IAC VOICE, Volume 4, Issue 87, September 2013, Circulation 4,428
September 2, 2013
From the Editor
Greetings from a brand-new graduate student! Last week I dove into a new school, a new home, and a new phase in my life. Looking around my apartment today, it is safe to say I may never finish unpacking, but I am surrounded by books and possibilities, so I’m happy.
It seems as though change is on all of our minds this month. Please enjoy our articles that discuss the many changes you face at the turn of a season, and the many ways you can continue to grow and improve. As usual, the IAC is growing and offering helpful resources, so don’t be afraid to browse the website and stumble upon something new!
A big thank you goes out to Natalie Tucker Miller this month, who has not only been consistently essential to the VOICE, but to many components of the IAC. Thanks for all of your hard work, Natalie, it is much appreciated!
Please feel free to contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org with comments, questions, event notices, or article contributions. Enjoy the many changes life throws your way!
Best, Beth Ann
Beth Ann Miller is currently pursuing an MFA in Writing and is a native New Englander. She has a professional background in editing and higher education, and enjoys working with youths in the arts. Her stories have appeared in online and print journals and she is perpetually at work on new creative projects.
I’ve never outgrown that first-day-of-school feeling that comes with the crisp air and colorful foliage that is part of autumn in New York. We had a lovely preview of this weather last week while I was at Kripalu, a yoga retreat in Lenox, MA for a workshop with Martha Beck.
What does this have to do with coaching or with the IAC? As it turns out, everything. Martha coached a number of members in the group. As she worked with them, using energy and Jungian techniques, it seemed clear to me that her methods also reflected the IAC Masteries?. I was delighted!
Martha was speaking about her new book, Making Your Way in a Wild New World. In this book, she focuses on the emergence of people she calls “wayfinders” or “menders.” I call these people COACHES. There’s a tremendous increase in the number of us who realize that we are meant to help people and organizations find their own truth and grow, as well as an increase in demand for our services.
Stanford University recently released the results of their survey on coaching in organizations. Here’s an excerpt:
“It’s lonely at the top” appears to be truer than ever, according to a new study conducted by the Center for Leadership Development and Research at Stanford Graduate School of Business, Stanford University’s Rock Center for Corporate Governance, and The Miles Group. Nearly two-thirds of CEOs do not receive coaching or leadership advice from outside consultants or coaches, and almost half of senior executives are not receiving any either, the survey reveals.
“What’s interesting is that nearly 100% of CEOs in the survey responded that they actually enjoy the process of receiving coaching and leadership advice, so there is real opportunity for companies to fill in that gap,” says David F. Larcker, who led the research team and is the James Irvin Miller Professor of Accounting and Morgan Stanley director of the Center for Leadership Development and Research at the Stanford Graduate School of Business.
In a similar vein, Daniel Goleman is talking about a subject dear to the hearts of many of us at the IAC – the importance of coaching skills for leaders, found here.
What wonderful opportunities for the coaching community! Aileen Gibb, Natalie Tucker Miller and I continue our deep discussion of using the IAC Masteries™ as a framework for helping managers use coaching skills. You can see threads of this discussion in our WBECS presentations. You can also see how using the IAC Masteries™ as a framework for professional development works in Bob and Megan Tschannen-Moran’s book Evocative Coaching. Bob and Megan show how coaching skills can shape the future of education. Dr. Doris Helge’s many books, including Transforming Pain into Power, reflect the IAC Masteries™ in personal development work.
What are you working on? Do you have a book we should be talking about? An exciting new project? You may have noticed that our Facebook page is now a lively spot and our LinkedIn group keeps growing. Please use that as one way to let the coaching community know what you’re up to. We’re working on building a store on the website, so by the end of the year I hope to announce a place to list products and programs – first, from the IAC, eventually from licensees, then members. We’re also working on making the Coach Directory more robust so potential clients can find our members. Ed Britton reports that membership is growing – especially in Latin America and in Singapore. Licensee and head of the North American Virtual Chapter (and Lifetime Member) Julia Stewart took us up on our offer to make Maestro available to all Chapters. If you want to use Maestro for your virtual chapter, please contact email@example.com. If you have activities, please send them along for us to include in the VOICE. Your growth is our growth.
Finally, if you want to know what I’ve been thinking about the future of coaching and of the IAC, go here to listen to the latest interview in our Masterful Coach series – me being interviewed by Natalie Tucker Miller.
Encouraging your personal and professional growth as you expand 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.
IAC Mastery #2 Perceiving, Affirming and Expanding the Client’s Potential by Martha Pasternack
It is unmistakably late summer here in the high country. It actually snowed on the pass last night. Beyond a shadow of a doubt, this is my favorite season of the year. Change is sneaking up on me, as usual, and I like it. For example:
The goslings born in the early summer have molted and re-grown their flight feathers. These geese are now big enough to fly south, but it is not time yet. So they are having what I call “flight lessons” and practicing the “V” drill.
