Coaching Blog

All Coaching is Not Created Equal

Posted by Julia Stewart

Masterful coaching transcends and includes other levelsLast night's call with Adela Rubio* was awesome, but it brought up a controversy in coaching which is, what is coaching, anyway?

You'd think by now we'd have that figured out, wouldn't you? Well we have. The thing is, in a profession with no unifying body, we naturally have more than one definition.

That's what makes coaching controversial. People know it 'works', because we have research and results, but not everybody agrees on what coaching is to begin with.

I'm sympathetic to a point, with the folks who say anything goes, since we're not regulated. But ultimately that point of view is a disservice to the consumer, who trust me, is way more confused than we are.

I believe coach trainers and certifiers owe it to the public to speak up about standards in coaching. This isn't every coach's job, but it's our job, because of the positions we're in.

So here's my stand on what is coaching:


'Pure' coaching is a highly customized conversation between a professional and a client that leads to a successful outcome for the client. In it's purest form, coaching is delivered one-to-one. Small group delivery also makes customization possible and has other advantages. 

It's certainly possible to share coaching questions, excercises and come-froms in larger groups or via information products. They may be highly effective and more cost-efficient. But nothing beats the customization of pure coaching.

There. I said it!

Does this mean I'm against internet marketing or coaching products? Of course not! I use both. But if you're a coach with multiple product streams, please at least be a competent coach.

That's the issue that actually interests me:

What is a masterful vs proficient vs competent coach?

They each are important, because they each reflect a mindset. A new coach coaches differently from the very beginning if they commit to mastery vs competency. Mastery is a commitment to always learning, to always be upgrading the service and results that we deliver, to delivering what works, not just what we think people will buy.

In my experience, the coach who focuses on competence is mainly interested in the content of the conversation (or product). I don't think that's enough, because clients can get great content for free.

When a coach goes for proficiency, they get more concerned with the delivery or performance of the coaching. That streamlines the coaching, leading to greater outcomes. And it focuses on 'pure' coaching, as opposed to other delivery methods.

Mastery is a huge level beyond proficiency, because it can only be reached after many hours of practice, to the point that both the content and delivery are so second nature to the coach that all the coach has to focus on is the client. That level of coaching leads to results that are (almost) miraculous. 

I've been told by veteran coaches that what we teach at School of Coaching Mastery should be called something else besides coaching, because most coaches don't work at this level. Other veterans say anything less shouldn't be called coaching, at all.

I choose to call what we teach here, 'mastery', because we're committed to always learning, growing, and upgrading the outcomes for our clients. That's the instructors' commitment, not just the students'. It's a journey that we take together and the coaching that we learn to do transcends, but includes the other two levels.

Whether other delivery levels or methods should be called 'coaching', I don't really care. I don't control the whole coaching industry, I just lead one small and very passionate coaching contingent.

What do you think?

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If you missed the call with Adela, you can listen for a short time. Join here.

Topics: Adela Rubio, Mastery Coach, Masterful Coaching, what is coaching

Stamp Out Boring Tweets

Posted by Julia Stewart

TwitterThe other night I was at a dinner party where I was the only rabid Twitter fiend present.

No, no other coaches were present. Someone mentioned Twitter and asked me what all the fuss was about, so I tried to explain how fun, useful, etc. Twitter is, but all I got were puzzled BFD looks.

So the next morning, when I opened Twitter, I had to assess: Just how fun really, is Twitter? And I started to notice that I'm not THAT entertained most of the time.

Here's the thing: I follow some top-notch Tweeps. And although I don't expect all of them to be brilliant all of the time, out of twenty or so tweets, shouldn't one or two make me laugh, enlighten me, connect me to some amazing new person, website, etc.? Well, they don't always.

Am I asking too much?

Maybe we ALL should be asking a lot MORE. What if Twitter really is getting more boring? What if the honeymoon is over and the relationship isn't all we thought it would be?

Or what if tweeps are just getting lazy? Are our standards high enough for the junk we expect our followers to read? Attention is the new currency. Are your tweets worthy of my notice day after day?

I've heard Twitter is the new art form. If so, who are the Leonardo Da Vincis of Twitterville and how can I follow them? Better yet, how can we all master this new high tech haiku?

I don't have the answers yet, but I'm doing a little research and I invite your feedback. Take the following poll today, or everyday, if you like. You'll answer just one question:

Are the tweets your tweeps are posting in your Twitter feed more interesting today than they were yesterday or are they more boring than they were yesterday?

That's it. I'll update the trending results in my Twitter feed each day: Either more boring or more interesting. 

We're all on notice now. Stamp out boring tweets! 

Take the "Is Twitter Getting More Boring or More Interesting?" poll.

And recommend the most interesting tweeps you're following in the comments, below. 

