Training in coaching principles & methodologies in Macedonia - 17th - 19th October 2008

"I personally discovered some aspects of my personality on which I will have to work (want to)"; "I have learned that COACHING is a process!"; "I understand causes of some misunderstandings.." "It's a new way of staff development!"

Trainers and NGO representatives coming from Albania, Bosnia, Serbia, Kosovo, Macedonia and Montenegro sensed a new way of learning and received new perspectives on how to do their work. The training - organized by Milieukontakt International - in coaching principles & methodologies, was conducted by Chris van de Sanden and Simon Koolwijk. The three-day training explored new ways of working.

The training focused on the basics of verbal and non-verbal communication. How to establish rapport = "meaningful contact". Through role plays participants learned in which phases to ask in-depth questions related to issues which kept the coachees awake at night. Transactional analysis (TA) was another important tool which was presented in this course. TA is developed by the Canadian Psychiatrist Eric Berne, MD (1910 - 1970). The emphasis in TA lies on communication between people, transactions and games. From there perspectives are elaborated if somebody is acting in the position of parent, adult or child. Eric Berne also introduced the concept of "I am okay, you are okay!" This perspective is also helpful in fostering communication in building meaningful relationships.

The final part of the training was focused on e-coaching. Participants practised through the skype chat an e-mail chat. By combining the practicals with theoretical lessons, participants learned on how they could apply coaching techniques in improving their communication with partners in the Green Agenda (GA) project. Green Agenda focuses on involving communities at the Balkan in improving environmental practices through citizen's participation. In each of the 6 participating countries, 3 pilots will be developed. Through lobby & advocacy, networking and dissimination of best practices Milieukontakt International is engaging national and international stakeholders in the process of environmental improvement.

More information and theoretical practises about e-coaching can be found in the book hallo-ik-ben-uw-e-coach ik ben uw E-coach - Bart Hisschemoller.

By the end of the course participants felt motivated to explore more about coaching. One commented: "If this course is baseball practice, then as batters we should at least be able to hit the ball; whether it's a pop-up fly or a homerun, if you're okay, then I am okay!"

Chris and Simon are ready to conduct this course for other groups through a 2-day or a 3-day module. Please contact Chris at: or Simon at


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