A Fireside Chat with Coaching Out Of The Box®’s CEO, Pablo Leites

The global Coaching Trend continues to grow, so Ellie Tava, our Director of Sales, sat down with Pablo Leites, CEO of the International Coaching Group, Inc. dba Coaching Out of The Box® to ask him why is coaching so popular and how is Coaching Out of The Box® meeting the global coaching education demands of today and in the future?” They also talk about where he sees coaching education trends in five years. Read on to learn a little more about Pablo – his mission and his passion.

ELLIE: Hi Pablo, thank you for joining me today. It’s a pleasure to be speaking with you and while you and I know each other pretty well, I’d like to ask you to share a little about yourself and how you came to lead The International Coaching Group, Inc., dba Coaching Out of The Box® so that our readers can get to know you, too.


PABLO: I came to Canada in 1999 from Mexico looking for a new start. In the early days, I became involved in the financial sector and traded stocks and futures. But I became restless as I was missing the connection with people and I simply felt I was not “on purpose”. So, in 2006 I enrolled in a year-long course to train as a clinical counselor. It was here that I experienced a big shift as I learned about the magnificent power of truly connecting with people. I did not pursue my certification as I have always been distracted by business ventures. But the bug had been planted and I used my connecting skills in everything I did going forward.


My claim to fame came in 2012 when I was invited to secure a 20 million dollar land deal for a renewable energy company. The deal involved 7 indigenous communities in Mexico, with over 1,000 members who all needed to be on board with the project. Through reflective listening, empathy, and great patience, my team and I successfully secured the project after 3 months of hard work.


Fast forward to early 2022, I was fortunate enough to be introduced to Alison Hendren, founder of Coaching Out of The Box® (COTBx), alongside Charanjit Hayre, and was asked to help take COTBx into its next growth phase. I consider myself extremely fortunate to be COTBx’s current CEO and excited to be in this magnificent line of work!


ELLIE: The company’s Mission Statement is, “What if everyone had coaching skills? Our vision is that they will. Our mission is that they do.” Can you share how you derived this mission statement and provide insight into how the Coaching Out of The Box® team drives this mission?


PABLO: I have to give credit for our mission statement to Alison as it’s been with us since the early days. At its core, we deeply believe in the tremendously positive impact that coaching skills have on the way we communicate, relate, and interact with each other. The difference is monumental as the intention stems from a place of exploration vs direction.


No one likes to be told what to do, but if we can we help each other set the stage to explore ideas, possibilities, and creative ways to do things that originate from within ourselves, then magic happens in every area of our lives. Our mission is to teach as many people as possible to have these skills.


ELLIE: As I speak to our individual clients and corporations, they are surprised to learn that the 5.5.5 Coaching Skills Training Program™ has been taught to over 35,000 individuals in over 38 countries. Can you share how this program became so popular and why it continues to be sought after by many individuals and corporate clients?


PABLO: The popularity of our flagship and trademarked 5.5.5 Coaching Skills Training Program™ was an immediate success when it was introduced in 1987. To this day, it remains one of our most popular courses, and I believe that is because coaching skills and coaching mindsets are a must-have leadership competency in today’s world of work where CEOs and executive leadership teams believe it is imperative to create an organizational culture that is agile, innovative, responsive, and adaptable. This culture can only be created when employees take a coach approach to their conversations and engagements, bringing out the absolute best in others by partnering with them to discover their unique motivation system and strategizing with them to work in alignment with it. A coach approach also means asking (with empathy and direction) others to stretch beyond their comfort zones and leverage their strengths in a variety of areas such as change, creativity, decision-making, communication, and even conflict – a conversation even the most competent leaders dread and often ignore. In this course, individuals and corporate clients learn and practice our 5.5.5 Coaching Model Elements that include: The Process; The Skills, and The Mindset. I urge you to visit our new website where you can read real testimonials.


ELLIE: According to the 2020 International Coaching Federation (ICF) Global Coaching Study, there are 71,000 certified coaches worldwide and 23,000 in North America alone. Can you share your thoughts on why the trend is growing and whether or not you believe the trend will continue or phase out?


