Becoming an MCC isn’t always easy. That may seem like an obvious statement, but allow me to clarify exactly why that is so.
To be recognized as a Master Certified Coach means serious business. And it means that this credential has been earned by displaying the caliber and quality of Master Level Coaching.
In other words, the bar is high. Not only that, but Master Coaching can be a little tricky to identify and define. It’s not something that works too well with “I’ll know it when I see it”, which is true. But if we’re expected to perform at that level, then we need to know how to clearly identify and trust that Master Level Coaching.
So although I felt confident about my coaching skills, I knew also that I needed to continue to refine and improve and grow. And in order for me to learn what that was like, I was going to have to immerse myself and engage with other Master Coaches.
There were a few reasons for this.
- A common practice for personal growth, development and success is to surround yourself with those who are where you want to be. This way, you’ll begin to think, feel and act like them. (And if you act like them, and do the same things they do to get their results, then you’ll get the same results. At least that’s how it works in theory. And in fact, it does work that way, to an extent.)
- If you want to get better at any sport, you play with people who are at that higher level. They’ll naturally challenge you to step up and grow and play a bigger and better game.
- I also have a skill of being able to analyze and articulate and figure out how and why things work. So by watching these Master Coaches in action I was able to discover what it was they were doing, not just the recipe or strategy, but the deeper context or focus and skill they were using that made the difference between the kind of coaching they were doing and what I was doing. Rather than just, being amazed and impressed and “Oh, they’re so good.” I wanted to know WHY they were so good, and what they were doing that was different.
I discovered something pretty powerful. Yes, I realize you may read this and say “Duh, how obvious” but actually, when I pass this insight along to other coaches, it’s not always so obvious. At least not until it’s voiced.
You see, I realized that these awesome, incredible and amazing coaches were utilizing the very same skills that I had learned—the same techniques and methods and approaches and exercises that I acquired in my training—, and yet, their execution, connection and impact—the performance of their coaching—was completely different.
I engaged in exciting and engaging and sometimes provocative conversations with these Master Coaches, sharing what I was discovering and gauging their reactions and taking in their responses. I found out many of them—although recognized at Master Coaches—weren’t able to clearly articulate to me how they were doing what they were doing. At best they would provide some sort of formula. “I always ask this question in the beginning,” or, “I always use this process,” or “I never end a call this way.”
I found these to be “unreliable” and “conditional” strategies—you know, the “just do this” approach that “works every time”… except when it doesn’t. And true enough, I would try exactly what they would suggest and found that sometimes it did work, and sometimes it didn’t, depending on the client, the topic, the relationship, the situation and the moment.
My frustration continued to grow because these formula approaches just didn’t sound like Master Coaching to me.
To me, Master Coaching is about more than just tricks and applications that “work”, it’s about how you are showing up, connecting, revealing yourself and how you are in relationship with the client. It’s not about having perfect coaching, but how you handle it when the obstacles occur, how to adjust and adapt to the unexpected and how to embrace “I don’t know.”
And anyway, when I tried those “MCC” techniques and they did work, I felt like I was forcing my method or agenda on the client. And that didn’t feel like Master Coaching either.
Clearly much of what I was hearing from others was a simple case of “I’m a Master coach. And this is how I coach. So therefore this is what master coaching is. And if you do it my way, you’ll be doing Master Coaching.” But again, that doesn’t work for me—mainly because I’m not them.
But instead of dismissing these strategies because they didn’t work for me, I got more curious to go deeper and explore why their methods worked when they did, and how they worked with their clients. And more importantly, why they didn’t work in other circumstances and what was getting in the way. If I could unlock that stuff, I knew then I could utilize that deeper information to help me discover my own version of Master Coaching.
And the more I explored, the more I discovered. The more I discovered, the more I learned. And the more I learned, the more my Inner MasterFull Coach grew—taking shape, getting color, growing louder and stronger and more confident.
I converted everything I was learning and discovering into myself
And all of this learning and discovery was not only helping me grow, but I was funneling it back to the coaches I was working with—either as their coach, or in my MasterFull Coaching class, which became a great platform to test and workshop my own coaching theories and approaches and make sure that was I was working on was “unconditional” and “reliable” coaching approaches—in other words, I could use with any client, with any situation, and any obstacle that occurs in my coaching. To me, that was Master Coaching.
All the while, I was staying on my path, keeping rigorous track of my coaching hours, made sure I had all my training certificates in order.
Finally came the day when I felt I was ready to submit. I sent off my application and was then instructed to send in two recordings of my coaching (that requirement has since changed).
All this time, my journey had basically been kept my own secret—only sharing my quest with those who were immediately a part of my growth and development. Now it was time to reveal to the rest of the world of what I was up to, because I was going to need clients to help me get some good recordings. (Many of my current clients are coaches in training, and require more like a Mentoring/Teaching experience.)
And once it was “out there” there was no turning back.
(The journey continues… and it’s a pretty exciting one. Get all of them and more with my free access membership “Get Good Stuff” at Freebies and downloads and forms, OH MY!)