|From the Editor
“Thank goodness for the first snow, it was a reminder – no matter how old you became and how much you’d seen, things could still be new if you were willing to believe they still mattered.” – Candance Bushnell
I recently stumbled upon this quote and found it very appropriate for my current situation: sitting at my kitchen table with a cup of tea, watching Winter Storm Juno whip around outside. After a mild winter here in New Hampshire, the snow has finally arrived – in buckets, it seems. A few days before this storm, I was able to visit the Ice Castles in Lincoln, New Hampshire and appreciate winter in a whole new way. Although we can get caught up in the “blah-ness” of the season here in New England, it’s always nice to focus on the many beautiful things winter can offer.
Allow our contributors this month to shed a new light or new perspective for you – they have some insightful stories and advice about improving your relationship with your clients, how to best utilize the Masteries, and how to improve your own coaching business. Enjoy and don’t hesitate to leave questions and comments!
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 email@example.com with comments, questions, event notices, or article contributions. We are always looking for new perspectives and look forward to hearing from you.
Beth Ann Miller is an MFA candidate 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 Had a Dream Last Night – Martha Pasternack
From the Archives: Am I being too directive with my client? – Natalie Tucker Miller
Raising Your Coaching Game – Suzanne Hazelton
Licensing Committee Column – Charlie Boyer
IAC Coaches Reading Club
From the President
As I write this my Yorkshire Terrier, Rosco, is waiting patiently for his afternoon walk. It is unseasonably warm for Southern Colorado with a high in the 70’s. This is quite the contrast to the blizzard conditions the east coast of the United States has experienced this week and I’m sending warm wishes to all of my colleagues, friends and family in that area.
There have been a few committee changes this past month. I’d like to begin by welcoming Dr. Kristi Arndt to the executive committee replacing Marissa Afton as secretary. Marissa resigned in January due to conflicts in her schedule and priorities. She has been an invaluable member of the board and will be missed. Kristi is well known among our members as she has previously served on the executive committee and currently chairs our research portfolio. Welcome back, Kristi!
I would also like to welcome past president Dr. Susan Meyer to the strategic review committee. Susan brings a wealth of knowledge and experience to this committee and we will all continue to benefit from her expertise and leadership.
Finally, executive committee member Terri Hase has stepped into the additional role as regional coordinator for North America. Terri will work closely with the membership committee and other coordinators around the world including: Peter Rusznak in Europe, Pepe del Rio in Latin America, and Teo Jin Lee in Asian Crescent as we all work together to expand the path to coaching mastery.
I was recently invited to join Impact Coaching Radio for a discussion about the isolation that some coaches experience when working out of their home or office. The IAC recognizes that masterful coaching doesn’t happen in a vacuum. It is important for coaches to meet with one another face-to-face and virtually to share client experiences, ideas, lessons and resources in order to evolve the field of coaching.
IAC membership is made of up new coaches as well as seasoned coaches with years of experience. Some will pursue certification and others will not. Some are solopreneurs and others work for a larger company or cooperation. All coaches can benefit from meeting with like-minded professionals, and this is the reason the IAC offers local and virtual chapters around the world. To find an existing IAC chapter, click here or for information on starting a new IAC chapter, click here. The IAC has recently formed the new IAC Reading Club where we are currently discussing, “Remodel Your Reality” by Kim Fulcher. In March we’ll be discussing the new 10th Anniversary edition of Jack Canfield’s ground-breaking work, “Success Principles”. For further details click here.
If you are interested in leadership opportunities you may be interested in serving on a committee. You can attend via teleconference and most meet on a monthly basis. The IAC leans heavily on the support of our volunteers and would welcome your participation in any of the opportunities mentioned above. And the list is growing so if you are a member be sure and login to the IAC website at www.certifiedcoach.org and review our member benefits.
Are you currently participating in a peer or mastermind group for coaches? Do you have a suggestion about how the IAC can support you on your path to coaching mastery? You are invited to contact me directly at firstname.lastname@example.org for more information on any of the above mentioned opportunities or to share your own ideas or comments. This is a genuine invitation and supports me in staying connected with like-minded people on my own path.
And now I am on my way out the door to take Rosco for his afternoon walk. We are both hoping that Phil the Groundhog shares a positive walking forecast for the rest of the winter season.
Wishing you success on your path,
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 had a dream last night. Before I tell you about the dream, I will give you some background information. My great grandfather emigrated from County Galway in Ireland to America in the mid 19th century. He settled on a 100-acre farm that our family still owns. 5 generations of my family have stories to tell about life on “The Farm”. Me included. Most of the memories are precious and fun. Some are forgotten, some have morphed into borderline fictional accounts of reality. Some are icky and stick to the memory cells like Velcro. ICK.
