School of Coaching Mastery

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The Truth About Coach Training

Posted by Donna Steinhorn

Coach TrainingIn 2008 Donna Steinhorn and Julia Stewart led a teleclass series on The Big Fat Lies That Coaches Cling To. The following article, written by Donna, is an adaptation from one of those teleclasses...

When Julia and I started out coaching, it was pretty easy to decide about coaching schools since there were only a few to choose from.  And for the most part, the handful of coach training schools were all ICF accredited and the only certification in town was the ICFs.  So basically the decision came down to live training or teleclass training. 
 
But times have changed.  Today there are over 100 coaching programs.  6 month programs and two year programs.  Accredited programs and programs without accreditation.  Certification programs through universities.  Live training, Teleclass training, hybrid versions, CD versions.  There are programs specifically for therapists transitioning to coaching, Christian Coaches.  Peer coaches.  Corporate coaching training, business coach training, life coaching training….and the list goes on.  The same is true for certifications.  There are the “independent” credentialing bodies of the IAC and the ICF.  The schools who credential their coaches…the certification courses.  
 
Lie: I need to have a coaching certification….Having letters of certification after my name assures potential clients of my expertise.


Truth: Clients have no idea what any of the letters after coaches' names are.  Unlike JD or MD, or PhD, there are hundreds of different designations and other than coaches, not many clients know what an ACC, PCC, MCC or IAC-CC are.  Nor for the most part do they care.  Now that is beginning to change as our profession matures, and a few universities have begun to create degreed curriculum in coaching.  But for now, most of the university programs are certificate programs, and even the Masters in Applied Positive Psychology at Penn State is not actually a university accredited program.
 
On the other hand, there are increasingly more corporations and companies that are looking for credentialed coaches.  Some don’t really care what kind of certification that is, while others do actually seek an ICF credentialed coach, so if you are a corporate coach, you will want a credential.  

And the truth is, as the coaching profession continues to mature, I believe credentials will become increasingly more important.  The question remains, which credential will that be?  Right now, the ICF has been around longer, but there are some who point to the fact that in order to become an ICF credentialed coach, you have to attend an ICF accredited school, and be mentored by an ICF credentialed coach.  They question how truly independent that makes the ICF.
 
The IAC is still in it’s infancy, but since they do not accredit schools, they have a greater degree of independence when it comes to their credentialing process.  And of course, as the universities build out their coaching curriculum, there is always the possibility that a uniform credential will come out of that, but only time will tell.
 
Next, let’s address a very popular lie... 

Lie: You need to finish your coach training and be certified before you can coach

Truth:  Not only do you not have to be certified before you begin coaching, but in the case of the ICF, you must verify hours coaching in order to achieve any of the certifications, and in the case of the IAC, you're more likely to pass if you have had a good deal of coaching experience.
 
Now I’m not saying that with no coach training you should hang out your shingle as a coach.  It’s best to have some core training under your belt, to have experienced coaching yourself with a qualified coach --not a buddy coach --(I’m always astonished at people who want to be coaches but don’t see the value of coaching for themselves??) and to have had some practicum experience, coaching and being coached while be observed by a credible mentor coach.
 
By way of illustration, I’ve taught and mentored hundreds of coaches, and talked with hundreds more.  I’ve conducted practicums, certified coaches, and listened to hundreds or hours of coaches coaching.  And I have to tell you, there’s good coaching, great coaching, and quite a bit of bad coaching out there.  And more often than not the bad coaching came from folks who have not taken any coach training nor experienced coaching themselves.
 
Lie: I don't need coach training to pass IAC certification.   

Truth: Although it's true that a tiny percentage of applicants have passed one or both steps for IAC certification with little or no training, the vast majority of IAC certified coaches have had extensive training or mentoring that enabled them to get certification.
 
The question of whether or not you need coach training also comes up in another way…

Lie: If I have an allied degree, in counseling or social work, or organization development, I don't need coach training.   

