Lessons from the Certifiers


Is there an easy road to IAC certification?
by Natalie Tucker Miller, IAC-CC

"Only one who devotes himself to a cause with his whole strength and soul can be a true master. For this reason mastery demands all of a person."Albert Einstein

Since Malcolm Gladwell’s book Outliers: The Story of Success was published, there has been renewed attention on the theory of 10,000 hours to mastery. This theory dates back to at least the 1970s and the work of Herb Simon, and successful athletes, musicians and business people would likely agree that it holds merit. As the saying goes, "How do you get to Carnegie Hall? Practice, practice, practice."

Over the years, I’ve heard several times that IAC certification is the "easy" certification. I’ve also heard from certification applicants who have been surprised and disappointed to find they were not able to successfully demonstrate the IAC Coaching Masteries®. Isn’t this supposed to be "easy"? It’s possible that this misconception stems from looking at the process of the certification itself (open-ended training options, inclusion of pre-recorded coaching calls, minimal paperwork, etc.) versus the process of achieving a level of mastery in coaching (which requires a thorough understanding of coaching and many hours of practical experience).

The current rate of coaches successfully demonstrating proficiency in all nine Masteries on their first attempt hovers at around 25-30%. This has remained fairly consistent over the years, possibly due in part to the fact that people are under the impression that it’s "easy," and apply before they're ready. It may also be that people do not understand or pay heed to the specificity of coaching skills and assume that their skills from other professions will cross over seamlessly (we discussed this issue last month).

So let me be clear. IAC certification is not easy. Using a coaching approach in your communication style may come naturally to you, and that is a beautiful thing. But a coaching approach and coaching mastery are not one in the same. A coaching approach will do wonders in opening channels of possibility and creating environments of expansion and growth. Coaching mastery ensures that all those great skills will provide the empowering support and the personal and professional transformation needed to achieve and sustain your client’s highest desired potential. Easy? No. Possible? Sure, with a thorough understanding and lots of practice!

<members, continue reading here for a breakdown of the results of certification applicants, and for suggestions on how to prepare for certification>

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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, IAC-CC, 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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