School of Coaching Mastery

Coaching Blog

How the Mass Exodus of Workers is Impacting Coaching

Posted by Julia Stewart

Exodus of Workers

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

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

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

How is that impacting coaching? Read on...

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

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

 

These are powerful numbers.

 

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

 

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

 

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

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

 

What does this mean for coaching?

 

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

 

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

 

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

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

 

Coaching is the ultimate work-from-home career.

 

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

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

 

What are you waiting for?

 

Download the free Become a Coach eBook and get started:

Get Your Free 'Become a Coach' eBook Now

 

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

How Empaths/HSPs Can Stop Attracting Narcissists

Posted by Julia Stewart

A bird sitting in a tree - Believe in Yourself

Empaths, also known as Highly Sensitive People, often have problems with Abusive Narcissists.

If you are a coach, you have a high likelihood of being an HSP. Find out here if you have this genetic trait. If you are an HSP, and you've ever had problems with difficult, or even dangerous people, you most likely were dealing with people who have narcissistic issues.

Is any of the following familiar to you?

Relationships with narcissists usually start out great but almost always turn sour. Their common relationship pattern is to idealize, then demean, then discard people. Sometimes they repeat the pattern over and over with the same person. Other times they stay stuck on the demean stage for years. That can ruin their target's self-esteem.

They are the office mate who always needs a favor, takes advantage of your kindness, then steals your ideas. Or the romantic partner who goes to great lengths to woo you, but once you've fallen in love, starts cheating on you, right away. Or they are the "best friend" who steals your job or your spouse. Ouch.

You may have wondered what you did wrong in these instances, but HSP is a normal trait that seems to attract abnormal people. If you're an HSP, or have had problems with a narcissist, or if you are a coach with clients who have had these problems, read on for how to handle these vexing issues and live happier...

Most information available about this topic is geared toward self-defense for Empaths/HSPs because narcissistic behavior is so common.

That's good and necessary. But great coaching focuses on solving problems at their source so they never come back. And that got me thinking...

  • What if you were impervious to narcissists?
  • What would that look like?
  • How could you do it?
  • What if you could recognize narcissists before they notice you?
  • What if you stopped attracting narcissists, at all?
  • How could you do this using your HSP strengths?
  • What if you became unattractive to narcissists?
  • Would that make you less attractive to everyone?
  • What if you kept your empathy and compassion but couldn't be manipulated with it?
  • What if you stopped rewarding narcissists for their abusive behavior?
  • How might the world become a better place because you grew into a better version of you?

Those last few items are ultimately the most powerful.

These questions sent me on a journey of research into both narcissism and HSPs/Empaths. That brought me to Narcissistic Abuse, which I have personally experienced (probably you have, too). I've read a ton of research and also books by therapists who specialize in HSPs or Narcissistic Abuse but it's almost impossible to find anything on these topics written from a coaching perspective of creating solutions vs. healing problems after the damage has been done.

One of my gifts is making connections between bits of information I get from various sources. This leads to insights which lead to new approaches. Which lead to new learning modules because I like to help others by sharing what I've discovered. This is one of those topics.

HSPs are virtually the opposite of narcissists. At the other end of the sensitivity spectrum are those who are very insensitive. They are more prone to disorders on the narcissistic side, such as psychopathy and conduct disorders. They tend to regulate themselves with the emotions of others and therein lies the key.

The best way to share the details of this discovery is in a class, so I've created an in-depth class that meets on June 7th.

It's free. In it, I will share with you details on how HSPs attract narcissists and how to stop. I'll also share resources and the research behind these ideas, so you can continue your learning. Armed with some knowledge and a positive environment, you can hone your strengths and believe in yourself. That's freedom.

It could dramatically reduce the amount of pain you experience in your lifetime. As an HSP, negative experiences have a greater chance of causing you to languish. While positive experiences have a greater likelihood of helping you flourish.

So it matters a lot.

From a big picture perspective, helping HSPs avoid the Narcissism Trap can help change the world for the better. Because Narcissists are responsible for much of what ails the world.