Truth: You may or you may not.  Coaching, while using some of the skills you may already have, is a different skill set, and taking specific coach training is the best way to ensure that you are providing coaching and not something else.  I have had several clients who were helping professionals who were transitioning into coaching. They could tell you that there was a definite distinction between coaching and therapy or counseling, and until they took coach training, they often strayed between the two.
 
Lie: All coach training is created equal.  

Truth: Of course, that's not the case.  It's important to check the reputation of the program you want to attend. To know what the curriculum will cover; who will be doing the teaching; whether the school focuses on skills, marketing, spirituality, business or more; how the coursework is delivered, and what is expected of you? Whether the school philosophy is aligned with your own.   

And while we are talking about schools, let’s address a lie that I’m often asked when people are looking at coach training, and particularly looking to find a cheaper alternative to a coaching school….

Lie: You can learn everything you need from recorded or written coach training materials.


Truth:  You can learn a great deal from recordings and written materials, but ultimately it's live coaching skills practice and classes where you interact with the teachers and students who can ask the questions you didn't know to ask, that will benefit you the most.

Coaching is a profession. The definition of a profession is:  "A paid occupation, esp. one that involves prolonged training and a formal qualification."  If we are to continue to grow and become part of the mainstream of helping professionals, we must align ourselves with that definition.
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Topics: business coach, mentor coach, ICF, Coach Certification, IAC Certified Coach, IAC Certification, certified coaches, coaching schools, coaching skills, teleclass, Life Coaching, IAC

Top Ten Reasons to Become a Certified Group Coach

Posted by Julia Stewart

Become a Certified Group CoachYou've probably heard that group coaching is a must-have for your coaching business, but you may never have thought about becoming a Certified Group Coach.

In my opinion, you don't have to offer group coaching, but if you're ready to branch out from just one-to-one coaching clients, group coaching is the next logical place to go. Yes, information products are great, but dollar for dollar and hour for hour, you'll make more from group coaching, especially if you don't already have a mailing list of thousands.

There are probably hundreds of good reasons to add group coaching to your business, but I've highlighted ten from my own experience below, just to give you an idea.

Group coaching is an advanced skill set, combining many of the skills of one-to-one coaching with group facilitation and more. I thought it would be easy for me, because I was a very good one-to-one coach with 15 years of experience as a college professor. In the beginning, it was a lot harder than I thought! But if you think group coaching is something you want to learn more about and if you'd like to become a Certified Group Coach, skip to the bottom of this blog post and check out an upcoming opportunity.

Top Ten Reasons to Become a Certified Group Coach:

1. Make more money

In 2003, my first coaching groups were focused on a hot new certification from the IAC, which used Thomas Leonard's Proficiencies. I was teaching the Proficiencies at the time, so offering a mentor group to help coaches master them, was a natural for me. I filled my first group up with 10 people and had to open a second one quickly, because even more people wanted to join. It kicked up my income very nicely, even though the groups themselves were a bargain to join.

2. Charge less to your clients

As I said, I charged bargain fees to my clients for those first groups, only $75 per month, per person. But with 20 new clients, that was $1,500 more income per month and about $250 per contact hour. Nice pay ~ and very affordable for my clients! Actually, you can charge much more for group coaching, depending on your market. Generally, groups meet for three to six hours per month, with group sizes ranging from 3 to 10 clients. And most coaching groups cost $150 to $350 per month, per person. Do the math. Group coaching saves money for the client and makes more money for you.

3. Grow your fan base faster

I mentioned your email marketing list earlier, because your True Fans are a vitally important element in your coaching success. Building that list with just one-to-one clients can be murder. Coaching groups with 3 to 10 members each, will help you build that list 3 to 10 times faster.

It's an incredible amount of work to design ebooks, white papers and other information products to attract new people to your list, but coaching is customized in the moment, so there is far less upfront work, while far more value is delivered - and at a higher price that clients gladly pay. People simply view in-person, customized service as more valuable than pre-designed, canned content - because it's far more effective.