In my dream I was on “The Farm” and there was a group of people planning to build many houses, willy-nilly, all over the land. I was upset because they couldn’t possibly understand the magnitude of meaning the farm had in my heart and soul, precious or icky, it was all mine. I felt that they needed to know the story about “The Farm”. I tried to gather the group to tell them my story. One by one they snuck away and tried to regroup out of my sight. They were not interested in my experience. I was sad and felt unheard, unseen, distrustful and disrespected to say the least. Dream over. This dream has stayed with me and I have been pondering it all day.
As coaches we help our clients walk the edges between past and present, present and future. Whether icky or not, the story about where they came from is important to finding peace. Where they are now is just as important as they open up to what is possible in the future.
As I speak to experienced coaches and mentor new coaches, I see that too many coaches skip the storytelling step on the life coaching journey and go straight for the outcome. Goals, dreams and desires spring to life from where our clients were, where they are now and where they see themselves in the future. In my experience the client will manage to circle back around to the story of the past until it is told, listened to and heard.
Mastery #1 supports you to create space for your client to tell their story. It could be an oral history, a journal account, a drawing, a poem or a dance. Nurture the feelings without anchoring the fear that may be held captive inside the story. This is a way your client can release the past and move into the present moment. Ask them what the most important thing about the story is that they want you to hear. Then make sure you heard it clearly. Acknowledge that you have heard it and that you respect their experience. Forward motion is then freed up for the ensuing coaching conversation.
I think it fair to say that all of us have stories to tell. They are important. They are precious. They can also keep us stuck in the past if we are not careful. Fear can lurk in untold stories and can be perceived as looming larger that it is.
Deep and respectful listening is as integral to IAC Mastery #1 as it is to all the IAC Masteries. When we listen to our client’s story, fear and the emotions held therein can be unveiled and befriended. Fear is what any of us have used to keep us safely tucked within a comfort zone. Once we acknowledge the value in a story, we then have the opportunity to establish trust, which will become mutual within the coach/client relationship. The inertia created by fear is busted and possibilities are unlimited after a good ole’ story.
Martha Pasternack, MMC www.CircleofLifeCoach.com
Several years ago the following question was posed by a coach who was looking for a distinction between driving the conversation vs. facilitating the direction.
Coaching has grown and expanded in understanding since 2010, and this distinction seems more important than ever. When is it appropriate to be directive?
As you continue your professional development as a coach, these are the kinds of scenarios that are useful to play around with in your training and practice. If you’re not currently taking advantage of the Path to Mastery program whereby you are matched with other coaches who are also interested in developing coaching via the Masteries in a triad setting, contact Ed Britton at email@example.com to take advantage of this great IAC member benefit.
Enjoy the following Q&A from our archives!
Q. I received feedback that I was too directive with my client. Is being directive always viewed as negative?
A. Collaborate with your client. Brainstorm. Share what you’re noticing. Make statements to increase understanding. Suggest relevant resources. But don’t be directive? Sounds like a little bit of double talk, doesn’t it?
However, when you look at how being directive affects the coaching, the definition comes into focus.
These are just a few indicators to be aware of when pursuing the most effective approach.
In this article, we’ll delve into some of the specifics of those examples for better understanding of when and how being directive might serve your client. The Masteries e-book has several examples that can help demystify this concept. Members can download the e-book for free, and non-members can purchase it for a nominal fee. Please visit the website for details.
Almost every mastery addresses the manner in which a coach can influence the conversation and avoid the pitfall of “telling” the client vs. “inviting” or “engaging” the client.
For instance, in Mastery #1, Establishing and Maintaining a Relationship of Trust, a common mistake coaches make is thinking they need to be the expert. This can show up as being inappropriately directive when the coach indicates to the client that they know what’s best for them. If you find yourself thinking or saying, “What you need to do is…,” there is a possibility that you are missing the opportunity for the client to discover the most suitable direction for themselves.
An approach that is more useful is to offer your ideas as a catalyst to a solution or action most befitting the client and the situation. By enlisting the help of Mastery #3, Engaged Listening, and Mastery #4, Processing in the Present, you’ll have no trouble navigating that path.
Another example, as highlighted in Mastery #8, Inviting Possibility, is when the coach is making suggestions to the exclusion of the client. If you notice the client is not offering any input, it’s a good indication that the ideas from the coach are not addressing the client’s unique situation. A client’s silence and/or passive agreement can be a signal that the coach has taken over the conversation.
On the other hand, if you find you and your client sharing ideas, the excitement of momentum growing, it can be a clue that a client-targeted direction will be the outcome. You’ll co-create ideas beyond what either one of you thought was possible!
There are times your client will request your opinion or specifically request a direction. The idea isn’t to withhold assistance from the client; offering your expertise at times like this can be useful. When the request is generated from the client in the spirit of collaboration, this is a sign that the client simply needs a little boost in imagination. By all means, boost away! Just notice when you find yourself doing most of the talking, idea generating or suggesting, as that can indicate you are veering away from an authentic coaching interaction.
