School of Coaching Mastery

Coaching Blog

How to Create Coaching Flow for More Ease, Fun, and Success

Posted by Mattison Grey

Mattison Grey

The following post is by Mattison Grey, MMC, master coach, trainer, speaker, and author of The Motivation Myth.

I have a saying…”connection wins.” 

While that might seem understated, it has been shown to be the case over and over in my coaching practice.  Have you ever noticed that coaching is more fun and effective when you have a strong connection with the client?  And that a close connection often leads to flow?  I think we can all agree flow is an awesome place to be with a client! It’s quite magical, sometimes elusive and often fragile. 

Have you ever been trucking along in flow with someone and then BAM, it goes away? 

Yeah, me too. Oops.  What the heck just happened?  Well, there’s a good chance judgment happened.  You see, connection requires trust. While that does seem obvious, and almost as obvious as judgment breaks trust, what is not as clear is that judgment breaks trust…all judgment.  Stay with me…Yes, even judgment that is “good.” 

Yep, judgment good or judgment bad, breaks trust.  So, when you accidentally (or intentionally) add judgment into flow, that flow is interrupted.  Judgment breaks trust, therefore, connection, therefor flow.  This is where the tool of acknowledgment comes in.

Acknowledgment, as I define it, eliminates judgment from our language and provides the opportunity to communicate and maintain flow. You can also use acknowledgment to create flow.  It sounds too simple to work, but it does - almost every time.  Flow seems elusive, but it’s not.  It just requires the coach to get out of and stay out of the way.  Simple yes, easy no. 

So, what is acknowledgment?  It’s probably not what you think. 

 

“Acknowledgement is saying what a person did (completed actions) or the results that the person produced, without judgment or opinion, and it is delivered with a tone of appreciation, curiosity, or surprise.”

The tone implies appreciation. “Wow, you really did something.”

Acknowledgement: “You completed the project on time.”

 

I can hear you now,  “I don’t judge people when I am coaching...”  I’d encourage you to revisit that idea and stay curious. Positive judgment is still judgment and any sort of judgment breaks trust. That is what makes learning and implementing acknowledgment into our coaching so tricky.  The tricky part of acknowledgement is that what you say must be delivered without your opinion or judgment (whether that is positive or negative).  If there is any opinion or judgment in your words or in your tone, whatever you say is no longer an acknowledgement.

Another key component to acknowledgement is that it is not about you. This is amazingly hard for people to get at first.  It sort-of scrambles the brain.  Even when I teach this tool to high-level coaches and “people” people, they struggle at first to take themselves out of the equation and to really make it only about the other person.  If the communication is in any way about you, then it is not acknowledgement, it is something else.

An easy way to begin to understand this distinction is to understand what acknowledgement is not.  It is not complimenting, appreciation, validation, affirmation, thanking, recognition, praise, championing or cheerleading.  There is a time and a place for all of these, and they are not acknowledgement (those things are all about you rather than the other person).

Here is what each of these sounds like:

  • Compliment: “The project is wonderful. You are so smart.”
  • Appreciation: “I really appreciate your completing this project on time.”
  • Validation: “I see that you have given this project a lot of effort and thought.”
  • Affirmation: “I think you deserve all the credit for this successful project.”
  • Thanking: “Thank you for putting all your time and effort into this project.”
  • Recognition: “It is clear you are a very talented project manager.”
  • Praise: “Awesome job.”
  • Championing: “I told the CEO that you were the right person for this project.”
  • Cheerleading: “I knew you could do it.”

 

While these communications sound normal and nice, they are all a judgment of the persons’ actions and are all opinions.  In the course of a normal conversation these types of communications are just fine, and often considered good manners.  However, when trying to create a high-performance environment and achieve and maintain flow, acknowledgment is essential.  

Want to learn more about how to incorporate this tool into your coaching practice?  Specifically, how to use it in conjunction with Active Constructive Response?  Join us for a free Webinar on Monday, February 24th, 2020.

 

Attend this free one-time-only master class with Mattison Grey and Julia Stewart on how to use acknowledgment to create Flow in your coaching. Register now:

 

Attend this Free Master Class on Coaching Flow

 

Topics: free coach training, webinar, acknowledgment, Flow, IAPPC

9 Ways to Coach Brilliantly with Silence

Posted by Julia Stewart

evocative silence

Have you ever heard someone describe coaching as "magical"? Good chance they were amazed by the impacts of a coaching session enhanced by silence.

