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How to Coach Your Clients Through the Holidays and Into the New Year

Posted by Julia Stewart

coaching gratitude

Written by Julia Stewart
The "Holiday Season" officially kicks off this week in the United States. Hanukkah starts this Wednesday and American Thanksgiving is on Thursday, followed by a variety of religious and spiritual holidays, including Bodhi Day, Muharram,  the Winter Solstice, Christmas, and Kwansaa; and it's all tied up with a bow (or bottle of champagne) on New Year's Day.

 

By then, many of us are exhausted, broke, and carrying ten extra pounds. It seems virtually every culture finishes the year with holidays and in this extra-small multi-cultural world we live in, we're all celebrating a lot of extra holidays, too.

I think of my personal end-of-year holiday trio, Thanksgiving, Christmas, New Year's, as Gratitude Day, Generosity Day, and Create the Future Day. So I regard the holidays as:

  1. Give thanks for what's gone before (past)
  2. Plug into the spirit of generosity (present)
  3. Decide how to create the new year (future)
And that's how I celebrate.

 

But already my clients are bringing problems to their coaching sessions that are directly related to the holidays: how to deal with difficult relatives, or co-workers, how not to blow the budget - or the waistline, how to deal with the extra-busy schedule - or travel, how not to give in to temptations, etc. All coaches, whether life, business or executive coaches, hear about holiday issues - and we have our own, as well!

 

In my book, holiday "problems" are "good problems", a.k.a. luxury problems, first-world problems, the kind of problems you want to have.Not being able to feed your children is the kind of problem you don't want. Fortunately, most of us are worry-free in that area.

 

So first, congratulate your clients on their great problems. That helps put it all in perspective.

 

Then remind them that becoming their best selves means sacrificing good for great. And everyone benefits when we're at our best (a.k.a.: Grump-free, Sarcasm-free, Tantrum-free).

 

Transforming holiday problems into holiday blessings boils down to just two things:
  1. Choosing what really matters to you (a.k.a. your Values)
  2. Setting boundaries (that protect what matters from what doesn't)
Help your clients identify what matters, according to what they most value, and from there, boundary-setting is pretty easy.

 

Here are a few ideas my clients have come up with, so far: 

 

  • Do plan what you really do and don't want with key family members
  • Do set a time limit for family get-togethers; they don't have to be marathons
  • Do decorate only as much as you really want
  • Do shorten or eliminate activities you do solely out of obligation
  • Do schedule escape activities, so you have an excuse to leave parties you don't enjoy
  • Don't serve alchohol if some guests can't handle it
  • Do attend extra 12-step meetings, if they help
  • Don't expect the whole family to get together, if they don't like each other
  • Don't invite people who repeatedly behave badly - and skip the guilt, please
  • Don't be afraid to stay home if you really enjoy it
  • Do talk to your therapist, if you get depressed
  • Do emphasize the aspects of holidays that are meaningful to you and respect others who focus on other aspects
  • Do cut back on your gift list - or make a contribution to a worthy cause, in their names, if they'd value that
  • If you really want to get into the holiday spirit, do volunteer some time, face-to-face, with others who are less fortunate

 

The holidays are a wonderful opportunity to truly appreciate life. Don't blow that opportunity by celebrating on auto-pilot. You get to choose your life and your holidays. Have fun!

Here's a gift from us to you: Thomas Leonard's 28 Principles of Attraction.

 

Get Thomas' 28 Principles of Attraction Free eCourse

Topics: Coaching, coaching clients, gratitude, How to, Values, Boundaries

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

3 Major Upgrades You Must Make to Become a Group Coach

Posted by Julia Stewart

Group CoachingIf you want to become a group coach and enjoy smooth sailing, you need to make three major upgrades, first. Make these three important upgrades and you and your clients will experience the power of groups and coaching success - and you'll be a happy coach.

Why would you want to become a group coach, anyway? Most coaches offer a variety of services within their businesses and group coaching is often the first additional service, beyond one-to-one coaching, that they add, because it allows them to leverage their time, offer a lower-priced option, while making more money. And clients may get even more value from a coaching group, than from personal coaching, so it's a win-win all around.

