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Coaching Businesses: A Simple System for Identifying Which to Trust

Posted by Julia Stewart

Coaching Businesses and Trust

Coaching companies can transform your life or business for the better, but like any profession, coaching has a few charlatans.

The wrong coach or coaching company can actually harm your life and business so you need to know how to identify who to work with. It's as easy as Stop, Wait, and Go.

I learned how to read red, yellow, and green traffic signal lights one day, long ago, as I sat on my tricycle in kindergarten. Probably I remember it because it was the only day I got to bring my trike to school but it was a valuable safety lesson that I have used everyday since. I hope this blog post will prove valuable for you and keep you safe in the world of business and coaching.

If you're a coach, you probably use positivity and intuition to make choices and that is awesome. But as readers of this blog know, using your whole being is even more awesome. Let intuition guide you but also explore your doubts, do your due diligence, bounce ideas off friendly skeptics. Be 90% positive but also explore the wisdom of waiting when it's warranted.

Avoid making big decisions with just half your brain.

To be clear, there are wonderful coaches and coaching companies that just aren't right for you, but that's not what this post is about. I'm talking about the small percentage of coaching companies that are probably not right for anyone. They can hurt you or your business. Even though they aren't the majority, you will encounter them.

Some coaching companies are well-meaning but just don't know what they are doing. A few are actual scams. They claim they will help you succeed by providing clients, or marketing training, or a back office, a website, or whatever. They over-promise, under-deliver, and then disappear. Coaches who do business with them lose their money and often feel shocked, embarrassed, and discouraged when they realize what happened. They may quit coaching as a result. Some have been financially ruined. Some lost friends who tried to warn them.

Below is a list of potential signals that indicate when to STOP because the signs spell trouble, WAIT until you learn more, or GO ahead and take the next step. They are based on actual experiences of real coaches.

Compare these signals to a company you're interested in. No one signal will be enough to decide whether to work with them so add up all the signs and then check in with your intuition, your emotions, your coach, trusted friends,  favorite skeptics, and most of all, dig deep into GOOGLE.

In the end, you're responsible for all your own choices, so choose with wisdom. Think of a company you've considered joining and grade them on each of the following with STOP, WAIT, or GO. Use your own grades to decide. Here goes...

How did you find out about this coaching company?

  • If you find a company on a job-listing website but the "job" turns out to be one where you pay the company rather than them paying you, be careful. This is known in retail as "bait and switch". You're initially offered one attractive option, but when you inquire about it, a salesperson talks you into something else. It may not break any laws but it is misleading and signals that the company isn't as honest as it should be. Trust is incredibly important in coaching because clients share their most cherished dreams with us. Think twice about doing business with a company that has already betrayed yours. Would you Stop, Wait, or Go with this?
  • If a trusted friend invites you to join a great new company they've joined, find out how long they've been with the company and what their own results are. If they just joined or haven't seen definitive results, hesitate. Don't rely on your friend's enthusiasm or the company's own promises to make up your mind. If your friend has been with the company long enough to see positive results, maybe this really is a good opportunity. How would you grade it?
  • If you receive a great-sounding offer in an email from a coaching company you never heard of, it's probably SPAM. No reputable company will ever SPAM you. How would you score SPAM?
  • Did you find the company through a profile on social media or in a directory? If so, is the profile complete and informative? If not, check for other complete profiles for them on the web. If you see a pattern of incomplete profiles, that says, "fly by night". What's your verdict?
  • Did you find the company through online reviews or ratings? If there are a lot of high ratings and reviews, that's great. If there are only a few good ratings or if the reviews sound like they were all written by the same person, the company may have hired someone to write good reviews for them. What's score would you give them?

What is the company's website like?

  • Can you easily find the name of the company and its physical address and telephone number on the website? In some countries this is required by law. Usually that information is located at the bottom of each page, or on pages titled, "About Us" or "Contact Us". Don't spend money with a company if you don't know exactly who and where they are. Stop, Wait, or Go?
  • Is the website only one page long or is the site unfinished? That says, "fly by night." Careful!
  • Does the site have visible trust marks such as the Better Business Bureau (BBB) or accreditation marks from reputable organizations like the International Coach Federation (ICF)? These third-party organizations have requirements that the company must adhere to and may help you if the company fails to uphold them. If there are marks from fake organizations, that's a really bad sign. What score did your company earn here?
  • Does the company tell you what it will do with your personal information if you fill out a form? This is required by law in the European Union and most reputable companies worldwide honor it. The site should promise to keep your information private, not sell it to anyone, and explain what you will get in exchange for sharing it with them. What do you think?

What happens after you join?

