I would like to open today's issue of VOICE with an exciting update from Sue Brundege, Chair of the IAC® Communications Committee:
"I'm pleased to officially announce the arrival of our new IAC® Blog: http://blog.certifiedcoach.org. This blog is a repository of our VOICE newsletter archives. The blog categories reflect our VOICE features and columns; the blog also includes a search function and the ability for readers to leave comments. Many thanks to everyone for their work on this effort, and most particularly to Diana McFarlane, who made it happen! Please take a look at the blog when you get a chance, and feel free to post any questions, comments, and suggestions you might have."
In other news from the web, IAC® members are creating a stir over on the New Coach Connections blog, where Don Morris has put together an intriguing podcast series called Innovations and Trends in Coaching. So far the series has included:
Perhaps spurred on by the chat with Don, Angela's President's Message clearly shows that she is looking forward and thinking big.
Want a peek behind the scenes? We're pleased to introduce the IAC®'s newest certifier, Elizabeth Nofziger. And helping you on the journey to certification is Nina East's latest installment of the Inside Scoop, exploring Mastery #6–Clarifying.
Established coaches, if you've been thinking about how to give back, Diane Krause-Stetson shares the inspiring story of The Coaching Initiative–how it came to be, how it works and how you can contribute.
Janice Hunter takes us on a treasure hunt of words and wisdom, opening our minds to the Coaching Moments that are just waiting to be discovered.
Submission guidelines for the VOICE are now available on the website. I would love to receive your article submissions or article ideas by March 16th for the April issue or April 20th for the May issue.
As always, your feedback about this issue is greatly appreciated.
As our 6th anniversary approaches, the IAC® Board is planning to renew our long-term strategy with a participatory process involving you! Within the next month or two, we will be inviting you to tell us what you envision for the coaching industry as a whole and specifically what you want from the IAC®.
The IAC®'s success so far has been largely due to the brilliant concept of our certification system as envisioned by Thomas Leonard in 2002. The leaders of the IAC® have now implemented the foundations of that concept and made it a reality. It's now time for us to dream bigger. How can we serve you, our members, better? How can we create a flourishing and innovative coaching profession that drives human evolution as we are called to do?
This month I am thrilled to welcome three new Board Members, all of whom have committed to serve you through the IAC®:
Walter Besecker is a highly experienced, qualified and humble man who will fulfill the role of Treasurer. I am most grateful to have his expertise and commitment for this crucial role in our team.
Tony Betts is a coach, coach trainer and businessman based in the U.K. with much international experience. He will bring a European perspective and a very wise approach to leadership.
Kristi Arndt has been contributing her enthusiasm and energy to the IAC® for the past year as the Volunteer Coordinator. By joining the Board, she will be more connected to all our behind-the-scenes activities and better able connect you, our members, to the perfect volunteer opportunities for you.
Finally, I want to echo a message I received this week from one of my coaching friends. She reminded me that this time of economic challenge is a time of readjustment and a perfect time for slowing down, stepping back and reflecting. The natural laws are bringing us 'yin' to balance the 'yang' we have been running on. It's a time for change and for personal growth. It is a perfect time for coaching.
Let's not forget to see the perfection in the times we are living in.
We are pleased to introduce our newest IAC® Certifier, Elizabeth Nofziger, who joined our team in January.
How and why did you become involved with the IAC®?
Early in my coaching career, I decided that I wanted to coach at an advanced level, and many of my own coaching mentors were involved with the IAC®, or recommended IAC® certification as the industry “gold standard.” So, I knew it was where I was meant to be.
What inspired you to become a Certifier?
I was approached by a former certifier about the possibility. My intuition said YES!, and the logical side of me thought it would be fun, too.
Also, I saw my coaching skills improve immensely during the time I focused on certification, and noticed the same happen for my colleagues. I thought, what a great opportunity to be working with (and for) people who are also committed to improve their coaching skills.
In what ways do the IAC Coaching Masteries® help you to certify coaches?
The level of detail and specificity of the Masteries® provide a very clear blueprint to help identify when coaching is done at a masterful level.