You can flourish in a narcissistic world as an HSP. You can also help the world become a little less narcissistic and that's good for everyone.

 

Will you join me? Register for this free one-hour class now:

 

How HSPs/Empaths Attract Narcissists and How to Stop

 

Topics: become a coach, webinar, Free, HSP

6 Reasons to Get Vaccinated as Soon as You Can

Posted by Julia Stewart

Vaccination

Last week, I got a surprise in my inbox.

I was invited to make an appointment to get the Covid-19 vaccine and within 24 hours, I had the vaccine in my arm. I won't lie; I was ecstatic!

I know millions of people are hesitating to get the vaccine. In fact, I'm pretty sure my good fortune was due to others declining the opportunity because the vaccine was suddenly opened up to my group after the vaccine provider vaccinated everyone who wanted it in the previous group. In fact, the nurse who vaccinated me told me I was getting one of those "extra" doses that the vaccine vials often yield.

In case it's helpful, here are my reasons why I got vaccinated without hesitation and probably you should, too.


  1. It's my civic duty. Similar to voting, getting vaccinated is something I do because I am a good citizen. Like millions of others, I risked Covid-19 to cast my vote in the last election. We create a better society for all by participating in these events. It's is the least we can do for each other.
  2. It's safer than Covid-19. Like any major mass event, this pandemic has spawned or revived numerous memes, many pejorative, like Super-spreader, Anti-masker, and Free-riders. The last are folks who hope to benefit from herd immunity by letting everyone else risk the side effects of the vaccines, but as one physician said at the holistic/medical health service where I got the vaccine, "This is a very clean vaccine." The active molecule breaks up within hours after triggering your immune response, and exits the body. There are no preservatives, which can sometimes be toxic, no major allergens, and the basic components are common to the human diet: protein, lipids, sucrose. She recommended that those with serious allergies check with their allergists before getting it, but predicted it would be safe for others. My thinking is: I already know Covid-19 is a terrible disease that can destroy organ systems even in those who survive. Why risk definite dangers to avoid unknown, and possibly nonexistent, vaccine side effects?
  3. Experts say we should all get vaccinated as soon as we can. The sooner millions get full immunity, the sooner the pandemic will slow down for everyone and we can get back to the lives we used to enjoy. Ethicists and public health experts urge everybody to get vaccinated as soon as possible.
  4. I didn't have the option of giving my appointment to someone else. Although I'm in a high-risk group, I can work from home because I'm a coach, so I would rather essential workers got vaccinated before people like me. Most of the time, though, you can't give your appointment away, so use it. I feel immensely grateful to have received the vaccine early.
  5. Positivity won't be enough to protect against Covid-19. I heard one spiritual young woman claim, "If you don't believe in the virus, you won't get it." If you analyze her statement, it's obvious she does believe in the virus. She is gaslighting herself, a form of toxic positivity. I'm all for healthy positivity and it does help boost people's immune systems, but it's a boost, not total immunity. I tend to  agree with the Centers for Spiritual Living who teach that our thoughts guide our outcomes and may help keep us healthy and one of the ways good health comes to us is via medical intervention.
  6. Mental health. Psychologists say one of the worst effects of the pandemic has been the uncertainty. We can't plan our lives, much less live them, because we don't know how long or how bad the pandemic will be or whether we and our loved ones will survive it. That unknowing is brutal. I now know when I will have full immunity and, although infectious disease experts urge everyone who is vaccinated to continue wearing masks and taking basically the same precautions as everybody else, it is mentally freeing to know the danger is coming to and end for me and eventually, for everyone.

 

Ironically, something else helped even more in the short-run.

N95 masks are again available to the general public. When worn properly, they are 95% effective at protecting you from inhaling the virus. They can be worn repeatedly as long as they fit your face snuggly. I got a shipment the same afternoon I got my vaccine appointment and at first I thought I wouldn't need them, but I realized it would take several weeks to get full immunity from the vaccine. With these new, more powerful masks, I feel much safer getting out of the house and enjoying some normalcy. I highly recommend them. Just be careful to buy them from a reliable retailer, because there a many fakes already. Don't get them from a drifty website or from the "marketplace" of a big retailer, which may not have vetted the sellers. Your masks should be NIOSH approved and have the Health and Human Services logo (unfortunately, some of the fakes appear to also have these stamps of approval, so pay a little extra to a mainstream retailer and get the real thing.)

