IAC VOICE, Volume 4, Issue 17, August 2007, Circulation: 11,632
August 15, 2007
From the Editor
In honour of summer, our August issue is especially warm and heartfelt with nothing too heavy! And there's plenty to enjoy: including important new benefits and inspiring reading.
If you missed the teleconferences with our certifiers last month, you've now got a chance to hear them. Click on the link in the sidebar to hear President Natalie Tucker Miller with Certifiers Nina East and Karen Van Cleve as they explain the IAC Masteries project and answer questions about what to expect from the shift to the Masteries from the 15 Proficiencies. You'll enjoy their clear voices and informative words.
Secondly, Julia Stewart, IAC-CC, has launched a new coach training school which focuses specifically on the high standards of the IAC Masteries. She is offering to pay the IAC Certification fees for anyone who joins the Full Coach Training Program or Certified Coach Program at her newly launched School of Coaching Mastery. We are thrilled to offer another valuable member benefit for all our members who are on the path to certification.
Today we send our gratitude and love to Barbra Sundquist as she transitions from her role as IAC certifier and coach to pursue other ventures which thrill her. We celebrate all she has done for the IAC and the coaching profession, and we celebrate all she will contribute to the world with her future pursuits. Thank you, Barbra, for your unwavering support for our profession, our organization and coaches.
Remembering to see the ways life serves us, even in times like this when it is tempting to focus on how someone's influence will be missed, as coaches we look for the perfection, the opportunity that presents itself. This week, while staying bedside with my mom in the hospital, I was reminded how we can do that when we are present to what's around us. Her elderly roommate, whose cognitive ability has diminished, taught me a wonderful lesson in being present when she was asked by a health care provider, "Do you know why you're in the hospital?" She responded, most seriously and reflective of how we'd been spending the past few days visiting and joking and laughing, "I'm not here for the hospital. I'm here for the party."
Party on, Barbra.
Note: The woman mentioned in the above paragraph passed away just days after the "party" comment. Her brief presence in my life will leave a lasting imprint. Thank you, Coretha, I shall continue to spread your light.
'Sharing the Certification Journey' E-Book Review
Angela Spaxman interviews editor and contributing writer Janice Hunter
Six IAC Certified Coaches have launched a revealing and informative e-book about their experiences in getting certified.
You already know Janice Hunter who writes the much-loved Coaching Moments column in the IAC VOICE. I had the chance to interview her to find out more about the making of the book and what's inside.
Janice, first of all, can you tell us a bit about why you wanted to compile this book?
I've actually been sharing my own certification journey all year in my Coaching Moments pieces and the responses I've got have inspired me and let me know that other people have appreciated the deeply personal moments I've shared as well as the overlaps with their own journeys.
It was born out of gratitude to everyone who'd enabled me to pass, especially Barbra Sundquist, whose faith in me enabled me to write for the VOICE, discover a gift for critiquing and improve my coaching.
I was lucky; being able to be an active member of a coaching community raised my game. When I phoned the co-authors asking them if they'd be interested in contributing to the book, it became clear from the outset that we all shared a desire to give something authentic back, to enable others to learn from our challenges, successes and experiences.
What do you hope will be the benefits for the readers?
The e-book contains excerpts from our passing calls so coaching colleagues can hear how the IAC embraces different styles of coaching; we really hope this feature will be beneficial to many coaches.
It highlights how different we are as people which we hope will help other coaches celebrate their own uniqueness. It also includes sections on how a couple of us failed first time round which we hope will inspire others who may be in that position.
The cohesion of the book comes from a long list of 'interview' questions I sent to each of my coaching colleagues as a starting point. The questions are based on what I learned or wish I'd discovered sooner on my own coaching journey. Although there's diversity in the way each coach responded, it's this rich variety of expression that underlines the basic premise that it takes all kinds of coaches to build a coaching community. Readers will hear different (or similar?!) responses to questions like:
Did you choose 'recordees' who were a fit for you? Please share your awareness of how some clients brought out the best in you – or didn't.
Would you say your coaching improved/got worse/changed as a result of your certification journey?
How did you know you were ready to start making tapes?
Do you have a coaching structure for 30 minute calls which you could briefly summarise?
What is your favourite part of the book?
Its integrity, and the diversity, freshness and authenticity of the writing! I felt exhilarated as I saw patterns emerging and realised the book was turning out to be even more 'useful' than I'd hoped it would be.
Can you share with us one or two of the most useful tips for getting certified by the IAC?
This is actually a tricky question because what may seem trivial or obvious to one coach might turn out to be a huge AHA for someone else. Everyone's unique and at a unique place on their own coaching journey and the book underlines this.
Never lose sight of the 'big picture'; this includes an awareness of who you are, your presence, your reasons for getting certified and your attitude towards your life as well as the certification process. Only when you're happy to be yourself can you get out of your own way and be curious about the client's big picture. Clean up your own stuff so you can be open to everything, comfortable with silence and able to match a client's tone and energy while you're bringing out and building on their greatness.
Learn how to critique your own calls and build a network of fellow coaches who can support you in this.
