Becoming an MCC Coach

Joanna Bown, March 2019

I received my MCC Master Coach credential from the ICF (International Coach Federation, USA) in February 2019, after a journey of fourteen months of coach mentoring in both a group and one to one environment, and a bigger journey of ‘going within’. Here are some of my learnings and reflections:

I approached my coach mentor in January 2018, proudly showing my 2500 coaching hours and fifteen years coaching experience, asking if she would assist me in mentoring me towards my MCC accreditation….not yet realizing where the learning was really going to lie….

After four months of group and one to one monthly mentoring, alongside submitting various client coach recordings for assessment, I began to realize that this journey was going to be more challenging than I had initially thought – my blind spots began to show, blind spots of habits I’d picked up during my fifteen years of coaching that weren’t serving me or my clients. As these began to show up, I in turn started to freeze in performance anxiety, with an inner narrative of ‘I can’t do this, it’s too difficult, I have so much to unlearn’, and in this state, withdrew and did nothing for about three months…..until one day I remembered it was okay to ask for help and reached out to a friend and MCC mentor to coach me through my personality style and the blind spots showing up in that, so that I could get back onto the journey…

A pattern was beginning to emerge, that as an experienced leadership and business coach, this process had a lot to do with learning to release my inherent habits I’d collected along the way and to practice coaching in a new way, using the eleven ICF coaching competencies; but far more than this, I began to realize that it was a deeper journey of facing inwards toward myself, and facing up to some personality traits I hadn’t wanted to look at, and only then, facing outwards again and practicing my new found coaching skills – a bit like what I ask my clients to do. Naturally, this was really humbling, as I felt myself being coached, and remembering what it’s like to be coached and what we ask of our clients every day. I learned to go back to basics, to face inwards, to find my humility, and realized that the more I think I know, the less I know.

Since receiving my accreditation, I’ve begun to see there are approximately 50 MCC accredited ICF executive coaches in the UK, and around 4% globally. It is becoming clearer how MCC can, and will, become a differentiator for my business as an executive business coach.

In the meanwhile, my coaching has become more concise, challenging, focused and on point, and I am able to allow the session to go where it needs to, detaching from my need for a good outcome.

So the process and journey was challenging and full of learning, firstly around myself and my personality, then around my coaching style and habits. I would highly recommend the MCC accreditation path with the ICF to any executive coach, as a discipline of coming back to and refreshing ourselves, as well as really honing our skills around the ICF competencies.