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Life Coach Advice for Romney Before the Debate

Posted by Kristi Arndt

Guest post by Dr. Kristi Arndt, MCC
Dear Mr. Romney, Life Coach Advice

May I call you Mitt? It's more comfortable for me if we interact on a first name basis. I was pleased and honored to receive a request yesterday to coach you. Given that your final debate with Barack Obama is tonight, we do not have much time to build our relationship prior to the event. However, I would like our connection to deepen over time as that would allow us to work most effectively together.

As your coach also knowing you grew up around politics with your dad becoming Governor of Michigan, I think it is important for you to understand something. My mother was the political one, not me. Unlike you, I much prefer remaining on the sidelines. How proud your own father would have been to see you running this race!
If you didn't know "the late, great Mary Jo Arndt" as many friends now refer to her, then I encourage you to get acquainted by reading her obituary when you have a few moments. Interestingly, after my mother's sudden passing September 24, 2011, a family member realized she had died on Mary Jo Arndt Day proclaimed by the Village of Lombard President exactly one year earlier

Mitt, at this point the presidential race is way too close to call. Your campaign certainly has an eye on the latest polling data. As we've seen in recent elections, every single vote counts, and one can not take anything for granted. In today's world, information is available instantaneously around the globe. Given the dynamics of political systems, changing moment to moment under the influence of a multitude of complex, interacting factors, plenty of opportunity still exists that I believe can make a difference in your favor.

I'd like to ask you a couple of questions. After all, that is what coaches do best! What do you really think you most need as you prepare for tonight's debate? Whose vote might you gain by showing your true colors and saying what is in your heart instead of sticking to those talking points your advisers have given you? Remember, it's only me; what you say here remains strictly confidential. I really want to know who you are, what you value most, and what drives you to become the next President of the United States of America. Why do you deserve my vote on November 6?

I have an inkling. Would you like me to share it? The words GRACE under PRESSURE are coming to me. Given the fact that you have not yet effectively convinced women to elect you, perhaps a strong, independent-minded, intelligent female leader with her own set of political accomplishments could serve as a perfect role model for you. What do you think, Mitt? Are you willing to give it a try? By the way, the weekend Wall Street Journal summarized the gender gap nicely.

Why are you even with Obama among men in the "Monied 'Burbs" but lagging 10 points behind with women there? Given that you need some swing states to go your way, this seems like a really important gap, especially since I'm one of these women. What's possible while there's still time to influence suburban women who tend to be wealthier and more highly educated?

Perhaps my mother's example can provide some inspiration you might use to convince potential voters to trust you when they head to the polls on Election Day. Mary Jo instinctively knew when to speak up and when it was best to keep quiet even if it meant she had to bite her tongue because a larger issue really was more important. She also fought to win. While undergoing chemotherapy to keep an extremely aggressive cancer under control, she served as the Illinois Women for McCain Campaign Chairman as well as a member of the McCain National Hispanic Outreach Team. Throughout her life, she faced adversity head on and always remained victorious in spirit. She was adamant about bringing women of diverse backgrounds into the Republican Party, encouraging and preparing them to run for elected office. Many times she chose to rise above challenge to defeat the odds, even turning some adversaries into her biggest supporters.

If she did it, so can you. Let's go, Mitt!
Your coach,
Kristi

Mary Jo and Kristi Arndt resized 600A committed leader devoted to help steer the future direction of the coaching profession, Dr. Kristi Arndt is Vice President of the International Association of Coaching (IAC). Kristi integrates extensive knowledge of the Human Design System to guide her clients according to life strategies that are correct for them. A lifelong learner and agent of change, she has fifteen years of professional experience in secondary and higher education settings including roles as a university learning center director and faculty development coordinator at a veterinary school. Kristi is a Master Certified Coach with the IAC and a Board Certified Coach through the Center for Credentialing and Education who earned PhD, EdM, and DVM degrees from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. To get better acquainted, please book an appointment with her at www.CoachWithKristi.com.

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Topics: life coach, Kristi Arndt, CCE, BCC, International Association of Coaching, MCC, Barack Obama, IAC

Life Coach Advice for Obama Before the Debate

Posted by Julia Stewart

Life coach advice for Obama

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

by Julia Stewart, MCC

Mr. President, as a life coach, I don't hand out a lot of advice. I have a deep bag of tools I use to help my clients be, do and have what they want and advice is the least of it. But when it's needed, it's needed.

You're an awesome speaker and I was surprised you didn't wipe the floor with your opponent in the last debate. What's up with that?

