Can coaching mastery carry over from another profession?
by Natalie Tucker Miller, IAC-CC
Q: I’ve been coaching for several years, before I even knew that coaching existed. I have my Masters in Sustainable Community Development which, believe it or not, embodies many of the skills that it takes to coach. I would like to be certified. How much coach-specific training will I need?
A: The structure of the certification process at the IAC exists in part because its founders recognized that many coaches were coming to the profession as seasoned professionals in other, sometimes related, industries. Creating a process that honored prior experience and knowledge allowed more flexibility around training and preparing for certification.
According to the IAC website, “This certification process requires accomplished skill and a thorough comprehension of that skill. Although no one particular coach training method is required, it’s essential that knowledge and application of these skill sets are mastered.”
Sounds simple enough, right? As long as we don’t confuse “simple” with “easy.” Although there is a natural simplicity in high-level coaching skill, learning to interact with your clients in that manner requires time and practice. A lot of practice, which you may or may not have already had in your prior profession.
To determine if the approach you’ve been using is aligned with the IAC Coaching Masteries Skill set, a recommended first step is reading the Coaching Masteries E-Book, probably several times. Note where your current understanding of coaching aligns with the information in the book, and notice if there is any dissonance or any possible misunderstandings. Of course theory and practice can be quite different, but if you have been coaching for several years you’ll likely see if the measures are being met, if the key elements are present, or if you are falling into any “common mistakes” traps.
Thomas Leonard, the founder of the IAC, had many great suggestions for preparing for certification. He emphasized that regardless of background, some specific understanding would be necessary. Here is a slightly updated summary of his words:
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Natalie Tucker Miller, IAC-CC, is the Lead Certifier and a certifying examiner at the IAC, as well as Past-President. She is Dean of Students and a Master Instructor at the School of Coaching Mastery. 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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