COTBx is now a SHRM Recertification Provider

by Coaching Out of the Box

We are continually adding services and resources to support coaches and those who use coaching to lead. As part of our effort we are happy to announce that COTBx was recently approved as a SHRM (Society for Human Resource Management) Recertification Provider. SHRM credential holders will earn PDC’s (Personal Development Credits) toward their recertification when completing our programs. The number of PDC’s earned can be found on our program web pages.

SHRM has established the SHRM Recertification Provider Program to give organizations that offer education, training and/or other HR-related Competency and Knowledge programming the opportunity to award PDCs.

In order to qualify as a Recertification Provider, organizations are required to complete an application and meet several requirements. This application process ensures that Recertification Providers offer high quality education and training programs that address HR Competencies and/or Knowledge Domains. Requirements to become a Recertification Provider include;

  • Must offer appropriate high-quality programming, developed and presented by appropriate subject matter experts.
  • Programming should address the HR Competencies and/or Knowledge Domains needed for effective job performance, as outlined in the SHRM Body of Competency and Knowledge (BoCK).
  • Each program offering must describe both learning objectives and Competencies/Knowledge areas to be taught, with specific references to the SHRM BoCK.
  • Each presenter/instructor/speaker must have proven expertise in the field and the ability to facilitate learning.
  • Provider must have a participant evaluation process in place and utilize feedback to ensure continuous improvement in program content and quality.

Check out our programs to see how you can learn coaching skills while earning SHRM PDC’s.

Fast Track to ICF Credential

5/5/5 Coaching Skills Training Program

Coaching Fundamentals Training Program

Advanced Coaching Skills Practicum

Personal Groundwork for Coaching Program

ICF Coach Knowledge Assessment Prep Class

Train the Trainer for 5/5/5 Coaching Skills Training Program

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Coaching Self-Care in 2019

by Coaching Out of the Box

In coaching we talk about having a working balance in three areas of your life; Career / Family / Self Care.

The connected world has brought wonderful enhancements from “Hey Google” tell me everything to sharing magical family moments on social media.

What has being connected done to your area of Self-Care? Is there still self-care time in your life?

Sometimes we mix it up and convince ourselves self-care time is happening when we are alone using our devices. … Not so! … I postulate that self-care at its best is when the input we get is from inside ourselves; not the input from the outside screen.

When was the last time you really paused and connected inside of you?

Try it more often.  If you can truly connect inside for hours at a time good for you.  For most of us five, maybe ten minutes, is the best we can muster and daily is just not happening.

Now is a good time for self-care. No, no, I mean literally right now!! Just sit for the next 5 minutes and witness what comes up for you.  Muse at how long it takes before you bounce up and ‘do’ something or reach for the phone for FOMO (fear of missing out).  All that inner dialog is input from inside.  It is telling you what you are mentally and emotionally focused on.

Do you see the value of these 5 minutes yet?  Just imagine how conflicted and off balance a person would be if the input from their head was all about things to do, fears, time pressure and a bunch of “what-ifs”, when what they really desire emotionally is calm, rest and just being in the moment. What a gift they now have by learning what they are focusing on in each moment is the opposite of what they truly want in life.

Hmmmm, let’s check how balanced your inside input was today. How many of your thoughts were focused on something other than what you truly want for yourself?  Focused on what others need or even demand vs. what you need to fuel yourself to thrive and be your most powerful self?

Make 2019 the time to inner connect, listen deeply to yourself.  Set aside wi-fi and go for me-fi.

Me time … it really is all it’s cracked up to be. 

Take it up a notch.

Written by: Merv Rogers, MCC - Chief Coaching Officer at Coaching Out of the Box®

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Why leaders are turning to Coaching

by Coaching Out of the Box
Why leaders are turning to Coaching

I don’t think anyone can argue that change is one of the biggest challenges facing leaders in today’s work environment. Work is changing. The workforce is changing. The model of a leader and a successful organization is evolving. Leaders are realizing more and more that, with the increasing rate and amount of change, there is a need for new tools to navigate the new normal. Leaders are discovering and turning to coaching.

Coaching has been around for decades but in recent years has seen unprecedented growth and a move into new areas within the organization and into new types of organizations. In the early days, coaching was more or less owned by ‘human resources’ or ‘personnel management’. Most often it was a tool employed by larger organizations and at a time when the organization was going through a major change or certain difficulty. It was also typically reserved for top executives. But all of that is changing. Oops, there is that word again. Coaching is permeating organizations at all levels and can be found in the largest companies and all the way down to the start-up. Why is coaching taking off? It is helping individuals and organizations not only adapt to change but thrive.

Why does coaching work so well in today’s environment? Coaching as part of a leadership style, or as we like to say, the coach approach to leadership, is a holistic method that can easily be adapted while at the same time producing desired and sustainable changes. Coaching in leadership is not a set formula but a flexible and adaptable tool that evolves with the ‘coach’, coachee and environment so that the approach and outcomes are never outdated. This new coach approach to leadership can be integrated throughout the organization and sustained for long-lasting positive change. Notice that I use ‘coach approach’ and put ‘coach’ in parentheses. There is a very important reason. You don’t have to be a certified or professional coach to learn and use coaching skills.

