Kerri Laryea reports on the first meeting of the first local IAC chapter and encourages us to get involved.
Again this month we've got some words from our certified members. If you've achieved IAC certification and you'd like to share with other members how you did it and what it means to you, please drop me a line. I'd like to see your face in the VOICE while encouraging others to achieve certification.
And, of course, the Coaching Moments piece never fails to touch me with a reminder of what coaching is really all about.
March is proving to be a very exciting month for the IAC with Kerri Laryea and Tara Rodden Robinson launching live and virtual communities and Angela Spaxman expanding her editorial team to include Susan Korb and Kathleen Richardson. Andrea J. Lee, Diane Krause-Stetson and I are preparing for the IAC’s first annual telesummit scheduled for National Coaching Week in February 2008.
The Certification Board has been creating the process and policy for expanding the department to include international certifications. We’re fortunate to have such devoted and professional certifiers. Sali Taylor, Barbra Sundquist, Karen VanCleve and Nina East consistently go above and beyond the call of duty in the interest of serving coaching globally. The devotion they share for the coaching profession and their commitment to masterful coaching, the IAC, its subscribers and its members is extraordinary. The board continually marvels at their sincerity and integrity.
These are just some of the important people and projects that make up the IAC. Your IAC.
Community Outreach Groups: Ready for Take-off
by Tara Rodden Robinson
Back in the January '07 issue of the IAC VOICE, IAC President Natalie Tucker Miller introduced me as the "test pilot" for the COGs. I am happy to report that the first COG is ready for a test flight!
The first Community Outreach Group will come together to train COG leaders. Members who would like to lead a virtual group of IAC coaches are invited to join the first COG. We are specifically looking for people who would like to lead one or more COGs on the following topics:
The Masteries (as a whole and individually)
Ethics and Risk Management
Transition between the Proficiencies and the Masteries
Here are some of the features you can expect from the COGs:
Specific: Each COG will take on a particular topic so that participants will have the opportunity to go deeper in their learning with the goal of achieving mastery. This means that each COG will have a project focus with specific outcomes toward which participants will work.
Collaborate: COGs meet for the purpose of constructing new knowledge or creating new products. COGs can be formed around the needs of the IAC, its membership or the profession at large. For example, a COG might be created as an ethics sounding board for specific issues that arise in practice or to act as an organizing committee for a conference. The possibilities are nearly limitless.
Discrete: Each COG will meet for a specific length of time. The COGs will be scheduled in advance so that community members can plan ahead to fit COG participation into their schedules.
Flexible: The web setting will allow group participants to log on at any time, from anywhere, to read material, listen to podcasts and post questions or comments. COGs may also include live chats, whiteboards, and other real-time features so that coaches will get to interact with each other and the expert COG leaders who will serve as hosts and facilitators for each COG.
Accessible: The BaseCamp messaging format is much like a blog. Blog posts are typically short, easy to read and conversational. The BaseCamp format also allows participants to subscribe to the RSS feed as for any other blog. Participants can comment and engage in conversation. (By the way, if you don't know what RSS feed is, don't worry, we'll explain all this in the first COG.)
Individual attention: Each group will be limited in size so that everyone will have the opportunity to participate in a meaningful way by contributing to the fruitful discussion of the topic. Participants will enroll in each COG separately.
Professional: The COGs will be moderated and monitored to keep discussions on track and held to the highest standards of professional discourse. Coaches will be able to learn how to disagree without acrimony and how to discuss contentious issues with courtesy.
Personal and professional growth: Both group members and facilitators will be able to take on new challenges and acquire skills in new teaching methods and subjects.
And here are some of the benefits of getting involved:
Connecting with other like-minded professionals, particularly important for this "virtual" profession
Staying current with the coaching profession; helping define and contribute to its needs and growth
Finding other coaches to collaborate with to enhance coaching skills, grow practices and share resources
Learning how to collaborate with other professionals (sounds silly, but this takes practice)
Contributing to the coaching community for the greater good
COG 1: Learning How to Create and Run an IAC COG will run from Monday, March 19 until Friday, March 23, 2007. To sign up, or if you have further questions, click here. I look forward to hearing from you!
Tara Rodden Robinson PhD is a coach, educator, and writer working toward IAC certification. She teaches genetics, hikes, and walks her dog in Corvallis, Oregon.
History in the Making – The First Local IAC Chapter Launch
by Kerri Laryea, IAC-CC
My IAC certification journey provided a rich, distinctive texture to the fabric of my coaching and my life. If I hadn't worked so hard at mastering the proficiencies, I wouldn't have experienced the same level of personal growth and professional confidence. I might even have missed out on friendships I expect will last a lifetime. I've noticed that when coaches on this certification journey get together, exchange stories and celebrate the moment, we embroider beautiful accents into our "coaching" fabric. My inspiration for starting the first IAC local chapter was to weave an even richer brocade of connections into my life.
This month we launched the first ever IAC sanctioned chapter meeting here in Phoenix, Arizona. Invitations were sent out to all Arizona coaches in the IAC database. I looked forward to many eager coaching souls from every part of the state flocking to a function that promised, above all, face-to-face connections, fun and celebration.
We were a smaller group than I'd hoped for, but those who did attend brought with them the excitement, enthusiasm and energy so often found when people connect in meaningful, soulful ways. We shared visions for local collaboration and ways of promoting excellence in coaching; we traded stories about our coaching professions and we basked in the pleasure of each other's company.
