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6 Ways Life Coaching is Like Hostage Negotiation

Posted by Julia Stewart

hostages freed by Mohammed Ghafari resized 600
Hostages being freed, Egypt, 2008. Photo by Mohammed Ghafari, Flickr, Creative Commons.

 

 

Life coaching is confused with a number of other professions. Hostage negotiation isn't one of them. So it might shock you to know that effective hostage negotiation shares quite a lot with effective life coaching.

 

Why? Both coaching and negotiation are basically conversations between human beings. The same 'magic' communication skills work well, whether between coach and client, salesman and shopper, parent and teenager, or negotiator and terrorist. In fact, these conversations are really not all that different from each other.

 

I discovered this yesterday while reading Wired magazine collumnist, Eric Barker's interview with former top FBI hostage negotiator, Chris Voss, who now teaches business negotiation at places like Harvard. In it, Chris shares tips and secrets on how to negotiate successfully, stop thinking like a schizophrenic, and why you should never settle for a one-boob breast augmentation.

 

Here are six ways Hostage Negotiation is like Life Coaching:

 

  1. You can't ignore emotions. Chris says one of the biggest mistakes many negotiators make is that they try to ignore emotion and just be rational. The problem with that, as he says is, "There’s a lot of scientific evidence now that demonstrates that without emotions you actually can’t make a decision, because you make your decisions based on what you care about." In coaching, what you care about is called your 'Values'. Great coaches always clarify their client's values, otherwise their clients can't make good choices. I tell my coaching students that emotions always have an underlying logic. Once you understand the meaning behind the emotion, it always makes sense and moving forward gets easier.
  2. You have to really listen. Most people don't really listen to each other; they just formulate their responses while the other person is talking. The result is that they don't really hear everything the other person is saying. Worse, it means most of us go through life without anyone ever really hearing us. That's a soul-slaughtering experience. No wonder some people go postal. Chris says negotiating with a schizophrenic is especially challenging, because a schizophrenic is often distracted by voices in their head. He says when you listen to your own voice in your head instead of to the other person, you're behaving like a schizophrenic who can't really hear what's going on. I couldn't say it better.
  3. Feed back what you're hearing. Chris says, "The idea is to really listen to what the other side is saying and feed it back to them. It’s kind of a discovery process for both sides. First of all, you’re trying to discover what’s important to them, and secondly, you’re trying to help them hear what they’re saying to find out if what they are saying makes sense to them." In coaching, this is called mirroring, or you can double-duty it and also acknowledge them as you mirror. Both of you will get more clarity. The other person will know you're really listening, which helps make a stronger connection. The result is greater openness and willingness to work with you.
  4. Keep clarifying. Chris suggests, "You can say, 'What are we trying to accomplish here?'  Then, 'How is what you are asking for going to get you that?' Great coaching questions! Most people, terrorists and schizophrenics included, need help clarifying what they really want and how they're going to get it. That's what coaching's about. Apparently, that's an important part of hostage negotiation too.
  5. Never compromize. According to Chris, compromize is a terrible thing. The metaphor he uses is the husband who wants his wife to get a boob job. She doesn't want to do it, so they compromize and she just gets one. In other words, nobody gets what they really want. Coaches exist to help people get what they really want. Most people are so used to compromizing that what they tell you they want is usually just what they think they should want or what they think they can get instead of what they actually want. Trust me, your clients can get what they don't want on their own. They don't need to pay you thousands of dollars to help them compromize.
  6. Don't argue. If each side is presenting its arguments, neither is really listening (See #2). Instead of resolution, you get more conflict. If you want the other side to hear you, let them get their whole story out. Otherwise, that story will get in the way of their ability to hear you. It'll get in the way of getting what they want, too. 

 

Obviously, there are key distinctions between life coaching and hostage negotiation. For starters, a negotiator has an agenda to resolve a horrible situation without anyone getting hurt or killed. In coaching, our only agenda is to help the client think and act more resourcefully so they can get what they really want. The negotiator may only be trying to buy time until the SWAT team can either rescue the hostages or arrest the terrorist. Big difference.

 

But people are people. They want you to hear what matters to them, even if they can't articulate that, yet. Maybe if more people were coached, fewer people would go ballistic.

 

Learn how to coach people on what really matters to them (and get a coaching certificate):

Register: Coaching Values, Needs & Strengths 

Topics: Coaching, coach training, coach, coaching classes, clients, Life Coaching, life coach training, Coaching Certificate, Strengths, Needs, Values

Free Coach Training vs. Ultimate Coach Training

Posted by Julia Stewart

[UPDATE: The Coaching Certificate Exam is no longer available with the Free Coach Training Program. Please see Just In Time coach training, if you would like to take the exam.]

Recently a new member of School of Coaching Mastery's Ultimate Coach Training Program membership asked what the difference is between her new program and our Free Coach Training program.

It's an understandable question, because it's hard to convey with a website what you experience when you join the Ultimate Coach Training program, but the difference is huge. And each month that you remain in the program, we add more value, features and benefits, so it just keeps getting better...

So I created a very simple table to show some of the most obvious difference in the features of these two programs. To keep it simple, I just compared the first month of the Ultimate Coach Training Program. See below...