  • Are they mainly interested in attracting more coaches/customers rather than in helping you succeed? Stop, Wait, or Go?
  • Do they expect you to do their marketing for them? Or worse, do they expect you to get your friends to do their marketing for them? This rarely works well and it's not what you paid for. How would you score it?
  • Do the tools and processes work as they should? If not, communicate with their support team. They should promptly make it right for you. How's your company doing?
  • If you complain, do they take responsibility, make excuses, or place the blame on you? You know the score.
  • Do they tell you to buy their more-expensive "next level" program where they'll tell you what you really need to know to succeed, even though they already promised that when you bought the program you have? Do they do this in a "coaching session"? Totally unethical in my book. How would you score this?
  • If you tell them you have no more money when they try to sell you more, do they reply that you're thinking too negatively and if you really wanted to succeed you'd open another credit card, take out a second mortgage, borrow from relatives, sell your valuables, or raid your child's tuition account? Some companies are shameless. You get to score them.
  • If you ask for a refund or stop paying your bill, do they ignore you or make an appointment for you with a "coach" who turns out to be a high-pressure bill collector? If you've joined an unethical company you're unlikely to ever get a refund. How would you score that?
  • Did your company dissolve before you got the services you thought you bought? You may have no legal recourse. What's the score?

 

If a company you're interested in scores a lot of STOPs, probably you should forget them.

 

If you want to learn more about how to attract coaching clients, register for this free eCourse based on Thomas Leonard's Principles of Attraction. If you want to understand small-business marketing in general, download this free Bootstrapper's Bible by Seth Godin. Mattison Grey can teach you the subtleties of marketing and sales with trust and integrity, and some coaches swear by C.J. Hayden.

 

Students at this school fill their practices with coaching clients based on Thomas Leonard's Coach 100 idea. It works.

 

Download Your Free Coach 100 eBook

Topics: Coaching Companies, Coach 100, ICF, marketing and sales, Thomas Leonard, Mattison Grey, Attraction Principles, coaching businesses

Can Evidence-Based Coaching Include Spirituality?

Posted by Julia Stewart

Positive Psychology - Neuroscience - Spirituality Model

At School of Coaching Mastery, we specialize in evidence-based positive-psychology and neuroscience coaching.

But what about spirituality? It's the backbone of early coaching technology. Can we still include it?

One of the strengths of early coaching was that it wasn't constrained by western scientific notions of reality. It embraced, among other things, the notion that what we think about tends to show up in our lives, an idea that is confirmed by Barbara Fredrickson's Broaden and Build Theory, as well as some neuroscience findings. That freedom was a strength for coaching that allowed coaches to creatively try new techniques that appeared to be quite effective.

Later on, researchers began studying some of these new techniques and found that many were indeed effective.

But that doesn't mean anything goes in coaching. Nor does it mean we can only use tools that have already been sanctioned by science.

As neuro-psychologist and pioneer of interpersonal neurobiology, Dan Siegel has said,

"We must be informed by science but not constrained by it."

By this he means non-science sources of wisdom can be useful in assisting growth in clients. So yes, spirituality, which I define as any perspective that takes us beyond our small ego-based thinking for greater functioning, does inform effective coaching. In fact, some would argue, the ability to accommodate rational evidence-based thinking while remaining open to transformative experiences that science cannot yet explain, is an advancement of consciousness. Maslows Hierarchy of Needs

In fact, spiritual wisdom can move us upwards beyond what Abraham Maslow identified as self-actualization toward self-transcendence (this last concept is often attributed to Viktor Frankl).

This doesn't mean you should impose your own spiritual beliefs on your clients. Rather, step into their beliefs and leverage them to move the client forward. Where their previous beliefs hold them back, offer reframes that may be useful and leave it to the client to embrace these new ways of thinking, or not.

Again, this requires an openness that most don't posses, which is why personal development and spiritual practice are often a must to develop great coaching.

Curious how new ways of thinking can help you grow and reach your goals? Learn non-science concepts taught by the Father of Professional Coaching, Thomas Leonard...

 

Explore Thomas Leonard's 28 Principles of Attraction in this free eCourse:

 

Get Thomas' 28 Principles of Attraction Free eCourse

 

Topics: Thomas Leonard, Barbara L Fredrickson, Attraction Principles, personal development, Positive Psychology, coaching with neuroscience, spirituality

5 Coaching Lessons Learned from Adele at Madison Square Garden

Posted by Julia Stewart

Adele_ar_MSG_-_Jessamyn_Stewart.jpg

One week ago, today, School of Coaching Mastery quietly closed its doors for a much-anticipated event: Adele's last show at Madison Square Garden in New York City. My daughter and Office Manager, Jessie Stewart, and I had scored tickets last November for the sold-out show and traveled together to our former hometown for a little R&R and to see our favorite singer.

Adele did not disappoint!

As I made my way home from NYC I reflected on my takeaways from the event. Delightfully, there were many.

5 Coaching Lessons Learned from Adele at Madison Square Garden:

1. Be yourself. Adele models this better than anyone. She spent two hours alone onstage in front of over 18,000 people. No warm-up band, no spectacular floor show, no dancing, no pyrotechnics, just one woman in a modest dress and THAT VOICE. Her songs sounded just as sublime as all her records and between them, she told hysterical stories. As Jessie's friend, Meg, said after the show, Adele probably could have a career in stand-up comedy. She is enough as she is. So are you.