Most coaches lack confidence with this tool. Read this post to master the art of coaching with silence!

Here are 9 steps to mastering the art of coaching with silence:

  1. Shut up. Sorry, just wanted to get your attention. But seriously, one of the surest ways to use silence is to ask an attention-getting question and then shut up. We teach the finer points of this approach, including how not to be rude, in the Certified Competent Coach Course. Read on for other ways to use silence...
  2. Add a pause. People think faster than they talk which explains why coaching sessions that include pauses at just the right moments often result in more insights for clients. I heard one of my students do this in class the other day and his client had insights seemingly out of nowhere. Magic? Or silence?
  3. Slow down. Before you get to silence, experiment with just slowing down. Most coaches mirror their clients' pace, which is good, but sometimes a slower pace is more helpful. Pay close attention to you clients when you do this so you get it just right.
  4. Acknowledge first. An acknowledgment followed by a pause can be more effective than the most powerful question. Theoretically, a coach who's mastered acknowledgment and silence might never need to ask any questions!
  5. Appreciate. When your relationship with the client is really solid, moments of shared warmth can boost the "magic" quotient higher. You co-create an environment where it's safe for anything to be said or to happen. Take time to enjoy your client immensely.
  6. Ask once. Sometimes a question comes out wrong. Resist the temptation to improve it and let that embarrassing mess hang in midair. Editing yourself confuses your client. Let them hear it, process it, and answer it before you speak again. Better yet, practice the art of crafting beautiful questions that never need editing. It takes time. You get that time in Master Coach Training.
  7. Breathe. One of the best ways to connect and focus is to take one deep delicious breath together. No talking, just focus on that breath. Ah. It's all much clearer now. Learn to perfect this in Neuroscience Tools and Practices.
  8. Visualize. Invite your client to walk through a visualization with you. Make sure at some point that you fall silent so your client can just focus on what they are visualizing. Encourage them to stay silent too.
  9. Put your phone on mute! The late great Ginger Cockerham once yelled at me while I was coaching in class because I'd asked a great question and the client was reorienting but I kept on talking. She said if all else fails, put your hand over your mouth or your thumb on the mute button because you can't be great if you're still talking. Give your clients room to think!

These are nine great ways to add space to your coaching sessions and help your clients get to the gold. They are perfect examples of what the International Association of Positive Psychology Coaching calls, Clear Communication.

 

Learn more about the IAPPC's Positive Psychology Coaching Skills and earn your certification. Join while it's free and attend live meetings to learn all the IAPPC PPCS:

 

Join the IAPPC Now and Save on Certification

 

Topics: coaching questions, acknowledgment, positive psychology coaching, positive psychology coaches, IAPPC

Get Coaching Clients and ICF Certification with this Tool

Posted by Julia Stewart

Get Coaching Clients and Certification

The questions I most often hear from coaches are: How do I get more clients? and How do I get ICF certification?

If you're wondering about either of those, we've got you covered and now there's a free video that explains the whole thing to you.

This video is part of our new Free Coach Training Program. Interested? Read on...

There are so many things you have to do to become a successful coach:

At School of Coaching Mastery, we've been working hard at solving these problems for our members, but here's the thing: We can give you the tools, but you have to do your own work. Wise coaches already know this and love diving in with well-crafted tools. Work is fun when you're learning, making progress, and succeeding at your goals.

Solve the problem of what to do first: Get the clients you need to be a real coach or get the certification you need to attract the clients. You can do both at the same time. We'll tell you how in this video.

Watch this informative video to find out how you can combine many of the above goals into one process that has worked for thousands of coaches:

Get the Video on How to Get Clients and ICF Certification

 

 

 

Topics: free coach training, ICF, Coach Certification, video, international coach federation, how to get coaching clients

The Future of Coaching: 4 Huge Trends

Posted by Julia Stewart

Future of Coaching Trends

It's often referred to life coaching or executive coaching, but truth is, all forms of coaching have a lot in common and all forms are evolving quickly.

If you are a coach, you need to stay ahead of the trends, so here goes...

Four Major Trends Impacting the Future of Coaching:

1. CLIMATE: 99% of scientists now agree our climate is changing dramatically and we are the cause of it. Woe to those who ignore what is the biggest mega-trend in human history because they will be left behind.

In 2017, Vice President Al Gore, at his Pittsburgh Climate Reality Leadership Training, said it's too late to stop the climate from changing. It's going to get worse and it won't return to "normal" in our lifetimes. Although there is still much we can do to slow it and eventually reverse it, we need to focus on resilience in the meantime. In other words, we need to make changes so we, and all life, can survive and thrive.

