IAC VOICE, Volume 4, Issue 41, November 2009, Circulation 13,330
November 12, 2009
From the Editor
In today's issue of the IAC VOICE, we welcome President-Elect Bob Tschannen-Moran as a regular contributor. Starting in January he will be writing the President's Message, and until then he will have other IAC news to share.
Current President Angela Spaxman is reflecting on the power of collaboration, and its role in the IAC strategy process that continues with two calls in January. She also has some news about the website.
If you're looking for a compelling story, look no further than our first feature article from Story Coach Lisa Bloom.
Lead Certifier Natalie Tucker Miller unveils the new Ask the Certifiers format of the Inside Scoop column, with the very tricky distinction of encouraging versus cheerleading.
And in today's Coaching Moments, Janice Hunter invites you to question your assumptions and be willing to receive something even better. She gives Disney a run for their money with her own expert storytelling – especially fitting with our feature article about story coaching!
Enjoy the issue, and please note that 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 November 16th for the December 10th issue, or by December 14th for the January 8th issue.
IAC Strategy Process and the Future of Collaboration
One of the key words emerging from our current strategy process is collaboration. This word is both attractive and challenging. The extent to which we are willing to be guided by this word will be the extent to which we can create what we most want for coaching and the world. It indicates the trend of our times, as by necessity the world must work together to achieve our joint aims.
Our strategic goals are not for us to "be the best" (implying competition) but for us to "create the best" (through collaboration). We can do that most effectively when we collaborate with the other people who want what we want—and there are literally millions of them.
Coaches are good at collaborating since we do this with our clients all the time. But how well can we collaborate with each other, even when we disagree? How do we feel about collaborating with so-called competitors such as other coaching associations? Are we mature enough to stand up for our own values while respecting and even supporting others? Are our goals compelling enough to entice the best collaborators worldwide to work with us?
I'm asking myself these questions as we enter the next phase of our strategy process. So far we've worked on our vision—what we want for coaching and the IAC. I outlined the main points last month. We're now working with all the ideas we've collected so far to create a coherent vision which will be ready next month.
Next we will be asking how we will make that vision a reality and we've scheduled two calls in January 2010 to brainstorm and collect ideas. Once again this will be a chance to share with fellow IAC members worldwide in two stimulating conversations led by Dave Ellis. Please mark your calendars. I am keen to understand you and collaborate with you.
Strategy Call #4 (IAC members only):
Jan 12, 2:00-3:30 p.m. Eastern Time (01/12/2010) OR Jan 14, 9:00-10:30 p.m. Eastern Time (01/14/2010)
IAC Chapters are the most direct ways for us to collaborate to support each other, improve our coaching and our businesses. We've updated our web page so that you can now find our virtual chapters more easily. Take a look here, and follow the links to join a Chapter or start a new one.
The IAC Website Make-Over Committee has been reading dozens of proposals to select a contractor who will help us add features and usability to our website. It's proving to be an amazing learning opportunity for the Committee. We're still looking for web-savvy people to help us with this exciting project. The work will begin before the end of the year. To find out more, email Communications Committee Chair Sue Brundege.
From the President-Elect: IAC Meet-Up at the ICF Conference in Orlando
As President-Elect of the IAC, I want to begin by introducing myself, inviting dialogue, and announcing an opportunity to meet at the ICF Conference in Orlando.
A little about me: After graduating from Yale Divinity School in 1979, I worked for about 20 years as a pastor before becoming a full-time coach. I’ve loved every minute of coaching and was certified by the IAC in 2005. What a privilege we have to be learning professionals! Whether it is in the most personal of life coaching relationships or in largest of organizational contexts, to come up alongside our clients and to share in their journey is quite an opportunity. Like every coach, I’ve learned as much from my clients as they’ve learned from me. You can read more about my background and work by visiting www.LifeTrekCoaching.com.
