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How to Have Happier Holidays with Positive Psychology

Posted by Julia Stewart

How to Have Happier Holidays Image

Virtually every culture has holidays coming up in the next several weeks and we all want them to be happy.

This is a fun time that we plan all year. Unfortunately, the busyness, stress, extra expenses, fatigue, and even too much togetherness it isn't always fun.

How can positive psychology help you have happier holidays?

Read on for some easy ideas that can transform difficult holidays into happy ones. You can even download a new FREE eBook to help you have more fun and less stress!

What do you love about the holidays?

  • A chance to see family and friends
  • An enriching spiritual experience
  • Celebrating traditions (and/or creating new ones)
  • The food!
  • The fun!

What holiday challenges do you experience?

  • Too much/not enough togetherness
  • Travel hassles
  • Too much busyness
  • Too much rich food
  • Trying to sleep away from home
  • Boredom
  • Bickering
  • Overwhelm

This holiday season, wouldn't you like more of what you love with fewer challenges?

I wrote the new free eBook, How to Have Happier Holidays with Positive Psychology to be a quick tool that anyone can read in a few minutes and get ideas for how to have happier holidays this year. It's short and simple. You don't have to do everything. Just do what speaks to you. Let it inspire you rather than limit you.

This eBook talks about such topics as:

  • Positivity
  • Love 2.0
  • Gratitude
  • Strengths
  • Kindness
  • Self-Compassion

But don't worry. This isn't a stuffy lesson on psychology. Just fun and quick tools to lighten your holidays and help make them as happy as you have hoped.

Everything in this eBook is backed by research. Truth is, there are many more ideas from positive psychology that might make a difference for you. If you want more, read one of the books listed in this eBook's references over the holidays!

 

Ready for Happier Holidays? Get the new free eBook here:

Go Here For Your Free eBook Now

 

Topics: Positive Psychology, free ebook, science of happiness

Free Video: Living Sensationally with Winnie Dunn

Posted by Julia Stewart

Winnie DunnOn September 27th, I had a fun talk with Winnie Dunn, PdD, OTR, FAOTA, the leading authority on sensory processing, on how differently we each experience the world based on our sensory traits.

Winnie is an internationally recognized researcher on how people respond to sensory experiences in their everyday lives. She's also a graduate of the Certified Positive Psychology Coach Program here at SCM and knew I had done a series on Sensory Processing Sensitivity, a common trait among coaches. She generously she sent me a copy of her book, Living Sensationally.

Once I read Winnie's book, I knew this was a topic coaches need to understand! Your sensory processing is determined by how your nervous system is wired and to you, it represents reality. But everybody else is wired differently so their reality, and their behavior, may sometimes clash intensely with yours. The solutions to these challenges can be quite simple, but first you must understand what is going on.

Read further to learn about the Four Major Sensory Patterns, how they show up, and some simple ways to manage them. You may recognize yourself and others you know! Get answers to questions such as:

  • Why doesn't my spouse ever notice the laundry is piling up?
  • Why does my date always want to leave a party just when it starts to get good?
  • Why does my office mate HUM when I'm trying to work??

Also learn a bit more about Winnie and her incredible career as a Distinguished Professor in the field of Occupational Therapy. And learn about her current successful career as a strengths-based coach and coaching researcher along with her business partner, Ellen Pope, PhD, another coach who has been certified by us.

According to Living Sensationally, there are four major Sensory Patterns.

These are based on two factors. The first is neurological thresholds. How much sensory input does it take for your brain to notice? If it doesn't take much, you have a low threshold. If it takes a lot, your threshold is high. The other factor is how you self-regulate sensory input: Are you active or passive about it?

  1. The Seeker has a high-threshold and actively seeks more sensation. They are likely to be the adventurers and partiers you know. They are fun and exciting but may be too much sometimes for some people.
  2. The Bystander has a high-threshold and is passive about experiencing sensation. It can take a lot to get their attention because they don't notice sensory inputs that may be obvious to others. That can be frustrating and exasperating for other people.
  3. The Sensor is low-threshold and active about managing their sensory input. They can be easily overwhelmed by sensory overload so they manage situations and communicate to others what they need. They set boundaries, but if they don't do it with finesse, people may find them stifling or controlling.
  4. The Avoider has a low-threshold and is passive about managing sensory input. They also can be easily overwhelmed but may not speak up about it. They just avoid people, activities, and situations that are too much, when they can, which can confuse and even hurt other people. If they cannot avoid overload, they may have trouble managing their emotions, because too much sensory input can eventually make anyone lose control and it happens faster when a person has a low threshold.