Judging from his passion, Romney got some terrific coaching before that debate. For the first time in this campaign, he didn't look like his eyes were clueless about what his mouth was saying. Genuine and commanding, he looked like the kind of guy we want for President. (Apparently, he's a closet moderate, after all!) But he still has an uphill climb. Voters may forget flip-flops, but they don't forget insults. Memories of 'Etch-a-Sketch' and '47%' will accompany them into voter booths in November.

You know all that and you also know that you looked like a high school kid who forgot his homework through much of the debate. You didn't make it though Harvard Law, the US Senate and on to the White House, all in lightening speed, by being a guy who shows up anywhere unprepared.

I think something else was going on. Do you mind if I share?

A few years ago, when you were newly elected President Obama, I wrote a post written for life coaches on the importance of keeping up with our clients' rapid growth. It was called, Coach Who They're Becoming, Not Who They've Been and I used you as the example.

But I'm wondering if maybe you got stuck showing up as who you were, instead of who you are, when you went toe to toe with Romney.

You've written about the challenge of showing up as a trustworthy African American when white Americans react to assertive black men as aggressive or even scary. You've brilliantly managed how others perceive you by consistently showing up confident, at ease, polite, but never aggressive.

Well, it's four years later and Americans no longer see you primarily as a black man running for President. We see you first and foremost as The President: The most powerful man on earth, the leader of the free world, our Commander and Chief.

We need you to be more commanding.

This is a defining moment for both you and the country. Yes you can speak as Commander and Chief to a distinguished white man on television and we will cheer you on. Own it.

Normally, if you were my client, I'd ask you what it means to you to be President and why it matters. I suspect you've already reviewed that along with your talking points.

In your rare and marvelous case, you can own what it means to be the first African American President who can publicly stand in his power in a situation that nobody could even imagine a few years ago.

Go for it.

Topics: life coach, Life Coaches, Coaching Tip, Barack Obama

Coaching Tip: Coach Who They're Becoming, Not Who They've Been

Posted by Julia Stewart

The PresidentsIf I were to make a short list of important coaching skills, this one would be near the top.

People naturally fill the shoes you lay out for them. When you coach any client, it's really important to coach them from the standpoint of who they are becoming, not who they are at this moment, or who they have been. You'll always have a bigger, more productive conversation, if you do. Your client will grow faster and achieve their goals. They will love you for it.

I learned this because one of the best coaches I ever had, failed this towards the end and I felt the result. In the beginning, she was my greatest champion and I absolutely blossomed with her coaching and naturally stepped up to the next iteration of me. Fabulous!

Problem was, I grew quickly and she continued to coach that last iteration. Eew. That doesn't work. I soon lost interest and moved on to a new coach.

Imagine coaching Barack Obama as if he were still a freshman senator. Then again, imagine coaching him in 2004 as if he were the next President of the United States.

And yes, our leaders in government have their own coaches. How else would they get to the top? 

photo by BL1961 Flickr Creative Commons 

Topics: Coaching, coach, Coaching Tip, coaching skills, Barack Obama

Coaches: Will Video Help or Hurt Your Business?

Posted by Julia Stewart

Annetta WilsonI had a fantastic conversation yesterday about using video for coaching, with Media Trainer and Talent Coach, Annetta Wilson, who coaches television journalists for major networks.

Annetta was a television journalist for about 30 years (hard to believe from her picture) before becoming a coach, so she really knows her stuff about on-camera image. I told her I was fascinated by the possibilities of video for coaching, but some bad examples of it have made me cautious.

Annetta confirmed that video magnifies the visual, so getting the visuals right on screen is even more important than it is during in-person presentations or coaching sessions.

It's clear that an entire new set of skills may be needed for effective video coaching - or are they? What are your experiences? 

And then, of course, there is the use of video for marketing on the web. You may have heard that online video is all the rage among marketers, but I think video done badly can be way worse than no video, at all. 

I remember the coach who emailed me a video she made (just for me!) of herself trying to sell me something. Never mind that I didn't know her and hadn't expressed any interest in what she was selling (a huge no-no, right there). When I saw how bad the video was (Her face was magenta, her living room clutter was distracting and she kept making annoying smacking sounds, as she spoke), I made an instant Note to Self: Don't use video unless you use it well! 

Annetta uses video extraordinarily well. Just check her video on her homepage. Not only is she poised and professional, she also comes across as totally authentic. That's no easy combination to achieve. (If it were, Hillary Clinton might be President instead of Barack Obama!)

I don't believe coaches need to be as polished on screen as television newscasters. In fact, too much polish would get in the way of great coaching. But when I see some of the dreadful YouTube videos that have been posted by coaches (it's honestly hard to tell if some of them are joking), all I can say is, we haven't struck the right balance, yet!

Video is a huge trend. Are you ready for video coaching?

Topics: Barack Obama, video coaching, YouTube, Talent Coach

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