IAC VOICE, Volume 4, Issue 35, April 2009


From the Editor

month it was all about
members over the airwaves
, and this month we are in print! IAC®
Communications Chair Sue Brundege had an article published in the March issue
of choice, the magazine of professional coaching. "License
to Skill
" does an excellent job of introducing and promoting the IAC
Coaching Masteries® to the greater coaching community.

In this month's
President's Message, Angela Spaxman pushes us to extremes with
her never-ending quest for excellence—not just for the IAC® for
but the coaching profession as whole. Angela and I also both chose to highlight
an exciting new project that features the work of IAC® founder Thomas Leonard.

Master Coaches will want to take note of the announcement we've included from
the Conversation Among Masters (CAM) conference, which takes place May 3—6 in
Branson, Missouri, USA. To secure your invitation in future years, be sure to
read Nina East's latest foray into the IAC Coaching Masteries® – this
month she deepens our awareness and practice of Mastery #7—Helping the
Client Set and Keep Clear Intentions

Our Certification Team continues to grow, and this month you will
meet another
new member of the certification board

Our feature article is from Australian media trainer and coach Antoni Lee.
He shares his personal challenges to maintain a robust coaching practice in
the current economy
, and the steps he is taking to meet those challenges head

Tools for Coaching Mastery, IAC® licensee Aileen Gibb of IC International
presents several useful and creative tools to help us achieve Mastery #3—Engaged Listening.

Janice Hunter will be back next month with a new column. In the meantime, feel
free to browse through some previous
Coaching Moments.

for the VOICE are now available on the website, including submission
dates for our upcoming issues. I would love to receive your article submissions
by April 20th for the May issue, or May 18th for the June issue.

contact me
with your article ideas and your feedback
about this issue.

Warm wishes,

Linda Dessau, CPCC
Editor, IAC® VOICE
Email: voice@certifiedcoach.org

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From the President

by Angela


Is the IAC® living up to our potential as an organization? How well are
we achieving our mission: to advance coaching to the highest standards of
universal excellence
? What new services, policies or practices would help
us do more? These are the questions I'm asking myself, and asking you.

Clearly the world needs to go through a dramatic period of change. I want to
be part of that, and I know that coaching adds tremendous power and humanity
to this essential drive for change. How can the IAC® more powerfully support
high-quality coaching so that we can be a catalyst for positive change?

By sharing your thoughts, you can be part of the solution. And there is already
a fascinating dialogue on this topic going on at the IAC® Volunteers Forum.
To add your thinking, IAC
Collective-X members click here
, or click
here to join Collective-X for free

As you may know, Andrea J. Lee recently launched a new
featuring content from our Founder, the late Thomas J. Leonard.
The resources there are an opportunity to reconnect with the energy that Thomas
created in the world of coaching. And for those who never knew Thomas, it's
a chance to find out what all the fuss is about. Thomas was a very special individual,
and his cutting-edge thinking still influences the IAC® through his original
concept. Thomas inspired many coaches and continues to inspire the IAC®.

According to Andrea, one of Thomas's success strategies was to "find the
extreme." Extremes are provocative and very attractive. When extremes are
used in designing organizations and in marketing, they force innovation. So
of course I am now wondering, what extremes does the IAC® represent in the
marketplace of coaching? Are we "the simplest" coach certification
program in the world? Do we represent "the highest" standards of coaching
in the world? Those are two extremes I would aspire to. What other extremes
could we represent as a coaching association? Note: thanks to our new blog format,
you can now add your comments below.

Angela Spaxman
President, IAC®

Web: www.lovingworkandleading.com

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Preserving the legacy of Thomas Leonard

by Linda Dessau

I've been reading with relish the notices and updates about Andrea J. Lee's
newest venture, The Thomas
Leonard Success Strategies Program
(you can read
more about Thomas Leonard here
). Andrea and I sat down to discuss how she's
feeling about the project, what motivated her to bring it to the world, and
why she thinks now is the best time to discover or rediscover the work of Thomas
Leonard. Click below to listen to our interview.