 

I hope this helps! Stay safe and be well.

 

Most of the time, I write about coaching. If you're interested in becoming a coach, please download the free Become a Coach eBook.

 

Get a free Become a Coach eBook here.

Topics: become a coach, gratitude, Covid, pandemic

This One Tool May Help You Survive 2020

Posted by Julia Stewart

Burden cartoon Depositphotos_32610265_l-2015-1

 

 

Last night, I coached one of my students who was struggling with overwhelm.

But it was soon clear that something else was also going on. She was experiencing something that many are going through in this year of pandemic, social unrest, economic recession, political upheaval, severe storms and other signs of Climate Change.

What I said helped. It could help you, too.

Most coaches are Highly Sensitive People (HSP) who process more information than others.

HSP is inborn and well-researched. We make up about 15-20% of the population. There is a popular variation known as Empaths, a description that is not science-based but includes psychic abilities.

If you are a coach, you likely are an HSP or Empath. Whichever you identify with, you probably have an ability that most folks don't have:

You literally feel other people's emotions.

For a coach, feeling your client's emotions can be a valuable tool for understanding what they are experiencing. But in a year when millions are experiencing more upsetting emotions than usual, the ability to feel everyone's emotions can be an overwhelming liability.

You need an approach to eliminate excess negative emotions, especially from others.

Here's a process I've found that helps me. Before I understood that I was picking up the emotions of others' my life felt chaotic and my emotional state was sometimes turbulent. It was particularly challenging to be around extremely negative people, angry people, and people who were prone to conflict because the more I was with them, the more I became like them. Spending time alone and learning a variety of tools such as meditation helped me get back to my true self.

In extreme situations, I ended relationships that were just too challenging to tolerate. The irony of this approach is that to protect my highly-sensitive empathic self, I had to behave in ways that must have looked like the opposite: selfish and uncaring. There has to be a better way, right? There is.

I experienced a breakthrough when someone I knew, but was not close to, passed away. There were important others in my life who were very close to this person who were grieving. I was surprised to find that I was grieving rather intensely, myself. I felt like I was lugging a heavy duffle bag packed with painful feelings in the middle of my torso, day after day. I explored whether there was some underlying reason why this death was so meaningful to me but I could not find one.

Then it occurred to me that the grief I was feeling wasn't my own. I was spending time with loved ones who were grieving and I had picked it up from them. So I wondered, if those feelings weren't mine, could I just put them down?

In the moment of that thought, all the pain and heaviness evaporated.

I've been using this approach ever since and so can you. To use it remember the following:

  • If the negative feelings are your own, you need to get the message or information they carry before you let them go. Emotions are just messengers and must stick around until you get the message. If you bury them, they will shift underground and pop up later, sometimes more intensely. Your own feelings are there to help you. Don't try to ignore them.
  • If the negative feelings are coming from someone close to you, they are telling you important information about that person's feelings. Again, for the sake of your relationship, pay attention to the message before you release those feelings. A compassionate conversation with the other person can help. If you must, it is okay to limit contact with someone who is chronically upsetting you. If they are abusive toward you, it is fine to end that relationship. You can't offer your best gifts to the world if you are constantly licking your own wounds.
  • If you are just picking up random pain from others, such as co-workers or even via social media or cable news, realize that pain is not about you. It also is not yours to carry. Envision it as something separate from you, like a heavy duffle bag. Then give yourself permission to put down that burden. You might even envision yourself turning it in to the the Lost & Found. Then walk away knowing you did the right thing,
  • Don't hold on to an emotional burden out of guilt or solidarity with those who are suffering. Other people do not benefit when you are crippled by their pain. They do benefit when you can be fully compassionate and caring without being drawn into chaos and confusion.
  • You can care about others best when your empathy is manageable.