Inviting dialogue: I have so enjoyed and appreciated the work that we are doing through the Strategy process. So many great ideas are surfacing that will serve us well for years to come. Our President, Angela Spaxman, has spearheaded a great process here that will leave quite a legacy. As we move forward, I promise to do my best to follow in her footsteps and to support the continued evolution of the IAC. Please do not hesitate to write me with your ideas, questions, and suggestions at any point in time: PresidentElect@certifiedcoach.org.
Invitation to meet in Orlando: Several of us from the IAC, including Joan Marie Johnson, Kristi Arndt and myself, will be attending the ICF Conference in Orlando during the first week in December. If you will be in attendance, please let me know so we can connect. The IAC is hosting a get-together on Thursday evening, December 3, 2009 at the Rosen Shingle Creek Resort, 9939 Universal Boulevard, Orlando, Florida 32819. We will watch the video, “Celebrate What’s Right With The World” by National Geographic photographer Dewitt Jones, and use the occasion to appreciate what the IAC has to offer in the coaching world. Whether or not you are attending the ICF Conference, if you're in the Orlando area you can attend the IAC gathering on Thursday and we would love to meet up with you. Please RSVP to PresidentElect@certifiedcoach.org so we can reserve the right size room at the Resort.
That’s enough for now. I hope to see you in Orlando and/or to hear from you soon.
Story Coaching – A Powerful Combination for Success! by Lisa Bloom, MBA, PCC
Once upon a time, in a land far, far away, the stepmother was ugly but good, and the princess was beautiful but mean!
What would you do if you could rewrite the classic stories of your childhood? What if Cinderella forgot to leave the ball at midnight, the prince hated her in peasant clothes and the whole kingdom laughed her out of the palace? What if they thought she was a witch because she transformed herself, and that she ought to be drowned? What if all that time spent sweeping the chimney gave her consumption and the spoiled prince couldn’t stand the sound of her coughing? What if they didn’t actually get on very well and fought constantly? What if Cinderella had fallen for a princess instead?
Here are some broader questions about storytelling, which we will answer in this article:
Why is storytelling experiencing a dynamic revival and how is that relevant to coaching?
Why do we love stories so much and how can they transform our lives and business?
What is the role of storytelling in coaching and why is it becoming such a hot topic in business?
Storytelling is an age-old tradition in every culture. It happens in many different settings, around the fire, over the washing of clothes in the river or by the well. It is the way people have connected and shared their lives with each other since the beginning of time. Throughout the generations, communities have passed down their stories from parent to child, preserving their history and culture, recording their experiences. In The Springboard: How Storytelling Ignites Action in Knowledge-Era Organizations, author Stephen Denning says, "Stories provide continuity in our lives, conveying a sense of where we have come from, our history and our heritage…through stories, our values and principals have been passed from one generation to another."
We now live in a world where there is a huge reliance on technology and where there is a vast amount of knowledge on every subject readily available to huge populations of people. In spite of this, or perhaps as a result of this, storytelling as an art form is in the midst of a revival world-wide. People are craving the simplicity of traditional storytelling. Annette Simmons in The Story Factor says, "Information simply leaves us feeling incompetent and lost. We don’t need more information. We need to know what it means. We need a story that explains what it means and makes us feel like we fit in there somewhere."
We are fascinated by stories and instinctively understand and experience the power of both telling and listening to stories. Storytelling is being used more and more in therapeutic environments, increasingly recognised as a powerful tool to help people better understand themselves and make positive changes in their lives.
There has been an explosion of interest in social media, human development, and coaching as a profession; people are searching for connection on so many levels; they are looking for truth and a sense that their life has meaning. "When you tell a story that touches me, you give me the gift of human attention – the kind that connects me to you, that touches my heart and makes me feel more alive……We crave something that is real or at least feels real…", according to Annette Simmons in The Story Factor.
Storytelling is the perfect complement to the coaching process, helping us answer the questions we bring into coaching. On one level, storytelling gives the coach an additional tool to get to a level of understanding or awareness which may be inaccessible to the client. This level may be blocked for many reasons; through listening to a story, the client can hear and subsequently deal with more difficult issues.
