situations and holds you back from realising the full potential in yourself, your life and your career. The most liberating experience of our coach training is uncovering these filters and realising that you have choices that you didn’t know you had.”

Living inside-out

One of the things that sets iPEC apart from other coaching schools is its signature Core Energy Coaching™ approach. Nearly all coach training schools focus on teaching traditional coaching methods to clarify goals, create action plans and be accountable to them. Core Energy Coaching™ goes much further to uncover inner blind spots and cultivate new perspectives that support sustainable, individual success. “Our methodology empowers our coaches, their clients and their team members to dig deeply, honestly and objectively into their energy and mental programming in order to assess who they are and whom they want to become.”

iPEC’s Energy Leadership™ Model – which comes with a not-personality-based and evidence-based assessment – categorises the seven types of energy a person experiences and expresses. These seven are not about ‘good’ or ‘bad’ energy per se, but all have inherent advantages and disadvantages that you can use to reach specific goals if you choose them consciously. It can be helpful to access a lower energy level to get things done, but it can be depleting to stay at it for too long. To remain balanced, you must consciously move to a more restorative level of energy once the lower level of energy has served its purpose.

A hybrid approach to training

Reaching that level of awareness and choice does require more than attending a few classes. The Core Energy Coaching™ programme consists of three highly transformational and in-person modules with a strong, virtual follow-up programme in between the sessions. “During our in-person sessions, we work experientially and interactively; students build lasting relationships. In between, you follow webinars, digital group sessions and peer assignments to deepen and practice your knowledge. On top of that, we offer business building classes, a personal success coach who helps you to put your knowledge into practice and a mentor coach who prepares you for your exam.”

Leaders of tomorrow

Nonetheless, iPEC does not only train coaches who aim to become entrepreneurs. Many of Noordegraaf’s clients are business leaders or business leaders to be. “Coaching is an answer to the leadership challenges of tomorrow. Traditional, top-down performance management is not working in today’s environment and even considered toxic. There is more need for continuous development dialogue based on the unique qualities of every individual in a team. Companies need leaders who are daring and caring, who are honest and transparent, to deliver in a business environment that requires speed, creativity and innovation. Many innovative companies already have a coaching culture, which lets these companies bloom.”

The big opportunity is allowing yourself to be more conscious as a leader and fully understand what drives your leadership choices and attitudes. But once you are there, the results are immediately noticeable. After the first three-day module – the life and leadership potentials training – participants look at the world differently, have more energy and reflect that new attitude in their companies. “Often, their companies ask us to work with individual executives or entire management teams afterwards. That demonstrates that our message resonates at every level, including the boardrooms. People usually come to us with a certain problem, but they don’t realise that, together, we will resolve far more than just that one. We change their entire attitude.”

Opportunities and choices

Looking back at where her company stands today, after only two years, Noordegraaf is very happy. “Eight years ago, I took this training myself; a decision that has changed my life forever. Even though I was very successful in finance, I was not feeling fulfilled at all. Once I understood that I had a choice through Energy Leadership™ and Core Energy Coaching™, I was able to grab the opportunities and the choices laying in front of me. Our team – all iPEC graduates – is dedicated to allowing others that feeling of choice and success everywhere the sun is shining.”

The Institute of Professional Excellence (iPEC): Consciousness as the path to coaching

iPEC Europe
After a success story of 20 years in the United States, iPEC coaching schools expanded its territory in 2017 to Europe. Today, iPEC has opened training centres in Amsterdam, London, Hamburg, München and Singapore, with more locations to come. In all branches, they provide the same, successful training that they offer in America, adapted to the European culture. “Our common mission is raising the consciousness of the world, one person at a time. So that we all may respond to our universal desire to be free and at choice,” explains Noordegraaf.


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