IAC VOICE, Volume 4, Issue 86, August 2013, Circulation 4,386
August 5, 2013 August 5, 2013
From the Editor
Like most years, it seems like summer is flying by. It has been a busy season for me, spending time with friends and family, preparing to relocate for graduate school and, of course, enjoying these warm summer nights! The IAC has been equally busy, hosting all exciting events around the world. We’ve included some pictures and updates about some of these events in this month’s issue – be sure to check them out below.
Some of you may have missed the webinar, IAC Masteries with Natalie Tucker Miller, hosted by Krishna Kumar. Have no fear! It is accessible in the “Webinars and Slideshows” section of the IAC website, found here, along with other recorded presentations.
We’ve got great content this month for you to peruse, covering everything from the value of an IAC certification, sharing coaching with younger generations, the importance of authenticity and trust, etc. Happy reading!
Please feel free to contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org with comments, questions, event notices, or article contributions. We love hearing from you!
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 morning the temperature has dropped to a cool 75° Fahrenheit and the humidity has dropped to a pleasant level. I’m planning to spend part of the early afternoon in Central Park, perhaps reading, perhaps listening to music. It’s been a busy few weeks, paired with very intense weather — temperatures soaring to triple digits alternating with flooding rain and thunderstorms. After spending so much time indoors, I am taking care of myself by enjoying the temperate day.
How are you taking care of yourself? As coaches, we are in a profession that is most often exhilarating yet also demanding and draining. How many times, after a very full day of appointments, do you want to both dance in the sheer joy of your clients’ gains and collapse in a little heap from exhaustion? How many days do you crowd in just one more thing?
This month, I’m suggesting that you turn to Mastery #9: Helping the client create and use supportive systems and structures to support yourself. What supportive structures have you built into your own life?
Time for Yourself
Beyond the basics like good nutrition, exercise, and health maintenance routines, self-care involves making time for yourself. Years ago, my coach taught me to build personal time into my schedule. Are you doing this? I take one workday a week off and put it on my calendar. On that day, I put my coaching and consulting work aside and get out into the world. Because I’m sometimes so immersed in our practice that I forget about socializing, I try to schedule time with family or friends on those days. I’ve also started using a different color on my calendar to denote personal appointments. It may sound silly, but sometimes it’s just nice to look at the month and see how much time I’ve reserved for myself.
Something for Your Spirit
Whatever you may call it – spirit, soul, heart – find a few minutes every day for some kind of peaceful reflection. Read something that moves you, find a little time to sit quietly and enjoy your surroundings, pray, meditate. There’s something that works for everyone. This time devoted to your inner self is another way of continuing to grow and remain centered.
Maintain Your Support Network
For the past fifteen or twenty years, I’ve been using a four-quadrant framework with my clients and in my own life. It’s changed over time, and I no longer even remember the source of the original version. The four components of this support system are: Cheerleader, Comforter, Clarifier and Confronter.
Everyone should have a Cheerleader. A cheerleader offers unconditional support all the time. Cheerleaders will tell you how great you are even if all you did was get out of bed in the morning. Cheerleaders are relentlessly enthusiastic about even your smallest accomplishment. They urge you to do whatever you want to do; not by pushing, but by applauding every effort and reminding you just how wonderful you are.
Your Comforter is the second source of non-judgmental, unconditional support. A comforter is the first person you call when things aren’t going well. Comforters give you all the sympathy you need — and nothing but sympathy. They make a pot of tea or open a bottle of wine or find some chocolate and sit down to listen and listen and listen. They offer you words of comfort. They are willing to hear the same story hundreds of times if that’s what it takes. A comforter will not try to fix things or offer advice. They just offer you all the unconditional support you need whenever you need it.
One thing that I’ve observed over the years is that, while almost everyone understands the need for Comforters, there is often resistance to the notion of having Cheerleaders. Many of us think that we ought to be able to give ourselves positive reinforcement — and to a certain extent, that’s true. But a little external reinforcement couldn’t hurt. I have a colleague who every so often starts off a text message with “hi, gorgeous.” I walk a little taller and my smile is a little bigger the rest of the day. Of course, there’s more to support than unconditional positive regard. The remaining two roles are people who help you buckle down and accomplish great things.
