IAC VOICE, Volume 4, Issue 8, November 2006, Circulation: 10,049
November 9, 2006 November 9, 2006
From the Editor
I’m excited to let you know that IAC President, Natalie Tucker Miller, IAC-CC will be interviewed on "Voice of America Business Radio" on behalf of the IAC on Thursday Nov 30th 11am Pacific time. Natalie’s interview is part of Elana S. Daley's "R.E.A.P. What You S.O.W." series, and promises to be great exposure for the IAC and coaching in general.
This month our Vice President, Diane Krause-Stetson, IAC-CC writes about what it means to be part of the IAC, and how we as members can contribute, whether it’s through time, ideas or membership dues. I think you’ll enjoy her perspective.
And speaking of Diane, you may recall last month’s article where she described the thinking behind our name change from "International Association of Coaching" to "International Association of Coaching". In that article she made reference to an essay by Lable Braun about the significance of "coach as a noun" versus "coaching as a verb". I really liked Lable’s article and have included it here.
Do you find it hard to believe that it’s already November and the holiday season is fast approaching? For those of us who celebrate the holidays with gift-giving, this short article gives suggestions for "coach-like" gifts with meaning.
Finally, I know you’re probably wondering where Janice Hunter’s Coaching Moments column has been these past two months. We’ve had so many IAC announcements that we haven’t had room for Coaching Moments, but rest assured the popular column will be back soon.
Last month we encouraged comments and questions sent to firstname.lastname@example.org, and this month extend that encouragement as an ongoing venue for your questions. We’ll soon be offering an area on our site dedicated to the questions and answers that these interactions have generated.
This month, Diane Krause-Stetson, IAC-CC, Vice President, goes more in depth with what it means to be part of the IAC, and how we as members can contribute, whether it’s through time, ideas and/or a commitment through continued membership.
Diane’s contributions to the IAC are numerous and significant, doing much of the behind the scenes "heavy lifting". The IAC is pleased and proud to have her serving on the board, the strategic planning committee and generously lending her various talents where and when the need arises.
What It Means To Be Part Of The IAC by Diane Krause-Stetson, IAC-CC, Vice President of the IAC
I have been on the Board of Governors and its Executive Committee since April of 2005, first as Secretary and now as Vice President. I also participate on the following Committees: Strategic Planning, By-laws, Finance and Global Certification Standards Development.
Regardless of the hat I wear or the context in which I participate, my goal has been to help build a successful and sustainable platform for the IAC from which it can continue to evolve the highest standards of coaching. In my work with the IAC, I apply the same approach as I do in my business–using authenticity and principled decision-making along with pragmatic, goal-oriented strategies to achieve sustainable, bottom-line results. What marketers might call my tagline, I call my touchstone: "Discover who you are. Decide what’s important. Do what matters.™"
Therefore, it has been a real opportunity to be on the ground floor as we embarked on strategic planning for the IAC. Starting with the fundamentals, we clarified our vision and solidified our mission.
At our September Board meeting, the IAC reaffirmed its commitment to the professionalism of "coaching" by changing its name to the "International Association of Coaching". The IAC is a professional umbrella organization that serves coaches and others who use the art and science of coaching in their work. Members of the IAC include coaches, consultants, business leaders and managers, teachers, health care professionals, and many others.
Like any business, our strategic planning has also focused on enhancing our membership database and our financial and communications systems. With systems in place, we have begun to reconnect with you, our members, and to expand our member services. The IAC leadership takes its mission seriously and is committed to the membership.
But, remember, the IAC is still an organization that is run and operated by volunteers—your colleagues who are giving of their time and expertise to advance the organization and the professionalism of coaching. Even in a volunteer organization, there are expenses for operating supplies and systems and professional services that must be covered.
