From the Editor
The holiday season has begun here in New England. I cannot wait to dive in to reunions and parties, experiment with favorite recipes, and curl up by the fire with a good book. Just recently, I was able to spend a weekend with friends and family in the midst of the first “real” snow of the season: at the risk of sounding cliché, it was magical!
I hope you enjoy the articles from our contributors this month. I want to say thank you to each and every one of our writers who share their expertise and time with us. We are so lucky here at the VOICE to have such thoughtful and caring people to work with. And a big thank you to Susan for all of her hard work as IAC president!
How have you enjoyed the VOICE the past year? Is there something you’d like to see more or less of? Please contact us at email@example.com with comments, questions, event notices, or article contributions. We are always looking for unique perspectives and hope to dive into 2014 with new, exciting things to share!
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.
From the President – Susan Meyer
Helping the Client Create Support Systems and Structures – Martha Pasternack
The SQ21 Spiritual Intelligence Assessment: A Masterful Tool for Coaching – Jan O’Brien
Enhancing Your LinkedIn SEO – Ed Britton
A Visit to the Archives: Telling vs. Listening – Natalie Tucker Miller and Nina East
From the President
Ave Atque Vale, Gratitude and Joy
This old Latin phrase, hello and also farewell, seems a fitting introduction to my last President’s Message. The past two years have been interesting times for the IAC, and as I move to Immediate Past President, this is a good time for a review as well as a few hints of things to come. The second part of the title, gratitude and joy, is also timely as I prepare to head off to the Boston area to celebrate Thanksgiving with family and friends.
I am so excited that, as of January 1, 2014, Vicki Zanini will assume the presidency of the IAC. I can’t imagine a better successor. In addition to being a strong supporter and contributor over the past two years, Vicki took on the challenge of serving as Treasurer, a job I can’t even fathom handling. She’s already got wonderful plans to move the IAC forward and a very strong Board of Governors to support her. I’m not going to announce the full Executive Committee or the additions to the Board of Governors; I’d rather let Vicki have that honor in January. I’m also excited that Natalie Tucker Miller will continue as General Manager for at least the first few months of Vicki’s presidency, providing continuity and giving Vicki access to two past presidents for advice and support.
You’ll be hearing much more about two conferences hosted by IAC Board members in 2014, but it’s never too soon to start thinking about your travel plans. Peter Rusznak has announced that the Hungarian Chapter is involved in planning a conference in Budapest at the end of May. Shanmugam D.Moorthi (Shan) is planning a conference which will take place in Kuala Lumpur on April 23 & 24, 2014. Both present excellent opportunities to broaden your horizons, increase your coaching knowledge, see a bit of the world, and, of course, mingle with other IAC coaches.
There have been a number of challenges over the past two years as well as great successes.
First, the challenges:
We were contacted by the ICF in relation to our use of the MCC designation. When the BOG adopted this designation, we were unaware that the ICF held a trademark on it. Our decision was, therefore, to change our designations to better reflect the central focus of the IAC – the IAC Masteries™.
We had some real behind-the-scenes catastrophes that we weathered as well. The back end of the website simply didn’t function. That meant that members either couldn’t renew or were bombarded with unnecessary notifications. Lists were mingled, mangled or lost. It took months of hard work and the eternal patience of Diana McFarlane to migrate to a new platform and work out all the bugs. But we survived!
The systems glitches caused a drop in membership that has finally started to reverse thanks to the extensive outreach efforts of the BOG, the Licensees and the Chapter Presidents.
Somehow, the infrastructure of the IAC had also been ignored for a while. We created the temporary position of General Manager, which allowed us to bring Natalie Tucker Miller in. She’s made vast inroads in getting us organized, pushing the officers (mostly me) to write procedures and create a sound structure as we move forward.
Now, the successes:
We were active in promoting and participating in conferences. In April 2012, I attended the International Coaching Conference in Kuala Lumpur, jointly organized by CESMED and TeamCoach International and co-sponsored by the IAC. Immediate Past President Bob Tschannen-Moran, MCC (IAC) gave the keynote address: Coaching Mastery: A Commitment that Matters. Other speakers include Certifier Bonnie Chan, MCC (IAC), Megan Tschannen-Moran, M. Shanmugam and Past President Angela Spaxman. To kick off the final session, in a World Café addressing the conference theme, Shan revealed the Bahasa Malaysia translation of the IAC Masteries®.
