To kick off our 25th anniversary, here’s a short history of how RCI got started, organized in a series of seven “epiphanies.”
Epiphany #1: Coaching is the future of the helping professions.
In 1996 I stumbled upon coaching when a friend in my men’s organization announced he was in training to become a “Life Coach,” which I was honestly shocked and appalled by. But he was a friend so I kept an open mind and after talking with him decided to check out this emerging profession of personal/life “coaching” and got hooked.
Ephipany #2: Coaching is simple, but not easy.
In 1996 during the first half hour as a student in my very first coach training we were paired into dyads and instructed to practice coaching by just asking questions for 5 minutes. As a Therapist for 15 years this was the hardest 5 minutes of my professional career.
Epiphany #3: Singles become couples.
In 1997 as a brand new graduate of my first coach training program I felt struck by lightening with the idea that I can lower the divorce rate and promote successful committed relationships by focusing on coaching singles.
I was amazed to find that there was no model or coach training program for how to apply the powerful coaching skills I learned to coaching relationships, so I started figuring that out for myself and experimenting with the clients in my Therapy practice.
Epiphany #4: Singles are ideal coaching clients.
I knew nothing about coaching singles but feverishly researched the available information on dating, etc. and was seriously disappointed and thought “I can do better than this.” I put together a few ideas that evolved into Conscious Dating®, conducted my first singles event, and when I shared my ideas for Conscious Dating they loved it and seemed hungry for credible, practical, intelligent approaches to dating and finding lasting love.
Epiphany #5: Singles love community.
In 1997, after conducting some market research to learn what singles in my area wanted (Silcon Valley, CA) I launched weekly “Friday Night Socials” that grew quickly, attracting an average of 60 participants per week, roughly divided into 1/3 “regulars” (attended every week), 1/3 “first timers,” and 1/3 “returnees” (have attended before and typically return when the seminar topic is of interest to them).
Epiphany #6: The Platinum Rule of Marketing = Business Success.
Meeting with large numbers of singles weekly allowed me to quickly learn what they wanted/needed and I was able to fill my classes, workshops, coaching groups and get lots of individual clients by providing what they said they wanted. My new coaching business was getting too big to handle myself so I brought on a partner and associate coaches.
Epiphany #7: It’s not about me.
Also in 1997 (things were happening fast!) my new coaching business got the attention of my therapist colleagues (mostly fellow MFTs) who asked that I put together a training to show them what I was doing. I initially resisted as it never occurred to me to train anybody in anything and I was very busy and having a lot of fun with the business success that I’ve always dreamed of. But my conscience kicked me in the pants and I felt obligated to share what I’ve learned with others to promote making a wider difference in the world than I can make on my own, so I conducted my first relationship coach training workshop towards the end of the year, and that was the birth of Relationship Coaching Institute, the world’s first relationship coach training program based upon the emergence of modern professional coaching as developed by Thomas Leonard and other pioneers in the early 1990’s to meet the standards advocated by the International Coach Federation.
Here’s a 2-minute history of RCI from our 20th Anniversary. Enjoy!