On another level, we are all storytellers and our narrative is the story of how we talk of our lives. As we experience life, we "tell" it. We pass along almost every event that happens to us–as an anecdote, complaint or amusing tableside story–sometimes lightly and sometimes purposefully and with interpretation. And in the "telling," in the narrative we choose, we define the experience. When we look closely at the narrative and examine the stories we choose to tell, we begin to understand how committed we can become to these stories. We also understand the fascinating potential to create new and better stories–stories that empower us and allow us create a more fulfilling reality.
Businesses in every industry, including coaching, are discovering that as we develop our storytelling skills, we learn how to better market our services by creating our own compelling story–the authentic story of what we can offer. It is the story that people remember, it is the story that has the potential to attract clients, it is the story that is becoming increasingly recognized as an effective business tool.
Likewise, as we develop advanced "storylistening" skills, we can better understand the stories that our prospective clients tell us. From that, our sales and marketing process becomes more exact and this helps us grow our business and break through to a new level of success.
Lisa Bloom, MBA, PCC, founder of Story Coach Inc., is the creator of "Cinderella and the Coach – the Power of Storytelling for Coaching Success," an ICF-accredited continuing education program. Visit www.story-coach.com to download the free e-book, "5 Common Mistakes People Make That a Good Story Can Fix," or contact email@example.com.
Three Strategies for Using Workshops to Grow Your Business by Kim Clausen and Jonathan Tessier
Workshops are a powerful tool for growing a coaching business. Used effectively, workshops can generate substantial additional income, establish you as a creditable expert in your market, attract more prospects into your business, and convert participants to clients. Plus you get the satisfaction of providing a valuable service that impacts the lives of those you serve.
Here are three powerful strategies that you can use to create, market and facilitate more impactful workshops:
Strategy #1 – Make Your Workshops Compelling
Learning should never be regarded as something that’s boring, agonizing, or tedious. What makes the idea of learning a turn-off for so many is their past experiences of being lectured to with no opportunity to participate. For learning to be effective, workshop participants need to be actively engaged in the learning process.
For example, at the beginning of any workshop, make sure to warm up your participants so they are receptive to learning. Preparing participants this way will establish positive feelings, generate interest, and get them primed for the learning that’s about to take place. The easiest way to prime your participants for learning is with an icebreaker activity that loosens up the participants and makes them feel comfortable.
Another strategy to make workshops compelling is to present new information to participants in a way that requires active involvement. Traditional techniques such as lecturing should only be used as a last resort – never your main vehicle for delivering content. Once new information has been presented, let participants reflect on, discuss, and actively experience what they are gaining.
And finally, participants need some time to reflect on their experiences from the workshop and apply what they have learned. Reviewing and then applying what has been learned is critical for long-term retention.
Strategy #2 – Market for Maximum Attendance
Once you have designed a compelling workshop, the next step is to get people to attend. Using proven marketing strategies to fill your workshops will give you a much higher attendance rate, greater client conversions, repeat customers, and lifelong friends! Here are a few tips for filling your workshops:
Target your marketing: Typically, coaches struggle with filling their workshops because their marketing is random rather than targeted, with activities like posting fliers, running miscellaneous ads, and sending a single email to their potpourri list of contacts. In order to get the best results for your workshop, focus your efforts toward a specific market so that you can speak their language, get their attention, and deliver compelling workshops that meet their greatest needs.
“Touch” frequently and regularly: The best way to have maximum attendance at your workshops is to start marketing early by “touching” (contacting) your prospects numerous times in advance, offering them free, value-added products and services about a related topic. For example, you could offer a special report, an article, an audio product or a teleseminar. The key is to send several messages, giving your prospect more opportunities to become familiar with you, like you, trust you, and be willing to invest in your workshop.
Compel them to act: In today’s market of constant bombardment and media overload, it is more important than ever that your marketing efforts “rise above the noise” so you can be seen and heard, and capture the attention of your market. In order to effectively capture your market’s attention, create compelling offers with incentives, deadlines or bonuses.