But, will coaching and the coach approach to leadership remain viable as we move into the next decade? To find the answer, I think one needs to look no further than the trends taking place in leadership.

As leaders and coaches, we must pay attention to trends and predictions to stay relevant. So, let’s start by checking in with some of the leadership authorities and their predictions for leadership of the future. As you read through the list, take notice of what this list tells us about how well coaching fits into leadership of today and the future.

Leadership Trends

Below are what some of the experts are seeing as trends in leadership.[1] Do you see the same trends? Do you see how well coaching fits with leadership of today and the future?

  • Need for agility. Leaders and their organizations are becoming / must become more agile to survive and thrive. As leaders, it's important to adopt a nimble mindset and culture.
  • Evolving leadership norms. The age range in the workforce will continue to expand. With the decrease of age-based seniority, leadership will be taken by the best person for the role and will likely shift frequently in an agile environment.
  • Foster and sustain employee engagement. Leaders and organizations need to focus on soft skills such as emotional intelligence that have a strong impact on engagement and the effort employees put into communicating.
  • Taking a holistic approach to human capital development. Helping employees thrive in all areas of their lives (not just work), will create more engagement, productivity and overall happier employees.
  • Leadership empathy. Gen Y and Gen Z talent will continue to leave command-and-control cultures for collaborative workplaces. The ability to understand, relate to and be sensitive to employees, colleagues and communities will be paramount. We will see an even greater emphasis on listening, relating and coaching to drive effective leadership.
  • A focus on individual growth. Leaders need to identify and build talent quickly. Helping employees reach their peak potential will be required to help the organization stay competitive and thrive.

Hopefully you’ve come to the same conclusion that I did – coaching and the coach approach to leadership is well positioned to help organizations and individuals thrive well into the next decade.

If you are interested in supporting long-lasting positive change through coaching, be sure to check out our recent webinar on this topic. If you are ready to try coaching out, a great place to start is our Using Coaching to Lead™. This is a hands-on class where you will learn what coaching is, how it is being used to transform the work environment and two coaching skills you can start utilizing immediately – in just 3 hours.

[1] Leadership Trends To Watch For From Now To 2022 accessed at and 14 Leadership Trends That Will Shape Organizations In 2018 accessed at


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How Managers and Leaders are using Coach-like Conversations to Impact Organizations

by Coaching Out of the Box
How Managers and Leaders are using Coach-like Conversations to Impact Organizations

I wanted to let you know about another coaching resource: The STaR Coaches Show. This is a series of podcasts, nearly 100 shows strong, that feature coaching experts on a wide variety of topics. I was recently invited as a guest to talk about Creating Organizational Impact Through Coaching Conversations, Episode #94.

You can listen to this podcast here.

In this podcast I share our experience working with three organizations to illustrate how leaders and managers are using coaching within their organizations to address challenges and, quite literally, transform individuals and teams. These are real organizations dealing with real challenges. In the podcast you’ll learn more about how and why these organizations turned to coaching and the results they achieved including;

  • Challenges being faced
  • Why they felt coaching was a good solution
  • The approach used to bring coaching in
  • Results being achieved

I also have a clarifying discussion about what it means to bring coaching to an organization. Contrary to what some think, this does not mean that every person must become a credentialed coach. Rather, everyone in the organization can learn coaching skills and have coach-like conversations. This puts the power of coaching in the hands of everyone.

Another important point covered is the ‘how’ organizations bring coaching in. I highlight three different organizations that used three different approaches; one primarily used external resources, another primarily used internal resources and the third used a blend of the two. The important point is that there are different approaches available and it is just a matter of finding the one that works best for your organization.

Regardless of the approach, the results seen are similar and powerful. These organizations are seeing improvement in;

  1. Listening
  2. Communication
  3. Ability to give feedback
  4. Conflict resolution
  5. Relationships
  6. Team communication
  7. Ability to engage in solutions-based discussions and promote accountability

Listen to the entire podcast here. Be sure to check out the show’s other topics.

For more about our work with organizations, visit our webpage, view our guides and webinars or speak with our Program Advisor.

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ICF Credential: You’ve Done the Training. What’s Next?

by Coaching Out of the Box
ICF Credential: You’ve Done the Training. What’s Next?

Practical Tips for Getting Your ICF ACC Credential

We receive many questions about coach certification and the process of obtaining an ICF credential. And really, the number of questions we receive is no surprise. With multiple application paths as well as different and changing requirements, the process can be confusing. Applying for your ICF credential is a big step and you don’t want to miss anything that could delay or jeopardize receiving your credential. That is why I am writing this article. To provide useful tips to those who are currently or will soon be pursuing the ICF ACC credential. Read on to learn more about;

  • Clarifying the requirements
  • Details on meeting the 100 coaching hours requirement
  • Details on meeting the 10 mentor coaching hours requirement
  • Documentation required for your application
  • Application process including specifics on the ACSTH path and Portfolio path for the ICF ACC


A good place to start is with a review of the ICF ACC requirements. Make sure you are clear about what is required BEFORE you submit your ACC application. I’ll focus on the ACSTH Path first and then comment on the Portfolio path and ACTP path.

