IAC VOICE, Volume 4, Issue 82, April 2013, Circulation 4,325
April 8, 2013
From the Editor
Hello and welcome to the April 2013 issue of the IAC VOICE! It has been a pleasure becoming better acquainted with this community as I find my footing as editor.
Last weekend, I traveled to the Adirondacks and spent a few days alone in a cabin in the woods. Without phone or internet, I was invited to appreciate the silence and the time that stretched before me. In many ways it was a challenge, but ultimately it was an incredible learning experience; being truly alone and allowing my thoughts to wander organically. I found myself answering some of my own life questions and returning to the “real world” with a renewed approach to communicating with my coworkers, friends, and family.
Our articles this month serendipitously speak of the value of silence, growth, and communication. The contributors this month come from various backgrounds and skills. Our hope is to cover many spectrums for every reader of the VOICE; from beginners to experts to anything in between. I hope you appreciate these unique perspectives as much as I did!
In addition to our articles, President Susan Meyer reminds us of the rewards of volunteering and shares many opportunities with us. Dates for member chats and webinars are listed below. We’ve also decided to introduce a new element to the VOICE that we hope adds a little humor to your day. Please see below for a list of what April’s issue of the VOICE has to offer you.
As always, submissions to the VOICE are encouraged. I would love to hear new voices and thoughts about the IAC and the coaching community – after all, I am still learning. Please do not hesitate to contact me with questions, comments, or contributions at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Best, Beth Ann
Beth Ann Miller holds a B.A. in Creative Writing and is a native New Englander. She has a professional background in editing and higher education, as well as working with youths in the arts. Her stories have appeared in small online and print journals and she is perpetually at work on new creative projects.
This month, I’m thinking about volunteers. As coaches centering our work around coaching practices, we are committed to making a difference. We hope to help people improve their lives and businesses, and in doing so, create a better world.
As members of the IAC, we are committed to a specific set of beliefs described in our vision and mission statements:
The IAC enVISIONs a world where:
Coaching professionals commit to continuously learning, growing, collaborating and holding themselves accountable;
Coaching recipients are inspired to achieve their desired outcomes; and
The world benefits in many surprising, life-giving ways.
The IAC is on a MISSION to provide a highly accountable learning, certification, and ethical framework for aspiring and experienced coaches. Their mastery of coaching is valued and contributes to evolving human potential worldwide.
Many of you have experienced the joys of reaching out to help someone. You understand that, as a volunteer, you get more than you give. You also change the world. Without hundreds of volunteers over the past decade, the Masteries™ would not exist. There would be no articles in our archives, no Master Coach Series calls, no Member Chats, no Chapters. Without our volunteer Board and volunteer committee chairs and members, there would be no IAC at all.
In my years as Secretary, Vice President, and now President of the IAC, I have learned many lessons about organizational function. I’ve learned a lot about leadership and even more about myself. Yes, there have been days – even weeks – I have simply wanted to run screaming from the room. And those have been times when I have learned the most.
Volunteer Coaches Wanted
This month, I want to share a unique volunteer opportunity available to all experienced IAC coaches. The Coach Initiative was announced at the first Conversation Among Masters gathering and creates opportunities for leaders and members of non-profit Boards to receive pro bono coaching. I have had the privilege of serving on the Board and Outreach Committee of TCI and am providing nine coaching sessions to Caitlin Kelly, founder of Africa Volunteer Corps. Her organization “unites passionate, qualified African volunteers with African NGOs to deepen their impact and empower Africans to play a vital role in shaping Africa’s future.” I am in awe of her energy and drive and leave every coaching session feeling excited and empowered.
The Coach Initiative has been a wonderful experience for me and one I’m delighted to share with you. They are about to launch several new projects. Come along – you’ll never regret it!
Here’s a letter of invitation from the TCI President:
The Coach Initiative (a 501c3) is a provider of pro bono coaching to not for profit organizations. Several not for profits that are doing important work in the world have received coaching through The Coach Initiative. You can see a partial list at http://coachinitiative.org/ As more not for profits learn about our work, our requests have increased, and along with that the need for more experienced coaches to step forward and offer their expertise.
The Coach Initiative wants you! We are pleased to invite experienced IAC coaches to volunteer to work with The Coach Initiative. We appreciate the mission of the IAC and request that experienced coaches who would like to support our work and coach these valued leaders, please apply at http://coachinitiative.org/for_coache/volunteer-to-coach/. Coaches must provide two references, preferably from current or previous clients. Coaches who need coaching hours for credit are not eligible.
This is for experienced coaches only. Coaches who volunteer are matched with one client with whom they work in a formal coaching arrangement for a three month period. (3x per month – 45min to 1 hour sessions).
