School of Coaching Mastery

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Best Coaching Blogs: Winning Secrets of Social MEDIA Butterflies

Posted by Julia Stewart

Online Social ButterflyBest 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:

  1. 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.
  2. 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.
  3. 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.
  4. 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.
  5. 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.
  6. 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.
  7. 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.

Vote for Best Coaching Blogs

Topics: Coaching, Best Coaching Blogs, blogs, contest, Free, coaching success, Facebook, How to, twitter, Top Life Coach Blogs, master coach, Google, Masterful Coaching, LinkedIn

Best Coaching Blogs 2013: Early Bird Entries are Open

Posted by Julia Stewart

Best Coaching Blogs 2013Each year, at about this time, people start visiting our site, looking for the Best Coaching Blogs Contest and this year is our Fifth Anniversary, so it's going to be extra special. Best Coaching Blogs is the only coaching blog contest, that we know of, which is decided by popular vote and that's hugely important.

For instance, this blog, the Coaching Blog, was named Number 3 in the Top 100 Life Coach Blogs of 2013, which is awesome. But it would be even more awesome if our readers, subscribers or fans voted it #3, because they're the folks we write it for. And that's the coolest thing about Best Coaching Blogs.

Best Coaching Blogs contestants attract more readers, subscribers, fans and even clients just by actively participating in this contest - especially the bloggers who make it into the coveted Top Ten. Either way, it's cool to be able to refer to you 'award-winning blog' ever after.

Hundreds of coaching blogs have been entered in Best Coaching Blogs over the years, so it's super cool to win it and each year, there seems to be an upset or two, with surprise winners coming from out of 'nowhere'. That makes it fun for everyone, whether you're a new coach or a big coaching organization.

So how do you enter Best Coaching Blogs 2013? This year, the contest will run a little later. Instead of running for one month in late spring or early summer, the actual contest will run in July and August this year. But you can enter as an early bird and get a head start on winning.

Click the button below and fill out the quick form to join Best Coaching Blogs 2013 for free. Then make sure you write some award-winning-worthy content between now and then. The contest tends to be won based on your most recent blog posts. Also add the contestant badges to your site and plan your social media campaigns. The bloggers who actively promote their blog entries via social media have the best chance of winning Best Coaching Blogs. Good luck!

Enter to Win Best Coaching Blogs 2013

Topics: Coaching, Best Coaching Blogs, blogs, blogging, coaching blog, coaching blogs, contest, Coaches, social networking, Top Life Coach Blogs

Infographic: Top 100 Life Coach Blogs 2013 - We're Number 3!

Posted by Julia Stewart

Top 100 Life coach blogs to follow

An infographic by the team at CouponAudit

School of Coaching Mastery hosts the Best Coaching Blogs Contest each year (The above Top Life Coach Blogs To Follow in 2013 is not part of our contest - obviously we can't win our own competition!). Subscribe to our blog (above right) to get an announcement to enter your blog in Best Coaching Blogs or to vote for other blogs. Click the button below to view 2012 winners:

Winners of Best Coaching Blogs 2012

Topics: life coach, Life Coach Blog, Best Coaching Blogs, blogs, blogging, blogosphere, coaching blog, coaching blogs, Top Life Coach Blogs

Life Coaches Come Together in Peace

Posted by Angela Goodeve

Life Coaches Come Together

 

Guest Post by Coach Angela Goodeve, CCC. Angela is a member of School of Coaching Mastery's Ultimate Coach Training Program, a winner of Best Coaching Blogs 2012 and a board member of Women For Change.

September 11, 2001 was a day of great sorrow.  We will never forget the shock of learning of the great tragedy that day.  I will also never forget the moments of silence when people from all over the world came together to pray for those effected by this horrible tragedy.  I sat in the lunchroom at our office with tears in my eyes for all of the beautiful souls who lost their lives that day, as many others did.

The one thing that resonates today is that just as we all came together in sorrow that day, we can also come together in peace.  

