IAC VOICE, Volume 4, Issue 89, November 2013, Circulation 4,517
November 4, 2013
From the Editor
My transition back into college life as a graduate student has been an equally fun, rewarding, and challenging experience. To switch back into a world of homework and constant assignments was something I looked forward to for several years – but, of course, now that I’m here I think I must’ve been crazy to take this plunge! Lucky for me, I live in an area that provides many beautiful places for relaxation and reflection, like the river pictured above. And, despite the fact that my life has become a whirlwind, it is a whirlwind of things I love.
I find this sentiment echoing in our articles this month: Our contributors discuss the theme of resilience and overcoming the challenges of pursuing a career that you are passionate about. They also consider the certification process, facing new life changes, and finding footing in leadership positions. Hopefully you can relate to these thoughts and these words resonate with you!
How have you enjoyed the VOICE these past few months? Is there something you’d like to see more or less of? Please feel free to contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org with comments, questions, event notices, or article contributions. We love hearing from you.
I hope you are all finding the joy in the chaos of your day-to-day lives!
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.
Even though Thanksgiving here in the US is almost a month away, I’ve been thinking about the things I’m grateful for. I’m grateful that the IAC has celebrated its tenth anniversary. I’m grateful for everything we’ve contributed to this marvelous profession. I’m grateful for the persistence and resilience that keeps the IAC strong. And I’m grateful to be a coach.
I recently had a wonderful interview with Shirley Anderson and heard great stories about her earliest connection to Thomas Leonard – pre-Coach U, the creation of the ICF, CoachVille and the IAC. I hope that you’ll have as much fun listening to it here as I had speaking with Shirley. It was clear why she became a coach. Ask a coach why they coach and you’re likely to get an answer along the lines of, “It’s what I was meant to do” or “I felt like I’d come home.” It feels as much a calling as it does a profession. Yes, it requires a skill set. Of course, for me that would be the Masteries™. It requires more, though. It requires drive and a particular mindset.
Resilience is something I’ve been thinking about a lot lately. It was clear in her comments that Shirley is a resilient woman. It’s one of the seven factors that I’ve found supports the creation of healthy and successful lives in the fifty women over fifty that I’ve interviewed. It’s something, I think, that we help our clients achieve. It’s also a quality that is present in every successful coach I’ve met along the way.
Think about your own coaching. There are times I come away from a call practically dancing. And there are times I’m so drained that I can barely move. Still, I answer the phone when the next call comes in. And I know that you do, too. Why?
Mark McGuinness writes about this in Resilience: Facing Down Rejection and Criticism on the Road to Success. He talks about wanting something badly enough to endure whatever hardships come with your choice. He’s talking about pushing for success. I see this more as having passion for your profession. Here’s a partial list of factors he sees as driving passion:
Generosity – helping others survive, thrive, and achieve all they can be
Achievement – extending the limits of what’s humanly possible
Knowledge – adding to the store of human knowledge about ourselves and the universe
Joy – enjoying life and giving pleasure to others
Wisdom – understanding what’s truly important: how to live a good life.
All of these speak to me, and I see them reflected in the work of the coaches I meet. As you read the list, how many resonate with you?
This is a short message. Next month, I’ll be wrapping up the year – and my presidency – with a look back and a look forward to the team that will carry the IAC forward. I’ll leave you with one more link. For those of you who want more of Shirley, she hosts a call three Mondays a month. Here’s how to find out more: Coaching Salon free call 1st 3 Mondays each month 610-214-0000, code 1050958#, 2 pm Eastern time. Subscribe to Salon emails here.
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.
When the IAC Hong Kong Chapter President, Bonnie Chan invited me to be her successor, I highly appreciated that she embraced me as part of the team. I hoped that would I perform well and exceed expectations.
I took quite some time to consider, take it or not? I thought: if I take it, I must contribute more and bring more recognition to the IAC in Hong Kong. What objectives should I set, what values should I bring to the members to maintain the great foundation that had been established?
After thinking it over, I acknowledged that I am passionate about the IAC culture and the 9 Masteries: how could I miss this chance to share the IAC’s mission on a global scale? What a vital cause for transforming work into something meaningful. Finally, I took up the role.
First, I needed to define IAC Hong Kong Chapters to support and nurture the Hong Kong members on expanding the path to coaching mastery. We arranged bi-monthly meetings to include members, coaching alumni, interested groups, and guests. In these meetings, we explored coaching and practice coaching skills. Most importantly, we supported members to grow together.
Experienced and student coaches joined our meetings to discuss various topics. The student coaches shared their outreach experience, amazed at how they shared (with success!) the key masteries (focusing on listening and clarifying concepts) to high school students.
We also shared Sir John Whitmore’s Transpersonal Leadership and The 2 Dimensions of Growth overview that I got during the leadership conference in India. The members acknowledged how powerful the exercise was and how they considered coaching in deeper ways after this practice.
My exposure and experience the first year as president drives me to think about the six essentials of being in this leadership position, which coincidentally link with the 9 Masteries.
