Written by Julia Stewart
I've worked with thousands of coaches in the decade, or so, that I've been training coaches and most of them think they already know how to coach before they get training. That's true only in about 1% of cases.
That 1% applies to psychotherapists, counselors, social workers and other "helping professionals", too. People from these backgrounds can make terrific coaches, but usually they need to unlearn a few things and unlearning often takes longer than learning from scratch.
A story: One day, a member of our Certified Coach Training Program, a licensed psychotherapist, used a therapy technique to extract some info from a resistant client during a practice coaching session in class. He got the tidbit he was after, but the client was insulted and shut down the whole session. His classmates were likewise offended. I had a WTF moment, listening to this travesty, but the coach seemed to think he'd done something clever!
Lesson #1: You NEVER have permission to practice therapy on a coaching client. They are high-functioning and you'd better fully respect that. Use a therapy technique and you will destroy the trusted relationship you need to coach them well - and you'll be violating professional ethics, and possibly the law, as well.
Another story: I worked for years with a psychotherapist whose communication style was serious, cerebral, and analytical. It was perfectly suited to the type of therapy she did, but it hurt her coaching sessions and she had a real challenge learning an effective coaching style to qualify for IAC certification. When she finally achieved it, I literally had tears in my eyes!
Lesson #2: Coaching is light. A big part of what we do is validate the client. It sounds easier than it is for a lot of coaches, but the goal is for the client to be resourceful, so serious, cerebral, and analytical won't cut it.
A third story: I worked for a while with a counselor who had trouble transitioning to coaching. Whenever she got stuck, she asked the client how they felt: "How do you feel?...How do you feel, now?...How do you feel, now?" Argh! I'm pretty sure this wouldn't be great counseling, but I can tell you with authority that constantly focusing on the client's feelings is lousy coaching!
Lesson #3: Coaches don't heal people's feelings. We don't ignore them either, but they are an adjunct to the conversation, not the main topic. It's far better to ask a more specific question, such as, "You don't sound excited when you talk about that goal. What's up with that?"
Final story: I had a former child psychologist show up to a live certification event, but each time she coached, her clients (fellow participants, who were coaches and open to the process) got irritated and shut down. Hmmm, what's up with THAT? Answer: she communicated with her coaching clients in a voice that may have been appropriate for frightened children: soft, gentle and high pitched. In other words, she was talking baby talk to her clients. Ugh. No wonder they were irritated!
Lesson #4: You probably wouldn't use baby talk with your clients, but a communication style that worked for you, as a therapist, may still undermine your coaching. In fact, it may be a train wreck. And you might assume your clients are the problem, rather than your communication style, if you don't get feedback from a good coach trainer, because resistant coaching clients act a lot like therapy clients who have issues: mistrusting, closed mouthed, uncooperative, etc.
Don't hobble your transition into coaching. Get training on coaching communication and make sure you get lots of in-class practice and feedback from experts. Otherwise, you'll repeat the problems above, or worse.
Better yet, if you want to coach and you're just getting started, you may want to skip the psychology degree and just get coach training, instead. You'll save a ton of money and time.
Written by Julia Stewart
If you're a high achiever, then one of your main stumbling blocks to becoming a coach is taking the time you need to master your new profession. Your time is precious, because you're already successful at something else.
Degree programs and coach training schools really won't really work for you, because they're:
1. Time consuming.2. One-size-fits-all.3. Don't cover exactly what you need, when you need it.
What you want is learning that is tailored to what you need, when you need it, no more, no less. Someone who could curate the thousands of learning tools out there, so you don't waste time on the superfluous, would be awesome. There are plenty of mentor coaches who claim they can give that to you, but coaching and training are two different professions and coaching is a lot pricier. So what do you do?
What you probably need, but may not realize it, is someone who can get you unstuck when your fears, insecurities and the 'voice of reason', that vampire that stalks every entrepreneur who dares to chase a dream, start harrassing you, because they will.
You need two things:
- A systematic method for closing your knowledge gaps and getting the experience you need. That's what training is.
