|From the Editor|
Happy New Year! It’s hard to believe that the holidays have come and gone and we are now diving into 2015. In seacoast New Hampshire, it was a beautiful season of ice-lined beaches, lobster trap Christmas trees, and candlelit strolls down brick and stone streets.
After much celebrating in New England, I hopped a plane and I’m now writing from sunny Orlando, Florida – quite a difference! I often find a change of scenery helps renew my appreciation for… everything. Whether or not you are a “Resolution Person”, I hope you are excited for the year ahead and look forward to positive changes. Whether you traveled or stayed cozy at home, I hope you were able to appreciate your life from a refreshed perspective.
Our contributors this month suggest deep and thorough ways to approach coaching in both personal and professional ways. We’ve also got many exciting things upcoming this year, so stay tuned!
Is there something you’d like to see in the VOICE? A particular subject you’d like us to address? Please don’t hesitate to contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org with comments, questions, event notices, or article contributions. We are always looking for new perspectives and look forward to hearing from you.
Cheers to a healthy and happy 2015,
Beth Ann Miller is currently pursuing an MFA in Writing and is a native New Englander. She has a professional background in editing and higher education, and enjoys working with youths in the arts. Her stories have appeared in online and print journals and she is perpetually at work on new creative projects.
From the President – Vicki Zanini
I Hate Networking – Charlie Lawson
Path to Mastery: Lessons in Mastery From the Far East – Ed Britton
Coaching the Client – Natalie Tucker Miller
Licensing Committee Column – Charlie Boyer
IAC Monthly Open Chat
From the President
Greetings and a very Happy New Year!
This is a time of year when in many parts of the world we usher in a New Year. Like many, I use this time of year to reflect and refocus on what is meaningful to me. A favorite quote of mine supports me in this process:
It is fitting that I first heard this quote in a coaching seminar over 12 years ago and immediately resonated with it. Whether I’m on the giving or receiving end of coaching, masterful coaching brings me into contact with the present moment in a way that truly brings me to life. I feel completely alive and grateful when I reflect on this past year as president of the International Association of Coaching.
What I have come to appreciate is that we are an organization of individuals who are passionate. We lift each other up to the highest standards. We coach each other through the difficult conversations and we fully celebrate our successes. We are a people who have come alive, as the quote says. There is no place I’d rather be than here in this moment.
On a practical note, the board of governors met in December and voted our officers in for a 2nd term with a couple of minor changes: Vicki Zanini, President; Krishna Kumar, President Elect; Pepe del Rio, Vice President, Marissa Afton, Secretary, and Terri Hase, Treasurer. I am so please to be able to work with these individuals and all of our board of governors for another year.
And on a personal note, I would like to invite you to share the path to Mastery with me. One of my goals in 2015 is to begin my journey toward IAC certification. While I have been a coach for over a decade and have several certifications, I have put off my IAC certification. And now I am ready. You too can begin your journey in 2015. My first goal will be to become an IAC practitioner. I’ll be sure and let you know when I have accomplished this!
Wishing you all much joy and success in 2015.
Vicki Zanini is founder of Vicki Zanini Coaching & Training. As a certified holistic life coach, she works with individuals and groups who are ready to create new possibilities, boost personal effectiveness, and experience a deeper sense of meaning and inner peace. She has been leading coaching groups and workshops for over 15 years in personal development, self-care, creativity, and intuition. Visit her website at www.vickizanini.com.
I Hate Networking!
In July 2008, I attended an old school friend’s wedding. David and I are part of a group of eight friends that have stayed in close contact. Today, now with wives and partners (and ever-increasing numbers of children), we’ve all remained close.
David’s wedding to Lottie was on one of those amazing days when the British weather manages to do what it is supposed to do in summer. The venue was a stately home near Crewe, where every room, with the antique furniture, paintings and fittings looked wonderful.
The regular wedding traditions were all there: after the wedding ceremony itself, all the guests were mingling and chatting on the lawn in front of the house, getting stuck into the Pimms. Dinner was then served, followed by speeches, cutting the cake, the first dance, and of course lots more booze.
During the day, I noticed something. Whenever people were chatting, I only talked to my group of friends. For the wedding ceremony, I sat myself next to people who I knew already.
