IAC VOICE, Volume 4, Issue 28, July 2008, Circulation: 12,453
July 28, 2008 July 28, 2008
From the Editor
Values-based decision making generally has one of the most clear set of measures. If an option does not match my values my choice becomes pretty obvious, pretty quickly.
When coaches help clients get clear about their values there is an opportunity to look at all manner of decisions from a different perspective—and a much bigger one. How are you using values in your work with clients?
This month President Angela Spaxman begins poking at the values of the IAC. New contributor Warren Siminoff writes about his value of personal safety. Art Gangel talks about the growth that came for him after his certification.
Use the VOICE’s new table of contents at the right to find all the articles in this issue.
The values of the IAC are one of the main forces that draw us together. They are a legacy we inherited right from the beginning—from Thomas Leonard's inspiration to start an organization like ours. While we have a written mission, vision and purpose, we have never written down our values. And yet I'm sure you, our members, have a sense of what those values should be. They should both define our organization and also model the best of the field of coaching.
Although our values have never been formally declared, I’m also sure that if the IAC fails to live up to the values you expect, you will feel a loss.
What are those values? We need your feedback to know what values are important to you and how well you believe the IAC is living up to your expectations. Please email me. Now is a good time to tell us what you think.
For me, one of the things I value about the IAC is that we strive to serve from a place beyond our egos. Without fear, we want to be generous, open and trusting while working in integrity. It's exciting and challenging to work with a group of people who, as coaches, are more aware than most of how well they are holding themselves to those values. We are definitely still human beings! And I greatly appreciate the opportunity to work with evolving human beings.
There are some people I would especially like to thank for the impact they have on the evolving IAC values. One is Des Walsh, a member of our Board of Governors, who ably chairs our meetings with great skill, diplomacy and humility. By keeping us on track he upholds the values we espouse. Another is Janice Hunter, the author of Coaching Moments, now on holiday somewhere by the sea, who by expressing her authentic vision of coaching inspires and uplifts many coaches. I'd also like to thank all those people who achieved their IAC-CC certification this year. Through your commitment to coaching excellence, you help us create our vision.
Wishing you all enjoyment of the weather, whatever it may be where you are!
Keeping the IAC Coaching Masteries™ at your fingertips will help you become more familiar with each of the masteries. And it will be easier to recognize when you are using a specific mastery and how effective that use is. Members can download their copy here. If you're not a member, join us here.
Last month I shared key insights about the first of the IAC Coaching Masteries™. VOICE readers said the article expanded and strengthened their understanding of how to establish and maintain a relationship of trust—effectively and efficiently. This month we take a closer look at the second Mastery.
Mastery #2 – Perceiving, affirming, and expanding the client’s potential
You may remember the earlier version of this Mastery did not include the word “expanding.” But so much of what we do in coaching is help the client acknowledge “what is” in order to see beyond that to “what can be.” This involves going outside of previous comfort zones—beyond simply affirming—to bringing an expansive quality to the coaching.
Perceiving, affirming and expanding the client’s potential is not just in relation to what the client does, but also in terms of the client, him or herself. Who is the client being? What are they capable of? What are their gifts and talents? And what can all this mean for them?
Some coaches describe this as a “being” mastery versus a “doing” mastery—focusing more on who the client is and who they are being, believing in the client’s inner greatness, no matter what the external results happen to look like at the moment.
Nina East is the IAC’s Lead Certifier and the author of PersonalGrowthEnthusiasts.com. As a coach she works with personal growth professionals, helps coaches master the art of coaching and coaches students and their families through the complex and emotional transition from high school into college. Find her on the web at www.MyMentorCoach.com.
Our friends over at choice, the magazine of professional coaching have been very busy. For the past several weeks they've been compiling an amazing array of bonus gifts for you from many of their advertisers and friends in the coaching world.
Some of the items being given away are actually being sold on the Internet for hundreds of dollars. But every one of these bonus items is available to you with a one year subscription to choice Magazine.
Bonus offers worth over $1,500 are available to everyone who subscribes or renews between July 10 and July 31. Everyone will be entered in the drawing for the big prize. Winners will be notified by email.
Reminder to Members
If you haven't updated your profile on the IAC website, please log in and add your contact information. In order to make the Find a Coach directory useful to visitors, there has to be some information about our coaches there.
So, log in. Scroll all the way down the page, past the fine list of member benefits, to the form at the bottom. Fill it out! Include at least a link to your website!
The Signature File
by Kerch McConlogue
Thirty years ago when I got my first business cards for my first business, I thought it was the best $20 I ever spent. It made me feel professional and assured that whoever got my card had all the pertinent information about me and what I was selling. I still think it’s the best marketing money spent, but now even more important is your signature at the end of your email. It’s advertising that is allowed by all but the strictest of email groups or message boards. It often remains attached to your emails even when they are passed further—and that’s marketing!