The IAC was invited to present at the World Business and Executive Coaching Summit in 2012 and 2013. A panel of IAC members including Krishna Kumar, Natalie Tucker Miller and Aileen Gibb, and myself, discussed the using Masteries to develop coaching skills in managers in a variety of settings.
The IAC also co-sponsored ISEC’s Leadership Mantras for the Modern Age in Bangalore, India. The conference was created by IAC Vice President Krishna Kumar. The keynote speaker was Sir John Whitmore and speakers active in the IAC include Krishna Kumar, M. Shanmugam (Shan), Teo Jin Lee, Bonnie Chan, and Nigel Cumberland. Krishna presented the first two of four awards that were part of our Tenth Anniversary Celebration.
Finally, we were one of the sponsors of the Conversation Among Masters Conference. I had the opportunity to speak to the group about the beauty of the Masteries and awarded two free one-year memberships to the winners of a drawing.
Webinars and Chats
We created a number of virtual learning experiences over the past two years. We began with taking the Inside Scoop column live. This was followed with a series of webinars on special topics or approaches designed to expand our toolkits and our thinking. Kim Ades and Kristi Arndt hosted a series of webinars featuring many of our member benefits.
In May, 2013, I hosted our first webinar for members. Dr. Doris Helge spoke about transforming painful events into personal empowerment. Over the past two years, we had built a library of interviews with masterful coaches including Julia Stewart, Shirley Anderson, Angel Spaxman, Natalie Tucker Miller and Aileen Gibb. Interviewers included me, Ed Britton, Kristi Arndt and Natalie Tucker Miller. You can find a complete list and access to the recordings on the website. Krishna hosted a second webinar with Natalie Tucker Miller speaking about the Masteries.
We’ve held open calls for the licensees and Ask the Certifier calls, both series conducted by our Certifiers. We’ve also had regular Open Chats, available to members and anyone interested in learning more about the IAC, hosted by a variety of Board members.
We’ve created a forum for the Licensees in order to promote a sense of community. There’s a Members’ Forum, a Research Forum, and a Groupsite for Volunteers – all designed to promote communication within the IAC.
We celebrated our tenth anniversary throughout the year. Highlights included awarding free memberships to a small group of early adopters and to all past presidents. We also gave two Lifetime Achievement Awards to Sir John Whitmore and Natalie Tucker Miller, and two President’s Awards to Bonnie Chan and Shirley Whitmore. We also contributed an article to choice’s tenth anniversary issue.
Joy and Gratitude
I hope you’ve stayed with me for this very long message, because this is where I have the opportunity to say thank you. It has been a joy to serve all of you and to bring us all further along the path to coaching mastery.
I am grateful for every member of the IAC. You demonstrate what masterful, world-class coaching looks like both in your work and in who you are. I am grateful to everyone who has served on the Board of Governors and on the committees that keep the IAC vibrant. Vicki, Kristi, Krishna, Peter, Shan, Pepe, Tatiana, Penni, Jin, and former BOG members Joan, Bonnie Kerryn and Kerul, You’ve all done brilliant work. I’m grateful for our staff – Wendy, Becky behind the scenes and Ed, Beth Ann, Diana and Natalie with both public and private roles.
Thank you all! Vicki – I’m grateful that this crew has your back!
Wishing you all continued success 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.
IAC Mastery #9
I am fully aware that the month of December can be hectic and highly stressful. The stress could be eustress. The stress could be distress. Either way… it is stress.
In December there are parties, travel, family gatherings, music recitals, school breaks, common colds and uncommon challenges on our plans and our time. After all, December is the holiday month. The celebrations of Hanukkah, Christmas, Kwanzaa, and New Year's Eve name but a few.
Here’s the thing: not everyone in the northern hemisphere celebrates the December holidays. Yet all of us in the northern hemisphere experience the shorter days and longer nights if we are aware of the rhythms of nature. Shorter days and longer nights are a phenomenon leading up to what some people call winter. Others call it winter solstice or sun standing. Actually, the solstice is only a brief moment in time, like a pendulum at the top of its swing.
I read on Wikipedia that: “The term solstice can also be used in a broader sense, as the date (day) when this occurs. The day of the solstice is either the longest day of the year (in summer) or the shortest day of the year (in winter) for any place outside of the tropics.”
It is getting cold where I live and the rhythms of my entire day change. It has started to snow and when that happens time slows down and so do I. I eat different food, I plan my outside chores and my outings to town differently. I get quiet.