- A process for becoming who you need to be, day by day, despite your fears. That's what coaching does.
I started School of Coaching Mastery
in 2007, because as a certified mentor coach
, I was tired of working with people who wanted to become coaches, but had little or no training. They simply didn't know what they needed to know. But I also get frustrated by students who get training, but no coaching, because they're starting their businesses with an unnecessary handicap.
What I really love is mentoring my coaching students.
They get exactly what they need and I enjoy hearing how much stinking fun they're having with their new coaching businesses. I've been mentoring coaches for over a decade, but I made it official when I launched Elite Mentor Coaching for High Achievers
last year. It includes private mentor coaching and access to the SCM modules and programs you want, like Coaching Groundwork Advanced
, Master Coach Training
, Positive Psychology
, Group Coaching
, and more, when you want them, no more, no less. Maybe I should call it, Stewart's Tailored Coach Training!
Here are a couple of testimonials from recent clients:
"Results are what you’ll see what you take full advantage of the Elite Mentoring Program for High Achievers. Working with Master Coach Julia Stewart, I found the clarity I needed and the insights that inspired me to take action and keep working. Within weeks, I doubled the number of coaching clients I work with, expanded my professional speaking business by adding three new clients and launched my website. Within months, I designed and delivered a nationwide professional development program for a new client and launched a popular group coaching program. Trust Julia with your highest aspirations. Stay open to new possibilities. Do the work and you will create what you really want, and more." - Nancy McCabe, Coach, Trainer, Speaker and Founder of Results Business Coaching
"When I hired Julia as my mentor coach, I wasn't entirely sure I needed it. I had quite a bit of education and experience already and the industry does not require certified coaching credentials to be recognized as a coach. I wasn't sure it would be a good investment for the money. After coaching for 3 months with Julia and taking several classes at SCM, I can say that not only was this a great investment but possibly the best investment I have made in my career. I would recommend this to experienced coaches as well as inexperienced coaches. The value of the service far exceeds the cost, which makes this a savvy investment in YOU!" - Patrice Swenson, CCC, Life and Business Coach and Founder of Rainbow in the Puddle
I have an opening for one new client, right now. I may have one or two openings in early January. If you're ready to succeed at becoming a coach, or want to be added to my mailing list, click below to find out more and fill out the form, while you're there:
People often wonder if the coaching profession is regulated.
And professional life, business, and executive coaches
often wonder, with trepidation, if coaching should
be regulated. This article will help answer those questions, but the conversation about coaching regulation will likely go on for years.
- If you're thinking about hiring a coach, then you want to know who will be the best coach for you, whether they should be licensed or certified, and whether there are training requirements for professional coaches. If you've been given a great recommendation for a coach from a trusted friend, these issues may matter less to you, but they still matter.
- If you're thinking about becoming a coach, then you want to know what requirements you have to meet before you can accept paying clients and whether jumping through those hoops will be worth it for you.
- However, if you're already making a living as a coach, you may regard these questions as threatening, because any changes in regulations or requirements where you live could impact your ability to keep making a living doing what you love. That's frightening. And if you're in the US (or anywhere else), witnessing the current Federal government shutdown, then the idea of getting government involved in your livelihood probably makes you apoplectic!
To professional coaches: relax. Your government isn't coming for you.To my knowledge, and I keep my ear to the ground on this, no government is currently regulating professional life, business or executive coaches (If you have knowledge to the contrary, please share it in the comments section, below). There have been attempts to regulate coaching in countries where it is widespread, but so far, coaching has established itself as a profession that doesn't target vulnerable populations, nor those who are in crisis, nor do coaches give advice on health, mental illness, or finance; three areas that usually require credentials. If you're a new coach, you can begin charging clients whenever you like. There are no legal hoops for you to clear.
To potential coaching clients: the onus is on you. Caveat emptor: let the buyer beware, is the rule of law that governs coaching. There's a huge variance in the effectiveness of professional coaches, so be sure you hire a good one.
By the way, some professional coaches are dead set against government regulation, while others are hoping for it.