What do you enjoy most about being a Certifier?
It’s an honor and a pleasure to be part of the certification process. I continually learn from and am inspired by each of the coaching sessions that I listen to, and also by working with the other certifiers.
Tell us about your coaching practice.
I help people to do their calling, whether that’s figuring out what’s next (e.g., “Do I want to be a coach?”), or making it happen (e.g., “Now that I know I want to start by own business, how do I do that in a way that I make money AND do what I love?”). Answering those questions and helping my clients put the answers into practice is a true joy.
The Coach Initiative—Volunteer Coaches Making A Difference
by Diane Krause-Stetson, IAC-CC
An opportunity for coaches to contribute something meaningful while doing something we love to do. Who wouldn’t want to be a part of that?
Partnering with other not-for-profit organizations, The Coach Initiative uses coaching to support not-for-profit initiatives by helping them deliver on their missions. Confident that coaching works, the premise is that projects supported by coaches will have an even greater positive impact on the world. It is an organization whose mission it is to exponentially expand the positive global impact of projects that focus on bettering the human condition and uplifting the human spirit.
At the Beginning
Bobette Reeder, Donna Steinhorn and Guy Stickney had a vision of supporting not-for-profit initiatives through coaching. In 2006, they founded The Coach Initiative. They asked a number of influential coaches to join them on its Founding Board. Within just a few months of its existence, The Coach Initiative had engaged dozens of coach volunteers and launched its first project.
In its first project, The Coach Initiative partnered with Virgin Unite to support Stand Up For Kids by providing coaching to the management team and its key volunteers. Stand Up For Kids operates in a number of U.S. cities and in Tijuana, Mexico. It has volunteers who go to the streets in order to find, stabilize and otherwise help homeless and street kids improve their lives. Recently, Rick Koca, its Founder and Chief Executive, was featured in a video in the online AARP magazine. Not only will you be moved and inspired, but you will also get a flavor of the caliber of organization supported by The Coach Initiative. www.aarpmagazine.org/people/rick_koca.html
How It Works
The Coach Initiative invites experienced coaches to join its volunteer ranks and invites non-profits that could benefit from pro-bono coaching to request its support. After projects are reviewed and accepted, The Coach Initiative matches the coaching needs of client organizations with coaches in the volunteer database.
What transpires in each coach-client relationship remains confidential between them. However, The Coach Initiative does request that the clients complete a brief survey at the beginning and at the end of the coaching process. In this way, The Coach Initiative is able to evaluate its effectiveness, track its progress and enhance its services. The Coach Initiative will also be able to generate useful statistics to underscore the positive impact of coaching and, thereby, attract even more worthy projects and amazing coaches to serve them.
Who Is Served
The Coach Initiative, at the request of Michael Bungay Stanier, a former and founding board member, also supported the management team of Free the Children. This is an organization that was founded in 1995 by international child rights activist Craig Kielburger who was moved to fight against child labor when he was only 12 years old. Free the Children is an international organization that is a network of children helping children.
Through education, young people in North America are encouraged to become socially-conscious global citizens to work toward social change. Through financial contributions and the Adopt-a-Village program, children and their families in China, Sierra Leone, Kenya and Sri Lanka are empowered to escape poverty and exploitation. Today, more than one million young people are involved in innovative education and development programs in 45 countries.
“If we build it, will they come?” At first, the founders sought out organizations to coach. Now, The Coach Initiative has a process whereby organizations can be nominated by others or can apply directly for support. The projects range in scale and may be local, national or international. Two organizations that recognized the power of coaching and recently requested coaching for their leadership are:
The Center for Amazon Community Ecology. The mission of the Center for Amazon Community Ecology is “to promote the understanding, conservation, and sustainable development of human and other biological communities in the Amazon region.”
Thus far, the focus of The Coach Initiative has been on coaching nonprofit leaders (executives, management staff and key volunteers). But, the vision of The Coach Initiative is far more expansive. It is poised to support nonprofit initiatives by providing coaching in any way that will advance their missions. For example, The Coach Initiative could provide career or financial coaching to women in shelters who seek to be independent or to low-income folks trying to get into the workforce. Well on its way to fulfilling the dreams of its founders, The Coach Initiative has already supported the security and well-being of children, the health of the environment and world peace. The possibilities are limitless.