Contrary to what you may have heard, coaching clients don't need to buy cheap products from you before they hire you to be their coach. For most of them, you being a credible coach who is in the right place at the right time, with an appealing specialty or niche, is all it takes.

4. Give more value to your clients

Here's where it gets interesting: your group clients will actually get a lot more value from each other than they would from you alone, so a group of ten will multiply value by ten. Why? Groups are organized around commonalities between the members of the group and their mutual goals. So guess what? They have experiences, know-how and resources that you don't have and they tend to share them generously - so long as you know how to set up a bonded  synchronous group, which is one of those advanced skill sets I mentioned.

5. Upsell to one-to-one coaching

It's natural to balance group coaching with one-to-one coaching, because sometimes your clients need you to drill down deeper with an issue than you have time for during the group meeting. This is an important value add for your clients, which gives them the benefits of one-to-one coaching plus group coaching. You can easily add an option for each group member to have one or two individual coaching sessions per month with you and of course, you can charge extra for that.

6. Increase your credibility

As you become known for certain specialties or niches in your coaching groups, you'll become known for those specialties and niches in all your coaching. Once I offered the Get Certified Coaching Groups, which I mentioned above, I became known as a mentor coach who helps coaches get certified. This became an important part of my one-to-one coaching practice for several years, as well - until I leveraged my reputation and what I had learned to start School of Coaching Mastery. You see, over the years, I became an expert on this type of coaching and potential clients saw me as someone they wanted to work with on this. In other words, I developed the credibility to do well with this niche and specialty.

Back then, there was very little training in group coaching, so I had to teach myself and it took years of trial and error. There were no group coaching certifications, but if there had been, I'd have gotten one. Credibility is everything when you're in business for yourself.

7. Decrease your work hours

You can work day and night on a membership site, on information products and live events - or you can just coach. Group coaching pays you even more per hour than one-to-one coaching, so if a short work week is a goal for you, then group coaching needs to be a specialty of yours.

8. Add additional income streams

As you organize your coaching groups, you'll find yourself writing more, because it'll be an easy way to communicate with groups. The nice thing about that is that once you've written something, it can be re-purposed.

Remember how I mentioned that it's a lot of work creating information products? If you've already created something for a high-paying coaching group, you've been well-paid for your time. If you take that written piece and sell it as a free-standing product at a lower price, whatever you make from it will be profit. That's the easier, more profitable way to do it.

Also, working with groups of people will give you a good idea what kinds of solutions they're looking for. That may spark great ideas when you're ready to do live events or create products.

9. Upsell from information products

Remember how I said that clients don't have to try inexpensive products from you in order to be willing to hire you to coach them? Well that's true. And sometimes you'll attract people who were just looking for that inexpensive ebook that tells them how to do something, but upon reading it they'll realize what they really want is a coach. If you have both group coaching and one-to-one coaching options, you'll be able to reach more people in exactly the format they want.

10. Learn where your next opportunities are

Just as I mentioned in #8 above, working intensively with clients will give you ideas about what they really want and need next - even when they, themselves, can't tell you what that is. So group coaching is perhaps the most valuable form of R&D possible, because you get to know your coaching clients inside and out. For me, that took me from coach, to mentor coach, to founding my own coaching school. I knew what my clients wanted and needed because I had gotten to know them so well.

Where will group coaching take you and your business? Where ever it is, you'll get there much faster if you don't have to learn it all from the ground up. That's why we're offering the 8-hour Master Group Coaching Success module, which ends with a Group Coaching Certificate. You'll learn how to organize, market and facilitate successful coaching groups in these live tele-webinars, which come with written materials and more.

Want to become a Certified Group Coach? Take Master Group Coaching Success, described above, and then join the upcoming Certified Group Coach Mentor Group. I'll personally mentor you as you learn to lead your own groups and get started with your very first group. You must attend both the learning module and the mentor group in order to become a Certified Group Coach.