Here are the 3 Major Upgrades You Need to Make to Become a Successful Group Coach:

Upgrade #1: Your coaching skills. Ten years ago, when I first became a group coach, I thought group coaching would be easy for me to add to my business, because I had been facilitating groups for decades as a college professor. And although my first foray into group coaching was so successful that I had to immediately add a second group to make room for all my clients, I found that coaching a group is much more challenging than I had expected.

Many group coaches make the mistake of leading a workshop or teleclass, instead of coaching a group and they miss the opportunity to customize the experience for each group member. I knew the distinction, but had to learn the hard way how to run a genuine coaching group. It's not as easy as it looks.

Let's face it, most workshops and teleclasses sell for far less money than group coaching; some are even free. If you're going to charge the average group coaching fee of $200 per month, per person, for 4-8 people to coach with you 3-4 hours per month, you need to provide far more value and personalization for each member than you would in a workshop or teleclass. Learn these advanced skills and hit the ground running with your very first group.

Upgrade #2: Your marketing. Lead great coaching groups and you'll have 4-8 times as many happy clients raving about you and your coaching. That's the good news. Filling groups has its own set of challenges. You'll need to reach more people who want to work with you in a group and they need to be able to meet at the same time each week. One common frustration to filling coaching groups is that you'll sometimes attract people who really want to join your group, but can't meet at the same time. This means you need to get really smart about attracting the right people, so you always have a group of eager potential clients with whom to fill your coaching groups - and you need to get smart about scheduling them.

Will you attract group coaching clients with an amazing blog that's optimized for search engines? Or maybe you should attract them by becoming a networking whiz. Or maybe your speaking skills will attract coaching groups to you. Be extra smart: develop multiple ways for clients to find you.

Upgrade #3: Business Administration. Once you start coaching groups, you need to expand your administrative tools and practices. Even getting paid gets dizzyingly complicated if you don't have a great system in place. Get an online payment gateway to manage your clients' payments. Get an email system to keep them up-to-date (and also use it for marketing). Get a virtual assistant if you're not tech savvy (or don't want to be). You'll also need an upgraded approach to scheduling. It's much harder to get 8 people together at the same time than just two.

If you'd like to learn more about coaching groups, sign up for the upcoming Q&A: How to Coach Groups class coming up in two weeks. If you're really serious, take our Group Coaching Mastery course or join the Become a Certified Group Coach program. (Your 'How to Coach Groups' fee can be applied to the course and program if you decide to join them later.)

Register for How to Coach Groups

Topics: group coaching, mentor coach, becoming a certified coach, How to Become a Certified Coach, How to, teleclass

How to Ask Great Coaching Questions Infographic

Posted by Julia Stewart

One of our most popular blog posts is 101 Incredible Coaching Questions. The thing is, the best coaching questions won't do much unless you know when and how to ask them. Of course, we teach all the fine points of that at School of Coaching Mastery. And although a few tips won't make you a good coach, this infographic (my 1st-ever original infographic) will help you take that list of 101 coaching questions and start to turn them into some actual coaching. Be sure to check out the options below for next steps toward becoming a professional coach. Some of them are free.

How to ask great coaching questions 

Want to practice coaching? Join our Facebook Page to find coaching buddies. Or join our IAC Virtual Coaching Chapter to learn about coaching triads. Or join a free study group.

Want to become a professional coach?

Join Coaching Groundwork Advanced and Save

Topics: coaching questions, Triad Mentor Coaching, How to, IAC, School of Coaching

Life Coach Salary Rate: the Free Guide to How Much Coaches Make

Posted by Julia Stewart

Life Coach Salary Free eBookHave you ever wondered about life coach salary rates or how much money executive or business coaches make? Or are you setting up a coaching business and wonder how to set your own coaching fees? Or are you wondering if you should become a coach? If you said YES to any of these then you need to read the new information-packed FREE eBook: Life Coach Salary.

We took several of our most popular coaching blog posts and added the 'How to Set Your Coaching Fees' worksheet, previously only available to SCM students. Then we combined them into an information-rich free ebook. It's a quick read that will help you understand how much professional coaches make, how coaches set up their businesses for profitability and how to set your coaching fees with confidence.

