IAC VOICE, Volume 4, Issue 36, May 2009, Circulation: 12,961
May 14, 2009
From the Editor
There is lots of food for thought in this month's issue. IAC President Angela Spaxman describes some pivotal moments of connecting, visualizing and clarifying. In fact, she and several IAC Board of Governors members recently connected at the amazing CAM (Conversations Among Masters) Conference. Watch for highlights of their experiences in our June issue.
Speaking of IAC Chapters, Singapore has the newest one! In today's issue they share some details about their chapter's launch event in March, and Chapter President Teo Jin Lee provided an article for our Tools for Coaching Mastery column. I'm sure most of our readers can relate to the topic Coaching in Turbulent Times.
In her Coaching Moments column, Janice starts with an empty jug and fills our hearts and minds with a touching piece about some beloved pieces of crockery, and Nina East provides a very inviting article about Mastery #8.
Submission guidelines for the VOICE are available on the website, including submission dates for our upcoming issues. I would love to receive your article submissions by May 18th for the June issue, or June 15th for the July issue.
What meaningful and fun work! This month at the IAC we are connecting, visualizing and clarifying. I'm excited because I know these are three complimentary ways to create a future that we all desire.
Is it true that connections of the mind, heart and soul are the source of all progress? I've learned to create opportunities for making great connections because of the joy and success I've felt them bring to my life. This month I'm attending the annual Conversation Among Masters (CAM) conference where I'll be meeting some key IAC members and supporters and no doubt making and deepening connections that form the basis of our strength. How well are you connected to your fellow IAC members?
What a thrill to visualize the ideal future! I'm excited to confirm that we have enlisted the support of Dave Ellis, author of Creating Your Future, to guide us through a strategy development process over the next few months. We will create a 10- to 50-year vision for the coaching industry and identify our strategies and priorities. Please watch for special notices coming soon to enlist your participation. We are keen to involve you in what is sure to be a fascinating and important initiative for the IAC. As part of the project, we will be collecting feedback and ideas from our external stakeholders. If you would like to get involved in this part of the project, please contact Joan Johnson at firstname.lastname@example.org.
So often our 'aha' moments come when we clarify and articulate something we have known internally and yet never expressed. Human progress is marked by the process of clarifying. With this value in mind, I'd like to express my deep appreciation for the IAC Certification Board for completing the newest version of the IAC Coaching Masteries® E-book. This team, led by Nina East, spent countless hours evaluating coaching sessions and putting the subtleties of masterful coaching into clear, international language that can help all of us improve our coaching proficiency. For some new understanding on what makes excellent coaching, pick up your copy from the IAC website.
Wishing you fruitful connections, inspiring visualizations and insightful clarifications this month!
We are pleased to announce the latest release of our IAC Coaching Masteries® E-Book. While our nine Masteries remain fundamentally the same, this new version includes changes and refinements to make each Mastery even easier to understand and incorporate into your coaching practice. In addition to clarifying original terms and concepts, you’ll find two new sections for each Mastery – Common Mistakes Coaches Make and Indicators the Coach Understands the Mastery – to help you recognize, develop and demonstrate effective coaching skills even more quickly.
To use a computer analogy, this is not a brand new "operating system," but simply an improvement to the original which corrects "bugs" and adds new features for even greater usability.
Sue Brundege, IAC-CC is a CTA- and IAC-certified coach, communication consultant and trainer, writer and public speaker. Through her business, Self Made Self LLC, she helps service-based professionals express their brilliance through public speaking, writing and networking to attract ideal clients and grow their business. Sue also serves on the Board of Governors for the International Association of Coaching®.
IAC Chapter or IAC Coaching Masteries® Licensee: Which one is right for you?
by Mike Goonan
The value you receive from any association directly relates to how actively involved you are in that association. (Just ask the members of our 19 IAC chapters worldwide.) Earlier this year, we added another exciting way to be involved, with our new IAC Coaching Masteries® Licensing Program. This program permits mentor coaches and coach training organizations to incorporate the nine IAC Coaching Masteries® as part of their mentor coaching or coach training program.
