School of Coaching Mastery

Coaching Blog

Coaching with Fridges

Posted by Julia Stewart

Coaching refridgeratorGuest post by David Papini.

Last week, while I was coaching a buddy coach around the issue of “being afraid of making mistakes -> becoming anxious -> eating snacks” (loop endlessly), the association between errors and snacks (added with the fact that due to different time zones it was 8.30 pm and I was hungry) popped in my mind in the form of a clear image of my fridge, with magnets on it.

The vision narrowed to one magnet, reading as follows: “Always make new mistakes. - Ester Dyson"

I shared the image with my client and that allowed us to make a shift about the topic. We started discussing the fact that he could become very competitive in making more errors than everybody else, joking about that. And anxiety was gone.

So the magnet vision proved to be a good tool to re-frame  the problem and at the same time offer a structure to help the client in dealing with performance and anxiety issues.

After the session, thankful to the magnet, I gave a closer look to my fridge door.

That magnet has been there for five years and I meet it every morning, but it was the first time it became handy in a coaching session. I started looking at it as one of my professional coaching tools and a source of daily personal awareness. This put the whole bunch of magnets in a new light; I stared at the magnets with more respect.

Below is my magnet list:

  • “Some People walk in the rain, others just get wet - Roger Miller
  • “Always make new mistakes - Ester Dyson”
  • “What would you attempt to do if you knew you could not fail? - anonymous”
  • “Passion is the only way a man learn to create” (written with poetry magnets by myself)
  • A picture of my children, Alice and Francesco
  • Four magnets about New York
  • A small wooden heart with written “Mi manchi” (I miss you, in Italian)
  • One magnet with two white kittens

I let my magnets coach me and this is what each of them told me:

  • You can choose how you feel about everything. There are no problems in nature, just events
  • To create you need errors, to be happy and growing you need new ones every day. Dare!
  • Free your vision, don’t limit your options (at least in thinking and feeling)
  • To learn, you need emotions: connect with what you feel, the rest will follow
  • Your future is here and it has your children’s eyes
  • You are the places you love
  • Relationship is a dance between similarity and difference, presence and absence
  • Sometimes a magnet it’s just a magnet: use it to keep notes attached where you can see them

Back to the session, because the magnet citation was useful and helped us in making a shift, I told myself “that works, I could reuse this sentence [i.e. “always make new errors”] or even I can reuse the whole trick (magnet plus fridge image)”.

On a second thought I realized that “reusing it” is good for consulting or teaching, not for coaching, because what made the image powerful and effective was the fact that it popped during the coaching relationship. Effectiveness was related to that moment with that client. Moreover, as this blog post demonstrates, the image was powerful to the client and to the coach as well, so the right use for an effective image that helped in a session is honoring it, deepening the reflection on oneself as a coach; more than reusing it in another session or with another client.

In this sense and in my opinion, every coaching session is always a unique piece; it cannot be serialized. Do not bring your fridge programmatically to a coaching session: as it happens with hunger, thirst and the like, if you stay present in the session, it will show up when needed and that will be effective and artful coaching.

David was born in Florence in 1966 just a few months before the deluge, and that's a kind of destiny. As an executive is in charge for general management in a IT Firm, as a certified NLP counselor helps clients to explore their life experience, as a Coach helps clients getting what they really want , as a conflict mediator witnesses how tough and creative a relationship can be, as a trainer helps trainees in stretching their brain, growing and learning, as a public speaker enjoys co-creating experience on the fly, as a dad loves his two children. As a man he is grateful and worried that he’s got this wonderful life. And he’s fond of categorizing his professional roles :-). More about him at http://papini.typepad.com/lifehike/

Best Coaching blogs 2011

 

David's blog is entered in Best Coaching Blogs 2011. Check it out and vote for your favorite blogs while you're there.