I put myself in the middle. Responsible coaches owe it to our clients to help them understand what to look for in a good coach. I think the ICF
are in the best position to do this, but all of us need to pitch in, including coach training schools
New professions can best prevent government interference by taking responsibility for their own standards. This Coaching Blog is widely read, so here are a few standards I believe you should look for when hiring a coach. Usually, the more of these you find in a coach, the better.
1. Get recommendations from people you know well and trust. Did your best friend have a great experience with a coach? Then begin there. But ask your friend if the coach paid them for the referral. That's a common practice. A reputable coach will always tell you, up front, if they paid for your referral.
But what if you don't know anyone who has worked with a coach?
3. Look for coaches who have joined a professional organization, such as the IAC or ICF, that requires members to sign a code of ethics. Of course, unethical coaches can sign codes, but if the coach is upfront about the ethical code they are bound by, then you at least have something with which to measure their behavior. The good news is that these organizations have online coach directories of their members.
4. Only work with coaches who use written coaching agreements. Your agreement should give you an idea of what to expect and will likely reflect the code of ethics followed by that coach.
5. Work with coaches who have a substantial amount of coach-specific training.
Most genuine coaches have had coach training, including the ones who've been practicing for decades. The ICF only allows coaches with at least 60 hours of coach-specific training to join their organization
, so that's a good threshold to consider, but their entry-level certification requires 100 hours. If your coach is in training, but shy of that number of hours, most likely they will charge you less. Generally, you can expect to pay more to coaches who are trained, certified, and experienced.
I'm sure some professional coaches will disagree with the above standards. You're welcome to your opinion, as I am to mine. Perhaps you'll help educate consumers by writing about it on your own blog.
Here are some places to find coaches:
Photo by Mr Mo Fo
Would you like to be a better coach, immediately? Then here's a tip on how to make full use of what researchers call, "the audience effect".
One of our main jobs, as coaches, is to help our clients think better and be more resourceful. One of the biggest mistakes we can make, then, is to try to think FOR the client. That is never a coach's job.
When you think for your clients, a.k.a. solve their problems or tell them what to do, you're acting like the star of the show.
You're never the star, your client is. Your job is to be a member of the audience.
Let me explain: most of the time, when a client hires a professional, such as a trial lawyer, or brain surgeon, they want the most brilliant professional they can afford, because the professional provides the outcome. But the purpose of hiring a coach is to BE brilliant, because the client provides the outcome. Big difference.
Here's where the audience effect comes in. Researchers have found that people learn faster when they have to explain to someone else what's going on, or what their thinking, or process, is. This is called, "the audience effect". If you want someone to be more resourceful, give them an audience.
Of course, some audiences are distracting, or worse. And for some coaches, being an audience of one is a lot harder than putting on a show (or sham) for the client.
You've probably heard the saying, "If you want to learn something, teach it." Well, your clients learn faster and, in effect, get smarter, when they have to explain, or even teach you.
In fact, at the Master Certified Coach
level, the ICF
expects the coach to be open to being taught by the client. Not at the beginner level, but at the master level.
If you want to be a great coach, you need to get comfortable with being a member of the audience, like that crowd, above. At most, you're the audience member who stands up at the mike and asks a question. The client, or star, is the one who gets to be brilliant. You just listen and occasionally provide the coaching equivalent of applause, a.k.a.validation.
Of course, some coaches combine consulting
with coaching and if that's what your client hired you for, then sometimes you share your experience or opinion with them. But be sure you know the difference, because, in the end, leveraging the audience effect will provide greater results for your client.
And if you have the personal development to get your ego out of the way, this is an effortless (not to mention, masterful
) approach to provide amazing outcomes for your coaching clients.
Photo: Boston Library
If you're thinking about becoming a coach, then you may also be wondering if you need to become a certified coach and if so, what certifications do you need?
Some coaches will tell you, "No, you don't need to be certified to become a coach."
I'm going to tell you why that's terrible advice and why you do need to get certified, especially if you're a new coach who wants to succeed. My information comes from several large surveys of the coaching industry and my experience working with thousands of coaches. But don't take my word for it. Once you have the facts, make up your own mind and set yourself up for success.
