Lessons from the Certifiers: Using the Masteries to Get Out of Your Own Way

by Natalie Tucker Miller


Q. What does it take to get certified by the IAC? I mean, really, what should I be looking for in the Masteries, what is going to make the difference between mediocre coaching and masterly coaching?

A. This isn’t a question from one person, this is an amalgam of questions from many.

  • What do I need to do?
  • Are there ‘most important’ elements in the masteries that I should focus on?
  • Are some Masteries more important than others?
  • Is there an order in which the Materies should come up?

These are all valid questions coming from curiosity, from a place of wanting to excel. Questions even the certifiers contemplate from time to time.

The answer does not reside in the coaching relationship, however. Because the most important factor in coaching masterfully is your own personal development. Being so attuned to yourself that you no longer even wonder “what does it take to get IAC certified?”

This is easier than you might think, and decidedly more rewarding.

Skills can be honed. Key Elements can be studied. Effective Behaviors can be practiced. Measures can be quantified. But the single most common thing standing between someone and their certification is what we all know as “getting in your own way”. Coaching is, after all, about helping our clients to get to the heart of what makes them who they are. Do you have a regular practice of your development?

Here are a couple of expanded ideas from the Masteries that might help you to think bigger about how you can get out of the way, and just coach!

  • Mastery 1 indicates the importance of the client feeling safe to share fears without judgment. This is an important step in our client’s development, one where they may eventually see that the judgment they feel from the outside world is simply a reflection of their own beliefs. What kinds of judgments are you concerned about when coaching? Become aware of those, then discover the kinds of growth activities that can help you increase your perception.
  • In Mastery 8, it is noted that the coach helps the client transcend barriers. Have you considered what barriers are preventing you from settling into the confidence of coaching?
  • Mastery 4 invites us to create an environment whereby the client is unencumbered by past or future preoccupations or concerns. How might practicing presence increase your ability to tap into your inner knowing, and become the vehicle, not the driver, in the coaching session?

Looking to the Masteries as a way to build coaching skills is a great step. When you recognize that they are also inviting you to grow and expand and transform, you can stay out of the way!


Natalie Tucker Miller


Natalie Tucker Miller, MMC, 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™

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