2. Hold out for what you really want when it matters, but settle for good enough when it doesn't. Researchers say that people who always want the best are less happy than people who settle for good enough. This probably is true most of the time, but in my experience, holding out for what you really want when it matters is key. Adele was what I really wanted. A fancy hotel room at inflated NYC prices? Not so much. As my mom always said, nobody stays in their room, anyway. So we found a hotel several blocks from MSG with fewer stars and better reviews, were perfectly happy with it, and spent the extra money on heavenly meals.

3. Take happiness breaks. I rarely take days off from work, except when I'm enrolled in a course. But if you want to do your best work, get out of the office occasionally and do something special. We went to NYC at the perfect time. The temperature was ideal, humidity low, no clouds. Our first day, we walked over six miles just enjoying the West Village, SOHO, NOHO, etc. The second day, we went to the Metropolitan Museum of Art. By then, we were walked out and took a cab all the way back to the hotel, exhausted but happy.

4. Step out of your comfort zone. As awesome as Adele's show was, one of the most unique few minutes came before we even entered MSG. One member of our party couldn't make it, which left us with an extra ticket for a show that had been sold out for months. I didn't know whether to give it away or sell it, but I knew if I sold it, I wanted to get at least as much as I paid, which was a bit over $100. As we approached the Garden, I heard a scalper yell, "Does anyone have tickets to sell?" I held up one finger and said, "I have one!" Next I knew, we were huddled on a dark corner. First we had to let him inspect the ticket for authenticity. That took some trust, because he could have snatched it and run off. He offered $60. I countered with $150. Then he came up to $100. I said I paid more than that. He offered $120 and let me feel his cash to be sure it wasn't counterfeit. That took trust on his side. I said, "Sold." We went into the Garden $120 richer, and me feeling a bit pleased to have just done something a bit risky that I'd never done before and I even got the scalper to come up twice as much as I came down. I spent all of the money on T-shirts and beer, just in case it really was counterfeit. By the way, Thomas Leonard's 28 Principles of Attraction includes the advice to be a little bad sometimes, because it gets us out of our safety zones and stops us from feeling superior to others.

5. Appreciate what you have. It was so much fun being back in NYC that I fantasized a bit about moving back, but my last morning was cloudy and rainy, which always makes the city look ten times as dirty, and I remembered an old rule of thumb: that when everything goes right, great weather, great food, cabs are easy to get, the scalper buys your ticket, etc.; NYC is the BEST place in the world, but when it doesn't go well, weather is dreadful, passing buses drench you, there are no cabs anywhere, somebody steals your wallet, etc.; NYC is the worst. I was ready to go home, enjoy the quieter, slower pace, and get back to work doing that I love. How fortunate I am to have found my calling and to be able to afford to play hooky once in a while.

So those are my chief takeaways from my quick trip to see Adele.

By the way, we have another Adele at School of Coaching Mastery, who is also delightful, and she's hosting our Positive Psychology Coaching Study Group, starting this Thursday. It's a perfect way to learn more about positive psychology coaching and it's free to everyone. If you'd like to join, click below.

Join the Positive Psychology Coach Study Group

 

Topics: Coaching, School of Coaching Mastery, Thomas Leonard, Attraction Principles, Positive Psychology, positive psychology coaching, Coaching Study Groups

What Voice Coach, Adam Levine, Can Teach You About Client Attraction

Posted by Julia Stewart

Adam_Levine2

I've written about why coaches love NBC's The Voice, before. And last night's season premiere was just as positive and entertaining a usual, except for one big difference...

Sexiest Man Alive and Voice Coach superstar, Adam Levine, was off his game. Way off.

Adam didn't attract a single singer to his team last night during the Blind Auditions. Every other coach, Pharrell Williams, Christina Aguilera, and Blake Shelton, picked up multiple singers, but neither Adam's charm, looks, nor winning record could persuade any singer to take a chance on him. 

His arch rival, Blake Shelton gloated that Adam's pitch was all wrong: Adam pleaded with singers to join his team, because he "needed" them. He wanted to "share" their glory when they won.

Would you hire a coach who pitched you like that?

Even Adam admitted his mojo was gone; his supreme confidence had run out on him. 

Well, every now and then I hear from a new or not-so-new coach who can't seem to attract any clients. They are frustrated, discouraged, feel like somebody's played a bad joke on them, and/or a little desperate.

Sometimes they are very desperate.

They are mystified by the problem. And yet, most folks can watch them in action and see it: They are unsure of themselves, needy, and suspect something is terribly wrong.

You know, like maybe they are...failed coaches?

Not attractive.

I feel for them, because I've had that experience. But I don't worry, because the situation is fixable and the lessons learned can be priceless.