#1 Reason you need to become a certified coach:
According to research by Coaching Sherpa and others, professional coaches with training & certification earn more, become successful more quickly, and are less likely to drop out of the profession.
According to School of Coaching Mastery's own research, 80.6% of all coaches wish they were more successful. Why lose even one good potential client because you don't have some letters after your name?
#2 Reason you need to become a certified coach:
Certification helps distinguish you from non-coaches who call themselves coaches, and who often mislead or even harm clients. As more scandals arise about so-called coaches, authentic professional coaches seek reputable certifications as a way to assure potential clients that they are genuine coaches.
#3 Reason you need to become a certified coach:
Rightly or wrongly, most people assume that certified professionals are better than those who are uncertified. Yes, there may be uncertified coaches who are good, but the public doesn't always know who they are. In the absence of a good referral from a trusted friend, many people look for certification, which essentially is a stamp or approval from a trusted source.
#4 Reason you need to become a certified coach:
Your clients probably want you to be certified. According to a survey by the ICF, 84% of actual coaching clients said coaching credentials were "important" or "very important" to them. This flies in the face of what some coaches say, which is that clients don't care about certification. Evidently most do, and the numbers go up according to region, with 91% of the general public (not just actual coaching clients) in Latin America stating that certification is important. Not only that, but according to SCM's own survey, 82.8% of professional coaches said they would feel more competitive if they were certified and 76% said they would sign on more paying clients.
#5 Reason you need to become a certified coach:
You probably want to be certified. According to the SCM survey, Do You Need Coach Certification?, which to date has been completed by 1,239 coaches worldwide, when asked if they intuitively want to get certified (in other words, is this what you really want, or is it just what you think you should do), 75.7% of professional coaches said they want to get certified.
#6 Reason you need to become a certified coach:
Someday you may legally need to be. Most people who want to become business, executive or life coaches wonder if they need credentials in order to legally practice coaching. In most places the answer currently is, "No", but that may change. No one knows for sure what will happen, but having a recognized certification, such as ICF or IAC, can help grandfather you in, if/when regulation comes.
#7 Reason you need to become a certified coach:
You'll become a better coach. No, letters after your name won't magically make you better. But preparing for an oral certification exam will. I've learned something new with every certification that I've qualified for and I've seen hundreds of other coaches improve, as well. Great coaches tend to be more successful.
#8 Best reason you need to become a certified coach:
Regardless of the laws where you live, if you think like a coach, then you've evolved away from thinking that just having enough to get by is okay, and you actively choose to set yourself up for success in every way possible, instead. You're interested in best practices, not just minimum standards. Coach certification helps set you up for success and it represents coaching best practices.
Given all the good reasons why coaches, especially new coaches, benefit from coach certification, I sometimes wonder why some coaches persist in telling new coaches they don't need it. Do they secretly want new coaches to fail, so there will be less competition? Are they terrified that the march toward professionalism will leave them in the dust? I don't know. But whenever I write about certification, some disgruntled coach leaves an angry, jeering, or paranoid comment on this blog, or on Facebook, or LinkedIn.
Clearly this is a hot-button issue for some. But if you're a new coach, don't just take advice. Get the facts and decide for yourself.
Take the survey, "Do You Need Coach Certification?". It'll help you decide if certification is right for you, based on your own answers.
Ready to become a certified coach? Explore certification options here. Or check out our entry-level training and certification:
Yesteryday, Coach Maryam Webster shared some 'million dollar coaching for conscious business owners' on Facebook. Of course, what she really did, was warn the innocent away from a predatory type of 'coaching'. Her message included:
''Before buying into any six figure type training, ask to see the teacher's financials...Then run. Far away from cookie cutter trainings and teachers like this...Forget the 6 and 7 figure coach, author & speaker trainings. Those who make money their central theme are playing on your basic survival fears..."
Be sure to read the entire conversation on Maryam's Page (you may need to log in to Facebook, first) before you spend a dime on programs like these, because they are almost always scams...
