IAC VOICE, Volume 4, Issue 49, July 2010, Circulation 13,693
July 1, 2010 July 1, 2010
From the Editor
Your VOICE is changing!
Welcome to the July issue of the IAC VOICE. We have an exciting announcement today. As of next week, we will be publishing new content all through the month at our blog, http://blog.certifiedcoach.org. This gives you three ways to access our high-quality articles about coaching:
1. You can continue to enjoy our monthly email newsletter (subscribe here). As of August 2010, this will be a much more concise publication featuring the latest news from the IAC. You'll also find links and a brief description of all of the new articles that were posted to the blog since the last newsletter, so you can read the ones that interest you the most.
3. You can subscribe to our blog and receive updates as soon as new posts are added. Choose between the RSS feed or email updates. You'll find both options on the right-hand side of the blog, underneath the list of monthly archives.
For today, we've packed your email with many goodies to enjoy. Growing pains? Not for the IAC! In this month's President's Message, Bob Tschannen-Moran describes some of the IAC's "growing pleasures," while Susan R. Meyer brings us up to date on BOG news and bids farewell to two of our valued Board members.
As Bob explains, the IAC's new strategy is getting a lot of attention from around the world. If you would like to be part of this amazing adventure, be sure to check out the two leadership volunteer opportunities that have just come available.
I had the opportunity to contribute to today's issue by interviewing seasoned coach Mattison Grey, IAC-CC about her approach to selling. Listen in to our conversation to find out why Mattison says selling is not marketing, selling is coaching.
Natalie Tucker Miller breaks it to us gently this month in the Inside Scoop – Ask the Certifiers column. The only way to get to the Carnegie Hall of coaching is to practice, practice, practice!
IAC-licensee Deborah Williamson is featured in our Tools for Coaching Mastery column this month with a fascinating look at the two complimentary practices of yoga and coaching, and how they led her to The Advent of Yoga Life Coaching™.
I've really been enjoying the stories that Alison Davis has been gathering for her Living the Masteries column, including today's story from Angela Spaxman. They are teaching me about the Masteries in a fun, engaging way. Where do you see the Masteries showing up in your life? Please send your contributions to Alison at Alison@foundationsforliving.com.
It has taken me longer than usual to write my monthly President’s message, in part because of everything that is happening in the IAC. You may remember from last month’s column, 6 Powerful Words, that the IAC Board of Governors (BOG) was ready to approve a new slogan for our organization and website makeover: Expanding the Path to Coaching Mastery. That slogan was, in fact, approved at our June BOG meeting.
This approval came on the heels of a strategic planning process that has set many, many things in motion. I encourage you to read the Strategic Plan from the IAC website in its entirety. In its wake, there have been more meetings, initiatives, ideas, opportunities, inquiries and emerging leaders than ever before. It has been thrilling and humbling to stand at the epicenter of all this energy and emotion. As a crew of volunteers, there have been times when we have dropped balls and missed deadlines. But it is all working out just the same, often in marvelous ways that could not have been imagined even a few months ago.
In light of the whirlwind, I first thought about titling this month’s column, "growing pains." But that would not fairly characterize the experience. The things that are going on, even the things that are confusing or redundant or delayed, are not pains at all. They are not frustrations, annoyances or embarrassments. They are rather the delights that come with growth. What we are going through are "growing pleasures," as different people take on different roles and come into their own in a growing organization.
Example: With our focus on personalized learning agreements as an integral part of coach certification (have you seen the story at The Coaching Commons, IAC Unveils "Revolutionary" Path to Coaching’s Future?), many conversations have been going on simultaneously regarding what those agreements will look like and how they will be handled. At times it seemed we were running into each other, but that was only because we were so enthusiastic about calling forth an idea whose time has come. I, for one, appreciate and even love that enthusiasm. Now back in the capable hands of former IAC President and current Certification Board Liaison, Natalie Tucker Miller, with lots of input from BOG members, I am confident that this conversation will soon lead to a vibrant, web-enabled process that all of us will enjoy and benefit from.