We have had numerous discussions about what value proposition we are presenting and what commitment we can expect from our membership. We have discussed the balance between having a large membership base that is making a modest contribution, or a more exclusive base that is willing and able to contribute at a higher price point. We believe that we have struck the correct balance for a professional organization. As the IAC grows, we need to know that there is a solid membership base of professionals that believes in the value of coaching and that supports—and is willing to invest in—the initiatives of this organization.
I hope that you will join me in supporting the IAC as it evolves the highest standards of coaching and as it advocates for the transformation in personal development, business, education, health care and so many other professional fields through the integration of coaching principles.
In my business, I serve as a catalyst for principled success for executives, small business owners and service professionals. I am the founder of Lead Your Life™, LLC, a coaching and consulting business that concentrates on career enrichment, leadership development and organization effectiveness for executives, small business owners and professional service firms. I am also a cofounder of Symarete™, a coaching and consulting collaboration that serves "lady lawyers" and law firms.
I am thrilled to be a part of an organization that is committed to the highest levels of professionalism in coaching.
Diane Krause-Stetson IAC-CC, MBA, JD www.dianekrausestetson.com President and Founder of Lead Your Life, LLC Co-founder of Symarete Vice President, International Association of Coaching
Project Coaching: Nouns and Verbs by Lable Braun
In our search for identity we often tend to confuse nouns and verbs. Throughout the history of human existence the argument has raged whether we are simply the things we do (verbs) or if there is something intrinsic in us that forms our identity irrespective of what we happen to do (nouns).
In the field of philosophy, for generations there was the assumption that we possessed a soul which was a reflection of God, the great "I AM" (noun). As the Enlightenment swept through Europe, this assumption was examined and challenged, culminating in Descartes’ famous statement, "I think therefore I am." In this Cartesian viewpoint, my noun-ness (I AM) is only knowable through my verb-ness (I think). I must DO something before even I myself can be aware of my existence.
In the 1960s, this viewpoint was triumphant through the psychology of Behaviorism. The Behaviorist, as best exemplified by B.F. Skinner, was totally agnostic to a person’s noun-ness. It didn’t matter if anything was "in there" in the black box called a human being. All that mattered was the person’s verb-ness, the behavior they exhibited. If I could train someone to react a certain way every time, what did it matter what they "thought"? Their thoughts didn’t affect the world. Only their behavior did.
By the late 1970s, Behaviorism had been displaced by Cognitive Psychology as the dominant psychological model. Cognitive Psychology once again stressed the importance of noun-ness. The "thing" called a human being had certain intrinsic ways of processing information, and this was crucial because it limited the types of behavior, therefore, that a human is capable of. Humans do not have infinite degrees of freedom because we are pre-wired in certain ways. Cognitive Psychology set about discovering exactly how we are wired.
Back and forth. Back and forth. The pendulum has swung between nouns and verbs. Why is this important? Because it has some very pragmatic implications. Most recently, I’ve been thinking about the pragmatic implications of whether the word "coach" is best used as a noun or a verb.
I think the pendulum has swung too far towards the noun when it comes to "coach". Much too much of the profession’s attention is about noun-ness. How to get certified so that everyone knows that the noun "coach" refers to you. How to market this noun, this thing called "coach". I do not see nearly enough nowadays on the verb-ness of coaching, i.e., how to effectively coach.
The distinction between "coach" as a noun and "coach" as a verb is especially crucial as the coaching profession faces its moment of truth. Many people have left the corporate world in search of the noun-ness called "coach"; they want to become a thing called "coach". The sad truth is that the number of people who have flocked to the profession far outnumbers the carrying capacity of the coaching industry. Most coaches, unfortunately, are not making a living wage. And yet, they tenaciously hold on by their fingernails, obsessed with the noun-ness of coaching, obsessed with being "a coach".