The signature file, also called a sig file, comes after your closing on every email—even the ones you forward on. It should not be more than about seven to ten lines long. It should contain at least your full name with appropriate credentials, your business name, your web site address and your phone number. I also include my street address and my email address—just in case the body of my email is detached from the header (the top part of an email that includes the to/from info).
Don’t be tempted to leave out the phone number. In a column on the website Poynter.org, a website for journalists, one of the top ten beefs was emailed press releases with no contact phone numbers. You sure don’t want to mess up a contact with the press. You also don’t want to delay prospective client who just prefers real conversation. And if you want me to call you, don’t presume I can find your number in the scraps of paper on MY desk!
Store more than one sig file in your mail manager (Outlook, AOL, Eudora, or what ever program you use to view your mail). I have three:
a standard default one that includes everything I mentioned above,
one that refers to me in my role as VOICE editor. It includes links to organization website, and
a similar one for the official correspondence as editor of another publication.
I can choose to use none. But that must be a conscious decision.
By the way, think carefully about including a graphic as part of your signature file. It is especially annoying for people with whom you correspond regularly. Personally, I don’t need 72 pictures of my sister in my email files!
If you think you might be too big or too busy to be bothered with a sig file, check out the website of the Fayette County Public Schools in Lexington, KY. They have a great technology site. You’ll find simple instructions of how they show kids in grade K-12 to set up sig files using Outlook. Their list of what should be included is a bit shorter than mine, but not much. And their information is for little kids!
About the Author:
Kerch McConlogue, CPCC, PCC is a coach in Baltimore, MD, US. She works with people who have too many ideas. Find her on the web at www.mapthefuture.com or contact her by phone at (410) 233-3274.
The Cell Phone – A Blessing and a Curse
by Warren Simonoff
The basic cell phone has morphed into a camera, PDA, GPS and MP3 player, with assorted gadgets that rival a Swiss Army Knife. People often tool down the road with a Spock-like wireless earpiece discussing business or catching up with a friend. They don’t think they have a problem focusing on driving and connecting to the person on the call. However, with the split second timing needed to respond in an emergency, experts say we need total focus to maximize reaction time.
Here's my story I was returning home from an errand with my wife. She was driving. Traffic was unusually bad. A meeting with a client was coming up. So I called from the car to tell him I was running a few minutes late. I wanted to talk about either delaying our start time or, if that didn’t work, rescheduling the appointment. He agreed, but after several minutes of scanning our calendars, he asked, “Are you driving?” I said very matter-of-factly, “No, my wife is.” The client exploded, “You violated me!” I explained very calmly, “We’re only scheduling; she doesn’t know which client is on the phone and can’t even hear your side of the conversation.”
He slammed his phone down. I tried to contact him later from my home phone and email, but to no avail.
I have been thinking about other ways that conversation might have played out and how I can use the incident as a learning experience.
Lawsuits Obviously, even in the general population car accidents do happen. A study by the US National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) (see sidebar) outlines the dangers of driving coupled with the distractibility caused by cell phone usage. In my opinion, this is not only about the phone itself but about the conversation. Hands-free devises will not alleviate my concern nor is it endorsed by the Commission.
National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (USA) says: “The primary responsibility of the driver is to operate a motor vehicle safely. The task of driving requires full attention and focus. Cell phone use can distract drivers from this task, risking harm to themselves and others. Therefore, the safest course of action is to refrain from using a cell phone while driving.” More information on the agency’s policy can be found on this web site: www.nhtsa.gov.
Going a step further, when an accident occurs and there is a lawsuit, one of the first questions an attorney asks is: "What were you doing at the time of the incident?" Also in more recent times, "Were you speaking on a cell phone during this incident?" Well, we know which road we're going down by those questions.
Coach-client or colleagues' discussions require a high degree of concentration. If an accident occurred, a coach might be found at least partially responsible either because of his or her own cell phone use, that of the client or both. Regardless of liability, injury is not the preferred outcome.
Coach-Client Agreement In my Coach-Client Agreement I have added the following:
It is agreed by the Client and Coach that that they will not be in communication by cell phone while driving. Driver safety is paramount for the parties to this agreement. Cell phone use can distract drivers from the task, risking harm to themselves and others. Therefore, the safest course of action is to refrain from using a cell phone while driving. www.nhtsa.gov…
Consider adding something similar to your own contract. Then while reviewing the contract with the client, you can reinforce your concern. When the agreement is signed by both parties, it is clear and unequivocal.
Here’s what I do when I’m in the car
Voice mail is a wonderful thing. When a client—or anyone, really—calls me while I’m driving, I just don’t pick up the phone. I can always pull over and check messages. When I return the call, I tell them that I'd been driving and that I’d rather be in different surroundings so that I can concentrate on the conversation. And I can touch again on the danger of cell phone usage while driving.