Strategy #3: Deliver a Workshop That Makes an Impact
When facilitating a workshop or training program, the number one element for success is to make the learning experience be all about the learner. Facilitation is not about being the "sage on the stage," but instead, about being simply a "guide on the side." In workshops, effective facilitators manage the learning process as well as each and every learner within it, and create a setting where discussion, interaction, and learning can take place. The best news is that anyone can lead powerful workshops that produce positive results, once you've mastered some basic facilitation techniques.
Workshops are a powerful tool to grow a coaching business. Learning programs such as workshops, teletrainings and seminars allow you to reach your market with a valuable service that impacts both the lives of those you serve, and your bottom line.
Kim Clausen is the President of Ready2Go Marketing Solutions, Inc., a company that creates ready-made workshops, teleseminars, speeches and other materials that coaches can brand as their own to grow their business. Kim is a professionally-trained coach who has more than 20 years of marketing and business development experience.
Jonathan Tessier, Senior Instructional Designer with Ready2Go Marketing Solutions, Inc., is a successful training manager, professional coach, and award-winning instructional designer with more than 10 years experience creating quality training programs. For more information about creating, marketing and facilitating workshops, call 303-465-0454 or visit www.Ready2GoMarketingSolutions.com and download our free training materials.
The following is an excerpt from Chapter 17 of the upcoming book, Coaching Emotional Intelligence: A foundation for HR professionals, internal coaches, trainers and consultants, by Joseph Liberti.
Once your student sits down in your classroom, what will make the greatest difference in how much she will learn? Once the coaching conversation begins with your client, what will have the greatest influence on his progress?
You! You are the influential difference in learning, change and growth. That is true about the facilitator of any subject, and it is especially true in the development of emotional intelligence.
To understand your influence, consider that two elements that are involved in determining your results when you conduct coaching or training are: • What you do, and • How you are being when you do it.
What you do is important because that provides necessary support for you and your clients or learners. Presenting the right information, in the right sequence, with the right materials are examples of things that are important for you to do to get good results.
How you are being when you do those things makes all the difference. Your way of being, the nature and quality of your behavior, has the single greatest influence on outcomes in your training and your coaching. Nothing that you can do will be more powerful than that. So how must you be to most positively influence learning?
The three ways you must be, to most powerfully influence learning outcomes are: 1. Be present 2. Be connected 3. Be contextual
Be present What does being present mean to you? When I have asked that question of my students they respond with things like “being in the moment” or “being in the now.” Let’s agree for this conversation that being present is being mentally, physically and emotionally focused on each moment. To be present, you have to be here in his moment—not in the past or future but right now. So that means you cannot be focused on the future as when you are thinking, “oh my goodness, what do I do next? You cannot be focused on the past, as when you are still caught up in the thoughts and feelings of a disagreement you had just before class or your coaching session started. You cannot be focused on other problems, deadlines or whatever.
Now those things sound obvious. What’s not so obvious, and frequently happens unconsciously, is losing your focus on the present because you are caught up in an emotional agenda. For example, it’s possible to have an emotional agenda around being approved of. Fear, perhaps of being rejected, has you focused on getting people to like you rather than being focused on being present to the needs of your audience and being effective.
What is important about being present? When you are present you can tune in acutely to your client or audience. You can really hear the meaning behind the words they say. You can respond instead of reacting, choosing the most appropriate and effective things to say and do.
Being present, moment-to-moment is easier said than done. What enables one to be present?
The skills that enable one to focus on this moment are skills of emotional intelligence.
If you are emotionally self-aware that means that you are tuned in to you—you are recognizing the emotions that are influencing your thoughts and actions. If you are also effective at emotional self-management, you can be fully available to your clients or students.
You must be tuned in and connected to yourself first, in order to be tuned in to, and make full connection with, somebody else.
If you are aware of what your emotions are and are able to manage yourself by being a compassionate witness to your emotions, but not have them dictate your behavior, you can be fully present.
For example, you may feel anxious and think “I must perform,” so that people will approve of you. Or, you may think, “I hope I’m doing this right.” To experience the feeling of anxiety, to sense and acknowledge your feeling and to be able to stay in the moment, is what’s required to be present. So, your emotional skills, including emotional self-awareness, and emotional self-management are critical to staying present.