A Clarifier is an expert at sorting things out. Clarifiers help you get at what is going on beneath the surface. They probe to find the real problem and help you get a clear idea of what you want to do about it. You can bring any situation to clarifiers and they will ask you questions, listen, ask more questions, pose hypothetical situations, help develop solutions, and, finally, help you pick the solution that will work best for you. When you can’t figure out what went wrong (or right) or what to do next, sit down with a clarifier and work through the situation.
Despite the name, this is a supportive role. I’ve stayed with this name to balance out the four C’s, but you may want to substitute another, gentler word for Confronter. A Confronter will not let you get away with a thing. Confronters remind you of your commitments and push and push until you meet them. If you mention a goal to them, they will ask for a progress report every time you see them. You may not always appreciate your confronters, but they are essential for all of us who have a tendency to procrastinate. They don’t accept excuses and they don’t give up until you finish what you started.
At the last Conversation Among Masters, Maria Nemeth gave a wonderful example of the role of good confronters. When she was writing The Energy of Money, she had three friends who fulfilled this role. She asked for their support in making sure she wrote three pages a day. Every morning, one of them would call Maria and ask three questions: Are you sitting at your computer? Is it turned on? How many pages are you going to write today? If Maria said “three,” the conversation was over. But some mornings, she, like all of us, had a whole litany of excuses. The friend would listen patiently and without judgment and, when Maria wound down, would ask, “Maria, how many pages are you going to write today?” I’ve adopted that technique myself to keep me on track with my book.
Make a grid. Put at least one name in each quadrant. Make a second grid. Fill this one in with the names of people you support. That’s your support network. I revisit mine every six months to be sure it’s current.
Find a Coach
I’m a firm believer in the notion that every coach needs a coach and I often have more than one. My coaches serve as sounding boards. They support me in achieving my own goals and in supporting my clients in meeting their goals. They offer marketing advice. They share their new ideas and listen to mine. Some are paid coaches; some are buddy coaches. Each relationship enriches my life and I know I enrich their lives as well.
This quote from George Bernard Shaw is the tag line in my coach’s email signature: "…we don't stop playing because we get old. We get old because we stop playing."
I’m seeing more and more studies suggesting that lifelong learning is even more important than diet and exercise in longevity. Interesting! Have you completed your Learning Agreement? Read this article in the July VOICE.
We’ve got a wonderful collection of interviews with masterful coaches for you to listen to. The latest interview, conducted by Kristi Arndt, is with Julia Stewart, lifetime member and Director of the School of Coaching Mastery. There’s also a new teleseminar on the Masteries, presented by Natalie Tucker Miller and facilitated by Krishna Kumar. Finally, the slides from last year’s and this year’s WBECS presentations are available.
Well, this has been a long message. I hope it helps support you on your path to coaching mastery.
Dr. Susan R. Meyer, MMC is President of Susan R. Meyer, Coaching and Consulting. As a Life Architect, she helps wise and wild women construct a joyful life, provides executive coaching and instills a coaching approach to leadership for organizational success. www.susanrmeyer.com.
Feeling the Masteries: A Journey in IAC Certification by Terri Hase
In 2001 I discovered coaching and the discovery shot a lightning bolt right into my soul. Naively, I always believed that people went to work for a company, gradually moved into Human Resources, and then on into Training and Development. Thus were the limits of my thinking about how a person got into a position of 'teaching' others about performance. It was limited to 'work' and it was achieved through an inevitable series of internal promotions. Like I said, I was naive.
When I learned that there was a budding industry (circa 2001) where people who were called to impact the lives of others could flourish as entrepreneurs, well, I felt like I found my home.
I think that this is a similar story for many coaches. By and large, when people discover coaching, it's accompanied with an overwhelming feeling of discovering 'home.' People are called to coaching, pulled to coaching by their heart strings, often with their head kicking and screaming. Time and time again I've mentored and worked with coaches who say that they came to coaching because they just couldn't not follow their heart to it. Furthermore, following their heart was often challenged by their spouses, and well-meaning friends. Yet, they came anyway!
It stands to reason that the vast majority of coaches (new and veteran alike) are in the industry because the idea of coaching impacts them emotionally, personally and profoundly. They feel they are answering their call by pursuing coaching, and that speaks volumes about the breadth and depth of the emotional investment on the line. (Most of you are here with your hearts on your sleeves, trying to fulfill YOUR dream and purpose, of helping fulfill the dreams and purposes of others. YOU are in a very vulnerable place!)
What I discovered is that my IAC certification impacted me the very same way my journey into coaching did. That is, I had to get vulnerable to earn it, had to grow to understand it, and I had to make fulfilling my dream an active priority to get there.