As I said in my reply to Maryam, I've written on this topic a number of times. I shared several horror stories here. I wrote more recently on the meaninglessness of titles such as 'life coach', here. Do read these posts before working with a 'wealth coach', 'million-dollar coach', 'six-figure coach', 'seven-figure coach', or anybody who calls him/herself a 'coach'. You could save yourself thousands of dollars and years of heartache.
Some of these so-called 'coaches', gurus and teachers have been sued by the likes of the US Securities and Exchange Commission. Others have gone to prison. Their victims have been emotionally devastated, bankrupt, lost their homes, or even lost their lives.
It's a serious problem, but not an easy one to fix. Coaching has a reputation for being high-paid, but to my knowledge, it's still not regulated by any government in the world. Plus most people don't know what it is, except that it involves people talking to each other. That makes it the perfect get-rich-quick scheme for any sociopath who can talk. There are an awful lot of them out there.
Genuine coaches provide valuable services and are nearly always certified by reputable coaching schools and professional associations. They have testimonials from real people you can talk to. Their clients rave about them and you can find them online and research their reputations. Coaches who are certified by the ICF or IAC are usually a good bet. And I stand behind the coaches who are certified by School of Coaching Mastery.
So why's there a kitten in the picture, above? He's Josey, an abandoned formerly feral baby cat we found half-starved, terrified and awfully lonely. He was desperate enough to let some gigantic strange creatures take him in and feed him and now he's a delightful member of the household. Josey was lucky. Imagine what could have happened to him if a sociopath found him, instead of a family of animal lovers.
When you have a dream of building a 'conscious business', or of answering your calling, or even of becoming wealthy by sharing your brilliance with those who want or need it, you're as vulnerable, and often, as innocent as a kitten. You probably need help from someone who can help facilitate your dream, such as a good coach, but you and your dream can be destroyed by a greedy sociopath. Be careful who you share your dreams with!
Today, Gina Spadafori shared on Facebook that P&G has voluntarily recalled the type of kitten food I feed to Josey. It may be contaminated with salmonella. He was lucky again, because his chow was made in a different batch.
It got me thinking how great it would be if we could recall toxic 'coaches'. It would save a lot of innocent people from being preyed upon. And it would definitely improve the reputation of the coaching profession.
But fake coaches manufacture themselves. They remind me of Sturgeon's Law: 90% of anything is crap. That doesn't mean the top 10% isn't fantastic. In my opinion, million-dollar coaches occupy the bottom 10% of the crap pile.
There is no way to wipe them all out, but you can protect yourself. Stay out of free, or suspiciously low-fee, seminars and webinars. They are designed to get you to spend irrationally. Don't be swayed by money-back guarantees. They usually mean nothing.
Instead, work with certified coaches and get recommendations.
Maryam asked me online what we should do about this problem. I'd like to see a coordinated marketing campaign by coaches, coach-training schools and professional coaching associations that warns the public about unscrupulous coaching practices and how to hire a good coach. I'm not the person to organize this. Do you know someone who is?
If you care about people in general and the coaching profession specifically, please share this blog post or voice your own opinions online. You could save someone from making a horrible mistake.
Positive psychology coaching is on the rise, because it works. So have you ever wondered how positive psychology coaching can help your coaching business flourish? I'm talking about how actual positive psychology interventions can impact your thoughts and actions to bring you more success, happiness, and yes - more clients.
Success occurs when you do the right things at the right times. Positive psychology interventions can help you do the right things at the right times with surprising effectiveness. And it's not precriptive (as in, 'You must do it my way to succeed.'), but rather points out what's worked for others, so you can customize it for your desires, strengths and values.
As a mentor coach who specializes in positive psychology coaching, I see this phenomenon, daily. Here are three recent examples:
- A new life coach who's building his business by leveraging his Primary Strengths. He's having a blast and his business is taking off like a rocket.
- Then there's the executive coach whose business has also taken off like a rocket, but she's not having a blast, even though she's living her dream life. She's still reliving negative thoughts and emotions about her past. In her case, we're using positive psychology and positive neuroscience interventions to help her mind catch up with her awesome life and business. This will help her sustain her success. Otherwise, she likely will burn out, or start repeating negative habits that could short-change her success. You're not flourishing if you're not having fun.