Resilience is the focus of positive psychology and coaches are uniquely skilled to help people of all types experience resilience despite challenges and to flourish under difficult conditions, but we only have about ten years before things get crazy worldwide.

It is said opportunity arises from chaos. Therefore more opportunity will arise within the next decade than ever before in human history, for both coaches and their clients.

What opportunities? Here are a couple of forms of coaching needed to mitigate the effects of the coming  catastrophes:

Pre-Traumatic Growth Coaching is really about inoculating people against PTSD before they experience trauma by shifting the stories they tell themselves. Can it really be that simple? Based on the research of positive psychology founding father, Martin Seligman, apparently it can. And there is value in it even if they never experience a trauma.

Then there is Post-Disaster Coaching, something I've specialized in. When a major disaster hits a community, whether it is a natural disaster, terrorism, war, or something else, the most insidious after-effects for those who were spared from direct impacts of the disaster are overwhelm, despair, and depression. These feelings steal people's optimism and motivation and cause some to give up on their most cherished dreams, which amplifies the disaster. Most people will bounce back if they are already resilient, but if they get coached within a few days of the disaster, before depression sets in, they may skip it altogether and quickly see through the chaos to the opportunities. Then they can be a positive force to those around them. (For those who are already traumatized or depressed, though, therapy is often the best choice.)

Does this sound awful? It's not. I lived in New York City during the 9/11 disaster and all my clients were directly or indirectly impacted. It was a gift and a joy to coach them through what could have been a lasting nightmare and help them find their way back to flourishing, instead.

Don't want to coach around trauma and disaster? No problem. But do be a leader in the field of resilience, both emotional and practical. On the emotional side, practice self care, personal development, and spiritual awareness, so your potential clients see a model they can emulate. These bolster inner-resilience. Do prepare yourself, your home, and your business to withstand anything. Install back-up systems for your back-up systems. Intelligent design combined with redundant systems are keys. And of course, changing your habits and energy sources matters. Get started now. For example, air travel is, by far, one of the worst things you can do to the climate. Whenever possible, opt for meetings via the web rather than constantly flying. We're all connected so there is no self care without caring for everyone.

Live, work, shop, and vote like everyone's life depends on it.

2. The End of Work: You've been hearing that artificial intelligence and robotics will eliminate most of today's jobs within the next couple of decades. The good news for coaches is that the skills of coaching appear harder to automate than those of medicine or law, which makes coaching relatively immune to this trend. However, your clients likely won't be immune.

The so-called, gig economy, has already arisen in response to the disappearance of jobs but many are discovering that working for others part-time just doesn't pay and they are starting their own businesses, instead. In a way, this is a return to an earlier time when most people didn't work for large corporations, but for themselves, often as farmers or shop owners. The real difference today is technology and what we sell: often services rather than goods.

What makes this trend scary, though, is that people have spent decades, and even generations, working for paychecks. The need for people to transition from "employee mentalities" to "self-employed mentalities" can be scary and confusing and that creates a big need for business coaching. Currently, in-house coaches who coach within large organizations, often corporations, is strong. With the end of work, coaching may shift away from corporate coaching toward more small-business coaching.

What if universal income catches on? Some say governments will have to pay people not to work. What will they do instead? That's a question for life coaches. What will happen to career coaches? The definition of "career" will change from vocation to avocation. Living one's values will become easier and more desired than ever.

Coaching has always tended to focus on clients who are going through transitions. Between the climate crisis and the end of work, everyone will be going through transitions, sometimes major ones, all of the time.

The end of work is really the rise of working for oneself and for what matters most.

3. Coaching Research: Research on coaching goes back decades but has increased to where it is fine-tuned enough to genuinely describe great coaching. And top researchers do seem to understand what great coaching is. Some of their findings simply confirm what coaches have been observing for decades. Some add surprising twists to what coaches have always done and help us target interventions more effectively. Some research contradicts what many coaches previously thought.

More research = more research-based coaching. Evidence-based coaching is booming. Whether your background is in positive psychology, emotional intelligence, neuroscience, or some other approach, you needed to point to your training and certifications and keep those up-to-date. At the same time, heightened intuition and advanced communication skills will be as important as ever.  To paraphrase Dan Siegel:

Coaching must be informed by science, but not constrained by it.