When I was new in the industry I was lured by the idea that I'd better ‘hurry up’ and get certified to have any credibility. I chased that sense of completion and validation for about a year. Then I realized that I was off the mark: the credibility I was after wasn't coming from study or academic activity. In fact, I kept feeling like I must need more training, because I wasn't growing as rapidly in confidence as I thought I should be for my hundreds of hours of research and review. That was all about to change.
I partnered with a group of other new coaches and together we set our intention to pass the IAC exam. We thought that this would surely show we had our stuff together, right? It would surely give us the credibility we were craving. We studied together, aggressively, for several weeks. We challenged each other to offer demonstrations and defend the core ideas, as if we had engaged in a debate scenario to defend the principles against an opponent or naysayer.
Well, as you can imagine, something amazing happened. Five out of five of us passed the exam, and four of us passed at least one of the two live demonstrations, with three actually receiving passing scores on both sessions and earning our IAC-CC. I was one of them.
It was an amazing journey, an amazing outcome and an inspiring accomplishment. I hadn't mastered a body of work; I'd become a better version of myself. My learning wasn't hooked into the accomplishment of navigating rules and processes, or leaping through hoops. My learning was hooked into living, advocating, expressing and applying the Masteries to my own life. The study wasn't 'the thing': it was the living and being that was important. When I was done, I discovered how much I'd changed. I could feel it.
The key factor in my ability to demonstrate effectively in the certification exam was my ability to feel my way through the sessions, not think my way through them. I trusted myself and I believed that I truly understood the Masteries. I felt I knew them intimately. It was this intimacy that gave me the confidence I was looking for, not the actual certification, not the letters at the end of my name. It was way bigger. I had learned the meaning of the Masteries in my own life, as they related to me and my results. I grew into them, and they fit me perfectly. I can only compare it to the feeling when you put on a perfectly tailored outfit and see yourself in the mirror. You think, "Oh, there I am. That's the me I've been looking for." Having that feeling, knowing the Masteries were just a part of me, that was when I truly became a coach.
It's why I can say with confidence that the IAC Certification is the most meaningful certification I've ever earned, and I bet the same will be true for you too. Because it's not just a destination, it's a life-changing journey.
Terri Hase is a quirky, light-hearted, iron-fist in a velvet glove. Strong coaching skills combine with a deep love of people, and produce results. Mom, wife, dog-mom, coach, entrepreneur, sic-fi fan, survivor, sister and friend. Terri followed her heart and relocated to Washington State in 2009 and now lives out her days in a cabin in the woods, and she thrives! http://www.impactcoachingacademy.com/utility/showArticle/?objectID=563
Ask the Certifiers: Clarify by Natalie Tucker Miller, MMC
Q: I’m having a debate with my triad buddies. If the coach “misses or ignores what is most important”, as stated in Mastery #6, Clarify, is it possible to still coach effectively? I say yes, because there is always some truth to whatever the client brings to the session. My colleague says, no way, you’re just going down rabbit holes if you don’t get to the heart of the session.
I love this kind of debate! It’s not unlike some of the discussions the certifiers might have when faced with this very issue in a scoring session.
The short answer is: you’re both right. With the risk of sounding trite with “it depends,” it really does.
Now, first let me make it very clear that if there is not evidence of having discovered the importance of something for the client whereby a noticeable and transformative shift occurs, there are several factors to consider. There is not a cut-and-dried answer to such a complex relationship as coach and client.
First, let’s use the language of the Masteries to determine some things:
Is the coach making assumptions without verifying what they heard?
Are there symptoms that are addressed without discovering what is driving the symptoms?
Does the coach appear to be minimizing or avoiding a topic?
These are examples of behaviors that are not likely to be effective for gaining clarity, and an outcome of “going down rabbit holes” is certainly a possibility. It may well be difficult to have an overall productive session, as we have seen in Mastery #3 (Engaged Listening) Infographic how the masteries work together.
Now, let’s consider a second instance. What if the coach misses something important — not because of avoiding or solving or ignoring, but because there is an excavation process taking place? As the coach identifies patterns of thought or action, she gauges the reactions of the client and remains respectful to the client’s process. There may be something the client is hinting at, but is reluctant to fully share. Still, the effects of clarity are there. The client feels understood, his energy is increased and there is more possibility for further exploration.