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Topics: group coaching, coaching clients, Become a Master Coach, becoming a certified coach, Coach Certification, Thomas Leonard, Become a Certified Coach, coaching skills, IAC, Coaching Certificate, True Fans

How to Become a Successful Life or Business Coach

Posted by Julia Stewart


How to Become a Life CoachWondering how you can become a successful life or business coach?

There are three main approaches to becoming a successful business or life coach. The first, I call the Entrepreneurial Coach. The second, is the Professional Coach. The last is the Sweet Spot. Let me explain:

1. The Entrepreneurial Coach* usually has a strong business, marketing and sales background and either a juicy niche or a smoking hot specialty. This coach knows how to attract the right clients and how to encourage them to buy. However, if s/he over relies on her business smarts, s/he can get caught on the hamster wheel of constantly having to market and sell, in order to keep his/her coaching roster full.

Why? Unless clients experience fantastic results quickly, or at least maintain their motivation long enough to experience extraordinary results, they tend to drop out of coaching within a few months. That means the entrepreneur coach has to constantly close new sales just to maintain a good income. For most coaches, this is exhausting and unsatisfying.

Worse yet, if clients quit before they're delighted, the entrepreneur won't maximize their number of all-important testimonials, case studies and viral buzz - the stuff that makes for a friction-free marketing and sales engine.

2. The Professional Coach*, on the other hand, has great coaching skills, either from decades of coaching or from a few years of coach-specific training. S/he knows how to elicit amazing results for his/her clients and as a result, clients stay month after month, or buy again and again. However, s/he may know little about effective marketing and sales strategies and as a result, too few clients ever sign up in the first place. That means too few potential clients ever find out about the professional coach, so s/he's constantly searching for that rare client who's willing to pay his/her fees.

Sadly, this coach may have spectacular results to point to, but often fails to share them with potential clients, who increasingly, are looking for 'proof' that their coach really knows what s/he's doing.

* In both cases above, the coach is forced into a situation where s/he needs his/her clients. The entrepreneur always needs new ones. The professional needs to hang onto the ones s/he has. Otherwise, both risk losing their incomes. When you need your clients, your focus is on yourself, instead of on helping them. To reach the coaching sweet spot, your needs must be met, so you can focus all your energy on helping your clients get those awesome results. Otherwise, something's got to give. It's way harder to maintain a sustainable coaching business when you have to focus on your own needs instead of clients' needs.

However, there are some entrepreneur coaches who really are good at coaching and most of their clients are quite happy and loyal. And there are professional coaches who get it when it comes to marketing and sales, so they're not desperate to get and keep clients. These exceptional coaches are moving into the Sweet Spot.

3. The Sweet Spot: This is the coach who has the skill to produce awesome results quickly and to keep producing results for months or even years. That keeps current clients wanting more and paying for it happily. At the same time, this coach has his/her marketing message down cold, has expertise that new people will buy and knows how to communicate and form client relationships (a.k.a. marketing and sales). Of course, those ever important testimonials, case studies and viral buzz come easily to this coach.

When you reach the sweet spot, you aren't desperate to make new sales and you don't cling to your old clients, trying to squeeze out a few more more dollars. You naturally meet your own needs and you can focus all your energy on meeting your clients' needs and helping them get what they want. Happy clients attract more happy clients.

I call this coach The Master. Everything we do at School of Coaching Mastery is designed to move our coaching students into the sweet spot by helping them become masters, faster.

Marketing programs help entrepreneurs communicate and sell to clients, but are useless when it comes to the critical skill of getting coaching results and keeping clients.

And most coaching schools will only get you started on becoming a professional coach - who may never get clients. At SCM, we give away that part of our program for free and focus our real attention on helping our paid members become masters and enjoy that sweet spot, sooner.