Let's face it, confusion is the enemy of success. This free eBook can wipe out your confusion about coaching costs and help you take the next step toward becoming a successful life, business or executive coach.

You'll learn:

  • Worldwide trends in executive, business and life coaching
  • How much do executive, business and life coaches make?
  • How many clients does the average business, executive or life coach have?
  • Why every coach needs a steady paycheck
  • Why coaching costs so much
  • Why setting your fees too low can backfire for you and your clients
  • How to set your coaching fees so your clients get what they want and your coaching business is successful
I reference large-scale coaching surveys from the ICF and Sherpa Coaching, plus information on setting fees from three top mentor coaches, Donna Steinhorn, Barbra Sundquist and Mattison Grey.

If you want a full coaching practice, you can't afford not to read the FREE Life Coach Salary eBook:

Get the FREE Life Coach Salary eBook

 

Topics: business coach, coaching business, executive coach, coaching blog, mentor coach, become a coach, Free, ICF, Life Coaches, life coach salary, Mattison Grey, How to, Donna Steinhorn, Barbra Sundquist

Life Coach Training: Shit Life Coaches Say

Posted by Julia Stewart

Mattison Grey sent me the 'Shit Life Coaches Say' video the same day that I got an invitation to create a TEDed Lesson. So voila! I made a coach training lesson out of it.

That was also about the time I set up a Pinterest account and started linking it to some old 'How Not to Coach' videos from SCM. Some of them are quite funny and 'Shit Life Coaches Say' fits right in.

The embed below is from Pinterest. View the TEDed lesson here.

Source: ed.ted.com via Julia on Pinterest

 

Like all How Not to Coach videos, this one has some truth to it. Newer coaches quickly adopt the language of the profession and love to talk the talk with each other, because they all 'get it'. Nothing wrong with that. Except...

If you can't put something into plain language, you probably don't really understand it, yet. And that makes it hard to communicate it to non-coaches ~ including those you'd like to have for clients. Move away from using jargon as soon as you can.

Oh, and if being laughed at makes you uncomfortable, get used to it. Life coaching is a recognized profession and like all others, it's a target for jokes. Remember the one about the doctor, lawyer and priest?

Click me

Topics: coach training, become a coach, Life Coaches, becoming a certified coach, Mattison Grey, How to, TED, Life Coaching, life coach training

Best Coaching Films: How NOT to Coach

Posted by Julia Stewart

 Best Coaching Films

 

Article by David Papini and Julia Stewart.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Julia: Below is the winning entry in the Best Coaching Films Contest. I chose it, not because it was the best example of coaching, but because it was presented in a thorough manner that made it easy for David Papini and me to analyze it, which we were interested in doing. In that sense, it's an awesome entry and it provides a terrific opportunity to disect something that sounds like coaching, but actually isn't. At least it's not very good coaching. See if you agree.

You may or may not be surprised to know that the character of John Keating, in Dead Poet’s Society, is not an example of a good coach. Yes, he opens up new worlds for his students, something that great coaches do, but he is burdened by enormous assumptions and a huge agenda, which leads him to a crucial conversation with Neil Perry and may have helped cause Perry’s later suicide. Not a desirable outcome in coaching!


Actually, this film is a wonderful example of what happens when Values Systems collide. It ain’t pretty. The parents and teacher’s are all of the modern values system: rational, materialistic, conforming. Think: Business Executives. (And read Spiral Dynamics or take our Spiral Dynamics for Coaches course, if you don’t know what I’m talking about.) Keating’s values are post-modern: creative, individualistic, passionate. Think: Hippies.

There is nothing wrong with either system, but in evolutionary terms, post-modern comes after modern, which makes it more inspiring (that’s just how it works). Keating and his student’s assume that ‘inspiring’ is better. However, the only thing that makes one Values System better than another is whether it solves your problems best.


The film, itself, is passionate and can inspire and trigger the viewers’ own adolescent memories of struggling to become authentic while being pushed and bullied to conform by parents and teachers. But for one very sensitive, vulnerable, conflicted boy, Neil Perry, who is the ‘client’ in the following ‘coaching’ session, this schism presents a problem so overwhelming, he pays the ultimate price.