We’ll assume that in neither of these examples the client has the proverbial “ah-ha!” However, in the first instance, the coach’s behaviors that show up under “Clarifying” could be indicative of similar skill in other masteries, making it difficult to have a satisfying session. In the second instance, there is more possibility of the client gaining clarity of thought, or clarity of their relationship to the situation, which could result in a fulfilling session.
So please, continue to have these debates, and see if you, too, can find evidence for both sides, citing the effects, measure, behaviors, etc., within the Masteries E-Book. (free for members, $27 for non-members).
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™.
IAC Mastery #1 Establishing and Maintaining a Relationship of Trust by Martha Pasternack
It is June and the wildfires are raging all around me. My family and I are safe right now, but I wouldn’t be authentic if I told you that I was not afraid. I am afraid and I have no control over what is happening in our high mountain forests. I am humbled by the grandeur of nature. I am having a little bit of a wrestling match with trusting that we will stay safe right now.
Not only that, but my husband is days away from flying with me to Cleveland, Ohio because he is scheduled for open-heart surgery. And, yes, that scares me too. I am authentically afraid. I am humbled by the mystery of life.
It may come as no surprise that authenticity and trust are what I want to talk about this month in the VOICE. Here is the background.
I made a prayer, if that is what you would call it:
“I want to attract influential, educated, professional women who are ready to step into their personal power with beauty, dignity and grace in service to a peaceful and kinder world. Women who have a firm grasp on their purpose. Women who want the support of a life coach to take their next step.”
This sounded simple, clear and straightforward to me at the time. In other words, I set an intention.
Well gang, guess what happened.
A woman hired me to be her coach. Yay! She is educated, powerful and influential. Yay!
She is a woman immersed in corporate America. She is dynamic, assertive, driven towards excellence. She is performance-focused and is proud to be committed to climbing the corporate ladder. She is devoted to taking immediate assertive action on any goal she sets.
As I began working with her, I noticed some things. Sometimes she seemed simply and blatantly over-the-top assertive. (I try not to say aggressive, but sometimes it felt like aggression.)
She is a woman who pushed hard against me and my personality, which appears to be the opposite of hers. I struggled to believe that my coaching style and her communication style were compatible.
During our initial conversation I noticed my heart picking up speed. I caught myself dreading our next session. I considered a candid conversation that would terminate our relationship before it got really bad. I considered mediation, getting pregnant and suffering morning sickness all day (I am 60), going silent, catching a cold and loosing my voice for 3 months (just kidding).
After considering all these clever and creative ways of backing out of the relationship -which is an option in coaching-I said “Nope, I am going for it here. I am going to surrender to this answer to my prayer.”
I landed on: “I am going to MATCH her powerful energy with my own powerful energy. We have two very different expressions of personal power. I am going to relax. I am going to be vulnerable and honest with her."
And that is exactly what I did. Together we clarified her intention for coaching. We clarified mine. We talked about our differences and designed a plan to potentiate our differences rather than be hindered by them.
We smoked out the fears and insecurities that were holding her back from her clarity (and there were many.) She is very hard on herself and has relentless expectations.
Today our coaching relationship is based on trust and authenticity. It is mutually satisfying. Coaching takes place at the interface of each of us. She remains powerful, focused and a let’s-get-this-done kind of gal. I remain firmly planted and grounded in gentleness and my belief in her innate wisdom. She is delightful, non-defensive and allows herself to be powerful in her vulnerability, as do I.
Do we ever lose our connection? Of course we do. Now we know how to circle back around and get it back.
Are we any more alike? Not even close. In fact, I think we are even less alike since each of us stopped trying so hard to “make it work.”
Do we hold a common vision in which her goals, dreams and desires are free to reside? Absolutely.
I look forward to our sessions now. We are like two very distinct pieces of wood and we dovetail beautifully to create a relationship. We are powerfully in alignment with her/our coaching intention and full of integrity with each other.
It is magical. She has thanked me for my wise and masterful coaching! I feel immense gratitude for the ease in which she has integrated her humanity within her work.
I learned so much about IAC Mastery #1 with this woman, and about being authentic and trusting of who individuals can become in a life coaching relationship. She is free to be assertive her heart’s content. I am now empowered to be free to coach in the midst of personal circumstances, like fire and fear, without having to lose my footing, without losing my voice, or getting pregnant at age 60. Yay!
Martha Pasternack MCC (IAC) www.CircleofLifeCoach.com 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 as a Fearless Living Coach after working 30 years as a health care professional.
