I was recently “coached” by a very wise person. I was asked what it was like to be me. I was asked to describe what it means to be me in the world and what is important to me. I was asked what fun is for me and what did I do when I played. It was an interesting challenge to respond. I was invited to describe these things in the simplest of terms with no excuses. The questions came from my 4-year old niece in the process of her trying to identify for herself what “self” means. The depth of the experience has stayed with me as I live my life from day to day. I ask myself – what does it mean to be me? It brought me into a simple relationship with my sense of identity and my feeling of integrity. My 4-year old niece can see if I am saying something that simply isn’t true and can ask from that place innocence that little kids naturally can – “What does it mean to be you” and can see if I am walking my talk or not. I learned something as a coach that day. It underscored the possible simplicity of being in the moment and being curious. My niece’s heart was open and she wanted an answer that made sense to her. It brought me into a different kind of relationship with her, but more importantly, a different kind of relationship with myself. I felt very alive in that moment with her. This is what it is all about!
Corrections, errata, etc.
The IAC Voice recently published a Letter to the Editor, which contained information that was ethically inappropriate. The letter gave enough information about a client to potentially compromise the client’s confidentiality. It also contained comments that were not respectful of the dignity of the client/coach. We offer our apology for this oversight and embrace it as a learning experience about the importance of modeling high ethical standards for the coaching profession. I also wish to express my appreciation to the member who brought it to our attention.
Designing Supportive Environments
A gift for our members from a member
Nina East has generously offered a CD to IAC members addressing the key ingredients for coaching success in 2005. The CD is an interview of Nina by Andrea Lee, intended for leader-coaches, interested in thinking and being big, who want to impact as many clients as possible with their important work, and who want to consistently and reliably maximize their internal power, as well as their influence, in the coaching industry. Pick up your gift here.
The IAC Voice plans to feature a no-cost resource for our members in every issue. There is no relationship between offering a no-cost resource and being feautred in this publication. If you would like to submit a no-cost resource for consideration in future issues, please email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Championing our Members
Dalton Pen 2005 is honoring Ruth Ann Harnisch as an extraordinary leader in the communications industry who has made an impact on their community in their field with a special achievement award known as the IMPACTING OUR WORLD award. Recipients are chosen solely based on nominations.
She shares the Dalton Pen 2005 award with luminaries such as billionaire investor Warren Buffet, Reverend Al Green and actress Catherine O'Hara, among others.
Ruth Ann received this award for creating the Dignitarian Dialogues, which promoted the book Somebodies and Nobodies by Robert W. Fuller. Ruth Ann also purchased copies of the book and made them available as part of the IAC paid membership fee.
How did you discover coaching? My son’s surgeon told me (not asked) 20 + years ago that I was going to coach all her future long term care patients. We worked with health care providers, surgeons, therapists and specialists in their various fields to create a coaching model for long term care patients and I haven’t looked back since.
What personal growth work did you do to help you become successful as a coach? I took courses in leadership, training, organizational and industrial psychology, however with a focus in Executive Coaching. I worked with Thomas Leonard on his R & D team and basically took ideas and concepts from everything I read from the most obvious to magazine articles. And I asked many of my clients to work with me on creating models and techniques that they would use in the future.
What coach training have you had? Since I’ve been coaching for a such a long time, the training I had was in creating models from the ground up and, through trial and error, perfecting them over time. As well I did my post graduate in organizational psychology with a focus in executive coaching so I could marry individual excellence with organizational excellence.
Do you have a coaching specialty/niche? I’m a Shadow Coach, Observational Coach. As I’m observing clients throughout their day, I am able to give them ‘in real time’ personal performance feedback. Essentially I help clients become aware of important parts of their days, their behavior and habits that they weren't aware of, or were making incorrect assumptions about and with this new information and resulting insights, clients identify choices between what they want and what they are currently doing. From that they create tangible change by choice. I’m there to help them implement these changes and as a result continue to grow as effective leaders.
Would you like to help your clients quickly and reliably identify their motivations and their aversions in their work and life?
If you answered, ”Yes”, then we invite you to consider the MAPP On-Line Career Assessment. The system is straight-forward and easy-to-use. Plus, results are on-line for both coach and client.
If you're unsure, we invite each IAC member to experience the MAPP Executive Level Assessment for themselves – for f^ree! You can get this 30+ page analysis of your personal, vocational and educational motivations by going to http://www.assessment.com/iac, then clicking on Click here for detailed program instructions and your f^r^e^e trial! You will need your IAC MEMBER ID NUMBER to take the assessment.
F^r^e^e support is offered through teleclasses, hosted by renowned coaches Karen Whitworth and Al Reams. You learn how to navigate the MAPP website and experience a live demonstration of how to use the MAPP results in an actual coaching situation. To register for the MAPP Teletraining classes, go to www.Assessment.com/CoachEnrollment and sign up for the course you wish to attend. Teletraining classes take one hour, and are F^R^E^E to IAC Members.
