From the Editor
Welcome to the April 2011 issue of the IAC VOICE!
In today's issue, IAC President Bob Tschannen-Moran shares an excerpt of his address to the recent coaching conference co-sponsored by the Chinese Professional Coach Development Association and the International Association of Coaching in Kaohsiung, Taiwan.
Our featured member benefit this month is Westminster Indemnity, and their article highlights the importance of liability insurance. Think this doesn't relate to you? Think again!
Volunteer Coordinator Tatiana Abend has news from the volunteer department—she has been accomplishing some wonderful things in this role!
IAC's Lead Certifier Natalie Tucker Miller tackled another tricky question this month—this time it was "What’s the fastest path to coach certification?" As you'll see, there's not one simple answer.
In Living the Masteries, Alison Davis presents an article from BOG member Alberto Calderón that continues last month's exploration of Mastery Two.
Deborah Williamson is back with another Tools for Coaching Mastery column. From her unique perspective as a Yoga Life Coach™, she explores how coaching allows us to flip the switch from human being to Higher Being.
In our first feature article, "Direct Communication," Marion Franklin presents some of the fears, pitfalls and truths behind this crucial skill of coaching mastery.
Next, Suzi Pomerantz explores the intersection of leadership and business development: a powerful place she calls innovative influence.
Our 2011 submission guidelines for the VOICE are available on the website. Submissions are welcome anytime through the month.
Please contact me with your article ideas and your feedback about this issue. Enjoy!
Linda Dessau, CPCC
Editor, IAC® VOICE
From the President
by Bob Tschannen-Moran, IAC-CC
The IAC: Bringing Coaching to Society
On March 19, 2011, I had the opportunity to give the keynote address at a coaching conference co-sponsored by the Chinese Professional Coach Development Association and the International Association of Coaching in Kaohsiung, Taiwan. More than 100 people were in attendance and there was great enthusiasm—not only for coaching but for the vision of coaching professionalism, values, and certification put forward by the IAC.
Below is an edited version of the speech I gave, which was presented in both English and Mandarin Chinese through an interpreter. I hope it gives you a glimpse of that vision and a sense of what people got so excited about.
First I want to acknowledge and thank the many people who have made it possible for me to be here today: The Chinese Professional Coach Development Association, especially thank those members who worked so hard to coordinate everything with me ahead of time, Edward Chen, Jinny Wang and Shunyi Lee. Without them, this Forum would not be happening and I would not be here. Thanks for your great work and generous hospitality!
I have been asked to talk today about “Bringing Coaching to Society.” That’s a big topic! To gain perspective, let’s make sure we understand what we mean by “coaching.” In one sense, coaching does not have to be brought to society. It has always been in society! Since the beginning of time, each generation and each family and each person has sought to help others find their way. Without coaching there would be no society. It is how we learn and how we get things done.
Consider the descriptions of coaching taken from the recently-completed IAC strategic plan. We use terms like “a powerful, co-creative process,” a “well-accepted, recognized and necessary intervention,” an “approach that is complimentary to many disciplines and professions,” a “required module of the curricula for those disciplines,” as well as a “powerful, viral process.”
To what end, then, does coaching work in society? Our strategic plan uses words like “achievement,” “growth,” “development,” “problem solving,” “paradigm shift,” “learning,” “respect for humanity,” “awareness” and “evolution.” My favorite word, however, comes from the definition of coaching that appears on our website: “transformation.”
Coaching in society is not a paper tiger. It is a real threat to the status quo, because coaching is all about change in the direction of life-giving values. Those values, also identified in the IAC strategic plan, include “openness,” “transparency,” “trust,” “sustainability,” “responsibility,” “integrity,” “diversity,” “inclusiveness,” “partnership,” “caring,” “abundance thinking” and “inner peace.”
