Archive for IAC Coaching Masteries

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.


Engagement: it takes two

by Aileen Gibb | Conversationalist – Master Coach – Author – Tedx Speaker, Inspired Future


As coaches we know the vital importance of engaged listening. The emphasis being on engaged. For me this is an active — and lifelong — practice of consciously bringing my focus to what the other person is not only saying, but also what he or she may be feeling, experiencing, sensing, resisting, getting upset about or frustrated with. It is only through conscious and active engaged listening that we might discern all the layers of experience that show up within the conversation. True engagement becomes an active verb that calls on both parties to participate and to become fully present to what wants to show up in the conversation space.

 Employee engagement has become a focus for many organisations. Yet we never hear of leader engagement surveys, do we? What if leaders were rated on how actively they engage with their people? How would they rate themselves amid the busy demands of their role?

 Jennifer is a lovely young lady who had been our bank manager for over five years. As a customer I would have considered her to be both engaged and engaging in her role. She was a pleasure to deal with. I was shocked to hear not only that she had resigned due to the hidden stresses of her role, but also to hear that when she handed in her resignation she did not hear from anyone at head office for five weeks. Whilst she had been taking care of us, no-one it seemed had been taking care of her or showed any inclination to engage with what had pushed her to the point of resignation. Yet my guess would be that same large institution published ‘fairly acceptable’ employee engagement statistics.

 In another company, mid-level manager Joe revealed that his leader had on one occasion failed to show up for their monthly one-on-one check in — had simply forgotten about it — and on another occasion had turned it into a five minute phone check with the words “if you’ve nothing you need to talk about let’s defer to next month, as I’m very busy.” Needless to say Joe was left questioning his own value as his leader failed twice in succession to fully engage or make time for him.  I suspect he would have rated himself as less than engaged in the annual survey.

 By contrast I am constantly impressed with John who leads a high-paced technology company and who holds as one of his top priorities, regular one-to-ones with each member of his management team. He knows that by engaging in dedicated conversation with them he hears what they need from him and he can fully engage with what’s working or not working effectively throughout his team. Bill doesn’t need a survey to confirm if his team is engaged. He sees and hears it for himself.

People leaders and decision-makers might profit hugely from appreciating, understanding and actively practising the nuances of engaged listening as we have come to know them through our third IAC Coaching Mastery®. People will naturally engage with you when they feel listened to and truly heard, and when they experience a leader who engages with them and their needs. When, in the most magical of coaching moments, the client leaves having experienced a great conversation, it is undoubtedly because both coach and client have been fully present to, and engaged with each other and with the possibilities the conversation has revealed. It has been an active two-way experience of engaging: the coach will engage fully with the client’s needs, desires, challenges and the client will engage fully with the questions being asked by the coach and with their own reflections and deeper self-understanding as they answer them.

 True engagement is more than something to be surveyed, measured and turned into a set of statistics or an annual report. It is an essential practice for all leaders wishing to inspire and be inspired in the mutual experience of people working together, learning from each other, and stepping into the untapped levels of possibility they might create for themselves, for each other and for their organisation.

 Like that other life-long commitment made when two people mutually choose to create a future together, true engagement takes two.


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. .  My latest book is Asking Great Questions, an essential companion for every leader.  Start a conversation with me at ” 

“Getting Engaged With Your Clients”

“Getting Engaged With Your Clients”

“Comprometerse con sus clientes”


by Terry Lipovski, BA, CMC |certified executive coach | speaker coach

IMG1ENGEngagement.pngA while back I noticed some of my coaching clients were multitasking during our phone and video coaching sessions. Did they think I couldn’t hear them typing? Upon honest reflection, I realized that I was a big part of the problem. I started to wonder what I could do differently to set a more engaging stage for my clients.

 IAC Coaching Masteries® #1 is Establishing and Maintaining a Relationship of Trust. Most people agree that clients will Trust us more when others see our Competence, such as an IAC® Certification. However, there is another, equally important aspect to the Trust puzzle that is often overlooked: Character. Does my client know that I care about them? Am I transparent and do I exemplify integrity? I decided to invest more time learning even more about my clients than just their Goals and Objectives. I learned to intentionally take more time asking questions about their history, their families and their leisure activities. This helps create a better bond that is foundational to engagement.