There are and have been many ambassadors for peace in the world:  Mother Teresa; Oprah Winfrey; and Tony Robbins, to name a few.  Even though we as individuals may not have the notoriety of these other powerful people, each of us as individuals can be our own Ambassadors of peace.  

Life Coaches also help bring peace to the world, one person at a time, so let’s take the lessons of 9/11 to recognize and get to know some of the less well known, but equally important ambassadors of change.

Just as the School of Coaching Mastery provides accessible, quality training for Life Coaches, Women For Change Coaching Community brings together a community of support to make coaching accessible for all women who are seeking positive change in their lives.  They offer one-on-one coaching, for a nominal fee, as well as monthly workshops for clients geared toward skill building, such as money management, job search, self-esteem or other topics in which clients express interest. They are also dedicated to providing coaches in their community with the support that they need to help people live happier more peaceful lives.  

And let’s not forget all of the wonderful Life Coaches who have a passion for helping others live a life in which their needs are met; their values are expressed in everything they do; and can easily step into their personal greatness!

Let’s make every day a day in which we come together in Peace, just as we have come together in sorrow.

What will you do today to contribute to humanity and come together in peace?

To learn more about Women For Change and other opportunities for life coaches to support positive change, join the IAC North American Virtual Chapter:

Join the IAC North American Virtual Chapter

Image by xlordashx

Topics: Best Coaching Blogs, School of Coaching Mastery, Life Coaches, 9/11, IAC

Best Coaching Blogs Triumph Despite Historic India Power Outage

Posted by Julia Stewart

Best Coaching Blogs 2012The votes are in and the 1st Place winner of Best Coaching Blogs 2012 is Life Coach Vatsala Shukla of India, who did a brilliant job of mobilizing her voters, despite India's massive 2-day power outage, which plunged one tenth of the world's population into darkness, making it the biggest loss of electrical power in world history.

Since its first year in 2008, Best Coaching Blogs finalists have been  decided by a combination of popular votes and comments left by fans. But in the end, the contest finalists themselves, choose 1st, 2nd and 3rd Place winners via a closed ballot.

There were key changes in this year's contest, which for the first time, was formatted like a blog. Each blog entry appeared as a separate blog 'post', with a link to the blog itself, plus a comments section and social sharing buttons, like those at the top of this post. Social shares counted as votes and comments were used as tie-breakers. The  'down vote' option that coaches disliked in previous years, was removed and voters were allowed to vote as many times as they liked. This produced a competition that was both more cordial and more social.

Vatsala's Tips for a Stress Free Life Blog quickly took the lead in both popular votes (social shares) and comments and it prevailed in the finalist's closed vote. 2nd Place went to Evelyn Kalinowsky's Inner Affluence blog and 3rd to Gerard Corbett's PR Job Coach blog. Rachel Grant Coaching blog and Andrea Feinberg's More Free Time blog rounded out the Top Five Winners. Angela Goodeve's* new blog, Life Advice the Coaching Way, received an Honorable Mention.

Congratulations again to all the new winners! Below are statements from three:

1st Place: Vatsala Shukla: "My blog Vatsala’s Tips for a Stress Free Life had just completed its first year of existence. Entering the competition was my challenge to improve myself.  Friends and associates told me my posts were good. That was expected as they know Vatsala the person in all her multi-roles of finance professional, life coach, daughter, pet parent and friend. They understood the context in my writing. What about the world? Was my blog up to the mark? So I entered the competition and was accepted. I was elated. It was only after I started reading the blogs of my fellow competitors that I realised that I was competing with the best of the best. My challenge to step out of my comfort zone went a step further to hold my ground against great veteran bloggers whom I have over the last 4 weeks added to my must read list! Receiving the largest public votes and comments was confirmation that readers liked what they read. Winning from the finalist voting round validated it. I am overwhelmed, humbled and grateful for my win which means a lot more to me than I can articulate. My next challenge is to honour the voters and finalists by being my best."

Top Five: Andrea Feinberg: "Thanks for the opportunity to participate in this contest and end up a winner among the Top 5, my first time! We each have such different targets and I see that as a testament to the swift and broad expansion of professional coaching throughout personal and business sectors. Congratulations to my fellow finalists; we enjoyed the validation of our work through the strength of our supporters who both voted and commented on our behalf."

