The big day has come! Today we proudly launch the new IAC website, with a spiffy new logo and design, improved navigation, and completely updated content. We hope you enjoy the website's new look and improved functionality. Matthew Clulow, the designer, and the team of developers from Cicada Consulting have been incredible assets to this project.
In this issue of the VOICE, I interview IAC President Natalie Tucker Miller, IAC-CC to find out what it's like heading up the IAC. Our certifying examiners outline the important points to keep in mind when preparing to take the Step 2 exam. And in Coaching Moments, Janice Hunter shares what she learned about certification at her kitchen sink. I hope you enjoy your VOICE.
This month VOICE Editor Barbra Sundquist, IAC-CC interviews President Natalie Tucker Miller, IAC-CC to find out what it's like heading up the IAC.
What made you decide to step up to be Prez? After having been hired as a certifier, and filling in as representative to the certification board for the Strategic Planning Meetings, I was fascinated by all the plans, progress and vision. I knew I wanted to get connected at a deeper level. From there I joined the board, and when Barbara Mark began her search for a successor, I felt a calling to throw my hat into the ring.
How does somebody get elected to such a position? If someone is inclined to serve in this capacity, the first step is to get in touch with a board member and discuss your desire. The board positions are staggered, so there are openings annually. Once someone has served on the board and held a committee assignment, they can usually determine whether or not they would be interested or qualify for an executive position. Another way to get involved with the IAC is volunteering on a committee. There are several committees and areas of need, which are posted on the IAC web site.
What’s involved in being IAC President? I laughed when I first heard this question! Not that it’s a humorous question, but the answer could take a while to detail. There are so many facets to this position, it’s actually quite fascinating. It’s crucial that the President be knowledgeable about all aspects of the organization, in order to help everyone on the team utilize their talents to best serve both their own and the organization's interests. I am compelled to include at this point a nod to the incredible people that comprise the board and the various committees. Delegating is effortless, because my associates are so devoted to the health and growth of the IAC, any assignments that arise are almost immediately occupied.
What’s the biggest misconception people have about serving on the IAC Board?
Two concerns I’ve heard from people curious about serving the organization are: "Don’t I have to be certified?" And "I’m not sure what I have to offer" This may seem odd, but the IAC does not exist to convince people to become certified. Certifying coaches is what we do, yet there’s a much larger vision, a broader perspective. Yes, we have a rigorous, progressive and pertinent certification which benefits the profession, coaches and clients. However, certification is a personal issue at this point in time, not a required mandate. The larger goal is to advance coaching, and we love to see coaches who are working towards that end, serving the coaching profession in their unique way. I guess that kind of addressed both of the concerns I cited!
What are the three most important things you’ve done in your term so far? Well, I have to say I do have a knack for surrounding myself with people who support my vision, so in that regard, crafting the executive team, connecting personally with the existing board members and inviting some newcomers was crucial in order to advance the IAC’s mission. Another area is the website. We are so excited to have the new site go live today! And finally, working with you Barbra, and Angela Spaxman who is the communications liaison to the board, getting this newsletter published and distributed on a regular schedule has been undoubtedly the most visible accomplishment.
What’s your highest priority right now? Now that much of the technical side is running smoothly and our certification process is dynamically operative, it’s time to begin our campaign of educating the public, businesses, coaches and the media about the IAC’s unique position in the industry. Our certification means that coaches have demonstrated peak proficiency with their clients, whether it’s via a traditional coaching business model, or using the coaching approach in a complementary profession. The implications of how IAC certified coaches can and are creating unlimited possibility with their clients are thrilling to envision!
Certifier's advice for the Step 2 exam
1) Learn to coach to the certification standards
In order to remove the self-consciousness factor for you and your clients, get in the habit of recording all of your coaching sessions. An article on how to record is available here.
Listen to your sessions, share them with a mentor coach or other coach trained in the use of The 15 Proficiencies, triad team, study group or buddy coach.
Listen to the entire coaching session to ensure it is audible throughout. The certifiers cannot score your session if they can't hear it.
Check off which of The 15 Proficiencies you used, whether you used them appropriately, and whether the client made a shift as a result of your usage. Use the scorecard here to evaluate your sessions.