When the guests went to sit down for dinner, the seating plan dictated that I would be next to people who I knew well. OK, not my choice there, but it still suited me fine to not be next to strangers, and not to have to make uncomfortable small talk. As the evening progressed, the dance floor became busier and busier. I, with my two left feet, preferred to sit and chat with my friends.
Not once did I make the effort to go and speak to someone new, someone I didn’t know, someone different. It’s not exactly difficult to start up a conversation at a wedding. Everyone is (generally) happy to be there. There is a shared connection with literally every guest (i.e. we all knew David & Lottie). So I had the opportunity to meet new people, but I just didn’t want to.
Why was this? I run a business networking organisation! I meet new people all day every day! I spend my entire professional time talking to people. What was the difference here? Indeed, at work, I’ll not only be meeting new people, I’ll be up in front of them, speaking and training. So, not only do I spend a lot of time networking, I also train people how to network! Surely I should have no problem talking to people and socialising at a relaxed occasion like a wedding.
But the fact remains that I did have a problem with chatting to people at David & Lottie’s wedding. I had no inclination whatsoever to put myself out of my comfort zone.
So, in the context of a business article, why am I discussing a wedding? In a business context, we use the term ‘networking’ (and that word can be off-putting to lots of people). In social circumstances, we call it talking to people. In fact, it’s exactly the same thing.
David and Lottie’s wedding got me thinking. I started considering how I like to interact with people. I came to a conclusion. I don’t really enjoy meeting new people very much!
It is true: I can categorically state, that I, as the head of the UK and Ireland arm of the world’s largest and most successful business referral and networking organisation, do not like networking! There, I’ve said it.
But why? Why is it that I am perfectly comfortable networking when I ‘have to’, but when I don’t, it is the last thing I want to do? That is the question that has driven me to understand myself better professionally since I first asked it. It’s the question that has led me to want to put down what I’ve learned in a book. I hope that others who feel the same about talking to other people can find the confidence within themselves to network.
You see, I’m not bad at networking. I know that in my professional life I’m very good at it. I can very easily enter a room of strangers, introduce myself, and get to know something about them. I know I can leave with follow up opportunities. I can also happily jump on stage, and present how to grow a business through the power of networking.
It’s just that for me, networking is not something that is naturally in my comfort zone. My natural preference and state of being is not to be out there, talking to everyone. I’m far happier sitting back, taking everything in, and spending my time with people who I care about. But I can manage networking if I want to: it’s just whether I want to or not. If I can persuade myself to take a step out of my comfort zone, I know I can network just as effectively as anyone else.
In essence, many of us are Unnatural Networkers.
Charlie Lawson is a networking expert and author of “The Unnatural Networker”. He is also the UK and Ireland director of BNI, the world’s largest networking referral organisation. He helps fellow entrepreneurs who are struggling to find networking confidence. For more information, visit www.bni.co.uk.
Path to Mastery: Lessons in Mastery from the Far East
The Eastern cultures are really good at the long game – patient and persistent people. They set an intention, lay out a plan and stick to implementation for, sometimes, generations.
Few people in the Far East have more than one or two options to pursue in life – they have few resources available – and along with limited choices comes limited distractions. Focus, discipline and daily practice leads to mastery of some of the most difficult arts for which the Asian people are famous. The key piece in their achievement of mastery is not going to the best universities or having legions of researchers supporting their pursuit to the front lines of their profession, but simply relentless practice.
Another unmistakable feature of the Asian master’s personality is their personal love of the art. Rather than driven by economic considerations, these masters love what they do for its own sake. That love carries them through vicissitudes of fickle financial fashions that come and go at a rate that is not compatible with the achievement of mastery.
Oriental masters also revere the basics. While we were living in China, my son took up the sport of badminton under the tutelage of a Chinese master. Every day for the first month, my son practiced nothing but bouncing the birdie on his own racket – no net, no serving, no rallies, no game. Thirty days of bouncing the birdie. He was developing hand-eye coordination to a masterful level. Once he was ‘one of the best in the world’ at bouncing a birdie, he went on to perfecting his serve. Now he had a net! But still no rallies and no games.
Traditionally, the Asians tend to excel in individual arts and sports rather than team-oriented mastery. So, this brief consideration of oriental mastery seems particularly relevant to the pursuit of coaching mastery, because coaching also tends to be an individual art. The patience, persistence, practice, love and attention to the basics seem to apply particularly well to the coach’s pursuit of excellence.
