So today marks the beginning of our journey together into the craft of coaching. And this is a journey that we can continue to explore in a much deeper way inside the Certified Clarity Coach Program. I am so proud to share that Coach with Clarity has been accredited by the International Coaching Federation, or ICF, as both a level one and level two accredited coach training program. So if you have had aspirations of becoming credentialed through ICF, if you are looking to get either your Associate Certified Coach or your Professional Certified Coach credentials, you can do so through Coach With Clarity. And the starting point is with the Certified Clarity Coach Program. This program is a 60 hours training experience that prepares you for that first level credential with ICF, your ACC or the Associate Certified Coach. The program includes instruction on coaching fundamentals. It also includes opportunities for coaching practice during weekly group meetings, as well as through our unique peer coaching process. This is where you are paired with other members of your cohort to both provide and receive coaching. So it's an opportunity for you to practice the skills you're learning in the program. And then in addition, you also receive 10 hours of mentor coaching with me. Seven of those hours are in a group format, so you'll be mentored alongside other students. And then three of those will be one on one where you will receive specific feedback and guidance from me to help you develop as a powerful coach with clarity. And when you graduate from the Certified Clarity Coach Program, you receive the designation of Certified Clarity Coach, and you'll be prepared to take ICS exam and complete your 100 hours of coaching experience so that you can apply for the ACC credential through ICF. The Certified Clarity Coach Program is really the first stage in becoming a Masterful Coach, and graduates of the Certified Clarity Coach Program are then eligible to continue on and become a Master Certified Clarity Coach through our second level program. It's an additional 65 hours that prepares you for the Professional Certified Coach credential through ICF, the PCC, and also provides you with the Master Certified Clarity Coach designation. It's an opportunity for us to go even deeper into what it means to be a strong coach. We explore advanced topics in coaching, and we build on the foundational principles that we explore in the Certified Clarity Coach Training Program. So here at Coach With Clarity, we are here to support you through every stage of your coaching experience. And if you are ready to deepen your mastery of coaching, then it all begins with the Certified Clarity Coach Program. And I am thrilled to announce that applications are open for our next cohort that starts on May 31st. Space in this next cohort is extremely limited. I am capping it at no more than 15 participants. I'm doing this because I want to make sure that I am able to provide you with the support and attention you deserve as you deepen your coaching mastery. So you will be taught by and mentored by me personally. Not only will you have direct access to me, and I will be a part of mentoring and supporting you as you develop as a coach, but you will also be a part of an intimate group of other coaches, coaches who are just as committed to exploring their strengths and abilities as a coach. I have to say that when I went through my own coach training experience, I learned a lot as a coach. But what really stood out was the personal development, truly the personal transformation I experienced. And it was so helpful to be a part of a group where I felt supported and where I had access to coaching to help me integrate all of the insights I was developing and knowledge I was gaining. And that's what you'll find inside the Certified Clarity Coach program as well. So if you are ready to take that next step, then I want you to go to coachwithclarity.com/apply. There will be a video that walks you through everything you can expect inside the Certified Clarity Coach program and an application form for you to complete. Once you complete that form, I will reach out to you personally to schedule a time where we can connect over Zoom. You can ask any questions you have about the program, and together we can determine whether this is the right time and the right program for you. So again, head to coachwithclarity.com/apply to learn more, and to apply for the next cohort of the Certified Clarity Coach Program beginning May 31st. I cannot wait to welcome you inside this next cohort and for you to become a Certified Clarity Coach.
So let's kick things off with this series on the art of coaching. And before we jump into specific skills that coaches need to have, I want to address something that embodies the entire coaching experience, and really, I believe, is a prerequisite for anyone who wants to be a powerful coach, and that is knowing how to embody a coaching presence. That is one of the core competencies from the International Coaching Federation. And to me, it's an appropriate place to begin because as coaches, if we don't know how to embody a coaching presence, then that will limit our ability to show up and serve our clients powerfully and to master all of the other coaching core competencies as well. So to me, it makes sense to start with an exploration of what coaching presence is, what it means, and how we can develop and deepen our presence in order to serve our clients. When we talk about what it means to embody a coaching presence, it's really the ability of the coach to, yes, be fully present, but also fully engaged with their client. And we do so in a way where we are building trust, positive change, positive regard and confidence. We are partnering with our clients to cocreate a space in which our clients can feel seen and heard and understood. In the weeks to come, we are going to explore the specific skills we use in order for our clients to feel that way. But first we need to understand how we as coaches show up and how we are our greatest tool. Our coaching presence is what allows us to listen deeply, to ask powerful questions, to provide feedback in a way that supports our clients growth. Those are all things we're going to be talking about in the weeks to come. But before we can talk about listening and asking questions, we first need to understand how we show up, how we are present with our client. That is the foundational component upon which everything else is built. That's also why when it comes to developing our own presence as a coach, I believe it starts with developing our own self awareness. If we truly are our own best tool as a coach, and I believe we are, everything we bring to the table, our experience, our knowledge, our wisdom, our training, our personality and strengths all of it goes into making us a powerful coach. And we need to understand what that looks like and how to utilize it. And that's why being self aware is key. We need to not only know the what, we need to understand how all of these things work together to strengthen our ability to coach our clients powerfully. So, at the core of embodying a coaching presence is developing our own self awareness. So when we understand our values, our strengths, our desires, our limitations, when we have a clear eyed view of who we are and what we bring to the coaching experience, we deepen our own understanding of ourselves. And then in turn, we deepen our understanding of how to develop strong, powerful relationships with others, including our clients.