David: I think that here Keating is not coaching Neil, he is more trying to help him as parent would do. One of the risks of a “parenting” coach model is that parenting brings with itself not just love and care but it is also prone to confusion between parent’s needs and child’s needs.  This kind of confusion has an evolutionary advantage, because maximizes the chances that a parent will take care of her children as if they were herself, but it is not that useful when your goal is to foster someone else’s freedom of choice.


In terms of technique, Keating here uses more the tools of a tutor or mentor. All the relationship is with Keating ‘up’ and Neil ‘down’. No doubt, Keating cares about Neil’s greatness, but he fails in checking and validating if the change that he is pushing Neil through is ecological for all Neil’s parts. Working with all the parts (for example with NLP) and allowing all of them to show what their good intention was and to foster dialogue among them, could have been useful to Neil.

Read on to see why a coach’s assumptions and agenda can cause a client his very life... 

John Keating Coaching Neil Perry:

Coaching Conversation

Analysis

Neil Perry: I just talked to my father. He's making me quit the play at Henley Hall. Acting's everything to me. I- But he doesn't know! He- I can see his point; we're not a rich family, like Charlie's. We- But he's planning the rest of my life for me, and I- He's never asked me what I want!

David: Here Neil shows he is aware of what is really important to him and also he is capable of understanding his father’s reasons and he is also aware that his father is not recognizing him as a person capable of choice

Julia: Neil’s dilemma is fairly typical of a coaching client’s presenting problem, even though his is the perspective of a minor. His story is highly emotional and full of assumptions. He’s genuinely stuck. 

John Keating: Have you ever told your father what you just told me? About your passion for acting? You ever showed him that?

David: Keating clarifies, acknowledge Neil’s passion and invite the possibility for Neil to share more with his father

Julia: Great coaching question from Keating. It not only elicits important information, but points to a possibly more resourceful response to Neil’s problem. 

Neil Perry: I can't.

David: Neil is facing a block.

Julia: This is a typical response from someone who is stuck. There is no physical reason that he can’t talk to his father, but he believes he can’t.

John Keating: Why not?

David: Keating poses an ineffective question. He could have asked about Neil feelings (how does it feel that you cannot share with your father) or add resources (what would you need to be able to tell him). The “why” question here seems to hide Keating’s agenda or a tutorial question (I know you can and I want you realize that). Keating here is acting like a parent, a tutor, a mentor or a friend more than a coach.

Julia: I agree with David. Questions that begin with ‘why’ tend to invite rationalization from the client, which just deepens the story and the client’s sense of having no options.

To open Neil’s mind to more options and resourceful thinking, Keating could try the following questions:

‘What would it be like if you could talk about this with your father?’

‘What would you tell him, if you could?’

‘Would you like to be able to talk with him about what’s really important to you?’

Neil Perry: I can't talk to him this way.

David: Neil is still blocked but adds “this way”.

Julia: Neil doesn't have the words to articulate what's holding him back, he just knows he's stuck.

John Keating: Then you're acting for him, too. You're playing the part of the dutiful son. Now, I know this sounds impossible, but you have to talk to him. You have to show him who you are, what your heart is!

David: Coach here had the opportunity to clarify (for example asking “what way”?). Keating choses to challenge and show Neil his intuition (“You’re acting for him, too”), without asking for permission to share. Then uses all of his influence to push Neil toward the behavior he considers appropriate (he asks Neil to do something that seems impossible to Neil and possible to the idea that Keating has of Neil’s strength and of Neil’s relationship system). Keating shows love for Neil but it’s not a loving coach act, again, it’s more a mentor’s or a tutor’s action, who sees the reality of his pupil’s behavior

Julia: Agreed. Although Keating's aware of Neil's assumption, he's not aware of his own. He's pushing Neil toward the outcome that Keating believes in. Neil needs to decide what’s best for himself. Even though Keating is a mentor/instructor to this young man, he’s over-stepping his professional boundaries. This would be considered unethical in coaching. The fact that Neil later commits suicide is strong evidence that this conversation didn’t serve him. 

Neil Perry: I know what he'll say! He'll tell me that acting's a whim and I should forget it. They're counting on me; he'll just tell me to put it out of my mind for my own good.

David: Neil is still blocked. His options are not increased, he is still trapped in a scene he already knows.