 

Read Living Sensationally to learn details on how to manage conflicts between different sensory types. The first step is to recognize that people's sensory patterns aren't chosen. We cannot rewire ourselves to please others, but we can learn to respect, negotiate, and compromise. Winnie offers some dead-easy workarounds to  resolve problems that I thought might be impossible to solve.

 

This information might help one of your clients save their marriage or job. It might even help you save your own!

 

Here's a sensory example you may find amusing. I am a Sensor with some Avoider habits. If I buy lotions or other personal products, I like mild scents, no dyes, organic ingredients. If they are sold in a spa-like or Zen-like environment, so much the better. But I have relatives that love products from Bath & Body Works, which sells personal products with strong scents, that may have beads and grit that offer sensory stimulation, plus bright colors. If I enter their stores to buy gifts for others, it is like a cacophony of scents, sights, and sounds. I get in and out as quickly as I can. These stores and products were clearly designed for Seekers and Bystanders. In fact, Bath & Body Works posts salespersons outside their stories who pounce on passersby and tell them all their special offers. Clearly, they are not going to let a Bystander get past without noticing this store that was designed especially for them! Me? My inner Avoider doesn't even want to walk past that store when I'm not buying gifts! (If you are a coach who is learning about marketing, this is a perfect example of a company identifying its target market and desiging everything around them!)

 

Learn more about this fun topic by watching the FREE Living Sensationally Video with Winnie Dunn:

 

Free Living Sensationally Video With Winnie Dunn

 

Topics: Free, Certified Positive Psychology Coach, video, HSP

The Trouble with Empathy

Posted by Julia Stewart

Coaching and Empathy

We live in an age when empathy is extolled as a virtue.

 

And so it is. Without empathy in the world, all our relationships would be transactional. Our need for love and belonging could never be met. Kindness and social intelligence would be nonexistent. No one would have a  sincere desire to help and meanness would reign, instead.

 

Not pretty.

 

Many personal growth programs offer to help you develop more empathy. And that's good. But have you thought about how much is enough? Can you ever have too much? How do you know if you have the right amount of empathy? And once you do have enough, how do you manage it?

Please read on...

So what is empathy, exactly? There are three major types:

 

  1. Cognitive Empathy: Basically, you know what others feel. You understand and can imagine what someone else has experienced, both positive and negative.
  2. Emotional Empathy: You feel what others feel. This occurs, in the moment, mainly when you are physically with someone or are talking by telephone, but you may continue to carry those feelings even after the interaction.
  3. Compassionate Empathy: You want others to feel better. This is empathy + a desire to help + action. When you understand or feel a need that another is experiencing, you want to help, and you do.

 

Which types of empathy do you need to coach effectively?

 

Cognitive empathy can help a coach perform the skills of coaching. But without emotional and compassionate empathy, the coach may be more likely to manipulate their clients, by directing or controlling, or may simply be unmotivated to coach.

Compassionate empathy does motivate coaches. But they need to practice discipline in the ways they help. If they also have cognitive empathy, that can help them imagine how their help will impact clients in the longrun. Will they become relient on the coach or will they grow? If the coach creates dependency in the client, that's good for the coach's ego but not for the client. Because no one reaches their full potential if they need someone else as a crutch.

Emotional empathy is, literally, at the heart of great coaching. Without it, many advanced coaching skills taught in coaching schools like this one, will make no sense to the learner. But coaches with emotional empathy need to develop the ability to distinguish their own emotions from those they pick up from others. Cognitive empathy can help with that, but it takes effort.

 

So what's the trouble with empathy?

 

Western culture, with its emphasis on independence, seems to encourage less and less empathy. Social media has been found to excelerate this. And psychologists tell us that leadership and success both tend to diminish a person's levels of empathy. The result is a culture that is increasingly manipulative and often mean. So more empathy might be the answer, but that's only half the problem.

Some people are born with a higher capacity for emotional empathy. But until they develop self-awareness and self-management skills, they may just experience chaos, especially when around others who are highly-emotional.

 

Living with high emotional empathy is like riding a wild bronco until we develop emotional intelligence.

 

When I was a little girl, I tried to ride my grandmother's horse, Danny, but he tried to buck me off. Within seconds, with both feet out of the stirrups, I was perilously close to being trampled as I hung off the side of the bucking horse, with just one little hand gripping the saddlehorn. Seeing what was about to happen, my grandmother ran out, grabbed the reins, and calmed Danny down. And yes, she made me get right back up on the horse and ride him around the corral again, so I wouldn't develop a fear of horses.

 

My grandmother's courage, calm, and skill saved my life that day.