What It Takes
Joining the founders of The Coach Initiative in their commitment to changing the world through coaching are the current members of the Board of Directors: Scott Blanchard, Laura Berman Fortgang, Kimberly George, Phyllis Haynes, Donna Karlin, Diane Krause-Stetson, Sandy Vilas and Eva Wong. The Board of Directors is international, as is our cache of experienced volunteer coaches. The founders envisioned this organization as having broad appeal. They hoped to attract volunteers from a wide variety of coach training organizations, as well as from both major certifying bodies—the IAC® and the ICF. Through generous contributions of time and talent, The Coach Initiative continues to grow.
The Coach Initiative is a 501(c)(3) organization. The biggest challenge is financial sustainability. Initially, it was funded by the founders’ personal contributions, by a generous establishing grant from Ruth Ann Harnisch through The Harnisch Foundation, and generous donations from Sandy Vilas, a Founding Board member and CEO of Coach U, Inc.. Today, The Coach Initiative seeks its financial support through grants and also relies on individual donations from members of its Board of Directors and people in the coaching community (you can donate now at www.coachinitiative.org).
Later in 2009, The Coach Initiative will be conducting an online charity auction and will be seeking donations, such as autographed books, scholarships to coaching schools, original artwork, electronics, theater and sporting event tickets, and other valuable tangible items. If you have something that you would like to contribute, please contact Diane Krause-Stetson.
And if you are an experienced coach, I hope that you are inspired to join us in service at www.coachinitiative.org.
Diane Krause-Stetson, IAC-CC, MBA, JD, currently serves as President of The Coach Initiative. Diane became an IAC-Certified Coach in May of 2005; served as Secretary and then as Vice President of the IAC® from 2005 through 2008; and, was on the global team of coaches that developed The IAC Coaching Masteries®. Diane is a coach, consultant and catalyst for principled success in life and in business. She inspires and challenges her clients to "discover who you are, decide what's important, and do what matters™." Diane is the founder of Lead Your Life, LLC. www.leadyourlife.com
The work of an independent coach is satisfying, demanding and stimulating. Depending on your coaching niche your work will provide you with the opportunity to make a positive contribution to other people’s workplace or private lives. You will meet rewarding clients and interesting coaches. You will enjoy levels of autonomy, independence and flexibility that are hard to find in employment and you will learn and grow as you facilitate development in others.
You will need to learn how to operate autonomously, taking sole responsibility for running every aspect of your coaching practice. You will also need to learn new skills and acquire fresh perspectives on your areas of interest on a regular basis. Above all you will need to place your clients at the centre of what you do, how you do it and why you do what you do. Coaching will motivate you, inspire you, frustrate you and, at times, drain you. It might also be the most rewarding role you’ve ever had.
At the end of the day, as an independent coach, you are the only person who can get your business off the ground and keep it busy and productive with top quality services for your clients. To become and remain a consistently effective coach will require resolve, perseverance, flexibility and a degree of pluck on your part.
Starting and Running Your Coaching Practice So what are the key issues that you are likely to face as an independent coach? In order to start and run your coaching practice successfully you will need to:
Sell and market yourself effectively: Many of you have a lot of passion for your subject but find selling yourself and your coaching services challenging. You may not have sold yourself before becoming a coach. You may struggle to find the words or phrases you need to convey your coaching offer in sales situations. You may simply not know how to put yourself across consistently well, and hope instead that your credentials and qualifications alone will be enough to influence potential clients to work with you. Sadly, they rarely are, although they will sometimes get you a hearing. As an independent coach you need to become proficient at selling and marketing yourself pretty fast if you are to survive and thrive. You will need to learn to locate potential clients and outline what you can do for each of them in detail. Your coaching offer must convince them that you are the coach they need to work with.
