Tools for Coaching Mastery

This column is provided by an IAC Coaching Masteries®-Licensed School or Mentor.

Be Playful with the Masteries
by Bonnie Chan, MCC (IAC)

To develop mastery of something requires many hours of deliberate practice. Imagine how many hours of deliberate practice are required to develop all nine of IAC's Coaching Masteries®. By my calculations, each Mastery requires over 1,000 hours x 9 = over 9,000 hours. There is an old Chinese idiom that says: "易學難精," which means, "Easy to learn and difficult to master." I believe this is the best way to describe the Masteries.

I entered the keyword of Mastery #1, "trust," into Google Scholar (Google's academic search engine) and the result was 2,100,000 items. It may take me a year to do a complete literature review on the topic. Does that mean it will take nine years to learn all nine Masteries?

This can make the Masteries seem like a lot of work.

At the recent IAC-sponsored coaching conference in Malaysia, I discussed a playful method to learn the nine Masteries. It has worked well for me and I hope it works well for you.

STEP 1: Blogging for 365 days

Try to write approximately 150 words every day about any of the Masteries. Use the key words of the Mastery as a prompt, such as "trust", "establishing trust," "maintaining trust" or "a trusting relationship." It will be interesting to observe how you perceive trust because that will reflect in your coaching sessions. If you work evenly, at the end of six months you will have about 20 short descriptions on each Mastery. Have more fun with it by doing this with a group of coaches, reading and commenting on each other's blog posts.

STEP 2: Inter-weaving the Masteries

I believe that each of the Masteries do not just stand alone in the coaching session, but inter-weave with each other for masterful effects. Try to play this game and get new insights on the nine Masteries. For example, putting trust into the client’s potential leads to discovery; listening to the client’s expressing leads to engagement, and so on. Playing with these elements enrich your understanding and embrace your connection with the Masteries.

Trust + Potential = Discovery
Trust + Listening = Engagement
Trust + Presence =
Trust + Expressing =
Trust + Clarity =
Trust + Intention =
Trust + Possibility =
Trust + Support =

Be playful with the Masteries!


Bonnie Chan, MCC (IAC), is an Executive Coach with The Silk Road Partnership. Bonnie believes coaching builds a "People First" culture in organizations and that enables well mind, well business and well earth.

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