IAC VOICE, Volume 4, Issue 46, April 2010, Circulation 13,573
April 1, 2010 April 1, 2010
From the Editor
Welcome to the April issue of the VOICE! In IAC news this month, President Bob Tschannen-Moran is featured in the most recent issue of choice, the magazine of professional coaching (read a copy of the article). In his VOICE column, Bob explores the IAC's identity as a learning organization, while Susan R. Meyer's Board of Governors (BOG) Action News includes updates on the IAC's Strategic Plan as well as other projects.
Before I introduce our new column, I want to express my gratitude to Janice Hunter for her rich contribution to this newsletter. Barbra Sundquist, Janice's first editor here at the VOICE, offered these thoughts:
The VOICE had just been reactivated after being dormant for a while. I was the new Editor. I knew Janice from my BACC program, I knew she had deep insight and I knew she liked to write. I asked her if she would like to be a columnist and the rest is history! While I can’t remember who came up with the name, I asked Janice to write about "how coaching shows up in everyday life."
Janice and I were always in perfect sync as editor and writer—I so appreciated her contributions and she appreciated the opportunity to write for a coaching audience. When I think back about Janice's contributions to the VOICE and the IAC, these three things stand out the most:
1. Her dedication—she is the longest serving regular contributor to the VOICE 2. What a truly great writer she is 3. How many of her articles brought me to tears
Thank you, Barbra! Thank you, Janice!!
While Janice's Coaching Moments column can never be replicated or replaced, the IAC Communications Committee wanted to continue to explore how coaching intersects with daily life. So we asked Alison Davis to expand on what she wrote in her January 2010 article, The Coaching Masteries—Foundations for Living.
Our first feature article this month is from Spanish sculptor Jabier Ans, who entices us with the power of the retreat. Then, Angela Dimos writes about how to brand your business, touching on everything from the Nike tick to executive coaching to Facebook.
Through his book The Fifth Discipline, Peter Senge helped to popularize and clarify one of the most prominent management concepts of the 1990s: "the learning organization." Adding rigor to what otherwise might have become a passing fad, Senge identified five (hence the name of his book) "component technologies" that identify a learning organization:
Systems Thinking. Understanding the interconnectedness of everything, learning organizations focus on patterns rather than isolated parts of the system.
Personal Mastery. Understanding that organizations are made up of people, learning organizations focus on growing the commitment and capacity of their members.
Mental Models. Understanding the hidden nature of assumptions, generalizations and beliefs, learning organizations bring them out into the open.
Shared Vision. Understanding the power of vision to beckon people forward, learning organizations develop shared visions of future possibility.
Team Learning. Understanding that many heads are better than one, learning organizations facilitate dialogue to align and develop their understandings and efforts.
If those five components sound strikingly familiar to you, then perhaps that’s because you are an active part of the International Association of Coaching. If the IAC is anything, we are a "learning organization." The five components characterize the IAC in so many respects, including how we go about our work as an organization and how we understand the work of coaching itself. It is all about systems thinking, personal mastery, mental models, shared vision, and team learning.
Right now we are coming down the homestretch of our long-range planning process. We expect a final version of the plan to be approved at our Board of Governors meeting on April 12-13. I have been so impressed by the process we have followed, reaching out to every imaginable stakeholder in the organization. We have truly sought out the wisdom of the whole, an orientation I see reflected in both the process as well as the end product.
Much credit goes to our leadership team: Angela Spaxman, Joan Marie Johnson, Yoram Gordon and Aileen Gibb. They have carried the load and served us well. Our facilitator, Dave Ellis, was also instrumental in keeping us focused on the learning side of the equation. His constant reminder to think about our decisions in terms of their impact on seven generations expanded our thinking, broadened our vision and heightened our sense of responsibility. The IAC does not work for itself; we work for the good of our clients, our profession and, indeed, the world.
To that end, we are emerging from our planning process with some truly revolutionary insights and approaches when it comes to coach certification, training, mentoring and development. Instead of prescribing a standardized, one-size-fits-all process, we will be inviting coaches to define their own ongoing commitments for lifelong learning. Similar to the way Ben and Roz Zander write about the practice of "Giving an A" in their book The Art of Possibility, the IAC is looking to define a way for coaches and licensees to both unleash their inner genius and to hold themselves accountable to the highest standards of coaching mastery. Although we still have a lot of work to do before that process is fully defined and implemented, we are clearly seeking to evoke freedom and responsibility in all that we do.