What disables being in the present is denial or avoidance of your emotions. For example, you may have had thoughts like this: “I am anxious about this presentation today. But I’ve been told to leave my emotions at home and put them behind me and I’m not going to pay any attention to that fear. I’m not really afraid anyway. That’s nonsense, that fear stuff. Come on, I’m able to get past that.” That’s how we were trained by our society and our workplaces to think and act, but it doesn’t work.
What does work is to witness the emotion, to acknowledge the emotion and to regulate or command the emotion instead of having it command you. That doesn’t mean denial or avoidance. That means staying present to your experience. And the degree to which you can stay present to your experience is communicated to your audience whether that audience is one or one thousand.
That demonstration of being present teaches very powerfully. You are providing your client or audience the vicarious experience of being emotionally aware, self-managing and present. There’s no other way to equal that level of power in teaching and coaching.
Joseph Liberti is the founder of EQ At Work, an organization that trains and certifies emotional intelligence coaches and trainers. If you would like to read the full chapter, "The Influential Difference," contact firstname.lastname@example.org or www.eqatwork.com.
What's Wrong with Cheerleading, Anyway? by Natalie Tucker Miller, IAC-CC
A change in leadership often includes subtle changes that reflect the style of the new leader. This month, Nina East’s VOICE column, The Inside Scoop, goes through some changes as I humbly step in to position of Lead Certifier.
Lessons from the Certifiers will be replaced with a new format, Ask the Certifiers.
We often hear from coaches who have questions about specific aspects of their coaching and how it conforms to the IAC Coaching Masteries®. Sometimes these questions arise following a recording that did not receive a passing score, or when a coach is unclear as to how to interpret the Masteries Note Card and they seek further clarification. Other questions include the best path to learning the Masteries or technical questions regarding the entire process from start-to-finish!
This column will serve to answer those questions posed by our members. The certification board is continually looking for the most appropriate ways to support members who are preparing for certification. We’d like this to be YOUR column, where you can ask your burning questions! This is your opportunity to “pick our brains.” All questions regarding IAC certification are encouraged and welcomed and we will provide the most up-to-date and accurate information.
For this month, I’m including a Q & A as just one example of the type of question you may wish to ask.
Q ~ In the Masteries E-book there is an effective behavior of offers sincere encouragement while cheerleading is an ineffective behavior (which, by the way, I got marked down for on my certification scorecard). I don’t understand what the difference is, because I am very sincere when I cheer my clients on.
A ~ This distinction in Mastery #2, perceiving, affirming and expanding the client’s potential, may seem like a fine line at times. To clarify, the distinction isn’t around sincerity versus insincerity, rather encouragement versus cheerleading. Most of us do appreciate some well-placed, sincere cheerleading in our lives from time to time and we're not saying you can never do a little happy dance for your client!
However, in cases when the most beneficial approach is to affirm and expand, cheerleading can be too focused on what the client did as opposed to their potential or who they are, and could have little or no effect, could be embarrassing or could even be annoying.
Natalie Tucker Miller, IAC-CC, is the Lead Certifier and a certifying examiner at the IAC, as well as Past-President. She is Dean of Students and a Master Instructor at the School of Coaching Mastery. Natalie is founder of Ageless-Sages.com Publishing (www.ageless-sages.com), and creator of the literary genre, Picture Books for Elders™.
"Coaching Moments" takes a thoughtful look at how coaching can be interwoven into our daily lives.
Up, down, amazing and grateful by Janice Hunter, IAC-CC
The state of your life is nothing more than a reflection of your state of mind. ~ Wayne Dyer
My daughter’s 14th birthday was a day full of assumptions, both hers and mine. She didn’t know her best friends were throwing a surprise birthday party later in the week, and her sadness at not receiving presents or cards from them, on the morning of her birthday, seeped through her gratitude for everything else. I stayed quietly positive and cheerful throughout the day, assuming she would rather have the eventual surprise than the truth.