Turn your five-figure business into a six-figure coaching business and turn your six-figure business into a seven-figure coaching business: Become a Master Coach.

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Topics: professional coach, become a life coach, become a coach, become a business coach, coaching clients, Become a Master Coach, master coach, coaching skills, coaching niche

Coaching with Fridges

Posted by Julia Stewart

Coaching refridgeratorGuest post by David Papini.

Last week, while I was coaching a buddy coach around the issue of “being afraid of making mistakes -> becoming anxious -> eating snacks” (loop endlessly), the association between errors and snacks (added with the fact that due to different time zones it was 8.30 pm and I was hungry) popped in my mind in the form of a clear image of my fridge, with magnets on it.

The vision narrowed to one magnet, reading as follows: “Always make new mistakes. - Ester Dyson"

I shared the image with my client and that allowed us to make a shift about the topic. We started discussing the fact that he could become very competitive in making more errors than everybody else, joking about that. And anxiety was gone.

So the magnet vision proved to be a good tool to re-frame  the problem and at the same time offer a structure to help the client in dealing with performance and anxiety issues.

After the session, thankful to the magnet, I gave a closer look to my fridge door.

That magnet has been there for five years and I meet it every morning, but it was the first time it became handy in a coaching session. I started looking at it as one of my professional coaching tools and a source of daily personal awareness. This put the whole bunch of magnets in a new light; I stared at the magnets with more respect.

Below is my magnet list:

  • “Some People walk in the rain, others just get wet - Roger Miller
  • “Always make new mistakes - Ester Dyson”
  • “What would you attempt to do if you knew you could not fail? - anonymous”
  • “Passion is the only way a man learn to create” (written with poetry magnets by myself)
  • A picture of my children, Alice and Francesco
  • Four magnets about New York
  • A small wooden heart with written “Mi manchi” (I miss you, in Italian)
  • One magnet with two white kittens

I let my magnets coach me and this is what each of them told me:

  • You can choose how you feel about everything. There are no problems in nature, just events
  • To create you need errors, to be happy and growing you need new ones every day. Dare!
  • Free your vision, don’t limit your options (at least in thinking and feeling)
  • To learn, you need emotions: connect with what you feel, the rest will follow
  • Your future is here and it has your children’s eyes
  • You are the places you love
  • Relationship is a dance between similarity and difference, presence and absence
  • Sometimes a magnet it’s just a magnet: use it to keep notes attached where you can see them

Back to the session, because the magnet citation was useful and helped us in making a shift, I told myself “that works, I could reuse this sentence [i.e. “always make new errors”] or even I can reuse the whole trick (magnet plus fridge image)”.

On a second thought I realized that “reusing it” is good for consulting or teaching, not for coaching, because what made the image powerful and effective was the fact that it popped during the coaching relationship. Effectiveness was related to that moment with that client. Moreover, as this blog post demonstrates, the image was powerful to the client and to the coach as well, so the right use for an effective image that helped in a session is honoring it, deepening the reflection on oneself as a coach; more than reusing it in another session or with another client.

In this sense and in my opinion, every coaching session is always a unique piece; it cannot be serialized. Do not bring your fridge programmatically to a coaching session: as it happens with hunger, thirst and the like, if you stay present in the session, it will show up when needed and that will be effective and artful coaching.

David was born in Florence in 1966 just a few months before the deluge, and that's a kind of destiny. As an executive is in charge for general management in a IT Firm, as a certified NLP counselor helps clients to explore their life experience, as a Coach helps clients getting what they really want , as a conflict mediator witnesses how tough and creative a relationship can be, as a trainer helps trainees in stretching their brain, growing and learning, as a public speaker enjoys co-creating experience on the fly, as a dad loves his two children. As a man he is grateful and worried that he’s got this wonderful life. And he’s fond of categorizing his professional roles :-). More about him at http://papini.typepad.com/lifehike/

Best Coaching blogs 2011

 

David's blog is entered in Best Coaching Blogs 2011. Check it out and vote for your favorite blogs while you're there.