I don’t suggest that consideration for the pragmatic or business side of coaching can be ignored. Rather, the mastery side of coaching needs to be insulated from the varieties of the market place so that the mastery can stand on its own and persist through the bumps and twists that would otherwise distract and derail.
While mastery should not be our only reward, mastery can be its own reward.
Ed Britton is a career and leadership coach who lives in Calgary, Canada. He also serves the IAC as the Director of Development and leads the Path to Mastery coaching triads program. Ed has a background in the physical sciences, in adult education and leadership development. After living in China for 10 years, Ed looks forward to a Canadian winter and cross country skiing! If you would like to participate in the Path to Mastery coaching triads program, please contact Ed at email@example.com.
One of the common misunderstandings the certifiers notice when scoring recordings for certification, is the tendency to coach around a specific situation the client presents, thus missing opportunities to advance the client’s self knowledge, which can lead to more organic and sustainable, transformation.
The most logical place to include this, I had thought, was Mastery #2: Perceiving, affirming and expanding the client’s potential. Yet in a recent session of the IAC Masteries Licensees and the IAC Certifiers, Certifier Karen Van Cleve also pointed out how Mastery #9, Helping the client create and use supportive systems and structures, also benefits from the distinction of “client vs. the situation”.
What constitutes coaching mastery is routinely assessed within the IAC through a variety of means. From the commitment to cutting-edge coaching approaches, to available research, as well as the IAC research committee embarking on their own projects, to the input from the global coaching community, the IAC continually reviews ways to refine the definition of masterful coaching. A common observation that arises time and again is this: when clients are included in the equation, as opposed to the situation being the objective, transformation is more forthcoming and more meaningful.
So here are some possibilities of how this distinction could apply in other masteries, noted within the parenthesis:
#5, from effective behaviors: Invites the client’s input, self-disclosure and expression of feelings (as it applies to the situation and beyond)
Here are some ways the Masteries already do embody this crucial point:
What do you think? Is it its own Mastery, or is it already inherently part of the Masteries?
Do you have a question that you’d like to ask the certifiers? Submit your questions here: http://certifiedcoachblog.typepad.com/blog/ask-the-certifiers.html.
Natalie Tucker Miller, MMC, is the Lead Certifier and a certifying examiner at the IAC, as well as Past-President. Natalie is founder of Ageless-Sages.com Publishing (www.ageless-sages.com), and creator of the literary genre, Picture Books for Elders™.
Please send your questions on the IAC Coaching Masteries® and the certification process to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Licensing Committee Column
Happy New Year! The holiday seasons have come and gone, and as of this writing, the cold weather seems to have decided to stay awhile. We hope by the time you read this, things will have warmed up a bit in the northern US and Canada, and that our southern hemisphere friends are enjoying warm, sunny days on the beaches.
While writing this column, we experienced a power outage on a cold day in Colorado. It was only for a couple of hours, so we were fortunate that it didn’t last longer. Thanks to a back-up drive, I didn’t lose any computer files or documents. We had flashlights, candles, cell phones and a working fireplace, but it’s amazing how dependent we are on electricity these days!
Now that 2015 is here, we remind all licensees that applications for new or renewal licenses must meet the “MP” requirements. Applicants must, as a minimum, have passed the IAC written exam and have submitted a learning agreement.
During the past month, three applications for licensure have been approved: 1 from Chile, 1 from Australia, and 1 from Mexico. The names of the applicant schools and the contact person will be published in a following listing.
Other items discussed by the committee include the possibility of “in the moment” translators available during study calls, and the possible submission of student recordings as a part of one’s learning agreement. These items have not yet been discussed and approved by the Board of Governors.
Committee members Pepe del Rio, Deb Chisholm, and Charlie Boyer welcome your suggestions and comments. Contact the Licensure Committee at email@example.com.
Date: Thursday, January 15th 2015
Join the Coaches Reading Club and let’s talk! We will be discussing Remodel Your Reality, by Kimberly Fulcher.
The calls are open to all our wonderful VOICE subscribers as well as our faithful members.
Terri Haas, MMC, current IAC Board Member and IAC supporter extraordinaire, will be hosting.
We’d love to get your feedback on any issue related to the IAC. Do you have any questions, concerns, encouragement or ideas for improvement regarding membership benefits, certification, the VOICE, the direction of the organization or anything else at all? Please send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org. Please help us improve.