Coach Credentialing and How to Get Your ACC with the ICF

Almost ten years ago, I decided that I wanted to become a professional coach. Working in leadership and human resource roles for some of Canada’s largest employers in the financial services sector gave me many opportunities to coach people. I learned that I loved being a coach — aka a strategic thinking partner and an impartial, confidential, accountability advocate. 

Want to be a coach?

While still working full-time for my employer and with their consent, I attended coach training (on my own time and dime). Back then, the International Coaching Federation (ICF) was not as well known as the global leader and gold standard for professional coaches. I received my first coaching certification from an organization whose training was not recognized by the ICF. 

So I started again and took more coach training. This time, I found a training program that would check all the important boxes in order to meet my coaching goals. 

As of the date of this post, I am awaiting a decision from the ICF regarding my application to be recognized as a Professional Certified Coach (PCC)

If you are looking to become a professional coach certified with the ICF, I invite you to continue reading. 

Over the years, I have learned a great deal about coach training, mentor coaching, and the ICF.

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The First Coaching Tip in 2021

Welcome to 2021!

Well, wasn’t that an interesting year?

It stretched you, might have frustrated you and it may have revealed more of you.

In the face of an unexpected life twists, three groups of people show up: Innovators, Managers and Resistors

Each group plays an important part. You will have experienced each of these roles this year. Some for short periods of time and some for long periods with a lot of slipping back and forth between them.

Let’s bring your focus to the three roles we all can experience in this coming year.

There will be Pacesetters, Leaders, and Influencers.

The innovators can shift to be the Pacesetters
The Managers can shift to be the Leaders
The Resistors can shift to be Influencers

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Seven Questions You Need Answered Before Signing Up for a Coach Training Program

The following are questions you should ask any coaching company you are considering partnering with for your Coach Training to become an ICF Credentialed Coach...

What are the credentials of the coach facilitators who are delivering the program?
Ask for the experience and confirm the credentials of the coach facilitators who will be taking part in your training. Invest some time to speak to the people behind the program you are considering.

Is the program schedule convenient? Does it offer flexibility?
Can you do the program from home or on a laptop from anywhere or do you need to be physically present at a facility? What happens if you can’t make a session? Can you make it up or is there a replay?

Does the program have a good reputation?

Do they have an abundance of testimonials? Ask them if it’s possible to speak with one of their graduates? Are their trainers ICF credentialed? Search the internet to see what people are saying about them online.

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10+1 Things you need when dealing with a Crisis

This list of 10+1 important considerations when Coaching Through Crisis is presented as a mindful guide you can put in practice today.

Reset your coaching agreement. Align to the new conditions.

In the coaching relationship we have an agreement.  We have an agreement in terms of what we're going to talk about. We have a formal agreements for payment. There's also a subtle coaching agreement, which simply says "what are we working on together?  What's the focus of our conversation? What are the outcomes? How are we going to measure our success? Now is a really good time to realign those those coaching agreements by having a conversation with each one of your clients to align to a new set of conditions and continue to align as conditions change.

Shift their fear to facts – Ask: What do you know for sure?

It's real easy to focus on the fear because it's available - the shift we need is to move from fear to facts. A powerful question to ask is "What do we know for sure?" We know we have this fear somebody might get ill. What are we know for sure is they are not sick today.  We know for sure if they're taking precautions today. We know for sure is that they're isolating and they're following the instructions that's what we know for sure. A grounding in reality of what you know. What's the truth of today? What's the what's the truth in the moment.

For example, on a virtual walk with a client, who was at about 10,000 feet in terms of stress and frustration and overwhelm and work -- for the forty minutes all the focus on that one question. "What do we know for sure?" The client started out unsure but you keep circling back to that question. By the time we were done with our virtual walk, they felt they knew where I'm going. They had very good clarity. Fear facts replace fear very very substantially.

Fully listen for the context. Listen for what is missing.

One of the core skills of any coach any manager and hopefully any parent is the ability to listen. In coaching we call it listening for context. The adage that only 7% of what we say in words is what's communicated and the rest, the other 93%, is nonverbal and tone. It's really important to listen to the context of the conversations that are happening, particularly in this kind of crisis situation. You listen for what is missing. If they normally talk about their work, kids, or goals and aspirations and today they're not. That is a powerful observation that you can make and bring to their attention. Really fully listening to the context of what's happening of their mood.

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Team-Building – What Works?

Team-building exercises are historically hit-or-miss endeavors. In most workplaces, when people hear that management has planned some team-building, employees’ reactions will range from active defiance

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