- Then there's the business coach who already thinks positively, but whose business seemed to be stalled. What's up with that? We cracked through some blocks and limiting beliefs around making money and feeling ready for success, using Great Self Coaching (another positive intervention). You guessed it. Now his business is taking off like a rocket!
When I work with my one-to-one Elite Mentor Coach for High Achievers clients, their frame of mind is often the topic. At one end of the spectrum, the wrong frame of mind, for instance a limiting belief that it's too soon to expect success, can hold the coach back. At the other end, the coach may appreciate her incredible success, but still be stuck experiencing painful thoughts and feelings from the past. In my opinion, neither is experiencing a positive business, yet.
My definition of a positive coaching business is one that is both successful, as defined by the coach, and thoroughly enjoyed. My one-to-one mentor coaching may be financially out of reach for some coaches (although it's not expensive when you consider the training and certification that is included). However, this Fall, I'm putting together a new mentor group that uses the same positive coaching interventions to help coaches build flourishing businesses. It's quite reasonable and includes some training and certification, as well.
If you're a coach who is serious about building a flourishing life and business, click the link below to find out more and/or make an appointment to ask your questions.
Everybody knows that CEOs and Executives are the folks who all have high-priced executive life coaches. But a new study from Stanford University says there's a big gap between the number of executives who want coaching and the number who actually get it.
How many executives want coaching? According to Stanford, virtually 100% want coaching and consulting. How many actually get it? Only 34%. That's a lot of need for executive coaching services that's not being met.
By the way, what's the difference between life coaching and executive coaching? Not much, according to Sherpa. Executive coaches use many of the same communication and awareness-building skills that life coaches use. The difference is largely in who gets coached and how much is charged for it, with executive coaches averaging roughly double what life coaches charge.
To become an executive coach it's important to have a recognized coach certification. Currently ICF certification is preferred by large organizations. You also need experience, a great track record and training in areas like positive psychology. Understanding corporate politics may matter, but some coaches say it's more advantageous to come from a background that's completely different from that of big business. To understand why, read the four main reasons CEOs and executives want coaching...
Why do 100% of CEOs and Executives want coaching?
- They want to learn how to handle conflict better.
- They want to learn to mentor and develop talent.
- They need to learn to share leadership and delegate.
- They need to improve team building.
These skills are all about cooperation, not the competitive, swim-with-the-sharks approach that the upper echelans of business are known for.
What are CEOs and Executives NOT interested in? Motivation, compassion, empathy; these life coaching 'soft' skills aren't sought after by executives, but can be powerful add-ins when combined with the more tangible wants, above. Smart coaches have always marketed and sold what clients want, while adding in important soft skills as their 'secret sauce'.
CEOs and executives also want advice, because they make big decisions daily and they know they don't know it all. But there's a big difference between wanting advice and taking the advice given. That's where coaching skills trump consulting
. Coaches communicate in ways that make it far more likely that clients will act upon good ideas.
Have you ever wondered, "Do I need a coach?" If so, this post is for you...
I've put together 10 of the best reasons to find a coach.
And when I say, "coach" I mean a certified life coach, business coach, executive coach, career coach, relationship coach, wellness coach, etc. Make sure your coach has a reputable certification
and some excellent recommendations. Most good coaches do.
Here are the Top Ten Reasons You Need a Coach:
- Your life, business, career, relationship, etc., is already good, but you want it to be much, much better. Coaching isn't a crisis intervention. Nor is it a substitute for psychotherapy, or advice from a professional such as an attorney, accountant, physician, etc. If things are basically good, but you know they could be a lot better and you're ready for that to happen, that's a great time for you to hire a coach.
- You want YOU to be much, much better. Just because most things are going well, doesn't mean you don't want to improve them and that includes yourself. Many people hire a coach because they know they are built for more and they want to reach their full potential sooner, rather than later. This is different from being insecure. People derive considerable joy from stepping into their personal greatness. In fact, some people believe this is the single biggest source of happiness. Great coaches are experts at eliciting their clients' personal greatness.