Topics: life coach, Coaching, Life Coach Blog, Best Coaching Blogs, blog, contest, coaching skills

How to Win the Best Coaching Blogs Contest

Posted by Julia Stewart

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

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

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

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

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

9 ways to win Best Coaching Blogs:

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

How to Blog Effectively

 

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

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

Best Coaching Blogs 2010 Winners

Posted by Julia Stewart

Best Coaching Blogs 2010 Winners The Best Coaching Blogs 2010 Contest Winners Include the Awesome Business and Life Coaches Below:

It's been a pleasure running this contest with such a wonderful line up of business and life coaching bloggers. Coaches conducted themselves with grace and enthusiasm as they competed for popular votes and comments. And of course, great coaching content is what most makes them successful. Final voting by the semi-finalists was via a closed ballot survey and a run-off ballot to break a couple of ties.

Here are this year's winners of the Best Coaching Blogs Contest:

First Place goes to the Prosperous Coach Blog by Business Coach, Rhonda Hess. Congratulations Rhonda! Here are Rhonda's comments:

It's an honor and a hoot to win! And, I'd already won - more subscribers, juicy comments, camaraderie, and an intro to some great coaching blogs. What I love about this contest is that it's a pass-it-forward social cred building experience for everyone involved. Our savvy host, Julia Stewart, raised the profiles and subscriber lists of every participant, while attracting thousands of people to her own site. Brilliant! Thanks so much, ya'll! Let's keep the conversations going. - Rhonda

Second Place goes to the Mountain Moving Mindset Blog by Business Coach, Frederique Murphy. Congrats Frederique! Here's what Frederique had to say:

My winning mindset is probably slightly different from others: I never enter anything focusing on the end game; the key, is all about
enjoying the journey. And this is exactly what I did with this contest. For me, being in the top 10, already meant SO much, it was like
the icing on the cake! That means that my blog is impacting enough people, for them to take the time to visit, read, vote and comment.
For the last 4 weeks, reading those comments every day, seeing the ones that had been added overnight made not only my day,
but my year and more!!! Seeing that I truly live my mission is a wonderful gift. My blog is one of the vehicles I use to fulfil my mission,
which is to empower business owners, entrepreneurs and solo-preneurs to master their mindset, so that they can move mountains and
bring their businesses to the next level! And, those comments were a superb way of supporting this and seeing the motivation, inspiration
and empowerment, my readers are getting! And, I felt like a winner already. And, now, hearing that I won 2nd place, is such an extra plus,
like the cherry on top of the cake! This means that the other amazing top coaches also supported me and my blog, I am almost speechless,
but that would not be too convenient for a coach ;-) Thanks to this contest, my blog has gained extra visibility and extra exposure for the good
vibes that I am sharing, and giving me the chance to impact even more people. One blog post at a time, one mindset shift at a time ;-))

Thanks again Julia!
Frederique
 

Third Place is a tie and goes to It's My Life Blog and Solopreneurs Blog. Congratulations to you both!

The remaining six blogs that make up our Top Ten for 2010 are: Lisa Unmasked, Coaching Biz Tips, Business and Sales Coach for Introverts, Laurie Foley, Inner Resource Center and Personal Business Coaching. Great job everyone!

Although School of Coaching Mastery doesn't pick the winning blogs, we do sometimes award Honorable Mentions. This year, the title of 'Most Popular' goes to Grey Matters Blog for attracting the highest number of popular votes and comments and bringing lots of traffic to the whole contest. Awesome job.

If you're a coach or a blogger, you need to subscribe to these amazing blogs. You can find them all in one convenient spot, complete with descriptions and comments by readers. Read, learn and enjoy!

Want to enter next year's Best Coaching Blogs Contest? Subscribe to this blog by email or RSS.

Visit Best Coaching Blogs 2010 Winners

 

Visit and read Best Coaching Blogs 2010 Winners here.

Topics: business coach, life coach, Best Coaching Blogs, blog, blogs, blogging

Add Your Comments to Best Coaching Blogs

Posted by Julia Stewart

Best Coaching Blogs 2010Competition gets serious now for Best Coaching Blogs 2010.

The entry period is over and now we're in the 'comment' period through June 7th. To survive the comment period, each blog needs at least two comments.