 

So that's the problem with empathy and also the answer. When we have too little, or only one type, we tend to treat people unkindly. When we use it in an unskilled manner, we can harm people without meaning to. And when we have too much empathy with too little management, we're out of control. Other people can get hurt, and we are prone to trauma, depression, and anxiety.

 

If you have high levels of empathy, especially emotional empathy, and you develop the courage, calm, and skill to manage it, you have the raw material to become a great coach.

 

In addition to managing yourself, learn manage your environment so you can be at your very best. Develop your courage to set boundaries, your calm with self-care, and your skill at getting your needs met.

 

A great coach can help clients develop and manage their empathy.

 

The upcoming course on Values, Needs, and Strengths (the three most important subjects in coaching); will help you develop and manage those skills and abilities.

 

But get started with the FREE Become a Coach eBook:

 

Get a free Become a Coach eBook here.

 

 

PS: I still love horses.

 

Topics: become a life coach, Master Certified Coach, coaching schools, coaching skills, coaching call, Strengths, Needs, Values, setting boundaries, highly sensitive, self care, Empaths, empathy

What is a Coaching Mindset and How Do You Get It and Maintain It?

Posted by Julia Stewart

Coaching MindsetThe ICF recently added the first new Core Coaching Competency in over two decades.

It's called: Maintains a Coaching Mindset.

This post will clear up confusion about what a Coaching Mindset is, why it matters, and how you can develop and maintain it. Because once you understand this, a doorway opens that makes masterful coaching possible for you.

The first thing to know is that this competency is demonstrated both outside coaching sessions as well as during coaching. In other words coaching, with its expansive positivity, curiosity, presence, and acknowledgement isn't something you just do for an hour or two and then revert to thinking and acting small. Thinking like a coach is a 24/7 commitment.

Maintains a Coaching Mindset helps counter the misconception that coaching is merely a performative skill set.

The ICF definition of Maintains a Coaching Mindset is:

Develops and maintains a mindset that is open, curious, flexible and client-centered.

 

Coaches need to show up this way during coaching sessions because it helps raise the client's receptivity and resourcefulness, which are key to the client's success. Great coaches do more than help clients solve their problems. They help them grow into people who stop having those problems. Plus, coaches need to show up this way outside coaching sessions in order to maintain trust and respect with clients.

Because, almost anyone can learn the communication techniques of coaching. But until they learn to think like a coach, that will limit their clients' outcomes and growth, and it will also limit the coaches' careers, because clients won't want to work with them. Why not?

Potential clients naturally mistrust coaches who are closed-minded, incurious, rigid, or self-centered; even if just a little bit.

So how do you develop and maintain a coaching mindset? Here are several approaches:

