The Master Phase of the I.AM Method of Coaching


The word “master” has as many connotations as it does definitions. It’s a noun and verb. Quite versatile really! In fact, has 35 definitions for master. For the I.AM method of coaching, we’re going with number 32: “To become adept in.” Not perfect. Not flawless. Adept.

As we’ve discussed in previous blogs, the I.AM method of coaching consists of three distinct phases: Identify, Attack, and Master. Once you’ve identified the issue you are working to resolve and you’ve put your attack plan in place, the idea is to master the component parts of that plan. Let’s say you are looking for a new job, but having difficulty landing one. After some discussion, we identify your issue as being something that you are doing or not doing during, or even after, the interview. You are getting interviews and they seem to be going okay, but you aren’t getting any job offers. So, we put together a plan of attack that includes going on as many interviews as you can and analyzing your performance during the interviews. Now, it’s time to master your interview technique.

When we say “master” we’re not talking about Malcolm Gladwell’s 10,000 hours to become a master at something. We’re not talking about The Beatles in Hamburg playing all-night concerts or Michael Jordan taking 500 shots per day in the gym before practice.

No, what we’re talking about will require far less of a commitment than those things, but still a commitment. Go on three, five, maybe even ten interviews. Critique your performance. Ask for feedback. Look for patterns. Then correct course as necessary. Master your interviewing skills!


Sometimes it’s clear cut that you’ve mastered the issue at hand, other times, not so much. As Justice Potter Stewart once famously said, while admitting that he couldn’t specifically define something, “I know it when I see it.” That phrase seems to be apropos here as well. You will be able to know when you’ve mastered your issue. In the meantime, here are some practical steps to take along the way:

1. Sports teams have exhibition games before the real season and shows have dress rehearsals. So should you. Much like the interview example above, if you are planning to unveil a new process in your office that will impact dozens of folks, try it out on a small group first and make sure you can answer questions and provide guidance as appropriate.
2. Be open to constructive criticism. Your goal is to master the issue, so view any criticism as another tool at your disposal. That doesn’t mean you have to take advice from everyone, every time, but be open to it.
3. Have confidence in yourself and trust the hard work you’ve done, but be honest with yourself as well.

An old philosopher once said, “don’t let the perfect be the enemy of the good.” We don’t need perfection for the Master phase of the I.AM method of coaching. We need good… maybe even very good, but not perfect. We’re not perfect at guiding people through the I.AM phase of coaching. But, we’re good, maybe even very good. Get in touch and we can master your issue together!