It is about rhythm. As coaches we may experience this change of rhythm in ourselves, in our businesses and with our clients. December's crazy-busy and quiet times are perfect opportunities to support our clients to recognize and embrace their unique rhythms, regardless of whether it is winter solstice or summer solstice.
December in the north is a great time to rest mentally, emotionally and physically as we prepare for the light to return. It is a time to reevaluate intentions and goals. It is the time to receive the blessings of the returning light.
December in the south may mean going for quantum leaps of personal growth or full-on implementation of action plans as the light of day remains. It is time to receive the blessings of the dimming light. You can see that December holds a broad spectrum of experiences.
Imagine lighting a candle that will illuminate your client’s achievements and accentuate the shadows cast around by the light. Subtle or not so subtle fear may be held in those shadows. This fear holds power to keep our clients stuck. Likewise, subtle or not so subtle causes for elation may be held in those shadows. Some clients hold themselves back from being TOO happy! Go figure!
December is a great time for IAC Mastery #9 to make an appearance in our coaching conversations. IAC Mastery #9 is about “helping the client to create and use support systems and structures.” It's about “helping the client to identify and build relationships, tools, systems and structures he or she needs to advance and sustain progress.”
When IAC Mastery #9 is effective in a client's life they become clear about the best ways to address unique situations (holidays, for example). As coaches we know we can't do it for them. They must identify what they need and find ways to meet those needs. Their experience of December holidays and solstice may be 180° away from ours and yet our job is to help them be accountable for their inner knowing, clarity of vision and to meet the needs they have identified during the holiday/solstice.
One of the fun things that we can do as coaches is to support our clients to open up an awareness that whatever happened last year doesn't necessarily have to happen this year.
It’s about opening to new possibilities.
It’s about being open to receiving support.
Martha Pasternack, MMC www.CircleofLifeCoach.com
The SQ21 Spiritual Intelligence Assessment: A Masterful Tool for Coaching
Spiritual Intelligence or SQ, can be described as “The ability to act with wisdom and compassion while maintaining inner and outer peace (equanimity), regardless of the situation.” Experiencing and integrating the skills of Spiritual Intelligence can have a profound impact on our energy, our awareness and our behaviors. One particularly effective tool that I have found for developing Spiritual Intelligence is the SQ21™ Spiritual Intelligence assessment.
The SQ21 is a proprietary online assessment developed by Cindy Wigglesworth, founder of Deep Change. It includes a series of questions and produces a report that defines and assesses your level of development for each of the twenty-one SQ skills which include:
These are skills or competencies that can be practiced and developed through clearly-defined levels. The assessment uses “faith neutral” language and is a powerful tool for self-reflection and coaching. One important point to note is that we are each in charge of our spiritual path and it is up to us to decide which skills we want to develop. However, from a masterful coaching perspective, I think it would be safe to say “the more the better”!
The SQ21 is inspired by many wisdom traditions and developmental models, including the stages of adult development, Spiral Dynamics, Integral Theory, Physical Intelligence (PQ), Cognitive Intelligence (IQ) and Emotional Intelligence (EI or EQ). The SQ21 itself serves as a stand-alone assessment and at its higher developmental levels can also be viewed as a “capstone intelligence”, in other words, it integrates and amplifies all the other “intelligences”.
So where do we find Spiritual Intelligence in the IAC Masteries? Intuitively, I would suggest that it can be found in all of them. With well-developed SQ, our awareness of our own worldviews and values and our complexity of inner thought can encompass all of the Masteries.
SQ allows us to live our purpose and align ourselves with our values while continually seeking guidance from our Higher Self. In turn, that manifests in our work and in our coaching skills. We become more attuned to our worldviews, perceptions and beliefs while at the same time increasing our ability to offer new perspectives to our clients.
As spiritually intelligent coaches, this awareness helps us develop trusting relationships. We evoke a presence that is calm and supportive, which provides a channel for our clients to open up to new possibilities.
Cindy Wigglesworth sums up that ultimately, Spiritual Intelligence “moves us from immature ego-driven behaviors to more mature, higher self-driven behavior. We develop the ability to hear the voice of our highest self, to understand and transcend the voice of our ego and to be guided by deep wisdom and compassion.”
Working with the SQ21 assessment provides a powerful developmental model that can aid us in our own emotional and spiritual development and subsequently in our journey towards coaching mastery and leadership.