  • Develop your self-awareness. Because you cannot be client-centered if you are unaware of where you end and your client begins. It's surprising how often people are unaware of this. If you are a helpaholic or compulsive advice giver, you need work here. Get to know your own Strengths and Values, as well as your Needs, biases, unhealed wounds, assumptions, and habits. It's a lot to be aware of and it will always be a work in progress, but healthy personal growth can carry a coach a long way. How can you achieve this?
  • Develop self-regulation. When your Needs, boundaries, and self-care are well met, you can show up positively and your negative emotions are much less likely to get in the way. This can change your entire outlook as well as what you think is possible for your clients. A coach or therapist can give you customized support with this, but there are several other approaches that can work well:
    • Know your boundaries and how to communicate them. Just as good fences make good neighbors, good boundaries are the foundation of good relationships. What are you not okay with? What are your deal breakers? Good boundaries are clear but also flexible and boundary conversations help us navigate varied cultural perspectives, a necessary skill in the 21st Century. Boundaries are basic rules of engagement that help you and others be your best. When you know how to communicate boundaries, you put people at ease and relationships progress more smoothly. For example: Your written agreement with your clients is a formalized set of boundaries. In fact, most difficult issues that could come up in coaching relationships can be forestalled by what is included in that agreement. You need less formal boundaries in your personal relationships but don't try to live without them. By the way, sometimes the person you need to set boundaries with the most is yourself. You can learn to set boundaries by taking trainings or even reading books on boundaries. Here's a good one.
    • Know your Needs and get them met. We all have them. Most of us go through life hoping ours will be met  and then suffering needlessly because Needs aren't met by chance. They are our own responsibility. If we don't actively work to get them met, it's unlikely that they will be. Abraham Maslow said meeting Needs is like taking vitamins; they keep us healthy. Unhealthy coaches can't reliably maintain a coaching mindset. Read about Needs here. Take this course to learn how to help yourself and your clients get Needs met.
    • Take your self-care seriously. Working crazy hours, eating a terrible diet, never exercising, juggling stress,  sleeping too little, and impoverished relationships can all block your coaching mindset and you may not even notice. But others will. Don't take that chance. What's one thing you know you need to start doing, or stop doing, to take care of you? Are you willing to commit to that change? Great, when can you start?
  • Develop your intuition, empathy, creativity, and positivity. Western culture has long prized reason, logic, and rational thought, the so-called left-brain thinking patterns. Those qualities have taken our culture a long way. But your brain has two hemispheres. You can't live your best life without both. Coaching excels because it unabashedly includes other ways of thinking that are associated with the right brain. Integrate your brain so you can move back and forth seamlessly. Why does this matter? It helps provide the wisdom, flexibility, positivity and creativity that are prized in master-level coaching. And it helps you develop a coaching mindset. This leads almost effortlessly to more profound client outcomes. They are so worth it. Here's how:
    • Engage in contemplative practices and use one or more to prepare for coaching sessions. These will help change your brain by temporarily lowering stress. Over time, you'll develop greater perspective, more maturity, and more wisdom. Because we are all prone to stress but cannot coach well when when we are in the fight, flight, or freeze response, we need these practices to prepare for coaching sessions. Traditional practices, such as mindfulness, sitting meditation, walking meditation, prayer, chanting, and ritual can all change your brain state briefly, so they are ideal for preparing before coaching sessions, but when practiced  daily for months and years, they change those relaxed states into enduring traits by integrating the brain. If you're more secular, uncomfortable with a spiritual approach, or technology is your thing, there are powerful research-based breath exercises and verified practices based on smartphone apps and other devices. HeartMath is effective for many. Over time, these practices can help you strengthen your True Self and be less controlled by your ego. That can help you be happier. Your True Self (sometimes called Personal Greatness, Higher Self, Wise Self, etc.) is essentially your coaching mindset.
    • Live a Values-driven life. Your Values are what really matter to you. If you are spending all your time on other matters, you cannot be your True Self, nor can you live your best life, nor may you coach masterfully. When your mindset is focused on what matters, you are thinking like a coach and can coach clients to greatness.
  • Keep Learning. The ICF and most other certifiers require that you continue your coaching education throughout your career. When you choose a coach training, look not for the acquisition of mere technical information, but for the kind of adaptive challenges that will assist you to coach at increasingly higher levels and to show up with the mindset of your True Self, Personal Greatness, or Higher Self. In other words, training that will challenge you to show up with the mindset of a coach. It's worth it.

The Certified Positive Psychology Coach Program and Certified Neuroscience Coach Program can help you learn beginning-to-advanced coaching skills and develop a coaching mindset. Or read more about becoming a coach in the free Become a Positive Psychology Coach eBook.

 

Learn more about becoming a coach here:

 

Get the FREE Become a Positive Psychology Coach eBook


 

 

 

Topics: become a coach, ICF, Certified Positive Psychology Coach, personal development, coaching with neuroscience, brain, FIND A COACH, free ebook, personal greatness, personal growth, personal values, become a positive psychology coach, certified neuroscience coach, Competencies

The Coaching Chrysalis

Posted by Julia Stewart

butterfly the real you s1024_1

Image courtesy of Elan Sun Star.

One of the most challenging phases of becoming a coach is the chrysalis phase. Not everyone who gets coach training experiences this uncomfortable transition, but some go through a difficult period where nothing feels right.

The concepts they are learning in class may seem nonsensical or so simplistic they wonder why we even discuss them. They may worry that they will never “get it.” Or they may be used to knowing the answers in another profession and are surprised that the “answers” in coaching seem upside down.

Psychology and neuroscience have various names for this kind of experience. Your brain for instance, has a negativity bias that tends to say, “New, different…bad.” And if stress levels are high, this bias rises a notch toward threat reactivity, which tells you something is very wrong and triggers your Fight, Flight, or Freeze response. In psychology, this sense that something is off is referred to as cognitive dissonance.

In coaching, we call it, the Caterpillar Soup stage. Caterpillars literally dissolve into a soupy goo on their way to becoming beautiful butterflies. Learning to coach can be confusing and disorienting for a while, because your ego, that part of you that protects you from harm, gets in your way.

Another part of your mind is potentially a brilliant coach, but your ego blocks it until it feels safe.

You experience your Inner Coach when you allow yourself to feel empathy, playfulness, curiosity, intuition, and positivity. When your ego realizes there is no real threat, it can get comfortable with its discomfort.

Thank your ego for trying to protect you, but have the courage to stay with the process and allow your Inner Coach to come out and play. When you do so, the real you will discover that somehow you always knew how to coach. You just forget whenever you listen to your ego. 😊

 

Do you have the courage to Become a Coach? Consider joining the next Certified Competent Coach course.

