IAC VOICE, Volume 4, Issue 16, July 2007, Circulation: 11,477
July 16, 2007
From the Editor
The more we are grateful, the more we receive. Do you believe that?
In any case, I'd like to practice some gratitude by saying thanks to our wonderful proofreader Kathleen Richardson. Hopefully and probably you haven't noticed her work, because you won't know how many errors she has caught and stopped! Kathleen is an important contributor to the editorial team making life easier for me and reading more pleasant for you. We're also looking for more people to play certain editorial roles. If you're interested, please join the volunteer team.
One of our Certifiers, Barbra Sundquist, has contributed a very clear and useful article about the most common coaching mistakes people make in trying to get certified with the IAC. If you're on the certification track, or if you just need a reminder about what masterful coaching is, this is a quick and helpful read.
I'm very pleased to be able to share an article from someone who is currently a great source of inspiration to me. Anita Moorjani is a life coach who came extremely close to death and who not only gained incredible insight into life, but also explains her experiences in a very clear and accessible way. She has written a special article for us about how her experiences have changed her coaching. Click here to read about "Turning Life Around at the Last Possible Moment", for members only.
This month, let's take a moment (or two) to applaud the many people who contribute their time and talent to the care and feeding of the IAC. Note: Too numerous to detail in one announcement, so please visit the "Friends of the IAC" page for a comprehensive list.
We continue to grow with paid members and new certifications, and it's one of my personal thrills to connect with the many of you who offer support, input and a continued commitment to coaching. Since this is a membership organization, run on the fuel of volunteers, it's important to me that these individuals are acknowledged and honored for their beneficence!
To begin, a huge round of applause for Angela Spaxman and her wonderful team of editorial assistants. Angela, in addition to being a member of the Board of Governors, has added wonderful flavor to the Voice, the IAC's main means of connecting and communicating with members and subscribers. Her powerful, clear and confident presence is more of an asset to the IAC than I am sure she realizes. We can count ourselves quite fortunate to have her on the team, and from the e-mail we receive on her behalf, I know the membership appreciates her as well. And although all board members have tasks outside their advisory capacity, Angela willingly accepted this position which is above and beyond the board commitment or expectation.
Some of the other committees in which the Board of Governors are/will be involved include communications, public relations, strategic planning, event planning, operations, outreach, international outreach, volunteer communications, promotion and member benefits. Big stuff.
Obviously, we are all very excited as more of the initiatives take shape, increasing the viability and the visibility of the IAC. As Sebastian, from Disney's The Little Mermaid, declared, "She's got legs, mon!" If you're interested in being part of this momentum, consider joining the volunteer team .
On a final note, let's send love and appreciation to the Certification Board. These masterful coaches continue to give of themselves on behalf of the coaching profession and the IAC. I can guarantee that even those of us involved in the inner workings do not have a full understanding of how much they give. They have donated hours upon hours to the betterment of the IAC, coach certification and the language of masterful coaching. Clearly the pioineers of the IAC certification process, they work to uphold the high standards that have become the IAC's trademark.
Like I said, big stuff.
IAC Board Members will be hosting two teleconferences with IAC Certifiers to answer all your questions on the Masteries development and implementation and to hear your feedback about everything related to the Masteries and the IAC. Please join us on Thursday, July 19th, 9pm ET and Tuesday, July 24th, 1pm ET. The calls will last up to, but no more than, one hour each.
To join one of the calls, please send an e-mail to: firstname.lastname@example.org with "Masteries Teleconferences-July 19th" or "Masteries Teleconferences-July 24th" in the subject line and we will send you the telephone bridge number.
Five Most Common Coaching Mistakes
by Barbra Sundquist, IAC-CC
Recently someone asked me, "What are the five most common mistakes people make on their IAC certification tapes?" I thought about it for a moment, and then counted off in no particular order:
talking too much
rushing to solution
accepting at face value
telling, rather than asking
This is my list. Other certifiers may have a slightly different list. But if I could wave a magic wand, this is what I would love to hear:
seek to explore, not to solve
say what you're afraid to say
ask, rather than tell
1. More silence
Silence is a very powerful coaching skill. Nine times out of ten if you stay silent your client will eventually say something thoughtful or revelatory. They are using the silence to process their thoughts or access their intuition. That takes time, so don't rush them. The other benefit of allowing more silence is that you are less likely to interrupt or talk over your client.
Exercise: Make a big sign that says "WAIT" which stands for "Why Am I Talking?"
2. Seek to explore, not to solve
Jumping in too soon with advice or solutions is the most common mistake of new coaches. Most clients do not want your solution, at least not at first. They want you to help them explore all facets of their issue. If you do that, the 'solution' or next step will present itself naturally.
Exercise: practice asking only exploratory questions such as:
"How do you feel about it?"
"What have you tried already?"
"How did that work for you?"
3. Challenge assumptions
Part of a coach's role is to challenge client assumptions, excuses or self-limiting beliefs. By doing that, we broaden their possibilities. And isn't that what coaching is all about?
Exercise: Listen for and challenge assumptions. Here are some examples:
"Of course x is true"
"I know that…"
"Is that a fact or an assumption?"