Not too difficult, eh? Currently though, some blogs have none. Including some blogs that are fantastic. Comments are the true gold of this competition, because they encourage more people to actually read the blogs! Be sure to comment on your favorites.

What happens after June 7th? Blogs compete for the semi-finals, which are determined by popular votes. The final vote for the Top Ten and 1st, 2nd & 3rd place is by the semi-finalists, themselves.

May the Best Blogs win!

Best Blogs 

Go here to comment on the Best Blogs

Topics: Coaching, Best Coaching Blogs, blog, blogging, coaching blogs, Coaches, Life Coaching

How to Start Blogging for Your Coaching Business

Posted by Julia Stewart

coach bloggingI think blogging was invented for coaches.

Or it may as well have been! Blogs are a natural fit for us partly because we are social creatures and partly because we have a lot to say.

We're naturals at forming meaningful relationships, because we're all about service and listening. That makes us social. And blogs are a highly interactive, highly social form of communication.

We've got a lot to say, perhaps because of all those hours we put in while coaching, asking questions and being silent. We learn quite a lot in the process and sometimes we're bursting to share it! No wonder then that coaches write so much and create thousands of hours of audio that they share freely.

And where better to post our philosophical musings, our solutions and our favorite tools, than on a public blog?

Blog effectively and you will attract new clients and like-minded colleagues. A blog is a marvelous place for people to get to know you. But do learn the basics of blogging before you dive in. Otherwise, your blog could be hard labor, instead of a labor of love.

In honor of the Best Coaching Blogs 2010 contest that School of Coaching Mastery is hosting right now, we're releasing a brand-new free ebook on how to get started blogging effectively for your coaching business. Even if you've never blogged before, you could be ready to win in time for Best Coaching Blogs 2011!Get the free ebook below and get started now.

How to Blog Effectively for Your Coaching Business free ebook Go here to download your free copy of the 'How to Blog Effectively for Your Coaching Business' ebook

Topics: coaching business, Best Coaching Blogs, blog, blogs, blogging, How to

Best Coaching Blogs 2010 Open

Posted by Julia Stewart

Best Coaching Blogs 2010Best Coaching Blogs 2010 opens this morning. Enter your blog to win!

The Best Coaching Blogs 2010 contest 'officially' opens this morning. A few of last year's participants entered over the weekend, so you can begin voting right away.

However, we will still be in the 'entry period' until the end of May, adding new blogs as they are entered. Right now is the time to enter the coaching blog contest.

How does the Best Coaching Blogs contest work?

Any self-described coach who blogs on coaching themes may enter for free. You'll get a badge, similar to the one above, to post on your blog, website, and social profiles, with a link to the contest, so your readers, clients, followers, etc., can all vote for you. Only one vote per blog entry, per IP (computer) address. And of course, you'll want to blog about it and post about it on social sites. Last year, major coaching organizations, professional coaches and even student coaches all entered - and won!

'Thanks again, Julia, for this competition. I joined for a lark, and got into the top ten! Incredible!' - Coach Gaye Wilson  

How are Best Coaching Blogs winners chosen?

Initial votes are cast by the public, so be sure to mobilize yours. Final results will be determined by the Semi-Finalists, themselves, in a closed vote (online survey). Criteria for winning include the quality of blog content and good sportsmanship. A summary of the final vote counts will be made public in a downloadable PDF document. The contest winners will be announced in this blog on July 1st.

 What do the Best Coaching Blogs win?

Every blog that makes it past the initial entry period will get a badge that describes what level they won (1st Place!) to display on their site, plus bragging rights. And this year, we're adding prizes - winners will receive free memberships to Coaching Insiders. More on that later.

Why should you enter Best Coaching Blogs 2010?

Well, you just might win. Last year, 50 blogs entered. New coaches, as well veterans, competed and won. There were 30,000 hits to the contest page within 2 months and visitors continue to visit the list of last year's winners, which links to their blogs. Winners also got picked up by other online lists of best blogs.