MAPP Tip Of The Month: Over 2.5 million MAPP members are the basis for the reliability and validity data available on-line at www.assessment.com/iac.
I am another "genius" who has never been on Jeopardy. In other words, I have all the answers in the comfort of my living room. But I have never submitted myself to the rigorous process of getting on the show. Why should I risk my reputation as the person who “should” be on Jeopardy?
The fact is, I’m a college dropout who has not submitted to a formal testing process for any kind of credentialing for over 30 years. I passed the FCC test for the 3rd Class Radiotelephone Operator’s License with Endorsement for Broadcast in 1966. I got my New York State Regents High School Diploma shortly thereafter. I aced the test for a Tennessee driver’s license in 1973, and since then, nothing. Oh, I was evaluated aplenty. You can’t be a television news anchor, newspaper columnist, and radio talk show host without being judged by just about everyone you encounter in the course of a day – viewers, listeners, ratings books, focus groups, an ever-changing cast of management.
But actual t-t-t-tests of any kind? I’d rather sit on the sofa and beat Ken Jennings.
I didn’t recognize my procrastination for what it was – reluctance to fail.
Why should I submit myself for evaluation when my clients think I’m a terrific coach whether or not I have a credential?
That fear of failure stalled me in getting my IAC Certification, and if I hadn’t promised to get it, I bet I wouldn’t have put myself through the process. Promised? Yes, when I accepted a position on the IAC Board of Governors, the invitation was conditional upon my becoming IAC Certified as soon as possible.
I went to two Coachville Intensives led by Thomas Leonard (and former IAC Board chair Susan Austin and IAC Board member Dave Buck) and I felt prepared. I studied my IAC study guide. I practiced in triads and with my coaches. And still I put off taking the written test many times. Finally, I booked a full day on my calendar, studied the day before, and spent several hours completing the written test. I passed. (Frankly, I don’t like the test and am actively campaigning for changes.)
If you’re putting off taking the test because you think you need to study more – and you’re pretty familiar with the material – just take the test. I don’t think studying more or harder gives you a leg up on this test. You’ll see what I mean when you take it. You can start, and IF YOU FOLLOW THE INSTRUCTIONS CAREFULLY, you can stop and come back to it another day. I did not trust myself not to click something and lose hours of work, so I kept written track of my answers and did the whole test in one sitting. If you learn something from taking it, God bless you. I didn’t. Anyway, you’ll either pass or you won’t, and if you do, as we say in Noo Yawk, fuggedaboudit. If you flunk, wait the time limit and try, try again. Lather, rinse, repeat. Don’t worry about how long it takes you to jump through this hoop. It’s like your driving test. In New York, my friends routinely flunked their first, and often their second and sometimes their fifth road test. No big. Once they passed, they were on the same level as everyone who passed the first time. It simply does not matter how many times you take the test, so get started!
My fear of failure went into overdrive for Step Two and Three. I put off taping practice Step Two sessions for my coaches to evaluate. I did get a handful of clients to sign and return the release forms. And then Coachville announced Certification Weekends at the end of 2004. That’s it, I thought. Register for Boston, but try to get certified before then so you don’t have to go! I missed my deadline, and showed up in Boston in “frantic” mode. In one of the coaching sessions, someone talked about her fear of failing to pass the test. I recognized my own frazzled, fearful self. I realized suddenly that if I couldn’t be calm, do my best, and enjoy the process, I didn’t deserve to be certified! A masterful coach is not seeking external validation but is learning from the process. We don’t want IAC Certification to be a cheap credential – if the certifiers don’t think a coach is demonstrating everything necessary for certification, then the masterful candidate accepts the notes graciously and gratefully, recognizes the perfection, and tries again.
Even the people who did not pass Step Two and Three felt the learning process of that weekend was valuable beyond measure. Each candidate had two opportunities to coach live and to be a client. Eight people in a group, certifiers’ comments on every session. Do the math – you can imagine how much we learned about masterful coaching from each other and from our certifiers. It was some of the finest coaching education I’ve ever received. If I didn’t come away with my certification, I thought, I would at least come away with a renewed passion for excellence and some deepened and new relationships.
I passed. And in my final evaluation, Dave Buck pointed out that the proficiency I demonstrated the least in my coaching sessions was “Designing Supportive Environments.” Dave observed that my own life is a monument to Do It Yourself Without Enough Support. His revelation changed the way I organized my life from that day forward. It was a crossroads moment that is helping to define my future. In all, I got my IAC Certification, I received some world-class coaching that emboldened me, got some thoughtful feedback that changed me, made some acquaintances who inspire me. What was I so afraid of?
If you’ve thought about your IAC Certification, there will never be a better time to set a deadline for yourself and try. You have nothing to lose but your imaginary Jeopardy championship.
The IAC® is a community of progressive and diverse coaches. With coaches from 80 countries, and even more languages, from all walks of life, you’ll have no trouble finding a coach or colleague you can connect with. If you are a client, this is a great way to find the most masterful coaches in the world! *
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