Archive for coaching

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.


Building Trust

Building Trust
by Shan Moorthi, 2nd Vice President IAC

Keys7VOICETrust_072017.jpgStarting a journey as an Executive Coach is probably one of the most challenging yet stimulating tasks I have ever undertaken. From the word go, I found myself posing a number of questions and one of the most difficult one was this: Does my Coachee trust me? And, if indeed I am being trusted, how would I know this? What signs should I be looking for to be sure that trust exists? The answers came to me later on in the process when I started learning the IAC Coaching Masteries®. It was then that everything became crystal clear.

The International Association of Coaching defines Establishing and maintaining a relationship of trust as ‘Ensure a safe space and supportive relationship for personal growth, discovery and transformation’.  Coachees will only respond openly and be willing to share and express freely when they trust their Coach.  As a Coach, I have found that Coachees are not as open during the first or second session as you would probably want them to be. This is because we have not established the level of trust between us and the coachee which would ensure that the latter may feel safe.  

The responsibility of building and maintaining the trust lies on the Coach. The Coach needs to demonstrate through his presence and actions that he is trustworthy.  But the question is, how do I, as a Coach, increase the level of trust? Inevitably, during these initial engagements, I was continuously looking for ways to gain a deeper understanding of the concept of trust and to share it with others as I train leaders to become coaches.

Interestingly, as I was researching materials relating to trust,  I came across a great book called the Trusted Advisor by  David H. Maister, Robert Galford and  Charles W. Green.  

The book introduces the Trust Equation: 

Trustworthiness = Credibility + Reliability + Intimacy
  Self – Orientation


The authors postulate that to increase your trustworthiness, you need to increase your credibility, reliability and intimacy while reducing your self-orientation.   As a Coach I started to reflect on how I can adapt the ‘Trust Equation’ to increase my trustworthiness.  Following are some of my thoughts and suggestions to build trust in a coaching relationship.
To increase Credibility:

  • Continuously develop our coaching competencies
  • Actively involve ourselves in a Coaching Community of Practice such as our local IAC Chapter
  • Pursue Professional Certifications and qualifications
  • Participate in discussion forums, conferences and webinars to stay current
  • Conform to ethics and values
To increase Reliability:
  • Be Punctual
  • Demonstrate professional presence
  • Take ownership of the coaching process and program
  • Provide right and timely support structure
  • Provide timely feedback
  • Be authentic
  • Focussed on the results desired by the Coachee
To increase Intimacy:
  • Respect and maintain confidentiality
  • Active listening to sense beyond what has been said
  • Validate and provide affirmation
  • Acknowledge and respect fears and blockers
  • Demonstrate empathy
  • Total presence, Body, Mind and Sprit/Heart
To decrease Self-Orientation, avoid the following
  • Rushing the coachee to state action plans
  • Leading the Coachee to solutions preferred by the Coach
  • More concern on the Coach’s own personal agenda
  • Talks more and listen less
  • Listening to reply than to understand
  • Trying to impress the Coachee
  • Sharing personal stories that does not add value to the Coachee
  • Focussed on the coaching business than to serve the coachee
  • Self-praise
  • Intimidating the Coachee
Building trust is a continuous and consistent effort throughout the coaching process. As coaches we need to pay attention to and be mindful of whatever we say and do. We need to be congruent and constantly align our intentions to the coaching process to achieve the results that the coachee desires.

We must also be mindful that we are there to unlock the potential of our coachees. Thus, we need to trust them and believe that they have the inner potential to achieve their individual goals.

“Trust is not a matter of technique, but of character; we are trusted because of our way of being, not because of our polished exteriors or our expertly crafted communications.” – Marsha Sinetar
Shan Moorthi is a Professional Trainer, Facilitator and Performance Coach, located in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia.   He founded Teamcoach International in 1998, an Organization specializing in  Leadership Development and Executive Coach training.  Shan Moorthi is the 2nd Vice President of the IAC.