The IAC is a learning organization with a learning mission when it comes to coaching and how we serve the world. We aim to make personalized learning the hallmark of coach certification, training, mentoring and development. We want to shift away from "Pass/Fail" to "Work in Progress" understandings, and strengths-based ones at that. The journey never ends and I, for one, am pleased that the IAC is working to celebrate and embody that understanding more fully in all that we do.
If this direction and approach sound exciting to you, then I would love for you to get more involved with the IAC and to join the conversation. I truly believe that the IAC has caught hold of a vision that will serve coaches, our organization and the world in ever-more-spectacular ways as time goes on. To make that happen, I invite you to join or to renew your membership today. "Yes we can!" is not just a phrase for politicians; together in the IAC, we can do much for coaching mastery.
May you be filled with goodness, peace and joy, Bob
Bob Tschannen-Moran, IAC-CC, is President of LifeTrek Coaching International. Together with this wife, Megan, Bob has written a new book titled Evocative Coaching (Jossey-Bass, July 2010), which incorporates the IAC Coaching Masteries® in a coaching model designed for leaders and coaches in K-12 schools. www.EvocativeCoaching.com
The Board of Governors (BOG) is having a busy month and is looking forward to putting a number of initiatives in place that will help increase IAC's membership and strengthen services to our members: Susan Meyer, Kerul Kassel and Doris Helge are setting up processes to contact new and renewing members to find out how we can best serve them.
In a related activity, the BOG and others who have been active in developing our Strategic Plan had a final meeting in March to review all recommendations and the committee expects to present the plan to the membership by the end of April. Our new plan will shape the direction of current initiatives including our website redesign, support for our chapters and the activities of the newly re-established Research Committee.
In addition, the Certification Team, under the leadership of Natalie Tucker Miller, is undertaking a two-year project with consultant Rick Gressard to ensure high levels of inter-rater reliability in the scoring of tapes submitted for certification. This project will both document our process and provide statistical evidence of agreement among raters.
Susan R. Meyer, IAC-CC is President of Susan R. Meyer, Coaching and Consulting and of Life-Work Coach. She provides personal and executive coaching and facilitates seminars on topics including life planning, emotional intelligence, leadership development, communication, and coaching skills for managers. www.susanrmeyer.com.
When guiding others it's sometimes easy to forget about ourselves. We neglect the most essential and helpful source of wisdom that makes us unique and allows us to follow our inner voice to provide others with value: our higher self.
To see with clarity what that higher self needs, how to nurture it so that it can nurture others, sometimes we need to get some distance from our daily routine. Whether you feel a vague sense that something is lacking, or you sense that you need to reconsider your priorities or redefine your values, a retreat might offer you the time and the space to connect with your essence and get clarity about which path to follow.
As a person it will help you tremendously. As a coach it will greatly improve your business, but most importantly it will help your clients—the people who are coming to you for guidance, whom you are committed to assist.
At the completion of your retreat, not only will you have gained wisdom, insight and experience, but you will have a new strategy to recommend to your clients.
If you have been thinking of taking a retreat but you are still hesitating, consider these benefits:
1- Time to contemplate
Any action must first be conceived, and this type of contemplation is a natural by-product of a retreat.
A retreat invites you on a journey into your inner self, it allows you to maintain communication with who you are, it takes you to a deeper sense of connection with the self and it helps you to align your thoughts with your actions.
2- Time to rediscover who you are
When the habits and social structure to which we belong limit our deepest being, it is time to stop, to retreat and to reassess who we are, emerging afresh.
There are many techniques, therapies and activities that provide us with that reunion with who we are, and taking a retreat in nature is one of them. It greatly facilitates the flow between our inner self and our outer actions, bringing us closer to our nature as creative human beings.
3- Time to rediscover your love for others
When we find peace within ourselves and we acknowledge, love and respect ourselves as we are, then we rediscover our love for others. We re-learn how to consider and appreciate others as human beings who deserve our confidence and respect. These are things that are sometimes forgotten in this stressful life.
4 – Increase vitality and improve health
Living within nature, it is so easy to order the cycles and rhythms that all animal beings need to regulate. You will experience improved sleep, oxygenation, digestion and vitality.
5- Increase confidence in life
By rediscovering who we are, our love for others and the respect we feel for all beings, we increase our confidence in life and recognize the common bond among us.
Something about living within nature helps us to let go of all the judgement and fear that seem ever present among humans. Let go of already set modes, prejudices, forms and structures.