Self care for empaths means limiting the amount of pain you carry.

2020 will give us all plenty of practice with negative feelings. Be kind to yourself and others through this difficult time. Also, be aware that your own negativity, as well as any negativity you pick up from others, can rub off on additional people. Strong emotions are contagious. Don't be a spreader.

 

You can coach best when your emotions are mostly positive.

 

If you are a coach or are thinking about becoming one, you're invited to attend a live course we offer a few times per year called, Fully Alive. It is experiential and includes a wealth of tools that can help you manage life in this especially turbulent world. The course is free to everyone.

 

To register for the next one, please visit our public catalog or register below.

Attend Fully Alive for Givers for Free

 

Topics: become a coach, coaching tool, economy, highly sensitive, Covid, Black Lives Matter

7 Reasons Now Is a Great Time to Become a Coach

Posted by Julia Stewart

Coach working from home

As I write this, the Covid-19 pandemic is exploding across America and many other places.

Our lives have been upended and there is no end in sight. But now is not the time for despair.

Now is the time to become a coach and I'll tell you why...

Your situation: Maybe your kids are home. You and/or your partner are out of work. Or you're working from home. Maybe one or all of you have been sick. Maybe you're feeling isolated and afraid. Or maybe you're getting the hang of this and it's all getting easier. But now you are confronted with the logistics of returning to work and sending your children back to school. Other people are making important decisions that could impact your family's safety and your ability to make a living. That's alarming and may feel unsafe.

 

But wouldn't it be nice if things just went back to "normal'?

 

Economists and epidemiologists have told us from the start that the bigger the pandemic gets and the longer it goes on the harder it will be to go back to the old normal. There is growing evidence that getting sick with the virus does not confer lifelong immunity. Covid-19 may be more like malaria, a serious disease you can get over and over, cutting into your freedom, your productivity, and ability to make a living. With luck, we'll have a vaccine next year, but previously, the fastest an effective vaccine has ever been developed was four years. Producing billions of doses will take longer.

The old normal is disappearing in your rear-view mirror and you may never see it again. But that doesn't have to be a bad thing. In fact, there is positive news in all this.

 

I believe in positivity, not denial.

 

The first helps us succeed, the second keeps us stuck. Clinging to the idea of your old life is denial. To practice positivity, start with the truth, then explore the likely possibilities. Then work towards the most desirable possibilities for you. It works.

The truth is that the virus has wrapped itself around the world and will be with us for at least another year, perhaps several, maybe forever. And you have many assets that will help you adapt and grow. In fact, these challenges may be exactly what you need to become your best self and live the life and career you want most. Are you ready to live your best life?

 

You need to thrive in this new environment.

Therefore, you need to invent a better normal, one that works beautifully for you.

 

Are you ready to apply positivity to your life?

 

If yes, then you need to ask and answer some important questions. Start with the following:

  • If things continue this way, how long can you hang on and what will it cost you?
  • If the pandemic continues, what do you need to stay safe and thrive and how can you create that?
  • What have you always wanted to do but the time never felt right?
  • What does the world need now that you can potentially give?
  • How can you turn that into a business you love?
  • Or can you be employed to do it but have flexibility to do it on your terms?
  • Can you create your best life even in the pandemic?
  • What do you need to set that up? Who can help you?
  • Do you believe in yourself enough to do it?
  • Do you have the courage to make your life, and the lives of others, great even in a disaster?

 

Right now, most people need more questions like these.

 

We are all forced to recreate our lives. Let's create the lives we've always wanted.

I've coached quite a few clients through disasters. They are the pivot points that make or break great lives and careers. The opportunities are golden if you look for the positivity.

If you are empathic, a good communicator, want to help others be their best, want to create a better world for all, then coaching may be the perfect next step for you.