I want to acknowledge that self awareness can be a bit of a double edged sword. Yes, we are coming face to face with all of the wonderful qualities that we embody, all of our strengths and skills and talents. And we're also coming face to face with our own limitations, our fears, our perceived weaknesses, and that can be a bit jarring, if not challenging for most of us. And so the process of developing our own self awareness can really take us on a journey of self exploration. And that's also a journey that you may find helpful to explore alongside a coach. That's why inside the Certified Clarity Coach Program, we have both peer coaching and mentor coaching. Because so much of the work you'll be doing inside that program is around developing your own self awareness. Two of the ways we can enhance our own self awareness are reflection and seeking feedback. Reflection is the process of thinking about your own experiences and then mining them for insights, for lessons, for the gold. I find that when I'm working with my own coach, much of the time we spend together is spent on my own reflection. I love having a space where I can talk through the experiences I've had, the thoughts, the emotions, the behaviors, all of it. And I can start to make sense of it and I can start to figure out what it tells me about who I am, who I want to be, and how I'm showing up in the world. Reflecting on our own experiences is such a valuable way to develop our own self awareness. But the truth is, as humans, we have blind spots. There are things about ourselves that we don't know yet or that we can't see. And so that's why when we pair reflection with feedback, it enhances the process of developing our self awareness. That's where working with a mentor coach can be so helpful, because mentor coaching is a little different than traditional coaching. In mentor coaching, your coach is there to help you become a better coach, and that's through providing feedback and guidance. As a mentor coach, I'm very deliberate about how I structure my sessions with my mentor coaching clients. I will have them coach me, so I will be their client for part of the session. I bring a real life issue to the table that I want coaching on, and I allow my mentee to coach me through it. So in a 1 hour mentor coaching session, they are coaching me for anywhere from 40 to 45 minutes. And then the remaining time is where I am providing feedback about their coaching process based on what I have observed and experienced in session. I take my responsibility as a mentor coach extremely seriously because I know that feedback is a critical component to developing self awareness and therefore developing your coaching presence. So that's why I am very thoughtful and intentional about the feedback I share and also how I share it. The relationship between the mentor coach and the mentee is a sacred one. It's based around mutual trust and respect, concepts we'll talk about in future episodes of the podcast. And I say that as someone who has received mentor coaching. So I know what it's like to be on the other side. I know what it's like to coach your mentor and then receive feedback. And initially, that can seem like a very intimidating experience, it was for me. And that's why you want a mentor coach who knows how to blend structure and strategy with empathy and intuition. You want a mentor coach whose sole purpose is to ensure that you are receiving what you need in order to improve your coaching abilities. And that's what it's about. So there is a strong link between receiving feedback, developing your own self awareness, and embodying a coaching presence. So reflection and feedback are key to self awareness, which then builds your presence. They're all connected.