4. Personal and Cultural Evolution: The world is changing faster than ever before and that requires people to change themselves and the way their communities work.  Old values such as "short-term profits" are being replaced by newer values, such as "people, planet, and profits". More people expect to live their values but there's a need underlying rapid evolution: Because before we can thrive, we must survive.

Rapid change is hard but not changing will be much harder. That creates another need for coaches and perhaps a specialty in helping others evolve. Educate yourself on what is needed and stay ahead of the curve.

 

There is great pain in the world and there will be even more to come. Coaches can be a vital force for good. Please consider joining this profession.

 

School of Coaching Mastery is a climate-aware coaching school. We have only distance-learning classes because they are convenient and effective, but also because they reduce the amount of air travel our coaches engage in and prepare them for long-distance coaching. We also have an emphasis on preparing coaches to have their own successful business. All our trainings are evidence-based and include awareness of the ways humans are evolving and how coaches can assist them.

 

Want to learn more about evidence-based coaching? Download the free Become a Positive Psychology Coach eBook.

 

Get the Become a Positive Psychology Coach eBook

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Topics: executive coaching, future of coaching, Life Coaching, free ebook, Climate Change, positive psychology coach, resilience

Create Your Ideal New Year With This Letter From the Future

Posted by Julia Stewart

Letter from the future

Here's an easy strategy tool that is a variation on the Ideal Self exercises popularized by positive psychology.

It's called the Letter from Your Ideal Future and I love sharing it with clients and using it, myself. Use the Letter whenever you or a coaching client has a big complex goal that will take some time, strategy, and focus to achieve.

Once the Letter is written, it can be returned to again and again for guidance and to see if you're on track, falling behind, or ahead of schedule. Having it down on paper helps make it seem real and doable and knowing which steps to take and when brings clarity and confidence. Seeing in black and white that your steps lead to success can stop you from second guessing yourself or believing naysayers who don't support your goals. (Pro tip: Identify any naysayers in your life and stop sharing your goals with them. ;-)

Ready? Grab some paper and a pen...

There is evidence that our brains change more when we write by hand rather than type so a handwritten Letter from Your Ideal Future may be more effective. But I've also typed Letters that were helpful so if you feel strongly resistant to writing longhand, go ahead and type.

Start with a strongly desired, heart-felt goal.

Your goal needs to be something you intrinsically value, not something you should want or that someone else wants. No one has to see or approve of your letter but you so choose a goal that makes your heart sing.

How to find a great goal? Take one deep delicious breath and close your eyes. Think about all the projects you could do and notice which one lights you up the most. That's the one. Trust it.

Now think realistically how long it may take for you to reach your goal. Literally pick a date. That's how you start your letter. Put that future date at the top of the page.

On the next line, write, "Dear Me..."

Paragraph 1: After Dear Me, write to yourself about your success. Write in detail as if it is already the date at the top of your page and you have fully achieved your heartfelt goal. Tell yourself what it is like now that you have achieved success and everything has gone as well as it possibly could. Focus especially on how good it feels now that you've reached this goal. This should be an enjoyable process. Really feel it. Feeling it will help you achieve it. Some questions to ask yourself might include: How I am different now that I've achieved this? What I have learned along the way? Who did I have to become? What's possible now? How will I celebrate my success? What do other people have to say and how do they treat me now? (Only include positives in this paragraph. If anything negative comes up, that's to be handled proactively in the months preceding the date you've achieved your goal, to help you succeed. More on that below. This way, your strategy writes itself.)

Paragraph 2: Tell yourself how you did it. Let's say your achievement date is one year from now. In this next paragraph, tell yourself what you did in the first six months. (If your achievement date is sooner or later, the amount of time will differ but I'll write these instructions based on a one-year goal.) List ten things you did in the first six months of working toward this goal. You can add details later. Include anything negative that came up in Paragraph 1. Decide how you will proactively handle those potential problems. Sometimes your steps will include getting training, or more information, or assistance from others. Sometimes it will include setting up systems and structures to make the rest of the project easier. Sometimes it will include better self care since no one can achieve their best goals when they aren't at their best. Sometimes it'll be about improving, repairing, or eliminating what could hold you back. Design your environment to support your success.

Paragraph 3: Now tell yourself what you did in the first three months. This is a slightly shorter list, maybe eight items long. Choose steps that will help set you up for the steps in Paragraph 2.

Paragraph 4: Next tell yourself what you did in the first month. This might be just six items. Again, choose steps that set you up for success with latter steps.

