Lessons from the Certifiers


Ask the Certifiers: The “Who” of the Client
by Natalie Tucker Miller, MMC

✔ “The coach helps the client move from talking about what happened, to identifying the present meaning and how the client may use this meaning.”

This piece of wisdom resides in the Masteries E-book under the heading “Indicators the Coach Understands the Mastery” for Mastery #4.

Although this is specific to Mastery #4, it also provides great insight into the way a coaching conversation moves away from the “what” of the client into the “who” of the client. That design is part of many of the Masteries.

I’m often asked the best way to practice the Masteries. There is no single answer to that question, as it will depend on what works best for the individual coach. This coincides with the underlying foundation and philosophy of the IAC Certification, whereby there is not a prescribed path, rather several routes from which you can choose.

With that in mind, here are several suggestions to consider.

I’ve indicated there is more than one place in which “the coach helps the client move from talking about what happened, to identifying the present meaning…” shows up.

For instance, “The coach recognizes and helps the client to acknowledge and appreciate his or her strengths and potential” is the definition of Mastery #2. By staying with the “who” of the client, and not making “what happened” the focus, it can help the client identify how it applies to their potential and strengths. Patterns of thought, or recurring situations that previous problem solving methods did not rectify, or commonalities with the emotions the client experiences in a particular situation will then provide many clues with which the coach and client can explore.

When you begin to see the connections within the Masteries, using the material from the IAC Masteries Ebook, the bigger picture of the coaching relationship emerges. You’re more able to ease into your coaching approach and provide an environment of powerful awareness for your client.

Some of the ways you might consider implementing this exercise are:

  • Match some of the contents of the Ebook to the questions in the sample Step One exam
  • Meet with other IAC coaches in study groups
  • Bring these points of discussion into your practice coaching with triads or buddy coaching and play around with how the connections show up in real sessions
  • Invite someone to “quiz” you from the Masteries ebook, picking an element for you to identify with a Mastery. Explain your answer.

This is just a sampling of the ways you can approach your coaching development. Whether you’re a seasoned certified coach, or the new kid on the block, let the Masteries be your guide.

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. From what happened, to what does it mean right now and how can it be used. I can appreciate that there will be several ways to interpret meaning, and several ways that a happening and its meaning can be used. So, a coach can help the client be aware that there are choices in meaning, and choices in using it. There is power in that. I very recently had an experience where an employee awards program was not well received by a group of clients because they thought that no getting an award would make them look bad. However, the program was designed non-competitively and so that it was rather easy to get at least one award, and the award could be applied to promotions, better jobs, etc. A coach, in this situation, could certainly help clients to broaden their interpretations and intentionally make positive choices to their benefit.

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