When we are fully present with our clients, when we are embodying a coaching presence, we are bringing our whole selves to the relationship. And so that means showing up transparently and authentically with your client. That's a really important aspect of embodying a coaching presence. And it also helps us build trust with our clients. When our clients know that we are showing up truthfully and wholeheartedly, then they feel safe with us. They feel like it's okay for them to share their fears, their beliefs, their desires, and they know that we're going to hold that space and honor it because we honor the relationship. So maintaining authenticity is a core part of embodying a coaching presence. And I believe that we can't be fully authentic with our clients unless we're fully authentic with ourselves. And so that's why developing self awareness is also so important. One of the reasons I love coaching as a profession is because I feel like I really can show up as my complete and honest self with my clients. Now, there's a difference between being authentic and showing up as myself and making a session all about myself. That's definitely not something we want to do as coaches. We are client centered, so we want to make sure that we're honoring the client's agenda, their purpose, and what they want to get out of the session. But that doesn't mean that we have to be blank slates in a coaching session. And in fact, I would argue if we do show up as blank slates, then we actually do a disservice to our clients. This was something I had to do a lot of unlearning around, because as many of you know, before I moved into coaching, I was a psychotherapist for many years. I was trained as a social worker, I have degrees in social work and public health. I got my license as a clinical social worker. And when I was in school and when I was an early social worker still being supervised for my independent license, I was taught that we had to be very, very careful about self disclosure with our clients, that we really should not share a whole lot about ourselves personally with our clients, because it could compromise the therapeutic relationship. And that if we did use self disclosure with the client, it had to be very limited and we had to be very careful about what we shared. And we were always told, seek supervision, seek consultation before and after you self disclose. Now, I don't disagree with seeking consultation. I think coaches can learn from that as well and it's why mentor coaching is such an important part of the coaching experience inside the Certified Clarity Coach Program. But as a coach, I don't feel the need to be as precious around self disclosure as I did when I was a therapist. And to be fair, I think we're seeing some movement in this area among therapists as well. I think many therapists today are pushing back against this idea that we can't self disclose or that we shouldn't self disclose, that we need to be blank slates for our clients. That is a very old school way of approaching a therapeutic relationship and yet that's often what's still taught to young therapists. In coaching, I see how self disclosure can be a part of maintaining authenticity and embodying a coaching presence. That being said, there is an art form to knowing when and how to self disclose in such a way where it's going to serve the client. It might serve the client through building trust, it might serve the client in deepening the relationship, it might serve the client by providing examples and guidance. There are numerous ways to use self disclosure and as coaches we need to be intentional about when and how we do it, so that we're continuing to center the client and the relationship. And when we do that, to me, that is the ultimate embodiment of coaching presence.
So let's do a little recap because we've talked about a lot of things today around coaching presence. We've talked about what coaching presence is, which as the name would suggest, it does mean being fully present with your clients, but it's present in a way that focuses on being fully engaged and that fosters trust and confidence and change in the client and in the relationship. We've talked about ways that we can embody a coaching presence. We've talked about self awareness as the key to that. And within self awareness, we've talked about the importance of reflection and feedback as tools to deepen our own level of personal understanding. We've talked about ways that we can self reflect and also ways that we can seek guidance and feedback from others. And then finally, we talked about the role of authenticity and how being authentic with our clients in session can also foster that sense of trust and collaboration, which in turn allows us to be more present as coaches. There are other skills that we utilize as coaches that I would say allow us to embody that coaching presence even more deeply. And we're going to be looking at those specific skills in the weeks to come. For example, next week we are going to be talking about what I like to call next level listening. We're going to explore what it really means to listen to our clients and how we can take the whole concept of listening to an even deeper level. Because when we are listening at the next level we are embodying a coaching presence. We're also going to be talking more about what it means to hold a coaching mindset. And again, that coaching mindset is so linked to coaching presence. We're going to be exploring how to create relationships that are anchored in trust and safety and mutual respect. And then we're going to be exploring more about what it looks like to structure coaching sessions in a way that serve and support your clients session to session and throughout the entire relationship. Today we talked quite a bit about self awareness, and in a future episode, we are going to talk about how we can support our clients in developing their own self awareness skills as well, and what role we as coaches play in helping evoke awareness in our clients. We'll talk about how that in turn can facilitate their growth. And then we'll conclude this miniseries on the art of coaching with exploring what it means to be an ethical coach and what ethical coaching practice looks like. So we are really doing a deep dive into the art of coaching over the next several weeks, and I hope you will stick around and join me for this exploration. The best way to do so is to make sure you are subscribed to the Coach with Clarity podcast. So depending on where you listen to your shows, you will have the option to follow or subscribe to a show. It might look like a little button with a plus sign, or it may be a button that says subscribe or follow. But all you have to do is click that button and then every week, the newest episode of the Coach with Clarity podcast will be added to your feed. So go ahead and do that now if you haven't already and that will ensure that you get all of the episodes we've created devoted to the art of coaching. And of course, if you are ready to take this to an even deeper level, I invite you to apply for the next cohort of the Certified Clarity Coach program. You can learn more about it and apply at coachwithclarity.com/apply.
All right, my friend, that's it for me this week. But I'm going to be right back in your feed next week where we will be exploring next level listening, so I hope you will join me then. And until then, my name is Lee Chaix McDonough, reminding you to get out there and show the world what it means to be a Coach with Clarity.