Learn what it takes to become an IAC Certified Coach - Julia Stewart, IAC-CC, has launched the School of Coaching Mastery (SCM), providing a wide variety of different coach training programs, all focused on the high standards set by the IAC Masteries. The school features small classes, in-depth instruction and a tremendous amount of coaching practice and feedback for each coach.
IAC members who join the SCM Full Coach Training Program or the Certified Coach Training Program will have their IAC Certification Fees (Steps 1 & 2) paid by SCM (US$360 value).
Coaching is more than proficiency; it's talent, ebb and flow of idea, thoughts and insights, discerning what the client isn't telling us. For those coaches who feel they have to be in control of the process, well then it's about the coach, not the client and in that case, are we giving the clients what they truly need or are we giving them what they think they can get from us? There's nothing masterful about that.
One of the things I love about the IAC is that they look at the level of mastery for credentialing, not just proficiency.
To use a music analogy, one can learn to play the piano, be very proficient at learning a piece of music, and very capable of performing it, but those who become masterful and engage the audience are those who listen to what the music speaks to and in turn shares it. The notes seem to flow from a place beyond rigid proficiency of execution; the music is an extension of the performer.
A masterful coach lives in the world of nuance and subtlety, hears the unspoken word and goes there with no fear of what will be uncovered, thereby making it safe for the client to explore that pushed aside place as well. The results are discovery, for some breakthrough, but for all in one way or another, evolution.
I often wonder if coaches remember to ask themselves the question "Why did this person hire me to coach him/her in the first place? Is that reason the truth of the situation or a screen for something deeper? Have I paid attention enough to find out?"
Donna Karlin CEC, founder of A Better Perspective™ (www.abetterperspective.com) has pioneered the specialized practice of Shadow Coaching™ with over 130 senior organizational leaders in the public and private sectors, and national and global political realms. Donna is an author, lectures internationally and in response to widely expressed interest to her highly successful and innovative approach to coaching, she established the School of Shadow Coaching™ to enable others to learn the practice.
The Four Tethers
by David Blanchard, President, 6 Advisors Inc.
The challenge is to simply BE – real and genuine without the need to impress, the need to feel ashamed, the need to pretend, or the need to fear. It is to be transparent to these needs so that we can bring who we "really are" to any given coaching situation. Why is this so important?
Imagine a hot air balloon tethered to the ground by four large ropes each tied off to a large wooden stake. Can you feel the balloon struggling to lift off, wanting to soar, but unable to do so because the tethers are holding it down? Feel the tension between the potential in the balloon and the restraint of the tethers. Finally the ropes are cut and the balloon lifts with ease higher and higher until its occupants can view what appears to be the entire earth. So it is with our coaching practices. The need to impress, feel ashamed, pretend, and fear can keep us tethered, unable to succeed. These tethers rob us and our potential coaching clients of our greatest gifts. Our true potential lies dormant, untapped and unused.
Dr. Robert S. Hartman said, "to simply BE is the hardest and most important task in our mortal existence." He went on to say that this is the "highest level of maturity." Until we as coaches master this art we are, as Og Mandino says, "no more than a peddler in the market place." Until now, you may have believed that success is contingent on your ability to tenaciously cling to these tethers. You may fear that nothing would be left should you surrender. Some may have even built the very foundation of their existence, their image, roles, and status using these restrictive thought processes. But real power is in being real and genuine. In doing so our intrinsic power is released. Real power cannot be faked or manipulated. The surrender is real and the benefits beyond price.
It is our goal to introduce you to the unknown for when you become aware of the possibilities, the gains made while being tethered will seem puny and insignificant regardless of how others may have perceived their value. You will more clearly recognize why there has been a flame burning inside you, as discussed by Og Mandino, "which has been passed from generations uncounted." A flame that has been "a constant irritation to your spirit to be better than you are and you will be" and in so doing find the intrinsic motivation to shed your tethers and soar.
Coaching is not about becoming a monk or a self-denying ascetic. However, it is about being real, genuine and authentic and unleashing your infinite intrinsic power in the service of other human beings – and being compensated for this valuable service. It is about coming to a task as a clean vessel free of judgment and prejudice. It is about bringing all of your potential, all of your genius, all of your genuineness, all of your creativity, free from the need to impress, feel ashamed, pretend and fear. It is about experiencing the profound joy that can come only through maximizing your true potential in the service of others.
What tethers are holding you back? We can now measure them. Make the discovery and then learn how to cut the tethers so you can soar. "Up there" is where your clients want to be and they need someone who has cut their tethers and breathed "that air."
Dave Blanchard is the Chairman and CEO of The Og Group, Inc. and family of companies, The Greatest Salesman, Inc. and 6 Advisors, Inc. He is the co-developer of the 6 Advisors Assessment Report™ and coaching curriculum. http://www.6Advisors.com.
Celebration of Our Coaching by Jane Lewis
dropping the story here and there to catch glimpses and episodes of perfection tell me your truth, as it is yours, and, like angels we huddle in awe to witness the bittersweet human journey seeing its perfection, approving of all that has happened, re-image-ing meanings and next steps dressing the actor in fresh possibilities, always plentiful and sending her out for more, energized and rich in grace and spirit.
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