Paragraph 5: Tell yourself what you did in the first week. This will only be two or three steps. You're just getting started on your journey to success.

Paragraph 6: Now tell yourself the one step you need to take TODAY. Often, this will be clear after you've written all the other steps and sometimes it's surprising and surprisingly easy to start. Take that step. You're on your way now!

Paragraph 7: Finally, tell yourself how proud you are that you followed through, that you didn't anticipate everything that needed doing, but that was okay because you had a clear strategy that provided a framework for success. Add some details about your celebration here as well.

There you have it! Your roadmap to success!

This is a powerful tool that you can customize as needed. For instance, you can use it at the start of a new year to list a few high-value goals and track your progress throughout the year. I love going back to my letters and discovering I've already completed so many steps!

 

If you want more great tools, join the Certified Positive Psychology Coach Program and/or find a coach here who will help you be your very best!

 

Explore the Certified Positive Psychology Coach Program

 

 

 

 

Topics: Positive Psychology, FIND A COACH, become a positive psychology coach

Four Surprising Ways Being Grateful Boosts Your Success

Posted by Julia Stewart

Thankful and grateful

 

This time of year, known collectively as "the holidays", is when you see lots of articles about giving thanks and being grateful.

I thought I'd share some of the lesser-known benefits of gratitude with you. Here goes...

  1. You probably already know that gratitude is one of the surest ways to boost positivity. Here's why that matters. Positivity leads to flourishing in pretty much all areas, even good health and long life! So when the New Year starts and you set goals to live healthier, be sure to add gratitude to you plan and enjoy greater happiness and health.
  2. Gratitude helps you stay present. Goal-oriented people tend to live for the future when they hope they will reach their goals but they miss their lives in the process! That's why mindfulness has become so popular lately, because there is no point to living if you miss experiencing life. Look around you right now. What do you see that makes your life good? Appreciate it. Repeat daily. Make that your new healthy habit.
  3. Gratitude strengthens your relationships with others. You probably were raised to say, "Thank you," because it's polite. How about elevating that into a Grateful Acknowledgment? Instead of, "Thanks for cooking dinner, Mom," try something like, "Mom, you worked hard on this meal and everything was delicious. Thanks for making it wonderful." Make a habit of sharing a Grateful Acknowledgment at least once each day. Watch how comments like these raise everyone's happiness and strengthen the bonds between you and your loved ones.
  4. Gratitude helps you succeed at your goals. We tend to think reaching our goals will make us happy. Actually, that's backwards. Happy people are more likely to reach their goals. And the goals themselves usually only boost happiness briefly. In fact, people who are already grateful for what they have tend to set more meaningful goals that they enjoy reaching more easily because they are already grateful. And when you practice gratitude, you have an opportunity to extend the happiness of reaching goals. So instead of spending your time striving and stressing over your goals or visualizing yourself reaching goals that seem forever out of reach. Appreciate what you have now and unhook yourself from the future. Works way better.

 

We're grateful that you read this blog and share it on social media so others can enjoy it.

 

To say, "Thanks!" Here's a free eCourse from the Founder of the Coaching Profession, Thomas Leonard.

Get Thomas' 28 Principles of Attraction Free eCourse

Topics: gratitude, Thomas Leonard, goals, positivity

Here are the Brand New ICF Core Coaching Competencies

Posted by Julia Stewart

New ICF Core Coaching Competencies

 

After over twenty years, the International Coach Federation (ICF) has released a brand-new version of its famous eleven Core Coaching Competencies and now there are only eight!

What did they leave out? Nothing. They actually added! Read on...

Today, the ICF publicly released it's new Core Coaching Competencies after two years of research, from an industrial psychology perspective, into what 1,300 coaches actually do with their clients.

The Competencies, on which the world's most recognized certifications are based (ICF ACC, PCC, and MCC) have guided the coaching of thousands of professional coaches for two decades. Now they have been streamlined and integrated with new material resulting in a shorter list that's packed with information.

When will the ICF begin certifying with the new Competencies?

Not before 2021 when ICF accredited coaching schools are required to include the new Competencies in their curricula instead of the old.

What do the ICF's new Competencies mean for coaches who want to get certified?