Own up to being the sole decision-maker and problem-solver: As an independent coach you are primarily responsible for making all the decisions that need to be made in your business, and for identifying and solving all the problems that crop up as well. Performing these two essential functions well is critical to the success of your coaching practice. As the sole member of your own workforce you won’t have ready-made colleagues against whom to bounce ideas and discuss possible ways forward. You might find the isolation quite disabling, especially if you used to work as part of a team. You need to learn to handle the isolation and perform these two key functions if you are to make headway with the issues facing you and your coaching practice.
Manage your own on-going professional development: Your clients look to you as their coach to make a contribution to their continuing learning needs. But you also need to look after your own on-going professional development. Amid so many competing demands on your time, you may struggle to prioritise your own learning and keep these commitments as scrupulously as you would a commitment to a client. Nonetheless it’s difficult to offer a fresh and incisive service to clients if you aren’t being refreshed yourself. You need to make your own on-going professional development a key part of your regular business cycle and plan to attend – and, where possible, initiate – development opportunities for yourself that will keep your coaching stimulating and effective for your clients and interesting for you.
Maintain effective boundaries when working from home: Many of you will elect to work from home and that has many benefits. It can save you the time and expense of commuting. You can claim back a legitimate proportion of your household running costs as business expenses. You can avoid charges for renting or buying office space. But working from home also brings inherent boundaries issues with it: how do you differentiate between work time and personal time when working from home? How do you preserve evenings and weekends for non-work activities? How do you resist the temptation to download emails or sneak into the office for an hour or two after your evening meal? How do you "go to work" at home? Solving these issues is vital if you are to enjoy the work-life balance you’d like to have and to leave work behind when it's time to do so.
Starting and running a coaching business can be extremely rewarding. If you watch out for these common challenges and find the support and resources that will help you address them, you will be well on your way to a thriving practice.
Aryanne Oade is a Chartered Psychologist and the owner of an established and successful coaching practice who works with clients across the UK, Europe and North America. She is the author of Starting and Running a Coaching Business, a toolkit for newly qualified and established coaches, which addresses the most common issues facing independent coaches. For more information, please visit http://www.oadeassociates.com.
What Does Emotional Intelligence Have to do with Coaching?
by Joseph Liberti
The goal of coaching is to empower the client to succeed.
For the client, success is achieving their desired outcomes and improving their experience of life.
For each of us, whether coach or client, the outcomes we achieve are a result of the choices that we make and the actions that we take. Generally, the role of the coach is to support the client to recognize their options, make more effective decisions and do something different-apply new behaviors that enable them to realize their goals.
That’s where emotional intelligence comes in. Simply put, emotional intelligence (EQ) is a set of skills that enable one to better manage themselves, and more effectively relate with and positively influence others. To be optimally effective in making changes, it is important for coach and client to recognize the role of emotions in behavior.
Present in every life event are our thoughts and our emotions. Our emotions influence our thoughts, the choices that we make and the actions that we take–whether or not we are aware of them. When we are unaware of the influence of our emotions on others and ourselves, we can sabotage results. When we are aware of the influence of our emotions and are able to effectively integrate them, we can use emotions to inform our decision making and take more purposeful action.
What does that look like?
The Overwhelmed Consultant This busy consultant’s primary goal for coaching, he said, was to “improve the effectiveness of my work with a difficult client.” Working with this organization was taking up lots of his time and he wanted ways to accelerate their development. He kept talking about how overwhelmed with work he was and he was looking for new ways to manage the client so his life would be easier.
One obvious coaching approach would be to support him to implement new client management strategies, e.g., create boundaries for his time, refine client expectations and use different communications tools. And in fact, he had previously attempted to make these kinds of changes but it wasn’t working and he was busier than ever. Doing more of the same was destined to fail.
The EQ Difference When this client was coached using emotional intelligence coaching techniques, he became aware of previously ignored thoughts and feelings that were influencing counter-productive behaviors. He was able to recognize that he thought that he “lacked the skill to pull off this difficult client culture change” and he was “feeling scared.”