Does Practice Make Perfect?


 Does Practice Make Perfect?

by Krishna Kumar,BTME, MBA, BCC, President – IAC

It’s the rare parent or teacher who haven’t heard their wards, whilst in the midst of practicing an activity, complain of being ‘bored’? If they were doing activities that seem like ‘work’ (studying) we might appreciate this feeling but when the activity is one that is also fun-filled, like learning to play sports or a musical instrument it appears puzzling.

Our usual reaction in such situations, is to suggest that ‘practice makes perfect,’ a perfectly acceptable response if only it were wholly accurate. Does continuous, mind-numbing repetition of a particular movement actually lead to perfection or is there more to the act of practice?

In seeking an answer to these questions the interpretation offered by Aikido Master and author, George Leonard, is fascinating. He lists practice as one the five keys to Mastery. While in normal usage the word practice is a verb to denote an activity that a person engages in, he recommends that it is better conceived as a noun. Practice, he suggests, is not something that we do but rather have or that we are. The word, he says, “is akin to the Chinese word tao or the Japanese word do, both of which mean, literally, road or path. Practice is the path on which you travel, just that.’

When practice is applied as a noun, it stretches beyond a routine activity that leads us to a specific goal or destination. Instead, it extends to being an integral part of our lives.

Adopting the concept of making practice integral to our being, we would first need to find a way that helps us to escape the drudgery of repetition, an early step which leads to a state of boredom. Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi, the renowned polymath and positive psychologist, while discovering the concept of being in ‘flow’ links boredom to seeking an active balance between the challenge that is posed and the level of skill applied in dealing with it.

Persons engaged in an activity tends to relax and subsequently slip towards boredom if their skill levels comfortably exceed that needed to manage the challenge. At this stage, to stay on the path to mastery requires us to first enlarge the scope of the task and then working on developing the skill needed to meet it. Consequently, as the task continues to increase in complexity and get more demanding we start getting more and more absorbed and actually find enjoyment in performing it.

The coaching profession offers us the unique opportunity where practice is almost always in a unique context with little scope for boredom. For instance, were we to ask a variety of clients the same set of questions, we will be assured of a unique set of answers.

The IAC’s mission is ‘To Expand the Path to Coaching Mastery.” As practice pulls us towards Mastery in coaching, then it important that for Mastery we remain on the path.

 To share more on the topic, please connect with me at .

 With appreciation,

Krishna Kumar, IAC President

 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… 

Right Intention. Right Action.

Right Intention. Right Action.
by Aileen Gibb, MMC
 As I write this piece today I find myself intrigued by the relationship between intentionality and action. Without action, intentionality is orphaned to the world of make-believe. Now that’s a powerful thought, sitting as I am today with what I delude myself into believing are good intentions to make progress towards enrolling participants in an upcoming event. Yet I find myself paralyzed and taking little action. What is stopping me turning my intentions into action?

 I call my coach. 

 I start from the awareness that I know what I’m ‘supposed’ to do: call this person, email that person, send a photo to another person, gradually working through my list of invitees. Yet I’m still not doing it. It’s that word ‘supposed’ that’s stopping me. If I’m ‘supposed’ to do it, have I, in fact set a true intention to make it happen.

“What”, my coach asks me, “is my true intention here?”

This becomes a great pivot for me to self-reflect and inquire into my intentions for this upcoming event.  I realize that I have not set specific enough intention. I thought I had: envisioning  people sitting in the room with me in two months time and feeling committed to them being there.

 Wrong (or non-specific) intention though, leads to wrong (or no) action. My high level intention to run my event, does not translate into specific step by step action that moves me towards making it happen. I need more tangible intentions that will eventually lead to the fulfillment of the bigger dream.

 So I shift my intention and break it down into clearer steps.

