(This is Part 5 of a larger series chronicling my MCC journey–preparation, success, failures and everything else in-between. It will be an exclusive access to the higher Membership level, “MasterFull Access” which also includes monthly Master Class Webinars, CCEUs and excluisive special MCCecrets videos. You can go here for more information, and to lock in your membership status today at a special discounted entry price.)
Part of the process to submit for my MCC is that I needed to take an “exam”, as it were to demonstrate my coaching level and skill. This consisted of providing a couple of recordings to showcase my coaching for the ICF to evaluative.
Proud of my new venture, excited for the journey and convinced this would be an easy slam-dunk, I boldly went out on Facebook to announce to all the coaches I knew my new endeavor. “This is it,” I declared! “I’m finally going for my MCC.” And followed my announcement with a call for help and support. [LESSON: ask for help and support. You don’t have to do it alone. Not only was it literally true in this case—cause I needed someone to coach—but it was also a wonderful way to get support and cheering.]
The response was wonderful (after all, you’d be amazed how people just want to help—you just need to ask [SEE ABOVE LESSON]). As I had hoped, coaches who had been following me over the years through my calls and newsletters and stuff all came running to my aid, offering themselves as clients (after all, who wouldn’t want awesome MCC-level coaching, right?). It was fun scheduling the calls, and even more fun doing the actual coaching. (It’s also great practice to work with new “clients” with new problems to keep your muscles fresh. UPDATE: Looking back, I realize that it would have been much more beneficial if I had reached out to non-coaches (normal people) to serve as my client. The growth and practice is much deeper, and also very real. I will say that the recordings I submitted I made sure were real people, working on their real—and non-coaching-issues.)
However (and this is something that I teach in my class), it’s important to remember that when you know someone will be listening to the recording and evaluating your “performance”, it’s all too common to suddenly have that self-awareness kick in.
Yes. Even though I’d been coaching for almost 11 years, and I’m something like “Mr. Coach”, and I train coaches with Advanced coaching techniques. I still fall into this trap. It’s a common experience that we all experience, especially when we’re being evaluated by something that’s important to us. We want to be sure we’re “doing it right.” Unfortunately, when we shift our attention to “doing it right” then we’re not really being with the client in a good coaching way.
Hence the problem.
On the good side, I knew from my teaching and experience that if I just do these “coaching exam demonstration” calls a few times, I’ll begin to get used to the “performance/evaluation” factor and will be able to coach with a better focus.
Such was the case. Sure, the first few were a little self-conscious, but by the third or fourth call, my coaching began to re-find its groove. [LESSON: the more you become familiar with the experience and the environment, the less uncomfortable it becomes. And the less uncomfortable you are, the more you are able to shine.]
Once I accumulated a number of recordings it was time to go through them and review to see which ones would be usable. There were some that I instantly ruled out as unusable. Although it might have been good coaching, it wasn’t something that would be appropriate to send to ICF for review. If I was going to be reviewed by ICF, I needed to be sure that I was including all the elements that they would be looking for: the 11 Core Competencies.
I didn’t expect it to be so hard to review my calls—each of them sounding awesome and wonderful. I don’t mean to sound ego-filled, of course there were spots here and there that might be a little sticky, but overall it’s just wonderful to witness good coaching. And even more exciting when you’re the one doing it. However, to be sure, I allowed myself a little distance of time so that I could hopefully review the content a little more objectively.
I waited until a month passed after the calls so I would hopefully not remember the content and conversation so clearly. But even then, while listening, the “coach within” would hear the client say something and start to ask a question, only to hear me ask the same question as the listener/evaluator.
Clearly I was doing something right if I was going the same direction twice (yes, I will concede my ego was doing a lot of talking).
But as “brilliant” as these calls seemed to be, I will also admit that while listening to them, I could also hear certain things that didn’t work. I was able to look more objectively at the coaching through the Core Competencies.
Looking back, I wish I had done what I so highly recommend and with other coaches ask of me—send some recordings to be evaluated and reviewed by a third party.
But again my ego got in the way.
“Come on. You’re a teacher of coaches. Not only that, but you teach coaching Mastery, right?”
“Well, actually, I refer to it as MasterFull Coaching.”
“Well, not really. There is actually a difference.”
“Whatever, but it’s top-level advanced coaching stuff that you teach, right?”
“And this is content and learning and skill stuff that you pretty much discovered on your own, right?”
“All that exploring and conversations and studying and deepening that you do. Let’s face it, you’ve really discovered some amazing stuff that other coaches don’t know and need to know.”
“Well, sure, but…”
“And let’s not forget that you don’t coach like anyone else. You’re not by the book. That’s part of Mastery, right?”
“Well, sometimes, but…”
“So wouldn’t it be awesome if you did this all by yourself, the first time out? You would really show them all. What a boost it would be to your business.”
“Of course. Think about it. You can then say, ‘This is how I became an MCC. I did it my way.’”
“Yeah, isn’t that a Frank Sinatra song?”
“Just go with me, here. You got this, man. You don’t need anyone else’s evaluation. You know all this stuff.”
“Um, I guess so.”
Now, I’m sure you can see where this is going.
[Remember that lesson I pointed out at the beginning of this section? “You don’t have to do it alone.”? Yes, it’s one thing to know it, but a whole ‘nother thing to actually do it. Which points us to another LESSON: Knowing and Doing aren’t the same thing. Only New Actions create New Results. However, you can’t have new Actions without New Knowing. New Knowing is great, but it can’t just stop there and stay in your head. You have to follow through with action. Just stopping at the knowing (and talking about what you know isn’t quite at the Doing stage) won’t get you where you want to go.]
Looking back, I realize that wasn’t a very MasterFull way of thinking at the time. But I persisted and sifted and thought my coaching was gifted, and then I managed to narrow the lot down to the two calls that I deemed the best. These were the ones. These exemplified excellent coaching. With these two, I was going to easily acquire my MCC status. Slam-dunk, here I come.
With all the hard work done, all the paperwork and the hours and the training logged and CCEU certificates provided, and my two brilliant recordings now selected, the only thing left to do was to upload and send to ICF and wait for the wonderful news.
Which would take a few months.
But then again, all good things come to those who wait.