Living the Masteries

Living the Masteries is a regular column where we invite coaches to share their experiences of Living the Masteries in their everyday lives. As we become aware of the Masteries and really understand and use them, we realise just how powerful they are and how, used effectively, they can truly make a lasting difference to the world.

This month Alison Davis gives us her experience of being on the receiving end of coaching when Mastery 4: Processing in the present is used skillfully and Alberto Calderón shares some of his insights into this Mastery.

When she was lead certifier for the IAC, Nina East wrote this about Mastery #4 in her VOICE column: "Processing in the Present represents the leading edge; the next evolution of coaching skills."

And as Alberto Calderon mentions below, "Other coaching models do not contain a skill quite like Mastery 4."

The Coaching Masteries E-book tells us that Processing in the Present is demonstrated when, "The coach is attentive to the client, processing information at the levels of mind, body, heart and/or spirit. The coach expands the client’s awareness of how to experience thoughts and issues on these various levels."

When I want to process what I’m feeling or what is going on for me, I often work with a coach who understands the IAC Coaching Masteries™. Using Mastery #4, my coach shares what she is noticing and engages me in a coaching conversation that helps me find deeper meaning, has me gain new insight and helps me see a situation from different perspectives. My coach helps me to identify what is happening for me right now in the present moment.

The way I think, feel and behave both in the session and outside is full of information for me, and I often need my coach to help me process this information. When my coach uses Mastery #4 skillfully, I end up with heightened self-awareness. I am able to see themes and patterns and explore my own inner knowing. She helps me to acknowledge and address my emotions, often using my body as a touchstone as I tune in to what I’m actually experiencing in the moment physically, intellectually, emotionally and spiritually. I have often seen that the relationship I have with my coach acts as a mirror for other areas of my life, like a microcosm of what’s going on elsewhere. This kind of Processing in the Present enables me to gain meaningful insights and consequently make significant shifts.

Alberto Calderón shares his experience of this Mastery:

As I observe myself "Living the Masteries," I see that my experiences with Mastery #4: Processing in the Present are by far the most powerful. In fact, I believe that this Mastery can make a bigger difference than any other category of skills or competencies in professional coaching.

Often when people converse, mutual understanding can be difficult. Confusion can occur in communication, and problems can arise as a result. In fact, one of the biggest problems in both social and family situations as well as in organizations is communication. We are not taught how to communicate as we grow up, nor is communication usually on the school curriculum.

When we want to explain a theme or concept, we use words and other methods of communication. However, tone of voice, emotions, doubts and complaints—stemming perhaps from judgment, past beliefs or another paradigm—can get in the way. Without realizing it, we communicate on many different levels. Everything gets mixed up, and often the meaning of what we are trying to express is lost.

I lived like this for years, and when I converse socially or when I coach, I notice how many people still live that way, satisfied with mediocre conversations. It is hard to live like this, unable to express ourselves authentically and often feeling misunderstood. It is draining and can be frustrating and distressing.

Mastery #4 has confirmed to me the importance of processing information at the different levels of mind, body and spirit. It has become clear to me that we need to bring all these levels together to gain a clear understanding of what is being communicated. I have to learn how to develop my own capacities to observe, perceive and process the messages that my body, mind, intuition and spirit send, in order to understand what both I myself and others are experiencing.

As I move forward using Mastery #4, I am becoming more aware of these different levels of awareness and of the messages I can receive through each of these different channels. All this enables me to keep focused on what is happening in the moment, letting go of anything that is unhelpful, using the past to bring helpful knowledge in and the future as a place to use my new energy appropriately. This keeps me in a higher state of both inner and outer peace and in harmony with life.

Thank you to Alberto Calderón for another thoughtful contribution.

How much do you listen to your body? Do you hear the messages that your emotions send you? What do your experiences or the experiences in which you are involved say about you or about your life?


Alberto J. Calderón, MCS, PCC, OC, MBA, doctorate (Social Anthropology) is the President of MORE Global, CCS-Comunidad de Coaching Sistémico and the IAC Chapter of Mexico. Alberto is a coach, consultant, teacher, trainer, researcher and life learner, seeking to improve personal evolution, the productivity of organizations and quality of life.



This is your column, it can only continue if you share your experiences of Living the Masteries. Would you be willing to share how you are inspired to see new possibilities for yourself and your life or how you help others do this? Please send us your stories—you will inspire others by your sharing, and by talking about the Masteries, we create an echo chamber where their power takes on new meaning in the world.

Send your contributions to Alison Davis at, so she can share them for you in the Living the Masteries column in the VOICE each month.


Alison Davis, IAC-CC, is a certifying examiner at the IAC, coach, mentor coach and founder of the IAC–licensed virtual coaching school Foundations for Living. Discover more at

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