My intention — even in the course of my conversation with my coach — becomes ‘call these two people and call them NOW”. My coach actually hangs up the phone while I go and make the calls and invites me to call him back when I’ve done it. Immediate intention, immediate action.

 Next I set a smaller and clearer intention for tomorrow. I WILL call Ian, James, Anita and Sue. Even as I write this commitment as a clearer intention I want to add more names to the list — feeling the momentum building once that first intention is fulfilled. Cary, Bruce and Kelly get added to my call list. And that’s enough. If I let that list get too big again, too quickly it will move farther away from the action required to fulfill the intention. It just becomes some big, unwieldy task list again. Better to keep it small. One step at a time.

And that’s where I get my big ‘aha’ about intention.

 My real intention, the one that’s going to serve me best, is to have the intention about my process and not my outcome.

My intention becomes “make the calls” rather than fill the event (which of course will be the result of fulfilling my intention to make the calls).

 Intention finds its home when I directly relate it to an action I can take in the immediate future.

 That creates an intention I can, and will, fulfill.

 One intentional action step at a time.


Aileen Gibb


Aileen Gibb, Master Masteries Coach with the IAC, is currently taking her coaching to the next level, through her work in the field of leadership conversation, with individuals, entrepreneurs and mission driven, next generation, businesses. Her current client base spans leadership in  the computer games business, with toxin-free health and beauty products, across loyalty sales, advertising and property development and in pursuit of the shifting scopes of the energy industry, where she spent a large part of her own career. Her favourite quote at this time is: “the kind of conversation I’m interested in is the one which you start with a willingness to emerge a slightly different person” (Theodore Zeldin) — a quote which sums up the invitation she extends to all her coaching clients. Check out for current events and availability. Aileen currently splits her time between her adopted home in the Alberta Rocky Mountains of Canada and her native homeland in the northeast of Scotland. 

“Compassion is the radicalism of our time.”

“Compassion is the radicalism of our time.”

by Krishna Kumar,BTME, MBA, BCC, President – IAC



 “Compassion is the radicalism of our time,” said the Dalai Lama and inspired by his words in October of last year I wrote that coaching might be the perfect vehicle to offer “Compassionate Leadership” to our turbulent world.

 A simplified definition of compassion is what happens when you encounter another person suffering, go beyond your feelings of empathy or altruism, and step forward to help alleviate that suffering. Interestingly, it is a topic that is now being actively researched in-depth by psychologists and neuroscientists around the world. Information about compassion is widely available in numerous research papers on the ‘science of well-being and happiness’

(positive psychology), presentations made at global conferences and work by leading Universities (Stanford, Berkeley). They add to the wealth of wisdom passed down through the ages by spiritual leaders and philosophers from the East and the West, providing us with an eclectic mix to devour, develop and act upon.

 Going beyond how can coaches, using the power to influence ourselves, our clients and our social environment encourage and develop the practice of compassion?

 Practicing compassion has deep connections with training in mindfulness and meditation. It is proven method to foster cooperative learning in schools by encouraging cooperation over competition. In coaching, we might expand our coaching skills by introducing the elements of compassion. To illustrate, in coaching conversations we often need to navigate through a complex web of perceptions that our client has shared, which when it clashes with our own might defeat the traditional listening techniques. On such occasions, the famous Buddhist monk, Thich Naht Hanh, mentions using compassionate deep listening to work through another person’s perceptions and help them find resolution and healing.

 At the IAC we remain committed to our mission to “Expand the Path to Coaching Mastery” and have constituted a Research and Collaboration Portfolio, headed our Governing Board colleagues, Dr. Luis Gaviria and Mr. Philip Beddows, to work towards this objective. In the following months, we plan to conduct a series of Coaching Master Classes, which will cover many exciting topics, such as the application of the Neurosciences in coaching and using Compassion in Coaching. We encourage the IAC community to actively join and participate in these Master Classes.

As always, I will be delighted to know your thoughts and ideas. Please 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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