From the Editor
Welcome to Fall, and to this September issue of the IAC VOICE. As you may remember from last month, we've changed our format. The slimmed-down email newsletter (sent the first Thursday of the month) contains full versions of the President's Message, any news from the Board of Governors and an article from a featured member benefit provider.
In my Editor's Note, I'll provide links to the feature articles and columns that have been posted to the blog since the last newsletter. You can always check the blog (http://blog.certifiedcoach.org) during the month to get a jump on your reading.
In today's President's Message, Bob Tschannen-Moran asks: "What's your calling?" and explores the concept from some fascinating angles.
Our featured member benefit provider is Confident Coach Connection. Founder Doris Helge celebrates the diversity of the IAC in her article below. Doris also provided our Tools for Coaching Mastery column this month. She called on IAC coaches to Leap Out of the Box and put assessments in their place.
Julia Stewart gave us a hot topic for a feature article, as she revealed How Coaches Can Attract More Clients with Social Networking than with Email Marketing.
In her Living the Masteries column, Alison Davis tells one of her own stories this month. She gives a compelling account of the work she and her husband are involved in, applying the IAC Coaching Masteries to situations of religious conflict and political tension.
And last but not least, Natalie Tucker Miller answered a frequently asked question in the Inside Scoop: Which of the Masteries is the most important?
Are you on Twitter? You can follow our VOICE authors and columnists as well as some of the IAC BOG members. Simply visit http://twitter.com/lindadessau/iac-voice-contributors or subscribe to the list from your Twitter account.
From the President
The IAC: What’s Your Calling?
If you know anything about my background then you know that I, like most coaches, have not been a coach for my entire career. Coaching is, for me, a second act. My first act, after graduating from Yale University in 1979 with a Master of Divinity degree, was to serve as a pastor in the United Church of Christ—a liberal, Protestant denomination. My second act, since 1998, has been to serve as a coach through my own life and leadership coaching company.
I didn’t just assume, of course, that my first act had adequately prepared me for my second act. I, like most coaches, sought out additional training, development and mentoring opportunities that were targeted to not only my new career but also to my new calling.
That is how I have viewed my life and work: through the lens of a calling. In religious terms, many people speak of how God has called them to a particular understanding, worldview or work of service. That’s how Greg Mortenson speaks, for example, of his calling to set up schools in Pakistan and Afghanistan. It’s his way of giving back and making a contribution in the world.
Having a calling is not about claiming that God is on your side. It’s simply about recognizing, with humility and grace, that the world has needs and that each of us, in some small way, can help the world to meet those needs. A lot of people are on Mortenson’s side (he’s a Nobel Peace Prize nominee and a recipient of the Star of Pakistan, the country’s highest civilian honor) but he doesn’t think that God is on his side:
“If God is on anyone’s side,” Mortenson told the Houston Chronicle in February of this year, “God is on the side of the refugees, the orphans, the widows, and the 78,000 wounded veterans. Until all those people are helped and all those needs are met, none of us have the right to say God is on our side.”
So true. Having a calling is not about being right; it’s about being passionate as to the ways in which we are seeking to meet the world’s needs. I felt that passion when I was a pastor; and I still feel that passion since becoming a coach. Moving from one world to the other was not that much of a leap. I gave up some of the language and rituals associated with the United Church of Christ, but I did not give up the sense that I had a calling. My vocation was then and still is now to help other people find their vocation: one person helping another person to find direction and sustenance for the journey.
The key, both for coaches and for our clients, is to make that vocation come alive. Most people can say what they do or what they want to do for a living. Not everyone can say what they do or want to do for a life. The former may fill our financial bank accounts, but the latter fills our emotional gas tanks. A true vocation, a calling, animates our bodies, minds and spirits with a reason for being who we are and doing what we do. It gives us a sense of purpose that not only gets us up in the morning but that keeps us going all day long. It makes life worth living.
