By Barb McAllister , M.S., MCC
It’s been a 10 year journey for me to become a Master Certified Coach (MCC). When I began, I didn’t aspire to be a certified coach, let alone a “Master.” I didn’t even know what it meant to be certified. Now, 10 years later, I can say that the journey has been so worthwhile. Not so much for the end point, getting the MCC (although that’s been nice!), but more for what I learned along the way. So what did I learn?
- To be a great coach, you need to open yourself up to get feedback from others who are more experienced. This meant taping your coaching calls, asking mentors to listen, and then taking in and incorporating their feedback. This process required an open mind, patience, persistence, and most importantly compassion for me. Honestly there were times when I wanted to give up as I said to myself, “I’m never going to get this.” Or, “I have no idea what they are talking about when they say to be fully present and in full partnership.”
- It’s actually easy to coach. When I first started out, it seemed hard, in part because I had spent many years as a manager telling people what to do. It was challenging for me to be fully present with no agenda; to partner with my client and follow their lead. But as the years went on, and I practiced and studied the International Coach Federation core competencies, I gradually “got it.” There was a magical moment when it all kicked in. Then I could stop and say, “Ahhhhhhh, I get it.” That was sweet indeed.
I am definitely a goal-oriented person who finds it relatively easy to set a goal and stick with it no matter what it takes. The primary reason I set the goal to become a certified master coach, was to be a great coach. I never suspected that the journey itself would be so satisfying. I think everyone needs to really think about, “what’s in it for me to get certified?” If you have a compelling reason, I suggest you hire a coach or coaches to support you when you inevitably get to those moments like I did, e.g. “I’m not good enough” or “I don’t get it.” Most importantly, I recommend you adopt a ‘beginner’s mind’ if you decide to go on the journey. You will be amazed at what you learn and what becomes possible. 10 years ago when I was taught by MCC coaches I never thought I could or would be one. Never say never, because as we know as coaches, anything is possible!