'Wow, thanks so much! This means a lot to me, especially considering the standard of the other blogs - many colleagues whose work I know well (and love reading regularly) were featured in the competition. So this is a real honour. Thanks to everyone!' - Coach Cath Duncan, 1st Place, Best Coaching Blogs 2009

Perhaps the real reason to enter is that you'll get new readers and perhaps new subscribers and clients. That's what last year's participants told me. They also told me the whole thing was a lot of fun!

'...an amazing experience. I'll be following some of the blogs from the contest and have had new people subscribe to my blog and newsletter. It's great to share with those of like mind and receive inspiration and support along the way.' - Coach Marian Kerr 

Last, the Best Coaching Blogs contests are designed to spotlight great coaching and how it helps others do great things and have better lives and more successful businesses. Coaching is changing the world.

'We are very honoured to have been voted one of the ten best blogs - especially among so many other incredible entries!' - Coach Linda Dessau, editor IAC VOICE

Please share this post with as many people as you know, especially coaches. Our social share buttons at the top of this post make that easy for you. And if you decide to enter, good luck!

Enter Best Coaching Blogs

 

Enter Best Coaching Blogs Here.

Topics: Best Coaching Blogs, blog, blogs, blogging, blogosphere, coaching blog, coaching blogs, contest

Best Coaching Blogs 2010 Preview

Posted by Julia Stewart

bloggerLast year's Best Coaching Blogs 2009 was hugely popular.

Over 30,000 visitors read and voted on their favorite blogs and the winners, from all over the world, ranged from big coaching organizations to new coaching students.

We're getting ready to do it again. After reviewing a variety of approaches to help us upgrade security and fairness, we realized we already have eveything we need to run another great contest.

Who can enter Best Coaching Blogs 2010? Any self-described coach who already has a blog. Please don't enter if you aren't at least a coaching student and obviously don't enter this year if you don't already have a blog.

What's the benefit of entering Best Coaching Blogs 2010? Hundreds, if not thousands of new readers, potentially getting picked up by lists of top blogs, connecting with other thought leaders in the coaching world, prizes and bragging rights (including a badge for your site) if you win. Oh yeah, and it's fun!

Right now, we're looking for sponsors to help kick in some prizes in exchange for a little promotion on our site. If you offer a product or service that coaches would be interested in and want to be a contest sponsor, let me know here. (Sorry, contestants can't be sponsors, so you have to choose how you want to play.)

The contest last year ran from May through June, but we'll be accepting entries earlier this year. Watch this blog for upcoming announcements. I recommend you subscribe by email or RSS.

Why do we hold a Best Coaching Blogs Contest every year? Lots of reasons, including:

  • Reading blogs is one of the best free ways to learn about this business.
  • Participating in the blogosphere is a super way to establish yourelf as a thought leader, even if you don't have your own blog.
  • Connecting with bloggers and readers can bring you ideas, opportunities, collaborators and clients.
  • Much, much more. 

Subscribe to the Coaching Blog

Subscribe to the Coaching Blog above right, to keep informed about this exciting coaching contest.

Topics: coaching business, Coaching, Life Coach Blog, Best Coaching Blogs, blog, blogs, blogging, blogosphere, Coaches, coach

Winning Blogs Get Picked Up by 100 Best Coaching Blogs List

Posted by Julia Stewart

And the winner is...Great fallout from the Best Coaching Blogs Contest continues to roll in.

 

The contest had a few bumps, but in the end, there seem to be a lot of pleased coaches. Of course, a few people were disappointed that they didn't win, but most were philosophical, since their blogs picked up new readers and subscribers. They should have! The contest page received over 30,000 hits in two months.

Coach Marian Kerr, of New Zealand, shared this lovely comment,

‘Thanks for all your work on this Julia. Despite some glitches, it was still an amazing experience. I'll be following some of the blogs from the contest and have had new people subscribe to my blog and newsletter. It's great to share with those of like mind and receive inspiration and support along the way.'

Marian also mentioned that quite a few of the contestants' blogs were included in a list of 100 Best Life and Career Coach Blogs, right along side of Tony Robbins and Martha Beck. Not too shabby!

