From the Editor
Welcome! I'm so pleased to present the November edition of the IAC VOICE. We've been publishing in this new format for a few months now, and hopefully everyone is getting used to it.
As a reminder, in this broadcast you'll find full versions of the President's Message, news from the Board of Governors and an article from a featured member benefit provider. This month we've also included one of our feature articles from Sue Johnston.
I'll also provide links to the feature articles and columns that have been posted to the blog since the last newsletter (http://blog.certifiedcoach.org).
Today, IAC President Bob Tschannen-Moran expands on last month's discussion about IAC licensing, and introduces us to one of the IAC's newest licensees.
Thanks to Susan R. Meyer, outgoing BOG Secretary, for her summary of what's going on in the BOG. We'll be hearing from incoming Secretary Kristi Arndt beginning next month.
Our featured member benefit this month is Bullseye Coaching, and Greg Whiting gives us a glimpse at the successes that are possible when a coach has access to a system like this.
Certification applicants, take note! As a special treat this month, our Inside Scoop is a reprint of a very illuminating article from Barbra Sundquist about the five most common coaching mistakes from IAC certification exam tapes.
In the Living the Masteries column, Lorraine Lee explains how the IAC Masteries® have helped her to embrace change.
For our feature articles this month, we welcome back two previous contributors. First, Barry Zweibel introduces us to the business development technique you will actually want to do. Then, Sue Johnston tunes us into the sounds of silence and its role in a coaching conversation.
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
by Bob Tschannen-Moran, IAC-CC
The IAC: Expanding the Path with Integrity…Continued!
by Bob Tschannen-Moran
In last month’s President’s message, The IAC: Expanding the Path with Integrity, I reprinted an email exchange with a concerned member regarding a new IAC Licensee whose website states that people can "become a certified professional life coach in just 16 hours." The concerned member called that a "ridiculous promise" that should disqualify the program from holding an IAC License.
I replied that the IAC does not monitor or assess the quality of our Licensees’ programs. We simply grant training programs the right to use the nine IAC Coaching Masteries® in whatever way they see fit. Although the IAC is introducing mechanisms of support and accountability around how to use the Coaching Masteries® in coach training, the IAC is not seeking to regulate or certify coach training programs. That is beyond the scope of our Licensee program.
Had I stopped there in my reply, I would not have gotten myself in trouble with our new Licensee. Instead, I voiced my personal opinion that 16 hours of coach training was "more of an introduction to coaching than a complete course" and that graduates of their program, without any other coach-specific training, might find it difficult to become IAC Certified Coaches.
Publishing that opinion as President of the IAC was a mistake. It did not reflect accurately the orientation or understanding of the IAC when it comes to Expanding the Path to Coaching Mastery, our new slogan. The integrity of the IAC Certified Coach credential lies in the quality of our written and oral review processes, not in how people prepare themselves to pass those reviews.
Almost immediately after publication of my President’s message, I received a strong expression of concern from the Licensee in question. They correctly noted that my comments evaluated and called into question both the scope and effectiveness of their training program, even though I said that the IAC did not qualify or take such positions regarding Licensees.
Although the Licensee in question was not named in my President’s message, I have apologized to them for that oversight and I appreciate their understanding. I also appreciate their efforts to explain their approach to coach training and certification to me and to others. Here are excerpts of a recent letter I received from their President, Barbara Wainwright:
Although you did not mention our organization by name in your October President’s Message in the IAC VOICE, it was immediately obvious that you were describing Fowler Wainwright International Institute of Professional Coaching (FWI) and our professional coach training course. It was also apparent that you, and perhaps other members of the IAC, have much to learn about the background and approach that enables us to train and certify a professional coach in only 16 hours.
A little over three decades ago, my partner, Berry Fowler, developed a training program that, in only a handful of hours, enabled him to teach teachers who had never taught reading or math before, to use his educational tutoring system to help students who were struggling in school, to increase their reading or math scores by over one grade level in only 36 hours of instruction. Berry’s systematic approach to tutoring became the foundation for Sylvan Learning Centers, a company he founded in 1979. Although the Sylvan teaching system was initially criticized for its brevity and claims, today, with over 4 million successful students having benefited from the program, Berry Fowler is recognized as one of the world’s foremost experts in educational systems development.
35 Years of Coaching Experience
Before Berry created Sylvan Learning Centers, he was coaching. First, as a classroom teacher, he coached his underachieving students to reach their full potential. Next, Berry coached his Sylvan franchisees to set goals, develop plans and identify the action steps necessary to achieve their success. To date, Berry has coached over 1500 clients by using a coaching system he developed and refined over the past 35 years.
FWI delivers much more than an "introduction to coaching"
FWI students learn a complete coaching system. It is the same, proven, coaching system which Berry created that Fowler Wainwright International’s students learn during our 16-hour Certified Professional Coach Course. FWI’s unique and effective training program, also developed by Berry Fowler, allows our students to master all of the tools and techniques of our professional coaching system during our live online course.