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Conversation Among Masters

by Sue Brundege

Are you looking for a higher level kind of coaching conference experience?
One where you can hear from powerful conversation starters who generate meaningful
conversations and have an opportunity to establish closer relationships with
other master-level coaches? Then look no further than the third annual Conversation
Among Masters
(CAM) event being held on May 3—6 in Branson, Missouri, USA.

CAM is a unique, invitation-only event designed to give Master Coaches the
time and space to converse, connect, and collaborate. Base criteria for attendance
includes 5 years of Coaching experience and 50+ clients. Experienced Coaches
worldwide gather at CAM to learn and engage in stimulating conversation about
issues that matter most—broadening minds, opening hearts, and pushing
the boundaries of the coaching profession.

Also, you’ll get the chance to meet several of our IAC Board members
in person, who are coming from around the globe to attend this event and will
be hosting a reception regarding IAC membership opportunities. To learn more
about CAM and review the invitation criteria, visit www.conversationamongmasters.com/gettinginvited.html.

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Meet IAC® Certifier Alison Davis

This month, IAC® Certifying Examiner Natalie Tucker Miller introduces
us to IAC®'s newest member of the certification board, Alison
Davis, in this sparkling audio interview. Click
here to listen
[23:00]—We're sure you will appreciate the global flavour Alison
brings to the team, and what Natalie calls Alison's "mastery in action."


Natalie Tucker
Miller, IAC-CC, is a Certifying Examiner for the IAC and
former IAC Board President, as well as an Instructor and Dean
of Students at the School of Coaching Mastery. Additionally,
Natalie is founder of Ageless-Sages.com, publisher of Picture
Books for Elders™. Follow Natalie on Twitter:


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Winning repeat business in a downturn economy

by Antoni Lee

Media training is a specialised form of communication and presentation training,
which equips corporate spokespeople, politicians and other topic experts to
communicate effectively in media interviews.

I have been doing media training for many years–first gaining content
and experience working for others, and then six years ago I began coaching my
own private clients. Recently I've come full circle and rejoined a corporation,
where I made media training an offering within the company.

Companies and individuals use media training to minimize their vulnerability
of saying or doing something in front of the media that would damage their reputation.
Early in my training career, I realised that the in-session coaching atmosphere
is very important. While highlighting participants’ areas of personal
and organisational vulnerability is intrinsic to my training sessions, the way
people’s bubbles are pricked has to be sensitive to participants’

Consequently, I respect and encourage my participants as much as I can. I promise
and deliver confidentiality and security of information. I try and make every
session with a client a winner, working hard to make the experience fun and
rewarding for them. I want participants to take away great information, great
tools and significant behaviour change they can be confident in using.

Until this year, the practice has grown modestly and steadily, affording me
a full-time salary and giving me the opportunity to directly train and coach
hundreds of people to ‘perform’ in media interviews—including
media commentators, journalists and people across many professions. I’ve
also addressed hundreds more in speaking engagements.

As many of you
also experiencing, the downturn has had a major effect on winning
new business for my training practice. In corporations that would become my
clients, formerly robust training budgets have been almost completely drained.

If you’ve been around for any time at all, you’re familiar with
the theory and reality that it’s harder and more expensive to win new
business from new clients (i.e., to convert prospects) than it is to win repeat
business from clients. I have even seen research state that it’s 11 times
more expensive to find and convert prospects than it is to resell to clients
you already have.

This makes sense. With new prospects, you have to invest time and collateral
materials to establish credibility and build a relationship. Existing clients,
on the other hand, already know you and what you offer and how good the result

In my experience, it just hasn’t been that easy getting people to come
back for more. My hope is that at the end of every half- or full-day session—the
two most common formats for my training—the client would say, “That
was great, I’ll see you again in a year for refresher training, or to
take it to the next level.”

