Lessons from the Certifiers

A Look at Distinctions
by Natalie Tucker Miller, MMC

Coaches have shared with me how daunting it can be to feel like they have to demonstrate all the components of masterful coaching in one session, but each coach will find that path to mastery through practicing, studying, and coaching. Even coaches who are considered “masterful” continue on this journey, always finding new pathways to excellence, greater understanding, and efficacy. I’d like to share one of the ways I like to play with the IAC Coaching Masteries:

Put your focus on just one segment of the Masteries’ components. For instance, the distinctions.
In an economy of words, the progressions of thought within the distinctions have unlimited room for growth.

Here’s a look at one of the distinctions for Mastery 1 (Establishing and Maintaining a Relationship of Trust): Confidence vs. Overbearing. There are some great insights to be gleaned from this simple element, and many questions and observations that a coach can consider when on a quest to deeper understanding. You might find yourself asking things such as:

  • How do I know when I am in the power of my confidence, as opposed to feeling the need to impose my thoughts?
  • If I do identify that I am feeling the need to be overbearing, how is it affecting the willingness of the client to share deeply?
  • What is driving me to feel less confident, hence encouraging a more forceful approach?

Letting questions like these emerge will provide some opportunities for great discussion with your study groups, your triads, even with your clients! After all, a sample effective behavior for Mastery 1 is “Observes where trust is absent or blocked, and discusses openly”. Masterful coaching includes the ability to fully disclose, and for trust to be authentic, that includes you!

If you’re not yet feeling comfortable with full disclosure, that’s ok, too. The answers to how you can grow to be within that framework are also found within the Masteries. Besides, you might just find another distinction. Being vs. Readiness.

What are some of your favorite Masteries’ distinctions? Leave a comment and start the discussion!

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.

1 thought on “Lessons from the Certifiers”

  1. The concept of ‘playing with the masteries’ works for me because play leads to fluency – or thorough learning. Formal education is so often rushed – like the purpose is to get through a ‘to do list’ of topics, and all that really happens is that the learners get briefly exposed to a bunch of stuff. The antithesis of mastery.

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