Honorable Mention: Angela Goodeve: "Yay!!!  Thank-you, thank-you, thank-you!  It was a great experience participating in the contest, and I am so flattered and proud to be given the Honorable Mention!  I love writing the blog posts in the hope that they will provide inspiration, "food for thought", tips, and guidance to improve people's life for the better...and give them an idea of what the wonderful world of Life Coaching can do for them!  I am grateful to you Julia for being a great Mentor and Teacher, and for challenging me to join the contest, and open up more possibilities for me and my business!"

As always, the Best Coaching Blogs Contest is a fun way to expand the conversation about the benefits of  business and life coaching. Plus it highlights the many varied approaches that coaches take to empower their clients and it builds awareness of the incredible growth of professional coaching, which continues to be the second fastest growing profession is the world.

Thanks to the coaching bloggers who participated. I hope you all attracted new readers and clients by taking the courageous step to enter your blog. I look forward to next year's contest and the connections that are built between coaching bloggers themsleves, as well as  with their new fans.

Congratulate the coaching winners below and visit the Best Coaching Blogs 2012 .

Become a coaching blogger yourself! Download the free "How to Blog Effectively for Your Coaching Business" eBook: Free Blogging eBook

 

Download Now.

 

 

*Full disclosure: Angela Goodeve is a life coach student at School of Coaching Mastery.

Topics: business coach, professional coach, life coach, Coaching Student, Best Coaching Blogs, blog, blogs, blogging, blogosphere, Career

What is Spiral Dynamics Coaching, and why haven’t we heard of it???

Posted by Angela Goodeve

Spiral Dynamics CoachingGuest post by Coach, Angela Goodeve, CCC. Angela is a member of School of Coaching Mastery's Ultimate Coach Training Program. Visit Angela's blog here. Angela is a contestant in the Best Coaching Blogs 2012 Contest.

Ok, Spiral Dynamics Coaching is a little complex, so if you are in a light mood, or it starts giving you a headache, you may want to bookmark this post until later!!!


When I first started leaning about Spiral Dynamics at School of Coaching Mastery, my first reaction, like many others, was “huh??”; My second reaction was “hmm, this is interesting…”; my next was “wow, this is REALLY interesting”; and my next was “Why haven’t we heard of this before???”.

I have a four-year degree in Psychology, have attended many educational conferences, and have been into personal development for a very long time, but not once have I heard of Spiral Dynamics until studying it at School of Coaching Mastery, at least not in a meaningful and detailed way!

 

This is what I have learned so far about Spiral Dynamics:

  • Spiral Dynamics has been used with individuals; governments; and in marketing, and has been beneficial in all of these settings;
  • This psycho-social-spiritual theory was first proposed by psychology professor, Clare Graves, PhD, in the 1950’s, and has been referred to as the “The Theory that Explains Everything” by MacLean’s magazine.  It was later clarified by Dr. Don E. Beck and Dr. Christopher Cowan in their seminal book, Spiral Dynamics, Mastering Values Leadership and Change; and
  • The theory combines biology, psychology, and sociology in trying to describe differences in human thinking and behavior.


So, what IS Spiral Dynamics???

Spiral Dynamics describes human thinking in terms of an evolution of individual and societal value systems.  According to the theory, each individual, culture, and society follows a succession in levels of thinking, that are characterized at each stage as a different value system that guides not only the person’s thinking, but their behavior, and their interaction with others, and the world around them.

Each stage, for simplicity, has been organized into a color system that describes different value systems and ways of thinking. 

 

The key things to remember when learning about these value systems and stages are:

  • There is no “right” or “wrong” way of thinking;
  • That the world needs people who think at different levels along the “spiral” to survive;
  • When we move on to the next “stage” we integrate the values of the previous “stages” so that we can utilize them if needed;
  • A person, culture, or society can “spiral” back to a previous stage in certain circumstances, and may become “stuck” at an earlier way of thinking;
  • Lower levels are not aware of the existence of the higher levels;
  • Individuals and Societies are best served by leaders, including coaches, who are thinking at the higher levels, who can recognize others at different stages along the “continuum”, and use this knowledge to help solve issues according to the applicable ways of thinking, or value systems.


