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Coach the Human, not the Culture - Part Four

  June 14, 2021

Masterful Coaching is Transformational

When I first learned of the MCC credential, I knew straight away it was what I wanted to aim for and achieve. It was my goal. It was a clear goal and one that with training, experience, mentoring and client hours I could achieve. As a mathematician I saw the clear metrics that I had to reach and the milestones I had to pass to eventually apply for, and then be awarded the MCC credential.

Most APAC coaches have undergraduate degrees, and many have post-graduate qualifications. Thus, working towards MCC is no different. Do the work, get the testamur. Show and tell the world that you are a legitimate coach, peer-reviewed with 2,500 client hours behind you. This is a good start to the 10,000 hours Malcolm Gladwell1 promotes for true mastery.

Coaching is a relatively new profession in Asia Pacific and attaining the MCC credential, makes a coach stand out. It differentiates her from the many consultants, healers, teachers, and helpers that are also drawn to coaching.

To truly offer Masterful coaching we need to let go of all we have learned and be present. Masterful coaching is trusting and believe in in yourself, believing in your client, and believing in the coaching relationship. Here is it again one more time:

On my desk I have a list of some of the qualities of a Master Coach. This is who I inspire to be as I practice Masterful coaching:

  • Lives in the paradox of knowing and not-knowing
  • Actively learns from every circumstance
  • Pursues ongoing personal/professional evolution
  • Has a willingness to speak their truth with grace and compassion
  • Lives often in beginner’s mind, open and curious
  • Has a deeply respectful quality of presence
  • Is humble, attentive, and present in each moment
  • Is not attached to outcome, and yet is committed anyway
  • Has a sense of humour in relation to human foibles
  • Is coachable and relates well to self and others
  • Can ‘surrender’ while coaching (from ego, judgments, assumptions, knowing)

Not only am I a coach practitioner, I am also a coach mentor to a handful of mentees at any one time. My real work as a coach mentor is to break through the ego talk and get to the heart of the credentialing candidate and support them to believe in themselves, their clients and the coaching relationship. It’s a joy to do this work... and challenging. Not all candidates are willing to open up. They just want the nuts and bolts without the spark of being. They will gain their ACC and their PCC but it can be a struggle for them to gain their MCC because of limited experience and lack of trust in themselves, their clients and the process.

Remember, moving from doing coaching to being a coach takes time. Moving from MCC to Masterful coaching takes courage.

The Future of Coaching in Asia Pacific

Looking ahead, Asia Pacific is a vast mix of nation states, regions and culture. It is my premise that we do not need to adjust our coaching for each of these.

Respectfully, I believe that what we do need is to relate, connect and be present with another human being. Trust ourselves, trust the client and trust the coaching process.The Asia Pacific region is vast with over fifty countries2. Let Asia Pacific lead the way for emerging markets, such as the African continent where coaching is gaining traction and growing. As our world connects – expanding and shrinking at the same time – what gift can we in Asia Pacific give to these now emerging markets? Let us expand the coaching container versus shrink it. Let us not limit growth of our profession to bringing up the bottom, let us raise the top also.

Yuval Noah Harari3talks about our global world. Currently we have a global economy, a global ecology and global science. Yet we are still doing politics as nation states. Let us not do coaching as nation states. Let us ensure coaching is  global4.

Masterful coaching may look simple, yet it takes thousands and thousands and thousands of hours. Hours to study relating, connection and presence. Hours to practice relating, connection and presence. Hours to trust the process, our clients, and most importantly, ourselves.

It is my sincere hope that this essay reduces some of those hours for you. Please come and join me in being a Masterful coach. It is a joy, a privilege and extremely meaningful, impactful, and sustainable.

Coach the human, not the culture.


1 This is usually due to selling results and/or solutions up front to the buyer of the coaching services. Not an ideal sales pitch when it comes to Masterful coaching!

2 Malcolm Gladwell - Outliers published by Little, Brown and Company 2008

3 UN says 48 in Asia, and 21 in Asia Pacific with some overlapping and some not counted such as Russia

4 Yuval Noah Harari



Belinda MacInnes was one of the first MCC’s in Asia Pacific (2005) and has coached many nationalities and levels of seniority in clients in the region. She has been privileged to coach 300 clients over 7,800 hours. She has over 500 hours of coach specific training behind her and plans to have many more ahead. She is on faculty with a global coach training school. Belinda is an ICF MCC Assessor and has served as ICFA President and APAC First Vice President. She is also a Professional Mentor Coach. Belinda is the author of the globally- selling Professional Coach’s Business System (pcbs) Revisited – a step-by-step manual supporting coaches in private practice how to set up and run their business using systems. Belinda has, and continues to, attend as a delegate, speaker, and sponsor, numerous coaching conferences internationally and locally. She holds a Bachelor of Science from the University of Melbourne (physics and mathematics) and a Graduate Diploma in Business Systems (with Distinction) from RMIT University. She is a passionate student of where theoretical physics, neuroscience, philosophy and AGI are heading in this 21st century, and enjoys synthesising these to give her a unique approach to coaching and the business of coaching. Belinda is a 20-year veteran. 



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