The bottom line is this: statistically speaking, talking on a cell phone is an accident waiting to happen. Just ask the NHTSA.
Research articles of note
According to the United States’ National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), in 2006, at any given daylight moment in the US, 745,000 vehicles were being driven by someone talking on a hand-held phone. Continue reading in this article here.
In this article published by Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University, better known as Virginia Tech, (USA) “Drivers were studied while driving their own cars, under normal traffic conditions.” They learned, “Fatigue, distraction, and failure to pay attention ranked as the top three crash-causers.” Continue reading in this article here.
According to Science Daily, “Nearly 80 percent of crashes and 65 percent of near-crashes involved some form of driver inattention within three seconds before the event. Primary causes of driver inattention are distracting activities, such as cell phone use, and drowsiness.” Continue reading in this article here.
About the author:
Warren Simonoff, ACG is a professional ADHD coach in Anthem, Arizona. You can reach him by email to: WarrenSimonoff@cox.net or call him at: (623) 826-8557.
Have you been so busy with the day-to-day operations of your business that you haven’t looked at the “big picture” in a while…or ever? If so, take a quick peek at how the different areas of your coaching business are performing.
Marketing A successful marketing plan for your business should include:
A clear understanding of what you’re selling and how your services and products can benefit clients.
A narrow definition of your target market, which, simply put, represents the clients who are the most likely to buy from you.
Ongoing strategies for how you’ll reach prospects in your target market, such as through networking, publicity, or Internet marketing.
A marketing “message” that conveys a consistent image and tone.
Think of the four-step marketing process as:
what you’re selling,
who will buy it,
how you’ll bump into them and
what you’ll say when you do cross paths.
To make more money in your coaching business, you need to bring in more revenue or cut back on expenses.
To increase revenue, you can either raise prices on your services or products, increase your volume, or both. If you haven’t evaluated your pricing structure recently, now’s the time. If you’re too busy (booked weeks or months in advance), it’s probably time for a price increase.
You could raise prices by 20% and if you lost one-fifth of your business, you’d still bring in the same amount of income. But with 20% less work! On the flip side, if you’re too slow, you might consider lowering prices or including value-added services or products to boost your volume.
To tackle the other side of the money equation, see if you can reduce expenses by trying this simple exercise.
Go back through your business check register for the past three months and circle every entry you could have reduced or eliminated. Calculate the total of these savings, multiply it times four and that’s how much you could potentially save in a year.
Bring in more. Spend less. Every cent you earn or save will drop straight to your bottom line.
Recordkeeping Accurate, timely recordkeeping is one of the cornerstones of any business. To ensure that you can build and maintain a healthy company:
Keep track of all of your income and expenses, even if your system is as rudimentary as a shoebox for receipts.
Each month, set aside aside enough money to cover your taxes. In the US that might be 40% of your income (after expenses). And while it might seem like a whopping figure, on average, it’s what’s required to cover federal and state income taxes, as well as Social Security and Medicare.
Pay all of your bills on time or arrange more lenient payment terms with your contractors or vendors.
Prepare invoices on a timely basis and send collections letters to any accounts that are more than thirty days past due.
File all of your taxes on time.
Produce a profit and loss statement at least once a quarter and use it to track and react to changes in your business.
If you need help with any or all of these recordkeeping tasks, delegate them to a virtual assistant or bookkeeper, but be sure to do them.
Marketing, money and recordkeeping—tune up all three at least twice a year and your coaching business will run more smoothly.
About the author:
Jennifer Croft has 25 years experience in marketing and is the co-author of Search Engine Optimization For Coaches: 101 Tips. She specializes in writing website content that can attract search engine referrals. Visit her website at www.searchenginecoaching.com.
How IAC Certification Changed My Life
by Art Gangel
I originally saw certification as an end goal, not a beginning. After attaining my IAC certification, instead of becoming empowered and engaged in my pursuit of being a full time coach, I stopped moving on the path to coaching mastery. I stopped all the activity that had enabled me to achieve certification in the first place. Not surprisingly, my coaching suffered, and I did not make the strides I wanted to make in my business development.
That’s when I picked up Mastery by George Leonard and read it again. It spoke to me in a way it didn’t the first time. I started moving down the path again, taking the small steps I had in front of me. I began to wake up to the reality that the path to mastery in any pursuit is not about getting certified, but about the person you become during the process.
It’s also about the application of the tools you learn through the process, not about sticking them in your toolbox and forgetting them. Tools that aren’t used rust, and coaching skills that aren’t applied go away. The journey never ends.
If you have a story about how IAC certification changed your life, please send it to email@example.com. We want to share the value with members and subscribers who haven’t taken the plunge yet.
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 anything we do including 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.
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