Archive for awareness

September VOICE

President’s Letter

by Pepe del Rio, IAC President

Our theme for this edition of VOICE™ is awareness and so I invite you to become aware of the International Association of Coaches (IAC) certification process as a unique and challenging process.

Thomas Leonard’s vision was to streamline the process of certification with the IAC, which emphasizes the demonstration of coaching rather than the documentation of it.

You don’t have to attend a particular school to be eligible to go through the IAC path of certification. What you do need to do is demonstrate that you understand the coaching process, the IAC Coaching Masteries® and that you are up for the challenge. You will have a unique and growing learning experience valued the world over.

To you, this may sound like the IAC certification would be easier than other processes. It is by no means true, because, as the certifiers say, “Professional life coaches need to demonstrate masterful coaching skills.”

The reason for becoming an IAC Certified Coach is unique, and personal, as Martha Pasternack, MMC our current IAC-BOG Secretary says, “It is an opportunity to serve others for the greater good.”

Presently, only about 25% of coaches who apply for the IAC Coaching Certification pass the first time. That is why, as an IAC member, you can access tools, and coaching triads that will provide you with the support you need to develop your skill on your learning path. By taking advantage of these offerings mentioned above, you can focus, and go for it.

There is a global standard of coaching, and then there is the IAC standard. The International Association of Coaching certification assures you that you are qualified with the highest standard of universal excellence. Indeed, “The platinum coaching standard of universal excellence.”

To support you further, the IAC trains and grants qualified coaching programs a license to teach you the IAC Coaching Masteries®. They will prepare you for the IAC certification path. 

Be aware that not just any school can tell you that they can certify on behalf of IAC, or that you have to be certified with them before going for IAC certification. If you want to check our list of current licensees, please go to our website:, and confirm that you are with a current licensee.

IAC coaches are proud to be certified at the CMC or MMCC level of mastery. It is a process rather than an event. Once certified, there are several opportunities to continue your professional development.

I also invite you to become deeply familiar with the IAC Coaching Masteries®. and Code of Ethics. Become one of the worldwide elite coaches that call themselves IAC certified coaches.

Connect with me at


Pepe del Rio, IAC President

José Manuel “Pepe” del Río: Executive and career coach. He works with clients from different parts of the world. Founder and Head Coach of the Rio training boutique firm, specializing in Coaching and Logotherapy, which for 22 years has been working with executives and organizations on communication issues and creating leadership and high performance cultures that provide support for people to become the best versions of themselves. 

Self-Awareness is the Key

by Krishna Kumar | IAC Past President 2016 / 2017 

“Self-awareness is the key to being a Champion,” said legendary American tennis champ, Billie Jean King and it is that distinct quality that differentiates champions in sport like Roger Federer, Usain Bolt and Michael Jordan from other players. While the ability to achieve peak performance under pressure is starkly visible in sports arenas it is equally needed in all other arenas of engagement, such as the worlds of theatre, music or business where performance matters. If it is that distinct quality that sets apart a champion from the rest then how do they achieve peak levels of self-awareness?

Awareness is known to be present at multiple levels. The single biggest obstacle to being fully aware is the presence of ‘distractions.’ Dealing with distractions is the main differentiator between mediocre and peak performance that allows the performer to achieve amazing results. As we move through a typical day our levels of awareness vary in relation to the distractions that we encounter and how well we overcome these distractions by managing our emotions. To illustrate, while playing tennis when the ball is flying at you very rapidly by starting to think that you ‘shouldn’t miss the ball’ you create a mental distraction that might lead to playing a poor shot. If instead, you focus your attention on the direction, angle and spin of the ball as it is moving towards you, the return shot will be played to the best of your ability.

From this simple illustration it is clear that the journey to becoming self-aware requires us to go beyond our outer world of sensations and actions, and connect deeply with our inner world of thoughts and feelings about which we typically know very little. In this journey we attempt to reach the source of our consciousness and get to know our inner life. The Sufi mystic, Rumi, describes this quest brilliantly,

Then journey into yourself!
And like a mine of rubies
receive the sunbeams print!
Out of yourself ? such a journey
will lead you to yourself,
It leads to transformation
of dust into pure gold!

