From the President

by Bob Tschannen-Moran, IAC-CC

The IAC: A Coaching Organization

The title of this month’s President’s message may seem a bit odd since "IAC" stands for the "International Association of Coaching," but not every professional association of coaches is itself a "coaching organization." What’s the difference? Some organizations support the work of coaching without actually engaging in the experience of coaching itself. There’s nothing wrong with that, but that’s not the way the IAC chooses to go about its business.

From its inception, the IAC has understood and lifted up the importance of a simple principle: be a coach, have a coach. Coaches who have never had the experience of being coached, or who have not been in a coaching relationship for many years, lack something kind of crucial. It’s a matter of walking the talk. That’s especially true for those coaches who aspire to coaching mastery. Mastery is gained incrementally over time, as we coach and experience coaching across many hours of professional practice.

That principle is certainly widespread in the coaching industry. Indeed, there are those who criticize some coaching associations because of how they have linked the requirement of being coached to coach certification. It can come across as a racket, where the requirement of being coached for certification fills the practices of those who hold the keys to certification. For all their developmental value, such arrangements can drain the pure "love of learning for learning’s sake" out of coaching relationships.

The IAC has avoided these conflicts by not specifying a particular path of development for those who would seek coach certification. Although the IAC acknowledges and affirms the value of mentor coaching, coach training, supervision and other forms of coach preparation, even licensing mentors and training programs to use the IAC Coaching Masteries® in their work, the IAC does not specify how to prepare for certification. Coaches are free to choose the preparation path that suits them best, demonstrating their mastery through the IAC certification process when they are ready.

Since the IAC does not require coaching for certification, the IAC has been seeking other ways to express and live into its commitment to the "be a coach, have a coach" principle. As with all young organizations, it has taken a while for the IAC to figure out how to do that. Just as it took time for the IAC to develop the Learning Agreement Process as a way of adding rigor and integrity to the Practitioner and Certified Coach designations, so has it taken time for the IAC to become a coaching organization in which every member is not only encouraged but also empowered to experience coaching for themselves.

That time has now arrived. Through a strategic partnership with ReciproCoach, a global "match-making" service for professional coaches founded in 2005 by IAC Board of Governors’ member Kerryn Griffiths, the IAC is now offering every IAC member a way to not only "be a coach," but also to "have a coach," absolutely free of charge, for up to eight sessions each on an annual basis. This $55 USD value is now included in every IAC membership. It is an exciting opportunity that holds great potential for elevating the coaching game of every IAC member. Here is how the service works:

  1. When people join or renew their membership in the IAC, they have the ability to receive a voucher code, as a Member Benefit, for one round of reciprocal coaching, mentoring or supervision through ReciproCoach.
  2. The voucher code makes signing up and participating with ReciproCoach completely free of charge to the IAC member.
  3. By signing up, coaches are agreeing to provide up to 8 hours of coaching or 3 hours of mentoring or supervision and to receive a like number of coaching, mentoring or supervision hours in return.
  4. Coaches do not coach and receive coaching from the same individuals. This is not "buddy coaching" (you coach me and I coach you). Instead, ReciproCoach serves as the "match maker," based upon your pre-identified criteria, to make sure that the right coaches find each other in order to optimize their professional learning, growth and development.

What’s the difference between coaching, mentoring and supervision? ReciproCoach has defined each category rather clearly. Coaching is coaching: a transformative process for personal and professional awareness, discovery and growth. Mentoring is listening to another person coach in order to provide constructive feedback and coaching on that. Supervision is a process for accelerating client progress through talking with other coaches about the process, theory and practice of coaching.

All that and more is now available to IAC members, absolutely free of charge, with no strings attached. If you are a current IAC member and you have not yet taken advantage of this exciting new opportunity, then I encourage you to do so immediately. Once you log into the member area at the new IAC website, click on Continuing Development and then click on the ReciproCoach link to find out more and to generate your own ReciproCoach voucher code.

If you are not yet an IAC member, then this opportunity provides you with one more reason to join. By investing in your continued growth and development as a coach through our strategic partnership with ReciproCoach, the IAC has added a $55 USD bonus (the cost for one round in ReciproCoach) to your membership, at no extra cost to you. It's hard to find a better bargain in the coaching world. And don't forget about the $10 USD discount for early-bird renewal for current members!

Ask yourself: In what ways do you support your own professional development and growth as a coach? When was the last time that you actually received coaching in a formal coaching relationship? What’s stopping you from getting more coaching right now? How could participation in ReciproCoach assist you to become the best coach you can possibly be?

May you be filled with goodness, peace and joy,

Bob Tschannen-Moran, IAC-CC, is CEO & Co-Founder of the Center for School Transformation and President of LifeTrek Coaching International. Bob has co-authored a new book, titled Evocative Coaching, which incorporates the IAC Coaching Masteries® in a coaching model designed for leaders and coaches in schools.

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