Notice if there were missed opportunities to use a specific proficiency.
Make note of The 15 Proficiencies that were missing or used inappropriately or ineffectively. Review your study guides or take a class to get a deeper grasp of the proficiency and its use in various scenarios.
Develop some questions that will help you use the Proficiencies properly in a given situation. The study guides are a great source of coaching questions to use. The Study Guides are available here.
Design the sessions effectively: Have a beginning, a middle, and an end, within 30 minutes, that results in a shift for the client or some kind of action to be taken before the next call.
2) Prepare the recordings
For exam purposes choose clients who are: healthy, smart, action-oriented individuals who are ready to evolve and follow through with your coaching. For your certification recordings, the ideal client makes progress as a result of your coaching. Extremely stuck or confused clients may make it difficult to demonstrate all 15 Proficiencies.
Decide which of your clients you work best with and ask them if you can record their coaching sessions for the purposes of the certification process.
Make sure you get your clients’ permission to record the coaching sessions use them for certification. You do this by reading the first paragraph of the Wavier of Confidentiality at the beginning of the recording (basically the "do I have your permission to tape this call and use it for my IAC certification" part) and having them sign a hard copy of the Waiver of Confidentiality. The Waiver of Confidentiality is here.
Collect some good coaching session recordings and select two recordings with two different clients which demonstrate all the proficiencies at a high level between the two recordings.
Get a second opinion on your recordings to make sure they meet all the requirements.
Send the recordings (on tape, CD or mp3 files), the signed waivers and the Step 2 fee to the IAC. Relax for 6 to 8 weeks while you await your results.
"Coaching Moments" takes a thoughtful, and sometimes lighthearted, look at how coaching can be interwoven into our daily lives.
When the birds come by Janice Hunter
Coaching moments have a wonderful way of finding us in the most unexpected of places. Recently I learned an important lesson about certification at my kitchen sink.
I love the view from our kitchen window and often linger over the dishes, my hands dripping floral scented bubbles. Beyond our tiny strip of laurel covered fence, crows circle and roost in ancient Scots pines that sway in the breeze, revealing glimpses of heather clad hills and open sky beyond.
The laurels are usually teaming with birds and I’ve grown to recognize their voices. I could watch for hours as they party in the dripping branches after warm rain on summer days. In the winter, I'm very choosy about the wild bird food I put out and my kids tease me mercilessly. But the robin definitely prefers the fat and berry food! I swear he looked annoyed when I changed to a seed mix. Wouldn't touch it. Some days he sits on the window ledge as he eats breadcrumbs and bobs his head at me if I'm standing very still. On grey days, he appears like a flash of Christmas in the bushes if I'm jaded or sad.
But one weekend a few months ago, we had a late frost here in Scotland. The garden stood white and silent, the ground hard and unforgiving. My son had to do some weekend bird spotting for one of his Cub Scout badges. One hour and a list of boxes to tick off. But no sight of the plump blackbird with his yellow beak or the dunnock scurrying in the undergrowth like a little brown chicken. Even the woodpigeons must have been cuddling up somewhere else. I felt almost let down by the bully boy starlings who usually arrive in a squawking gang and the brave little blue tits who swing on the peanut feeders and do dog fight manoeuvres to avoid the starlings.
But most of all, I missed the robin. Freezing or not, I'd expected him to appear on the fence and was disappointed because he didn't. I felt cheated because he spends hours there every day, long, undocumented hours convincing me that being present in the moment is the key to all my joy and wisdom. My whole view of the world changed because my son had some boxes to tick and a one hour session to do it in.
They came back a few days later, dozens of them so my son was happy. He reckoned that handing in a full list a few days late was better than handing in an empty sheet. I was critiquing a colleague's exam tape the other day and thought of my boy and the robin. When we’re recording sessions for an exam, sometimes our coaching skills simply don't show up. Maybe that’s because we’re bird watching with a tick sheet and a clock. My robin would probably just tell me to wash dishes and enjoy the garden. That's when the birds come.
Janice Hunter is a former translator and teacher who is currently working towards IAC certification as an excuse to avoid the kids, housework and trips to the hairdresser. She can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org
IAC Certified Coaches
Congratulations to our newest certified coach, Kimberly Robinson, IAC-CC
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