Being the birdwatcher that I am, I pay attention to this sort of thing. When I see a gaggle of geese take flight and hear the flock honking above me, I naturally look up. What I see these days is anything but a “V” formation. I see a tangle of geese flying every-which-way honking at each other. Silly goose/geese.
All this makes me smile and feel so happy to be witness to the mystery of migration. They are “harbingers of winter” and “They get the urge for going. They've got the wings to go,” as Tom Rush sings so beautifully.
They have many tools to eventually master the skill of the “V” formation other than their wings. They have size, entrainment to follow their parents and the instinct to fly south when the light changes. It is their second nature, yet by the looks of the “V” so far, they still need to practice.
As life coaches, we introduce and re-introduce our clients to the tools they need to go forward into life as well. Some are personal growth and development tools like journals, clear communication, decision-making, meditation, time management, curiosity, insight and intuition. Focus is a particularly powerful tool.
We have focused conversations with our clients about fear, limiting beliefs, forgiveness, self-love, gratitude, appreciation and self-acknowledgement. This list can go on for miles.
Yet our clients need our support to develop the skills to use these tools. For example, a journal doesn’t help awaken insight very much unless our clients understand how to utilize journal writing skillfully. As they practice the skill of journaling they get better and better. As confidence builds by actively practicing journaling effectively, it will become integrated into each unique life experience. This facilitates the intention of IAC Mastery #2.
An array of different tools enables these skills to soon become second nature, not dissimilar to a flock of geese learning how to form the “V.” It is a skill the geese develop by using their tools and practicing.
So how can we support our clients to learn how to use personal growth tools to develop skills mentally, emotionally, physically and spiritually for their unique unfolding?
Homework, spirit work, fieldwork or whatever else you prefer to call it. When we send our clients off into what I call the laboratory of their life, each person learns firsthand what they need to experience.
Going to the old fashioned bookstore to see where they naturally end up discovering their passion. Taking 3 entire minutes (aka eternity) to massage the hand lotion they put on everyday to practice patience in the present moment. Beginning a new exercise routine slowly and incrementally, to practice listening to their body. Meditating on specific questions to practice focus. Starting a compliment journal to practice deep listening. Taking a purposeful adventure into the grocery store to practice discernment. Un-cluttering a space in their office (I call this making space) to practice business organization. Choosing a simple art or craft project to practice creativity.
This list can go on forever, especially if you are willing to share your favorite “homework” ideas with us.
IAC Mastery #2 invites us to perceive, affirm and expand our client’s potential. We can offer the tools needed, yet we cannot do it for them. With our support and their willingness to venture out and practice, like the young geese ready to migrate, our clients will develop the skills they find useful at the perfect time and in the perfect way.
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.
The Coach’s Own Self Awareness by Venkatesh Seshadri
The IAC Masteries weave a beautiful tapestry of mind-based and heart-based skills. A common thread in each Mastery is the coach’s own self awareness. While this is a pressing need in most masteries, Mastery #4, Processing in the present (PIP), seems to require this in great depth.
In her recorded excerpts, Barbara Sundquist refers to the coach being in an alert and relaxed state, simultaneously and holistically. A ‘relaxed’ state is not merely a state of rest for the body, senses and the mind; it is indeed a most mindful, coherent state allowing for minimal activity and reserving vital energy for being present in the moment. The normal ‘drivers’ of sensory activity, including the whole host of conscious desires or sub-conscious impulses, recede, creating space for pure ‘choiceless awareness.’ In this state, the absorption of communication from the coachee is at the highest and deepest levels.
‘Choiceless awareness’ is best described as an equanimous state: sensitive, caring but without self-centered passion, with free range for the mind and the senses. In this state there is no evaluation as to whether a signal from the coachee is positive or negative to the coach’s personal agenda. The outer ego of the coach would appear to have been sent on a temporary vacation to allow reality to present itself in the purest possible manner. No color is added to perception. In applying the PIP Mastery, the coach is a witness; sensitive to happening and allowing pure perception to arise.
Useful references are The Bhagavad Gita and the Sattipattana Sutra; masterpieces of ancient wisdom and ‘Choiceless Awareness’ published by the J Krishnamurthi Foundation.
There are two components to alertness: stepping back on one side and a measure of action on the other. A coach often needs to ‘step back’ to see what drives them, and then link back to the need for alertness. This helps to attune to the current reality, unencumbered by past or future issues, and be alive to subtle communication, thus enabling the coach to facilitate significant shifts.
