Feeling the Masteries: A Journey in IAC Certification

by Terri Hase

In 2001 I discovered coaching and the discovery shot a lightning bolt right
into my soul. Naively, I always believed that people went to work for a company,
gradually moved into Human Resources, and then on into Training and Development.
Thus were the limits of my thinking about how a person got into a position of
'teaching' others about performance. It was limited to 'work' and it was achieved
through an inevitable series of internal promotions. Like I said, I was naive.

When I learned that there was a budding industry (circa 2001) where people
who were called to impact the lives of others could flourish as entrepreneurs,
well, I felt like I found my home.

I think that this is a similar story for many coaches. By and large, when people
discover coaching, it's accompanied with an overwhelming feeling of discovering
'home.' People are called to coaching, pulled to coaching by their heart strings,
often with their head kicking and screaming. Time and time again I've mentored
and worked with coaches who say that they came to coaching because they just
couldn't not follow their heart to it. Furthermore, following their
heart was often challenged by their spouses, and well-meaning friends. Yet,
they came anyway!

It stands to reason that the vast majority of coaches (new and veteran alike)
are in the industry because the idea of coaching impacts them emotionally, personally
and profoundly. They feel they are answering their call by pursuing coaching,
and that speaks volumes about the breadth and depth of the emotional investment
on the line. (Most of you are here with your hearts on your sleeves, trying
to fulfill YOUR dream and purpose, of helping fulfill the dreams and purposes
of others. YOU are in a very vulnerable place!)

What I discovered is that my IAC certification impacted me the very same way
my journey into coaching did. That is, I had to get vulnerable to earn it, had
to grow to understand it, and I had to make fulfilling my dream an active priority
to get there.

When I was new in the industry I was lured by the idea that I'd better ‘hurry
up’ and get certified to have any credibility. I chased that sense of
completion and validation for about a year. Then I realized that I was off the
mark: the credibility I was after wasn't coming from study or academic activity.
In fact, I kept feeling like I must need more training, because I wasn't growing
as rapidly in confidence as I thought I should be for my hundreds of hours of
research and review. That was all about to change.

I partnered with a group of other new coaches and together we set our intention
to pass the IAC exam. We thought that this would surely show we had our stuff
together, right? It would surely give us the credibility we were craving. We
studied together, aggressively, for several weeks. We challenged each other
to offer demonstrations and defend the core ideas, as if we had engaged in a
debate scenario to defend the principles against an opponent or naysayer.

Well, as you can imagine, something amazing happened. Five out of five of us
passed the exam, and four of us passed at least one of the two live demonstrations,
with three actually receiving passing scores on both sessions and earning our
IAC-CC. I was one of them.

It was an amazing journey, an amazing outcome and an inspiring accomplishment.
I hadn't mastered a body of work; I'd become a better version of myself. My
learning wasn't hooked into the accomplishment of navigating rules and processes,
or leaping through hoops. My learning was hooked into living, advocating, expressing
and applying the Masteries to my own life. The study wasn't 'the thing': it
was the living and being that was important. When I was done, I discovered how
much I'd changed. I could feel it.

The key factor in my ability to demonstrate effectively in the certification
exam was my ability to feel my way through the sessions, not think
my way through them. I trusted myself and I believed that I truly understood
the Masteries. I felt I knew them intimately. It was this intimacy that gave
me the confidence I was looking for, not the actual certification, not the letters
at the end of my name. It was way bigger. I had learned the meaning of the Masteries
in my own life, as they related to me and my results. I grew into them, and
they fit me perfectly. I can only compare it to the feeling when you put on
a perfectly tailored outfit and see yourself in the mirror. You think, "Oh,
there I am. That's the me I've been looking for." Having that feeling,
knowing the Masteries were just a part of me, that was when I truly became a

It's why I can say with confidence that the IAC Certification is the most meaningful
certification I've ever earned, and I bet the same will be true for you too.
Because it's not just a destination, it's a life-changing journey.

Terri Hase


Terri Hase is a quirky, light-hearted, iron-fist in a velvet glove.
Strong coaching skills combine with a deep love of people, and produce
results. Mom, wife, dog-mom, coach, entrepreneur, sic-fi fan, survivor,
sister and friend. Terri followed her heart and relocated to Washington
State in 2009 and now lives out her days in a cabin in the woods,
and she thrives!

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