Topics: life coach, Coaching, Life Coach Blog, Best Coaching Blogs, blog, contest, coaching skills

Ten Secrets to Finding Your First Coaching Clients Part 2

Posted by Julia Stewart

Happy coaches

Yesterday I wrote about the first five secrets to filling your coaching business with ease.

I recommend reading Part 1 first, but in a nutshell the first five secrets are: 1. Develop crystal clear goals, 2. Simplify everything, 3. Make sure all stake holders are on the same page, 4. Get the money handled, and 5. Tell everybody what you're up to. Let's get on with the last five:

6. Nix the Negative Nancies. Some people don't see the value of coaching. Worse, some people may not see the value in you. If you're surrounded by people who say things like, 'Why would anybody pay you for that?', they could stop you from succeeding. Seek out people who believe in you. Spend time with those who 'get' why coaching is such an amazing service (That's one of the hidden values of a good coaching school, by the way.). If the Negative Nancies in your life start to shift just by being around your inspired energy, or by you fully communicating what you're up to, great. But if they can't, you need to shield yourself from that doubtful energy. It's okay to simplify your life by not spending so much time with them.

7. Stay in motion - focused motion. Just because you trust the process, doesn't mean you aren't actively creating what you want. In fact, that's exactly what trusting the process does mean! Develop a plan for attracting your full practice. I've seen the Coach 100 process work for hundreds of coaches. You literally give away 100 coaching sessions to 100 different people and in the process, learn to fill your coaching practice. It works.

8. Coach a lot of people for free. Whether you call it Coach 100 or something else, you need to get a lot of experience as quickly as you can. Coaching lots of different people works much better than coaching one person 100 times. Be adventurous. Offer to coach that person you chatted with at Starbucks. Ask your friends to refer their friends to you. Share your big goal with people and they will want to help you, just like people help all those reality show contestants that you may watch. Everybody loves to get on board with an exciting big goal. Yours included.

9. Learn to notice when somebody wants to work with you. This is such an important skill! New coaches leave money on the table all the time, because they don't notice when someone is interested in working with them. Most clients need to be invited. You need to notice when someone wants to be invited to be your client.

10. Get your own coach. As a coach, you know tips are helpful, but customized conversations are transformative. What's more, a coach with integrity who doesn't have a coach, is likely to feel like a fraud. A good mentor coach will more than pay you back many times by helping you be more successful faster.

If you're a new coach, what are your challenges in building your business? Is the info in any of the tips above helpful?

If you're a veteran coach (or at least have your first client), please share what worked best for you, in the comments section below.

Coach 100I'm probably biased, but the Coach 100 Business Success program is a great value and it really works. Check out Coach 100 here.

Topics: coaching business, Coach 100, coaching clients, Coaching 100, coaching skills

Ten Secrets to Finding Your First Coaching Clients Part 1

Posted by Julia Stewart

 coach chasing client A major right of passage for any professional coach is getting your very first paid coaching client.

Some coaches feel a little anxious until they get their first client, especially if it doesn't happen quickly. But it doesn't have to be that way. My first client volunteered to work with me. In so doing, he inspired me to attract several new clients in my first year of coaching by following the following simple rules. It can be this easy for you, too. These principles can help you stop chasing and let your clients find you, instead.

Your 1st steps are really about setting the foundation for your coaching success. It's almost impossible to show up as a great coach if doubt, fear and anxiety are causing you to feel a little desperate. Here are several things you can do to make the whole process easy as silk and still maintain your enthusiasm.