Judging from the feedback on The Coaching Commons article, this work could not be timelier. It strikes a chord. To excerpt a few notable remarks from four different continents:
Thank you IAC for literally "expanding the path to coaching mastery" and moreover for making and keeping us part of the process. (Africa)
It’s wonderful to see coaches, who work so brilliantly to bring out the best in their clients, finally turning that powerful positive energy on coaches themselves. Talk about walking the talk! (North America)
I’m absolutely thrilled with this new direction. Congratulations to everyone at the IAC for this beautiful, refreshing and open approach! (Australia)
I applaud the IAC for its creative approach in strategy, i.e., going back to the basics of focusing on what the IAC can offer in terms of functional and emotional competitive edge; and who the IAC is in terms of intangibles and tangibles. (Asia)
I’m confident we can live into that high praise.
Another example of a growing pleasure: Since Choice Magazine published my article on Coach Certification: A Way Forward in the March 2010 issue, the IAC has been attracting increasing numbers of new members with an interest in our approach. Why? Because members don’t have to jump through any hoops to apply for certification. We do not require any particular path of development or portfolio of business. We simply require that members demonstrate an awareness, knowledge and practical application of the proficiencies and standards of coaching mastery. Soon, with the personalized learning agreements, we will also require a clear annual statement of intention with regard to how such mastery is to be obtained and sustained. This raises the bar considerably when it comes to living the IAC Coaching Masteries®.
We seem to be attracting more Licensees for many of the same reasons. The IAC does not seek to regulate, accredit or police the coach training industry. Rather, we seek to certify the fruits of that industry—coaching mastery. That means Licensees can prepare members for certification in whatever ways they deem best.
Given such an orientation, I was not surprised when my article started to attract attention in the wider coaching community. Association of Coach Training Organizations (ACTO) members have reached out to talk about what this might mean to them. Other coach training organizations have reached out to talk about how they might interface with our work and become Licensees. The upshot could well be thousands of new members for the IAC. People are appreciating the combination of freedom, integrity and accountability that comes with our international standards and creative processes. The Law of Attraction is clearly at work.
If you haven’t looked at the IAC lately, it may be time to come back around. Visit our website. Join or renew your membership. Volunteer in one of 20 areas of service. Take on a leadership role in response to our Strategic Plan. Email me, President@CertifiedCoach.org, with questions and suggestions. Once you do that, there’s no telling where this will go. One thing, however, is certain: you, too, will become part of our "Growing Pleasures." We hope to hear from you soon.
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
Thanks to the diligent efforts of Kerul Kassel, IAC Member Benefits Coordinator, three new benefits have recently been added. Please visit for more details about the offers from Bulls Eye Coaching, OnCoach and the International Journal of Coaching in Organizations.
During the past month, the BOG regretfully accepted the resignation of Yoram Gordon and Bonnie Chan. Yoram was an active member of the Strategy Committee, and Bonnie had graciously continued on the BOG past the end of her term in order to support the translation of the Masteries as well as many other projects. Past President, Angela Spaxman, said this about Bonnie:
I've known Bonnie since the early 2000s when she first got interested in coaching and very quickly began to make her leadership felt in Hong Kong. Bonnie has a big vision of coaching, especially in terms of the positive difference it can make in her home country, China. Since joining the IAC Board of Governors in 2007, Bonnie has made a huge contribution through her energy, initiative, creativity and focus. She has been instrumental in many projects, although she is always very modest about her contributions. She created systems and teams to deliver quality translations of the Masteries and the online exam into key languages. She formed leadership teams for several IAC Chapters in Asia and built supportive connections between them. She was the vision and driving force behind the IAC's first conference held in Shanghai earlier this year. She continues to contribute to the IAC Certification Board, especially in their efforts to bring the benefits of certification to different language groups.