  • If you expect to apply for ICF certification by the end of 2020, you may want to stick with the old Competencies, although you may learn some useful nuances from the new Competencies that may assist you in passing ICF's rigorous certification process.
  • If you're planning to apply for ICF certification in 2021 or later, begin learning about the new ICF Competencies now. When you join an ICF accredited training program, be sure to ask whether they are teaching the new or old Competencies. This coach training program will begin translating the old Competencies into the new starting today for our current students and will begin training exclusively with the new Competencies in 2020.

Here's a handy table that will help you start translating the old Competencies into the new.

New ICF Core Coaching Competencies Old ICF Core Coaching Competencies
1.Demonstrates Ethical Practice - Understands and consistently applies coaching ethics and standards of coaching 1. Ethics and Standards
2. Embodies a Coaching Mindset - Develops and maintains a mindset that is open, curious, flexible and client-centered BRAND NEW
3. Establishes and Maintains Agreements - Partners with the client and relevant stakeholders to create clear agreements about the coaching relationship, process, plans and goals. Establishes agreements for the overall coaching
engagement as well as those for each coaching session
2. Establishes the Coaching Agreement
4. Cultivates Trust and Safety - Partners with the client to create a safe, supportive environment that allows the client to share freely. Maintains a relationship of mutual respect and trust 3. Establishing Trust and Intimacy with the Client
5. Maintains Presence - Is fully conscious and present with the client, employing a style that is open, flexible, grounded
and confident
4. Coaching Presence
6. Listens Actively - Focuses on what the client is and is not saying to fully understand what is being
communicated in the context of the client systems and to support client self-expression
5. Active Listening
7. Evokes Awareness - Facilitates client insight and learning by using tools and techniques such as powerful
questioning, silence, metaphor or analogy

6. Powerful Questioning

7. Direct Communication

8. Creating Awareness

8. Facilitates Client Growth - Partners with the client to transform learning and insight into action. Promotes client autonomy in the coaching process.

9. Designing Actions

10. Planning and Goal Setting

11. Managing Progress and Accountability

 

Download this competency table for free here.

 

Learn much more about the new Competencies...

 

Get instant access to the FREE webinar video here:

 

Watch this ICF Coaching Competency Webinar Video

Topics: ICF, Coach Certification, Competencies

How Much Does Life Coach Training Cost?

Posted by Julia Stewart

How much does life coach training costTo become a credible life coach requires training and certification. But how much will all that cost you?

It depends. Answer a few quick questions to get an accurate answer:

  • Is coaching just a hobby or do you want a successful career with it?
  • Do you want to work for yourself or for someone else?
  • How soon do you want to start your coaching career?
  • Are you willing to travel for your training or does it need to fit your current lifestyle?
  • Are you more interested in a degree or a career?
  • Do you want to get certified? (Hint: certification can help your coaching career)

Coach training costs depend on several factors:

  • You'll probably need more training if you want a successful career than if you're just coaching for a hobby.
  • Likewise, if you work for yourself, you may need more training than if you are employed by an organization.
  • Some trainings take years; others take a few weeks. Many encourage you to coach while you train.
  • Travel costs add up quickly. Online training is usually more convenient and cost effective. Consider travel, lodging, and meals if you need to travel for your training.
  • Coach training schools will help you start your career, while graduate programs will earn you a degree.
  • Certification is the preferred credential in coaching, and certification from an independent organization is preferred over certifications issued by your school. Look for schools that are accredited/approved by independent certifiers.

Here's what you can expect to pay for life coach training:

  • You can get short trainings for under $1000.
  • Professional coach training runs between $3000 and $10000, depending on how many hours are involved.
  • Accredited/approved training programs often cost more. If you want a particular certification, such as ICF, IAC, or IAPPC, be sure your training hours qualify. The above organizations each have three levels of certification and may require more training for higher certifications.
  • Graduate programs usually cost more than $10000, sometimes a lot more.

How can you pay for life coach training?

  • Many coach training programs have payment plans.
  • Some coaches apply for a credit card with zero interest for the first year and pay with that credit card.
  • Some coaches get a part-time job and pay with the income they earn.
  • Some coaches keep their full-time job while they train.
  • Some coaches dip into savings.
  • Some coaches pay off their training with their income from coaching.
  • Some coaches downsize their expenses until their coaching careers take off.
  • Some employers will pay for coach training.
  • Many coaches use a combination of strategies to pay for coach training.

