More About Our Certifiers
by Natalie Tucker Miller, IAC-CC
Q: What can you tell me about the certifiers' professional backgrounds, how and why they got into coaching? What is most satisfying to them about being a coach? What they perceive to be their greatest challenge in coaching others? Do they have any suggestions, tips or resources for me in my continuing development as a coach?
A: This is such a refreshing question! Since receiving it, I’ve asked this question of the IAC certifiers so I could speak for us all as I write this. As I summarized the answers, I found there were many commonalities in our thoughts about coaching. We all thank you for providing an opportunity to reflect on where we are today and the paths we each took to get here.
We come from diverse backgrounds: education, finance, engineering, art and training. The biggest hurdle with transitioning to coaching from any profession is recognizing the specific skills that set coaching apart from other professions. Although there are some similarities in the methodologies of some professions compared to coaching methodologies, there are several differences as well. The certifiers were not immune to this challenge!
All of us trained extensively, either by attending a coach training school that focused on coaching mastery, enlisting the help of a mentor, or joining study groups and coaching triads. Some of us did all of the above or at least a combination of some of them. What we all have in common is a passion for coaching and a desire to provide the most powerful coaching possible. This led us to train rigorously. I found that many of my fellow certifiers felt as I did: coach training did not seem like work. Coaching, as any profession, is a calling. Each of us reached that conclusion about ourselves at one point or another during our journey.
The most rewarding part of coaching as well as being an IAC certifier is the ability to help people grow while we continue to hone our craft and contribute to the evolution of coaching worldwide. As one certifier noted, "I get to help people nurture their spirits every day, and I always feel more alive and vibrant myself after coaching someone." We all agreed that the possibility that we are making a difference in someone’s life is the greatest reward.
Interestingly, for some of the certifiers the greatest challenge isn’t during coaching sessions, rather it is sensing that someone could really benefit from coaching, yet they are resistant to begin. As for coaching itself, the Masteries themselves provide such great guidance that challenges for the coach are all but eliminated. Powerful! Here is an example from one certifier of how using the Masteries can achieve that: "My greatest challenge in coaching occurs when I see a situation so clearly, I sometimes I get a little stuck on one way of looking at things. When I notice this happening, I remind myself that rather than coaxing my client over the bridge, to instead cross over the bridge and meet the client where they are and see what happens from that space." This speaks beautifully to how the Masteries guide the coach, the coaching and the client. Mastery #8, Inviting Possibility, is defined as "Creating an environment that allows ideas, options and opportunities to emerge," which this certifier can simultaneously do for herself as well as her client! Win-win! Grow-grow!
Continued coaching development is a lifelong learning opportunity. As people change and evolve, so does the way we relate with people. To quote Maya Angelou, "When we know better, we do better," and that is certainly true in coaching. Ongoing practice is crucial as you grow your coaching practice, whether it is coaching a client, another (buddy) coach or a friend. Don’t be afraid to enlist the help of Mastery #1 whereby you acknowledge your own humanity with your clients. From a certifier: "One of my first coaches, who had been coaching for eight years at the time, shared her philosophy that I’ve embraced through my career. She said 'I am still a beginner coach.' What a wonderful way to recognize that mastery is not an end point, but an ongoing quest!"
Additionally, here are some more ideas from the certifiers about continued coaching development: [Members, continue reading]
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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 firstname.lastname@example.org.