I know of no other coaching association that has identified such a clear set of revolutionary values. Whether we name them or not, all coaching embodies and generates values. We think of coaching as being client-centered and client-driven, but that is only part of the story. The relationships that we form, the listening that we do, the empathy that we offer, the questions that we ask, the possibilities that we consider, and the designs that we co-construct are all value-centered and value-driven. In the case of the IAC, we are clear as to where we come from and the kind of impact we hope coaching will have on society.
And coaching IS revolutionary, on all levels of society. It is not possible to increase the awareness and responsibility of individual actors without having a destabilizing influence on the powers that be. When the locus of control shifts from extrinsic to intrinsic frames, when people become more aware of their own needs and take more responsibility for meeting those needs, when people stop waiting for permission and start doing things in the service of those life-enhancing values, then coaching has truly become a profound and helpful catalyst for transformational change.
Seth Godin, marketing guru and thought leader extraordinaire, refers to the effect of coaching in terms of initiative. Seth writes:
"Who is in charge of motivation at the average company? Who is in charge of starting stuff? Who is in charge of taking initiative? Who is in charge of poking around, taking risks, testing assumptions, playing with variables, and discovering what happens? Who is in charge of saying, 'Yes, let’s try a different approach!'"? (Seth Godin, 2011, Poke the Box)
His point, of course, is that we are all in charge of that. Anyone, at any level, in any organization or setting in life, can decide to take initiative. We don’t have to have a brilliant idea; we just have to have an idea and we have to do something about it. Babies do this naturally. They see something they don’t know anything about and they immediately stick it in their mouths. They touch it, play with it, explore it, and try to figure out what happens when they do this or that. Sometimes they get burned, of course, figuratively and/or literally. But the next day, they are back at it again. Little children are naturally curious and motivated to take action. They are moving all the time, conducting experiments and learning the ropes as they go.
Somehow, through communication and consequence, that natural curiosity and motivation gets beaten out of people as we get older. We get criticized or burned one too many times and we decide, “I’m not going to do that anymore. I’m not going to try that again. I’m not going to set things in motion. I’m not going to put myself or my ideas out there. I’m just going to keep my head down and play it safe. No more initiative for me.”
Fortunately, holding back and self-censoring is not the whole story. We all have special moments of letting go and self-expression. Finding and fanning the flames of such moments is what coaching is all about. Coaches empower people to find and raise their voices; to take initiative and to instigate the things that would make life more wonderful for both themselves and others.
That is what the IAC hopes coaching will elicit as people begin to perceive their potential (IAC Coaching Mastery #2), process in the present (Mastery #4), explore possibilities (Mastery #5), and build supportive environments (Mastery #9).
Coaching in society is a revolutionary activity, at least when it’s done in the IAC way. If all of the activity taking place in the name of coaching were to be practiced in alignment with the values and Masteries® of the IAC, then surely coaching would be a powerful and progressive movement for change in the modern world. That is one reason I have given so much of myself and my own leadership to the IAC. And that is also why I am so thrilled to be part of this Coaching Forum here today.
Asia rising is not just about software, call centers, and manufacturing. It is about coaching in the best sense of the word. It is about taking the lead in human development so that our planet becomes ever more open, transparent, trustworthy, sustainable, inclusive, collaborative, caring, generous, and peaceful. It is about building social capital by increasing self-awareness and self-responsibility for life.
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
Why Insurance? A brief discussion on why you might consider professional liability insurance for your coaching practice
by Gordon Piggott
What is your business?
The assumption made here is that you’re providing a professional service of some kind, that you've been trained to a high standard, and that you're offering your clients the benefits your practice provides. At the very least, as a coach you provide your clients with deeper insight and helping them use that knowledge to make their life better, whatever “better” may be.
It is your business to offer that service to a client. In return, the client both benefits from the service and pays you for it. From the moment you offer a service, a contact is created. And the instant a contact is created, there is an expectation about how that service will be provided. That's where the potential problems occur.
