As we approach the Elections for 2020, we interviewed Magdalena Radzka about her experience volunteering on the Board of the ICF UAE Chapter between 2018 and 2019.


  1. How did you become interested in joining the ICF UAE Chapter Board?

When I explore new paths in my life I often search directly ‘at the source’. When I was looking for the global accreditation in coaching I was discussing various approaches with my network, academic mentors, training professionals, coaches and consultants. As a result I got actually even more confused around the questions: what I need to do and how.

I then googled then ‘ICF President UAE’ and connected with her on LinkedIn directly. Her name is Dalal Denley. I was very pleased to hear from her the same day, offering kindly a call to clarify my accreditation path and the next steps to ACC.

Few days later we spoke in person and Dalal mentioned she is going to present at an event in AbuDhabi next week. I offered her to drive to that place together. She was very pleased with the offer not to drive herself. As I found out soon after, she was pregnant at that time and not a great fan of driving during the pregnancy. This trip together gave me wonderful opportunity to get to know Dalal better and hear more about the ICF Board, projects in the pipeline and innovative ideas. I thought it would be great to get involved as volunteer.

With the next election round, I submitted my application and was selected. The Board invited me, together with two other ICF Executives to join from Jan 2018.


  1. Where were you in your career when you decided to volunteer?

After 15 years’ experience in corporate banking and private business education, I was just changing my jobs at that time. I just started my new role as associate in a global consultancy company as coach and training professional.


  1. What were your most memorable moments on the Board?

There were many!

Starting with a big memory of my participation in the 1st Board meeting, where we saw how much work there is to continue leading the chapter forward. We were so inspired to contribute with our experiences to activate the Community and offer new projects, events and new ways of collaboration. That was a very memorable day, full of very fast agenda and lots of cross-functional chats and team work.

The 1st ever Coaching Café in the UAE was another one. It took place in Ritz Carlton JBR with such a warm reception and open participation from the Members. It was lovely meeting everyone, presenting that new platform of exchanging our experiences as coaches and sharing tools and peer-support as we discussed our practices. It was such a great start of the Coaching Café Series, which then took place around Dubai and been led by various Board colleagues: in Mirdiff, Four Season hotel JBR, Arabian Ranches, OurSpace SZR, AUS in Sharjah, Happiness Center, Business Center in DWTC and more..

Also the bigger events:

  • Spring event 2018 with a wonderful speakers and panelists discussion around the future of coaching
  • Fall event 2018 celebrating the licensing of the ICF Chapter in the UAE and all the achievements of the year.. Networking with the community and seeing the contribution and sharing experiences as peers
  • Business Breakfast Series sharing the ICF and HCI report about the coaching cultures in organizations and its contribution to efficiency in change management processes.

And last but not least: all those ICF internal working lunches with the ICF team, where we had so much joy, laughter and just a chilled chats around our lives with a sharp learning curve of acquiring new skills in managing projects (with no budgets!)


  1. How did volunteering for the Board help you build your career?

Being part of the ICF Board enhanced my skills in various ways. I was able to develop managing communication skills for a non-profit organization, marketing planning including advanced project management with high complexity and ambiguity (VUCA triggers all applied!), developing innovative concepts for presenting our offering and engaging various stakeholders groups as well as well-balanced diplomacy in working with other leaders and inter-cultural teams.

All those skills are critical for us coaches and entrepreneurs working in today’s global economy and fast-moving corporate world. The experience with ICF UAE contributed to launching my new brand and moving to a new location, back to my country where I’m introducing the new concept for corporate and executive coaching.


  1. What new personal skills and resources did you gain?

Well.. and this is the core or as you can call ‘heart’ of the ICF space.

Working with the Board team, Members, partners, businesses, ICF friends and people just at the beginning of their coaching journey and the richness of our experience share on this platform, all that gave me great boost of confidence, creativity, teamwork and decisiveness. It grew my consciousness in terms of people dynamics (individual and team dynamics) and how I respond depending on the context. It was just enough to step in on this journey with the commitment to create value here.


  1. What was your motivation for getting involved?

Learn. Learn. Learn. And genuinely, to meet the community.


  1. What advice would you give Members who are thinking of volunteering?

Take the leap of faith and step onto that journey!

1st: think what will it be your personal, individual goal for this engagement.

2nd: communicate it to the Board.

3rd: Trust the process and approach the new path with new eyes!


  1. What will you miss most about working with your ex-Board Members?

Their individual ways of being, great knowledge and dedication to build the value of professional coaching for the ICF community and for the wider system.


  1. What was the most important aspect of your work?

I leave it to the ICF Community to think of and remember.


  1. Where are you heading in your career, now you are moving on?

New inspiring and challenging endeavor to carry the great value of coaching further and contribute with my best practices to new communities in the new location – so close to my heart. Home.


You can read more about our Board Structure and By Laws. If you wish to join the team, please contact