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ICF Michigan Newsletter

September 2017


Coaches Column  


Cathy Mott,

2017 Board Champion

Is Silence Really Golden?

I would venture to say its platinum! As a coach, my mantra is "great things happen in the silence." I'm always excitedly watching and waiting for the greatness to take form in my client's discovery. As I move through life as a coach and a facilitator who has had the immense pleasure of training over 4,000 people, I've come to appreciate that most have not experienced the gift of true silence. Many are uncomfortable when this beautiful space of discovery shows up in conversation. They immediately try to fill it lubricants.


Many have become quite equipped with the social lubricants that fill the uncomfortable silence in an elevator, near the coffee pot or water cooler at work, or as the crisp morning silently breaks forth; they are the quick to fill the silence with anything. It could be the radio, the TV, or the questions we all keep in our back pocket that fill the air to make us comfortable. Most often not even listening to the other person's response. (not truly listening) I.e. "How was your weekend? How was your drive in?" If you are listening you can't wait to jump in and tell them about your weekend or drive into work. Lubricants make us comfortable. It isn't until we step out of our comfort zone that we experience the greatness that silence can bring forth.

As I began my coaching journey years ago, I did not strike gold on my first exploration with the idea of "silence is golden." It was awkwardly painful, even though I was a person who often meditated on a regular basis about many things; I always wanted to have a deeper understanding of what I've read or heard. However, this type of meditation did not serve me well as a coach. I was quiet, but my mind was always swirling and digging for more information, however I was rarely silent. I can remember the many internal conversations and turmoil that was going on inside of me. My mind was constantly moving with excitement and discovery. I often felt like my brain was shooting off fireworks, it was Ground Hog day, the 4th of July over and over again. How would I ever silence this mind? Where would I find my bar of golden silence? I had to understand and appreciate the difference between being quiet and silence.

Coaching silence is quite different from just being quiet. It truly is an art of self-sacrifice, self-control and emotional intelligence to achieve this level of silence. During the course of a coaching relationship and process, coach silence is the all about creating an empty, uncluttered, open space, in which you invite the coachee to step into. Your comfort level in this space will dictate or set the tone for the entire session. It's been said that "silence is one of the most underdeveloped skills and yet the most crucial. "

Therefore, coaching silence is not about just periodically shutting up to provide clients with a few seconds to peek inside of themselves. Coaching silence is about creating an ongoing process of excavation, exploration and discovery in order to allow clients to feel the personal responsibility to fill the empty space with concerns that originate from the deeper recesses of their own souls.   Much more than an occasional tool to be used lightly, coach silence is a strategic approach to each engagement that should be consistently present from the first to the last minute of the entire coaching relationship.

In my efforts to discover my golden bar of silence, I took on the persona of Indiana Jones. I realized in order to develop and live with comfort in this coaching space of silence, I had to give this gift to myself first. Silencing my inner-self would be no easy task. It would take hard work, but I was up for the challenge. Techniques I used to develop the ability to be fully present, in the moment and acquire the strategic skill set of coaching silence with clients:


Meditation: Getting in touch with my inner self on a daily basis. Learning to be comfortable and listen to me. It is truly a beautiful place to dwell. I want to help others discover this place. It's golden, yes even platinum. Resource: 


Journaling: This became an avenue to process and release most of the conversations and knowledge that was running through my head. Being able to write about many things that I often wondered or had feelings about created so much clarity for me. I even became a blogger for a time with a community of women who was experiencing similar things in life. 


Nature: Spending time in nature has been such a silencer for me. I have come to appreciate there is so much rhythm that takes place outside of my body and yet I'm a part of it, I need to sit in silence to find my space and connect with all that creation has to offer. It is within the rhythmic silence of nature that I found true silence. The silence than ran through the deepest of chamber of my inner self. Touching even the kidneys, which represents the deepest emotions of a person. That's where nature takes me.