If Adam Levine, who's been accused of being obnoxiously confident, can lose his mojo, so can any of us. And the pattern is the same for everyone. If we can't take a few "No's" in stride, our brains actually change and we start to think like losers, instead of winners.

Martin Seligman calls this "learned helplessness". The survival value of learned helplessness might be to discourage rivals from fighting to the death and instead encourage losers to behave like good followers, instead of conquering kings.

Fortunately, most of us don't fight to the death for anything, these days, but unfortunately, our brains still learn to be helpless pretty easily. For someone like Adam, a young man who's enjoyed phenomenal success, this experience could be new, so he may have little or no idea how to handle it.

You are probably older, wiser, and perhaps have experienced a loss or two. So how did you come back from those losses?

There are loads of tools that can shift your brain state easily, such as somatic tools. For intance, standing with your hands on your hips (Think: Superman) for a few minutes, or raising your arms in the air (Think: V for Victory) can raise your testosterone levels the way winning does (Don't worry, Ladies, you won't grow a beard). By the way, winners naturally adopt these postures and thereby condition their brains for more confidence and winning.

The real value of confidence is that it allows you to shift your focus away from yourself and onto the task at hand. If you take it far enough, it begins to look like humility - in the most attractive way.

Keeping the focus on the potential client, and off yourself, can make all the difference. Offer them something with no strings attached, like a complimentary coaching session and give them tons of value whether or not they hire you.

By the way, Pharrell Williams is the perfect model of an attractive coach: passionate, insightful, generous, humble, and still offering value even after the singer has already chosen his/her coach, because he's a different kind of winner, someone who leads from behind.

He's really not there for the win; he's there for the talent. Be that coach.

If you've never experienced a loss, pursue coaching clients like an obnoxiously confident Adam Levine and you'll attract some.

But if you're like most coaches, be a little wiser.

Channel your Inner Pharrell.

Want to learn more about the subtleties of client attraction? Explore Coach 100:

 Get Paid to Coach. Join Coach 100.

 

Topics: Coach 100, coaching clients, Attraction Principles, The Voice, clients, Martin Seligman

Marketing for Coaches: It's Not About Being Popular

Posted by Julia Stewart

Oddly, when you market your coaching, you really don't want to attract everybody. You only want to attract those who are right for you and your business. Erika Napoletano at TEDxBoulder 2012, explains in hilarious fashion, with a few swear words. Love her or hate her, hear her message.

Topics: Coaching, Coaches, marketing and sales, Attraction Principles, TED, Marketing for life coaches, marketing

Positive Psychology: 25 Fun Facts About Love 2.0

Posted by Julia Stewart

Love 2.0

Since today is Valentine's Day, I thought you might enjoy some fun facts about love and positive psychology researcher, Barbara L. Fredrickson's new book,Love 2.0: How Our Supreme Emotion Affects Everything We Feel, Think, Do, and Become , is loaded with never-before-heard-of facts about love, romance, health and success. So pull up a chair, grab a loved one and have fun!

Okay first, this is science, so we need to define our terms. But rest assured, these are fun terms!

Barbara is the researcher most associated with the Positivity Ratio (Quick: go measure yours here. Then come right back for more cool stuff.) Basically, the Positivity Ratio says if your positive thoughts and feelings (a.k.a. positivity) out number your negative thoughts and feelings (a.k.a. negativity) by a ratio of at least 3 to 1, you'll likely flourish, rather than languish. The upward limit is around 11 to 1. Poliannas don't flourish.

Why do folks with strong Positivity Ratios thrive? Because, according to Fredrickson's research, positivity broadens your perspective so you notice more opportunities (Funny,  Thomas Leonard said 15 years ago that's how Attraction works! I'd like to suggest that positivity is highly attractive). Positivity also helps you build resources such as, values, strengths and skills, that assist you even in tough times, which creates longer-term resiliency. That's her "Broaden and Build" theory.

Barbara has recently shifted her research to shared positivity, which she terms, "Positivity Resonance" or "Love 2.0". Love in the English language is an extremely broad term. To measure it, she had to define love very narrowly. Keep that in mind, while reading the fun facts about Love 2.0, below. Her definition for positivity resonance is limited to positivity that is shared by people face-to-face or in physical contact.