 

Become a Certified Competent Coach

 

 

Topics: coach training, becoming a coach

Radical Self-Care for Highly Sensitive Coaches

Posted by Julia Stewart

Self-Care for Highly Sensitive Coaches

Self-care is part of the job description for coaches.

Unfortunately, self-care has become a bit of a cliche: about getting a massage, taking a yoga class, or eating kale. The truth is, self-care is whatever restores and strengthens you and it can take any form that works for you.

It takes discipline to practice self-care consistently. When you do so, you are able to be your best every day regardless what else happens. That means, if you're a coach, you coach more effectively.

That's especially true if you are a Highly Sentive Person (aka HSP or Empath). The wiring of an HSP is perfect for coaching when it is well cared for. You have a super power that needs nurturing.  That's what you're doing when you practice self-care and personal development. Otherwise, you may experience meltdowns and could show up like a super villain, instead of a super hero, to those around you.

Self-care is anything but selfish, especially for highly sensitive coaches.

Read on for information on highly sensitive coaches, the traits that make them desirable, tests to see if you are highly sensitive, and a free class on radical self-care for highly sensitive coaches...

HSPs/Empaths tend to have many of the qualities that are most prized in coaching. The following are estimates of percentages of HSPs who share the following qualities. (Source: Esther Bergsma, 2019)*.

  • Empathy (85%)
  • Strong Intuition (79%)
  • Good Listener (78%)
  • Open Minded (76%)
  • Caring (76%)
  • Creative Thinking (70%)
  • Able to See the Big Picture (69%)
  • Sense of Humor (65%)

If you are strong on most of the above, you may be wired to be a great coach. If you also have the discipline to care for, nurture, and even enhance those abilities, you may be cut out to be a professional coach.

 

If you are curious whether you are an HSP:

Take this short test, or this longer one, or take this more in-depth test.

 

So how do you care for the finely-tuned nervous system of a highly sensitive coach?

 

Look for your current level of care and ask whether it is enough for you to be at your best, every day. If not, what people, places, or things put you out of balance? You might want to carry a journal and make note whenever something annoys you, stresses you, or wears you out. Then ask yourself 10 ways to change each of those items so they don't sap your energy, anymore. Don't worry, at first, if any of those solutions are possible. If you keep an open mind, a few doable solutions will rise to the top.

 

Also take a look at your internal environment. As a highly senstive coach, you take in more information than others. That's a brilliant benefit to coaching. It can also overwhelm your system. You also likely have stronger emotions. Emotions are your body/mind's communication system. Yours is more acute and that also benefits your coaching. But strong emotions need management. Otherwise, they create chaos as well as conflict with others. What habits or processes can help you manage your intensity? If you are overhwelmed, how will you work in calming breaks? If your emotions are unruly, how will you develop more emotional literacy?

 

Another great way to do this is to discover your Needs and learn to get them met. A key to meeting Needs is to apply your Strengths. Certified Positive Psychology Coaches do this with their clients but it is important to do it with ourselves, first. Otherwise, it's impossible to understand. Even coaches need coaches for this type of assistance. Our positive psychology coaching students learn to do this with their clients and you can find a coach who can help you here.

 

Or Learn about Radical Self Care for Highly Sensitive Coaches in this free class.

 

Radical self-care for highly sensitive coaches is like tuning up a fine Italian sports car before taking an epic drive through the Italian Alps. Otherwise, you might end up stuck by the side of the road, or worse. Do take that epic life adventure! But first take time to take care of yourself. You'll enjoy more awe, more thrills, more gratitude, more togetherness, more joy. And so will those around you!

 

Ready to be your best so you can serve others better? Ready to treat yourself the way your need to be treated? Ready to nurture your super powers so they can be your super strengths and not your weaknesses? Take this upcoming free class and get started on the path of radical self-care:

 

FREE: Radical Self-Care for Highly Sensitive Coaches

 

*This post is informed by Esther Bergsma's The Brains of Highly Sensitive People, published in 2020 in the US. Highly recommended! By the way, this book features the 2007 research on sensitivity by Winnie Dunn, PhD, OTR, FOATA, CPPC. Winnie later attended and graduated from our Certified Positive Psychology Coach Program.

Topics: gratitude, Certified Positive Psychology Coach, personal development, positive psychology coaching, Strengths, Needs, FIND A COACH, highly sensitive, self care, Empaths

Four Words that Strike Fear in Coaches' Hearts

Posted by Julia Stewart

Coach Panicking

Ever since I became a coach twenty years ago, I've been hearing a certain four-word phrase from other coaches.

You can almost hear the coach's heart clutch when they utter these four words. And it's surprising because coaches are such optimistic people. But even optimists have fears, sometimes.