To protect the quality and integrity of our certification program, our course is assessment based. Simply showing up for the allotted hours does not guarantee a student’s certification. Each FWI student is evaluated on his or her participation in class, performance in their practical coaching exercises and the successful completion of their homework assignments. In addition, to qualify for certification each student must pass a written essay examination at the end of the course demonstrating their complete mastery of our coaching system.
FWI’s proven coaching system is successfully used by over 2200 professional coaches, coaching in over 50 different specialties all over the world, and it changes thousands of lives for the better every single day. And, isn’t that what successful coaching is all about?
FWI demonstrates its commitment to the IAC
One of the main reasons Fowler Wainwright International now includes a one-year membership in the IAC to every new student we enroll, is because we believe in providing continuing value to our graduates. IAC accreditation appears to be an excellent natural step for all of our students in advancing their professional knowledge and achieving additional credentials.
Berry and I are excited about our new relationship with the IAC. We have a genuine desire to support its goals and objectives. We hope to contribute real value to the IAC and all of its members over the coming years.
As with all Licensees, FWI does not certify coaches for the IAC. FWI certifies its own trainees as to their competence in the FWI coaching system. IAC Coach Certification represents a totally separate process, based upon the nine IAC Coaching Masteries®, and we look forward to receiving applications from FWI graduates as well as graduates and mentees from other Licensees.
With the advent of the new IAC Practitioner designation, we see many more ways for the IAC to expand the path to coaching mastery with integrity. By applying for recognition from an independent and global certifying body like the IAC, coaches stand to elevate their game to the highest level of coaching mastery. That being our hope and intent, we invite one and all to apply.
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
During October, we had some changes in the BOG Executive Committee. We are pleased to announce that Kristi Arndt is the new Secretary and Susan R. Meyer has stepped into the role of Vice President.
As we continue to implement our five-year plan, there are exciting opportunities for members to step up and join the team and we'd love to have more people playing!
With Kristi taking on the role of Secretary, we are looking for someone to head the Volunteer Committee. This is a great chance to get to know the membership as well as to work on key projects. As well, we need someone to head the Membership Committee.
We appreciate all the BOG members who are serving in multiple capacities and we would love to have more people playing. For example, Kerryn Griffiths has been working overtime on multiple projects. She currently chairs the Research Committee and has been serving as interim head of the Membership Committee. Most recently, she is supporting Jenny Blake in getting the new website up and running. That's a lot for one Board Member!
You could also join a committee without actually heading it. The Research, Membership, Licensing, Member Benefits (Kerul Kassel has been handing this solo), and Volunteer committees can all use your support. You can contact me at Vicepresident@certifiedcoach.org to let me know how you'd like to get more involved.
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.
IAC Certified Coaches
Congratulations to Jude Eastman from Gloucester Point, VA, USA who recently passed her Step 2 Exam and became an IAC-Certified Coach!
Coaching hits the spot
by Greg Whiting
When I first met Mark, he had lost both focus and direction. His career had stumbled and his efforts to revive it had focused on doing "more of the same," leading to longer hours and more time away from home. This in turn had put a strain on his home life. Fortunately, a friendly voice had recommended coaching.
I found coaching Mark a real pleasure. Within just six months he had made significant changes in just about every aspect of his life. At work, he had gained approval for a new product that was on target to deliver a significant profit within its first year; career-wise he’d been given more responsibility and had gained sponsorship to undertake a Masters Degree; and at home he had re-energised his relationships with his wife and son in a way they were all really enjoying.
The same tool that was guiding our coaching process also helped Mark demonstrate the return-on-investment of his new product. While in the past he had not gotten support for his idea, I was able to help him clarify and build a really strong business case, which proved persuasive. Mark’s career was back on track—and his confidence along with it. He was really enjoying going to work again.
The coaching model that we used had not just covered Mark’s business life. We’d also been able to surface and take action on goals that focused on Mark’s long-term development: his health and well-being; and his relationship with those people about whom he cared the most, his wife and son. The Coaching Scorecard that we produced together served as both a record of what he had achieved and a reminder of what he was aiming for in the future.
Greg Whiting is a Coach at OD Compass. Bullseye Coaching enables coaches to fully evaluate and record the outcomes and results of their coaching, including its value/return on investment. Coaches also get direct, personal performance and benchmarking data. Register at www.bullseye-coaching.com and pay just £25 for your first Coaching Scorecard.
IAC Member Benefit: IAC Members receive an additional Coaching Scorecard credit worth £25 upon registration (use the Referral Code on the IAC Members page).
"Wait till it's uncomfortable, then count to 10."
That advice, given by one of my peer coaches when we were pursuing IAC certification, still sits on my office wall to remind me that silence is part of a coaching conversation.