We went to the cinema in the afternoon, and as she couldn’t make up her mind which film she’d like to see, my husband bought tickets for the new Disney Pixar film, Up, which had received great reviews. One look at the poster–a house flying through the air suspended by balloons–had her assuming the film would be “babyish.”
We settled into our seats, the lights dimmed, the adverts blared across the screen in the darkness, and soon we were surrounded by the sounds and smells of popcorn, hotdogs and nachos.
I loved the first five minutes of the film. The music was poignant and moving, and through a sequence of short scenes and vignettes, we saw the quiet, quirky child grow old and grumpy as, one by one, he shelved the dreams of his youth.
Thud. My seat jarred forward as it was kicked from behind. I turned to see a boy of seven or eight sitting next to a stony-faced man, a weary washed-out looking mum and a gum-chewing sister.
I decided not to say anything. The simple act of turning around is usually enough.
The film surprised me; in turns bizarre and surreal, touching and funny, it was strangely mesmerizing. The two main characters, a lonely, overweight boy full of childhood exuberance, and an irascible, heartbroken widower, became unlikely companions on a road trip. The difference in their ages gave the film great breadth of scope and depth, while the themes of disappointment and frustration, stubbornness and letting go, redemption and hope were woven throughout with compassion and wit.
Disney films enchant me. The colours are glorious and they evoke memories of watching them with my saucer-eyed kids. A quick glance to the side showed my husband laughing with my son and my daughter giggling, devouring every detail.
Thud…thud. I fought the urge to turn round, scared that a negative reaction from the boy or his parents might embarrass my daughter and spoil her birthday film.
I took a deep breath, knowing the wriggling kicks were a distraction I had to overcome. My kids have always been very settled and courteous in cinemas, but as I’ve got older, it seems like fewer children can sit still for the length of a film without eating, wriggling or talking.
The sounds of laughter, music and talking dogs filled the warm darkness of the cinema. Glorious multicoloured balloons, bright plumage and jungle scenes filled the screen, and I tried my best to simply let go and fill my heart with compassion.
The credits rolled and we were the only two families who stayed to watch till the end.
As the lights went up, from behind me came a “Wow! That was amazing!” The mum and dad said nothing. “Dad, that was the best thing I’ve ever seen!” “Don’t be stupid,” said the dad. “It was the best film I’ve ever seen, Dad. It was amazing!”
His joy was contagious and I turned to smile at his mum, expecting to see her happy at the pleasure they’d so obviously brought him. She looked sad and distant as the man put on his coat in silence, and the older girl pulled her mobile phone from her pocket.
I left the cinema curious about who they were and what was going on in their lives. I wondered how long the boy’s delight in films would last and I was glad I hadn’t said or done anything to ruin, what for him, was the most amazing film ever.
Epilogue: A few days later, my daughter came home to a room full of bright banners, balloons and birthday party food, all bought and prepared by her best friends. The cries of “Surprise!!” brought her hands to her face in shocked delight, then sudden awareness as she looked at me with tears and comprehension in her eyes. The long, tear-filled hug she gave me was full of gratitude and appreciation for my part in the surprise, which I’d known about for weeks. Laughing and giggling with her friends, she blew out the candles on her cake and made a wish for the second time that week; I could see that all of her sadness from the previous days had disappeared.
Surrounded by friends, good food and the determination to celebrate, it’s so much easier to feel grateful. As we all prepare for the coming season of gratitude and goodwill, blessings and bounty, I’d like to take this chance to thank you. I wish I could convey in words how much pleasure it gives me to belong to this community, to know you’ve taken the time to read my words.
I can’t offer you food, or tokens of peace and friendship, but I wanted to let you know that I’ll be thinking of you on Thanksgiving Day and giving thanks for the Internet, for the coaching we share and for the wonderful universe whose plan brought us together. I’m not American, but I shamelessly adopt rituals and celebrations from all over the world, special days that make smiles brighter and hearts warmer, days that bring people together in shared gratitude for life, love and blessings, wherever we live, whoever we are. Thank you. My life is better because of you.
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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