 

Now is the perfect time to become a coach because:

  1. Coaching is the ideal work-from-home career.
  2. Coaching pays extremely well.
  3. Many coaches work short hours while making high incomes.
  4. Coaching goes perfectly with technology and your clients can be international.
  5. People need coaching now more than ever and are willing to pay for it.
  6. Coaching is low on stress and high on fulfillment.
  7. Coaching is fun.

 

If you have always wanted to become a coach, the world needs you now so please have the courage to act on your desire.

 

At SCM, coach training has been designed online from the beginning. No, it's not like in-person training. It's better. We also train our graduates to coach via distance and to market online. We didn't have to retool for the pandemic. We always did it this way.

Our next cohort starts soon but you can begin classes even before. And we have a free personal-development course coming up so you can try it out before you commit.

 

Now isn't a terrible time. NOW IS YOUR TIME.

 

Please download the free Become a Coach eBook and get started on your perfect career:

Get Your Free 'Become a Coach' eBook Now

 

Topics: Career, become a coach, coaching questions, online coach training, positivity, Covid

How Thomas Leonard Prepared Me for the Covid Pandemic

Posted by Julia Stewart

Covid-19 Reserves

In 2001, the Founder of the Coaching Profession helped me get ready for Covid-19.

He also helped me thrive through 9/11 in New York City. Unfortunately, Thomas passed of natural causes in 2003, but his influence still prepared me to flourish through the Covid pandemic.

How am I flourishing? Well, my online business is doing great in the shut down and I just took my blood pressure. It's 97/67. I'm not special. Here's how Thomas Leonard helped me get here...

Thomas was a self-described worrier. He was also a massive risk-taker. That's a tough combination. But he was endlessly creative and among his many brilliant approaches to coaching are some that are designed to boost confidence for even the biggest scaredy cats so they can take big risks to reach their cherished goals. What follows is just one approach that works for me...

Twenty years ago, before paranoid preppers were a joke, Thomas found a simple way to get ready for almost anything and thereby raise your confidence and lower your anxiety. (Here's my distinction between paranoia and anxiety: The first is a sense of threat that people are out to get you. The second is a worry that things will go wrong and you won't be able to handle it. It's normal to feel anxious if you're unprepared.)

This approach eliminates the greatest source of human suffering.

Thomas created a checklist called, Super Reserves, that helps people develop a reserve of almost anything they could ever need because when our needs are met, we are freed to live our best lives. Until our needs are met, we unconsciously suffer and chase what we don't have instead of enjoying what we do have and creating what we really want. That word, need, is important because this concept is related to Abraham Maslow's Hierarchy of Needs, which you probably learned about in a course on psychology. It's a precursor to positive psychology.

Reserves sound like they couldn't possibly work but my story, below, demonstrates the dramatic shift they cause.

I got my very first coaching client the week of 9/11 when I was still living in New York City. I was studying coaching with Thomas Leonard and also had a successful personal training business that I eventually transitioned out of. But those weeks after the terrorist attacks were filled with bomb and terror threats (90 false threats on September 12th, alone). It was still possible to drive in and out of Manhattan and even park for free, in those days, but the threats and resulting twelve-hour traffic jams were constantly shaking me up.

I was terrified.

I talked to a psychotherapist friend who said the best antidote to anxiety is to take action. I reviewed my options for taking action. Could I stop the threats? No. Could I stop seeing my clients? No. What was the worst that could happen? I'd be caught in a terrorist attack. What was likely to happen? I'd get stuck in an epic traffic jam. What would I need if one of those events occurred? Ah! That's where Reserves came in.

I made a plan.

Honestly, I thought it was kind of silly, but I decided to follow Thomas' Reserves approach and get ready for "anything". So I got out an old gym bag that I carried in my car and started filling it with whatever I might need if something bad happened: masks, goggles, extra clothes, a blanket, comfortable shoes, food that would "keep", water, etc., etc.

What happened?

At some point, my anxiety vanished because I knew I was prepared. Did I ever need the stuff? Nope! But it already did its work: I was happier, more relaxed, and able to show up at my best to coach the many traumatized New Yorkers that I had the honor to work with over the next year.

You see, your nervous system has two basic modes.

