Recently in IAC Certification Category
The highly anticipated time had come. Nine coaches from the Hong Kong IAC Chapter spent a weekend on an intensive practicum retreat to pursue the certification challenge. We hired Coach Bonnie Chan (IAC-CC and IAC Hong Kong chapter leader) as our mentor coach to support us on this journey. She picked the venue: the Agile Changjiang Hotel Resort & Golf Course in Zhong Shan, located on the southern part of the Pearl River Delta in Guangdong Province, China, about a 90-minute ferry ride from Hong Kong. The facility was lovely. We felt like were on a holiday getaway. I think this helped set the scene and mood for our group to experience relaxation, fun and loads of learning ahead!
We met once before the retreat so we could get an idea of what would happen. And as the discussions evolved over the weekend, I sensed the positive energy of the group filled with openness for sharing, interactions and feedback.
Through this intensive mentor and group coaching practicum we enjoyed the beauty of the Masteries and the art of masterful coaching. We were also learning more about the IAC and the road to certification. We practiced—and practiced more—with each other as we took turns being coach, coachee and observer. For many of us, it was the first time making session recordings—quite mind-boggling for the technically-challenged. It took courage to listen to those recordings and to be critiqued openly in a group. But the debriefings as well as the individual consultation with Coach Bonnie made it all worth while. (Read more about planning your own coaching retreat here.)
This group process helped each of us to explore our coaching uniqueness. We shared our favourite coaching questions. We identified our intended target markets and specialized areas of coaching like women executives, leadership coaching, transitional coaching and spiritual coaching. On a deeper level, we shared learning experiences such as greater self discovery, the powers of appreciation and expansion of client’s potential—which are all keys to empowerment.
We all had a glimpse of what masterful coaching is about. It seems light yet deep, and shifts are achievable within a short time. The most effective coaching at this higher level seems effortless and powerful.
As the retreat drew to an end, we as a group were more inspired, more confident of our knowledge and what we are able to achieve. The goal of IAC certification seems closer and more reachable now. With support from each other and our mentor coach, we know that our coaching journey will continue with greater enthusiasm, passion and success!
Lorraine Lee is passionate about coaching and supporting people to be the best they can be in all areas of their life. She is a personal and professional development coach who works with a diverse range of managers and professionals. Lorraine is also a voluntary coach to undergraduate students transitioning into the workplace. Lorraine can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Tips from Coach Bonnie Chan, IAC-CC
Mentor Coach for the Hong Kong coaches’ gathering
(article from IAC VOICE April issue)
Group coaching in few days' intensive retreat workshop—out of town and away from normal business—creates powerful energy and interactions that can naturally enhance learning ability. It seems to be a particularly accessible way for groups of non-English speaking coaches.
- Use the online data base of IAC coaches to find members in your area who might get together for this kind of extensive program.
- Find a mentor coach to guide the process or use the Masteries themselves to plan the activities for self-development and to grow in the coaching profession.
- Treat the certification as an advanced learning process; the IAC-CC will come as the side effect for your focus and effort.
- Plan for weekly follow-up meetings to get ready for Part 2.
You can reach Coach Bonnie Chan on line at email@example.com.
(Article from Lynne Klippel, Editor, 'Creating What Matters' firstname.lastname@example.org )
1. Andrea, why are you bothering with certification?
Well, lately I've been coming into contact with a lot of people with M.A.'s and Ph.D's and I guess I'm a little jealous of all those great letters they have after their names. :-)
It's true that on the face of it, it might seem like I don't need certification. I'm delighted at the change and growth I'm able to support in my clients, without the piece of paper. But there are actually two main reasons and a few little reasons I've decided to go for it now:
My sense is that one day soon, we're going to look back at this moment as a really significant tipping point for coaching. The upswell of awareness of coaching is quite extraordinary. The word coaching is being used to represent increasing numbers of things in the mainstream culture, and becoming embedded in the greater consciousness.
At the same time, I think of it as a tipping point because I foresee there will be a moment when, after all this 'coaching, coaching, coaching' hubbub reaches a saturation point, a pointed question is going to emerge from that same mainstream -- just what IS this coaching thing we've been spouting on about, anyway!?
I may end up being wrong, but my feeling is when that question bubbles up, those of us who coach for a living need to take a stand for what it actually is, in a back to basics sense. (By back to basics, I mean things like the IAC's Coaching Masteries? or the ICF's Core Competencies.)
So that's the one of the big reasons I'm pursuing certification; I want to be unequivocally ready to answer that question 'what is coaching, really?' when the mainstream is ready to ask, and whatever credibility, strengthening of my foundation, etc. I can bring to bear in that conversation, I absolutely want. I want to be equipped to take a stand when it's needed, does that make sense?
2. Do you think everyone should pursue certification?
No, I don't. But I do think it's important for each coach to consider the question more than once in their career. As the seasons of your life change, you may discover you value the idea of certification as a way of giving back to your profession, whereas a few years before, you couldn't give a hoot.