 IAC Coaching Masteries®  #7 is Helping the Client Set and Keep Clear Intentions. I always knew that having a high emotional investment was important. However, upon reflection I knew that I could get deeper into the Goal Setting conversations to help my clients build the motivational courage needed to overcome resistance to change and stay more engaged in the process of getting there. Now, when a client says they want to achieve something, I drill down and sideways much more than I ever did. For example, if my client wants to become a VP, I might ask why this important and how their life, and the lives of others would benefit. This elicits strong and lasting positive emotion that is a result of exploring how their Goals align with their Authentic Purpose.

 IAC Coaching Masteries® #3 is Engaged Listening and IAC Coaching Masteries®  #4 is Processing In The Present. At some point It dawned on me that I need to demonstrate my full engagement if I hope to see them engaged as well. I stopped taking notes during sessions (listening to record) and instead focused my full concentration on what is being said verbally, non-verbally, and what is not said. I now write session notes after the call.

 IAC Coaching Masteries® #2 is Perceiving, Affirming and Mastering The Client’s Potential. I am now far more intentional about identifying the potential abilities that my clients can tap into. I remind them of overlooked strengths that would lead them to innovate in new ways, because growth happens at the edge of our comfort zones.

 Much to my surprise, I rarely hear the sound of keyboard typing anymore during my coaching sessions. With deeper Trust,  Purpose-based Goal Setting, Mindful Listening and encouragement for Innovative Efforts, I have found that my clients are more motivated by their goals and are much more deeply engaged in our journey.



Terry Lepovski BA, CMC is an Executive Coach and Speaking Coach based in Ottawa, the National Capital of Canada.  With over 15 years of coaching leaders and TEDx Speakers, Terry is the President of Ubiquity Leadership Coaching, Author of the eBook Quotes For Leaders and the Host of the Inspiring Leaders Podcast on iTunes.

Expand positivity! How?

Expand positivity! How? by Martha Pasternack
JAN6ENG.pngThe science of physics tells us that opposites attract. Positive attracts negative and visa versa. Positive thinking can open our minds, lighten our hearts and brighten our days. Negative thinking can color the world gray, spoil spontaneity, and deliver the one-two punch of hopelessness and helplessness. It is not either or. These two rely on each other, mysteriously sometimes. Most of us have experienced the powers of negative and positive thinking and how they can affect our attitude for the day. It can be subtle, joyful or outright debilitating. 

Even when our clients enthusiastically come to the coaching relationship declaring readiness to positively effect change in their lives, negativity sometimes surfaces thereby dominating, and thus frustrating, efforts to change. How can we support our clients when this happens?

Suggesting that they “See the cup as half full”, “Look for the silver lining behind a dark cloud”, or “Look on the bright side” are clever thoughts yet, in my experience, our thoughts do not create reality. Our attitude does. So then, how can we support our clients’ attitude? I have a few ideas. See what you think. When we listen carefully to what our clients complain about, we gain insight into their negative thinking. Encouraging an “Attitude of gratitude” expands possibility and positivity for them. When we listen deeply to what our clients say about their self-worth and self-esteem, we gain insight into their experience of their lives thus far. Pointing out opportunities to appreciate their achievements, and the wisdom gained from their experience, expands potential and positivity. When we listen without judgment to their intentions we can help to clarify and simplify those intentions and where they can expand by opening to positive support. Think IAC Coaching Mastery® number 7. 

This Coaching Mastery®, with the other 8 IAC Coaching Masteries®, provides a map to the treasure we may call a positive attitude. 

In my opinion, it is not realistic to think that life will ever be without negative thoughts. What is realistic is that how the attitude with which one responds to both negative and positive experience can, if we allow it, color one’s day, bring hope and empowerment, love and creativity into the mix. 

Better yet, when positivity and negativity can lock arms at the elbows and walk together as companions, life is complete and colorful. It is called attitude. We can help our clients open to the vision of a cloud with a silver lining. 

But wait, there’s more. Part and parcel to being a professional life coach is “walking the talk” and “practicing what we preach”. In other words, masterful life coaches do what we suggest others do. 

How do you, integrate gratitude, clear intention, your attitude of possibility, your positive and your negative thoughts into your daily life? The extent to which you do that is the extent to which you will be able to empower your clients to do the same.

Whether you think you can 


Whether you think you can’t

You’re right.”

Attributed to several people, most commonly Henry Ford.





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.

What drives Positivity?

What drives Positivity? by Monica Siu


When it comes to positivity, people tends to mix up pleasure, positive emotion and happiness.   

Pleasure – is what we gain if we give our body what it needs right now.  You will gain pleasure while we are given food while being hungry, given water while being thirsty or a warm and cozy bed while being cold and sleepy.   In other words, pleasure tells us what our body needs physically now.