 

Learn the secrets of becoming a coach, how to choose the right coach training for you, and getting certification with this free eBook:

 

Get Your Free 'Become a Coach' eBook Now

Topics: life coach, ICF, Coach Certification, life coach certification, life coach training, IAC, online coach training, questions, free ebook, IAPPC

Coaching Accountability Isn't What You Think It is

Posted by Julia Stewart

Coaching accountability with a bullhorn cropped

Managing Progress and Accountability is an ICF Core Coaching Competency that is frequently missed when coaches apply for certification, according to ICF certifiers.

I could be wrong, but I think the name, itself, confuses coaches. It sounds like the coach literally manages the client and holds them accountable to achieve their goals the way an employer might, but that's not what helps clients progress, and it's really not what ICF certifiers are looking for.

[UPDATE, October 10, 2019: The ICF just announced major changes in the Core Coaching Competencies to owners of ICF accredited coach training programs. As an owner of the ICF accredited Certified Positive Psychology Coach Program, I received a copy of the new Competency model but was asked to keep it confidential until they release the new model to all members. Accountability is still mentioned but is no longer as prominent. I'll write more when the full release occurs in November.]

It's time somebody told you the secret of motivation and it has nothing to do with holding your clients accountable...

Here's why: Have you ever caught yourself being stubborn with someone (your friend, sibling, spouse, perhaps) about something you really wanted to do but you were only willing to do it your way or not at all? Or has someone ever told you that you need to change something about yourself, and even if you agreed with them, you didn't do it? Or do you ever ask for advice and then don't follow it?

If yes to any of these, you're normal. People naturally resist doing what others tell them to do and unless that other has something important to hang over their head, like their job, they often won't do it even if they want to.

 

We all get a little negative in these situations and that negativity has power over us that most people underestimate.

 

Here's an example: An SCM graduate just posted a meme on Facebook that said she never shares memes that say, "I bet I won't get even one share," even if she otherwise likes the meme. I don't share them, either. In fact, I did an impromptu poll once on my Facebook feed to see if others shared them. Nobody did. They're annoying.

Subtle levels of negativity, defensiveness, resistance, anxiety, or irritation of any type trigger the fight, flight, or freeze response unconsciously, which in turn delivers a cocktail of stress hormones, like cortisol, which can stay in the blood stream for quite a while and hold the client back from taking action. Essentially, they freeze.

 

So if a coach presumes to manage a client in any way, especially by checking up on them, or requiring the client to check in with the coach, or in any way holding them accountable, there's a good chance that will backfire. Don't do it.

 

What does work? A recent article by researcher, Richard Boyatzis and colleagues, at TrainingIndustry.com, offered five possibilities that have been found to help people change. Boyatzis is well-known for his research and teachings on coaching, emotional intelligence, and leadership. His change theory of positive emotional attractors (PEAs) v negative emotional attractors (NEAs), which roughly translate to positivity v negativity in positive psychology terms, helps explain why some approaches to change don't work while others do.

 

In a nutshell, change is stressful and that releases stress hormones that trigger the fight, flight or freeze response.

 

Something or someone needs to continually bring the client back to positivity so negativity doesn't prevent them from proceeding. That someone is often the coach.

 

Forcing or requiring people to do things increase stress so pushy coaches often fail.

 

Goals, alone, aren't motivating unless they are aligned with what matters most to the client, such as their personal values, vision, mission, calling, dream, passion, or life purpose. Any goals, especially challenging goals, that aren't aligned with the client's bigger picture, are unlikely to provide sufficient positivity to carry the client forward.

 

Growth and Transformation aren't just a byproduct of great coaching. They are necessary ingredients that help our clients reach their goals. So, we need to help link their goals to what really inspires in order for them to succeed.

 

To learn more about the science of coaching and prepare yourself to become a Certified Positive Psychology Coach®, join the International Association of Positive Psychology Coaches and attend our series on the nine NEW  Positive Psychology Coaching Skills, from Optimum Positivity, to Goals & Achievement, and Growth & Transformation.

 

Become a Member of IAPPC for Free

 

Topics: ICF, Certified Positive Psychology Coach, Positive Psychology, Science of Coaching, personal values, IAPPC

Making the Case for Positivity in Coaching

Posted by Julia Stewart

positivity in coaching

Positivity is so accepted in coaching that most coaches don't even think about it. But what would they discover if they did?

I'm asking because, after observing thousands of coaching sessions, I'm convinced many coaches aren't using positivity as effectively as they might. We've known positivity, which is often defined as positive affect or positive emotions, has a powerful effect on us, both in the moment and later on. It doesn't just feel good, it's correlated with greater emotional and physical health, more success, better relationships, and even longer life.

