Lessons from the Certifiers


Intended vs. Actual Outcomes
by Natalie Tucker Miller, MMC

Q. I am getting ready to submit my third annual Learning Agreement Proposal, and I’m running out of ideas. Do you have any suggestions?

A. When I was a little girl, an incident arose with my mother and sisters whereby something I had done elicited laughter. For me, since it wasn’t intentional, I felt embarrassed and teased. My mother tried to assure me, “Honey, we’re not laughing at you, we’re laughing with you”. The four-year-old Natalie did not agree, and responded truthfully, “But I’m not laughing.” The story has become legendary in my family.

As a professional coach, I now look at that situation with the language of the Masteries and, believe it or not, it has guided me when coaching. Little remembrances such as this help me to become a more effective coach, as I can see the distance between the intended outcome and the actual outcome. How can I be aware of these gaps or disconnections in a coaching session?

One example is found in “Processing in the present” (M4) with the client, and how it is essential to the whole of the Masteries. Being present allows you to elicit from, rather than lead the client (M3). Or perhaps realizing that regardless of how you see a situation, it’s up to you to be respectful of how your client is interpreting it in that moment (M2). There are correlations of the power of “presence” with all the other Masteries, as well.

Think of an interaction in your life where something was misconstrued, cloudy, or confusing. Observe what was happening and contemplate, using the guidance of the Masteries, how various approaches may have provided alternate outcomes. A picture of how the Masteries are present or absent will begin to emerge.

Although I’ve chosen Mastery #4 as the centerpiece for this scenario, we could just as easily see connections from the vantage point of any other Mastery. This can be a fun way to create a Learning Agreement Proposal: recognizing how masterful coaching is more than the sum of its parts. Each Mastery can be examined individually, but a masterful coaching process seamlessly weaves all of them together in almost any situation.

This type of reflection can easily be incorporated into your Learning Agreement. Anything that encourages you to see more deeply through the lens of the Masteries will naturally support your growth as an IAC coach.

Where are opportunities in your life as a way to expand your awareness and understanding of the Masteries?

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.


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™.


Please send your questions on the IAC Coaching Masteries® and the certification process to certification@certifiedcoach.org.

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