We are thrilled at the number of inquiries regarding both new chapters and licensees, and thought this would be a good time to clarify the difference between forming an IAC chapter and becoming an IAC Coaching Masteries® Licensee.
IAC chapters and Licensees are similar in that they are both promoted by the IAC through our website, VOICE newsletter, and other communication channels. And they both have access to the IAC Coaching Masteries® to help develop masterful coaching skills.
However, there are distinct differences between how IAC chapters and IAC Coaching Masteries® Licensees operate. Here’s a simple chart that compares the two:
IAC Coaching Masteries® Licensee
Non-profit group run by volunteers
For-profit coach mentor or coach training organization
Coaching community for learning and developing coaching practices
Formal teaching / mentoring organization
Exclusive to a city or region
No specific geographic boundaries
No fees payable to the IAC except for individual annual membership fees
Pays IAC an annual license fee
May use IAC Coaching Masteries® as part of chapter activities without a license
Must have active license to use IAC Coaching Masteries®
Provides a benefit to IAC members
May work with both IAC members and non-members
In addition, an IAC Coaching Masteries® Licensee may be a member of a local IAC chapter. However, a member of an IAC local chapter must apply for and pay an additional annual fee if they wish to become a licensee and use the IAC Coaching Masteries® as part of their mentoring or coach training business.
Please feel free to comment or ask questions about this article in our blog!
Mike Goonan is leading the way for the next generation of professional coaches. At age 23, Mike is the youngest Certified Fearless Living Coach in the world. He is IAC's Chapter Liaison and Public Relations Chair, and President of the New Jersey Coaching Alliance – IAC Chapter. Visit Mike at www.freewebs.com/jumpingintofreedom.
The Singapore Chapter of the International Association of Coaching® (SCIAC) was launched on March 13th, 2009. The Chapter President, Ms. Teo Jin Lee, introduced the IAC to an audience of forty corporate coaches and professionals. She shared the vision and mission of the Chapter:
Vision: To advance coaching to the highest standards of universal excellence.
Mission: To further the interests of coaches in the region by developing a learning community with the highest ethical, professional and business standards.
The other speakers were Dr. Kavita Sethi, IAC member and executive coach, who expounded on the IAC Coaching Masteries®, exploring both the definitions and applications in-depth, and Cresswell Walker, who discussed the need for coaching in these trying times.
Utilizing Transformative Learning Principles to Support the IAC Coaching Masteries®
by Jack LaValley
The goal of all coaching is to bring about life transformation
Tying the IAC Coaching Masteries® together with adult learning principles helps to resolve one of many significant challenges facing this evolving industry: bringing a sense of cohesiveness and standards to the professional development of coaches. I am convinced that the coaching industry stands to benefit by associating its core coaching competencies with those identified in the field of adult transformative learning. Demonstrating that the field of coaching is grounded in sound adult learning principles will be a huge boon to our credibility!
At present, anyone can call himself or herself a coach, with or without specific training, licensing or certification. Right now there is no agreement within the coaching industry regarding required training, academic standards, code of ethics and professional development (Skiffington & Zeus 2003, p. 230). Various professional coaching associations and coaching schools are trying to clarify and bring some sense of cohesiveness and standards to the coaching field. Different coaching schools, professional coaching associations, and coaches are making informed decisions about what they think is most important about the coaching process and what should be accomplished in the coach-client relationship. This in turn drives their emphasis about what skills and competencies need to be exemplified and demonstrated by the coach.
The same holds true in the field of adult education. Jack Mezirow, Emeritus Professor of Adult and Continuing Education, Teachers College, Columbia University, is considered one of the key players in defining and developing what we’ve come to know today as transformational learning. Based on his 1975 study of 83 women returning to college in 12 different reentry programs, he developed and evolved his critical theory of adult learning and education. His two published books on this subject, Fostering Critical Reflection in Adulthood: A Guide to Transformative and Emancipatory Learning (1990) and Transformative Dimensions of Adult Learning (1991), are considered seminal works on this subject. Mezirow believes that the main goal of adult learning it to “…help the learner challenge presuppositions, explore alternative perspectives, transform old ways of understanding, and act on new perspectives” (1990, p. 18). He further asserts that to promote and achieve such a goal it is imperative that the adult educator provide the kind of environment conducive to achieving such an outcome.