How Coaching Dream Enablers Empower Student Coaching by Leanne Chan
A recent IAC HK Chapter event displayed how the IAC Coaching Dream Enablers empower the Shatin HKIVE (Hong Kong Institute of Vocational Education) students, who are the first IAC Coaching Students Club members in Hong Kong to have authentic conversations among different generational groups.
The group included experienced coaches, student development officers, professional consultants, human resources and under-graduated students. The discussion was all about the possibilities of introducing coaching to the education field and providing an impact on the Post-90s generation for their personal development and enhancement.
To start with, as the facilitator of the evening, I expressed the key driver to move along this meaningful project with HK Shatin IVE: we believe the Post-90s are our future leaders and they have potential to create a better future. They are the under-craft diamonds and will show their shiny edges upon their awareness of what has driven them most. We followed this discussion with an interview with different student coaches. Below are some of their observations and discoveries through this student coaching journey:
“Before this student coaching journey, my knowledge of coaching was zero. Now I have the confidence to say that I understand the concept of coaching conversation skills at a higher level.”
“Coaching took her out of the internet world, into a more realistic, thoughtful process to sort out options and solutions.”
“My coach acts as a lighthouse, guides me in the right direction. Drives me to think deeply about what happiness I would like to get from my job.”
“Coaching strengthens my self-awareness and communication skills, and has improved my family relationship.”
“My coach empowers me to think of more possibilities; I apply this in the workplace and to myself. I ask myself who am I and what I want and need. It is really an amazing journey.”
“I now know how to consider others’ feelings and I intend to apply the coaching skills to support an introverted student to take one step further. It turns out can express his own ideas in public.”
After the interviews, we had a sincere conversation among all the participants. We discussed how these students will be able to apply coaching conversations in their future workplaces. As coaching is still very new to the education field in Hong Kong, the idea that coaching can begin with young adults raised many options.
Build up the campus coaching culture, sow the seed in early stage
Set up the Student Coaching Club in different undergraduate colleges
Start the coaching culture even earlier from secondary school
To conclude the meeting, we shared the strong belief that life impacts life; How wonderful and meaningful it will be when our students, teachers and education professionals play the major roles as future leader coaches, career coaches, parent coaches, life coaches, etc. It will encourage our society to become more inclusive, innovative, and collaborative.
Leanne Chan, ACC (ICF) is President of IAC HK Chapter, career & campus coach serving both on campus and in corporations leveraging her years’ of corporate HR and talent management experience plus strong desire to help young people become who they’re, not being under others life. www.coachlechange.com ~ Listen with CARE, Talent Communication ~
The International Leadership & Coaching Conference
The IAC co-sponsored the International Leadership & Coaching Conference 2013 that was held in Bangalore, India in June 2013. The Intrad School of Executive Coaching (ISEC), founded by IAC Vice President Krishna Kumar, organized this first of its kind event in India. The focus of the International Leadership & Coaching Conference (ILCC) was the ‘Seven Leadership Mantras’ that drew upon powerful Coaching concepts to generate deep self awareness, identify and utilize inner resources, support leaders in taking responsibility for meeting their goals, and help them attain their maximum potential. Sir John Whitmore, widely regarded as the pioneering of modern business coaching, delivered the keynote address. Other presentations, each of them with powerful takeaways, were delivered by Master Coaches from around the world.
The ILCC was attended by nearly 80 delegates from 10 countries, with the IAC very well represented by Chapter Presidents from Asia, including Jin Lee Teo (Singapore), Shanmugam Moorthi (Malaysia), Jinny Wang (Taiwan), Nigel Cumberland (Dubai), Leanne Chan (Hong Kong), Ed Britton (China), Saurav Mohanty (India) and many IAC members from India, Asia and the UK.
On the occasion of the IAC’s 10th Anniversary, the IAC honored Sir John Whitmore, an acknowledged thought leader in the world of coaching, with the first IAC Lifetime Achievement Award. The award was jointly presented by Krishna Kumar, IAC Vice-President, and IAC-Board Members Jin Lee Teo and Shanmugam Moorthi.
Also, on this occasion, the IAC President’s Award was given to Bonnie Chan, Asia’s first Master Masteries Coach (IAC-MMC) and member of the IAC Certifying Board. This award was presented to Bonnie by Krishna Kumar on behalf of IAC President Dr. Susan Meyer.
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