One is optimized for connection and works best when you're relaxed. The other is optimized for protection and is triggered when needs aren't met. We tend to be at our best during connection and are more attractive and able to see opportunities and possibilities, but our unconscious behavior is more negative and off-putting when we're in protection mode and we tend to see problems everywhere. Both modes are needed sometimes but connection is often needed more. Filling my needs with reserves put my nervous system in connection mode.

So how did this prepare me for the current pandemic?

I never forgot that Reserves lesson. Now I always keep things on hand that I might someday need. When toilet paper was in short supply, I already had a case of it. When we found out we needed masks, I already had a box of N95 masks. I was also able to donate masks to first responders and healthcare workers, which felt a lot better than panicking because there was a shortage. My business was already online and I work from home and have experience training others to do the same so business is good. I could go on and on...

I was ready, so I could relax and help instead of panic.

I train coaches to coach their clients to be ready for anything, because in the age of the Climate Crisis, anything can happen. If you'd like to learn more about the ultimate work-from-home profession, download the free Become a Coach eBook, below.

 

Get Your Free 'Become a Coach' eBook Now

Topics: become a coach, Thomas Leonard, 9/11, Climate Change, Covid, Reserves

Mindfulness and the Corona Virus

Posted by Julia Stewart

mindfulness and the corona virus

You probably won't get the new corona virus.

If you do get it, there's a good chance you won't even get sick.

If you do get sick, there's a good chance it will be mild.

If you do get very sick, the odds are overwhelming that you will survive.

In the meantime, the media may keep you worried.

That's the bigger threat, but here's something that can help. A lot...

Living beings, like us, are designed to do two things: Thrive or Defend. Because we're complex, humans can do both, but it's a double demand that, over time, saps our resources.

Illness is somethings our bodies defend against. Most of the time, they do it extremely well. But we're not designed to worry all the time. In fact, chronic worry is something that saps resources and makes it hard to thrive.

The corona virus may never make you sick but worrying about it might.

What tool can help you stay well and even thrive during an epidemic? Yep, mindfulness. I know it's trendy and some folks claim it can do almost anything, but keeping you calm and focused is what it's really for.

  • How do you remember to avoid touching your face?
  • How do you remember to wash your hands for 20 seconds several times per day?
  • How do you remember to stay hydrated?

You could use fear and anxiety to help you remember but they will eventually make you sick even if you don't get the virus. If instead you make a commitment to yourself to to help everyone stay safer by practicing mindfulness throughout your day, you will feel calm and find yourself practicing new and safer ways of being in our crowded world.

Will you forget? Sure. And whenever you do, just begin again. Over time, you'll develop habits that will keep you safe and calm. You'll be better prepared for anything.

At times like this I am especially grateful that I am a coach who works from my home office. But even I leave the house pretty often. The first time I was in public and trying not to touch my face I noticed something I had barely been aware of before. I have little wispy hairs that tickle when they brush against my face and I unconsciously brush them aside. What to do about that?

Now I use that tickle as a trigger to remind me to be mindful about everything I touch. In other words, those mild sensations I was previously unaware of now remind me to stay mindful and calm while behaving a little differently. They help instead of hinder.

Another way to get started, if you don't have a handy trigger, is to set an intention at the start of each day to act in ways that keep you and everyone else safer. As you do, think of someone you love and feel that love in your heart for a few minutes. When you do that, oxytocin, the "love hormone", is released into your bloodstream. You know it's there when you notice that nice warm feeling of love in your heart. Oxytocin also has a calming effect that can reduce any fears you may have. Think of loved ones more often and stay calmer more often. Then do your best.

 

With this mindfulness practice, you'll be more focused, probably a bit happier, and you're less likely to get stressed or sick.

 

In other words, you will thrive.

 

Learn many more tools to help you thrive as you develop an exciting new profession, all without leaving your house. Become a coach. We'll teach you how to be a great coach with a great career. You may be working from home before long...

 

Check out upcoming coaching courses here:

 

Take a Coach Training Course Here

 

Topics: become a coach, mindfulness, love 2.0

How Does Artificial Intelligence Impact You if You Become a Coach?