I believe the IAC Coaching Masteries® have a deep affinity with the goals and aims of transformative learning, and also correlate nicely with the six transformative learning educator skills and competencies (Cranton, 1994) illustrated in the following chart.
The IAC Coaching Masteries®
Correlation with Transformative Learning educator competencies and skills
2. Acting as provocateur: Foster critical thinking, encourage group support, counsel learners who are threatened by the dilemmas they face, support learners in the choices they make, and assist learners in implementing actions based on these choices.
5. Fostering learner empowerment: Using personal power appropriately, ensuring equal learner participation, and encouraging learner decision-making will facilitate a feeling of empowerment for the learner.
7. Helping learners with personal adjustments: Help the learner get clear on where limitations in thinking and feeling are present, thus encouraging greater sense of possibilities and future prospects.
2. Acting as provocateur: Foster critical thinking, encourage group support, counsel learners who are threatened by the dilemmas they face, support learners in the choices they make, and assist learners in implementing actions based on these choices.
3. Encouraging learner networks: Connect the learner to peer support groups to effectively deal with challenging assumptions and beliefs.
I encourage all coaches to take some time to examine the principles of transformative learning and apply them within the context of their coach-client relationships. In this way I believe the status of “professional coach” will be elevated and enjoy greater and greater validation in the world of adult learning and education.
Cranton, Patricia. Understanding and Promoting Transformative Learning: A Guide for Educators of Adults. San Francisco: Jossey-Bass, 1994.
LaValley, Jack. Coaching and adult learning: how and why the process of coaching facilitates transformative learning that can lead to life-transformation: Masters project, University of Bridgeport, Fall, 2008.
Mezirow, J. Transformative Dimensions of Adult Learning. San Francisco: Jossey-Bass, 1991.
Mezirow, J. Fostering Critical Reflection in Adulthood: A Guide to Transformative and Emancipatory Learning. San Francisco: Jossey-Bass, 1990.
Skiffington & Zeus. Behavioral coaching: How to build sustainable personal and organizational strength. Sydney: McGraw-Hill, 2003.
Jack LaValley is a Life Coach specializing in helping single adults successfully choose the right marriage partner. Jack and his wife Wha ja Oh-LaValley, a native of South Korea, are the proud parents of three beautiful children, and they reside in Westchester County, New York. Jack can be reached at: email@example.com.
Coaches often work with clients who seek help for the problem of procrastination. Clients feel stuck, dread deadlines, create last-minute havoc to get things done and feel badly about themselves for putting things off.
Some coaches procrastinate too—you might put off building up your business, returning calls or emails or setting up your web page. Maybe you handle your work life efficiently but find yourself procrastinating on home projects or taking care of your health.
It’s tempting to tell procrastinators, “Just do it,” but you have probably noticed that this approach doesn’t work. If they could, they would. Why can’t they?
Procrastination is usually thought of as a problem of time management or organization, so you offer your clients time management or organizational techniques. These techniques work, if clients use them. But have you noticed that clients often put off using your helpful suggestions?
The answer is to have a dual approach: consider the reasons why your client procrastinates and offer suggestions designed specifically for procrastinators.
Procrastination is complex. There are always psychological roots that lead to avoidance and procrastination; surprisingly, biology may be involved too.
The psychological roots of procrastination
People avoid tasks because there is some underlying anxiety associated with doing the job or finishing the job. Four main anxieties typically underlie procrastination:
• Fear of failure
If clients wait until the last minute and then are not satisfied with the results, they can always think that it would have been so much better if they had just started sooner. Their best is never evaluated, because they didn’t allow enough time to do their best. They maintain the illusion of brilliance, but the illusion is not tested.