The “stages” are as follows (they will be described in terms of the individual for simplicity):  

  • Beige – At this stage, the individual’s mainly thinking of survival, much like an infant ‘s physical concerns and biological needs;
  • Purple - The individual sees the benefits of a Family/Tribe, and safety and security in numbers.  Much like a toddler they are influenced by ritual, and believe in the “guidance” of their “Chief”, or Parents.
  • Red - This stage is very egocentric, and adheres to the principles of:  dominance, power, and control, much like teenagers typically assert themselves;
  • Blue - Sees the world, and interacts with it, according to rules and authority that they believe brings stability, order, and meaning;
  • Orange - Evolves in their values and thinking towards achievement, competition, and success.  They thrive on opportunities, and are driven to a “better way of living”.
  • Green - Is concerned with humanity, love, harmony, and purpose (think 60’s hippy!!)
  • Yellow - Places high value on flexibility, independence, and a certain knowing about themselves.  They care less about what others think, and more about doing what one chooses, an existential way of being.
  • Turquoise - Is a more holistic way of thinking, in terms of consciousness, life force, and the “global community”.


So, what does this all mean to coaches, and how is learning about this going to benefit us in terms of our interactions with, and understanding of others?

For one, it reminds us that we are all individuals, with different value systems, ways of thinking, and different ways of interacting with the world.  It therefore follows that we cannot assume that any individual does, or should think the same way we do.

Knowledge of this theory can also help us in coaching and communicating with others, whether it is on an individual level; through professional coaching, via marketing; or in a more global sense.  If we can understand where another person is coming from in term of their values and thinking, then we can tailor our communications to that person, audience, or community to foster a stronger connection.

As Coaches, if we can understand where our Clients are coming from in terms of their values and thinking, we can help them find solutions that are appropriate for them, and that will resonate with them much better!

Since this is a pre-pre-101 to Spiral Dynamics blog article, you may want to visit some other sites to read more about it:  I found this one helpful in deepening my understanding.

You can also take the Introduction to Spiral Dynamics for Coaches at School of Coaching Mastery.

If you have heard about Spiral Dynamics, I would love to hear your comments!  Let’s get the discussion going!

Peace and Love,

Ang :)

School of Coaching Mastery teaches a Spiral Dynamics course tailored to the needs of business and life coaches. It's part of the Ultimate Coach Training Program:

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Topics: Coaching, Best Coaching Blogs, School of Coaching Mastery, Coaches, coaching clients, Business Coaches, Life Coaches, clarifying, Spiral Dynamics, Don Beck, Dr. Clare Graves

Coaching Insight: A Mystery

Posted by Melissa Heisler

Best Coaching BloggersGuest post by Melissa Heisler, 3rd Place Winner of Best Coaching Blogs 2010.

There are only two ways to live your life.  One is as though nothing is a miracle.  The other is as though everything is. – Albert Einstein


I always loved the quote above.  When I experienced people who wanted to prove this or that “truth” about evolution, science, health, the stock market, or any topic, I held on to this quote.  To me it released the pain of having to determine the singular right answer.  However, the other day it was infused with an even more important meaning.

Lately I had been obsessed with the answer to life, the universe, and everything.  My little pea-brain wanted to uncover why we are here.  What is our purpose on this earth?  Previously a friend recommended Anthony De Mello’s book Awareness: The Perils and Opportunities of Reality.  I had read 90% of this very interesting and deep read conveyed in a soft voice in March and for some reason picked it up again the other day.  In the last few pages, I came across this wisdom.


“Every time you make sense out of reality, you bump into something that destroys the sense you made.  Meaning is only found when you go beyond meaning.  Life only makes sense when you perceive it as mystery and it makes no sense to the conceptualizing mind.”