Posted by Julia Stewart

Robot and human

You've heard that artificial intelligence (AI) is changing the future of work but how does it affect coaching?

AI is eliminating many job positions but coaching is surprisingly immune to this disruption. That said, you still need to know how to leverage massive changes caused by AI that may already be impacting how you coach...

Why is coaching resilient in the job market that's disrupted by AI when so many other professions, such as law and medicine, are turned upside down?

There are three reasons coaching is is one of the professions that have been hard to replace by artificial intelligence:

  1. It turns out that the human mind is harder to crack than neuroscientists and computer engineers previously thought. They've been successful at mimicking the so-called linear processing associated with your brain's left hemisphere, which includes math, language, and knowledge; but engineering artificial relationships that are trusting, empathic, intuitive, and characterized by non-linear insights has been much more elusive. So professions such as coaching, psychotherapy, and the creative arts are, so far, more difficult to recreate. Our massive human brain isn't big because we can process so much information, but because we are an extremely social species and social relationships require far more complex processing. That said, companies such as Care.coach are already convincing people that cartoon kittens care about them, but that may work only because actual humans are behind the cartoons.
  2. Coaching didn't become a profession until the internet, robotics, mobile phones, and artificial intelligence were already in the works and pioneers of coaching, notably Thomas Leonard, saw what was coming and designed the profession of coaching around the future instead of the past. For example, today's world of business works best when you have a mix of ways people can work with you. Be generous with free information on your website. Write a book that virtually anyone can afford. Join a coaching company that charges a modest price for coaching with a particular method. But your personal, customized one-to-one attention is today considered a luxury good. It needs to be priced accordingly. Coaching is for everybody but personal coaching is only for clients who see its massive value and eagerly pay for it.
  3. Quality coaching is phenomenally effective. Most people have no idea how to do it, which is why ICF accredited coach training is preferable to a degree in psychology. Coaching is new technology for human development. It has been designed to thrive as a profession despite the many disruptions of this century. It's sustainable.

The coaching profession was designed to withstand the onslaught of artificial intelligence and robotics in the job market. In a world of hypercomplex disruption, coaching thrives.

Be resilient in tomorrow's job market. Become a coach. Download this free eBook to learn more:

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Topics: coaching business, coach training, become a coach, ICF, Thomas Leonard, future of coaching, new clients

Does Your Coaching Client Really Have All the Answers?

Posted by Julia Stewart

Client has all the answers

This week, a coaching student asked me about the old coaching cliche that the client has all the answers.

There are important reasons why effective coaches honor this principle and reasons why it's a coaching trap if you aren't careful with it.

Why is it a trap?

It becomes a trap when you treat it like a hard-fast rule. That violates the very nature of coaching, which is personal, customized, and flexible. Every coaching conversation and every client is unique and requires unique responses from the coach.

If you try to apply this rule to every coaching session, you and your client will sometimes get stumped and you won't know how to handle it. It's unfair to your client and to yourself to box yourself in with this belief.

How did it become a trap?

This phrase shows up in coaching books and training programs because, "The client has all the answers," is an attention-grabbing concept. It has often been used to distinguish coaching from consulting. But it is much too simplistic. Some coach-training schools still treat this as a rule rather than a guiding principle. They mislead coaches into thinking there is only one answer to the question,  "Who has all the answers?"

Why is it important to honor this principle in your coaching?

There are several reasons. Here are the top three:

  • When someone arrives at a realization or solution, themselves, they are far more likely to follow through on it. When you hand solutions to your clients you make it less likely they will do anything about them. As the fortune cookie says, "Ideas are like children. Everyone loves their own best."
  • Another reason is that your client's strengths, values, experience, and skills are different from anyone else's and the solutions that work for them will also be different.
  • Finally, when a client discovers that they usually have the answers within, it creates confidence and freedom from the constant need to hire experts to solve their problems. This feature has contributed to the mercurial growth of the coaching profession.