Perfectionism is a common aspect of fear of failure. The perfectionist’s attitude is: “If it’s not perfect, it’s not good enough; if it’s not good enough, I’m not good enough.” Striving to be perfect is overwhelming, and feeling overwhelmed leads to procrastination. Sometimes it’s only the immediacy of the deadline that allows perfectionists to get to work, because they finally have to give up the notion that the task can be done perfectly.
• Fear of success
Although people hire coaches to help them become more successful, there are anxieties associated with success that lead people to procrastinate. They may be afraid of the greater responsibility and increased expectations that come with success. They may fear being in the spotlight as the authority figure that others will compete with. They may fear outshining their co-workers or close friends or relatives. They may feel that they don’t deserve success. Procrastination puts roadblocks on the road to success.
• Fear of feeling controlled
Procrastination can be an indirect way of saying NO; doing things on your own timetable and not on someone else’s schedule. In organizations, procrastination can help people feel they have some control over their work lives when their jobs are regimented or closely managed. For some people, maintaining their sense of independence and autonomy via procrastination is more psychologically important than cooperating (experienced as capitulating) and getting ahead.
• Fear of facing reality
You may have noticed that procrastinators can be very unrealistic. They may not know the date of their deadline, or they assume that deadlines don’t really matter. They may expect to accomplish more in a few hours than is humanly possible. They may believe that they are prepared when they are not. They may expect that everyone will rally to help them at the last minute, when people actually resent being pulled into their time trap. As one procrastinator protested, “Reality sucks!”
The common thread in these fears is that procrastination is a strategy that puts the focus on timelines and evades the underlying issues of feeling like a failure, facing the pressures of success, having to protect a sense of independence or accepting unpleasant realities.
The biological roots of procrastination
For some people, procrastination also has biological roots. For example:
If someone is depressed, it may take too much energy to get anything done.
People with ADD have difficulty focusing and resisting distractions, so they put off work that takes a lot of focused attention, leaving a trail of unfinished projects behind them.
People with executive functioning problems have problems prioritizing, organizing and following through; life is full of abandoned dreams and disappointment.
Everyone’s internal clock is different. For some people, their subjective sense of time does not come close to matching actual clock time.
TIPS FOR PROCRASTINATORS
Set a goal. Help a procrastinator identify a goal in concrete, behavioral terms. Not “I’m going to get organized,” but “I’m going to spend one hour clearing off my desk.” Work on one goal at a time. Trying to do everything is part of the problem. Countering perfectionism is part of the solution.
Identify small steps. Show the procrastinator how any goal can be broken down into its component steps. Procrastinators think in vague and global terms, so it can be surprisingly difficult to get them to recognize the specific small steps that lead toward accomplishment of any goal.
Use small bits of time. Procrastinators don’t want to start until they have all the time they need to finish, but how often do you have large chunks of free time?
Learn to tell time. Guess how long something will take, then measure how long it actually takes. Most procrastinators underestimate or overestimate time.
Monitor progress. Self-monitoring is a helpful motivator. Keep track of how much time is actually spent working on the goal. Even a little bit counts. This system sets up rewards for progress and confronts a procrastinator with the reality of where time goes.
Get support. Don’t suffer in isolation over projects that have been put off. Get help in identifying where to start, what to leave out, and which steps to take. People who don’t procrastinate often have a hard time understanding why procrastinators don’t approach work as they do, so it’s important to choose the right person for support.
Jane Burka, PhD and Lenora Yuen, PhD are co-authors of Procrastination: Why You Do It; What To Do About It NOW, published in 2008 by DaCapo Press (www.procrastinationbook.info). Burka and Yuen are psychologists in the San Francisco Bay Area and have conducted procrastination groups and workshops for businesses and non-profit organizations.
In today’s environment characterized by caution about the economic outlook and uncertainty of how long and how deep this crisis will be, organizations are bracing themselves to ride it out with less headcount but still expecting the same or greater top line growth and returns. (Do more with less.) A tall order when you think about it, and the picture gets even gloomier when we see pay and incentives pulled back with further belt-tightening measures.
The crux of the organizational dilemma is that while there is a need for increasing productivity, employees are potentially growing unmotivated, disengaged and uncommitted, and since there is no guarantee that their livelihoods are assured, fearing the worst for their jobs.