Topics: blog, Coaches, twitter, Mastery Coach

Get Coach Certification: New SCM Certified Mastery Coach Designation

Posted by Julia Stewart

Confident Certified Coach

I want to share with you some exciting news with you: School of Coaching Mastery is now offering the SCM Certified Mastery Coach Designation to masterful coaches.

We continue to successfully prepare coaches for IAC Certification, but in view of developments that we’re experiencing in our *laboratory* for coaching mastery, which is SCM itself, we feel a need to offer another path to coach certification.

Here’s one problem that we face: Once a certification standard has been defined and adopted, it already is becoming an artifact of the past. And since coaching is always evolving, we want to know we have a certification that recognizes truly great cutting-edge coaching, while allowing coaches to explore and develop new, unheard-of approaches to delivering transformative conversations.

This has been a difficult issue ever since coach certification was invented.

Given that the bar for great coaching is constantly being raised by the brilliant new coaches who join our ranks every year, it’s necessary that a certification that attempts to measure “mastery” be flexible.

So I am building into our new certification an “inter-developmental” component. In other words, the certifiers won’t just be looking for what we’ve already defined as great coaching; we will also be looking for how each coaching session expands our understanding of coaching mastery.

In other words we expect to learn from you.

This decision was based on numerous events, including listening to the preferences of our amazing students, who coach within their own unique styles and although they are committed to mastery and would love the stamp of approval that certification brings, they don’t want to be cookie-cutter coaches or get stuck in a quantified box called “Coach Certification.”

That wouldn’t serve them. Nor would it serve the coaching profession.

I applaud their courage, creativity and genius. The Certified Mastery Coach designation is for them and for YOU if you want it – and if you can teach us something!

Natalie Tucker Miller, IAC-CC (SCM Master Instructor, IAC Certifier and former President of the IAC) and I have had numerous conversations about this new certification and she will join me, along with Elizabeth Nofziger, IAC-CC (SCM Instructor and IAC Certifier) in preparing and grading coaches to be SCM Certified Mastery Coaches.

As you know, we’ve been successfully preparing coaches for IAC certification for several years. And I’m not suggesting that IAC Certification isn’t still the gold standard. What I’m saying is that even the IAC isn’t a perfect fit for everybody. Some of the greatest coaches I know have been talking to me about the need for a certification with extremely high standards, that has expansion and new possibilities built right into it.

The only way I can see for this to happen is for the certifiers (our certifiers) to relinquish our “expertise” and approach every coaching session with beginners’ minds.

Is this possible? I believe it is!

And I’m so excited, I got started right away with the February Certification Practicum. I'm already grading SCM students with our automatic system, which allows certifiers to score in real time, rather than spending hours listening to recorded sessions, taking notes, analyzing and discussing the details, before agreeing on a numeric score. This feels much more coach-like to me and it gives the certifiers the opportunity to override the grading system, if they feel the coach has demonstrated coaching mastery in a new way.

If you would like to be among the very first to set a whole new standard in coach certification…

Then join me on four Tuesdays, April 7 - 28, 8 -10 PM Eastern/NY Time

You’ll be one of 8 coaches who will coach, be recorded, get feedback and grading on your coaching. If your sessions are strong enough, you can get certified by us, and/or turn in your recorded sessions for IAC Certification.

We already have 4 coaches. We have room for 4 more.

This is the ideal way for advanced coaches to become even more masterful and if you are an outstanding coach then, even if you don’t conform to our pre-conceived notions, if you expand our understanding of coaching greatness, you will likely pass.

Even if you don’t, I promise what you learn will be priceless.

So what price would you pay for this? The 8-hour practicum which I just described is $325. Normally, the certification would separately be $400, but if you register to join this group of pioneer coaches by Friday, you can pay for the 8-hour practicum plus certification and get the certification for half price, if you use the following coupon code:


Save $200. Get both for $525 by Friday, March 27th, if we still have room. Remember we only have 4 seats left.

I want to be clear:

  • What you learn in this practicum will be transformative
  • You will have a chance to record one coaching session in the practicum
  • You'll get verbal feedback, right away
  • I will grade your session for SCM Certification
  • You will get written feedback, using the IAC Learning Guides
  • Your recorded session can also be submitted to the IAC for certification
  • To get certified by either SCM or IAC, you will have to submit two coaching sessions
  • We can help you record your other session for no extra charge
  • To pass SCM certification, you will also need 5 letters of reference, either from 5 clients, or from 3 clients and 2 IAC Certified Coaches who have coached you for at least three months (In the future, we will also accept recommendations from SCM Certified Mastery Coaches)
  • Two passing sessions and 5 recommendations is all it takes to become an SCM CMC, but you must be a masterful coach

If this feels like something you want to do, I recommend that you register now. SCM students get all of this and much more for fre*e, but I’m opening it to the larger coaching community at a special price and I know it will fill up.

You may also just register for the practicum for $325, but if you decide later that you want SCM certification, you will need to pay the full $400 for SCM Certification.