This was the final puzzle piece for me.  I had spent my life trying to undercover the meaning of life.  Was it this career or the other?  Was it family or romantic relationships?  Was it hedonistic joy or solemn prayer?  Was it self-care or servitude?  Was it margaritas and the Simpsons cartoon?  As I grew and became more wise, each option was seen through.  It was seen as a thing of itself, not true meaning.  I tried to play the game that I just had to find a more noble and less self-serving thing, action, career to find meaning.  But those felt hollow too.  

Thinking that life, all of life, is a mystery opens up not only a new world of understanding but a new way of being.  There is now an immense joy I had never experienced before.  Being stuck in traffic, wanting a new pair of shoes, or checking off my to-do list no longer have significance and precedence in my life.  Now I try to focus every moment on soaking up the mystery.  How does my brain communicate to my fingers to type these words?  How does a cold front wash across the plains to create raindrops to feed my plants?  How is it that I can feel the joy or sadness of others deep in my heart even before they speak a word?

Take a day to look at the world as one of mystery.  See how it changes your life.  Namaste.

Melissa Heisler, personal and business coach for It’s My life, Inc., loves to help small business owners, direct sales professionals, and home based businesses thrive during difficult times.


Visit Melissa's entry in the Best Coaching Blogs 2012 Contest Here.

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Topics: business coach, professional coach, life coach, Best Coaching Blogs, blog, blogs, blogging

Best Coaching Blogs 2012 Entry Period is Open

Posted by Julia Stewart

Best Coaching Blogs 2012The annual Best Coaching Blogs Contest is starting up again this month and the entry period is now open.

Every year, since 2009, School of Coaching Mastery has sponsored this online contest between many of the top blogs in business and life coaching. Thousands of readers check out the blogs entered and the coaching bloggers, themselves, report that it's fun, attracts new readers to their blogs, as well as new coaching clients.

Best Coaching Blogs Contests in past years, have always thrived on social sharing and cooperation, as much as on competition.

This year, we've revamped the contest to make it even more social than ever and we're putting it in the format of a blog, which kind of makes sense! We've also gotten rid of the dreaded 'Down Vote' option, which caused a fair amount of consternation in years past and we're experimenting with allowing people to vote as often as they wish.

This year, when you enter your coaching blog, your entry will show up as a blog post on the contest page. Each entry/blog post will have social sharing buttons at the top of it, like the ones you see above this post. The social sharing buttons will function as votes, which will display the total number of shares/votes for that entry. The 20 bloggers with the most votes will themselves vote via closed ballot for the Top Ten Best Coaching Blogs of 2012.

Winners will receive permanent listings on this site, with links to their blogs, plus winner badges and bragging rights. In past years, major coaching organizations have entered, as well as coaching students with brand-new blogs. The winners every year are a mix of established blogs and newbies, meaning anybody can win this prestigious blogging contest.

 

Here's how the new Best Coaching Blogs contest works:

 

  1. Enter your blog in the contest - it's free (be sure to read the rules)
  2. You'll get a badge for your blog that announces you as a contestant
  3. Invite your mailing list to vote for you and add their reasons why they love your blog in the Comments Section of your blog entry
  4. Blog about it on your blog
  5. Share your entry with your social networks on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn and Google+ and invite folks to vote for you
  6. Use social sharing best practices: if you share with sensitivity, your contacts will share with their contacts and you votes could go viral, but if you over-share with your network, you may annoy and/or lose your friends and followers. (If you set up dummy accounts and over-share to non-existent contacts, you may be banned from the contest)
  7. Get to know your fellow bloggers and support the blogs you think should win - this is a friendly contest
  8. If you make it to the semi-finals, vote for the Best Coaching Blogs of 2012, based on the quality of their content and good sportsmanship.

 

Do you have a Coaching Blog that you'd like to enter in Best Coaching Blogs 2012?


Click me

Topics: Coaching, Best Coaching Blogs, blog, blogs, blogging, blogosphere, coaching blog, coaching blogs, coaching clients, Life Coaching

3 Things I’ve Learnt From My Coaching Journey

Posted by Jen Waller

Coach Jen WallerGuest post by Jen Waller, Top Ten Winner of Best Coaching Blogs 2011.