 

"Love is our supreme emotion that makes us come fully alive." - Barbara L. Fredrickson

 

Here are twenty-five fun facts about Love 2.0:

  1. "...love, and its absence, fundamentally alters the biochemicals in which your body is steeped."
  2. Love is a momentary state that can pass between strangers who share a mutually positive experience together.
  3. Love is a skill that can be learned which impacts the expression of your genes.
  4. "The sheer complexity of love's biology is reason enough for awe."
  5. When you learn to prioritize love, you actually get more value from it and become resilient faster.
  6. Love literally changes your mind and enables you to see others wholeheartedly, helping you transcend your usual ego perspective.
  7. Love is the arising of three events: shared positive emotions, sychrony between you and another's biochemistry and behavior, motive to invest in each other's well-being.
  8. Other positivity emotions are not mirrored back in this way.
  9. Love reverberates between people and belongs to all parties involved.
  10. Safety is a precondition for love.
  11. People who suffer from anxiety, depression, loneliness and low self-esteem; have a limited ability to experience love 2.0.
  12. Eye contact is a potent trigger for positivity resonance.
  13. You can experience some of the positive effects of love 2.0 while alone, when thinking about a loved one for instance, but the effects are diminished.
  14. Love impacts your body on the cellular, even molecular level.
  15. Love physically impacts your brain's development, causing you to experience more positivity and less anxiety.
  16. Love 2.0 triggers cascades or oxytocin, sometimes called, "the love hormone".
  17. Oxytocin is the lead chemical in the "calm and connect" function; it literally reduces stress.
  18. Oxytocin appears to make people more intuitive about others.
  19. Love increases "vagal tone", which your doctor can measure to predict the likelihood of your having a heart attack.
  20. People with higher vagal tone regulate glucose levels and inflammation, as common denominator in many diseases, including diabetes, heart disease and cancer.
  21. Vagal tone can be improved with training with positivity resonance. Got Love
  22. "In the very moment that you experience positivity resonance, your brain syncs up with the other person's brain."
  23. The effects of love can be carried to you by a person's voice.
  24. "Brain coupling" occurs between people who are experiencing positivity resonance and in some cases, you begin to anticipate the other person's thoughts, feelings and words, rather than just react to them.
  25. The causal arrow runs in both directions at once and drives self-sustaining trajectories of growth.
Well that's just 25 fun facts. I highly recommend you read the whole book, maybe with a loved one! Or just put some of these 25 facts to work in your life to enjoy greater health, resilience, flourishing, and love.

 

Want to learn more about Love 2.0 and other positive psychology tools? Take the Introduction to Positive Psychology for Coaches course. You can even earn a coaching certificate and get ICF CCEs:

 

Become a Certified Positive Psychology Coach

Topics: Coaches, Thomas Leonard, Become a Certified Coach, CCE, Barbara L Fredrickson, Attraction Principles, Positive Psychology, positive psychology coaching

What is Positive Psychology Coaching Anyway?

Posted by Julia Stewart

Positive Psychology resized 600

By Julia Stewart, MCC

You might wonder what the heck Positive Psychology Coaching is, especially now that positive thinking, the Law of Attraction and all things associated with The Secret seem soooo out of vogue.

What, you haven't noticed that positive thinking is on the outs? You haven't heard Law of Attraction practitioners refered to as 'Thought Police Nazis?' Oh you will. It's just that mostly it's leading-edge folks who are speaking up. Next year, it'll be everybody. The pendulum has started its return swing...

Just this week, one my favorite coaches, Mattison Grey, ranted on the problem of positive thinking. And one of my favorite coaching bloggers, Tim Bronson, wrote that gratitude sucks (By the way, Tim, when are you going to enter your blog in Best Coaching Blogs?) And the only Shrink for Entrepreneurs I've ever heard of, Peter Shallard, announced that optimism is ruining your business.

Is this just a crowd of Negative Nancy's who aren't enlightened enough to get how great it is to be positive? Nope. These are people who are perceptive enough to see both the truths and the untruths hiding behind the hype.

So emboldened am I in their company that I will say bluntly what I've thought for years: If you throw out all your Abraham books and stop watching Wayne Dyer specials on PBS you'll probably become a better coach.

Why? Because coaching is not about magical thinking. It's about stuff that actually works. And while you and your clients are busy trying to control all your thoughts and never be judgmental, life is passing you by, including all the tidbits that will help you get what you want. And because over-focusing on anything creates shadows that can run amok.

"No one should spend their time trying to think positive thoughts. We've all got better things to do." - Thomas Leonard

So should you embrace negativity instead? No. Relentlessly negative thinking leads to depression, anxiety and more problems and positivity does a fabulous job of canceling all that out - up to a point.

So what is Positive Psychology Coaching and how does it fit in here?

Positive Psychology takes the positive vs. negative question out of the realm of beliefs and opinions and actually identifies when, what types, how often and even why positivity helps people succeed, flourish and gain mastery; and even when, what types, how often and why negativity is helpful when we want to succeed, flourish, gain mastery and be happier.

What Positive Psychology offers to coaching is a precision instrument instead of vague generalities, facts instead of opinions, evidence instead of empty promises, and a body of knowledge instead of a hodge podge of proprietary models and programs. And it offers opportunities to measure results and rack up the evidence instead of telling folks, 'Just trust us, this stuff really works!' In other words, what Positive Psychology offers to coaching is professionalism.

So back to the controversy over positive thinking. How can Positive Psychology help with that? For one thing, Positive Psychology offers a simple measurement tool: The Positivity Ratio (based on the more complex Losada Ratio).