No wonder I had such an easy time going from ministry to coaching! The two professions plow the same fields. As John P. Schuster writes in his excellent book, Answering Your Call: A Guide for Living Your Deepest Purpose (Berrett-Koehler, 2003):
Schuster goes on to observe that it is a common mistake to think that we will only have one call in life, “the big kahuna of calls, the call of all calls, that will provide direction and meaning for a lifetime.” He rather subscribes to the point of view that people can and often do “have several callings in a lifetime, that we need to balance and combine them, respond to them in creative fashion, renew them and rediscover them with growing sets of roles and skills.” In so doing, he concludes, “with some good fortune and discipline, we can experience considerable joy.”
That sounds like the work of coaching to me: hearing and answering calls from something larger than ourselves. I like how the concept of a calling connects the dots between our labors with individual clients and the needs of the world. We are not the profession that turns people into passionate consumers and hedonists. We are the profession that unleashes people to be passionate contributors and visualists.
We create what we visualize and, when it comes to coaching, we visualize a profession that “contributes to evolving human potential worldwide,” that “values sustainability and responsibility,” that “comes from an attitude of profound respect for humanity,” and that “benefits the world in many surprising, life-giving ways.” How do I know that’s what we visualize? Because all those statements come straight from the IAC’s new strategic plan. We have clearly staked our claim with those who see a grander purpose for coaching, not only for coaches and clients, but for all of life that so often hangs precariously in the balance.
And so I ask you, “What’s your calling?” What do you visualize for yourself? How can you best contribute to the well-being of life? How could you go beyond personal development all the way to global transformation? One way to do this is through the IAC. Our purpose as coaches and as an organization is all-inclusive. To answer such a broad and generous calling takes more than just being a member of the IAC. It takes seeing ourselves and our work through this bigger frame and then giving ourselves over to that work with all the passion, purpose and commitment we can muster. I hope you join me in making it so.
May you be filled with goodness, peace and joy,
Bob Tschannen-Moran, IAC-CC, is CEO & Co-Founder of the Center for School Transformation and President of LifeTrek Coaching International. Bob has co-authored a new book, titled Evocative Coaching, which incorporates the IAC Coaching Masteries® in a coaching model designed for leaders and coaches in K-12 schools. www.SchoolTransformation.com
New IAC Coaching Masteries® licensed schools and mentors
IAC Certification: An invitation to diversity
Since IAC certification is performance based, IAC attracts life-long learners. IAC coaches hunger to master an abundance of advanced coaching strategies. We continue to pack our coaching toolkits with the flexibility and confidence associated with the use of cutting-edge techniques. We value a rich diversity of well-tested approaches.
On a given day, one client may gain "Aha's" from appreciative inquiry skills. The next client perhaps enjoys an adapted NLP exercise. Transactional analysis is perfect for our next client. Then another client arrives and craves a more spiritually-based approach. We transform techniques used in solution-focused therapy into positive psychology coaching. Our understanding of neuroscience boosts our own confidence and is a precious tool for empowering clients. Motivational interviewing skills help us note the stage of change a specific client is demonstrating, so we can plan coaching success.
What a privilege to be an IAC coach. It's so much fun to discover and incorporate variety instead of being limited to "The XYZ Coaching Approach." What an amazing adventure to study diverse techniques and then use precisely what works for each individual client.
We are so grateful that IAC welcomes all effective coaching approaches. IAC coaches consistently use the IAC Coaching Masteries®, intuition and possibility thinking. We validate clients, process in the present and co-create support systems and structures that ensure client success. We nurture clients with an accountability system aligned with their goals, values, passion and life purpose. What an exquisitely designed joyful journey to coaching mastery. IAC is a never-ending delight.
Doris Helge, Ph.D., is an IAC, CTA, RCI and NLS-certified coach, mentor coach and president of the IAC-licensed training school, Confident Coach Connection. She teaches the IAC Coaching Masteries® and advanced coaching skills. Discover more at www.ConfidentCoachConnection.com.
IAC Member Benefit: IAC members save 10% on all Confident Coach Connection training programs including IAC Certification Preparation classes and Advanced Coaching Skills classes. All classes are experiential and virtual. You receive new skill development, mentor coaching and enjoy a warm support network of your peers.
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