Coaches make Champions by helping them master their inner core of self-awareness and create peak performance in the field of their choice. In a personal quest to apply self-awareness in coaching, I developed a model, called AWARETM, which many of my colleagues are using with success. The model blends five concepts, namely Awaken (A), Will Power (W), Action (A), Reflection (E) and Engage (E) that can lead us to that perfect state of self-awareness.

It would be wonderful to know your experiences with self-awareness in coaching and I look forward to your connecting with me at

With Appreciation

Krishna Kumar, IAC Past President 2016-2017 

Krishna Kumar is the Founder-Director of the Intrad School of Executive Coaching (ISEC) and a pioneer in the sphere of Leadership and Executive Coaching in India. His firm belief that coaching is the best way to learn has carried him through a varied learning journey over three decades that included donning the hats of a senior corporate executive, an entrepreneur, a professional tennis coach, a B-school professor, Leadership Advisor and Strategy Coach. The journey continues…


Important to Note: Our 2018 Quo Vadis? webinars will be held the

last week in November. Plan on participating with masterful coaches  and become even more

inspired to deepen your work as an IAC coach.



Short and to the point, here are three techniques I might use to expand a client’s awareness:

In her book ON LOOKING, Alexandra Horowitz is aware of how ‘blind’ she has become in her habituated daily walk around her block in New York. She invites eleven experts to each accompany her on her walk so that she can experience from their different perspectives, an environment that had become very familiar to her. I might similarly invite a client to take a walk and look at her situation through, say, the eyes of a child, of a dog, of an astronaut, or of her older/younger self, (you can make up many different options) and it is amazing how quickly new perspectives come into her awareness and she sees new options and choices.

This recent video from The School of Life, titled What it’s Like Inside our Minds, inspires me to ask a client where she is shining her spotlight. I invite her to see what was lurking in the darkness that she might bring into the light. Awareness means seeing what’s in, and what’s not in focus. I invite my client to visualize a spotlight (or the beam of a searchlight) to explore the unlit nooks and crannies of her mind and of her heart, to find the places where something is stuck, or to uncover the dreams and ideas that she is not yet speaking into the world.

And this perhaps most simple one: when a client declares something to be fixed in their world, often expressed as a self-limiting belief or judgement (e.g., It’s because I am too young, too old, too careless, too lazy, …etc, etc) I will offer a simple “OR NOT” comment and pause while he hears it. I usually find he will automatically repeat those “or not” words, inviting their own brain and hear to consider an ever so gentle opening and awareness of another way to look at their situation.

Finally, courtesy of IAC Master Masteries Coach Sue Johnston, who this very evening helped me shift my own awareness with the technique of creating an “I DID” list rather than a “TO DO” list. In our coaching conversation this evening, I was reflecting on a day when I had not felt very productive or creative. Where I felt I had been moving pretty slow. When I might even have labeled myself lazy. Sue masterfully brought my awareness to all the things I HAD created and achieved today and which were already on my “I DID” list. With that expanded awareness I was able to fully own how successful my day had been. Additionally I was reminded how important it is for us as coaches, no matter how experienced we are on this journey, to create the space for our own reflection, self-listening and constantly increasing awareness. Thank you Sue.

Awareness expands in direct relationship to the questions we ask; are asked and take time to explore. Like pebbles on a still, deep pond of water, the ripples open up to reveal new insights, possibilities and potential in increasing circles of awareness.

Aileen Gibb

 Aileen Gibb: “My work has taken me around the globe and to conversations with people from many different nationalities, cultures and organizations. Wherever I’ve gone, the power of real conversation, founded on intentional listening and enlightened questioning, has been welcomed. It’s a core piece of our humanity to create the space for conversations that matter and to build connection and meaning with members of our family, our business and our communities.”

Does Awareness Support Our Clients?

Nature teaches us about awareness every day. For example, when we first become conscious that the sun has shifted its position on the horizon at sunset or sunrise we realize a new season is underway.

  Likewise, when we notice new blossoms in the spring, or ripened fruit in the garden for the first time in the autumn, or that a holiday or birthday is fast approaching calling for us to celebrate, or when we hear a new birdsong for the first time in months, we become aware change is at hand.

 In my part of the world I become aware of the passage of time from winter into spring when the frozen river thaws, freeing the water that has been trapped in ice. The ice suddenly breaks up starting its eager flow toward the Rio Grande.