4. Say what you're afraid to say
Whether you call them inklings, intuition or "that little voice in your head", they're there for a reason. Don't be afraid to share those thoughts with your client. They often lead to breakthroughs.
I'll give you a personal example. When I started coaching I was very strong in some respects, but one thing I didn't do was challenge the status quo with the client. I was a little too polite. As a result I wasn't coaching to my full potential. And I wasn't giving my clients what they deserve.
That changed the day I finally said what I was afraid to say. My client was complaining that his wife was so negative. What immediately popped into my head was "that's ironic, because you're one of the most negative people I know".
In that moment I had to decide whether to keep coaching at the "nice chat" level or to go deeper. I decided to take the plunge. Of course, I didn't just blurt out what was in my head. That would have been hurtful.
Instead, I said, "There's something that I'd like to share with you, but it might be hard for you to hear. Do you feel up to hearing it today?"
When he agreed, I said "It's interesting to hear you talk about your wife's negativity. Because my experience of you is that you are quite often negative, too."
We ended up having the most productive coaching call ever. In fact, he had a major breakthrough. From that point on, I was a changed coach.
Exercise: Listen for that little voice in your head and be fearless in sharing it with your client. Then notice how you feel about your effectiveness as a coach.
5. Ask, don't tell
Coaching is primarily about asking, not about telling.
You need x.
What do you think you need?
You're an introvert.
Are you an introvert?
You're obviously feeling better.
How are you feeling?
Exercise: Record and transcribe a short coaching session. Then rewrite, converting "tell" statements into "ask" questions.
About the author: Barbra Sundquist is an IAC Certifier and Certified Mentor Coach who enjoys demystifying the whole certification process. To pre-register for Barbra's brand new 11-CD IAC Masteries self-study program, please go to www.BecomeACertifiedCoach.com
Turning Life Around at the Last Possible Moment By Anita Moorjani
I have been a life coach since January 2002, coaching people to live their best lives and motivating them to turn their lives around. However, by far the greatest achievement of my own life has been in turning my own life around when only death seemed imminent.
In February 2006, I had end-stage Hodgkin's Lymphoma. The cancer had spread throughout my body, my organs were failing and I was already in a semi-comatose state being kept barely alive with piped nutrition and oxygen. The doctors had told my family that this was the end and that I only had a few more hours to live. What followed can only be described as a miracle for which I will be eternally grateful. No one knows exactly how to explain what caused my health to turn around in just a number of hours, leading to a total recovery with no trace of cancer cells to be found in my body and no permanent damage to organs. (The full story of my cancer and healing can be read on my website at: www.anitamoorjani.com).
Needless to say, this experience has caused me to completely change how I view life and reality as well as how I live my own life. It has, of course, also completely changed the way I conduct my coaching.
To read more about how Anita's experiences have influenced her coaching, click here. (Members only)
Anita Moorjani is a Life Coach based in Hong Kong and can be contacted at email@example.com, or telephone (852) 2369 1234. Her business website is www.power1.org.
"Coaching Moments" takes a thoughtful, and sometimes lighthearted, look at how coaching can be interwoven into our daily lives.
When the heavens open by Janice Hunter
I'm sitting at our wooden table, my hair wrapped in a towel. Driving rain is drumming against the window in sheets, rushing down our road in torrents that have turned the front lawn into a boggy water feature and the pavements into streams. In all my life, I have never seen rain like this in Scotland, not even in winter.
Ten minutes ago I was standing on the terracotta tiled steps of our recessed front porch, watching the water bouncing six inches off the ground and pounding the roof of our car, parked in the drive a few feet away. As I stood, mesmerised by the sound, my bare feet getting splashed as the gutter above started to overflow, the overflow became a cascade and our front door became the dark entrance to a secret haven behind a waterfall. My young son joined me, his eyes huge and longing to venture out. "Off you go then." I said. "Just take off your tee shirt first…."
He stared at me in amazement, stripped down to his football shorts, then ran squealing around the car, splashing in the pond that had once been the drive in front of our garage. He stood giggling under the gushing gutter hopping up and down and flapping his arms, pretending to sing in the shower. I looked on with longing.
My husband brought him a warm towel when he came in shivering but beaming, dripping pools onto our wooden floor. "You should try it Mum!!!" So I did.
I ran out of the kitchen door onto our back patio, lifted my face to the heavens, raised my arms, smiled, turned a slow spiral and got soaked to the skin. Surrounded by the dense green of rain-battered bushes, hair clinging to my face, the rain streaming down my cheeks like a warm shower, my T-shirt and jeans growing waterlogged, I stood sodden in splattering, gushing water up past my ankles. A prayer rose unbidden as I looked upwards and tasted the rain. Breathing in the heavy perfume of rain-drenched branches, soil and air, I felt connected to life itself, alive, lucky, blessed…
A hot shower, some warm towels and a change of clothes later, I'm sitting at my laptop, thinking, as I write, of parched lands where the rain never falls and of flooded fields, farms, villages – even city streets in wealthy countries – where wild winds, rivers and tidal waves have washed away life itself.
For some, the gift of childhood wonder is a luxury in the struggle for survival.
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.
Congratulations to Kristi Arndt from Lombard, IL, United States who recently passed her Step 2 Exam and became an IAC Certified Coach.
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