- You're going through a big transition. Change can be difficult, even when it's what you want. Anytime you go through a big transition such as starting a new business or career, getting divorced, moving to a new city, going back to school, etc.; it's a great time to have someone who believes in you and who can help you make the most crucial choices as smoothly as possible. A good coach won't take you on unless they truly believe in you.
- You're a high achiever. This is the type of client I prefer to work with. High achievers tend to be driven and good at success, but they don't always create the success they really want. If you're ever wondered, "Is this all there is?", or "How did I get myself into this and how do I get out?", you could really benefit from working with a great coach. Everybody has a few blind spots. In fact, neuroscientists say we are unconscious of 95% of what goes on in our brains. Think about that! A good coach can see you as you are, without judgment, and help you be your best and achieve what you're built to do. Just ask Google CEO, Eric Schmidt, Who needs a coach?
- You want more meaning in your life. "Meaning" is what makes your heart sing. It generally comes from doing what matters most to you. This gets much easier when you understand what you most value and find cool ways to express it. If life feels a little shallow, or you don't know why you do what you do anymore, you could really benefit from working with a great coach.
- You want to take better care of yourself. Most of us were taught to take pretty good care of ourselves. That's fine if you want an average life. But people who accomplish great things often need to upgrade their lives tremendously before that's even possible. They need clearer boundaries, a physical environment that's supportive, more organization (or an organized assistant), enough rest, great stress management, and/or people who "get" them and who are actively supportive. Otherwise, "death by a thousand cuts" will slice their dreams to shreds. Good coaches know how to assist their clients to get the wonderful self care they truly need, to step into the lives they were built to live.
- You want to upgrade the people in your life. I don'tknow about you, but I used to choose my friends according to who I had the most fun with. They weren't always the nicest or most evolved people. Eventually, I realized I wanted to upgrade my friendships. Then I realized (gulp), I needed to upgrade myself in order to attract the people I wanted to spend more time with. It wasn't that hard, because my coaches helped me do it. I set higher standards for myself and started living up to them. I found others who lived up to similar standards and we were naturally attracted to each other. Now when I choose friends, I find people who are supportive, really supportive. And they've got a friend for life.
- You want to make more money. It might seem crass to bring up money right after talking about meaning, values, high standards and good friends, but let's face it, a great life or career usually includes enough money, sometimes lots of it. Many people hire coaches when they want to upgrade their careers or launch a new business. The funny thing is that values, high standards, good relationships, etc., tend to make people more successful in many areas, including finances. One thing a great coach can do is help you get over any internal blocks (we're back to that unconscious 95%) you may have about making plenty of money. In fact, eliminating all sorts of internal blocks is one of the ways good coaches help their clients enjoy success of all kinds.
- You're willing to invest in yourself. This is about so much more than money. Are you prepared to take the time, effort, risk and yes, money, in order to have the life or business of your dreams? Or are you satisfied playing small? Are you ready to stop talking about your dreams and start living them? If you had the right coach in your corner, would you have the courage to step into your greatness? Only you can answer that.
- You're a coach. If there's one profession where you really do need a coach most, it's coaching, itself. Although coaching is still one of the fastest growing careers, success with coaching is definitely not a slam dunk. Every successful coach I've ever known has had his/her own coaches, usually several. It helps us keep growing and stay out ahead of our clients. And it's an integrity issue for us; we can't expect people to hire us, when we're not willing to hire our own coaches. That's one reason I offer a coach training, plus mentor coaching package for coaches who are high achievers.
This is a recent testimonial from one of my clients:
"When I hired Julia as my mentor coach, I wasn't entirely sure I needed it. I had quite a bit of education and experience already and the industry does not require certified coaching credentials to be recognized as a coach. I wasn't sure it would be a good investment for the money. After coaching for 3 months with Julia and taking several classes at SCM, I can say that not only was this a great investment but possibly the best investment I have made in my career. I would recommend this to experienced coaches as well as inexperienced coaches. The value of the service far exceeds the cost, which makes this a savvy investment in YOU!" - Patrice Swenson, CCC, Winona, MN
Best Coaching Blogs 2013 is under way and already the social butterflies are pollinating hundreds of admiring voters. (If you haven't entered yet, you still have time to win, but sign up now.)