Time zones, unique areas of interest, and language differences are also carefully considered when our matching process is done.
Please feel free to email any questions you may have about this opportunity. We look forward to hearing from you. Thank you.
Before I move away from the subject of volunteers, I would be remiss if I did not remind you that we also have many wonderful opportunities within the IAC. These include chairing our volunteer committee! We are looking for more members of the Membership, Chapters and Licensing committees and a few people with research backgrounds to help us get the Research Forum fully functional. You can contact email@example.com to express your interest.
On April 24th, I will have a Master Coach interview with Natalie Tucker Miller, Past President and Lead Certifier. Register here. In May, I will be speaking with past Board member, licensee and virtual chapter founder Dr. Doris Helge. Register here.
Finally, our wonderfully ambitious Asian colleagues have created a conference, chaired by Vice President Krishna Kumar, in Bangalore, India LEADERSHIP MASTERIES – THE NEW MANTRAS: Coaching Sutras for Enlightened Leadership will be held on June 6 & 7, 2013. Sir John Whitmore will be the keynote speaker.
With warm wishes for your success, Susan R. Meyer
Susan R. Meyer, MMC 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.
Using Silence as the Powerful Coaching Tool it is IAC Mastery #3 by Martha Pasternack
As coaches, we engage many forms of meaningful communication. We restate our client’s messages to ensure our understanding, we are curious and ask open-ended questions. We also listen: we listen for contradictions, hidden fears and suppressed emotions, for changes in voice tone and quality. We look for body language: facial expressions, withdrawal or excitement. Yet, sometimes we have to look beyond the verbal and physical communication. Often silence can be used as a positive coaching tool.
There are a variety of ways we can support our clients to enter into silence. For example, we can encourage a minute of silence before each call as a way for ourselves and our clients to collect our thoughts. We can pause at strategic times during the session when sensing there might be more the client has to say. Inquiry that is open-ended and emanates from curiosity encourages silence as we open to our client’s response.
Many of our clients have been taught to honor another person’s needs, goals and desires before their own. This creates an obstacle for clients who are searching for their true voice. When we create silence in our coaching sessions, we create space for our clients. We hold that space with them so they have a safe place to explore and discover their authentic voice.
You have probably heard it said that some people “talk to think, others think to talk.” Those who think to talk require time to think, but those who talk to think require time as well. Pausing between questions is therefore a very effective way to invite our clients into silence and allow time for them to process their thoughts. Some people do not slow down enough to attune to a deeper meaning of their experience and encouraging silence is helpful. Pausing, letting the silence speak for us may take some practice or some getting used to, especially if it is contrary to your speech patterning. Yet with practice it will soon become one of your own tools to add to your coaching tool box.
There may be a cultural influence your clients bring to the coaching session that you may or may not be aware of. Some cultures speak very slowly and have long periods of silence in between thoughts. You are at risk of talking over your clients if you are not patient and attuned to this pattern of speech. Also at risk is fostering a connection built on mutual respect and understanding with your client. Deep listening is helpful here because you are as unique as your client and relationships are built on connection.
On the Circle of Life and along the pathway of Gentle Medicine, silence is a practice. When you enter into the silence you connect with yourself in a precious way. When you embrace silence in your coaching sessions you create space, allow time, and encourage connection for your clients to explore and discover their personal powers as well as foster an effective relationship with them. When you enter into the silence you can learn to quiet your mind, calm your emotions, and relax your body as a way to engage the personal power you possess.
My passion for witnessing the beauty and mystery of life, healthy healing and the promotion of Peace on Earth are integral to my daily life. I have been life coaching since 2004 after working 30 years as an health care professional.
Celebrating Love and Humanity by Natalie Tucker Miller, MMC
One of my favorite stories is this account of love and humanity from Alice Walker.
“It is said that in the Baemba tribe of South Africa, when a person acts irresponsibly or unjustly, he is placed in the center of the village, alone and unfettered. All work ceases, and every man, woman and child in the village gathers in a large circle around the accused individual. Then each person in the tribe …
… speaks to the accused, one at a time, about all the good things the person has done in his lifetime. All his positive attributes, good deeds, strengths, and kindnesses are recited carefully and at length. The tribal ceremony often lasts several days. At the end, the tribal circle is broken, a joyous celebration takes place, and the person is symbolically and literally welcomed back into the tribe.”
It’s hard to describe the feelings I experienced when I first read this many years ago. The story captured my heart and spoke directly to my coaching sensibilities. There is such essence of coaching mastery in, and between, the spaces of these words. “All work ceases…” shows up in Mastery 5, where the people maintain focus on and attention to the villager, and Mastery 4, where there is full focus of attention. When the person is placed in the center of the village, alone and unfettered, Mastery 8 includes trust, openness, curiosity, courage and recognition of potential, which is necessary for a loving system such as this to blossom.