PABLO: I recently learned that there are 1.5 million searches made each month for life, business, and executive coaches. What this tells me is that the trend is just beginning. People are searching for someone to hear them, to listen to their ideas, and to help them become unstuck in their professional and personal careers. One of our past students so eloquently stated that “Coaching fills the gap between someone’s best friend and their therapist.” Let that soak in for a minute. We are getting registrations from Harvard Professors to Drs of Psychology to HR Directors to Executive Leaders to Workforce Re-entry Candidates, and more. Because of this first-hand experience, I am of the opinion that the coaching trend will not phase out but rather you will see it change because the public will seek and request credentialed, accredited, and certified coaches, specifically coaches trained by International Coaching Federation (ICF) accredited Coach Educators like Coaching Out of the Box® Also, the uptick we are experiencing in supporting both large and medium-sized corporations with their coach-training culture initiatives, leads me to believe that the need for credentialed and certified coaches will continue.


ELLIE: On February 23, 2023, Business Insider published an article announcing Coaching Out of The Box’s® recent accreditation by the International Coaching Federation (ICF) at the Level 1 accreditation. Can you tell us what this means for the company and more importantly what it means for students and participants of Coaching Out of The Box®?


PABLO: Thank you for asking about this. This article is a testament to the rigorous process it takes to become an ICF Level Accredited Coach Educator. We are very proud of this achievement and what it means when supporting our student’s journey to an ICF Associate Certified Coach (ACC) Credential. Our Fast Track to ICF Credential (ACC) takes the guesswork out of the way for our students as they navigate their way to becoming an ICF Associate Certified Coach. The ICF Level 1 status reaffirms the commitment we have to ensure that all of our programs here at Coaching Out of the Box® are all accredited ICF education programs and align with the ICF definition of coaching, ICF Core Competencies, and ICF Code of Ethics. We are coaching educators who “walk the talk,” as they say. Oh, by the way, most of our programs are also SHRM certified, something that many of our student HR Leaders have come to appreciate very much.

ELLIE: Pablo, it’s quite evident from student reviews and program participants that Coaching Out of The Box’s® Fast Track to ICF (ACC) Credential is a program education differentiator in the industry. Can you share why this is so and perhaps give us a glimpse or hint about other programs that are on the horizon?


PABLO: I love talking about this, as you can see it is something I mentioned when responding to your previous question. I love talking about this because our Fast Track to ICF (ACC) Credential is really a “coaching education disrupter” because it not only takes the guesswork out of ICF ACC Credential path compliance, but because of our ICF Level 1 status, we can support and shorten the Performance Evaluation requirement timeframe by up to 15 weeks. We can do this because some of our faculty are ICF-trained assessors who can evaluate recording and transcript submissions. I also want to share that we are committed to coaching education excellence and what this means to me is that we support our students every step of the way. One example is our peer-to-peer coaching sessions which we provide, free of charge, to our past and current students. In peer-to-peer coaching sessions, we host a one-hour session twice a week where these students can drop in and gain coach experience hours (another ICF to ACC Credential requirement) by coaching with other students who have joined the session. Our Fast Track to ICF (ACC) Credential program is a six-month program that also includes the 1:1 mentorship and group mentorship ICF requirement. So all-in-all, the Fast Track program gets our students to the doorstep of the final criteria for an ICF ACC Credential and that is the ICF ACC Exam.


ELLIE: If we were sitting here five years from now, celebrating new accomplishments, what would those achievements be or look like?


PABLO: Great question. I see us as the Thought Leaders for Coaching Education and continued Coach-educator Disruptors supporting the ever-growing and ever-changing world of coaching. I want to ensure that we stay true to our mission, humbled by the fact that students and corporations continue to choose Coaching Out of the Box® as their coaching educator, whether it be to support their company’s culture of coaching landscape or reinforce a seasoned coach’s purpose for coaching or to help support career transitions from corporate to coaching. Whatever that looks like in the future, Coaching out of the Box® will remain relevant by providing programs that support a Fast Track to ICF Associate Certified Coach (ACC) or Professional Certified Coach (PCC), or Master Certified Coach (MCC) Credential.


ELLIE: Pablo, I’d like to conclude with a request that you share any final thoughts, insights, and recommendations for our readers.


PABLO: It doesn’t matter if you’re a parent, caregiver, or in a management position at a large corporation, coaching skills can hugely impact the way we relate and connect with others. We are social creatures by nature and at the end of the day, our search for connection and being heard and seen is at the core of our existence.


Thank you for your time today. We appreciate your leadership, direction, and passion to provide confidence in the assurance that all of Coaching Out of The Box’s® coaching education programs are accredited by the International Coaching Federation, and are SHRM certified. And congratulations to Coaching Out of The Box’s® recent accreditation by the International Coaching Federation (ICF) at the Level 1 accreditation.


For more conversation and insight, reach out to an Enrolment Coach: Book a call.


Ellie Tava,
Pablo Leites, CEO

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