Love to learn and love to excel: just like Mastery 2, we have potential to grow while we explore, grasp and surpass our expectations.
Make deeper conversation to demonstrate connections with others and listen to what their true needs are. Linked with Masteries 1 and 3 to build trust and listen to others’ wants and needs.
Understand our intent to nurture our members, to encourage them to grow and succeed. Especially when going through the path to Mastery certification. Link with our Mastery 7, Intention.
Be present and attentive in every meeting we host. Link with our Mastery 4: treasure every moment to be with IAC members and utilize co-coaching practice to build upon our coaching skills.
Embrace a service mindset by joining voluntary projects like campus coaching events, student coaching clubs and coaching cafés in our community. Link with our Mastery 8: Identify different possibilities to boost IAC brand in local communities.
Most importantly, we have a strong support system. Both our experienced and new members interact together to sponsor and support the meetings. Our vice-president, Alic Koon connects with the first IAC Preparatory Certification participants to talk about their experience on new coaching sessions. Linked with Mastery 9.
Since I have taken up the role as president, six new members have joined the IAC in Hong Kong, and that is really encouraging. Some of them had joined our meetings and are key coordinators in an upcoming event. The key objective of the event is to promote coaching to a group of university students and young adult professionals age 18-30, to share the values of the IAC, while also rising up the brand name.
What a wonderful and fruitful journey it has been so far! I foresee more and more HK members joining the IAC and expanding the path to coaching mastery together.
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 ~
Ask the Certifiers: Trusting the Masteries by Natalie Tucker Miller, MMC
This month’s question is a two-parter, though the answers will overlap somewhat. I find that the answers to all questions about masterful coaching have one thing in common: The client is the most important aspect of the conversation. Let’s see where the answers to the following questions lead us!
Q1: Nine masteries each deeply expressed in one 30 minute session (plus effective use of silence!) seem like a whole lot to 'cram in.' How is that accomplished?
I remember thinking this when I was first introduced to Thomas Leonard’s 15 Coaching Proficiencies. Before the IAC was even a twinkle in Thomas’ eye, 30 minute coaching sessions were considered the norm. Then Thomas began demonstrating his 15-20 minute laser sessions, where evidence of all 15 proficiencies were present! But how?
For a moment, let’s look at another skill set that is accomplished as a whole. As a violinist, I recall wondering, would I remember how to place the chinrest, hold my wrist in position, be conscious of the placement of my fingers on the bow, control many strings to engage in a bow stroke, create all the right notes on the fretless neck, keep my back straight, control my breathing while reading music? How in the world is that possible, all at the same time? Surely only one or two people in the entire world could fulfill such requirements!
For the first couple of years of practice, I was convinced that I’d just have to settle with “good enough,” since I could not imagine accomplishing all that without looking awkward and ridiculous. However, after a few years, I was invited to state competitions and performed solo compositions at concerts. And by the then, the least of my concerns were the techniques of actual playing the instrument. Now, I had bigger fish to fry: Stage fright!
Practicing to become masterful at coaching can be seen similarly. It typically begins with the coach being concerned about coaching “right,” fitting all elements of mastery without it feeling crammed or artificial.
And just as the bow, strings, posture, and piece of music all come together to create a pleasing concerto, so it is with the coaching skill sets. One skill without the rest will not produce the full result. For a better understanding of how the Mastery measures this as a whole, please refer to these previous articles about the interconnectedness of the Masteries.
Why is this interconnectedness important? Just as an audience might not recognize that all elements of style were present in a concert, they surely would be aware if those elements were absent! This is how coaching is also nuanced. Using the Masteries E-Book as a guide, pay particular attention to “Indicators the Coach Understands the Mastery”; this section will help you to understand how the elements are synthesized to create a masterful session.
Q2: When considering sessions for certification, how do you decide what to leave out? Often a client's response will suggest several different ways to probe – so how is a decision made without a certifier saying, "You missed that"?
In addition to “see above”, there is a simple answer to this specific situation.
Perhaps there are certain words that are recurring, or something that was said creates a noticeable shift in the client’s tone, or the client is highly creative and interested in a variety of pursuits. Maybe you find something pops up unexpectedly in the session, so you’ll need to determine if this is the “elephant in the room,” or an additional tangent that could be useful to explore at another time.
Don’t be afraid to bring any of this to the client’s attention. Acknowledge its existence, test it for its significance in the session, and make a collaborative determination as to how best to approach it. You may find that the session takes a new, unexpected turn, or you may find it isn’t relevant to what is most important in the moment and table it for another time.
The point is, don't avoid something if you're concerned about where it may take you, any more than worrying that you are missing something. With practice and experience, you’ll know just the right direction to take without even thinking about it.
And P.S. No, I don’t still play the violin for audiences. 😉
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 #4 Processing in the Present by Martha Pasternack
At the end of this September my husband and I were blessed with the opportunity to visit my childhood home-away-from-home. In the mid-1800s my great grandparents emigrated from the west coast of Ireland and worked the land (see the picture above) as tenant farmers growing hops.