I'm sure that we'll continue to see Bonnie's influence, not only through the legacy she has created already, but perhaps in even bigger ways! I'm very grateful to know that she is always working her magic towards our common goals.
We expect to roll out many aspects of the Strategic Plan by September; Bob, Joan, Angela, Susan and volunteer Aileen Gibb continue to work on the implementation process. There are great volunteer opportunities to be had as the IAC grows, such as the Membership Committee, Licensing Committee, Communications Committee or Volunteer Committee. Or you can contact Kristie Arndt at firstname.lastname@example.org to suggest your own special area of interest.
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.
As a result of the IAC's new Strategic Plan we are inviting applications for the following two volunteer positions. These are both very important short-term roles that have the potential for huge positive impact on the IAC and thereby on the future of coaching.
Successful completion of either role earns great personal satisfaction, undying thanks of the entire BOG and a testimonial/recommendation on LinkedIn or other—not to mention the professional growth and connections you make as you work with the IAC. If you're interested, please click the title to read more about each position. Strategic Plan Launch Coordinator Fundraising / Grant-Writing Coordinator
Selling is not marketing, selling is coaching by Linda Dessau and Mattison Grey, IAC-CC
Have you ever gone into an electronics store to buy a TV or computer but left too confused to take any action? Unfortunately, some of our marketing efforts leave potential clients feeling exactly the same way.
When Mattison and I were preparing for our interview, she said, "I love to talk about selling, but coaches don't ever want to hear about that. They just keep marketing and pray that it works."
But I was confident that many of our VOICE readers would be ready for this conversation. So ready or not, like it or not, that is what we discussed.
Please follow the links below to listen now or download the file to your computer or portable music player to enjoy later:
When you're done, please come back to the blog, comment on what you’ve heard and read, and tell us what you would like us to discuss or write about next!
Linda Dessau, CPCC, helps coaches and other small business owners write masterful content for their newsletters and blogs. Please visit http://www.ContentMasteryGuide.com for writing tips and content marketing resources.
Mattison Grey, IAC-CC, is a business consultant, executive and leadership coach, sales trainer, relationship skills expert, and speaker. Since 1997 she has trained and coached police officers, entrepreneurs, athletes, artists, high-level executives, and functional managers in a variety of organizations and settings. http://www.greystoneguides.com
Is there an easy road to IAC certification? by Natalie Tucker Miller, IAC-CC
"Only one who devotes himself to a cause with his whole strength and soul can be a true master. For this reason mastery demands all of a person." – Albert Einstein
Since Malcolm Gladwell’s book Outliers: The Story of Success was published, there has been renewed attention on the theory of 10,000 hours to mastery. This theory dates back to at least the 1970s and the work of Herb Simon, and successful athletes, musicians and business people would likely agree that it holds merit. As the saying goes, "How do you get to Carnegie Hall? Practice, practice, practice."
Over the years, I’ve heard several times that IAC certification is the "easy" certification. I’ve also heard from certification applicants who have been surprised and disappointed to find they were not able to successfully demonstrate the IAC Coaching Masteries®. Isn’t this supposed to be "easy"? It’s possible that this misconception stems from looking at the process of the certification itself (open-ended training options, inclusion of pre-recorded coaching calls, minimal paperwork, etc.) versus the process of achieving a level of mastery in coaching (which requires a thorough understanding of coaching and many hours of practical experience).
The current rate of coaches successfully demonstrating proficiency in all nine Masteries on their first attempt hovers at around 25-30%. This has remained fairly consistent over the years, possibly due in part to the fact that people are under the impression that it’s "easy," and apply before they're ready. It may also be that people do not understand or pay heed to the specificity of coaching skills and assume that their skills from other professions will cross over seamlessly (we discussed this issue last month).