However. I think people in leadership positions within the coaching arena should seriously consider certification. They might not ultimate receive certification - heck I may not be successful - but I feel it's important for them to have pursued it or at least to have studied coaching skills.
3. For people considering certification or trying for certification, what suggestions do you have?
I'll be the first person to admit: the idea of the certification process used to give me a headache. Well, maybe it still does in certain ways. It took a bit of a personal breakthrough for me to be able to reframe it. So although I recommend you take advice about getting certification from qualified Mentor Coaches, my suggestion is this: try to make it a game.
You know, like the game of 'how many baskets can you score' or 'can you keep up this pace on the treadmill for another 32 seconds.' It's helped me a LOT to view the certification itself as a byproduct. For that to happen I had to discover the intrinsic value of the process of certification, as opposed to those letters.
And that's the second major reason I'll be submitting my tapes in the next couple months. I enjoy a challenge.
Like most coaches, I thrive on stretching myself and this is a great little game to set for myself. And, I certainly tend to be a divergent thinker, so the perversity of not being sure if I'll qualify for certification is a good exercise in letting go of control. I'm enjoying that, and if you can find a way to enjoy it too, I think you'll find you can add 'Get Certified' to your list of projects for the year with equanimity.
4. How are you preparing for the exam and the tape submission? Do you have a process you're following?
Initially, I had a few missteps. I have a few very long-standing clients who are straight talkers. In one coaching session, I actually had the client interrupt me to say 'Is everything alright Andrea, you seem like you're -- you sound odd today.'
I realized I was committing one of the *top* mistakes Mentor Coaches talk about - trying way too hard. Sounding like I knew my coaching was being measured. In a word: YUCK. Right?
So I'd describe my process as an immersion process. I try to soak in as much coaching as possible. Listen in on other people's coaching. Relisten to fabulous coaching occurring on old TeleClasses. In fact, I've spent quite a bit of time listening back to my own coaching sessions. (The side benefit is how deep I'm able to get with the client's energy patterns, etc.) This immersing works best for me because it's in the background and doesn't interfere with my live coaching time. Believe me, once is enough for me to have been caught out like that with a client!
When as person practices scales and arpeggios time and again on the piano, it has a very beneficial effect on the way they're able to play Beethoven's Ninth, right? That seems logical.
And when a person observes great ballroom dancing, that too has an intangible but definite positive impact on their own ballroom dancing. Are you with me? It's just true, isn't it?
I guess the bottom line here is I figure some things can be taught, other things are best 'caught.' Setting up a system where I listen to CDs and MP3s several times a week helps me be my most natural self when in coaching sessions.
Yep. This is what works for me, more so than buddy groups or triads, or working 1-on-1 with a mentor coach for certification. Up the ante on daily exposure to great coaching and practice with intention.
5. Why are you pursuing IAC certification not ICF certification?
I'm getting asked this a lot. My intention is to pursue certification from both of these Coaching Associations. However, to answer the question that's usually between the lines here, I'm pursuing the IAC-CC designation first because it fits more closely with my belief system. For the same reason, my guess is that it's more likely I'll be successful in achieving IAC certification versus ICF certification.
Just what do I mean by 'it fits with my belief system?' The IAC process that's based solely on merit. You're skill and talent at coaching, measured against their criteria. There isn't a requirement for a number of hours coached or training hours undertaken.
Put it to you this way - I skipped kindergarten and as a result, graduated from college at the tender age of 20, going on 21. Based on aptitude and a whole lot of other blessings, I was able to take leap forward. Or maybe I should say a baby step forward. ;-)
I like the idea of a civilization that's build on merit and that rewards for talent. I'm happy at the thought of people surpassing milestones and going for more. And I'm the kind of coach that really encourages flexible thinking and quantum (sometimes illogical-seeming) breakthroughs. Breakthroughs, in my experience, don't have anything to do with the number of hours involved.
6. Is there a financial benefit to getting a coaching certification?
Absolutely yes. I couldn't say the same thing 5 years ago with confidence, but now, definitely yes. There is a lot of money being spent by organizations who want to hire coaches with ICF certification.
Non-ICF certified coaches cannot even apply.
My hope is IAC certification will come to represent tremendous value to the marketplace as well, and gradually IAC-CC becomes a hiring criteria. That's in fact another reason I'm pursuing it. I'd like to lend it credibility as much as I can. If I have it, I earn the right to be a good proponent of it.
7. You are doing this in such a public manner. Are you worried about failing?
Actually no. I remember when my mother told me "It's good you failed your first driver's exam Andrea; now you'll be a safer driver."
One of the biggest gifts of getting in the game of getting a certification is asking myself to step up to the plate. Having a reason to be an even more objective witness of how well I'm serving my clients.
The only downside of not achieving the certification is probably the fact that there may be one or more future nuggets in Creating What Matters about the whole experience. We'll keep the unsubscribe links handy though, so it should be alright. ;-)
source: www.multiplestreamsteam.com by Lynne Klippel, Editor, 'Creating What Matters'