I’ve spend some time this week reading through some of our VOICE issues. When I look back over the 2 years since I was voted President of the IAC, what I notice most is the dedication and enthusiasm from our esteemed volunteers, contributors and members. This has truly grown into the membership organization we’d all hoped for. High certification standards (that’s always been the case!), a consistent presence via the VOICE, accessible staff and wonderful resources for our members. Of course, we’ve always an eye to enhancements and improvements. Let us know what you feel would make this an even better professional organization.
And for the most part we fulfill what we’ve set out to do. Sometimes we need go back to the drawing board. But we always make decisions with the members' best interest in mind.
That said, here are a couple of items that fall under the uncategorized “we didn’t see it coming” heading:
Technology happens…………or not.
The online exam for the Masteries (we’re so close we can taste it!) has run into a minor glitch that will delay the launch a couple of weeks. I am aware that several people are chomping at the bit to take this “next generation” exam and want you to know we share your enthusiasm and anticipation. It will be worth the wait! The test preparers are working diligently to get this up and running. Keep your eye to the website for the formal launch!
Secondly, the Virtual Symposium has also run into snags too paramount to overcome by the intended February date. Diane Krause-Stetson, Andrea J. Lee and I have done what we can do to transcend these technological bumps, to no avail. We want to thank the speakers who so generously agreed to impart their wisdom on mastery. Their presence will remain on the site so members can read about them and learn how they’ve made their marks in their fields.
Refunds will be made promptly and Jean Gran, the best treasurer an organization could hope for, has already begun the process. Thanks, Jean!
I’d also like to publicly declare my appreciation and reverence for Diane and Andrea. They have lavishly contributed their time and talents. Working with them on this has been a privilege.
Congratulations to Sandy Tremp from Phoenix, AZ, United States and Robyn McKenzie from Warsaw, Poland who both recently passed their Step 2 Exams and became IAC Certified Coaches.
Volunteering with the IAC Leadership Team
by Karen Doll
As many of you know, our mission at the International Association of Coaching is to inspire the on-going evolution and application of universal coaching standards. The process for personal and professional awareness, discovery and growth opportunity is not only available to you as coaches. It’s also valuable to you as volunteers, from those of you holding key leadership positions on the IAC Board of Governors to those volunteers in supporting roles.
As with any professional organization, elections are held each year to bring in new board members, giving every IAC member an opportunity to make a real difference. At this time of year, several Board Members’ terms are expiring, so it is a time of change and opportunity, and a good time to consider what your own involvement might be in 2008.
Here is a summary of the key leadership positions in the IAC, starting with the four members of the Executive Committee.
Natalie Tucker Miller guides our current Board as President. In this position, Natalie is the chief executive officer of the organization as guided by the Board of Governors. She presides over the meetings of the Executive Committee and the membership, and she is the official spokesperson.
Vice-President Diane Krause-Stetson works closely with the President in running the organization and chairs the meetings of the Board of Governors. Diane has also played a large role in the creation and implementation of the IAC Coaching Masteries over the past few years.
Treasurer Jean Gran is responsible for all IAC funds. Jean maintains accurate books and teams up with a Certified Public Accountant to make sure tax returns and corporate reports are filed on time. Alongside the Finance Committee Jean prepares and tracks the IAC’s annual budget.
Secretary M. Parker Anderson's main focus has been to work on the development of the IAC bylaws with special attention to International Programs and Projects to support coaching worldwide.
Angela Spaxman, Editor of the IAC VOICE, works with a five-person team to provide clear communications with members, subscribers and prospective members on all IAC matters.
Board Member Bonnie Chan has been instrumental in helping with input from the points of view in our Asian market. Bonnie, along with other volunteer coaches, is translating the IAC Coaching Masteries into Chinese.
Nina East, lead Certifying Examiner for the IAC and chair of the Certification Committee, serves clients of IAC coaches worldwide by ensuring the highest standards of coaching mastery.
Do you belong to one of our chapters? Kerri Laryea is the IAC Chapter Coordinator. In this volunteer position she provides support for members who would like to start a chapter in their community.
Volunteer Tara Robinson is currently assisting with the development of our new on-line certification exam.
There are currently 6 other members of the Board of Governors that you can read about here and numerous other volunteers who contribute to the Voice, the Symposium, as Certifiers and in other ways.
You, too, can join us in setting standards and making the best possible coaching available worldwide.