Jan O’Brien IAC-MCC www.culture-conscious.com
Enhancing Your LinkedIn SEO
Using LinkedIn as your online resume is a way to use cutting-edge technology for an out-of-date strategy. You know all those LinkedIn 'skills and expertise endorsements' that seem kind of trivial? Well, LinkedIn takes them seriously for their Search Engine Optimization (SEO). If you want people to find you for the right reason, you have to describe yourself properly and find people to endorse you.
Describing your profile in a unique way and having your LinkedIn connections confirm your skills will go a long way. Try this: profile your personal brand/niche, then optimize your LinkedIn SEO.
Here are my suggestions:
1. Do an advanced search for your possible titles, remembering to select all the boxes under 'relationship' so you get maximum returns. (Originally, my title was 'International Career and Leadership Coach, Capacity Building'. Leadership Coach returned 588,524 hits; Career Coach 216,834; Capacity Building 460,121. Yeah, I didn't feel very 'niched!') I experimented a bit with search words and settled on the title, 'Capacity Building Coach for International Careers'. Then, I searched 'Capacity Building Coach' and guess how many hits I got? Just one – me!
2. In 'Edit Profile' go down to 'Skills and Expertise' and weed out the skills that don't relate to your brand/niche. You are not selling these skills, so they just create noise. Then, add any missing skills to the list that will help your personal brand. (For example, I deleted 'Teacher Training' and added 'Capacity Building’.)
3. Finally, send a LinkedIn message to your connections familiar with your work, and ask them to endorse you for three skills that are particularly important to your niche. (But only if they feel they are informed about your expertise – no fake stuff!)
Try sharing this strategy with your contacts and finish with a request like: “Please help me by going to my profile and endorsing my three chosen skills. They are: (insert your three skills).”
Done! You are now a LinkedIn SEO expert!
I love looking back in the archives and seeing what has changed and what has stayed the same in the world of coaching. When this “Lessons from the Certifiers” column began in the beginning of 2008, it was referred to as “IAC Certification Tidbits”, and Nina East was Lead Certifier and main contributor. Nina, one of the original certifiers, is still active on the Certification Board, and her words of almost six years ago brought us coaching wisdom that is worth revisiting. Happy Holidays and Happy New Year! I’ll see you in 2014!
Telling vs. Listening
One of the important distinctions between masterful coaching and not-so-masterful coaching is the distinction of telling vs. listening. Coaching is about eliciting the client’s wisdom and truth, discovering what’s best for them, and engaging the client fully in the process. It is important that the coach not be in “telling” or “instructing” mode for the coaching session. That doesn’t mean the coach can’t tell the client what they are thinking or share relevant information. Certainly, that’s fine.
Where the coaching becomes less than masterful is when the coach spends too much time in this mode. The coach often feels as if he or she needs to be the expert, or perhaps thinks he or she is the expert, and so tells the client what to do, what the client is feeling (or ought to be feeling), and why it is important. The coach’s heart is in the right place. We know a coach genuinely wants to help the client make progress. But when this happens, the coaching is no longer client-centered. It’s become all about the coach, his/her performance, or thinking he/she knows best. In coaching sessions where there is a lot of telling going on, the certifiers have noticed the coach misses critical clues from the client about what is really most important or what the underlying source is, and therefore, the coach and the coaching are less effective.
Interestingly, this often happens in a session where part of the client’s challenge is in standing up for themselves, making their own decisions, speaking their truth, or having confidence about their own abilities or inner knowing. So, even though the coach’s heart is in the right place, the coach is actually exacerbating the problem, and the client doesn’t get what she or he really needs.
Engaged Listening, Coaching Mastery #3, means giving space (silence) for the client to think and respond. It means asking questions…and then giving the client time to respond (even when they need to think about it a bit). It means not interrupting or talking over the client in order to have your idea considered. (Though there are ways to interrupt appropriately if the client is on a rant or “stuck in their story”.)
Some questions to ask yourself:
Do you have a question that you’d like to ask the certifiers? Submit your questions here: http://certifiedcoachblog.typepad.com/blog/ask-the-certifiers.html.
Nina East, MMC, is a coach who helps online businesses maximize their marketing and affiliate programs through coaching, training, and sometimes a little cattle prodding. She has been a Certifying Examiner for the IAC since 2003 and was the lead certifier for several years. You can see what Nina is up to at http://NinaEast.com
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™.
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