These words offer a red flag that, when you know how to read it, tells you how to handle the fear.

You may share this fear. If so, you may be saying these four words. And it could be holding back your coaching career. So I'm going to offer some insight on what it means and what you can do about it.

Read on...

This four-word phrase needs some context. So here's how it shows up:

  • I need to ....to get my coaching career going.
  • I'd better....or I'll never get clients.
  • I want to....but something is holding me back.
  • I don't know how to.....
  • I've got to.....
  • I just need to....and everything will work out.

You've probably guessed what this phrase is (or maybe you peeked)!

It is: "Put myself out there." Have you heard this phrase yet? Have you used it yourself? It's code for fear of being rejected or fear of failing  These fears represent two major unmet Needs identified by the late Abraham Maslow. One is the Need for Belonging. The other is the Need for Self Esteem. These Needs are natural. We all have them.

The fear occurs when these Needs are Unmet. They are easy to meet when you know how (or work with a coach who understands this dynamic). Most positive psychology coaching schools don't teach Maslow's Needs theory, but we do.

New coaches succeed faster when they work with coaches who understand this.

Once your coach has helped you meet your Need for Belonging or Self-Esteem, you can take the spotlight off yourself. That's what the phrase, "Put myself out there", does. It makes what you do all about "myself".

Great coaching is never about the coach.

Once you take the focus off "myself", it becomes obvious where it needs to be. Put your focus on others. Learn to listen more deeply to them. Notice the people who want and need your coaching. They are always sending signals, but when your focus is on "myself", you won't notice them. So your efforts to grow your coaching career or business will be clumsy. You won't do your best work and you may, indeed, wind up feeling rejected or like a failure.

I'm here to tell you to stop putting yourself out there.

Just be listening to others and hear what they are really saying (they have code phrases too). Be the coach whose Needs are so well met that you can forget yourself long enough to hear what others need from you  and your coaching career will practically build itself!

Want to be the coach who can hear what's going on by just listening to one sentence? Join the Certified Positive Psychology Coach Program before prices go up. We don't just teach you about Strengths. Actually, we teach about Strengths and a whole lot more. We help you put the whole picture together so you can coach masterfully. We also teach you the secrets to building your coaching career.

 

Click below for FREE downloads on becoming a positive psychology coach and more:

Explore the Certified Positive Psychology Coach Program

 

Topics: coaching business, Coaches, Certified Positive Psychology Coach, coaching career, Needs, FIND A COACH, become a positive psychology coach, Abraham Maslow

How do Life Coaches Make Money?

Posted by Julia Stewart

Life Coach in Her Office

Here are seven excellent ways to making money as a life coach.

Making a living as a life coach is easier than you may think. That's one of the reasons this profession has become so popular and why it has surged since the pandemic began!

Want some ideas on how you will support yourself as a life coach? Whether you become an executive coach, business coach, career coach, or health coach, it's all life coaching and there is a business model that can work beautifully for you.

Read on!

Seven excellent ways for coaches to make money:

  1. Add coaching to your current business. Whether you are an attorney, consultant, trainer, psychotherapist, branding specialist, healthcare provider, or offer another client service with your business, coaching makes a lot of sense when you want to broaden the services your offer, thereby increasing the value you provide to clients while adding to your business' income streams. I was a personal trainer when I became a coach. I added coaching as a service for my clients and, before long, I was coaching full time!
  2. Work as a health coach in a healthcare environment. Many of our graduates have gone on to coach within healthcare environments, such as within hospitals or occupational therapy facilities. They help patients have more positive outcomes and sometimes they even work with the providers, themselves!
  3. Offer coaching services through a non-coaching business. Coaching can augment financial services, for instance, by helping clients get clarity about their goals and values. This can work great with other services such as career counseling and psychotherapy, enhancing both. Reach out to other businesses and offer to partner with them! They will want to know your credentials, so get those in order first!
  4. Become an internal coach in a large organization. An internal coach is a salaried employee of an organization who has the title of Coach and whose primary responsibility is to coach the employees of that organization. You can help them develop more effective leaders and teams as well as coach employees who have been laid off to plan their next chapter in life. Get a full-time salary to coach!
  5. Become an external coaching provider. An external coach contracts with organizations to work with its executives and employees toward specific outcomes over a specified period of time. This is one of the most common and lucrative ways for coaches to make money!
  6. Become an employee who offers coaching as part of your job description. Many job openings require coaching skills as part of the job. Get the training and certification you need to offer coaching in your job. Increase your employability as well as your salary!  The possibilities are endless.
  7. Start your own coaching business! Coaching is a popular service and you can charge several hundred dollars per month for each client. Plus you can add to your business by partnering with other professionals, such as in #3 or contracting with other organizations, such as in #6. You can coach part-time of full-time and set the hours your please. It's one of the most flexible professions and you can coach your clients remotely via phone or video, so it's safe no matter what else goes on in the world. The crazier life gets, the more people need life coaches!