Julia: Neil is quite naturally resisting the push that Keating gives him. Most coaching clients will push back in similar ways when pressured by their coaches. 

John Keating: You are not an indentured servant! It's not a whim for you, you prove it to him by your conviction and your passion! You show that to him, and if he still doesn't believe you - well, by then, you'll be out of school and can do anything you want.

David: Keating acknowledge the genuineness and the importance of Neil ‘s passion, but again offer to him solutions that do not come from Neil himself and assumes that proving the passion to the father will be useful for Neil (implicitly reinforcing the idea that the father has to decide). Also the second option (you can do what you what when you leave school) is completely part of Keating mindset. Here Keating is consulting (giving advices) and/or leading (ordering). The coaching part could have been the first one, if the sentence finished with “it’s not a whim for you”. On another  layer of thought here there could be also that Keating is fighting with Neil’s father (what Neil’s father represents to Keating), by using Neil as means. Keating here is acting like Neil’s father, forgetting that Neil already have one that tells him what to do. The fact that the real father is not capable of loving Neil enough, does not authorize Keating to use a father role as a way to take care of Neil’s needs, especially without acknowledging the conflict that will rise in Neil’s emotions.

Julia: Keating is pushing his own Values System on Neil, something that he did throughout the film, with mixed results for the boys. He awakened something inspiring in them, but assumed parents and teachers would value it. They didn’t, which created conflict for all the boys.

By the way, Keating’s Value System is Green, or post-modern, in integral terms. The school and parents were mostly operating at the Blue/Orange, or traditional-modern level, which does not understand Green. Post-moderns typically make this mistake, that everyone will see the wisdom of their view, if just given the chance. They won’t.

Again, this is unethical in coaching. Don’t make this mistake for your own clients.

Neil Perry: No. What about the play? The show's tomorrow night!

David: Neil assumes for a moment the second Keating’s suggestion and confronts it with the practical short term consequences, and has a doubt.

Julia: More resistance in response to being inappropriately pushed.

John Keating: Then you have to talk to him before tomorrow night.

David: Keating provides the answer, completely in the frame of his agenda (Neil must talk with his father)

Julia: If Keating were a good coach, someone who cares more for others than for his own agenda, he would have elicited options from Neil and respected them. Or at the very least, offered multiple options, rather than telling Neil what to do. 

Neil Perry: Isn't there an easier way?

David: Neil asks for a way to avoid something he fears.

Julia: Keating would do well to respect the wisdom behind Neil’s reluctance.

John Keating: No.

David: Keating acknowledges the fear (by non-verbal cues, need to see the scene ;-) but keeps Neil on the decision (which is not Neil’s decision). If Neil’s fear had arrived after a personal insight or search path, this could be an appropriate way to keep the client on track, but given the previous choices made by Keating in the conversation, it’s just another way to push Neil to realize Keating’s agenda (which of course Keating considers an agenda for the good as Neil’s father does with his one, and this is often the tragedy…)

Julia: Rather than eliciting greatness from Neil and helping him expand his possibilities, Keating’s ‘coaching’ arrives at one very narrow and unproductive option.

Neil Perry: [laughs] I'm trapped!

David: Neil is emotionally trapped (and desperate)

Julia: Neil is between a rock and a hard place, with his father’s values on one side and Keating’s on the other. As a teenager, he hasn’t yet developed the  strength to think for himself and has allowed Keating to back him into a corner. Some adult coaching clients are also this easy to influence. Coaches need to be extremely careful not to make decisions for our clients. We never have all the information. We’re only there to help the client think better and to inspire their personal greatness.

John Keating: No you're not.

David: Keating does not acknowledge the emotions in Neil, and underlines that Neil is free.

Julia: Yes, in Keating’s mind, Neil is free, but only IF Neil does what Keating tells him. This is an obvious contradiction, common to post-modern thinking. It’s all about a specifically defined form of liberation that is ultimately repressive: ‘You’re free if you do what I tell you to do.’

Post-modern thinking is common among coaches, but often results in narrow thinking. My personal bias is that post-modern thinking has limited value in coaching.