I was please that Mastery Coach Exchange, SCM's own social networking site for coaches, was included in the category called, 'Best Communities for Coaches', along with the IAC, the ICF and a few others.

As the list says,

"Coaches or someone just looking for a coach will enjoy visiting this Facebook like site. In addition to the groups, forums, and blogs, there is also a special section for becoming a coach."

One of the cool things about the web is that it catches us doing good things and creates a ripple effect that can keep expanding for years. I hope this contest continues to expand success for all of the contestants.

Thanks Marian, for passing this on!

photo by notsogoodphotography at flickr creative commons

Topics: Coaching, Best Coaching Blogs, blog, coaching blogs, ICF, coach, Tony Robbins, IAC, Martha Beck

Announcing Best Coaching Blogs 2009 Winners!

Posted by Julia Stewart

Best Coaching Blogs WinnersWe have our winners for the 2009 Best Coaching Blogs Contest!

Forty-five wonderful blogs were entered and I've heard  from countless people that it was a terrific introduction to blogs and coaching. Kudos to everyone who entered and participated faithfully. Watch for an announcement about next year's contest in this space. 

But you want to know who the winners are, right? Here they are.

Congratulations to our top three winners!

1st Place: Mine Your Resources by  Cath Duncan

Here's Cath's reaction to learning that she won:

"Wow, thanks so much! This means a lot to me, especially considering the standard of the other blogs - many colleagues whose work I know well (and love reading regularly) were featured in the competition. So this is a real honour. Thanks to everyone!"
Cath has a new coaching site that goes live today:  www.bottomlinebookclub.com

2nd Place: Good Vibe Blog by Jeannette Maw 

3rd Place: Stirring the Spirit Within by Jude Eastman

Jude's reaction to winning third place: 

"Wow-I'm in Hawaii enjoying the surf, flora, and fauna of the big Island. It's hard to imagine winning third place! I feel like Woohoo! I write my blog as inspiration for others who are trying to change their lives. Hopefully,they will be pulled forward into their highest and best life whatever circumstances they are currently in." 

The following seven blogs complete our Top Ten Winners:

Somedays Syndrome

Prosperous Coach Blog

Laurie Foley

All Paths to Victory

Your Web Coaches

Lose the Excuses


Sixteen additional bloggers were semi-finalists. All in all, this has been a really fun project. I've been introduced to some amazing coaches and blogs and learned a lot about how to run a contest! 

Our ultimate goal was to compile a list of Best Coaching Blogs that anyone can visit to learn more about coaching and personal & professional development.

Visit all our Best Coaching Blogs Winners here.

Topics: Coaching, Life Coach Blog, Best Coaching Blogs, blog, blogs, blogging, blogosphere, coaching blog, Coaches

Best Coaching Blogs Run Off

Posted by Julia Stewart

Over the last 72 hours, I've communicated with virtually every blogger who entered Best Coaching Blogs.

And although most of the coaches have used words like, "thrilled" and "delighted" to describe their experience, with many reporting new subscribers to their blogs, there's no question that the voting criteria was misunderstood by some contestants. Some people voted "daily" instead of just once, so the resulting number of votes is simply not a fair yardstick for measurement.

I really wanted a "people's choice" contest for the best blogs written by coaches, because it encourages more people to read coaching blogs. From what I hear, that's exactly what has happened. (Yay!)

Now it's time to decide the finalists. However, I'm simply not willing to do that based on the votes we have. And although I tested some new contest software over the weekend, making the switch to a new, very different contest format after most of the votes have already been cast, won't really be fair, either.

So I'm going to let the bloggers, themselves, make the final decisions via closed ballot run off. 

This option may not please everyone, but it means we can name the Best Coaching Blog of 2009 with pride and confidence. I've learned a lot from this contest and it will be run very differently next year! 

Thanks to everyone who entered and voted in good faith this year. I hope the introductions to new blogs and the possible awards the bloggers may receive will make this experience overwhelmingly positive!

Topics: Coaching, Best Coaching Blogs, blog, blogosphere, contest

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