The Positivity Ratio has been thoroughly researched. It basically says that in order to flourish, you need, on a regular basis, to think and feel positively at least three times as much as you think/feel negatively. So the right ratio of positivity leads to flourishing.

3P (3 * Positivity) / N (1 * Negativity) = Flourishing

And there's an upper end to this. Too much positivity vs. negativity actually causes problems. Think of it as a Positivity Bubble, which is where many Law of Attraction practitioners live. I think that's what the contrarian writers above were all trying to say: 'Don't over do positive thinking, because complacency can hurt you.'

It gets even more interesting...

Contrary to popular belief, you don't necessarily have to reduce negative thoughts and feelings in order to flourish and not all negativity is toxic. Some of it is quite valuable. Positive Psychology has identified which is which and provides assessments and tools to identify what's needed: more/different positivity and/or less/different negativity?

That's where Positive Psychology Coaching comes in. When you've got the right tools, including the assessments you need and the ability to analyze them and provide questions and exercises to shift your clients' ratios, you can assist your clients to experience more happiness, wellbeing, and mastery. In other words they flourish.

But Positive Psychology Coaches focus on much more than just positivity. They also focus on Values, Strengths, resiliency and resourcefulness, again with a precision that pinpoints what's needed and applies it more quickly and accurately than can most other coaches, creating better results for their clients, more quickly.

That's what your clients want.

We've all found out that working hard for what we want, while thinking and feeling the worst is just plain - hard. We've also found out that just thinking and feeeeling what we want is pleasant, but may not brings us closer to our goals. Why not learn the right combination that leads to success?

If you want to delve much more deeply into the subject of Positive Psychology Coaching, there are a few more days to register for the Introduction to Positive Psychology for Coaches course that starts this coming Thursday.

You'll learn just enough about the scientific underpinnings of evidence-based coaching, get introduced to a wealth of supportive resources, including assessments for you and your clients, learn Positive Psychology interventions suitable for coaching, get a chance to practice in class and even take an online test and receive a Positive Psychology Certificate from School of Coaching Mastery. You may even be able to apply what you learn for continuing education credit from the IAC or ICF.

So don't throw out positive thinking just yet. Instead, learn to apply it with laser precision and get greater results.

Register for Positive Psychology for Coaches Here

Got an opinion about positive thinking? Please share it in the comments section, below.

Image by LiteWriting aka Loreen72

Topics: Coaching, coach training, Coaches, coaching clients, ICF, Thomas Leonard, Mattison Grey, Law of Attraction, judgment, Attraction Principles, IAC, Coaching Certificate, Positive Psychology, Martin Seligman

How to Attract Coaching Clients Via Social Networking Sites

Posted by Julia Stewart

The Essential Guide to Social Media Marketing for Solo ProfessionalsIf you're a business of life coach, or any type of solo professional, then attracting coaching clients via social networking sites can be incredibly valuable.

If you're new to social networking and social media marketing, it can be pretty overwhelming. The great news is that you only need some essentials to get started. From there, it's pretty easy 'to learn as you go'.

The first step of course, is to join and build a following on social networking sites. From there, if you know how to do it, you can easily attracting paid coaching clients. I share two brief stories about how two coaches filled their coaching practices quickly with clients by leveraging their social networking relationships with Coach 100 in the new eBook, The Essential Guide to Social Media Marketing for Solo Professionals. To Get the free eBook, click the big button below. To learn more about how to attract coaching clients via social networking and many other approaches, join Coach 100. More info below. But first, here's one section from the new eBook.

