By Meghan Ondrish


Earlier this summer, a team from Leadership that Works (LTW) launched Coaching Essentials en Español—a new version of the Coaching Essentials two-day coach training experience taught exclusively in Spanish.

Maria Rogers Pascual and Rebecca Aced-Molina held the first CE Español at the San Francisco Latino Community Foundation on June 26 & 27. With 20 participants, most of them immigrants from Latin America, Maria and Rebecca facilitated activities that addressed power and privilege, including a new approach to teaching the “Coach’s Stand” juxtaposed with exploring the masks that the world asks everyone to wear.

“What I enjoyed most was giving people the opportunity to access more of their wholeness through communicating in their native language … They left feeling excited and hopeful about bringing coaching into their work and personal life as a way of living more authentically,” says Rebecca.

One participant said, “This was a very different and useful experience to get to know ourselves as human beings and focus on the essence of others.” Adds another, “these techniques are going to have a great impact in our families and communities.”

Then, just one month later, Nancy Smyth and Cynthia Rojas came together with Latino grass roots community leaders and organizers in Los Angeles, CA for two days of exploring culture and practicing coaching skills in Spanish.

“It was great seeing their excitement about coaching and how they can bring it back to their work to create connections and build power in their communities,” says Nancy.

Cynthia and Nancy both believe there is more opportunity to support leaders with programs like Coaching Essentials Español. “In Los Angeles, we have a vibrant community of activists, organizers, parent leaders, and church volunteers whose primary language is Spanish,” says Cynthia.

Adds Nancy, “The Los Angeles area is over ½ Latino, and overwhelmingly Spanish-speaking. Many community leaders are hungry for this type of training and with a little work the skills can be even more accessible.”

Both the Los Angeles and San Francisco workshops have forged partnerships with area organizations requesting targeted coach training for their team and staff.

With such a great response to these first two events, there are plans to offer another Spanish Coaching Essentials in both the Bay Area and Los Angeles. “We are hoping to offer bilingual participants of our Coaching for Transformation (CFT) certification programs mentorship support in Spanish to encourage more bilingual people of color to become certified coaches. Eventually we hope to offer a CFT in Spanish,” says Rebecca.

Nancy is also excited about what’s to come, “An exciting aspect of this experience was seeing the possibility of a new cadre of coaches who are social justice oriented Spanish-speakers and also potential future teachers of Coaching Essentials en Español!”