 

Coaching is a popular and lucrative profession for people who love helping others.

 

How will you make money as a life coach? The possibilities are plentiful and it all starts with coach training and certification. We train 100% online. Always have and always will. Our prices will go up soon so now is a perfect time to start!

 

Want to learn more about building a coaching business? Here is one approach that has helped coaches succeed for twenty years. Our coach training programs include a business-building program that attracts clients even to beginner coaches. It's one of the many free extras we include for our students.

 

Download the FREE Coach 100 eBook and enjoy business success:

 

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Topics: business coach, executive coach, make a living as a life coach, Life Coaches, life coach salary, Coach Certification, coaching career, how to get coaching clients

What is the Neuroscience of Character Strengths and Virtues?

Posted by Julia Stewart

Character Strengths and the Brain

Character Strengths are ways of thinking, feeling, and behaving that are natural for you and help you express one or more of the six Universal Virtues.

All Character Strengths originate in the brain. They represent the best in you.

Character Strengths and Virtues were identified by a team of psychologists and have been well researched.

But what about the neural basis of Character Strengths? Do we use both sides of our brain equally when expressing our Signature Strengths? Do strengths involve our thinking brain or our emotional brain? This matters because it impacts how we use our strengths.

A new book by Jill Bolte Taylor, the neuroanatomist made famous by her TED Talk, My Stroke of Insight, suggests fascinating correlations between Character Strengths and the brain.

Learn more about Character Strengths and Virtues, as well as their intriging neural origins by reading this post. You can even download a FREE list of Character Strengths organized around their corresponding Virtues and classified according to which parts of the brain tend to be involved when those strengths are used. Very cool!

Read on...

The original team that identified the six Universal Virtues and twenty-four Character Strengths was led by Chris Peterson and Martin Seligman. They had the wisdom to look beyond their own values to those of other cultures and other times to identify what humans have cherished in other humans. If they hadn't, we might have a very different set of Virtues and Strengths that focus much more on the benefits of the rational mind, so prized by modern Western culture, such as logic, organization, and productivity. Those abilities have helped create our modern world of technology that has transformed the lives of billions of humans. Important stuff!

And yet, Western culture's preference for the rational has also brought us to a unique moment in time. As the Climate Crisis wipes out whole towns in a single stroke, we have arrived at a point where Mother Nature seems to be saying, "Enough with your clever tricks. Obey my rules or perish."

The twenty-four Character Strengths do include linear strengths such as Judgment/Critical Thinking, defined as: "Thinking things through and examining them from all sides; being able to change one’s mind in light of evidence; weighing all evidence fairly" (Niemiec, 2018). However, it is striking how many more Character Strengths seem to use Right Brain functioning, primarily.

One reason for this is that the Left Emotional Brain tends to compare current experiences with previous events to decide if you are safe. If not, it can trigger the Fight, Flight, or Freeze response which can cause you to become self-protective, which may result in less cognitive openness, such as Curiosity, and less pro-social behavior, such as Kindness. These Character Strengths are related to Virtues which are what we value in others. Ego-based self-protection isn't valued as a Virtue but it is important to the individual's safety and it probably figures into some Character Strengths, such as Prudence, which weighs desirable choices with less desirable choices to make wise decisions.

Meanwhile, the Right Brain, according to Jill Bolte Taylor, tends to be involved with greater positivity and playfulness such as Humor, as well as Transcendent qualities, such as Love and Gratitude which are highly valued by others. Taylor is a neuroanatomist, so she focuses on the brain's structures. Some neuroscientists focus more on energy and information flow and some neuroscientists emphasize that the whole brain is always working, not just some parts. While that is true, the brain focuses itself by inhibiting the parts that are less needed for a given task. For example, when I'm being creative, I probably inhibit my Left Emotional Brain which might stop me from taking risks and my Left Thinking Brain, which might over-analyze. On the other hand, if I'm preparing my taxes, my playful Right Emotional Brain won't help me finish, while my big-picture Right Thinking Brain won't help me focus on details, so it's likely my brain will inhibit those for a while. That said, we may be more mature and possess more Wisdom, when our brains are well-integrated so we can use multiple areas of the brain for more nuanced responses to life.