6- Increase clarity
Taking a retreat allows us to get distance from our daily routine and see the essence of what we want in life. It helps us to place ourselves in a more objective approach between who we are and what we are called to live; to find inner peace by understanding that we are living our part, the life we consciously choose to live.
Jabier Ans is a sculptor and the founder of the Jabierans Retreat in Castellón, Spain, a sanctuary for those seeking peace and tranquility. It is nestled in the Castellón mountains with views of the Mediterranean sea and surrounded by stylish sculptures beautifully integrated within nature. For more information: http://sabbatical-retreat-spain.com/.
Do you think that branding is only for large corporations with serious bucks to spend on their advertising and marketing? No way! It doesn’t matter what size your business is, you should have a recognisable brand that sets you apart from your competitors and gives clients and prospective clients a perception of who you are and what your business stands for. Here I will discuss the importance of branding when deciding exactly what image you want to portray to the world.
Your brand is more than your logo, business card or website. It’s the identity of the company you want to portray to the world. It tells people what your business is about, what you do and even gives them an insight on what sort of person you are. It builds credibility within the marketplace and in time, will be recognisable as the symbol you portray. A great example is Nike, with their famous tick symbol. They have been around long enough that they don’t have to let the world know their name; it’s evident by a simple symbol. This is the most powerful marketing around.
You are not Nike
Big names like Nike and Coca Cola only need to tap into the existing awareness of their "brand," not a product they are selling. This is because those companies have been around for such a long period of time and are instantly recognisable for consumers.
This type of branding is too broad for the small to medium business owners. In the beginning, you should concentrate on direct response marketing. This is anything that seeks to evoke a reaction from your audience (e.g., purchase your product, visit your website or call you for more information). This is accomplished by writing amazing copy that entices people to respond. In order to do this, you must know what your unique selling difference is, position the message to your audience (your niche) and await the response.
A good way to differentiate yourself in the marketplace is to provide your customers with some sort of guarantee. The best way to do this is to ask your customers or perspective customers for examples of their pet peeves or complaints about your industry—what really fires them up?
If you’re an executive coach, perhaps your clients may tell you they really don’t like waiting for an email response to their question. So you could offer a guarantee that if a client ever has to wait longer than 24 hours for a response, they receive a free 30-minute coaching call.
Or maybe you run an online membership site, and you discover that people dislike a long wait for the delivery of items they've purchased. Offer a guarantee that if their materials don't arrive within one week, they'll be entitled to free shipping on their next order.
People love these types of gestures, and feel appreciated. By doing this, you set yourself apart in the industry and will build word of mouth referrals as well as loyal customers and revenue for your business. Simply saying you are great doesn’t mean a thing to your prospective clients. It’s when other people say you’re great that really matters.
Ask yourself, why am I unique at what I do and how can I provide that to my customers now and in the future?
Facebook is not just for teenagers
Social media may actually be the most effective way to brand your business. Don’t believe me? Look at the likes of Gary Vaynerchuk. After primarily utilizing traditional advertising techniques to build his family’s local wine business into a national industry leader, Gary rapidly leveraged social media tools such as Twitter and Facebook to promote Wine Library TV, his video blog about wine. As his viewership swelled to over 80,000 a day, doors opened to a book deal, several national TV appearances and a flurry of speaking engagements around the world. To find out exactly how he did it, I highly recommend his book, Crush It.
Angela Dimos created www.createyourbrandtoday.com to help business owners earn passive income online. Visit her website for free Internet marketing materials and information.
Is there room for personal style in the IAC Coaching Masteries®? by Natalie Tucker Miller, IAC-CC
Q.) I have my own unique style of coaching that works for me and my clients. Will I have to change my coaching style in order to pass IAC certification?
A.) One of the important aspects to understand about the IAC Coaching Masteries® is that they are not a coaching methodology. The Masteries are skill sets that have been extracted from a variety of coaching methods, in which measurable results are discernable.
That said, however, without knowing your unique style, it’s difficult to determine if IAC certification is the most appropriate route for you. Does your coaching methodology embody the skill sets that the IAC measures? The best way for you to determine if your style is aligned with the IAC masteries is to review the material and take note of which Masteries support your coaching approach and which, if any, do not? If there are areas that do not seem to coincide, will they prevent a measurable demonstration of the Masteries? These are the kinds of questions you can consider when looking at what is required to pass IAC certification.
Completing the sample written exam on the website might also help you determine if IAC certification is measuring skill sets that are part of your methodology and style.