I didn’t intend to become a coach, run my own coaching business or be my own boss when I first started out learning about coaching. I just found it increasingly fascinating and enjoyed playing and discovering.

It does mean that it’s difficult to pinpoint the precise moment in time when I first started coaching - it just naturally evolved. I do know that it happened over a decade ago.

There’s mistakes I’ve made, things I could have done differently and action I could have taken faster. However, I’m really comfortable with the choices I’ve made and the path I’ve taken as it’s got me to where and who I am now.

Here’s just 3 of those lessons from when I first started coaching:

1. Coach people from exactly where you are.


Having all the coaching knowledge in the world is not going to make a difference to clients unless you are using them by actually coaching people! Some of the best learning experiences I’ve had have come from working with clients.

That does not mean I’m suggesting don’t ever seek and take formal training courses. I personally believe that it’s a duty I have to my current/future clients to continually develop, explore and refine my work.

I am suggesting that you don’t put off putting it into practice!

2. You don’t have to listen and get involved with any distracting thoughts about self doubt or insults

I remember when I first started coaching that I had all these distracting thoughts running through my head.

It was not at all unusual to realise I was paying attention to questions in a coaching session such as

  • “Am I good enough?”
  • “ I can’t ask that question, what will they think?” or
  • “Who am I to ask that question?”


On other occasions it could be a running negative commentary on how terrible a question was, how something was clumsily worded or a general observation that my coaching was terrible and awful! - All a bit distracting to really focus and listen to my client in that moment.

It was the realisation that coaching was not about me, it was about the client in front of me (or at the other end of the phone) that made the difference for me.

It was the catalyst so that when I recognised those thoughts I could let them go, not get caught up in them and return my focus to my client in that moment – that thinking could be indulged in “my time”, as I thought of it, outside of that session.

Funny thing was that the more I didn’t get caught up in those thoughts during a session, the less they seemed relevant when it came to “my time” outside the session!

3. Not knowing a “script” of questions in advance is OK, it doesn’t mean that you are not prepared.

As you watch others coaching, attend trainings and generally read around the subject you will no doubt come across some fantastic questions. Ones that leap out at you so that you want to store them away to pull out in one of your own coaching sessions.

At some stage in my early development I mixed up preparing for a coaching session with having to have a list of pre-planned questions complete with the order they would be asked in the session ahead.

For a while I thought that the fact that I found that really difficult to create (and when I did, never stuck to the list in reality) meant that I was a terrible coach. I let it get in the way of how confident I felt with my coaching.

What I had missed was the fact that this is a coaching conversation. I don’t generally pre-plan conversations in other contexts, I allow those to flow naturally in response to what the other person says. So why do it with a coaching conversation?

Those questions stored away for future use still come in useful but they are used when it’s the “best fit” with where my client is at that moment.

This new way of thinking also allows for the possibility that some of the most powerful questions utilise that individuals own language. If you like, questions that you create in the moment prompted by the answer just given – even if it is one similar to the ones you’ve stored away for future reference.

I’ve selected just three out of many possible things I’ve learnt. These are just my experience, what about yours?

If you are new to coaching, what can you take from this post that will make a difference to your next step?

If you have more coaching experience, what would you share for your personal journey?

Best Coaching Bloggers

Jen Waller is on a mission to support, nurture and encourage coaching skills and talents from non-coach to coach and beyond.

Her coaching blog, Coaching Confidence, is a blog for coaches of all niches. Containing daily quotes, alongside posts covering topics such as personal development, coaching skills and resources. Each Friday the blog hosts a guest post covering a broad range of different coaching experiences, styles and approaches.

Want to enter Best Coaching Blogs 2012?

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Topics: coaching business, Coaching, Best Coaching Blogs, blog, blogs, blogging, become a coach, coaching clients

Coaching Tip: Discovering My “Why” at 19,341 Feet

Posted by Evelyn Kalinosky

Coaching TipGuest post by Evelyn Kalinowsky, 1st Place Winner of Best Coaching Blogs 2011.

