|From the Editor
Just two weeks ago, I began a new position as the Performing Arts Director at a summer camp on beautiful Lake Champlain in Vermont. I’ve only been here for 15 days, but it already feels like a lifetime. I am forming connections with incredibly empowered and inspiring people, challenging myself in ways I’d never even considered, and I spend a good part of each day far outside my comfort zone. As always, thoroughly reading each and every article in the VOICE has been a necessary stress relief.
This month, our contributors provide insight into how we can form better habits for ourselves and our clients, how we can weave the Masteries into our everyday lives, and how we can take true ownership of our careers. These “nuggets of wisdom” were certainly important reminders for me this month and I hope they are as helpful for you!
Thank you for reading! 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
Neuroscience and Coaching – Amy Brann
Own Your Career – Ed Britton
Infographic, Revisited – Natalie Tucker Miller
Licensing Committee Column – Charlie Boyer
IAC Coaches’ Reading Club
From the President
I just returned from a trip to Jekyll Island, Georgia. To the left is a picture my daughter took on Driftwood Beach, just a few steps from where we stayed. This is one of the most romantic beaches in the world, and it’s easy to see why. I am home now and ready to step back into my coaching practice – for me another very special place in the world. I am a romantic!
It’s hard to believe it’s already July, which means fireworks and Independence Day celebrations here in the United States. The IAC is in full swing this summer with many opportunities to engage with our community while moving forward on your path to mastery. Visit www.certifiedcoach.org and click on the calendar of events link for an expanding list of opportunities.
In June our very own Aileen Gibb, Krishna Kumar, Natalie Tucker Miller, and Susan Meyer were part of the presentation team for the World Business and Executive Coach Summit (WBECS). Their presentation Ensuring Full Spectrum Growth: The Ultimate Coach/Client Experience, offered an engaging and holistic experience of the IAC Masteries, including how they support us in achieving a state of flow in the coaching session. During the presentation I was deeply moved and inspired by the way the presenters naturally demonstrated the Masteries throughout the session. The Masteries “came alive” for me. We are discussing ways to make this powerful presentation available to our members.
Are you committed to becoming the best of the best in coaching? Join us in our monthly IAC Path to Mastery teleconference. The dates and times vary in order to accommodate attendance in different parts of the world, and each month we discuss a different IAC Mastery. Each conference begins with a 10 minute review of a mastery followed by open discussion and dialogue focused on how to implement the mastery into our coaching and lives. These are open calls and available to everyone at no cost. The next call is scheduled for July 23rd at 9:00 PM Eastern Time when we will discuss Mastery #5: Expressing. Hope you can join us!
Would you like to participate in an IAC Path to Mastery coaching triad? They are free to IAC members. Each triad consists of three students who switch roles in order to participate as an observer, coach and client. A debrief at the end of each call allows participants to share insights and observations. I think triads are among the most supportive environments to practice coaching skills and I cherish the friendships I’ve made with my triad partners. If you are interested in joining a triad, get in touch with Ed Britton, Director of Development, at firstname.lastname@example.org and he will answer your questions and help get you signed up.
For all you lifelong learners and book lovers (don’t all coaches fall into these categories?), don’t forget the Coaches Reading Club! It’s open to everyone and free to participate. We meet on the third Thursday of every month at 1:00 PM Eastern Time to share our thoughts and experiences around selected books. If you want to know more, have any questions, or wish to sign up visit http://coachesreading.club/.
The IAC is uncompromisingly dedicated to establishing and maintaining the highest standards of coaching internationally, and to expanding the path to mastery. Whether you coach for a living, as part of your profession, or to enrich your life and relationships, we’re here to support you in being the best. As I shared earlier, I am a romantic. I love my family, I love my friends, and I love coaching. It is a true passion for me and for so many coaches I know. Why? Because we’ve seen the difference it’s made in the world. We are each on our own path to living the masteries but we enjoy the journey more when we share it. Reach out to me or any one of our team members and let us know how we can better support you on your path to mastery.
Wishing you joy on your path to mastery,
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.
The IAC team of Aileen Gibb, IAC-MMC and Krishna Kumar, IAC President (Elect), supported by Natalie Tucker-Miller and Dr Susan Meyer, presented for the fourth consecutive year at the World Business and Executive Coaching Summit (WBECS).
This year, our team created an engaging presentation by blending the IAC Masteries with the elements of the Flow State (ref. Prof. Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi), to illuminate what occurs in the ultimate coach/client experience. Real-life coaching examples from our team’s experience were explored as a way of highlighting how the IAC Masteries weave together naturally. Calling this “Full Spectrum Coaching” invited the listeners, who were mostly experienced coaches and leadership/HR representatives from the executive world, to leverage their own deeper awareness and understanding of how their own growth as a coach can be as exponential as that of their client.
The presentation was well received by around 230 participants who joined the call from all corners of the world. The audience appreciated that the IAC Masteries are a way of ‘being’ as a coach and provide the power to the coach’s engine (our team used a car analogy to emphasise this).
The following participant comment sums up the impact of our presentation at WBECS 2015:
“Be the masteries, experience flow, be engaged in the moment, really listen, the experience of being alive. Great presentation.”
We hope to be able to post a recording of this presentation on the IAC website in due course.
Can neuroscience help a client form better habits?
Probably yes. Habits are regular tendencies or practices. They are often unconscious and automatic. We each have lots of them, some useful, some not so.
Why are habits so important for Coaches to work with?