The Masteries e-book will provide you several more examples and ways to provide direction while allowing the client to demonstrate and elicit their own brilliance. Please make use of this great resource to enhance your understanding and coaching relationships in profound ways!
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.
In order to raise your coaching game, I’d like to offer you a tool to ensure you’re focused on higher value activities in your business. This will free up more of your time and give you space and energy to attract the clients you want to work with. Most newbie coaches will work with anyone, but as your skills and experience develop you can refine and offer a premium service to a specific target group, attracting the type of clients that you want to work with.
The idea for this article came from working recently with an established author and coach who works broadly with the teaching profession. She was just beginning to return to work after a period of illness. She needed more clients and felt that she needed to do more “marketing” in addition to her coaching work. She was concerned that with her returning levels of health, additional marketing activities might be too much. Rather than “do more”, we agreed that she could “work smarter”, but first she had to take a look at the activities that she really enjoyed and where she added value. She had to understand which activities weren’t in her “flow”, identify activities that weighed her down, so that she could begin the process of stopping or outsourcing. As part of this process we also began to get clear on who she really wanted to be working with, so that she could begin attracting this type of client.
Getting you more time
First list the activities you currently do in your coaching business – activities that you don’t currently outsource – perhaps even include activities that you’d like to do, but don’t have the time or inclination.
Once you have the list, you can use the skills / fun matrix (figure 1). It’s a deceptively simple tool: a three by three grid, with skills on the vertical axis and fun across the horizontal axis. This is how much fun they are FOR YOU, against a relative measure of skill level, which is also related to the external monetary value of obtaining the skill.
For example, in some smaller businesses, the owner cleans their own office. Where I live, I can hire a cleaner for £10 per hour whereas hourly fees of a coach are significantly higher. Thus if you do the cleaning – even if you find it fun – the task would go in a lower skill level box.
From the list of activities, mark where they are on the skills fun matrix. Remember there are no right answers – “fun” is what’s fun for you. Remember to include business activities like invoicing, bookkeeping, marketing, networking as well as your coaching.
Aim to get to a more granular (detailed) level of the tasks … not just “marketing”, but list the sub-tasks. Begin to think of the tasks that only you can do.
The goal is to “outsource” some of the low fun, low skill work, thus freeing up your time and energy to work on the things that are high value AND that you enjoy.
Getting clear on who your ideal client is
Of course before you attract lots of new clients – you have to have the space in your diary to handle them, hence the first step of understanding what you can and want to get done by someone else – or outsource. This may not happen overnight – but having a clear idea of what you want to outsource, will ensure that when you do the task for what might be the last time, you document it – with a view to being able to give it to someone else. The more specific you are about your “ideal client”, the easier it is to create your marketing message.
Suzanne Hazelton is the author of Raise Your Game, and can be contacted at Suzanne@johnsonfellows.co.uk or via her website: http://www.johnsonfellowes.co.uk/raise-game/ Suzanne started in the business world, coaching and training within IBM, using tools such as MBTI and Firo-B. She’s studied psychotherapy and realised she preferred the future focus of the world of coaching. She’s a qualified NLP Master Practitioner, is a trained business coach and has a Master’s degree in Positive Psychology – the science of happiness, well-being and motivation. She describes herself as a peopleologist, working with people in business.
This past month was a light one for the Licensing Committee, so our report will be a short one.
We discussed the new requirement for all licensing applicants, new and renewal, to have at least one person who has passed the IAC written exam and also has submitted a learning agreement. We will seek further clarification from the Board of Governors as to when the “MP” designation is granted to applicants.
Conference call meetings among certifiers and licensees were highly recommended for continuing discussions of the Masteries and their applications.
As we receive more applications from countries in South and Central America and others around the globe, we recognize all the more our need to provide information, exams, and eventually certification in languages other than English. We truly are becoming more of an International association!
Committee members Pepe del Rio, Deb Chisholm, and Charlie Boyer welcome your suggestions and comments. Contact the Licensure Committee at email@example.com.
It’s THE reading and book club for coaches, and it’s all about coaching and personal development books!
The book for February is going to be ‘Remodel Your Reality’ by Kim Fulcher. We visited this selection in January, but it was so well received, and so many new members joined the Coaches Reading Club just before the January meeting, that we’re revisiting it in February to give everyone a chance to get in on the conversation. PLUS, we were so fortunate to also be able to connect with the author for an (exclusive to the IAC Coaches Reading Club) interview. This will also be shared this month.
In March we move onto ‘The Success Principles’ by Jack Canfield. Another awesome selection to stir powerful conversation.
Interested in becoming a bigger part of the Reading Club? Our Reading Club facilitator, Terri Hase, is also looking for a co-facilitator to join the fun, help with book selection, and author outreach. Are you the bibliophile, and fun loving volunteer, that is perfect for the job? Contact Terri now: Treasurer@certifiedcoach.org.
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.