How to Build Your Following on Social Sites

  1. Start by following others. Makes sense, doesn’t it? People like to connect and they’ll be more likely to connect with you, if you make the first move. Don’t be shy. This is a lot easier than asking somebody to dance at a high-school mixer. But here’s where it gets similar to school: the more popular you are, the more people will want to connect to you. Get the ball rolling and eventually momentum will start to help you out.
  2. Consistently Add Fresh Content to Your Social Profiles. Social networking doesn’t have to take more than a few minutes per day, but do be consistent. Try setting aside ten minutes per day to share something relevant. An easy way to do this is to share great blog posts from blog sites that are related to your specialty. Most blogs today have social sharing buttons built right into the interface (see ours above). You can amplify your shares across numerous social sites by taking advantage of their sharing options. LinkedIn has this built into posts. Just click a box to share something from LinkedIn to Twitter, for example.
  3. Self-Promote Minimally. Even on sites where self-promotion is well tolerated, such as Twitter, the rule of thumb is to post something promotional once out of every seven tweets. Exceptions are made for commercial accounts, such as Starbucks or Amazon, that people follow specifically to receive discount offers. If you’re running a high-end solo business, such as coaching, you want to primarily engage in conversations and add useful content, with an occasional offer to buy your book, attend your seminar, or try a sample session. Be even more judicious on Facebook, which is primarily social, unless you have a (free) Facebook Page for your business.
  4. Be Somebody People Want to Follow. That’s one reason why a head shot of you is so important to your social profile. People generally follow people, not companies. Let your personality come across. Are you philosophical? Share deep thoughts and/or quote other famous people (and share the thoughts of people you follow – which is a great way to get them to follow you back). Love humor? Make an occasional wisecrack or share the jokes of famous comedians you follow. Care about social issues? Update your accounts with links to important online petitions. All of this pays off when your clients like what you like. The better you know your market, the more you can hone your voice.
  5. Be conversational. Reply to people who message you. Retweet or share their comments. Join in the conversation. This can be as simple as ‘liking’ what somebody says on Facebook or as involved as participating in a lively conversation in a group on LinkedIn.
  6. Focus on the social networks that matter most to your clients. You can’t be everywhere, even on the internet. If you have a business-to-consumer service (as opposed to business-to-business), then LinkedIn may not be ideal for you. If your clientele are older, then maybe the latest hot new social site (currently, that’s Pinterest) isn’t important yet for your business.
  7. Invite your website visitors to join you online. Add ‘Follow Me’ buttons (you can get them free from Twitter, for instance, or Google to find 3rd-party buttons) to every page on your site (See our 'Follow Us' buttons to the right). This encourages your visitors to talk about you in a potentially viral venue. Likewise, be sure to add social sharing buttons to all of your blog posts (if you have one – recommended). All the major forms of blogging software (like Wordpress) have them available. Finally, you can add social conversations to your website by adding social streams from Facebook, Twitter, etc. (scroll down to the right to see one of ours) The more ways people can find you and talk about you online, the more people will find you and talk about you online. Trigger the viral nature of social networking and your customers will market for you!

To get indepth instructions on how to build your coaching business with social media, along with many other approaches, join Coach 100. There are three levels to choose from, depending on your experience and how much you want to spend. Each one provides a proven system for attracting paying coaching clients and filling your business.

To get the free eBook, The Essential Guide to Social Media Marketing for Solo Professionals, click below.

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Topics: Coach 100, coaching clients, Free, Facebook, Business Coaches, Life Coaches, twitter, Attraction Principles, coach marketing, LinkedIn, Social Media Marketing, Free eBook Social Networking

20 Qualities of Attraction by Thomas J. Leonard

Posted by Julia Stewart

Thomas J LeonardThe Principles of Attraction, as well as the Qualities of Attraction, will help you attract more of what you want, more easily and quickly.

In 1998, Thomas Leonard, the Founder of Coaching, wrote an online draft of his future book, The Portable Coach, about the 28 Principles of Attraction. He made the draft free to use by anyone. A leader in many ways, Thomas was 'blogging' and using the Creative Commons approach to attraction, even before they were invented. His material is still as fresh and 'new' as ever.

In 2006, I created a popular 10-week ecourse based on this early draft, typos and all, with a brief introduction to each section.

Here's one of the 10 lessons, on the Qualities of Attraction. You can develp these qualities by implementing the Principles. On the flip side, you can integrate the Attraction Principles more easily/quickly by developing more of these Qualities.

This list makes the Principles of Attraction instantly more understandable. Do you have enough of these qualities to create a Reserve of Attraction? Which Principles will help you develop more of the qualities you'd like to increase? - Julia

The Qualities of Attraction

by Thomas J. Leonard

This is a list of the 20 qualities of a person who has mastered the Attraction Operating System. If you focus on developing these qualities concurrent with your learning of the Attraction Principles, you'll find that these qualities accelerate the integration process.

1. Generous.
Because you can easily afford to be.

2. Integrous.
Because you are whole and the circle is complete.

3. Loving.
Because there is a marked absence of fear.

4. Compassionate.
Because you've been there even if you haven't.

5. Balanced.
Because there is nothing left to juggle.

6. Articulate.
Because life is so very simple.

7. Respectful.
Because every one is special.

8. Positive.
Because it wouldn't occur to you to be negative.

9. Secure.
Because you have a strong reserve in every area and eliminated the primary threats.

10. Aware.
Because you have learned to see clearly and feel everything.

11. Flexible.
Because there is no weight and you are in the flow.

12. Willing.
Because there is nothing to lose.

13. Resourceful.
Because you've learned where to get exactly what you need to be your best.

14. Interdevelopmental.
Because learning is continuous and people are the best teachers.

15. Initiating.
Because waiting no longer appeals.

16. Light-hearted.
Because life isn't something to win at.

17. Creative.
Because you feel free to express yourself and have something to say.

18. Forthright.
Because truth is everything and honesty is natural.

19. Collaborative.
Because it's more fulfilling than competing or protecting.

20. Genuine.
Because there is nothing left to prove and all that's left is you.

Copyright 1998 by Thomas J. Leonard.