1. Develop crystal clear goals. Both short term and long term goals need to be clarified. And you might be interested to know that according to the Wall Street Journal, the single variable that is most likely to predict how profitable a business will be is how big the original goal was. Just be sure you have a plan and can see how you will fulfill your really big goals. In the meantime, have smaller, doable goals, so you know you're on track. My 1st year goal for my coaching business was to break even each month, so that my coaching income at least equaled what I was paying for coach training and for my mentor coach. I achieved it. My 2nd year goal was to pay myself back for everything I had invested upfront in my coaching business, so I could make a genuine profit. I achieved that too. By the beginning of my 3rd year, I had a full coaching practice and what I was earning was virtually all profit. Sane goals like these will keep you on track while you're creating the business of your dreams.

2. Simplify everything, including your life and your business. Relationships, jobs, family, volunteer work, etc. can all derail your business plans, if you're not careful. Beware the 'Super Coach' mentality that says you just have to do it all. Nobody can do it all. Since in the beginning, filling your coaching business takes more energy than merely keeping it full, and since early on is when your coach marketing skills are likely at their weakest, plan on putting in lots of hours and energy into your business at least for the first year or two until it's full, with a waiting list, and you have a reliable marketing engine. That may mean learning to say, 'No', a lot more often. Resign from demanding volunteer positions. Explain to the kids that you may miss a soccer game or two. Delegate at work. If coaching is your calling, you owe it to yourself and the world to clear the decks to get your business set up successfully.

3. Make sure all stake holders are on the same page. Speaking of family, friends, etc. Guilt can make building your coaching business more challenging. But your loved ones can also assist you and make it easier. Rather than feel bad that you're not doing as much for everyone else, use your coaching skills to fully communicate what you're really up to. When you share your inspiration and how much this means to you with them, the people who care most about you will whole-heartedly join your team and they may even help you find clients. This is different than trying to convince someone of the value of coaching, by the way. See #6 in tomorrow's post.

4. Get the money handled. When you know you have enough money coming in already, you can afford to trust the process of attracting clients. Starting a business is not like starting a new job. You won't get a paycheck in two weeks. But your time investment will payoff handsomely, if you go the distance. This is a good time to simplify your financial life, along with everything else. Reduce debts by negotiating for lower interest rates. Stop paying for things you aren't using. If you're not confident you have enough money coming in already, consider getting a part-time job. Some of the most successful coaches I've known took service jobs before they became successful. That way, they could focus on what they wanted to create instead of worrying about the money.

5. Tell everybody what you're up to. This is technically known as marketing, a.k.a. telling people how you can help. In your first year of coaching, even if your coaching skills aren't fully honed, yet, share your excitement and inspiration about coaching with pretty much everybody. Don't be attached to getting them to understand coaching the way you do. They probably won't. Do share your energy. That's naturally attractive and even contagious. My first client volunteered to work with me (and paid me) because I shared my excitement with him about what coaching can do. That's all it took! And he continued coaching with me for 7 years. You don't  need to convince people that you can help them. Convincing never works. See below.

Come back tomorrow for the last five secrets of finding your first coaching clients.

Are the first five secrets helpful to you? Do you have secrets of your own to share with other coaches? Please post them in the comments section.

Coach 100 eBook

 

Download the free Coach 100 eBook for more ideas on how to find your first coaching clients.

Topics: coaching business, Coaching, Coach 100, coaching clients, Free, coaching skills

Master Coach Demos

Posted by Julia Stewart

Master Coach DemosWe've been working on a new digital product for coaches called, Master Coach Demos.

The idea is to let you listen in on coaching sessions with various certified coaches (probably all IAC Certified Coaches) and hear how they demonstrate masterful coaching skills. It could be priceless value for coaches who want to be the very best and have limited time or money to spend.

Here's my conundrum. The more I think about it, the more I want to do with this project. It started out as a CD or MP3 download product, but I'm not sure that would do it justice. I want it to be valuable to coaches and also  come in the format/s they need. It can't be all things to all people, but it can be optimal for most people.

I have a sample recording below that you can listen to, right now. It's uncut. As you listen, notice what you learn - and what you need to learn more from it.  Ask for what you need in the comments area, below. I'll be happy to answer your questions, so other coaches can learn from it, too.