It was a lesson that didn't come easily and it was triggered by a disturbing setback. In their review of my coaching recordings (Certification Part Two http://www.certifiedcoach.org/certify/step2.lasso?pg=step2.lasso), IAC examiners determined I had not mastered the skill then known as "Communicates Cleanly." It was disappointing that I couldn`t be certified. Worse, as someone who had spent her life as a professional communicator, missing this particular proficiency was frightening.
In the weeks and months that followed, my "failure" to communicate cleanly turned out to be a blessing. I became curious about what defines a good coaching conversation—or any effective interpersonal communication. I began examining every interaction, from coaching calls to chats with cashiers in donut shops. I discovered that being a good communicator isn't limited to outbound communication. Inbound communication is just as important, if not more so.
When I revisited the examiners' feedback, I saw that I didn't give people enough time to formulate their thoughts and put them into words. I was listening, but not for long enough. Uncomfortable with silence, I'd jump into the empty space to explain, rephrase or ask another question. Assuming that my outbound communication hadn't been clear, I wasn't recognizing that my client might need a few moments to think about what I had asked. I wasn't giving inbound communication the attention it deserves.
I wasn’t alone. Humans, though naturally inclined to communicate with each other, don't always do a good job of it. We learn through trial and error. We learn from the behaviour modelled, for better or worse, by those around us. We often operate more from habit than from thought. Conscious communication can be learned, but few people actually pursue training and, if they do, it's usually in outbound communication: writing, presenting or persuading.
As coaches, communication—both outbound and inbound—is at the heart of our work. Clients reach their potential, achieve their goals, form new habits and expand their worlds, partly through our talent as communicators. There's a reason the IAC Masteries® that guide our work include communication topics.
Masteries 5 through 8 guide us on outbound communication: "Expressing," "Clarifying," "Helping set and keep intentions" and "Inviting possibility." It doesn’t surprise me that these are listed after the masteries that deal with inbound communication. Practising Mastery 3, "Engaged Listening," asks us not only to listen to the client’s words but also to listen beyond them, to unspoken meaning and concerns. Mastery 4, "Processing in the present," reminds us to give clients time to process their thoughts.
Achieving mastery as a coach requires people who are adept outbound communicators to adopt some new practices. A core coaching skill is eliciting ideas and thoughts—inbound communication. Like detectives and talk show hosts, coaches need to get information from people. Unlike interrogations and interviews, however, our coaching conversations focus on our clients' best interests.
Our conversations inspire action. Coaches ask powerful questions that stimulate the thinking that will lead to change. We affirm, express and clarify. But the skills described in these masteries only work when we create space for reflection.
Before we can clarify, play back, paraphrase, summarize or build on what a client has said, we need to let them say it. Before they can say it, they need to think and we need to recognize the "computing" time required. That means silence.
We also need to let clients finish expressing their thoughts. As coaches, we're trained for and accustomed to conversations that are deep and challenging. Our clients don't always have that experience. As they arrive at an insight, it may not be easy to articulate. Again, that takes time. Again, that means silence.
The Roman poet Ovid wrote, "A new idea is delicate. It can be killed by a sneer or a yawn; it can be stabbed to death by a quip and worried to death by a frown on the right man's brow." While sneering or yawning is unlikely behaviour in a coach, if we involve ourselves too much in the conversation just as a delicate new idea is emerging, we can undo the good we started when we asked the question that sparked the insight.
Pauses are critical. Brain research tells us that much of what we believe about multitasking is a myth. We can't think and talk and listen all at once. Apparently not even those of us who claim we think out loud can do it. If we're talking, we're not thinking. We need space and time to think. And we need to give space and time to others. The conversation happens in sequence: You think. You talk while I listen. I think. I talk while you listen. You think. You talk. And so on. Silence around an idea is like uncluttered white space around a picture; it makes it easier to see.
When we give another person time and silence to think, we allow ourselves to listen beyond the words. Face-to-face, we can observe the body language. Over the phone, we can listen for and become sensitive to what happens in the silence—the intake of breath, the sigh, the hum.
The pause to think is not empty time but productive silence. Much is going on. As we give our clients the gift of uninterrupted time to process while we maintain full attention, they become more at ease and confident in expressing themselves. Following our example, they may also become more engaged listeners. As we become more effective communicators, so can they.
Failing to master clean communication may have been the best thing that ever happened to me as a communicator. Because of that, I learned about engaged listening. I still have that sign to remind me to honour the inbound communication and create that productive silence. Do I need it? Maybe not. But I'm not taking any chances. This is just too important.
Sue Johnston, IAC-CC, believes real conversation is our most powerful tool. Blending experience in journalism, corporate communication and psychology, she founded It’s Understood Communication to help create better workplaces through effective communication. Sue is also the author of the forthcoming book, Talk To Me: Workplace Conversations That Work.
We'd love to get your feedback on any issue related to the IAC. Do you have any questions, concerns, encouragement or ideas for improvement regarding membership benefits, certification, the VOICE, the direction of the organization or anything else at all? Please send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org. Please help us improve.