 Often people seek coaching because they feel stuck on an issue, subject, or in a situation and seek support to moved beyond. The first step for them to take is developing awareness.

 In the coaching relationship awareness can also be thought of as consciousness and understanding of an issue, subject, desired change or situation. Awareness does not require change. It does require acceptance.

 Before our clients can get clear so that they can forward, they must first become aware, or in some cases explore their awareness further. With masterful coaching they open to their conscious connection with, and deepen their understanding of an issue, subject, change or situation. They become aware of the pros and cons, costs and benefits, and desired results of taking a specific action, which may include doing nothing.

 Until our surrender to awareness in the present moment, they are mired in uncertainty. They don’t surrender in terms of defeat, rather in terms of acceptance.

 A downside of awareness is that once aware, always aware. The good part of awareness is that options emerge. The better part of awareness is that our clients are now empowered to get unstuck with the support of the coach and all the IAC Coaching Masteries.

 Awareness is implicit in all of the IAC Coaching Masteries.

 In my understanding of the IAC Coaching Masteries; Mastery #3, engaged listening, belongs in the center of all of them.

 Not only do we listen deeply to our client’s words, tone of voice and overall energy, we support them to listen deeply to themselves. We ask questions that will open our clients to how they feel, think or act in the situation being explored. Awareness is deepened by the clients’ sensitivity to the value inherent in awareness.

 This clarity clues them into their desire for a particular outcome, which, in my experience, begins with self-acceptance in the present moment.  When they become aware they have all their faculties at hand; body; mind; spirit; emotions and possibility and can go deeper into where they want to focus their energy, their desired outcome. This makes Mastery #4, processing the present, equally as helpful.

Once they are aware of the desired outcome our client is now free and empowered to choose change… or not, as the case may be. This is a choice that opens the doorway to possibility. This is how awareness supports our clients.




Martha Pasternack, MMC;  My passion for witnessing the beauty and mystery of life, healthy healing and the promotion of Peace on Earth are integral to my daily life. I have been life coaching since 2004 as a Fearless Living Coach after working 30 years as a health care professional.

Being Aware That You Are AWARE™


 When we say, “I lost my head for a moment,” it is an allusion to that brief period of time when we stopped thinking rationally. A moment that was possibly brought about by feelings like irritation, anxiety or confusion but one that is usually swiftly followed by an insight that denotes self awareness.

Raising the client to a heightened sense of self-awareness is usually the first step taken by experienced coaches. By assisting their clients to identify those distractions that ‘block’ them and improving self awareness they create the space for expanding their potential.

Awareness operates in multiple dimensions and layers. Moving beyond self awareness, we become socially aware when there are people around us and that might induce a plethora of feelings ranging from apathy or indifference to empathy and compassion. In another dimension, when we are conscious of the challenges posed by the environment and culture in which we operate, systems awareness helps us to plan and strategize tasks for maximum effectiveness.

At the same time, over the course of a day, we function at varying layers of awareness that range from oblivion during deep sleep to meta- self awareness while fully engaged in an activity. Champion sports-persons, theater artistes and business leaders frequently attribute their successes to heightened levels of these various dimensions of awareness while deeply engaged in their professions.

Deeply interested in the concept of awareness and its critical value for coaching, I developed and presented, the AWARE© Model at many global forums in 2016. The model introduced the five stage ‘path to awareness’ that included: Awakening- Willpower-Action-Reflection-Engagement. In the model, a methodology to integrate the IAC Coaching Masteries was also shared.

While the concept of Awareness is present in every IAC Coaching Mastery, given this context, a particular favourite with many coaches is our Mastery # 4 (Processing in the Present). Which would be your favourite?

 Interested readers who would like to learn and share more on the topic are most welcome to connect with me at

 With appreciation,

Krishna Kumar

 Krishna Kumar is the Founder-Director of the Intrad School of Executive Coaching (ISEC) and a pioneer in the sphere of Leadership and Executive Coaching in India. His firm belief that coaching is the best way to learn has carried him through a varied learning journey over three decades that included donning the hats of a corporate executive, an entrepreneur, a tennis coach, a B-school professor, independent Board member and an Executive Coach. The journey continues… 

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