The “Farm” left our family once, but was bought back years later by two of the more than 10 children who were born and raised there; my great aunts. My grandmother lived there too and we would go to the farm to see her every summer. My six siblings and I inherited the farm from my mother when she passed away.
My two brothers still live there in separate homes. Seventy acres still belong to my four sisters and me. There is a lot of family history here and much to figure out now, big decisions to make about the future of this land.
During the time of our recent visit the daytime temperatures were still warm enough for morning fog to form after a clear cool starlit night. The fog obscured the view and often enveloped the entire house until the sun started to rise over the hills to the east.
I would go outside each morning and pray. As I sat on the cold, damp ground I did not wish the fog to go away. I was present with it. I was part of it. Coming to visit from the Southwest, I actually delighted in its velvety soft moisture. I simply watched for signs of the sun. With patience and trust, the fog “lifted” with the heat and light of the morning sun. In time the view reappeared in its entire autumnal splendor.
When mingled with childhood memories, spectacular fall colors, and thoughts of future visits, it is challenging to describe how beautiful this experience was for me.
Later, as I sat down to write this month’s article for the VOICE, it occurred to me that skillful use of Mastery # 4, Processing in the present, was on display as well as the view of the farm.
Processing in the present helps people center themselves in the dynamics of the present moment and patiently await the fog of confusion and uncertainty to be illuminated and warmed by the energy inherent in self-love and personal growth. This is likely to reveal the splendor of purpose, passion, dreams, goals, and desires. BAM! The clarity of a next step ensues! Even a baby step is a step.
As coaches practicing IAC Mastery #4, we support our clients by helping them stay focused on:
The here and now vs. the past or future Responding from awareness vs. from a conditioned response Attunement to the present moment rather than merely being alert
I am not a child anymore. I now live in Colorado. I will not live at the farm again. So I treasure my visits to the farm with pure delight in the present moment.
Circle back around to IAC Mastery #4 and become acquainted with its genius from where you are, in this present moment, in your life and in your coaching practice.
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.
Have you ever heard the phrase the ‘busy fool’? For many coaches, this is their reality. They work all hours of the day servicing their 1:1 coaching clients, often into the evenings. Time for personal and family activities becomes few and far between, but they think ‘I’m busy, I’ve got paying clients, it’s just the nature of coaching…right?’
That mindset is a mistake made by many coaches and is something I hope to challenge today. The reality is that if your only revenue comes from selling your 1:1, you will always be limited by how much you can physically deliver. Unfortunately, it will be very difficult to break through that ceiling, unless you can charge significantly more for your 1:1 time.
For me, coaching was the perfect choice of career. It meant I could work around my children and create my own schedule, while doing something I loved. This is the motivation for many mums I know who are professional coaches. The danger is that most of us fall into the trap of working too much and suddenly, many of the reasons we started coaching in the first place seem to be the very things we now miss out on.
I spent a huge amount of my time delivering 1:1 coaching and it left me exhausted. It was at that point that I realised there must be a way to offer more of my coaching expertise without it eating up all of my time. If I could package up my coaching into a format that people could work through in their own time, I wouldn’t need to be there at all! I could spend time with my children and do the things we really wanted to, without jeopardising our finances.
I went on to develop an online coaching programme which included webinars and online questions, split up into modules and packaged into specific programmes that I would typically deliver to my clients. It literally transformed my business overnight as one of my first product promotions resulted in $24,000 of sales, the majority of which were a passive revenue stream for me.
I am not alone in my experiences. There are hundreds of coaches out there making impressive revenues by selling their services online. The great thing about it is that it applies to any type of coaching, not just the traditional personal or professional development coaching. I know one personal fitness instructor who made thousands from selling an online fitness boot camp, made up of content she created years before, but never found a way to utilise properly. What I love about that particular story is that it wasn’t simply creating additional revenue from what she already did. It was a totally new market which opened up for her, one she’d never thought about before.
If you are a coach already, I would encourage you to ask yourself one simple question. Are you limiting yourself by not thinking outside of the box and exploring new routes to market and new customer bases? Are there ways of attracting new business that you haven’t thought of yet and if you did, what impact could they make to you, your family and your lifestyle?
Whether you are an existing coach or are thinking about becoming a coach, my advice is to truly think about how you can productise your expertise into products that people will buy. Whether that’s ‘How to stop smoking’ or ‘How to become a great business leader’, the secret is to focus on topics that you are passionate about, as the material will be stronger and will help you stand out and sell more.
There are many different online tools out there to help you get started with developing online coaching content and many offer free trials, so you can have a look around and see what works for you.
It will take some initial planning and time to work out how to package what you do into products your clients actually want to buy, but once you’ve made that first online sale, you can do it over and over again. Any money generated after the first sale will come with very little additional time or effort from you. It will even come whilst you sleep or are out with friends and family. What better business model is there than that? Worth considering, isn’t it?
With an MSc in Occupational Psychology and a diverse range of business experience, mother of three Nicola Bird created JigsawBox as a way for her clients to access her expertise online in a flexible and affordable way, whilst leaving her free to concentrate on growing her business and spending time with her young children. For more information visit www.jigsawbox.com
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