mcc-b-w-karenThe very first time I applied for my MCC was on June 30th, 2007.  The reason I know the exact date is that my beloved father died 2 weeks earlier.

My dad had what I would term a ‘good death.’  He had lived a good life, and was well-loved by family, friends and strangers alike.  He had grown up in a modest Italian neighborhood in Chicago. With only a high school GED, he started a company, and put all his kids through college. He went to daily mass, and became a member of the country club. He led a very fulfilled life.

And… even though he had an exceptional life, and even with my experience as a hospice volunteer for years, it was still difficult for me.  I got to be with him during his last days and tell him how much I loved him, and even with that, I found myself in a sea of grief that I could not have imagined.  I thought I was prepared.  And I was not. Not by a long shot.

The reason I mention this is that this was all going on in the background, and affected my MCC application.  I called and asked for an extension (in those days you could only apply twice a year), and was not able to get one on the day my application was due.

So I pulled myself out of my grieving and took the 2-3 hours needed to get my application together and send it in.  With all this as a backdrop, there was a perfect storm of happenings around this process and I didn’t pass my oral exam. My mentors and coaching colleagues were stunned, and I was frustrated.

On an energetic level, with all the grieving and frustration I was feeling, I could see why my application failed. So I let it go, and focused on supporting my clients and growing my business and having a great life.

In the back of my mind, I wanted to try again, but every time I checked in with my intuition, I got a “Hell NO!”  Then in January 2014, a good friend and colleague received her MCC.

And the moment I heard this good news, the possibility of applying again became a “Hell Yes” for me. So I dusted off my application and re-applied. This time I needed to send in 2 coaching audios.  And… only 1 of them passed.

I didn’t even realize 1 of the audios passed, because all I saw was that I failed to obtain my MCC.  Again.  And the week I found out that I didn’t pass the MCC exam, I had just enrolled 100 coaches in a program that I created. That was a great success for me. So I let go of the MCC failure and focused on serving that group of magnificent coaches.

Five months later, I went back to apply once more.  This time I only had to send in 1 audio. And I told my mentor that I was just going to keep on sending them in until they passed me, no matter how long it took.

Well… I didn’t pass that time either.  And it wasn’t until the 4th time that I applied that I actually received my MCC.  It took me 4 tries to demonstrate the competencies in a way that the ICF recognized.

The morals of this story:

  • Grieving takes more time and energy than you might think.
  • Focus on your successes in the face of any failures.
  • Persist in going after what you want.

And for those who are applying for their MCC credential and submitting an oral exam, here’s what I did that I believe made the difference:

  • Slowed my pace way down in the session
  • Left lots of silences
  • Discontinued use of my intuition, as that can be interpreted as my agenda, not the client’s
  • Stated observations of meta-communications on the part of my client, ie, clearing her throat or coughing

When you are ready to apply for your MCC, and you want to talk to someone who has been around the block a few times, just send me an email.  I’d love to leverage my experience so that it could help you out.

I share this story so that you can see behind the scenes.  I’m a very positive person.  And in case I make it look too easy, just know that I go through times that call for strength and persistence too.

Although I must admit, the ease and joy around all of this is that I am now officially a Master Certified Coach!  Woo Hoo!!!