Hire a Coach: Another mantra I have is, "Every coach needs a coach." When I experience the beauty and the gift of coaching silence, I am inspired to create that space for others. Being a Coachee also gives me an opportunity to work through anything that after journaling, I just can't seem to work out. Coaching is such a powerful tool on so many levels it definitely has been a tool in helping me to develop the coaching silence. I can finally give to others what I have given and experienced for myself. Resource: ICF Cadre of Coaches 


I've come to appreciate the more we as coaches bring our true inner silence as a state of being within the whole coaching process, the more we invite clients to face their own inner silence and search for whatever lies far deeper than the social lubricants. With effort, commitment and silence, clients can recognize that "great things really do happen in the silence!" Once the comfort level with coaching silence is present, the value of it shines through as brightly as 24 karat like platinum!




If you were an ICF Michigan member last year (through May of this year), your renewal is past due. Please renew now if you haven't done so.  Starting this month, you are no longer be considered an active member if you have not renewed.  We don't want you to miss out on all the benefits a membership offers!

Click here to renew your existing membership.

Click here if you would like to become an ICF Michigan member for the first time.
If you are unsure if your membership is overdue, or if you have questions, please contact



Join us on Tuesday afternoon, October 24th, for our next MI Coaches Connection in the Lansing area!  Watch for an announcement with details coming soon.


Congratulations to Beki Fraser!
Beki has been elected to serve as Treasurer on the Executive Committee of the Midwest Regional Advisory Council (MRAC)!  Beki will represent ICF Michigan well! 


If you have something to celebrate, we want to hear from you! Have you recently completed a training?  Received your credentials? Been honored? Please send your coaching-related successes to get posted in the next newsletter to by October 15th for the next newsletter. Looking forward to hearing from you!



Looking for an excellent opportunity to offer pro bono coaching? Consider Women For Change, a non-profit organization that makes coaching accessible to lower-income women who are seeking to change their lives. The coaching program covers a 12-week period. If you are a credentialed coach with the International Coach Federation or International Association of Coaches, Jackie Browning can give you more information. Contact her at and start bringing positive change to someone's life.




The ICF 2016 Annual Report is now available. In the second half of every year, ICF produces the Annual Report to detail the progress, accomplishments, and financial picture of the previous calendar year.

Action you can take: Read the report to see how ICF led the coaching profession in 2016.


* Promoting Change through a Lens of Personal History: Part 2: Schemas (Models) -
* How Do We Accompany Our Coachees into Long-lasting Change?
* 10 Tips for Effective Listening  -
* Two Pitfalls that Could Undermine Your Coaching Impact -



Please don't hesitate to contact our dedicated Board members with questions, observations or suggestions. 


Vicki Hepler President

Mary Selzer Past President


Andrea Fleischfresser Secretary, Social Media

Beki Fraser President Elect

Cathy Mott Director

Cedric McSween

Dmitry Kondratyev Member Relations

Jackie Browning Treasurer, Outreach

Nadine Henry Marketing

Nan Reed Twiss Education & Development

Kathy Vlietstra


A dynamic, diverse community of coaches, which grows, develops, connects, and serves  

our members, supporting communities and individuals with the highest standards of professional coaching.



Choice, the magazine of professional coaching, is
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coaching industry.

ICF Michigan members
can use discount code  PROUDMEMBERICF to receive a 10% discount on purchases. 
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There are lots of great reasons to join ICF Michigan, whether you are just starting out as a coach or have an established career... 

Check them out here!





October 10 at 2:30 pm

Topic: "Facilitating Learning and Results: Creating Awareness"

Click here to register

October 18 at 1:00 pm 

Topic: "An In-Depth Look at Social Media Success"
Click here to register


October 24 at 4:00 pm 

Topic: "Masterful Networking"
Click here to register 



We have renewed our partnership with the Small Business Association of Michigan (SBAM) and have provided for each member the benefit of a premium level membership.  In the next 2 weeks you will be receiving a welcome email from SBAM with instructions on how to activate your membership and begin taking advantage of the many options available to you.  You will also have the opportunity to opt out should you choose not to participate. 

SBAM has a wide range of benefits and services available and we hope you will take the time to explore how this partnership might benefit your coaching business. 





 Join us for Collaborative Coaching Conversations both virtually and throughout Michigan!!  

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for more information about locations and meeting dates for Coach Cafés.



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