Lessons from the Certifiers


The IAC Coaching Masteries®: 9 in 30?
by Natalie Tucker Miller, IAC-CC

Q: With 9 Masteries and all the behaviors and measures and other considerations, it seems impossible to do all the Masteries in 30 minutes. I know it can be done, obviously, because coaches do get certified. Is there some way you can explain how this is done?

A: This is such a great question, and one that arises frequently. It’s a valid concern which several coaches share. There is a great deal of information to digest when learning to coach masterfully, information that can sometimes create anxiety, self-consciousness and, at its worst, discouragement. So let’s look at this from a more empowering point of view; one that will help assuage some of these concerns.

To begin, the beauty and brilliance of the IAC Coaching Masteries® is that they support one another and naturally blend to create a powerful coaching environment. What that means for the coach is that these Masteries will weave in and out of one another as you and your client create a tapestry of new insights and perspective.

One example of this interconnectedness is evident where Mastery #1 is defined as "the ability to ensure a safe and supportive relationship." Several of the other Masteries will help foster the trust that is necessary for this to be demonstrated. Mastery #2, for instance, incites the "offering of sincere encouragement," and "reminds the clients of capabilities and strengths." From this encouragement, the clients willingness to "share bold hopes and dreams" (one of the measures of Mastery #1) might arise, as well as feeling empowered and ready to accept responsibility (a measure of Mastery #2). And certainly the ability to use pace and energy effectively while expressing (Mastery #5) can assist in "expanding versus stretching" the client (Mastery #2).

For another example, Mastery #6 suggests identifying patterns and asking either/or questions. You can see how this might correlate with Mastery #8 where the "conversation enters new and potentially unrelated areas." The coach might then have an opportunity to check in with the client about thoughts, feeling and intuition and effectively demonstrate Mastery #4 (processing in the present).

These are just two of countless examples of the relationship between the Masteries and how they can build on and enhance one another.

Does this mean it’s easy? Well, not necessarily. Coaches who have achieved the IAC-CC designation will tell you that the standards are high and they devoted many hours to learning and practicing the Masteries. Each of the Masteries requires a combination of skill sets which incorporate a unique blend of intellect, intuition and intercommunication. These skills are best mastered through the trial and error that can occur through practice. Let part of your practice be deliberate awareness of how the Masteries intertwine, supplement and advance one another, as well as their practical applications.

So join an IAC Chapter, start or join a live or virtual study group, participate in coaching triads, work with an IAC licensed mentor coach or join an IAC-licensed training program. Any of these steps will give you the coaching practice to develop your coaching mastery and demonstrate that mastery within the 30-minute testing session.

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. 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™.

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

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