My Journey to Certification

by Kimberly Robinson, IAC-CC

is my story: We all do something well. For coaches, that "something"
includes providing valuable coaching to our clients. However, being
able to coach proficiently and demonstrate that ability are two
different things.

ease with which I coached my clients was challenged while working
towards becoming certified by the IAC. In my prior profession I was
tested by both written and demonstrative means so I understood and
respected the IAC's wanting to witness my coaching ability firsthand.
What seemed to be the biggest barrier for me was the test anxiety that
accompanied the demonstration. Because of that, it took several months
for me to be able to create the sessions I felt best demonstrated my
coaching abilities.

January I set my intention that I would complete both parts of the IAC
certification by June. I succeeded in passing part one of the exam
January 10th. Now all that was left was the recording submission.

to that point, I had devoted two years of my life learning, studying
and practicing the proficiencies. I attended two different preparatory
certification courses, one with Natalie Miller at Coachville and the
other with Barbara Sundquist. Both were very rich programs that offered
me the opportunity to understand, practice and hone in on what the
proficiencies were and how best to use them. During these programs I
met a number of fantastic coaches who helped me work towards my goal of
certification. They allowed me the opportunity to practice with them,
providing me with valuable feedback and excellent coaching.

I journeyed towards certification I ran up against several hurdles
which fed into my test anxiety. For months I stumbled over the intro to
the coaching session. I worked hard not to let the intro distract me
from the coaching session itself. Thankfully, I had a wonderful coach
offer me an analogy that helped me overcome this hurdle.

challenges I faced included having a wonderful session with a client
and learning afterwards that the recording had not started. GRRRR!
Other challenges included, running over the 30 minute time limit with a
great session and wondering if I'd actually hit all 15 proficiencies in
a session less than 30 minutes. Not only did I have to become
comfortable with listening to my own sessions, I had to overcome the
discomfort of listening to my own voice.

colleagues generously offered critiques of my sessions. There were
times I found myself getting sucked into other people's fears and
frustrations around the certification process which only made me feel
more frustrated and confused. I spent 16 to 20 hours each week
attending teleclasses, participating in triads and buddy coaching
situations, and listening to and critiquing others coaching sessions. I
feel the time I spent in all these venues really helped me to enhance
my coaching as well as prepare me for certification.

final barrier I had to work through were my feelings around how I would
feel if the dreaded happened…what if I didn't pass? It took time for me
to explore all the angles of this issue and come up with the courage to
send in my recordings.

finally prompted me to send in my recordings was that I got fed up with
the uncertainty that accompanied my waiting. I felt in my gut that I
had two recordings that did indeed demonstrate my ability to coach
proficiently, intro and all. One of the sessions I chose, I had
received some not so positive feedback from a trusted colleague. I
decided to trust my own gut and send it in.

April I composed my email to the IAC which included my recordings and
pushed the send button on my computer. My body physically shook for a
half hour after sending the email. After the shaking subsided, I felt a
sense of calm, ready for whatever outcome I would receive.

I continued with my triads and buddy coaching until June 1, when I received an email from the IAC which said "Congratulations Coach Robinson. You passed your recorded calls with outstanding scores." You can imagine the excitement and relief I felt after dedicating so much of myself to this process.

For those of you working towards certification I offer you this:
Study the proficiencies, practice the proficiencies, ask for help from
others, be kind to yourself, know that the certifiers want you to be
successful, and trust your gut. I wish you great success.


Kimberly Robinson RN, BSN, IAC-CC,, 
Kimberly Robinson is the owner of Coach You Through Burnout, LLC. She
coaches women who want the necessary tools and strategies to prevent
burnout in order to create a life they want for themselves.

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