Plus, according to recent research, positivity is a powerful tool, by itself, for getting results in coaching and it can enhance other powerful coaching tools for even more effective results.*

There are several theories often cited that help make the case for positivity in coaching.

Barbara Fredrickson's "Broaden and Build" theory of positivity, or positive affect, which dates back over twenty years, is often cited as a pathway to flexible thinking, noticing possibilities, more creative thinking, action planning, building resources, and goal striving, all of which can positively influence coaching session outcomes.

Marciel Losada's research on working teams found that team conversations that were significantly more positive, which was defined as focusing on others vs focusing on oneself, asking questions vs defending points of view, and making positive vs negative statements, enjoyed significantly more success than those that did not, which suggests these approaches may support improved outcomes in coaching.

John Gottman's research on what makes successful marriages work, identifies specific responses from one partner to another when the second partner shares something positive, as a key to promoting strong relationships. Gottman sometimes calls this "turning toward" vs "turning away" and says this can be even more powerful in building strong relationships than showing empathy and compassion in times of trouble.

Four categories have emerged to describe levels of turning toward and only one, which is called, Active and Constructive Responding, helps build relationships. Coaching tends to be less effective when the relationship between coach and client is weak and although I have never heard a competent coach engage in the most destructive type of response, Active and Destructive Responding, which a coach might express in a coaching conversation as something like, "You'll never be able to do that because you aren't smart enough," I have heard even "good" coaches sink to the level of Passive and Destructive Responding and Passive and Constructive Responding, which despite its name, doesn't help improve relationships.

Mastering Active and Constructive Responding, without letting it get in the way of other important coaching tools, is a key to masterful coaching because it raises positivity and strengthens the relationship.

But is positivity enough by itself to improve coaching?

According to a recent article by coaching psychology researchers, Anthony Grant and Sean O'Connor, using questions designed to raise positive affect or positivity (an example of such a question might be, "What's  something great that happened this week?') improves coaching outcomes, by itself, but when combined with another important coaching tool, solution-focused questions, outcomes are even more improved.

Previous coaching psychology research has shown that problem-focused questions are less effective in coaching than solution-focused questions. To simplify, problem-focused questions are referred to as "Why" questions, such as, "Why do you have this problem?" They have been found to lower negative affect and raise confidence in the client's ability to solve (self-efficacy). While solution-focused questions, referred to as, "How?" questions, or, "How could you solve this?" have been shown to lower negative affect, raise self-efficacy, and raise positive affect, as well.

But research that studied three types of coaching questions, problem-focused, solution-focused, and positivity-focused, found that combining solution-focused questions with positivity-focused questions had the most positive outcomes, of all, suggesting this powerful combo may need to be adopted by coaches who want to be most effective.

Interestingly, the ICF Core Coaching Competencies don't mention positive-focused questions or positivity even in some of their most detailed descriptions, such as their Core Competencies Comparison Table.

That's not to suggest the ICF discourages positivity and positive-focused questions. The outcomes of positivity that one might expect in effective coaching are described, but the tools of positivity are not. The Competencies are among the most influential coaching technologies. What if the ICF encouraged these tools that have been found so effective?

[UPDATE, 10-10-2019: The ICF just announced to owners of ICF-accredited programs, such as the Certified Positive Psychology Coach Program, a new coaching competency model which they want to keep confidential until they announce it to their entire membership. There some mention of positivity tools now but limited.]

That's why the new International Association of Positive Psychology Coaching (IAPPC) is developing its own coaching technology and positivity, which we define broadly as including positive affect, positive-focused questions, positive conversations, turning toward and more, as important tools in effective coaching, making it  critical to great coaching.

In fact, "Optimum Positivity" is our first coaching skill.

The word, "optimum" is important because maximum positivity can damage. We're placing optimum positivity as a top-line coaching skill set which can enhance almost every other coaching skill.

I'll be introducing the Positive Psychology Coaching Skills in next month's meeting of the IAPPC and will highlight fascinating research, coaching "how-tos", and examples on leading with positivity during our 75-minute interactive webinar.

 

If you are already a member, watch for your invitation to this important meeting that may instantly upgrade your coaching.

 

If you aren't already a member, join while it is still free, below:

 

Become a Member of IAPPC for Free

 

* Shout out and thanks to the Institute of Coaching for sharing this research with its members.

Topics: ICF, coaching questions, Barbara L Fredrickson, coaching skills, Positive Psychology, positive psychology coaches, positivity, IAPPC

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