Habits are naturally great things that free up your client’s mind to focus on new things making them both more efficient and productive. They enable us to cope with the huge amount of information, choices, decisions, goals, and emotions we experience every day. We have habits for a large part of our daily life. Many habits are unconscious which means they can be directing your client’s behaviour without them being consciously aware of this. While good habits make it easier to achieve desired results because we naturally do these things without conscious thought and less energy is required to fall on these defaults, undesirable habits make it difficult. It is such a juicy topic I almost always mention it in the keynotes I deliver to coaches around the world.
One of the important things to be aware of here is called Hebbian theory which underpins Hebbian learning. A Canadian neuropsychologist called Donald Hebb theorised that:
When an axon of cell A is near enough to excite cell B and repeatedly or persistently takes part in firing it, some growth process or metabolic change takes place in one or both cells such that A’s efficiency, as one of the cells firing B, is increased
This has been simplified to “Neurons that fire together, wire together”. As you have repetitive thoughts or take actions repeatedly, your neurons fire again and again forming a stronger and stronger neuronal circuit.
The formation of these circuits has the benefit of meaning we can do things on autopilot. The downside is that many of the circuits that are created are undesirable to your clients. The more a habit is performed the stronger it becomes. This is because when the neurons fire they attract a protein blend called myelin to insulate it. This speeds up the transmission of signals, in effect making it easier and quicker for the habit to occur next time.
The neural pathways that encode habits are found in the basal ganglia, so this is the part of the brain often associated with habits. However, recently it was discovered that habits aren’t exclusively automatic. A study from MIT showed that a small part of the prefrontal cortex called the infralimbic cortex is involved in shutting off habitual behaviour.
A great approach, depending on your client and the situation, could be to focus on a specific habit. In order to decide where to focus you could first:
Once you feel that you understand these habits, the triggers for them and the negative effect they are having you could move onto:
Perhaps elicit between 3 and 10 here. You could ask your client to write these down either during a session or even better at home. Again, here you want to know the value that these habits will bring to the individual. The next stage is like being an architect. The aim is to identify all the small parts to one of the new desirable habits.
Then, depending on how successful your client normally is with establishing new habits, you want them to start implementing and mastering one step at a time. So this stage can be really slowed down for people who might have a history of not creating solid new habits. Literally taking one component and working on it until it is second nature before introducing another step. Another point to mention here is that this process is best initiated when life is not overly stressful. If your client is trying to move house, lose ten pounds, and start Coaching their team at work in a new way then it would be wise to wait until the house move is complete and the pounds lost.
Amy Brann is passionate about helping people understand more about their biggest resource. She believes that through understanding how to make your brain work you are able to create more of the life you want to live. Amy works with companies to help them understand what is vital for them to know about the brains of their employees and clients so that they can achieve their business goals in a sustainable way.
The biggest mistake that you can make is to believe that you are working for somebody else. Job security is gone. The driving force of a career must come from the individual. Remember: Jobs are owned by the company. You own your career!
Sometimes, I have felt that other people were in control of my career. I felt that I could make better decisions about how to develop, apply, and manage this critically important asset: my life’s work. I was the one who put the money, time and effort into my education and training. Shouldn’t I have more say in what is done with it? Frankly, I have felt trapped
In the information age, we invest massively in preparation for our careers. Yet we learn almost nothing about how we can take command of what we do to feed our families and serve our souls. There is so much that we can do to be in charge of how we contribute, earn a living, and spend most of our waking hours.
And that is about the best news that a person could hear.
A concept and piece of vocabulary from the world of computer war games speaks to the strategy that will lead us to this personal power. As young players assemble an overwhelming force of armies and hardware around a strategic target, I hear them declare, “I own you!” The phrase speaks of clear and undisputed victory.
You can own your career. You can strategically plan and array resources and capabilities around your mission so that you make the important decisions, do what you were born to do, and live the life of your passion.
Winning a battle — and much more a war — takes clear intent, forethought, strategy, hard work, resources, alliances, and political maneuvering. Similarly, the battle for control of your personal talent – a valuable and coveted asset – will be infused with careful planning and diligent, persistent effort. The power that developing this discipline gives you is simply exhilarating.
It takes time to own your career. Yet, there are few goals more worthy and few achievements more liberating. Self determination in our life’s work is entirely possible and not limited to certain kinds of employment. Whether you aspire to be a free lance artist or a corporate executive, you can have your career on your terms.
What makes this even better news is that it is fun – more fun than a computer game – because it is real!
Own your career!
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.
Whether you’re in the summer or winter season right now, how about spending some time playing with IAC Masteries© by revisiting the infographic ebook?
Where do you see evidence of the Masteries in your surroundings? Can you observe them in conversations, dialogue on the radio, in the movies, or the ways people interact with pets or nature? How about any books you are reading?
There is opportunity for coaching growth in so many of the things we do in our daily lives, it’s an added bonus when we make those connections by way of observing our own experiences.
Here’s a sample to get you inspired!
(click on the infographic to enlarge)
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.
Please send your questions on the IAC Coaching Masteries® and the certification process to firstname.lastname@example.org.
The Licensing Committee is continuing its efforts to revise and clarify the licensure requirements and procedures. At our last meeting, lengthy and spirited discussions resulted in several proposed edits and changes for the Licensing Handbook that will need the approval of the IAC Board of Governors. We will report more fully on these changes as they are approved.
We noted the need for licensee schools and organizations to be clear, especially on their websites, that their license to teach the Masteries does not in itself lead to IAC certification as a coach. IAC certification is a separate and distinct set of procedures and requirements from licensure. Mastery 6 – “Clarifying” is something we ALL need to practice more!
Committee members Deb Chisholm, Pepe del Rio, Eduardo Vier and Charlie Boyer welcome your suggestions and comments. Contact the Licensing Committee at email@example.com.
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.