Each person in the tribe “speaks to the accused, one at a time, about all the good things the person has done in his lifetime. All his positive attributes, good deeds, strengths, and kindnesses are recited carefully and at length.” In this, we see an illustration of Mastery 2, where there is recognition, acknowledgement and appreciation for the person’s strengths and potential. Mastery 7 brings the person back to what is most important: in this case, themselves.
As the celebration ensues, there is the further evidence of the power of the Masteries. The story, in its elegant simplicity, easily incorporates the elements of coaching mastery such as acceptance with expansion, comfort with discovery, transformation with safety, risk with confidence, and so on. These qualities are evident in so much of what we learn and experience every day, in and out of our coaching sessions. <<<<<Members click here to continue>>>>>>
Natalie Tucker Miller, MMC, 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™.
Surprise! What Coaching Taught me About Communication by Sue Johnston
For over 30 years, I’ve been a communication professional. Educated, mentored, accredited and experienced in every form of communication, I looked like the real deal. Yet it wasn’t until I trained as a coach that I truly learned to communicate.
I was working in corporate communication when I had the disturbing realization that how people talk to each other at work has more impact than the formal programs to which I was devoting my career. Fortunately, I met a coach. Being coached gave me an appreciation for deliberate and conscious conversation. Coach training gave me the tools. It forever changed the way I talk with everyone.
I learned to look beyond the story.
In earlier days, when I talked to people, I looked for the story. For daily news, it had to inform or entertain. For organizations, it had to line up with some corporate objective. Today, whether or not I am coaching, my focus is on the person behind the story. The more I focus on the person, the more interesting our conversation becomes. My attention builds the trust that helps people feel comfortable sharing their stories.
In coaching, I learned that the story someone brings me – the “presenting problem” – is not always the real issue. Probing for clarification has been just as useful in revealing what’s really going on with colleagues, family members and acquaintances as it has for clients.
I learned to listen.
Coaching demands more than listening to what is said. We must hear what’s not said. We notice the unfinished sentence, the intake of breath, the hesitation, the change in pace or volume. These may be clues to something important, something our clients may not even be aware of. When we share our observations, they have to think about them. That leads to insight about themselves or their situations.
We don’t have to be coaching someone to notice these things or to ask about them. Insight is good in any context. For example, the coach’s requirement to look beyond the words has changed the way I operate in meetings. Whether I’m facilitating or a team member, I’ll ask about the unsaid. Saying something like, “I wish you could see your face when you talk about that. It’s clear that you really care,” can invite someone to bring something significant into the discussion that might, otherwise, surface too late.
I learned to ask new questions.
“Who are you?” “What do you want?” “What are you going to do about it?” Those three questions are the staples of news reporting. Asked at a deeper level, they are also the staples of coaching. They address identity, desire and action.
A reporter asking, “Who are you?” wants your name and the correct spelling. A coach asking, “Who are you?” leads people to identify their values. When a coach asks, “What do you want?” we touch on aspiration, expanded potential and intentions. Inject those elements into any conversation and both the stakes and the payout increase. “What’s your next step?” – the more coach-like version of, “What are you going to do about it?” – also comes with, “When?” and, “Will you let me know when you’ve done it?” It’s been helpful in many non-coaching contexts.
Coaching questions have served me well in team meetings. They bring issues to the surface. They cut through nonsense to the truth. “How do we know that?” asked with genuine curiosity, can help people distinguish between fact and opinion. “Can you walk us through your thinking on this?” can help someone recognize the gaps in their logic. One of my favourite coaching questions, “What will it mean and why will it matter?” helps a group understand the impact of the work it’s undertaking.
I learned when to be silent.
This lesson has been the most valuable for me – and the most difficult. People drawn to the communication professions are not quiet people. We’re uncomfortable with silence.
A mentor coach suggested, “When you ask a question, wait till it’s uncomfortable, then count to 10.” A decade later, that advice is as useful to me in normal conversation as in coaching. People can’t think if I’m talking. No thinking, no insight, no action, no good.
What do you think? [Imagine a long silence here.]
Sue Johnston, MBA, ABC, MMC helps you talk so people listen and listen so people talk. After a career in journalism and organizational communication, she established It’s Understood Communication [http://itsunderstood.com] to focus on face-to-face communication. She loves helping her clients find and share their voices through public speaking. She’s the author of “Talk To Me: Workplace Conversations That Work.”