A key component to applying this mastery is positively enjoying the quietness and the silence that exists in the coaching session. ‘Productive silence’ as it is known, allows for discovery and creates the environment in which the coach can check-in with the client. The practice of stillness and silence helps in taking conscious ‘charge’ of one’s faculties. In the book ‘Stillness Speaks,’ Eckhart Toelle highlights that silence itself teaches a lot, and allows the ‘nowness’ of the situation to present itself instead of being created or driven.
Conscious relaxation is recommended for coaches. This is done by slowly relaxing each part of the body, closing one’s eyes and feeling the relaxation, until there is a wonderful sense of ease. A further practice is to gently observe one’s breathing and the characteristics of incoming and outgoing breath, until there is a harmonious breathing pattern, effortless, deep and relaxing. This helps the coach to remain equanimous in observing signals and provides for greater natural control. An even deeper practice is the observation of positive equanimity of whatever arises in the mind, by observation of the arising and passing away of thought.
Indeed one may go so far as to say the Masteries not only enable someone to become a great coach, but helps the coach live a more meaningful and fulfilling life by being mindful and self aware in their transactions –a great way of being!
Venkatesh Seshadri (Venky), Former Director Deutsche Bank Group, has about 24 years of experience in Banking Operations- FX, Money markets, Securities Services, Risk Management, Service Excellence, Six Sigma related Business engineering disciplines and Training. He is a Self Awareness Facilitator and an Executive Coach helping people and institutions discover and transform.
Like Attracts Like: Finding Your Passion in Marketing by Martha Coons
Green Mountain Knitting Bags is my business and I love it. Each bag is made of tapestry and upholstery fabrics and crafted by me personally in my Vermont studio. New bags are uploaded to my website every Thursday evening: they sell quickly and are sent all over the world. I often get asked who my “target market” is, and the answer is: women who value their own handwork and want to carry it in something they find beautiful. They're knitters and I know them because I'm a knitter, too. I spend time with them because we're drawn to the same thing. We value what knitting brings to our lives. My work is an extension of that love: it's who I am. What resonates with me resonates with my customers.
To work doing what we love is so fulfilling, yet generating income is often a question. This is where marketing comes in. Marketing is fascinating to me. What makes us buy what we buy? Other than life's necessitates, why do we choose the clothes we do, the shoes, the style? I believe it’s because it says something about us, it's an expression of who we are, our identity. Or maybe it just moves us and we have to have it. Whatever it is, like attracts like.
Because my bags are made in Vermont, I often show glimpses of the beautiful scenery, and my life in it. The bags naturally speak of a slower way of life. A calm, more peaceful lifestyle where quality in a handcrafted item is valued. People who want this in their lives are drawn to it. It's a knitting bag, but it's more.
Many knitters like myself shop online, but find it important to also support our local yarn shops. These shops give us something tangible an online shop can't. The tactile feel of fiber, the face-to-face connection with people who share the same passion, a blending of ideas and an appreciation of the artistry in others. This local Mecca helps to feed my fire and fuel what I do. Fiber events, classes, even just getting together to knit keeps me in tune to the knitting world. This community feeling now has a large presence in our cyber world, so when wanting to promote the business, that's where I go: where my knitters are. Again, like attracts like.
By remaining involved in both local and online knitting communities, I see what's new in the knitting world and I am able to get a strong sense of what people want. This can be challenging sometimes, as I've found myself focusing more on what they want as opposed to what I do and what my aesthetic is. Unless I stay true to that, I know can't effectively market it. Knowing what is important in my work keeps it honest for me. That integrity is valued by my knitting customers. There's a great saying in the business world: "People don't buy what you make, they buy why you make it." So as new ideas and products emerge, my customers know that what's important to me can be found in every piece I make, and they value that.
Who are your knitters? As coaches, how can you reach them and what can you offer?
Martha Coons is a 55-year-old woman who lives in Burlington, Vermont. Green Mountain Knitting Bags is her eight-year-old online business. She loves to knit, sew, spend time with her family and is working to be a certified yoga instructor.
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™.
This compilation of articles on building your coaching practice from the IAC VOICE newsletter assembles the thoughts and advice of some of the leading members of the coaching community. These articles provide a guide to developing and implementing a systematic and comprehensive approach to building a coaching practice. Emerging from the trenches of coaching experience, the advice is both practical and realistic.
Part 1 provides a basis for business building and, at the same time, is full of practical advice. Parts 2 and 3 divide the marketing and sales of coaching services into offline and online techniques. Part 4 guides you in what to do once you have clients.
Practice building often emerges as the principle need after a coach completes his or her initial coaching qualification. Practice Building: Marketing, Selling and Business Management for Coaches, distills the best advice that the IAC VOICE has gathered to support that need.
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.
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