So let me be clear. IAC certification is not easy. Using a coaching approach in your communication style may come naturally to you, and that is a beautiful thing. But a coaching approach and coaching mastery are not one in the same. A coaching approach will do wonders in opening channels of possibility and creating environments of expansion and growth. Coaching mastery ensures that all those great skills will provide the empowering support and the personal and professional transformation needed to achieve and sustain your client’s highest desired potential. Easy? No. Possible? Sure, with a thorough understanding and lots of practice!
Natalie Tucker Miller, IAC-CC, is the Lead Certifier and a certifying examiner at the IAC, as well as Past-President. Natalie is founder of Ageless-Sages.com Publishing (www.ageless-sages.com), and creator of the literary genre, Picture Books for Elders™.
The Advent of Yoga Life Coaching™ by Deborah Williamson
As a long-time life coach and yoga teacher/teacher trainer (more than 20 years of experience in each discipline) I've put a lot of thought and energy into how I can empower clients to shift into high gear on the road to their truest joy and authenticity. The same qualities found in powerful and effective life coaches exist in powerful and effective yoga teachers. The intent and mission behind both pursuits is really no different: to co-create with clients a life that is lived in brilliant color and full expression.
Yet it was almost by accident that I found my own best life. I was working in the corporate world, managing a training facility for the Chicago Blackhawks as well as five-star resorts and spas. A co-worker's last minute cancellation resulted in my reluctant induction to group team-building exercises and presentations. I had only hours to prepare before being asked to inform, inspire and empower a large group of total strangers.
I was terrified, but before I knew it, I was being requested again and again by group after group. While I continued to do other things (national fitness champion, professional in-line skater, personal trainer, business consultant, life coach and every yoga certification under the sun), I'd had a taste of what would become my greatest passion.
Later, when I opened my first of four yoga studios, I began an apprentice program for new teachers and ours became a state-approved yoga school in Wisconsin. I'd found my way back to my true calling, which is training new teachers and life coaches to go out and boldly share their own light and joy. With this in mind, I created and trademarked my Yoga Life Coaching™ program.
I researched dozens of organizations before deciding, without a doubt, that I wanted to pursue affiliation with the IAC. The IAC Coaching Masteries® offered such great curricular support, but still allowed for individuality from coach to coach. I also saw an immediate connection between the Masteries and teaching yoga, which was a delightful surprise.
IAC Coaching Masteries® on and off the mat
Yoga Life Coaching™ incorporates the IAC Masteries in a big way. Coaches learn how to point out limiting beliefs and obstacles that the client might not otherwise see, and to hold clients accountable to overcoming old patterns that no longer serve them. Open-ended, agenda-free questioning techniques move clients beyond simple goal-setting and outcome-based results to a place of total transformation and freedom.
In the same way, yoga teachers who have taken my YLCC program report back that they use their IAC Coaching Masteries® on the yoga floor by empowering students to self-direct new learning through inquiry and experience. Learning how to appropriately and effectively use silence (a GREAT tool for coaches) can be mind-blowing for students in a yoga class. By using the essential language of life coaching, my yoga teachers prompt a much more meaningful and long-lasting opening for their students.
Coaches in training for my signature program are encouraged to complete a 200-hour yoga certification in addition to completing their certification with me through the IAC. This can be done prior to Yoga Life Coach™ certification, or retroactively within one year of completing the YLCC. The extra training provides a more well-rounded approach to total health and well-being by giving coaches tools to address mind and body simultaneously.
The most beautiful thing about my work in training new teachers and coaches is in witnessing the way they change their own lives in huge and tangible ways. Many come to me for their own personal improvement with no desire to change careers. But as their own lives start to shift, they reach out immediately to share what they've learned. Transformation is like a smile—it spreads quickly once shared!
Though my deepest joy is always in training new coaches and teachers, I still love to work with my individual clients. When my schedule is too full, I am now able to refer new clients to coaches that I have personally trained. I take pride in knowing they'll reserve great service and support from caring, compassionate, straight-talking coaches who will not stand for anything but the best for their clients. It's a good life and I am grateful.