Here are some potential ideas for Master Coach Demos:

  • Include full-length masterful coaching sessions with commentary on what's working and why
  • Include short coaching snippets of coaching that zero in on specific coaching skills and situations for fast, targeted learning
  • Verbal and/or written explanation of what's working (and maybe what isn't)
  • Interviews with the coaches, themselves, and maybe even with the clients, to hear what they experienced in the session, or as a result of it
  • Monthly or weekly updates/installments
  • Perhaps a membership site
  • Video?
  • Podcasts?
  • Hmmm...

I could use your help...

Would this product be helpful to you? What would you use it for? (Prep for certification; use it to help you with specific client situations; 'on the fly' learning when you're at the gym or driving your car; etc...)

What format would you prefer? (Monthly membership; one-payment digital product; interactive membership for questions and support; etc...)

As a Thank-you, I'm including this one-hour coaching session for you to listen to right here. It's me coaching a celebrity client. Yes, I hesitate to call my own coaching session a 'Master Coach Demo', because it could always be improved. As I tell my students, 'Even if I screw up, it's a great learning opportunity for you to catch it and learn why something worked or didn't work.'

This recording is uncut. And I'm not offering commentary right here - yet. I'd love for you to listen and ask what you want/need to know in the 'Comments' section. That'll help me understand the precise way to deliver a session like this to you for faster/deeper learning.

Listen now:

Topics: Coaching, School of Coaching Mastery, coach, IAC Certification, certified coaches, Master Coach Demos, Masterful Coaching, masterful coaches, coaching skills

Coaching Mastery: Best Practices

Posted by Julia Stewart

Blue Ribbon Coach? What are the best practices that one might expect in a master coach?

In other words, what are "blue ribbon practices"? At SCM, we use the IAC Ethical Principles as a guideline for what's acceptable (and hopefully at least legal) behavior in a professional coach. But that's not always enough.

What are the practices that best represent professional coaching?

This is a project that we are embarking on at SCM, so our coaches have clear guidelines for what's expected of mastery coaches. Best practices in the coaching profession would go much further than ethical principles. I think they also include courtesy, following through on promises, going the extra distance with service. We need specific examples to help guide our coaches, so they can show up as the very best in their demeanor as well as in their coaching skills.

I'll be checking in with SCM's Board of Advisors, as well as with our Ad Hoc Advisors and some of our advanced coaches, but I'd love your input as well. What represents "Best Practices" for you as a coach? Put another way, when have you observed a coach behaving in a way that truly inspires you? Think of the coaches you really admire and and imagine what it would take for you to show up at that level. What are the qualities and specific actions involved in "blue ribbon coaching"?

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If you don't mind taking a moment, please add a comment below. Thanks! 

Topics: professional coach, Coaching, professional coaching, coach, coaching skills, IAC

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

Coaching for Non-Coaches: Career Czar Podcast

Posted by Julia Stewart

Career CzarIf you are interested in coaching, but don't want to become a "coachpreneur", the world has caught up with you.

You don't have to call yourself a coach in order to get paid to have transformative conversations, anymore. People in all kinds of professions and industries, from education, to healthcare, to the travel industry, are bringing coaching skills to work with them.

Can you imagine a world where everyone gets coached everyday, at work or at school? I can and I'm liking it!

This is one way you can increase your employ-ability and your promot-ability and love your job more. 

I had a chance to talk with Paul Bruno, the Career Czar(R), about coaching for non-coaches in his weekly alltalkradio.net show.  This short show will give you a few things to think about, as far as becoming a "a coach who doesn't call yourself a coach".

And if you think now is a good time to beef up your coaching skills and your resume, check out our Coach Launch program. It's designed for non-coaches who want to coach. 


Topics: Coaching, Career, coaching skills, coachpreneur, transformative conversations

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