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We couldn’t be more excited to introduce you to James Beeman, MCC, one of our esteemed coaching instructors here at The Academies. James is a true inspiration for leaders, executives, and coaches-in-training, thanks to his coaching experience and a wealth of knowledge that incorporates the latest neuroscience research, positive psychology literature, and strengths theories.

In today’s blog post, we’ll delve into James’ journey toward earning his Master Certified Coach (MCC) credential. You’ll learn why he’s so passionate about leveraging brain-based coaching to effect powerful, lasting change in his clients. James is deeply knowledgeable about growth and change management, making him an invaluable resource for coaches looking to improve their clients’ outcomes for the long haul.

So come along with us as we discover more about James’ coaching credential journey, and how he’s using his skills to make a positive, lasting impact on the world, and changing minds, for good!

The Academies Coaching Instructor, James Beeman, MCC

What Does the MCC Mean to You?

I started my ICF training as a coach over a decade ago. At the beginning of my training, I immediately knew that I wanted to get my Master Certified Coach credential because pursuing excellence in whatever I did was important to me. I also think at the moment I made that decision, there was a sense of my own self-worth intertwined to pursue the MCC.

I feel like there’s less of that intertwined now that I have plenty of value as a human without necessarily having my MCC, but that also, in earning it, I have become different than I was at the start. It means that once I set my mind to something, I can absolutely achieve it, even when the journey to getting it may have unexpected twists and turns.

What Do You Want to Tell Coaches Who Are Currently Pursuing Their Coaching Credential?

Pursuing a credential is a notable goal, and I believe who you become in the process of the pursuit of the credential is also part of the most important learning you’ll do. As I pursued my MCC, there were moments of excitement, surprise, nervousness, frustration, rethinking my life (lol), gratitude, and determination.

A credential is a milestone of a destination and the journey to achieve this milestone is also a destination; being open to the experiences along the way and accepting them as they come and developing strategies to move towards better feelings, and consistently making decisions to take the next step, even when it feels infinitesimal.

How Did You Decide You Wanted to Pursue Your MCC?

From the very beginning of my first coach training course, I knew that I wanted to earn my MCC credential; however, it wasn’t until about two years ago that, alongside my colleague Susan Britton, I decided to upgrade my skills from PCC to MCC. At the time, I thought, in a year, I’ll have it! I train this and know my stuff — well, there was a little bit more to be learned than I thought. That year turned into nearly two years, but I finally earned my MCC in early 2023.

How Long Was the MCC Training and Application Process?

The MCC training and mentor lasted for me about one year. I opted to take a course where I had the opportunity to be mentored by Carly Anderson, an extremely skilled facilitator, trainer, and mentor-coach who has a track record of success mentoring MCCs. I found her information after contacting several of my colleagues and inquiring about what mentor coach or training they might recommend to me.

The training lasted about three months and primarily focused on application, observation, and discussion of live and recorded coaching sessions. I found this exposure to a library of recorded and assessed coaching sessions to be invaluable in my growth and development as it was really interesting to hear so many different ways to demonstrate the ICF competencies in the course of a coaching conversation.

After that initial three months of training, I interacted on a one-on-one basis with Carly for months, reviewing my actual coaching sessions with clients who agreed to be recorded using a rubric, while getting both my strengths and growth areas shared with me in a direct and kind way. This self-review and mentor review of my sessions proved to be the most effective support in upgrading my skills to focus far more on the client, rather than simply what they wanted to talk about.

What Would You Say to Coaches Who May Not Think They Want to Pursue an MCC?

I recommend that you have a clear “why” as to the reason you want to earn an MCC; otherwise, it could be challenging to stay the course to earn it as you inevitably notice where your listening and coaching skills can be improved regularly.

For me, a strong sense of personal accomplishment in being excellent at what I do, coupled with a few of my contracts being updated with new coaching rates (aka more green), have been some of my key motivators for pursuing it.

Further, I look forward to continuing to hone my skills and support others in earning their ACC, PCC, and MCC credentials in the future through more training and coaching.

How Has The Academies Been a Part of Your Journey to the MCC?

The entire team at The Academies has been cheering me on from the outset, and this cadre has encouraged me throughout my MCC earning process — the smaller milestones along the way of:

  • Completing the training.
  • Finally finding two good recordings to use after so many months of recording, listening, and changing my approach.
  • Finding out about the PCC markers training course from ICF and completing that — what a great resource for upgrading one’s coaching skills!
  • Celebrating that two of my recordings passed after waiting nearly six months to hear back from ICF.
  • And then celebrating with me after I completed the new ICF credentialing exam and hearing back shortly after that, that my MCC was official!

Throughout this journey, I leveraged the power of reaching out to other people when I felt overwhelmed, discouraged, frustrated, or confused, and regularly employed the 4-7-8 breathing techniques of Dr. Andrew Weil to calm the nerves before recorded sessions, the credentialing exam, and even coaching live in front of 12 other credentialed coaches during my coach training.

Can You Share a Little Bit About Yourself?

I get to train, mentor, and coach leaders and executives worldwide in both the professional and academic setting all from my desk at home. The fact that I get to speak to India, Australia, South America, Europe, North America, and Asia — all on the same day — brings me so much joy, happiness, and fulfillment.

In the last two years, I’ve also taken up strength training and working out regularly and am pleased to repeat gains of over 50 lbs. of muscle, and have healthy levels of cholesterol and blood pressure all without meds. And since I am constantly referring to the benefits of exercise on the brain and body in some of our different coaching courses, I decided to take action on it and finally do it. Doing so has allowed me to no longer feel guilty about my lack of exercise and diet and, instead, engage more with my kids and friends.

I also love music and the arts and have seen about 20 traveling Broadway shows in the last two years at my local theatre in Greensboro, NC.

It’s an Honor to Have You at The Academies, James!

In short, we can’t express how grateful we are to have James Beeman, MCC, as an integral part of The Academies family. He is a living example of how great things can be achieved when one is driven and passionate about their purpose in life. His mission to use his unique set of skills to make a positive, lasting impact on the world is positively inspiring.

We highly encourage you to get to know more about James by reading his bio to learn more about his journey and professional accomplishments, and to also connect with him on LinkedIn. Thank you for taking this journey with us as we gained first-hand insights into James’ MCC Certification journey — we hope it has been as inspirational for you as it has been for us!