Lessons from the Certifiers

Mastery #6 – Clarifying
by Nina East, IAC-CC

This month you get the Inside Scoop on Mastery #6–Clarifying. In keeping with the simplicity of the Coaching Masteries®, the title of this mastery is very descriptive. The goal of using this mastery is to reduce or eliminate the client’s confusion or uncertainty about the issue, the appropriate course of action, or the meaning behind what the client is bringing to the coaching session. With a greater understanding of what is really going on, the client can have more confidence about next steps because he/she will be focusing on what is most important, and letting go of what is not.

I suspect that this mastery will seem fairly obvious to coaches. Of course we have to help the client clarify, right? If not, we may be assisting them down the wrong path and/or focusing valuable coaching on time on something that may not be that relevant. As coaches we want to respect what the client brings to the session, but we have to remember that it is not uncommon for even the most sophisticated and self-aware clients to be off-target when identifying the “problem” or the most important issue facing them.

By taking the time to clarify, you are not implying the client is ignorant or does not know what they are talking about. Rather, you are respecting the client by realizing that:

– often clients are too close to their own experience to be able to see or know all the factors affecting the situation.

– clients may make assumptions based on habit, experience or beliefs, and not be aware they are doing so.

– clarifying helps clients get “unstuck,” often resulting in improved focus, awareness of previously unknown information, new possibilities and increased energy.

All of these are reasons clients hire coaches. It is important that we give adequate time and attention to clarifying.

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Nina East, IAC-CC is the IAC®’s Lead Certifier and the founder of PersonalGrowthProfessionals.com. As a coach, she helps personal growth professionals turn creative edge thinking into practical tools and resources, and helps coaches master the art of coaching. For even more insights about improving your coaching skills, visit www.CoachCamps.com.  


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

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