Positive emotions on the other hand, tells us what we need mentally and emotionally.  There are 10 positive emotions that are central to one’s sense of well-being, according to Dr. Barbara Fredrickson, they are Joy, Gratitude, Serenity, Interest, Hope, Pride, Amusement, Inspiration, Awe and Love.

Dr. Fredrickson found out that positive emotions have a ‘broaden-and-build’ effect on people.  It broadens our scope of attention, cognition, and actions.  When one’s cognitive scope is widened, this enables a broader exploration of the world and oneself more possible.   If positive emotion increases day by day, will drive one to

  1. Find more meaning and purpose in life
  2. receive more social support
  3. Be more attuned to the give and take of people
  4. Feel  Less pain\aches
  5. Attain mindful awareness of the present moment
  6. Foster more positive relations with others
  7. Feel more effective of what they do
  8. Savour the good things in your community
  9. See more possible solution to problems

In short, this broadening effects make people think broadly, deepen social bonds, enhance social skills and greater optimism (Fredrickson, 1998, 2003).  

Happiness is the outcome of many positive emotions which affects how we feel from day to day that build our resources and make a better version of self.   When we keep feeling happy, we are feeling satisfied with life and functioning well in it for example, learning, growing, make contribution to society.  This is a state of flourishing.  

If we want to help our coachee increase positivity and subsequently reach a state of flourishing through our coaching sessions, it is a good idea to know what the positivity ratio is and how to prioritize positivity.  

Based on Marcial Losada’s mathematical model of group behavior, Crucial Tipping Point for flourishment is 3 (positive emotion) to 1 (negative emotion).    Teams above this ratio exhibited better connectivity whereas teams below this ratio exhibited limited performance.  This is what we called the 3-to-1 Positivity Ratio.  This is a mathematical counterpart of Fredrickson’s ‘broaden-and’\-build’ theory.  Highly performing Team (HPT, with ratio over 3-to-1) exhibited greater openness to new ideas (i.e. broadening), and more connectivity between team members, success and greater resiliency (i.e. building of social resources).    Highly flourishing and resilient people has ratio like 4-to-1 to 5-to-1.    This provides a very important avenue of practical strategies to increase positivity.  

The research shows that frequency, rather than intensity, of emotion matters.   So more frequent but mild emotion helps uplift the spirit of a person than infrequent but more intense emotion.     On the other hand, being too positive may bring down the power of creativity because creativity needs a problem and then work on it.  In short, creativity, resilience, flourishing requires both negativity and positivity.

One of the tools to increase positivity is to prioritize circumstances that lead people to experience more positive emotions every day which is called   Prioritizing Positivity by Dr. Frederick.  For example, to be more flourishing, one can set priority to experience happiness in everyday life.    If one sets aside some small amount of time inside and outside of work to do something that makes him feel positive, this helps keep his positivity steady day by day.  

When it comes to which masteries promote both positive emotions and subsequently sense of happiness in a coaching conversation, IAC Coaching Masteries® #1, #2, #8 and #9 count.    If one feels unsafe and insecure, one will have far fewer positive emotion.  So establishing and maintaining a relationship of trust is always fundamental in a coaching conversation.     IAC Coaching Masteries®  #2 encourages or empowers the coachee through, for example, reminding the coachee of his or her capabilities, strengths, talents, knowledge and experience.  Positive emotion like hope, pride, and inspiration will be created subsequently.  When 3-to-1 Positivity Ratio is reached or exceeded in a coaching conversation, the coachee will further open up and become even more forthcoming.   This drives coachee to explore and discover more possibilities (IAC Coaching Masteries® #8), be it the coachee’s internal possibilities (for example, personal greatness, higher purpose) or external possibilities (for example, resources and memes).  To prioritize positivity day by day, IAC Coaching Masteries®  #9 helps coachee build or utilize more effectively the supportive systems and structures, and gain more positive emotions along the road while moving towards his\her goal.    

Fellow coaches, any more mastery or comment you would like to add?   I encourage you to share your opinion and we all discuss and develop together.

Reference: Fredrickson, B. L. (2009). Positivity. New York: Three Rivers Press

VOICE_bio_imagesMonicaSui.pngMonica Siu: 

Executive and Career Coach, Column Writer, and Facilitator

President of IAC Hong Kong Chapter,

Master Masteries Coach, MBA, BA (Hons).


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