Here's what Pat Beck of Phoenix, Arizona commented: "It is so nice to make face-to-face connections with coaches who are really serious about our profession. I'm looking forward to the next meeting!"
For those of you IAC members interested in starting your own local chapter, I'd like to support you. Let's work together to strengthen our membership on a local level, connect on an international level, and support the IAC's mission to inspire the on-going evolution and application of universal coaching standards. If you think you're ready to start a chapter, ask yourself these questions (questions asked of me by my coach in Scotland):
Why do you want to start a chapter?
What is your motivation?
What would be the benefits to chapter members?
What would be the defining characteristics of your local chapter?
Kerri is a coach, mentor, wife and mother living in Scottsdale, AZ. Her passion is spinning a web of connections – threads that connect clients to coaches, employers to employees, collaborators to projects, and resources to seekers.
Of the thousands of ways a coach can become credentialed, the process of becoming an IAC Certified Coach made the most sense for me. To me, the key questions are: Can you coach? Do you know what's ethically appropriate and what's not? Are you accountable? My IAC Certification says "Yes" to those questions.
I became an IAC Volunteer because the organization runs on volunteer labor. Always has. Even though I know the IAC is a very lean machine, it costs money to serve thousands of members. I'm pleased to support the organization with my membership.
I strongly believe in the power of coaching. I dedicate 100% of my professional time to coaching. For me, having a coaching certification is very important.
My training is from diverse sources and institutions, but I don't have one "certificate", therefore the certification for me was aligned with IAC's philosophy. IAC looks for people who master the proficiencies (great fundamentals for coaching), regardless of the way they acquire them (as long as they are able to pass the exam) and who show that they can coach. So that was perfect. A good coach is someone who has a strong foundation and can show that he/she knows how to coach.
I have also been involved in the process of creating the Masteries, where I came across the great people leading the institution and their faith and strong belief in coaching, a belief I completely share with them.
Coaching Moments "Coaching Moments" takes a thoughtful, and sometimes lighthearted, look at how coaching can be interwoven into our daily lives. by Janice Hunter
The Gunless Game
The woods were made for the hunters of dreams The brooks for the fishers of song To the hunters who hunt for the gunless game The streams and the woods belong.
– Sam Walter Foss
A few weeks ago, my widowed mother-in-law phoned to tell us she'd got engaged on a dance floor to the lovely man she's been seeing for a long time. I was delighted!
One of my biggest coaching challenges over the past few years has been trying to improve the fragile relationship I have with her. Fortunately for both of us, the more I evolve as a coach, the easier it gets. Twenty years down the line, I no longer feel the urge to slam the door and storm off cursing. At best, we've enjoyed an uneasy truce spanning two decades but I really want to make our relationship the best it can be for all our sakes.
I've tried to do the work on why I let her affect me so much, constantly asking myself what my feelings say about me. What am I scared of? What do I dislike about myself? How can I get rid of the shoulds, accept what is and change my thoughts? She is, after all, a decent woman, a good woman who in addition to raising a family, has had a challenging life, devotedly looking after her wheelchair-bound husband until he died. I keep coming up with the same answers; the sad truth is we're both judgemental and I can't be my best self, my authentic, creative self with her. We simply wouldn't have chosen each other even though we both love the same man – my husband, her son.
It's a drizzly, damp, grey day today and I've been daydreaming at the kitchen sink, remembering one of my mother-in-law's visits a while ago.
She'd travelled the length of the country to visit us. As I couldn't do any coaching, I'd decided it was a chance to practise at home instead, getting rid of old stories and any stuff of my own that had been stopping me from moving forward. Here was my chance to communicate from a clean place, relish her as the woman who gave birth to my wonderful husband, respect her humanity, her limits and the difficult, stressful life she's had. I decided to say less, listen well and use my intuition to hone in on her needs.
If the first few hours had been a coaching session, I suspect I would have excelled at silently relishing the truth about fraught relationships with in-laws, but not much else. I would have failed Step 2 of the IAC exam miserably, and not just for having an agenda and trying too hard!
So my husband decided we should all spend the day at a deer and falconry park. His reasoning? Plenty of open space to wander around in, lots of things to see and do and game wardens with tranquiliser guns close at hand.
After some hot Scotch broth in a café with tartan tablecloths, I found myself relaxing as we strolled around and encountered all kinds of deer. In one enclosure, I sprinkled some dried food pellets on the ground for a small Muntjak deer and couldn't resist stroking her rough coat as she ate. Suddenly, she stopped eating and reached her head up towards me. As I stood there stroking the soft, beige fur under her ear, the world stood still. Nothing mattered except two creatures gently breathing – connecting silently on a grey day in a damp Scottish field. I have no idea how long we stood like that until, startled by the arrival of another family, she bounded off.
I smiled gently to myself and the whole weekend took on a warmth and connection I would never have dreamt possible. The universe always makes sure we get what we really need. All we have to do is reach out and trust that we'll find perfection in the silences.
Janice Hunter is a writer, teacher and IAC certified coach who currently specialises in homelife coaching – helping people create authentic, spirit filled lives and homes they love – and in supporting coaches on their certification journeys. She lives in Scotland with her husband and two children.
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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