So what can be done under these troubling circumstances? What can organizations do to develop an environment where people feel motivated, engaged and committed even during these critical times?
Having worked with numerous organizations in the region, I have found that the resilience of an organization, especially in tough times, is reflected in its leadership.
The primary explanation when people leave an organization has often been that they are not leaving the company but leaving their bosses.
The key is to build a culture of coaching. While not a panacea for all ills within an organization, it is critical for helping organizations deal with the dilemma of increasing productivity with less headcount and less incentives. Take a look at the study conducted by Manchester Inc. Florida, USA about the benefits of coaching, which included 100 executives from Fortune 1000 companies and measured the improvements coaching reaped for these organizations.
Improvements to the company:
Improvements to executive performance:
• Productivity (53%)
Working relationships with direct reports (77%)
• Quality (48%)
Working relationships with immediate supervisors (71%)
• Organizational strength (48%)
• Customer service (39%)
Working relationship with peers (63%)
• Reducing customer complaints (34%)
Job satisfaction (61%)
• Retention of executives who received coaching (32%)
Conflict resolution (52%)
• Cost reductions (23%)
Organizational commitment (44%)
• Bottom-line profitability (22%)
Creating the environment for coaching
Coaching has to survive within the opportunities and boundaries created by an organization’s Culture (values, norms). In order to achieve excellent performance and the desired business results, the coach must work with the appropriate Culture and organizational Context (strategy, structure, systems) to achieve Commitment (motivation) and Competence (development and application of knowledge and skills) from the clients.
The degree to which coaches can succeed in communicating organizational context and culture and gaining competence from people will be greatly determined by how successfully the coach can build trusting relationships.
Acquiring the right skill set – a case study
Justin, a manager in a multi-national organization, has been coaching his team for a few years, but he has never been able to measure his effectiveness as a coach or see what his gaps were as a coach. By leveraging the highest global standards of Coaching Masteries® from the International Association of Coaching® (IAC), he has been able to consciously assess himself as he carries out his coaching conversations with his employees. In tough times, as managers we have considerable less time to carry out quality conversations with employees. For Justin, with knowledge of the Coaching Masteries™, he has been able to first connect with who he is as a coach and then be able to draw out the potential from his employees and deliver the results.
Building a marketable skill
In difficult times, how do we create incentive for employees to build and enhance their coaching skills so we can continue to build a coaching culture within the organization? Providing marketable skills through a global certification process from the International Association of Coaching® (IAC) provides leaders with a progressive growth and benchmarking of their coaching practice.
In an environment where organizations are trying to do more with less, how do we motivate, engage and commit our people to increase productivity and continued growth?
Create a culture that supports coaching.
Encourage the development of coaching skills that are based on the highest global standards like the IAC Coaching Masteries®.
Provide the foundation for building marketable coaching skills for leaders that is based on a global certifying body like IAC.
Teo Jin Lee is the Founding President of SCIAC and the Managing Director of SMG Training Systems, a licensed school of IAC Coaching Masteries®. Jin Lee has been coaching, training and consulting with leaders across the Asia Pacific region for over 20 years. She has coached executives through key transformational and change initiatives, epitomized by the turbulent times today. For more information contact firstname.lastname@example.org.
Many coaches tell me that Mastery #8 is one of their favorites. I think this is because when inviting possibility, the coach’s job is to create an environment that allows ideas, options and opportunities to emerge. By definition it does not require closure, completion or perfection.
The way in which Inviting Possibility is used is important, though. When used properly, this mastery can help the client make dramatic leaps forward in their goals. It is also possible to misuse this mastery, producing an undesirable effect on the coaching and with the client.
Inviting Possibilities is happening when thoughts, ideas and actions are expanded. The client’s awareness is stretched beyond the norm, and he or she has more options than previously realized. It is essential that the coaching discussion be one of discovery and exploration. While the coach may share ideas or perspectives, it must be done with the client’s needs in mind, and for the purpose of expanding what is possible, not narrowing down or moving toward resolution prematurely.