While corporations do rebook me to train new people, I don’t get the
same people back for refresher training and further skills upgrade. Is it because
they don't like the experience? I'd have to say no–clients regularly
give me impressive testimonials. So then what is going on?

Most trainees seem to think that once is enough. For example, recently a corporation
booked an executive to do my training. He resisted it, telling his company that
because I coached him two years ago, “I already did media training.”
In this case, because media coverage is creating heightened risk for the company,
they forced the guy to come along.

After he finished the session he said that the refresher training was worth
it (maybe he’ll even supply a reference quote on that topic), but how
can I change people's minds about the need for repeat training?

My view is that people ‘leak.’ (This is akin to whichever Law of
Thermodynamics says that things tend toward chaos.) Over time, without ongoing
focus and attention, great skills and attitudes tend to fade, go rusty, lose
their edge. Being motivated yesterday doesn’t mean that you don’t
need to become re-motivated tomorrow. Being articulate last year doesn’t
mean that you will be articulate next year, without some effort of your part.

How am I going to address these business challenges? Here are my conclusions
and recommendations (to self) to date:

  1. Survey former participants, asking them what they think about the need
    for continued or refresher media training and what would cause them to seek
    more training.
  2. Add a note on my invoice with a suggested date to book your next refresher
    session. Also I can follow up directly by phone or email.
  3. Evaluate and improve my services. Invite an observer in to give me objective
    feedback about the atmosphere in my sessions.
  4. Continue
    to highlight during my sessions that for best ongoing results or to take it
    to the next level, come back for a tune-up session in six months or a year.

I hope to address VOICE readers in a future issue about how my efforts are
paying off, and which of these strategies brought in the most repeat business.



Antoni Lee is the principal of media and communication training practice for
Redact, based in Sydney, Australia. His clients include prominent spokespeople,
journalists, professionals and representatives of multinational corporations
across the Asia Pacific. You can reach him at
antoni@redact.com.au or


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How the
FOE Index can help us achieve Mastery #3 – Engaged Listening

by Aileen

One of the greatest gifts that we as coaches give to our clients is the gift
of engaged listening. Few people experience truly great listening in their normal
day-to-day activities and yet we all yearn to be truly heard. As coaches, we
are privileged to create a place for people to be heard, and where they can
hear the answers and potential that lie within them. In order to listen well
to our client, we have to first listen well to ourselves, constantly being aware
of our own voices and consciously choosing what we hear in ourselves and in
our clients.

To prepare for coaching, the coach listens to her or his own heart and head.
She or he takes steps to quiet all distractions, to clear all personal thoughts
and feelings and to clear her or his energetic field so that she or he is fully
focussed on the client.

Checking your FOE index (introduced to me by CFM Consulting, Scotland) is one
way to do this, and involves three questions: How FOCUSSED am I for this coaching
conversation? How OPEN am I to whatever emerges? And, do I have the ENERGY needed
for a great coaching session? A low response to any of these requires the coach
to step back and take time to become more fully prepared to do engaged listening.

is a technique a coach can use to reach that fully focussed, open and
energised state for coaching. Using a visualisation of a suitcase,
acknowledge everything that's in your own head, heart and energy field
(e.g., what to make for dinner, the argument you had with your teenage
daughter that morning, the nagging ache in your back from gardening on
the weekend–yes, you’re human too). Visualise putting all those
distraction in an open suitcase, closing the lid and locking it.
Everything will be waiting for you to come back to after you’ve
effectively served your client with a great coaching session.

Becoming fully present is crucial to engaged listening. The Buddhist monk Thich
Nat Hahn offers another wonderful exercise for settling into our listening space
as coaches. He suggests three breaths–the first to let go of whatever
we may be holding; the second to touch our still mind and become fully present;
and the third breath to ask what now wants to come into the space. This is a
wonderful exercise to use in preparation for coaching, and I also use it during
a coaching conversation. It is particularly useful when a client reaches a significant
or potentially challenging emotional point in the conversation.