Yoga Life Coach™ and Master Teacher Deborah Williamson travels the world to teach, speak and coach with humor and deep humanity. Debbie's signature brand of Yoga Life Coaching™ evolved from over 20 years of coaching and wellness industry experience. Visit www.deborahwilliamson.com for upcoming Yoga Life Coach™ Certification Programs and more.
Living the Masteries by Alison Davis, IAC-CC and Angela Spaxman
Living the Masteries is a regular column, where we invite coaches to share their experiences of Living the Masteries in their everyday personal and working lives.
This month’s story, an experience from the workplace, comes to us from Angela Spaxman.
Communicating With Mastery at Work by Angela Spaxman
A group of 30 overworked, stressed managers entered the classroom, some hoping to find help coping with their jobs, and others simply wishing they could be somewhere else on a Saturday morning. I had four hours to help them make progress with their time and people management problems.
As an experienced coach and facilitator, I was sure that each person in the room already knew what change they could make that would make the biggest positive difference to his or her working and personal lives.
So I decided that this short session would not be about presenting information, but rather about providing time and space for them to reflect and decide for themselves. I also knew that with only one coach and such a large, new group, small group coaching would not be practical.
Instead I decided that I needed to condense the essence of coaching into a series of simple behaviours they could follow. Should I use a goals-based approach such as the GROW model, popularized by Sir John Whitmore in his book, Coaching for Performance? I thought not. Most people are too wrapped up in their own problems and solutions to act like a supportive sounding board for a goal-oriented discussion. Conversational structures are not the essence of coaching.
The fundamental essence of coaching is supportive listening in a high-trust environment.
So I asked the group to: (1) Form pairs with people they did not know well (to create distance, neutrality and a change from their habitual conversational patterns) and (2) Choose one person in each pair to be the “problem-solver” and one person to be the “listener.” The problem-solver would be the owner of the problem, while the listener would act as a sounding board.
The instructions to the problem-solvers were to share one current problem they were facing in their work and attempt to find new ways to solve this problem. The instructions to the listeners were to be worthy of trust, to be positive and supportive and to spend about 80% of the time simply listening to the problem-solver. They were also given a small selection of open questions and comments they could use to keep the conversation going.
These are some of the things the participants shared afterwards:
“It felt very good to have someone listening to me.” “I realized how important it is to me to spend more time with my family.” “I decided to start sharing more work with my colleagues.”
“It wasn’t easy to just listen and not give her advice.” “I didn’t realize that other people have the same problems as I do.”
This simple process created a shift from the normal way these colleagues related to each other, and presented immediate opportunities for learning and change.
The simple instructions had been enough to invoke conversations with much more trust (Mastery #1) and listening (Mastery #3) than their everyday workplace conversations. It was heartening to see what a big difference these qualities made to the problem-solvers’ ability to reflect, learn and decide on new actions.
The instruction to be positive and supportive also helped some of the listeners find ways to perceive, affirm and expand their partner’s potential (Mastery #2), invite possibility (Mastery #8) and create supportive systems and structures (Mastery #9).
While many people were able to follow the basic instructions to build trust and listen, it was also obvious that masterful coaching does not come naturally and that to apply all of the Coaching Masteries takes special expertise. Nonetheless, the essential change in orientation that coaching requires is in itself a powerful developmental force.
Angela Spaxman was the Founding President of the Hong Kong International Coaching Community and is the Immediate Past President of the IAC. Angela has been coaching for 10 years. She is a Career and Leadership Coach for managers, professionals, business people and coaches. You may contact her at http://www.lovingworkandleading.com.
This is your column, it can only continue if you share your experiences of Living the Masteries. Please send us your stories of how the Masteries have enhanced your life, how you have noticed them present in your life or how they have helped you unexpectedly. You will inspire others by your sharing, and by talking about them, we create an echo chamber where they take on new life and meaning.
Please send your contributions to Alison Davis at Alison@foundationsforliving.com, so she can share them for you in the Living the Masteries column in the VOICE each month.
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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