There are three critical distinctions the coach must make when using this Mastery at a masterful level.
First, the coach must not impose his or her expertise. The coach may have ideas and suggestions, but when coming from the perspective of an “expert,” the coach is deciding what is best for the client. It is better for the coach to adopt a “beginner’s mind” – listening as if for the first time, with eyes and mind wide open for whatever might appear. The coach does have wisdom and experience, but when inviting possibility, the idea is to bring in or generate something new.
Nina East is the IAC®’s Lead Certifier and the founder of www.PersonalGrowthPrincess.com, 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.
"Coaching Moments" takes a thoughtful look at how coaching can be interwoven into our daily lives.
The Empty Jug by Janice Hunter, IAC-CC
The only difference between an extraordinary life and an ordinary one is the extraordinary pleasures you find in ordinary things. ~ Veronique Vienne.
I stood at the kitchen sink, robotically washing dishes. I paused, my gaze landing on a hand-painted jug on the window ledge, raindrops running down the glass. I clung to the sink with soapy hands, hunched forward, eyes clenched shut, terrified that I might miss another deadline, that I’d never have another moment of revelation, the inspiration that flows in and fills me up then spills over into my writing and my online coaching.
Washed out and weary, worried about money, unable to capture moments of fleeting inspiration as they flit and dance through my day, just out of reach, I stood, suds dripping, tears running down my face.
A quick wipe with the back of my hand, all traces gone, I picked up a tea towel and started to dry the dishes. Plates, bowls and jugs from our years in Greece and Portugal, all different sizes, shapes and designs. I looked again at the small jug on the window ledge. Cobalt blue and bottle green, ringed in bands of yellow and rusty red hearts. Sometimes I use it for flowers; most often, it stays empty, reminding me to be present, to stay open to inspiration and abundance. I looked down at the draining board and suddenly realised that not only do I have a lot of jugs, I seem to have been collecting and cherishing them all my life.
There’s a porcelain one from Portugal, hand-painted with deer and flowers which we only use for gravy on feast days and holidays. There’s a little pastel-coloured striped one with a flat bottom that’s used for milk when we have visitors; it’s the kind a sailor’s wife would keep on her window ledge, filled with snowdrops. A round-bellied classic white jug for water. A sturdy terracotta one decorated with a blue glaze and white slip. A spout-less pink tin cylinder for Greek retsina. An elegant, clear glass bottle with a gem-blue glass stopper that I use on warm days to keep water cold in the fridge.
Pencils in a chipped, speckled stoneware jug. A spider plant in a blue teapot. I rushed to the dining room and stared at what I now saw was a collection in my cabinet, in among all the other mismatched crockery. There, in pride of place, a single-setting tea service with sugar bowl and milk jug, painted decades ago by my mum’s elderly cousin, the artist who never married after her fiancé died in World War Two. We used to give my mum breakfast in bed every year on Mother’s Day, the tea tray laid with an embroidered cloth and those same dishes.
I remembered my grandmother pouring milk from a blue and white pitcher and friends’ birthday parties with ice cream and jelly and always large glass jugs of sparkling lemonade and orange juice. Always a woman somewhere, carrying a jug, offering something, pouring something.
All of my jugs are beautiful. They’re all unique and chosen, loved and special for something. They’re not meant to be permanently full; they’re designed to be filled and emptied as they pour. They’re beautiful just as they are, even when all they hold are memories and promise and a little bit of now.
I took the tea towel and lovingly dried and put away my crockery, went into the garden and found a few rain-drenched miniature daffodils and a spray of fragrant white hyacinth to put in my little heart jug at the window.
Sometimes we wait knowingly, patiently, for inspiration to fill us to overflowing. Sometimes, we simply need to love ourselves enough.
Janice Hunter is an IAC certified homelife coach who lives in Scotland with her husband and two children. She created and co-wrote Sharing the Certification Journey: Six IAC Coaches Talk About Their Journeys, and her blogsite, www.sharingthejourney.co.uk, provides soul food and support for coaches, writers, parents and home-based workers.
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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