To be clear, Taylor's new book, Whole Brain Living, is not about Character Strengths. It is a personal development book that helps you understand yourself better by understanding your brain. But I couldn't help noticing that traits she describes as specific to certain parts of the brain sound very much like descriptions of Character Strengths so I decided to list them that way in the free document below. Reading her book may help you understand the meaning of Strengths a bit more.

 

Curious about the 24 Character Strengths and how they are grouped according to the six Universal Virtues?

 

Would you like to know more about the neural origins of your own Strengths? Get the free download: "Universal Virtues and Character Strengths with Neural Key" below.

 

Click below to get the free Character Strengths document:

 

Get Your FREE List of Strengths and Virtues Now

 

Topics: coaching with neuroscience, Strengths, Martin Seligman, Values, brain, positive psychology coach training, Jill Bolte Taylor

How the Mass Exodus of Workers is Impacting Coaching

Posted by Julia Stewart

Exodus of Workers

Last year, unemployment was shockingly high, while demand for coaching surged.

The pandemic wreaked havoc on the world of work and the resulting confusion sent millions running for the help of coaches. Whenever there is mass confusion, a significant percentage of people will question their previous choices and wonder what's next for them. That's when they need coaches. It happened after 9/11, too.

This year, as the availability of vaccinations slows the spread of Covid-19, workplaces are again opening up, but workers are saying, "No Thanks!"

How is that impacting coaching? Read on...

First, some data on the world of work in 2021 (Sources include Bloomberg and NPR):

  • 77% of workers want the option to work from home at least some of the time to continue after the pandemic.
  • 23% say they would take a 10% cut in pay to continue working from home.
  • 80% of executives don't want to work at the office full time.
  • Three days per week is now the most popular office workweek.
  • 25% say they plan to change jobs after the pandemic.
  • 20% say they already have changed jobs since the pandemic began.
  • Pew Research says 60% of workers consider the pandemic a time of reckoning when they are reconsidering what is meaningful work for themselves.

 

These are powerful numbers.

 

Anytime there is this much flux in the population, millions of people hire coaches. This is why coaching usually does very well even when unemployment is high.

 

What reasons are people giving for changing their minds about work?

 

  • "Vaccine hesitancy" has created a perception that working on site is dangerous because new virus variants are more contagious and more deadly and unvaccinated people can spread them.
  • Childcare is still spotty and may expose children to the virus, so parents want to keep them at home.
  • Workers discovered that working from home saved expenses on clothing, commuting, eating out, etc.
  • They discovered they could get more done in less time without travel and constant meetings.
  • Service and leisure workers cite low pay and say it isn't worth the risk.
  • Service and leisure workers also were angered that managers expected them to risk their lives so other people could eat their cheeseburgers.
  • People felt disrespected by employers who dumped difficult work conditions on them with too little supportive infrastructure.
  • People were shocked to find how little disaster preparedness existed in their industries and that managers expected front-line workers to make up the difference.
  • People are disillusioned with gig work that fails to provide benefits or decent wages.
  • Medical personnel are traumatized and burnt out and are looking for new careers.
  • Women and people of color have been particularly hard hit.
  • Some workers took advantage of online education, while they were laid off, or working from home, to prepare them for new careers.
  • Some people moved out of urban centers to avoid the virus and now don't want to commute.
  • Many workers say the "old normal" was never normal, nor was it optimal or even healthy, and now they never want to return to it.

Millions of people are now transitioning to new lives. Coaches coach transitions.

 

What does this mean for coaching?

 

  • Many people are no longer willing to fit their lives to their jobs. They want meaningful work that fits the lives they want.
  • People are prioritizing their mental health, and even flourishing, over climbing corporate ladders.
  • People are realizing their nervous systems weren't designed to deal with high-powered careers complicated by worldwide disasters.
  • People are prioritizing personal life over work life.
  • People want control over their own time.
  • People are starting their own businesses to reflect their values.
  • Even those who believe working at the office is beneficial are faced with the reality that most people are no longer willing to show up at the office, everyday.

 

In short, people's values around work are changing dramatically and this seismic shift will impact everything from now on.

 

Coaches coach transitions. Right now, just about everybody is in transition. They need you.

Twenty years ago, the founder of the coaching profession, Thomas Leonard, predicted that coaches would mostly work from home. Because nearly everyone would work from home. Now it's coming true.

 

Coaching is the ultimate work-from-home career.

 

Are you thinking about becoming a coach? Nearly all coaches are well-trained and most are certified.

Now is a good time to become a coach because the need and demand are high. You can train online, market online, and coach online.

 

What are you waiting for?

 

Download the free Become a Coach eBook and get started:

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Topics: coach training, become a coach, Coach Training Programs, Thomas Leonard, coaching career, Values, Covid, pandemic

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