Coaches need to go back to the corporate world. That, in a nutshell, is the essence of the Project Coaching model. There is a desperate need for increased coaching (verb) in the corporate world. It is the answer to addressing a multi-billion problem in lost productivity. It is also the answer to making the workplace a thriving, exciting, enjoyable place to be. Equally important for coaches, it is where the money is. There are tens of thousands of people out there who are great coaches, but lousy entrepreneurs. They need to go back to the corporate world and get a steady paycheck.
The response I get from most coaches to this line of argument is, "But the corporate world isn’t ready to accept me back as a coach."
My response to them is, "So What?"
This is where the difference between a noun and a verb is so crucial. So what if the corporate world isn’t ready to accept you back with the title "Coach"? Don’t worry about the noun-ness of coaching. Leverage its verb-ness. Just coach. Almost no one started their careers as a coach. There is certainly some skill set you had before you became a coach. Use that skill set to get a job back in the corporate world. And when you get that job, don’t worry if it’s as a marketer or a manager or an HR partner or a technician, just coach. Be a marketer in a coach-like way. Be a manager in a coach-like way. Be a technician in a coach-like way. Don’t worry about the title (noun) you have, just coach (verb). The superior results you will achieve when compared to those who are doing the same job without the verb-ness of coaching will speak for itself. Just coach.
I once saw a famous actor asked by young people starting out in the profession what were the chances they were going to make it as an actor. The actor surprised them by saying, "100%". When the audience gasped at this response, the actor explained, "If you want to know the chances that you’ll be a star, the odds are heavily stacked against you. But if you want to know the chances that you will be able to have a profession as an actor, the chances are 100%. The world is full of opportunities to act."
The world is also full of opportunities to coach.
So what about it, coaches? Firefighters are at their most heroic not when they’re standing on the sidewalk hosing down a building. They’re at their most heroic when they run into a burning building to save lives and property. Are you willing to rush back into the burning building of the corporate world, regardless of the title you get? And once you’re back in the burning building, just coach.
And those of you reading this who aren’t coaches: Whether you’re project managers or marketers, HR partners or technicians, are you willing to learn the techniques, the verb-ness of coaching, so that you too can just coach?
I hope the answer from all communities is a resounding "Yes". As for me, tomorrow morning I’m going to back to the noun-ness of my job as a manager, and I’m going to revel in the verb-ness of coaching and being coached.
About the author: After writing this article more than a year ago, Lable Braun returned to a management position and brought with him a coaching (verb) approach. And as a result, he later became the Organizational Development Director of Dialogic and was asked to establish a coaching program. You can contact Lable at email@example.com.
Holiday Gifts with Meaning
by Barbra Sundquist
I have some socially conscious friends who always give me the neatest gifts – things I enjoy receiving because they’re not the standard consumer items. Over the years they’ve made donations to the SPCA in my name, sent me subscriptions to cool alternative magazines, and introduced me to fair trade chocolate. Last year I followed their example and gave the following gifts:
subscription to the “best of the alternative press” magazine Utne
subscription to GOOD Magazine. The cool thing about GOOD: they donate the full $20 subscription cost to your choice of a dozen worthwhile charities, including the World Wildlife Fund and Unicef.
You’ll notice this doesn’t encompass my entire gift giving list. My shopping list still included some items that gave me the willies, such as "parental content advisory" rap music CDs, name brand teen clothing (probably made in a sweatshop in China), and dare I admit it: a particular toy only available at Walmart.
So what’s with this less than wholly socially conscious gift list? I’ve given it a lot of thought and decided that for me, the point of the gift is to get what makes the recipient feel good, not what makes me feel good. If I can find an intersection between the two, that’s ideal. But I refuse to be known as the auntie who gives lame gifts!
IAC Certified Coaches
We would like to congratulate the following coach who has recently passed the IAC certification exam and achieved IAC-CC designation!
The IAC® is a community of progressive and diverse coaches. With coaches from 80 countries, and even more languages, from all walks of life, you’ll have no trouble finding a coach or colleague you can connect with. If you are a client, this is a great way to find the most masterful coaches in the world! *
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