This weekend marks the unofficial end of summer. Labor Day – dedicated to the social and economic achievements of American workers. Four months left to make that impact I’ve been cultivating in my coaching business since January 1st and leave my mark on the year known as 2011.


When I think about particular take-aways from the past eight months, one of the most striking is the number of business colleagues who worked with me to grow my business, even as they worked to build their own.


I feel all lovey and squishy inside knowing they were the ones who’ve helped me to fold in all the different experiential metaphors that are my life into marketing language that my “just right” people can understand. They helped me create the WELCOME sign and the road map so my peeps can find me.


And don’t get me started on how they managed to get me to embrace my adventurous soul in a way that’s enabled me to draw this exquisite, yet craggy picture (maybe it’s more of a topographical map) of how someone like me can grow my coaching business, one step at a time.


Just like climbing. Breathe. Step. Rest. Hydrate. Breathe. Step. Rest. Hydrate. The mountaineering/business-or-bust mantra.


The journey of building my business reminds me of the time I signed up for a mountaineering trip that challenged many of the assumptions I held about myself: can’t do anything for myself, am too afraid to push physical limits, haven’t got the expertise or chops for this kind of gig, am incapable physically, incapable of being liked, etc.


Am I losing you with the mountaineering metaphor? Too masculine? I hope not, because sometimes we women are hesitant to embrace our “masculine” energy, but it’s that raw, powerful, surefooted-in-the-midst-of-scrambling-up-the-scree stepping that serves us so well if we let it.


I don’t see it as masculine or feminine, but more like yin and yang – the balance of opposites – and knowing when to use which type of energy is a vital tool to carry in our back pocket or handbag (or backpack, if you prefer) when you’re building a business.


I signed up for a 2 week expedition to Tanzania, Africa when I turned 40, and spent a week climbing Mt. Kilimanjaro – all 19,341 feet of it.


To say that I was a neophyte at climbing is an understatement of mega proportions, but I was compelled to go for all of the reasons I mentioned earlier (and more), and at the end of that glorious, awe-inspiring, ass-kicking experience I had transformed.


Literally.
             Physically.
                             Emotionally.
                                                Spiritually.
                                                                 Energetically.


You name it, I transformed it (or it transformed me is more accurate).


That’s the year “Evelyn” was born, and I rather like the delusional notion that I’m only 12 now instead of really 52, and despite the fact that I would NEVER want to negate the birth of each of my children (or grandchildren) by that statement, in the truly esoteric realm of “being born,” that was my raw, naked, heart-pumping delivery into the world.


I’ve been growing the real me ever since.


In addition to the obvious similarities between climbing a mountain and building a coaching business, there is my big “Why” – the reason I’m doing this work in the first place.


To bottom line it: oh, how over-the-moon I would have been to have had someone like me be my she-Sherpa guide on my journey! FYI - That’s not a vain attempt to pat myself on the back and glow giddy over my wonderfulness.


My “Why” is about helping other midlife career women traverse the mountains, the hills, and even the easy-does-it open fields that make up their complicated, multi-faceted lives in concert with someone who’s been there.


It’s about them not having to navigate alone the unknown terrain when they’re tired, vulnerable and drifting without a map. Because of course they can do it, these mighty warrior women, but the point is why do it alone when there is so much more to gain from working with someone who gets it?


There’s something to be said for the buddy system – whether it’s a guide who leads you up the mountain, or a coach who mentors you in a one-on-one program, or other business women who form a safety net around you as you build a business.
And I need quite a net, since the goals I’ve set for my itty bitty biz are pretty damn high! And when I reach that metaphorical 19,341 business summit I don’t expect to be alone. I’m expecting to see a few of my biz colleagues of the soul planting their flags right alongside me.


Oh yeah, baby!! It’s going to be awesome!


Evelyn Kalinosky is Founder & CEO of Inner Affluence. She works with midlife career women who want to increase their sacred capital. Email her at evelyn [@] evelynkalinosky [.] com or visit her website to learn more.


[UPDATE: Visit Evelyn's entry in Best Coaching Blogs 2012]

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