 

Topics: Coaching, Coaches, coaching clients, coach, How to, clients, Spiral Dynamics, coaching call, David Papini

How to Coach a Viking

Posted by Coach Training

How to Coach a Viking

Guest post by David Papini.

As most parents are, I am exposed to a lot of cartoon movies (most of them full of cleverly engineered cross-generational stimuli and layers) and also repeatedly to the same one, with a frequency inversely proportional to the child age.

When an adult starts watching the same cartoon for the nth time, he or she can react in two ways: blankly staring at the video letting his or her mind wander in a more interesting place or trying to consciously watch the movie paying attention to details escaped to the first nth minus 1 session.


Or it can be that the reactions mix, and that’s what happened to me watching a dialog between two young Vikings, Astrid and Hiccup, in the movie How to Train your Dragon. The dialog is 1 minute 5 seconds long and yesterday evening I suddenly realized that I was watching a masterful and efficient coaching session. Astrid is the coach and Hiccup the client. The relationship between the two is already well established, but it is the first time in the movie that Astrid purposefully tries to help Hiccup.

Here is the dialog with my comments:

 

To me, from now on, coaching like a Viking, is going to have the meaning of: make a shift happen in 1’5” or less, and Astrid is on my top ten list of masterful coaches.

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/

Coach David Papini

 

Visit David's Coach 100 Page Here.

Topics: Coaching, coach, How to, master coach, masterful coaches, how to become a coach, David Papini

How to Win the Best Coaching Blogs Contest

Posted by Julia Stewart

Best coaching blogs contestHave you ever wished you could get insider tips on how to succeed at something?

Like how to win a contest or how to attract more clients? Well, I'm about to give you insider tips for both.

Marketing experts say that blogging is one of the most important tools for client attraction in any type of business, particularly if you don't have a big advertising budget. That advice couldn't be more true for coaches.

That's why we sponsor the Best Coaching Blogs Contest each year. Coaching Blogs offer some of the most cutting-edge information about coaching and they are free. That's awesome for the consumer and it's a great marketing strategy for coaches. The contest highlights the very best and it's an effective inbound marketing strategy for School of Coaching Mastery. Everybody wins. But not everybody wins the contest.

Winning at Best Coaching Blogs is a lot like winning at blogging. Both will attract more clients to you, so listen up!

9 ways to win Best Coaching Blogs:

1. Know your audience. The easiest audience to write for is yourself, your friends, or your clients, in that order. But if you're writing to attract more clients, you need to work harder to offer value, to be understood, to create fans and attract clients. If you're writing to win Best Coaching Blogs, remember that your blog will be read by folks who don't know you and you'll need to win over both coaches and non-coaches. They are very different audiences.

2. Know the difference between a business blog and a personal blog. A personal blog, or weblog, can be quirky, weird and profane. A business blog can be all of that, too, depending upon your audience. Generally speaking, a business blog needs to offer more service and value and build more trust than a personal blog, because you ultimately want your readers to spend not just their time, but their money with you. That usually requires more discipline and perhaps less soul-baring. Service, value, trust and discipline will go a long way to help you win the Best Coaching Blogs Contest.

3. Actively create trust. Notice that the word, 'trust' is coming up a lot? You may have already created a fantastic level of trust with the folks who know you, but if you want to attract more people (and contest votes) via your blog, you'll have to create trust through your actual writing. How do you do that? Tell the truth. Give away your best secrets. And show up consistently, meaning develop a consistent voice and blog regularly and frequently enough that people start to count on your articles. As a rule of thumb, you need a minimum of about 20 articles to create blog credibility and you should be blogging once per week or more.

4. Titles are critical. Learn to write titles that engage quickly and pique curiosity. You only have a second or two to convince someone that it'll be worthwhile to spend their valuable time reading your article. Check the right-hand column of this blog for a list of our ten most popular blog posts and you'll see examples of many of the types of posts that engage and create curiosity. If people don't read your articles, you won't attract either clients or votes.

5. Make sure the article delivers what the title promises. Piquing someone's curiosity and then immediately pulling a switcheroo to get them to buy or download something is just plain rude. It's also marketing suicide and readers will mentally blacklist you in a heartbeat. Don't use your blog to sell. Also, don't use it just to write about a product or program, unless your audience tells you they love that. Do offer something of value at the bottom of your posts for people who may want more. Treat your readers with respect and they'll come back. They may even vote for your blog.