As I mentioned, SCM Coach Training Program students get both SCM and IAC certifications at no extra charge. They also get up to three 8-hour practicums included in their tuition. We continue to offer the highest standards and value at the lowest tuition of any coach training school, but I can’t emphasize enough that our current fees will be going up.

Here is the link to register for BOTH the 8-hour practicum AND SCM Coach Certification:

To Save $200, use this code when you register: CERTIFIEDCOACH

To register for just the Certification Practicum for $325, go here and scroll to M12: Certification Practicum and register:

For questions about the SCM practicum, certification and our training programs, call: 877-224-2780

Thanks for supporting us and for being committed to coaching greatness!

Topics: School of Coaching Mastery, Coach Certification, Become a Certified Coach, How to Become a Certified Coach, Mastery Coach, Julia Stewart, IAC, certified coach

Coach Training Schools: Does Yours Measure Up?

Posted by Julia Stewart


Here are just a few ways we think we surpass other coaching schools. Does yours compare?

1. All of our instructors are IAC Certified Coaches (considered the Gold Standard in Coach Certification). They are all masters in their unique areas and most importantly, they are incredible teachers. Other coaching schools staff their faculties with recent grads and uncertified coaches who are new to coaching and a few schools even have volunteers teaching their classes! SCM pays our instructors more than any other school we know of, because masterful coaches are worth more.


2. We prepare our student/coaches for IAC Certification. The founder of the coaching profession, the late Thomas J. Leonard, founded the IAC in 2003 to raise the quality of coaching worldwide. Up until then, there was no independent certifying organization that was certifying coaches at a standard that Thomas believed was necessary for coaching to be highly effective. Why would you prepare for anything else?


3. We prepare our student/coaches for mastery, not just competence. As Thomas said, “Competence will keep you from getting sued. Mastery will attract people, opportunities and success to you like a magnet.” Most coaching schools prepare you for competency. Why stop there?


3. Our classes are limited to just 12 students each, because that allows every coach to practice coaching in class and get feedback from their peers and their master instructor (both written and verbal feedback from the instructor). You won’t get lost in a crowd at SCM.


4. We use the best technology to deliver the best teaching, learning and coaching. Most of our classes are virtual and combine the ease and convenience of teleconferencing with the up-to-date benefits of online learning. We can do anything in our virtual classrooms that you can do in a live classroom, except shake hands. Plus virtual learning saves you money and time and it is way kinder to the environment than traveling to meet in person.


5. Our students are amazing. You can imagine the level of passion, dedication and talent it takes to commit to coaching in front of experts day after day. If you want to join a community of peers who are smart, talented, fast learners, you’ve found it. And if that sounds like you, we need to talk.


6. All our classes are recorded on audio and some on video, as well. You can listen as often as you like and hear yourself coach - a priceless way to learn. Plus, class recordings are posted to our private, members-only area, so you can hear each class, taught by every instructor, 24/7. You’ll learn something different from each one. This is an amazing value add. (download to your iPod to make it even more convenient)


7. All our original written materials are included with your live training package in the form of written Coaching Guides (.PDF format). There are no text books to buy, as there are with some coaching schools. We also share materials in the form of audio and video recordings, power-point presentations and coaching demonstrations and practice. Regardless of your personal learning style, you’ll find options for maximizing your own learning, here.


8. Our Full Coach Training Program includes three levels of training: Foundations for the new coach, Mastery training for the intermediate coach, and Advanced training for the masterful coach, who is ready to create the next iteration of coaching mastery. We also provide personal development training and business training, so you master yourself, as well as your business.


9. We’re here to speed your learning, not just keep you busy. If you ask master coaches, most of them will tell you of the hours of unproductive time they spent in boring coaching classes that they were required to take in order to graduate or qualify for a particular certification. None of our classes are required for certification, because our certifications are based on the quality of your coaching, period. If you want to take them all, that’s great. If not, that’s fine also.


10. Our one requirement, if you want SCM Graduation, is that you complete our Mastermind Seminar after becoming certified.This is where you spread your wings as a master coach and invent, integrate, connect, deliver, share, streamline, upgrade and/or teach your unique coaching brilliance through a final coaching project that will establish you as a true master in your unique area of coaching and will launch (or re-launch) your coaching business.


“Becoming a masterful coach is like diving off a cliff over and over until you grow wings. Fortunately, there are never any broken bones!” – Julia Stewart, SCM President


Still curious about School of Coaching Mastery? That’s a good sign. Call 1-877-224-2780 or email to make an appointment with our Enrollment Advisor, Elizabeth Nofziger, IAC-CC , or with SCM President, Julia Stewart, IAC-CC

Topics: become a life coach, School of Coaching Mastery, become a coach, Coach Training Programs, SCM, Become a Certified Coach, coach training schools, Mastery Coach, what does it take to become a coach, IAC

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