As Volunteer Coordinator for the IAC, I work closely with the President as well as other department heads in filling open positions as well as assessing needs for new projects.
To volunteer, fill out this form, and you will be contacted by the IAC to understand more about your experience, how you would like to contribute and to discuss potential positions for you.
If you’re not yet an IAC member but you’d like to learn more about volunteering, please e-mail me, Karen Doll, IAC Volunteer Coordinator at email@example.com. In the subject line type “Volunteer Interest”.
The IAC has many opportunities for volunteers from executive levels to administration. Experience, integrity and commitment are qualities we look for in our volunteers. Volunteering can be both personally and professionally rewarding as is evidenced in the following comments from some of our volunteers:
(The IAC) has helped me in expanding both my professional and personal development in an effortless way. I believe it is the most precious environmental support to me ~ Bonnie
The IAC is a highly professional and exciting organization to be a part of. One of the greatest benefits of my position is working with such an inspiring and competent group of coaches. Also, I love having an international community while living in a lovely, rural Massachusetts town. ~ Jean
The IAC has a great community of motivated, committed, and involved leaders and members who are truly dedicated to promoting coaching worldwide. ~ Parker
It has impacted me personally by bringing a sense of fulfillment that I am making a difference in the lives of both coaches and clients. Having this responsibility makes it a requirement that I hold my own coaching to the highest standards as well. I'm sure this helps keep me on my toes! ~ Nina
The International Association of Coaching (IAC) and the coaching profession are growing and expanding throughout Asia, and in December, 2007, I was privileged to speak with IAC Board of Governor’s member, Bonnie Chan, MSc. IAC-CC. Bonnie resides in Hong Kong, China and speaks fluent English, Japanese, Mandarin and Cantonese.
In Chinese, Chan translates to Little Swallow, and traveling expansively was natural while Bonnie was working in the electronics field and opening new offices in China. She has also worked for the Hong Kong Trade Development Council promoting trade all over the world, including taking care of Japan and China markets, and some U.S. markets. Bonnie is President of the IAC Hong Kong Chapter and an Honorable Advisor of Hong Kong International Coaching Community. She also is a PhD candidate in Applied Eco-Psychology
Natural curiosity attracted Bonnie to coaching in 2001. With twenty years of international trade and management experience she began an Internet search using key words, including leadership. That was her initial introduction to the concept of coaching. The idea intrigued her as she understood counseling, yet coaching was different. As her search expanded, she discovered information creating many, many questions. Was it difficult? What was involved?
When she hired coach Angela Spaxman, Bonnie asked her lots of questions about how to learn coaching. She became a Coachville member while still working, getting coached and learning about coaching. She discovered she already was coaching her team. Bonnie began to arrange internal workshops for staff in China using a coaching style. Instead of hiring outside coaches or trainers, she was in a position to choose to try the coaching herself and she developed confidence.
In 2003 Bonnie became a full-time coach. She offers executive and business coaching in Chinese (Putonghua and Cantonese), English and Japanese, and treasures the opportunity for exposure to different cultures and people.
With coaching expanding rapidly into the Asian market, the IAC and its coaches are joining the growth. This began in earnest in the spring of 2007 when Bonnie contacted Natalie Tucker Miller, President of the IAC, requesting permission to translate the IAC Coaching Masteries™ into Chinese. The first draft was finished in September, and Bonnie then recruited a team to assist in completing this huge project. The aim of translation was, just like the English version, to have one Chinese version that can be understood and used in all the Chinese-speaking cultures of the world.
(Left to right) Summer Chan, Tan Chew-yen, Angela Spaxman and Bonnie Chan working on the IAC Coaching Masteries™ Chinese translation.
The translation team consisted of Bonnie Chan, IAC-CC, Tan Chew-Yen, Summer Chan, and Angela Spaxman (rectification on English nuances). The Rectifying Team comprised of Julia Zhu, Selene To, SK Shum, Nana Wong, Leo Siu, and Diane Chan, who provided feedback, suggestions and comments. To get a copy of the completed translation, please click here.
During our conversation Bonnie advised that many companies have branches and regional offices in Hong Kong, and there are many opportunities for English-speaking coaches to work in Hong Kong. Many bilingual senior executives are very interested in hiring an English-speaking coach.
With the growing Asian market, coaching is no longer considered a luxury for senior executives. They are in need of transition coaching for development and implementation of programs and cultures within their companies.
