Meet Nina East, IAC Lead Certifier

by Angela

How and why did you get involved
with the IAC?

I joined the IAC way back at the beginning.
I agreed with Thomas Leonard, the founder,
that there are many experiences and trainings
that can prepare someone for becoming a
coach and that the true standard for certification
should be the ability to coach masterfully.
I wanted to support that philosophy and honor the value of work, life and training
experiences coaches had that fell outside
the official coach-training realm. I was
also closely involved with the Coaching
Proficiencies from the beginning, crafting
the learning guides, as well as teaching
teleclasses and live seminars. Since the
Proficiencies were the original standards
used for IAC Certification, it made sense
to be involved. So, when Shirley Anderson,
the first Lead Certifier, invited me to
become a Certifier, I didn’t hesitate
to say yes.

So, if you were so involved with
the Proficiencies, what do you think about
the IAC Coaching Masteries™?

I think they are great. If not, I never
would have accepted the role as Lead Certifier!
My role with the Masteries was in the initial
conversations, and then in testing and evaluating
their application in order to refine them.
To be quite honest, that means I missed
the bulk of the creation work. The team
that developed the Masteries did an impressive
job and an immense amount of work. What
excites me most about the Masteries is the
elegance of their simplicity and ease of
understanding. I’m not saying the
Masteries are easier than the Proficiencies
or that it’s easier to demonstrate
the Masteries. They definitely represent
an advanced coaching ability. The difference
is that the language of the Masteries is
very straightforward and concrete. Even
the more abstract concepts within the Masteries
are described in concrete language with
specific effective and ineffective behaviors
identified. This means it should be easier
for people to grasp the concepts. My hope
is that if they are easier to understand,
they’ll be easier to practice–and
hopefully easier for coaches to self-evaluate.

The other thing that stands out to me about
the Masteries is their attention to international
cultures and nuances. As a former diversity
trainer, this is very important to me. This
approach in the Masteries makes them truly
applicable on the international coach certification

What do you enjoy most about being
a Certifier?

It means a lot to me that I’m helping
the coaching industry by upholding high
standards. By being an advocate for excellence
in coaching, I know the work we do helps
coaches coach better, and it helps clients
because they can be more confident about
their coaches’ abilities. I also have
to say that working with the other Certifying
Examiners is great. They are tremendously
talented, insightful and committed – I know
I’m a better coach because of the
work we do together.

Tell us a bit about your coaching

My business has gone through many transitions
– and it’s in the process of
making another! I used to do a lot of business
coaching, particularly around marketing.
That was fun, and definitely lucrative,
but I was ready for something different.
Recently I took a long sabbatical to “rediscover”
myself. What I realized is that
in addition to helping coaches master the
art of coaching, my passion and experience
falls in two main areas – personal growth
and helping college students. I’ve
been embracing this and finding lots of
rewarding opportunities.

On the personal growth side, I work with
personal growth professionals – counselors,
trainers, authors, body workers, coaches,
etc. – helping them with their own
personal and professional development through
the Association of Personal Growth Professionals.
Plus, in a sister project, I get to champion
the people like me who relish personal growth
opportunities. That’s done through
writing the blog at
It’s new, and I’m really excited
about it.

For the college student side of my business,
I work with students and their families
who are doing college planning – or
who ought to be doing it. I do
this through a blend of seminars and family
coaching. It’s been a great adventure.
Since my last traditional job, eons ago,
was as a faculty member and Dean of Students
at a university, it’s a natural blend
of my work experience and coaching skills.

Nina can be contacted through

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