Being fully engaged in a coaching conversation requires that as a coach you
listen on multiple levels and become skilled in knowing which level you’re
listening on at each point in the conversation. One of my colleagues compares
this to the Windows operating system on our computers. Our listening brain becomes
a series of windows or files that we open, close, store and retrieve constantly
during a coaching conversation:

  • We have a process file that we check regularly to see where we are in the
    process of the conversation;
  • We have a content file where we store parts of the client’s story
    and which we may save temporarily, re-open, and link to other parts of their
    story to help them make sense of it;
  • We have our personal file which needs to be blocked to prevent things from
    our own story popping up and interfering with our listening;
  • We have our timekeeping file which enables us to manage the time available
    for the conversation in a way that’s not obvious to the client;
  • We have an instant messaging file which highlights repeated words or statements
    emerging in the client’s conversation and which we add to as these turn
    into habitual language or patterns which we then reflect back to the client;
  • We have a questions file where we access powerful questioning techniques
    to move our client forward with their goals; and
  • We have an intuitive file which alerts us like an RSS blog feed to signals,
    emotions, energies, disturbances or signs of excitement which suggest our
    client has reached a vital learning or transformation point.

We also have one ear open to the outer world while we are coaching, alert to
what’s going on in the environment around us and our client and taking
appropriate action to optimise or negate anything external which affects the
focus of the conversation.

For a coach, listening well is a lifetime commitment. It’s not something
you turn on when you’re coaching; it’s something you practice constantly.
Like athletes, we must keep our listening muscles fully toned and in top form
by exercising them in each and every conversation; particularly the ones we
find more challenging, because that’s where we can stretch our listening
capacity and become even more accomplished.



Aileen Gibb is founder and lead coach with IC International, a company dedicated
to inspiring a better future in life and work. Her current focus is to attract
12 courageous leaders each year to participate in an inspirational coaching
journey to transform their life, work and leadership. Her new website
is coming soon. In the meantime she can be contacted at


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by Nina East, IAC-CC

Mastery #7
– Helping the Client Set and Keep Clear Intentions

month we talked about Mastery
#6, Clarifying
. Regardless of their training or coaching specialty, coaches
agree that clarifying is essential. Equally agreed upon is Mastery #7, Helping
the Client Set and Keep Clear Intentions.

No matter what type of coaching you offer, helping the client stay focused
on goals, feel capable, and be inspired toward next steps or experiences are
all intended outcomes of your work. The content or focus area of the intentions
may differ, but the need for them will not. For example, business, career and
executive coaching may tend to focus on achievement, accomplishment, specific
tasks or measurable outcomes, while spiritual and life coaching may focus on
awareness and experiences, with outcomes that are less tangible or measurable.
Either way, all of these are goals you help the client set and keep.

When helping the client set and keep clear intentions, the role of the coach
is not to set the goals for the client, or even to determine what would constitute
success or progress. Instead, the role of the coach is to help the client clarify
the direction of progress and remain mindful of what is most important.

We’ve all had clients who take a lot of action but don’t really
get anywhere. (We may even do that ourselves, at times!) Just because they are
busy does not mean they are moving in the direction of their goals. In fact,
a common avoidance strategy is to stay really busy so they don’t have
to face the difficult actions or scary issues associated with the intended goals.
Often the client is not aware that they are using an avoidance strategy. Therefore,
a key distinction in this mastery is recognizing the difference between progress
and movement, and helping the client recognize this distinction for themselves.

Members, continue
reading here

To join the IAC, click


Nina East is the IAC®’s Lead Certifier and the founder of
a site for business owners and professional women who are enthusiastic about personal
growth. 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.  


Please send your questions on the IAC
Coaching Masteries® and the certification
process to certification@certifiedcoach.org.

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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 membership benefits, certification, the VOICE, the direction
of the organization or anything else at all? Please send an
email to
. Please help us improve.

© 2009. All
rights reserved. International Association of Coaching

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