Middle management acclimating to fast economic development is hungry to know about coaching. There is a large opportunity for English-speaking coaches in the Asian market and an even larger opportunity for those with local languages.
With the Chinese translation of the Masteries virtually complete, Bonnie’s focus has turned to a Japanese translation. If there are any Japanese coaches who would like to work with her in co-translating for the benefit of more Japanese-speaking coaches, please contact Bonnie. She would very much appreciate assistance.
As the parent of an 18-year-old son and a daughter of 15, Bonnie is keen to use coaching skills for parenting. In 2005 she and two other coaches wrote a book in Chinese called “ParentCoach”. It sold out in three months. The book was in the top-ten ranking for about two months and a 2nd edition was printed.
Bonnie Chan has already made a large contribution to the development of coaching in Asia, and the IAC is very proud and grateful to have her energy and commitment as part of our leadership team.
Coaching is like a detective story. There is no crime, but there is a mystery to be solved: the mystery of how the client thinks and what to do about the problem they bring. So, let us start with a famous dialogue featuring that greatest of detectives, Sherlock Holmes. It comes from the short story, ‘Silver Blaze’.
Inspector Gregory: “Is there any other point to which you would wish to draw my attention?”
Holmes: “To the curious incident of the dog in the night-time.”
“The dog did nothing in the night time.”
“That was the curious incident,” remarked Sherlock Holmes.
This sums up for me the central aspect of coaching. The coach and client together solve the mystery from clues in what the client says and does. The coach, like a good detective, asks questions. And the answer to the mystery lies not in what the client says, but in what they do not say.
What then are the practical implications for coaching and how can a coach see the significance of what is missing?
Joseph O’Connor is a coach trainer, author, executive coach and the co- founder of the International Coaching Community, training and educating coaches worldwide. His latest book, written with Andrea Lages is ‘How Coaching Works’, a title that sums up the book very well. Contact Joseph at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Opportunities to Contribute
Along with planning your business year, are you also planning your contribution to the industry of coaching?
You probably know that the IAC has been built substantially on the work of volunteers. For example, the development of the IAC Coaching Masteries™ was only made possible by the donation of many hours of dedicated work and collaboration by worldwide teams of volunteers.
Much has been achieved and now with the launching of the Masteries as the benchmark for IAC certification, we have more to do. To help realize the mission of IAC, we are looking for highly qualified candidates to fill some key volunteer positions right now:
1) Project Team Leader for IAC's Licencing Agreements
We are now near the end of the multi-year project in which we created and are implementing the IAC Coaching Masteries™. We require a project team head to coordinate the completion of the Intellectual Property Licencing Agreements. This person will consult with our legal advisors, Board Members and other volunteers to complete the required legal documentation and present it to the Board for approval. We anticipate this project to take up to 3 months to complete.
Education and interest in law
Familiarity with the recent history of the IAC
Good team worker who takes initiative
IAC member in good standing
Opportunity to work closely with the IAC leadership team
Exposure to stimulating legal issues in a progressive organization
Important contribution to the sustainability of the IAC and thereby the advancement of high quality coaching worldwide
Our gratitude and appreciation
If interested or for more information, please contact Jean Gran.
2) IAC VOICE Editor
As our current Editor is considering taking on other responsibilities within the IAC, we are looking for someone to take over in producing our monthly newsletter. The Editor works with a team of 4-5 people to write, source and edit articles, and to compile and distribute the email-based newsletter once per month. The Editor is supported by a virtual assistant who does the technical work, a proofreader, and several regular contributors. The job requires a commitment of about 10 hours per month.
Excellent communication skills
Ability to understand the communication needs of the organization and the members
Ability to initiate and follow-through
Experience in leading a small virtual team
Reliable and committed to take the position for a minimum of 1 year
IAC member in good standing
Opportunity to work closely with the IAC leadership team
Chance to connect with international leaders in the coaching field
Opportunity to inform and educate over 10,000 subscribers monthly
High visibility in the coaching world
Important contribution to the IAC and thereby the advancement of high quality coaching worldwide
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"Coaching Moments" takes a thoughtful, and sometimes lighthearted, look at how coaching can be interwoven into our daily lives.