6. Be remarkable. Thousands of life coaches write about the Law of Attraction. Don't be one of them unless you have something different to say. Write what no one else writes. Empower your readers. Help them achieve their goals. Make them feel smart for discovering you and they will tell all their friends. And their friends will tell friends. Soon, you have raving fans for your blog and for your work. Fans vote with a vengence.

7. Be Social. Success in the blogosphere is achieved through cooperation, not competition. Read other blogs and comment on them. Link to the best ones. Guest post on some. And announce what you and other bloggers are up to throughout the social media web. This advice is especially important during the contest. Treat your fellow contestants like friends instead of enemies, because in the end, the semi-finalists choose the Top Ten Winners.

8. Play nice. Every year, at least one blogger succumbs to the temptation to cheat and it's the other contestants who notice it first. That's a dumb strategy, because the contestants are the ones who choose the winners. Either play nice or loose. 

9. Break the rules. Although I'm giving you awesome advice for writing a successful blog that wins like crazy, your audience may want something completely different. Pay attention to them first and foremost and watch your blog grow in popularity. Best Coaching Blogs is in many ways a popularity contest. Write for your readers (and voters) and win!

Go here for a related article called, Best Coaching Blogs: Why a Winning Strategy Might Not Win.

Are you a blogger or even winner in one of the Best Coaching Blogs contests? What strategies do you use that I've left out here? Please share your best blogging strategies in the comments below.

How to Blog Effectively

 

Want more ideas? Download the free How to Blog Effectively for Your Coaching Business ebook here.

Topics: coaching business, Best Coaching Blogs, blogs, blogging, blogosphere, School of Coaching Mastery, coaching clients, Life Coaches, How to, Law of Attraction

How to Write a Coaching Bio In 20 Minutes

Posted by Barbra Sundquist

Barbra SundquistGuest Blogger, Barbra Sundquist is a business coach and entrepreneur. Her website Howtowritebio.com provides fill-in-the-blank bio templates for over 150 different types of jobs:

The best advice I can give you for writing a great coaching bio is to put yourself in your reader’s shoes. What do they want to know about you in order to decide to hire you? They want to know: 

 

1) who you are
2) what your coaching expertise is
3) how your expertise addresses their problem or goal
4) where they can contact you

Sample coaching bio:

Jane Smith is a small business coach who helps women make the transition from full-time mom to successful entrepreneur. A grandmother now, Jane started her coaching business in 2002 to help other women deal with the sometimes overwhelming prospect of starting a new business while still running a household.

Prior to raising her family, Jane spent over ten years as a teacher, corporate trainer and workshop leader. Today Jane offers a wide range of coaching programs and services - from individual coaching, to seminars and keynote speeches. To contact Jane, please visit her coaching website at http://www.janesmart.com

Were you able to identify who-what-how-where?  Here is Jane's professional bio again, with the who-what-how-where identified:

Jane Smith is a small business coach (who Jane is) who helps women make the transition from full-time mom to successful entrepreneur (how her expertise addresses their problem or goal). A grandmother now (what expertise - shows she has been a mother and is now older and presumably wiser), Jane started her coaching business in 2002 to help other women deal with the sometimes overwhelming prospect of starting a new business while still running a household (how Jane helps them overcome their problem or achieve their goal). Prior to raising her family, Jane spent over ten years as a teacher, corporate trainer and workshop leader (Jane's expertise). Today Jane offers a wide range of programs and services - from individual coaching, to seminars and keynote speeches (how Jane can help). To contact Jane, please visit her website http://www.janesmart.com (where to contact Jane).

Follow this format and you will certainly come up with an effective professional bio. But if writing your bio seems like just one more onerous task on your long to-do list, visit my writeabio.com website. There you can get a fill-in-the-blanks bio template written specifically for coaches. It gives you the structure and wording to write a unique professional coaching bio, and you'll have it all done and complete within 20 minutes.

Go here to learn how to write a coaching bio that sells your coaching.

 

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Topics: business coach, coaching business, Coaching, blogging, webinar, Business Coaches, How to, Barbra Sundquist, Coaching Bio

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