Tools for Coaching Mastery

The calendar
as a coaching structure
by Andrea Lee

Though a lot is made of the end or
beginning of a calendar year, funnily enough not much is made of the halfway
point, where we are right now. And yet, isn’t that one of the trickiest spots
along the trajectory of any project, or even life? That big fat middle of the
bell curve, where the data is the least clear. Perhaps the dreaded sophomore
year at college, where the going gets tough, and many students drop out. Or
even, of course, the mid-life crisis, now said to span as early as the thirties
– "early middle" – to the fifties – "late bloomers."

Perhaps it’s a rather unorthodox tool for
coaching mastery, but I’m of the opinion that sometimes the best things are the
simple ones staring us in the face. As the poet Rumi puts it, it is troublesome
to ask a fish about the existence of the sea. Perhaps one of the most simple and
abiding tools that Mentor Coach Barbra Sundquist helped me learn was the power
of the calendar, and even the seasons, to become a dynamic force in my life – a
support environment that buoys me up like the salt in the sea. And of course, as
soon as I learned that, I was happy to pass it along to my clients.

It’s no surprise then to notice that
Barbra also leverages support structures like membership sites to support
coaches to achieve Certified Coach status, or that she so carefully crafted a
structured home-study program that takes each mastery one step at a time, ever

Truth be told, out of all of them, I find
IAC Coaching Mastery #9 the most difficult to manifest. Is "Helping the client
create and use supportive systems and structures" the last mastery for a reason?
I can’t say. But I do know that focussing on it has helped.

As of July 1, 2009, we have an opportunity
to raise the grain on the mid-point of the year with our clients, and perhaps
choose to highlight the calendar as a support system.

Is the middle a challenging spot in the
lives of you or your clients? How or how not?

In what way might you be leveraging key
moments on the calendar into coaching conversations, programs, or

Are you confident in your ability to speak
to supportive structures? Just because it’s the last mastery, let's not leave it
to last to mastery, alright?


The Coaching By Example 9-CD Series
features 55 audio tracks of demo coaching and commentary with Mentor Coach and
former IAC certifying examiner Barbra Sundquist. To find out more about how the
CD series can be a support structure on your journey to IAC-CC certification,
click here: And for your IAC member
discount, log
your IAC member page and scroll down to the new member benefit.

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