His previous attempts to cover up his feelings and look like he had it all handled caused the client's employees to react with distrust and resist the new methods he was trying to install. That made the work go much more slowly. Unconsciously trying to compensate for his self-judged inadequacy he gave much more of his time in extra work, got further behind and even more overwhelmed.
The Change This client was coached to manage his emotions in a way that enabled him to be more mindful, authentic and transparent. That improved both his relationship with himself and with the client's employees. Moving beyond self-judgment he had no more need to give up extra time and work trying to prove his value. Being more genuine and approachable he was able to support client employees to move beyond their fears and try something new.
The Emotionally Intelligent Coach An emotional intelligence coach has learned advanced coaching skills and techniques and is able to take a different approach to coaching. Not every coach will want to be an EQ Coach, but every coach can use emotional intelligence to improve their coaching results by managing their relationship with themselves and their client differently.
Empathy and Validation One simple EQ coaching technique is to tune in to the client to truly understand what they are feeling and validate their feelings without judgment. Having someone really understand them and accept what they are feeling helps them neutralize their impulsive reaction to the situation and helps them be more resourceful. It also helps them accept themselves, which boosts self-confidence.
The coach might ask, “In that situation, how do you feel?” The coach needs to support the client to respond with an emotion and not a thought. Many clients will say something like, “I feel like they don’t trust me.” That’s a thought. A feeling response would be, "I feel sad," or, "I feel anxious." When feeling is expressed the coach can validate the person’s experience.
Coaching the Coach Another way that coaches can significantly improve coaching effectiveness, whether or not they are EQ coaches, is to develop the ability to recognize, manage and effectively express their own emotions.
In the previous example the business consultant was unaware of the influence his unrecognized emotion was having on his communication and as a result he was undermining trust. Similarly, a coach can positively or negatively affect outcomes by not being aware of how their emotions influence their own behavior and that of the client. For example, a coach could be in a similar situation as that consultant where they think they are not adequate in their coaching and feel scared. Acknowledging and integrating that fear allows the coach to be present. Denying, avoiding or pretending will create unwanted results.
Emotions are natural; it is what you do with them that increases or decreases your coaching effectiveness. Even if you are unaware of your emotions you will still project your reactions to them. When you do so, you will stimulate reactions in the client that limit their ability to learn and change.
Joseph Liberti, Founder of EQ At Work, coaches leaders and coaches to liberate authentic self using emotional intelligence. EQ At Work trained coaches learn to administer a proven system to develop and apply EQ in order to create new positive results. In the process they learn, practice and coach with advanced emotional intelligence development techniques that will make them a more effective and happier person as well as an extraordinarily effective coach. Your questions and comments are welcome at email@example.com or www.eqatwork.com.
This month you get the Inside Scoop on Mastery #6–Clarifying. In keeping with the simplicity of the Coaching Masteries®, the title of this mastery is very descriptive. The goal of using this mastery is to reduce or eliminate the client’s confusion or uncertainty about the issue, the appropriate course of action, or the meaning behind what the client is bringing to the coaching session. With a greater understanding of what is really going on, the client can have more confidence about next steps because he/she will be focusing on what is most important, and letting go of what is not.
I suspect that this mastery will seem fairly obvious to coaches. Of course we have to help the client clarify, right? If not, we may be assisting them down the wrong path and/or focusing valuable coaching on time on something that may not be that relevant. As coaches we want to respect what the client brings to the session, but we have to remember that it is not uncommon for even the most sophisticated and self-aware clients to be off-target when identifying the “problem” or the most important issue facing them.
By taking the time to clarify, you are not implying the client is ignorant or does not know what they are talking about. Rather, you are respecting the client by realizing that:
– often clients are too close to their own experience to be able to see or know all the factors affecting the situation.
– clients may make assumptions based on habit, experience or beliefs, and not be aware they are doing so.
– clarifying helps clients get “unstuck,” often resulting in improved focus, awareness of previously unknown information, new possibilities and increased energy.
All of these are reasons clients hire coaches. It is important that we give adequate time and attention to clarifying.
