Training course "Coach Your Team by Coaching Yourself" - Ravnogor/Bulgaria

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From the 21st until 29th of October wEUnite took part in the training course “Coach your team by coaching yourself” in Ravnogor/Bulgaria. Besides getting to know all of the 34 participants, organizers and trainers from all over the world (17 different nationalities!) we were shown advanced techniques to not only coach the teams we work with, but also how we can coach ourselves.

The project took place in Ravnogor, a small town around 3.5 hours away from Sofia, Bulgaria's capital. Ravnogor is completely different from what we are used to in Austria. It was definitely a great experience to disconnect from “our real-life world” and dive into the pure, breathtaking nature of Bulgaria. What made our stay there even more pleasant were the temperatures (up to 27 degrees!), which is far from what we are used to in October.

Over the course of 8 tightly packed project-days we encountered numerous tools and theories behind advanced coaching methods. The first days were more about coaching in one-on-one settings and in more challenging situations. In pairs and trios we were able to practice methods and solve real-life problems of our coachees and observe how others are using the tools. We also gave each other feedback to get the most out of practicing.

The second part of the project was more focussed on teams. We learned how to find out which type of person your coachee is, what communication style is dominant in any of us and what difficulties leading a team with different characters brings, but also how we can overcome these challenges. We also had some team-building exercises,  for example slack-lining with a team to support one person or "flock-challenges" that happened in complete silence. For both activities communication was strongly needed, verbal and non-verbal, and it showed that clear intentions and communication are useful. By experiencing those stressful situations we learned a lot about what it means to be a leader and what is needed to be a good one.

The last part of the project was all about our dreams and goals. We learned about successes, that all of
us have in our every day life, how to get more clarity on the path of our current goals and also about how to find our own purpose in life. On the last day we even had the chance to prepare and attend small-workshops not necessarily related to coaching. There was open space to share best practices and learn even more from each other. It was amazing to learn more about theatre, creativity, journaling, group dynamics, energizers, drawing and even singing.

When during the packed project there was free time we used it for a lot of talking with each other, exchanging ideas, practicing some more coaching techniques, networking,  playing board and card games and also exploring the nature of Bulgaria. After 10 awesome we have not only learnt how to coach our team and ourselves but also made 33 new friends all over the world! :)


And because personal impressions tell more than anything else, here some testimonies by participants:

“This was my first Erasmus-project and it was so much cooler than expected! I learned a lot of the importance of coaching and also what it means to go out of your comfort-zone. 10 days flew by and I look back to wonderful memories with awesome people”
- Matthias -

"Through this training I had the chance to improve my skills, gain new understandings, ask questions and create new connections with myself and others, on a personal but also professional level. It was definitely an eye-opening experience and I am thankful that I was part of this 8-days-journey in Ravnogor! What I take home with me is trust and one of our leading values "What is, is. What isn't, isn't." "
- Nina-

"I joined this training course because I want to develop and practise my Coaching skills, as well as create Coaching Trainings in the future. I was excited when I learned that the participants represent 17 nationalities as I love multinational environments! I also learned a lot from my learning buddy as she follows a lifestyle that I totally admire so I earned new insights, ideas, and suggestions for my lifestyle too! I finished the training with many new ideas, new coaching tools, new friends, and new habits for a positive social and environmental impact!"
- Markos -
"I went to Bulgaria with almost no knowledge about coaching and an open mind and heart willing to face anything I encounter there. I came back with a bunch of coaching skills and competences, inspiring new friends, a lot of experience of any kind, as well as a mind and a heart even more open for anything that comes."
- Ula -

"If i need to summarize the journey in one word, it wil be "competences".Why? Because durring the project I had the opportunity to see, to learn and to apply different coaching techniques. I coached myself first, by assuming and stepping thru these techniques and then I had the opportunity to apply them and see how it works, and see the things from the coach side. This project is a good journey for those who want to learn and observe more about people around them and for those who want to learn to put some condiments into their coachees life's to bring some new questions for new bright solutions! I felt coached and I learned to let myself to be coachable. Thank you Sipi, thank you Tisho, thank you dear participants!"
- Aleex -

"It was a very strong experience.  8 days in which I worked and reviewed many of my beliefs and future projects thanks to various coaching techniques. It was amazing how so many cultures have blended to perfection and we have stimulated everyone's growth"
- Alice -

"The training gave me the opportunity to experience myself in different roles: as a coach, coachee and as a leader. Most significant for me was to discover that if I want my coachee to follow I need to be very secure about the journey to which I'm inviting my coachee, very clear about the goals and the tools I want to use. Honesty is the key to build connection in this relation. Also flexibility, creativity and intuition are crucial in the process."
- Monika -

"I returned from the workshop with a lot of energy to go back to my work and with a lot of new thoughts, new ideas, new connections and new relationships.  The main thing that I took away from it is the new friendship with 29 wonderful people from all over Europe."
- Liat -


Yours,
Matthias & Nina

wEUnite is a youth organization found in 2014. Our main aim is to organize and take part in as many youth projects and exchanges as possible to give young people the opportunity to learn for life, see the world and create social contacts and friendships throughout Europe.

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