You do raise a most important topic, so let’s look at this another way. If your coaching is to be authentic, wouldn’t it stand to reason that your unique style would be best suited for your coaching? Absolutely. What you may discover, however, is that with the inclusion of the IAC Masteries, your coaching can grow stronger while preserving your unique style.
We’ve heard from coaches who have discovered their style was enhanced and their coaching relationships strengthened when they incorporated the Masteries. The Masteries encourage a sophisticated level of communication that stimulates transformative growth in both the client and the coach! When you augment your coaching with the Masteries, you cannot help but be swept to a deeper level of thinking, a refining of your personal style and a providing of greater options for your client.
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™.
What Does Coaching Mastery Even Mean? by Julia Stewart, IAC-CC
Photo by: Tinyfroglet
That’s a question I’ve been obsessed with since early 2007 when I was preparing to launch the School of Coaching Mastery. Since then, I’ve discovered a tremendous amount about coaching and mastery. Most importantly, I’ve developed a keen appreciation for why coaching mastery matters so much, especially right now.
Here are some useful definitions of mastery:
Thomas Leonard, the founder of coaching, defined mastery as, "Creating the next iteration of your craft."
George Leonard, who wrote the book on Mastery, said, "At the heart of it, mastery is practice. Mastery is staying on the path."
I love both of these definitions, plus another that’s closely aligned to what Seth Godin calls, "sprezzatura." which he says is "…an archaic Italian word for being able to do your craft without a lot of visible effort. It's a combination of élan and grace and class, sort of the opposite of loud grunts while you play tennis or a lot of whining and fuss when you help out a customer."
Sprezzatura is what you get when you’ve been on the path to mastery for about 10,000 hours, which is the number that bestselling author Malcolm Gladwell says it takes to master anything. Practice for 10,000 hours and "creating the next iteration of your craft" becomes easy—or at least possible.
From a coaching standpoint, more importantly, that’s when fantastic results are most likely to happen for your clients. And the point of coaching mastery is fantastic client results, not passing a certification exam. The exam just helps confirm it. But you knew that.
It takes passion, or a bullwhip, to stay with anything for 10,000 hours. Bullwhips don’t work very well in coaching, so I recommend that you love coaching passionately if you want to travel that path to mastery. Interestingly, passion instantly upgrades your coaching anyway, giving it power long before you’re a "master."
However, even passion wanes, so make sure your habitat is one that evolves you in the direction you want to go. That’s one of the values of IAC certification. Working towards it gives you a benchmark, one that is really high compared to most coaching standards.
The IAC Coaching Masteries® are an attempt to describe what coaching mastery looks like, now; you could say they describe coaching sprezzatura. As the profession evolves—and it’s evolving incredibly fast—the Masteries will evolve to reflect the next iteration of our craft.
I also recommend getting on the path to mastery early, for obvious reasons. If you do the math, 40 hours per week of coaching for one year only adds up to about 2,000 hours. Great training and feedback from qualified coaches can speed up the process, but nobody ever became a masterful coach without tons of practice. And intriguingly, the path to competence or even to proficiency has a distinctly different quality from the path to mastery.
Why does it matter if you are a masterful coach? Fantastic results for your clients are reason enough, but be aware that one of the ways coaches are changing the world is by sharing coaching skills with other people and professions. That means people in all walks of life are learning to coach and many are doing it for free. So if you want people to pay you for coaching so you can have a sustainable practice, you need to be practicing your craft at an incredibly high level. Sprezzatura or bust!
Plus, passionate masterful coaches are simply magnetic. People seek them out and pay thousands of dollars just to work with them for a short time. And the more they coach, the further they progress on that mastery path.
Given that the path to mastery involves tons of practice, you might wonder what gives me the nerve to call my school the School of Coaching Mastery. It’s not that we possess the last word on coaching. Nobody ever will. And it’s not because we use the distinction between competent, proficient and masterful coaching to put a fine point on what is sprezzatura and what isn’t. It is all about the passionate coaches who join us and get right on that path to mastery, practicing it daily and living it 168 hours per week. Sometimes they’re so good, they almost scare me.
That is what makes ours a School of Coaching Mastery.
By Julia Stewart, IAC-CC, President of www.SchoolofCoachingMastery.com, the first school licensed to teach the IAC Coaching Masteries®. Julia is a coach, coach trainer and seminar leader who uses her creativity and humor to expand people’s thinking and inspire them to work brilliantly.