Nina East, IAC-CC is the IAC®’s Lead Certifier and the founder of PersonalGrowthProfessionals.com. As a coach, she helps personal growth professionals turn creative edge thinking into practical tools and resources, and helps coaches master the art of coaching. For even more insights about improving your coaching skills, visit www.CoachCamps.com.
"Coaching Moments" takes a thoughtful look at how coaching can be interwoven into our daily lives.
Treasure Hunting ~ by Janice Hunter, IAC-CC
As a writer, you should have a sticky soul; the act of continually taking things in should be as much a part of you as your hair color. ~ Elizabeth Berg
I'm a quote-hunter, an unashamed gatherer of quotes. Capturing the words that resonate with me is like gathering wild berries, nuts and seeds, windfalls of fruit – food for thought.
Some stand out from the page or computer screen like the flash of a robin in a winter bush. Others are a rainbow of satin ribbons, waiting to be the right words to wrap around a bouquet of thoughts or to become the bow that sets off a simply wrapped sentiment. Then there’s the unexpected treasure, precious gems that dazzle with their brilliance. I keep them somewhere safe so that I can bring them out later, like a child fingering treasures wrapped in a handkerchief, hoping to find a special friend to show them to, someone who will understand.
I never go out without a pen, a notebook and a book to read. When I read a book with a ‘quotebook’ and a pen handy, it’s a signal I send to myself and to the universe. It says “I’m open. I expect nothing, but I’m prepared to be moved, enlightened or entertained. I’m a student, ready and willing to learn from the lives and the wisdom of others.”
In my Filofax, stuck on the fridge, pinned to my pinboard and incorporated into my art work, albums and blog, quotes serve as flashes of inspiration, mini mission statements and signposts to keep me on track. Dead poets become heroes, strangers become mentors.
I use a different instinct, a different skill when I capture a quote. In many ways, it’s like the honing in and the active listening I do as a coach.
Finding the perfect quote that illustrates several sentiments or pulls together a complex train of thought is similar to recognising an Aha! moment in a coaching session. It’s synchronicity’s way of helping us focus and pay attention.
Our first instincts are often the ones that bypass our censors and cruel inner critics which is why many quotes become deeply personal and precious to us. They’re like messages sent from our own souls. Every time you choose a quote that resonates with you, don’t stop to ask why; just write it down and keep it safe. Quotes are like photographs, snapshots of who you are, who you were. They’re music that moves you, lyrics that leave you scarred. They’re memories of a moment when you came upon someone else’s words and felt connected, not only to another human being, but to the moment, the thought and the feeling that overflowed from them and cried out to be heard. The ‘Me too!!’ or ‘That’s it exactly!!’ moment.
It’s our unique life experience and how we channel, choose and arrange the moments, the music and the words that makes us writers, creating collages that turn our lives into works of art.
Learning to resonate with those moments strengthens the treasure-hunting in our coaching sessions; those repeating words that draw our attention, those powerful silences when our clients connect to an answer nestling patiently in their souls, waiting to rise and take flight – they’re the gems.
I never know how my words will affect others but I do know that my best coaching happens and my best pieces write themselves in the moments when I’m most alive, aware and open. Some moments of clarity or emotion are so powerful they brim up and overflow and make me feel that if I don’t channel them into words, control them and create something from them that I will drown or that something very precious, something vital will be washed away and lost. When I sit down to recreate those moments, I feel like my whole life, everything I know and everything I am is a prism being used to refract the light of a message coming, quite simply, from somewhere else.
When I coach well, I feel the same connection.
Know then, that if anything I ever write affects, moves, touches or supports you, it was meant for you, sent from somewhere that neither of us can fully comprehend. I’m happy to be the messenger.
Janice Hunter, IAC-CC is a writer and IAC-certified coach who lives in Scotland with her husband and two children. She specialises in homelife coaching (helping people create authentic, spirit-filled homes and lives) and also enjoys supporting other coaches through her writing and collaboration. Contact Janice at www.sharingthecertificationjourney.com or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Janice has compiled all of her Coaching Moments pieces from the last two years into a free 46-page ebook, 'Coaching Moments: a Collection of Articles about Coaching in Everyday Life' which can be downloaded here or from her site.
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