Client expectations can sometimes be higher than what is reasonable for the circumstances. In the best scenario, that expectation is set out in a terms of service document or a document of engagement (setting out the basis of the contract and what the client may expect) and a fee structure (what the practitioner expects of the client).
Most business relationships start well, with good grace on both sides and neither party expecting things to go wrong. Yet as with many aspects of life, it’s better to expect the best but plan for the worst, and that’s where professional liability insurance comes in.
First let us establish exactly what a claim is. A claim means that from the client’s point of view, you made some professional error or omission in your dealings, which caused them a loss. Such a loss maybe wholly emotional in nature, although it could be substantially physical, which brings about the financial claim. The second part of a claim is the redress (compensation) sought by the client. A complaint is not really a complaint without the issue of redress.
Before we investigate redress, let us look at the three broad categories of claims.
The least serious: A complaint that your service was not up to scratch in some way—and the usual claim is a refund of charges made. At best this is a disgruntled customer who is unlikely ever to come back to you.
The most serious: The complainant makes outrageous claims, and then starts litigation. If a claimant wants to go to court, there is little or nothing you can do to stop them. The trouble is the high cost of litigation, even if it never goes to court. Lawyers' costs can run into the thousands just to review and prepare cases. If you do not respond appropriately and/or you do not engage a lawyer to defend you and it does go to court, poor defence or NO defence can ruin your case and mean defeat, even if, in reality, you had right on your side.
The third category is a claim that falls somewhere between these two extremes.
What to do if you are insured and receive a claim
1. Tell the insurer IMMEDIATELY once you are aware of the issue. To delay could invalidate your claim.
2. Be absolutely sure you receive a written receipt of claim notification.
3. Do NOT make a settlement offer.
4. Do NOT hire legal representation—let the underwriter do it.
Professional liability insurance: What’s in it for you?
The benefit to you is that an insurer takes financial responsibility (up to the limit of your coverage).
The purpose of insurance is to cover those potential events that could financially ruin you if they occurred, in return for a modest fee (your premium). Professional claims can be extremely high and you do not know just how much they will cost.
A final note
Being insured does not remove the claim from you. It is still your claim and your responsibility. What it does is “indemnify” you against the costs incurred. Note that in return for taking responsibility for your costs, your insurer takes over the management of the claim. It's only fair really—they pay, so they say how it will go.
Westminster Indemnity Ltd launched in 2004. It is the brainchild of renowned businessman Gerard O'Donovan who, together with Gordon Piggott, brought this unique product to the market. No other company offers the totally online experience that WI Ltd does.
Westminster Indemnity is a specialist insurance company that offers professional liability insurance coverage to all of our members in the UK, US and Canada at an excellent rate. Please click on one of the links below to obtain a quote.
United States and Canada: http://insurance-certifiedcoach.com/
United Kingdom: http://insurance-certifiedcoach.co.uk/
My name is Tatiana Abend, and I've recently stepped into the position of IAC Volunteer Coordinator. My role is to oversee the Department's structure and to match volunteers to tasks in a variety of areas.
Building upon the work that has been completed thus far, volunteer coordination includes gathering feedback, updating information available on the IAC Volunteer Groupsite, performing recruiting and recognition activities, and broadening the workforce to foster the Association's growth.
The past two months have brought good progress, as evidenced by the creation of a Volunteer Handbook, the posting and updating of volunteer positions available, and the filling of helpful positions of direct service to Committee Heads and the Board of Governors.
For those interested in volunteer activities, please contact me directly to obtain a Volunteer Offer Form and be included in the Volunteer Groupsite. A special thanks to those who have recently stepped forward! The importance of active participation cannot be underestimated, and all input is of high value to the whole community.
The volunteers of the IAC shall continue to grow and improve, with vibrant participation of all concerned.
Tatiana Abend is a Health and Wellness Coach and the Founder and Owner of BodyVision Health Coaching, with office locations in both Spain and East Coast USA. www.bodyvisionsl.com
New IAC Coaching Masteries® licensed schools and mentors
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