Living the Masteries – Coaching in Marriage by Alison Davis, IAC-CC and Erika Anderson
Living the Masteries is a new regular column, where we invite coaches to share some of the magic that is occurring for them as they live the IAC Coaching Masteries® in their everyday lives. We hope to inspire you to weave them in to your everyday lives and experiment with using them outside of your formal coaching relationships.
The IAC Coaching Masteries® are the skills that coaches are required to demonstrate skillfully in order to become certified by the IAC. As we prepare for certification and beyond, we experience the miracles that can occur when we use these skills with our clients. Now some people are realising that once they learn the Masteries, life and relationships move to a whole new threshold. They are discovering that the Masteries are fabulous tools to have at our fingertips for our everyday lives, to enhance relationships, to see more possibility for ourselves and others and much, much more.
Here is this month’s inspiring story of Living the Masteries from coach Erika Anderson:
Coaching in Marriage
"You’ll never believe what happened at work today," my husband says.
I think to myself, oh, I bet I can. But because of the Masteries I don’t say that. I take a breath and decide to listen.
"Oh? What’s that?" I ask.
As I listen, I breathe. A judgmental voice in the back of my head tells me that my husband is being a victim. But this voice won’t help me to support him. And maybe he has felt victimized at work. It’s not for me to decide.
"That sounds aggravating," I sympathise.
He continues, and as I ponder the details of his story I ask, "Are you using this situation to make a judgment about yourself?"
"What do you mean?"
"Are you making this mean something about your self-worth?"
"I guess. I don’t really feel like I have any worth. Definitely not at work," shares my husband.
We look at each other.
"I feel sad when you say that you don’t have any worth," I say.
We’re quiet for a moment.
"Where is the sad in your body?" I ask.
"In my throat."
"Would you be willing to breathe into that sad in your throat?" I ask.
He closes his eyes and takes a deep breath.
"What does the sad have to say about what you’ve just said about yourself, that you don’t have any worth?
"It’s not true."
"What is true?" I ask.
"That I am worthy. I do have value."
"And does that value depend on what happens at work?"
He opens his eyes. We smile.
"I agree. You always have value. No matter what your boss says, what I say, what anyone says." He nods in agreement.
"What can you do to remember that while you’re at work?"
"Take breaks, like swimming at lunch just to get out of there."
He gives me a blank look.
"You can call me if it gets bad during the day." I offer.
"I also want to acknowledge that you go to work each day to support us even though the situation is far from ideal." I say.
"Thanks for saying that."
I sense he feels relieved to have this space where he can feel understood and supported instead of judged or told what to do. We both know I can’t change his situation at work, but I can support him. That is the gift I am now able to give.
Before I began to learn the Masteries, I told my husband I was done hearing about work; he'd have to find support elsewhere. With the help of the Masteries, I have experienced a positive shift in our marriage. Instead of already knowing the "right" answer, I have the opportunity to bring a beginner’s curiosity to my husband’s complaints about work. Instead of just waiting until he’s done so we can talk about something else, I take the time and energy to really listen.
Not that I’m an angel, or that every conversation is like the one I just described. I’m still learning this new set of habits and behaviours, so sometimes I remember them and sometimes I don’t. But I am grateful to be building these skills, which give me the choice to deepen the communication with my husband.
Before learning the Masteries, I thought I was a good listener, and maybe to some extent I was, but I didn’t realize just how much energy it really took. And though that might sound like "work," what I get out of it—an enjoyable, loving marriage where both of us feel like part of a team—makes it more than worth it.
Erika Anderson is training for IAC certification to become a writing coach. She is also writing her first book, getting her masters in writing and reporting as a UN correspondent.
This piece illustrates beautifully how as we use the Masteries for the benefit of other people in our lives, we get to feel good too, and our own self-esteem soars. We gain clarity and can offer support in all sorts of contexts, and as we enhance our own understanding, those we are interacting with generally get more clarity for themselves and feel supported and heard too.
Wouldn’t it be wonderful if we lived in a world where most people had these skills? Maybe one day we will learn them in schools, just like we learn to read and write. How could the world be different? How would our interactions, learning and understanding change? How wonderful it would be to feel supported, understood and validated most of the time and to be able to offer this to others, naturally!
Alison Davis, IAC, CC, is a certifying examiner at the IAC, coach, mentor coach and founder of the IAC–licensed virtual coaching school Foundations for Living. Discover more at www.foundationsforliving.com.
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