Note: If you are reading this and you are new to the idea of coach certification or if you are trying to decide which ICF credential is right for you, I suggest you read our Guide to Coach Certification first.

Okay, now back to the requirements. Following are the ICF requirements for the ACC (ACSTH path) credential.

  • Training: At least 60 hours of coach specific accredited training

  • Coaching Hours: Completion and documentation of 100 hours of coaching
    • 75 hours must be paid coaching hours (can be at any rate or even barter)
    • 25 hours can be pro bono
    • The 100 hours must be with at least 8 different clients
    • The 100 hours must occur AFTER starting your coach specific training
    • At least 25 hours (paid or unpaid) of the 100 hours must occur WITHIN 18 months of submitting your application to the ICF

  • Verification of Coaching Experience: ICF now requires applicants for an ICF credential to complete an attestation of their coaching experience. This replaces the submission of a coaching log and is intended to help protect the privacy of coaching clients. To ensure the integrity of this process, ICF will conduct periodic audits to verify applicants’ coaching experience. This means that coaches should continue to obtain and document clients’ consent to store their information, have a policy on how that information will be protected and maintained, and have a system in place for tracking relevant data. For more information on Verification Requirements and to download the ICF coaching log template visit the ACC Experience Requirements page.

  • Mentor Coaching: Completion of 10 hours of mentor coaching over a minimum of three months

  • Performance Evaluation: A new requirement as of July 31, 2018, applicants must submit (upload) audio recording and written transcript of one coaching session with their application.

Note: When you complete the Fast Track to ICF Credential with Coaching Out of the Box® (COTBx) you will have completed 68 hours of approved coach specific training (no additional training hours required) and 7 hours of group mentor coaching (you only need 3 more one on one mentor coaching hours).

In addition to meeting the above ICF requirements, you will also have learned coaching core competencies and gained the confidence to use them through practice and feedback sessions.

Hopefully the requirements for the ACC (ACSTH path) credential are now clear. Next, I’ll cover the steps you need to take prior to submitting your application.


  1. Complete the 60 hours of coach specific accredited training.

  2. Complete the remaining coaching hours to reach the required 100 hours. As you complete your 60 hours of training it is recommended that you simultaneously begin coaching. In doing so you will be well on your way to completing the required 100 coaching hours by the time your training is finished, not to mention the valuable experience you will have gained.

  3. Complete the remaining hours to reach the required 10 Mentor Coaching hours. As a reminder, mentor coaching hours will consist of a Mentor Coach observing you coach and providing you with feedback.

NOTE: To find a mentor coach you can go to the ICF website and find a list of Mentor Coaches. If you are enrolled in the Fast Track you can ask one of your trainers. Mentor Coaches must be an ACC, PCC or MCC in good standing.

  1. Submit Application: Once you have completed the 100 coaching hours, 10 mentor coaching hours and have the coaching session recording and transcript, you are ready to submit the application.

Note: You must meet ALL the requirements (60 hours of training, 100 hours of coaching and 10 hours of mentor coaching, plus 1 coaching session recorded with transcript) BEFORE submitting your application.

  1. Complete the CKA exam: Once you submit your application you will receive a link to the exam (approximately 4 weeks).
  • Upon receiving the link, you will have 60 days to complete the test.
  • The test consists of about 155 questions (subject to change) to be answered in 3 hours.

Tip: You will be well prepared for the CKA exam if you complete the COTBx ICF CKA Prep Class (the final class in the Fast Track to ICF Credential). During the prep class you will be quizzed on questions that are similar in format and content to what you will find in the CKA exam.


Application process if some training is completed outside of COTBx

If you are counting Continuing Coach Education (CCE) units and/or non-approved training toward your training requirements, you are required to follow the ACC Portfolio path. There are some key differences between the ACSTH path and the Portfolio path.

  • The Portfolio Path is a longer and more involved process
  • The ICF requires robust documentation of training and coaching hours for the Portfolio path
  • Review time is 14 weeks (versus 4 for the ACSTH path)
  • The Portfolio path comes with a higher application fee versus the ACSTH path
  • Visit the ICF webpage for more details on the different ACC paths

A few comments about the ACTP Path

If you want to apply using the ACTP path, you must complete an entire ICF Accredited Coach Training Program (ACTP). This path also requires the 100 hours of coaching but does not require the 10 hours of mentor coaching.

I hope this information has helped to clarify the requirements and steps needed to apply for the ACC. If you still find that something is unclear or if you have any questions, please get in touch with our Program Advisor or visit our website:

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