What's the alternative to, "The client has all the answers?"

Thomas Leonard treated this issue differently. He said, "The answer is somewhere," which is far more nuanced. He said it didn't matter whether the client has the answer, or whether the coach has the answer, or whether the answer was found outside the coaching session, as long as the client got the answer needed. I agree up to a point, but it really is true that people follow through on their own ideas more than those of others and without follow-through, clients usually can't succeed.

Here's an even more nuanced way to handle this:

If your brain, heart, or gut is telling you that "The client has all the answers," can't always be true, you're probably right AND it's still useful to approach your coaching from this perspective.

Ask yourself this: "If my client has all the answers, how can I help them find them?" You'll discover that asking open-ended questions which tend to begin with Who, What, When, etc... help your client gain awareness of themselves and their situations. Often this is all that's needed for them to discover the answers within. On the occasions when your client doesn't seem to have the answers, offer options, resources, and other helpful tools. But avoid telling them what to do. That just creates resistance and resistant clients are less likely to follow through to success.

Want to become a coach?

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Topics: become a coach, coaching clients, Coach Training Programs, Thomas Leonard, certified competent coach

Coaching Tip: Why Your Clients Don't Change and How You Can Help

Posted by Julia Stewart

Stages of Change Image

Last week, I posted an image similar to the one above, with a physician telling a patient to make too many changes in too short a time, on our Facebook Page.

I commented on that post that effective coaches would know why the patient pictured was unlikely to do any of it. A page member asked for details, so here you go.

Virtually everything a coach does during a coaching session is designed to help the client gain awareness and then take action toward a goal the client wants to reach.

Everything. We don't always talk about it that way, but that's what it all boils down to. So if you want to help someone make changes, learn to use the tools below. They are effective in coaching and can be effective in other situations, as well.

A short list of tools coaches use to get clients into action...

  1. Acknowledge where they are, right now. In positive psychology coaching, this falls under the banner of Active and Constructive Responding. This strengthens relationships, reduces resistance, and causes people to feel more receptive to ideas and suggestions.
  2. Raise the positivity level sufficiently. People are more open, creative, and resourceful when there is sufficient, but not excessive, positivity in the conversation. They tend to feel more confident about trying new things and making changes.
  3. Ask instead of tell. Find out more about where the client is, right now, and what they want to change. People are always more likely to act on their ideas than on yours.
  4. Focus on assets. No need to ignore problems; just don't make the problems bigger or more important that the client and their  assets. These include the client's strengths, their support system, having enough time and money, etc.
  5. Let the client lead. This is big. We sometimes think we know what the client needs to change, but that's less helpful than you might imagine. The client is always the expert when it comes to their own life, so let them take the lead.
  6. Create a brand new habitat. The client's old world supports their old way of being. To really change, they need their world to change with them. Create a habitat that evolves them in the direction they want to go.
  7. Don't expect action right away. Sometimes a client isn't even close to being ready. According to James Prochaska, people go through "stages of change" and there are three stages before they even get to action. Those stages include Precontemplation, which is probably where the patient above is, when they haven't even been thinking about changing, or they may feel resistant because somebody is pushing them to change (Their doctor? Spouse? Friends?), or they feel discouraged because they've tried to change and weren't successful. Then there's Contemplation, where they're thinking about changes, maybe even researching them, but aren't ready to act, yet. You may hear a lot of "shoulds" at this stage. Finally there's Preparation, when they're making necessary plans to set themselves up for success, such as changing their schedule, notifying other stake holders of the change, learning new techniques, or gathering equipment. Only after all that is someone able to actively change and, even then, they probably can't change everything at once. Getting a client ready to change is part of coaching them to change.

So jumping in with "good" advice, and expecting that to do the trick, could do more harm than good.

If you're curious about coaching or contemplating becoming one, download the free Become a Coach eBook. If you want to learn more, or are ready to take action, consider joining the Certified Competent Coach Course:

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Topics: become a coach, Coaching Tip, acknowledgment, Positive Psychology, positive psychology coaching, free ebook, certified competent coach

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