 

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Topics: Coaching, blogging, Thomas Leonard, Attraction Principles

Dear Coach: What if the Law of Attraction DOESN'T Work?

Posted by Julia Stewart

Law of AttractionI don't want to ruffle your feathers, but if you teach the Law of Attraction, don't you ever doubt whether it really works?

I'm not against the Law of Attraction. It's a great way to draw people's attention to the subtle ways that events seem to line for us when we are sure of what we want. Most importantly, it offers a good excuse for practicing faith.

For example: Recently a relative of mine told me she had a job offer that she really wanted to take, but it was a 9-month teaching position that paid about 1/4 less than her current job. I said, "If you really want it, there's probably a way that you can do it. So the question to ask is not, 'Should I do it?', but 'How could I do it?'". She knew there were lots of part-time temporary positions for her skill set, so she took the job on faith and within a month, her new employer offered her a summer teaching position that made up the lost pay. You could say she attracted the outcome she wanted. You could also say she realistically assessed the situation. Both explanations accurately describe her outcome.

My problem with the Law of Attraction is that tends to confuse people. And no matter how you explain it, confusion stops people from getting what they want. Most people who grew up in the 20th Century (I bet that includes you) were taught that hard work, strategy, education, research, expert advice and goal setting would help them get what they want. Then they hear that the Law of Attraction says all they have to do is think about what they want and they will get it. Does that mean they can throw out hard work, strategy, education, research, expert advice and goal setting? No. All those things include thinking about what it is you want, so keep doing them if they work for you.

Another example: Several months ago, I was musing that perhaps it was time to find a new coach. I'm fortunate to have some of the best coaches in the world as friends who will coach me, as needed, so quality of coaching wasn't an issue, but I fantasized that perhaps it was time for someone who was a spiritual teacher, whose training was different from mine (so they could surprise me now and then) and maybe someone who owns a coaching school, so they could relate to some of the challenges I'm working with; all of that would be nice. A week or two later, Lama Tantrapa called me up out of the blue and suggested we start coaching each other. When stuff like that happens, I've learned to just say, "Yes."

Sometimes things seem to happen like magic, but that doesn't mean that all we ever have to do is set our intentions. As Lama says, "The road to hell is paved with intentions." It turns out he found me via LinkedIn. Was it the Law of Attraction or a good social media strategy that brought him to me? Yes.

I belong to the local Science of Mind church. It's pretty much ground zero for the Law of Attraction. But even they say that LOA doesn't work for everybody. Children who grow up in the church seem to create more of what they want just by thinking about it, perhaps because they don't have competing beliefs that confuse them.

Third example: The other day, I ran into the pastor of my church at the Post Office. She told me how she broke her toe by slipping in the bathroom. She said she had broken another toe on the same foot so many time that it was crooked and she had been considering having it broken by a doctor to straighten it back out. In other words, she had been thinking about breaking a toe and she then broke one. Be careful what you think about! Was it LOA or a freak accident? Whatever story you tell about it, she still has a broken toe.

It's hard to prove causation. Scientists tend to point to correlations and avoid making up stories about causation. When we observe events like thinking about something and then experience what we thought about, we're observing correlation. But humans are story-making machines and we love stories about causation. Correlation feels  confusing.

Choose the stories that work for you. And let coaching clients do the same. Confusing them with the Law of Attraction may stop them from getting what they want, even if it works for you.

I'm here to say that the Law of Attraction is nothing but faith. 

Or maybe it's just correlated with faith. But faith is huge. And at the opposite end of the scale is doubt. All healthy humans have both.

Imagine faith and doubt connected by a line. Faith pulls us forward and doubt pulls us back. However, there is often hidden wisdom underneath doubt, so explore it, rather than try to eliminate it.

Confusion on the other hand, erases the line. Doubt carries wisdom and connects to faith. Confusion is full of missed connections and blurred vision, kind of like the words in the image, above.

Whether you have faith in science, Jesus Christ, hard work, the Law of Attraction or all of the above, that faith will help to pull you forward. Uncover what's behind your doubts and erase your confusion if you can (by creating clarity) and you'll be pulled forward with less effort. It's not a guarantee of outcome, but rather something that correlates with success. 

"No one should spend their time trying to think positive thoughts. We've all got better things to do." - Thomas Leonard  

Some of the most successful and honest thought leaders out there, like Bill Harris, who appeared in The Secret, and Thomas Leonard, who 'founded' the coaching profession, don't ascribe to the Law of Attraction. Thomas actually developed a very different approach to attracting what you want called, The Principles of Attraction. Coaching is about getting what you want and there are many ways to do it. 

Here's a secret: In my experience the Principles of Attraction, combined with the Law of Attraction is even more attractive. Consider trying both together.

What are your thoughts on Attraction? Feel free to share them in the comments section, below.

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Topics: Coaching, coach, Thomas Leonard, Law of Attraction, Attraction Principles, clarifying, clients, LinkedIn, IAC

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