I'm going to share some secrets of Online Social Butterflies and how they win Best Coaching Blogs, each year. You see, mastering social media cross pollinates with mastering coaching. That's my evil, um... divine plan!
First, what's a social contest, anyway? It's a win-win online contest that leverages everyone's social reach (friends, contacts and followers on sites like Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, and Google+) to attract large audiences for popular voting. Ultimately, everybody wins because contest visitors discover more great coaching bloggers when they visit the site.
Wait! Does that mean coaching bloggers could lose potential clients to their competition? Nope! I'll explain, uno momento.
If you want to see Online Social Butterflies in action, follow the Best Coaching Blogs 2013 List on Twitter. You can pick out the front-runners without even visiting the contest, because they regularly tweet about the contest. Also, search for hashtag, #BestBlogs for related tweets.
Best Coaching Blogs invites coaches who blog on coaching topics to enter their blogs and each year, both new and established blogs win top honors. The winners actively 'play the game' by inviting their readers, colleagues, clients and social reach to come vote for them. People can vote as often as they like, so the contest measures more than just the number of people who like a blog, it also measures passion: both the voters' and the bloggers'.
Passion is a big deal in coaching. It's what ignites clients and creates success. But competition? Not so much. At least not for a lot of clients.
Cooperation, mutual support, acknowledgment, belief in others; that's the stuff of coaching. And it's also the stuff of social media mastery. Both realms, coaching and social media, require that we get our little egos (that part in each of us, that always wants to WIN!!) out of the way and make it all about other folks - without turning ourselves into robots or doormats.
Winning Best Coaching Blogs usually requires more than just a great blog, although great writing and content definitely help. Winning requires the right balance of competition and cooperation. I don't know an English word for that, so I made one up: coopetition.
Here are Some Winning Secrets to Coopetition:
- Start early. Be the kind of person who supports and champions others, as a matter of course. The more history you have doing this, the more people will want to do the same for you. Wait until you need something from them (like a vote) and it could backfire.
- Embrace your selfish reasons. Yes, it's totally okay to be for yourself. Just don't be that way, only. If you try to deny your agenda, people won't trust you. If you fail to express it, people will walk all over you. So go ahead and ask for people's votes. If you've been supporting them, they'll want to help. Even if you haven't, they'll respect your request.
- If you're already supporting others and clear with them about what you want, you're ready to play a fun game. In Best Coaching Blogs, that could mean leaving comments on competitors' blog entries that acknowledge what's great about those blogs. It could also mean voting for your competitors (!), or even telling the world why they should vote for your competitors (!!). You could even ask your competitors to vote for you (!!!). This can get icky and manipulative fast, though, so take care.
- Why is coopetition a winning strategy? Because being a model of coopetition is extraordinarily attractive. It seems like people who act that way should lose out, but they win, instead. The bloggers who do it best always attract more voters, readers and clients, rather than lose them. So it's about a lot more than winning a contest.
- Trust the process. This is hard for high achievers, but you really can't control most of the moving parts in this process; you can only influence them. Resist the urge to pester people, or to obsess about whether or not all your votes get counted. Not even Zuckerberg has total control of Facebook.
- Even in life, it's the folks you support who 'vote' for you and what you want. That's the coopetive advantage. In Best Coaching Blogs, it's the finalists who pick the top winners, so those who play the game well, immediately become the biggest influencers. But 'winning at any cost' is a losing strategy in this contest, as well as in life.
- How does this relate to coaching? People who can let go of their need to win, to be right, to never fail, and who can support and champion others, make great coaches. Entering Best Coaching Blogs is a 'game theory' approach to coach development. If you're interested in becoming a great coach, be sure to participate. Vote here through August 31st. Enter here only through July 31st.