War of the Words by Janice Hunter
Kind words are short and easy to speak, but their echoes are truly endless. ~ Mother Teresa
If you’ve never argued with your spouse, kids, partner or family members, then I don’t know whether to write to you for advice, shout “…pants on fire!” or campaign to get you acknowledged by the religion of your choice! Most of us have hurt others with our words at some time, and even though we may be trained coaches and linguists, I’m convinced that most of us still don’t fully comprehend the power of the words we use to shape – or destroy – our lives.
I had a foul exchange with my husband the other evening, but even while I was in mid-rant, our consistent language patterns kept standing out in sharp relief, as if I was watching a soap opera. I drive him wild by constantly analysing, mid-argument, the words and intonation he’s been using. He sees it as an annoying diversionary tactic and proof that I’m not really interested in what he’s saying. I naively think it might help us see how we’re snowballing into hell. We cover lots of unpleasant ground in our arguments, from raising our voices and talking over each other to intensifying the language we use.
My husband’s most hurtful argumentative language pattern is to exaggerate his adverbs of frequency and the intensity of the words he uses. “You’re always attacking me for…” “You find fault with everything I …” “Everyone hates it when you…”
Most of us crank up our adverbs of frequency to some extent but I’ve started to notice my daughter doing the same thing, and that really worries me. I’ve started gently asking her if she knows it to be true when she begins a complaint with “She never….” or “You’re always…..”. I’ve also tried to discourage her from answering everything with “OK.” So many words available to her in her rich vocabulary, to describe her days, her experiences, her feelings yet how much teenage indifference and misery can be expressed in those two syllables! I’ve also tried drawing her attention to how often she peppers her speech with sarcastic ‘actually’s.
And what kind of messages do we send our brains when we dress the relatively undramatic events of our daily lives in the most colourful, intense language we can, convincing ourselves that we’re doing it simply to be more expressive? Did he do something without telling you that mildly disappointed you or did he ‘stab you in the back’? Did she say something that peeved you a bit and made you vaguely sad or did you ‘take great offence’ at the way she ‘attacked’ you? Are you ‘shattered’, ‘terrified’ and ‘heartbroken’ or simply very tired, a bit worried and feeling hurt and sad?
How often do we torture ourselves with ‘should’s when a ‘could’, or an honest, authentic ’want’ could turn our lives around?
How often does a sloppily worded email cause unintentional offence?
Another area of language that can truly change lives is first to notice, then change how often we cancel out the best of intentions with a ‘but’. “I love you but …” “I’m sorry but ….” “I’m good at _ing, but I’m useless at….” Try, just for a week, to listen out for the phrases we tag on after a ‘but’ – then leave out part two! Let’s try loving and apologising unconditionally, or revelling in our strengths for a micro second before we cancel them out with a ‘but’!
I created this piece in my head as I stood at the kitchen window, watching the falling snow bend our trees in the eerie orange glow of a street light in the middle of the night. I’d gone to bed mid-argument, couldn’t sleep, my husband came to bed, I got up, so I’d decided to go and make some camomile tea. I stood at the window, mesmerised by the swirling orange snowflakes and wondering how something as delicate as a snowflake had the power to bend and break the branches of trees. As I stood watching, I saw one supple branch rebel under the weight of the thousands of snowflakes heaped upon it, catapulting its burden with surprising defensive venom. I went outside in my bare feet and dressing gown and gently swept the snow off the remaining trees with a broom, knowing it was too late to take back the thousands of tiny thoughtless comments I heap on my husband over the days, weeks and months until he feels he has to lash back at me about my lack of appreciation and my seeming obsession with perfecting details. I hoped I could at least save some of our branches.
The morning after our argument – we never usually go to sleep angry – my husband apologised graciously and we narrowly avoided having a fight about who was most sorry! I’d like to leave you with a great tip for apologising. We’ve taught the kids to do it, and although it’s really hard, it can cancel out huffs and resentments with the positive power of language and empathy. We call it the three part apology.
First, we say sorry for what it is we think we’ve done. Then we try to empathise with how the other person might be feeling; if we get these first two parts wrong, it’s still useful because the other person has the perfect chance to explain kindly and simply what was going on from their point of view! The third part is to ask if there’s anything we can do to fix things. So, an example might be: “I’m sorry I criticised you for buying things at the supermarket that I didn’t want. It must be really frustrating for you that I didn’t empathise with how tired you were and that I mentioned the things you got wrong without praising you for everything you got right. How can I fix it?
And by the way, bare feet in the snow? PAINFUL!!!
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.
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