The term clairvoyant originated from French, clair meaning clear and voyance meaning vision. I find that introducing a sense of clairvoyance into coaching allows us to focus on foreseeing and understanding client needs, as well as encouraging us to think outside the box. We’ll find that the Masteries are naturally present in this type of coaching.
Concern, Optimism, Action, Collaboration and Holism (or COACH); this is my personal interpretation of coaching. Key elements of coaching include strengthening relationships, developing potential, putting the client at ease and creating effective collaboration. When combining these concepts with clairvoyance and an understanding of the Masteries, it creates a unique and powerful method.
In simple words, using clairvoyance in coaching allows us to focus on understanding the client’s position. A clairvoyant coach encourages and embraces a client’s positive behavioural change. E.M. Forster once said, “Spoon feeding in the long run teaches us nothing but the shape of the spoon.” Undoubtedly this is echoed in Mastery Two: Perceiving, affirming and expanding the client’s potential, and Mastery Six: Clarifying. It is our goal to ask probing and triggering questions that create awareness on behaviour, thoughts and beliefs.
While the masteries emerge everywhere, I find them particularly present while conducting coaching sessions internationally. For example, an obstacle many business managers around the world share with me is lack of time. They are preoccupied with their own work and cannot find the time to coach their employees. Some even feel it would be more effective to replace their staff members than to aid them in growth and improvement. This can be tied back to Mastery Seven: Helping the client set and keep clear intentions. Does the manager believe this is his responsibility, or is he seeking the nearest exit?
The key and noteworthy hindrance is ensuring the client discovers their areas of improvement and draws a development plan. Three proverbs by Confucius have proven particularly helpful in my coaching scenarios: “If you make a mistake and do not correct it, this is called a mistake,” “Real knowledge is to know the extent of one’s ignorance” and “To know that we know what we know, and that we do not know what we do not know.” I have coupled this knowledge with my coaching experience and now ask clients to ruminate on these proverbs prior to jumping into coaching activity. This exercise creates a unique openness and awareness.
As the title of this article suggests, discovering the clairvoyance in our coaching — the clear route and vision – allows us to guide our clients to positive and productive pathways. A coach is like a compass, providing direction for the client, and can be a steady reference point when there is a strong need.
Prakash Santhanam is currently working as a Head of Learning & Development and can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org. He is a high-energy speaker and learning and development professional with 8 years working experience predominantly in the oil and gas, automotive, information technology and telecommunication industries.
We’ve decided to introduce a new element to the VOICE. While we pride ourselves on bringing you relevant, informative, and inspiring articles from around the world, we also understand how important it is to laugh every now and then. Please enjoy our first Mastery Meme – we hope it makes you smile! Feel free to share it with your coach friends. Also, do not hesitate to send us your own ideas or images for our next Mastery Meme.
The IAC is hosting a series of teleseminars that provide an opportunity to learn from and interact with experts serving the coaching industry in a wide variety of ways. Each monthly call will feature one of our awesome Member Benefit Providers in an interview format, with plenty of time allotted for your questions and comments. These informational calls promise to support your professional, personal, and business development while also highlighting the discounts and other special opportunities available to all current IAC Members. The interviews will be conducted by Kim Ades, president and founder of Frame of Mind Coaching and JournalEngine Software. You must register through the link provided. Please mark your calendar and join us!
Join Kim Ades as she interviews Kurt Shuster from Noomii.com to get the inside track on what clients really want. As an experienced coach, Kim asks the type of questions that any coach would want answered.
Kurt Shuster, CEO, Noomii.com has over 12 years of business experience across a wide range of roles and industries, including software development, consulting, and professional coaching. Drawing on his experiences since cofounding Noomii in 2007, he also coaches executives and entrepreneurs, focusing on high-tech and early-stage startup companies. He holds a psychology degree from the University of Victoria, a computer science degree from Queen’s University, and and MBA from Cambridge University. He recently received a Master of Applied Positive Psychology (MAPP) from the University of Pennsylvania.
Kim Ades, MBA is President and Founder of Frame of Mind Coaching and JournalEngine Software. Author, speaker, entrepreneur, coach, and mother of 5, Kim is one of North America’s foremost experts on performance through thought management. By using her unique process of coaching through journaling, she works with high profile clients to unveil and switch their thought patterns to ignite significant organizational change and personal transformation. For an inside look at the journaling process she uses to coach her clients, go to www.journalengine.com and check it out!
The IAC is offering a new opportunity for members and potential members to speak each with each other and IAC Board members. Learn about current news, ask questions, and open up a dialogue in the Chats. Hosted by Peter Rusznak, IAC member and coach trainer at PRO BONA Kft. The dates are as follows:
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 email@example.com. Please help us improve.
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