It's probably not the features that matter to you, though. It's what the features do for you, like:

  • Become a professional life or business coach faster
  • Get higher-paying clients sooner
  • Organize your new business with less stress and confusion
  • Avoid flunking certification tests
  • Enjoy the camaraderie of like-minded coaches, while you experience this huge personal and professional transformation
  • Become a master coach
  • Get the life and business you really want

I could go on. But here's the table that compares just the first month of our Ultimate Coach Training Program Membership with the Free Coach Training program. With 60 hours of training for just $377, you can't beat the value anywhere:

Coach Training Program

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Which coach training program is right for you? Answer the following questions and click the links below:

Click me

Click me

Topics: Coaching, coach training, School of Coaching Mastery, free coach training, Coaches, coaching clients, Become a Master Coach, Business Coaches, coaching classes, coaching businesses

Play to Win the Best Coaching Films Contest

Posted by Julia Stewart

Best Coaching Films

Yesterday, SCM student and coach, David Papini, published a wonderful article in this blog on How to Coach a Viking, in which he analyzes a one-minute coaching session from the children's cartoon, How to Train Your Dragon.

The ensuing conversation in the comments section of that post sparked a long-held fantasy of mine, to put together a list of favorite coaching movies. Lists like that are more fun to put together when people collaborate on them, so I'm inviting you to collaborate. Best (and fastest) nominations will win prizes. Read on...

Best Coaching Films Contest

Here's how to play:

  1. Nominate your favorite coaching film in the comments section of this blog post.
  2. What makes a 'coaching film'? In most cases, there will be at least one pivotal conversation in the film that inspires someone to take transformative action. The conversation between Astrid and Hiccup in How to Train Your Dragon is a great example.
  3. Tell us why you think your nomination is a great coaching film. For example, I think Glinda the Good Witch (above), in the Wizard of Oz, is a wonderful example of a coach. She believes in Dorothy, enjoys her completely, gives her tasks that help her grow and informs her of strengths she didn't even know she had. Without Glinda, Dorothy's story would have ended in Munchkin Land.
  4. To be eligible, you must be the first person to nominate your favorite coaching film and you must nominate it in the comments section of this blog post, no later than this Friday, September 2nd. (The Wizard of Oz and How to Train Your Dragon are already taken.)
  5. The Top Ten nominators will each receive a $100 discount on any live coaching course that is currently on our Fall schedule.
  6. The Winner will get one coaching course from us, FREE. Must be a live course that is currently scheduled. No exceptions.

Subscribers to this blog will receive this contest announcement first. Other members of our mailing lists will get the announcement a bit later. This is a not-too-subtle reminder to subscribe to the Coaching Blog in the upper right corner of this page. We try to reward our readers with opportunities like this, as a way of thanking them for their loyalty.

Nominate your favorite coaching film in the comments section, below.

Topics: business coach, Coaching, blog, coaching blog, contest, coach, coaching classes, Life Coaching

Coaching Tip: If You Want Your Dream to Come True, FEAR It

Posted by Julia Stewart

Fear of Success?

Have you ever worried about something until it finally happened and then you said, Darn! I knew that was going to happen? Did you ever commit yourself to a difficult project or take a big risk and sweat bullets until it was over? Did you ever have an impossible deadline to meet that you worked frantically to complete, maybe even pulling an all-nighter and you were constantly stressed until you finished?

Those things you worried about pretty much all happened, didn't they? They usually do.

Scientists tell us that our thoughts change the chemistry of our brains, that they strengthen the connections between certain neurons and... that there is a correlation between frequent intense thoughts and emotions and the things that actually happen in our lives.

So why do we save our strongest feelings and most intense concentration on the things we hope won't happen?

One reason is our conditioning. We live in a veritable sea of marketing and "good" advice that is awash with warnings. For example, if you spend much time talking to an insurance salesman, you may become convinced that you're living on the brink of disaster. 

Fear sells and marketing loves to ping our fears. If you don't have enough life insurance, your family could become homeless. If you don't get a CPA to do your taxes, you might get audited. If you don't go to the gym, you're bound to get a heart attack.

And Boom! Some of those things happen. That reinforces them.

We use the things that happen to prove ourselves right. I knew that was going to happen! People like to be right. And the proof becomes a positive feedback loop that reinforces our worried thoughts and behaviors.

There are basically two sources of our fear. One is the lizard brain, which is the primitive part of the human brain that gives off basic warnings about any type of perceived threat. For many people, the lizard brain is eternally "on". They feel constant generalized fear and then their "higher" brain, the neo-cortex, tries to explain why they feel that fear. If I don't finish this project on time, I'll never get that raise! If I don't find enough clients this month, I could lose my house! If I don't buy a new car soon, I'm going to get stranded on the highway some night!

Remember, people like to be right.

Here's the thing: "Bad" stuff happens to everybody. Worry doesn't prevent it. In fact, it actually invites it.

There's strong evidence that some of the illnesses that plague us in the West, but are nearly non-existant elsewhere, are common here at least in part, because we expect to get them. In other words, our thoughts about those illnesses are scaring us to death.

If you're one of those people who feels scared all the time (I admit, my inner Frightened Frieda runs on autopilot) you might as well start making up new stories about it.

Instead of, Oh my god, if I don't find enough clients this month, I won't be able to pay my bills, try instead, Oh my god, if I start making a million dollars a year... 

  • My friends will hate me!
  • My relatives will hound me for loans!
  • I won't know how to invest it!
  • I'll might lose it all!
  • I could have gargantuan income taxes!
  • Charities will constantly hit me up for contributions!
  • My life will be much more complicated!
  • I'll have to start doing all the stuff I never did, because I "couldn't afford it"!
  • Etc., etc. 

Remember, frequency and intensity of your thoughts and feelings have a high correlation to what happens. Start worrying about what will happen when all your dreams come true. And start solving all those "problems", now. Then worry about the problems you can't even imagine!

Does this sound really un-coach-like? Do I have it all backwards? Were you taught that the Law of Attraction means you can get whatever you want just by thinking happy thoughts? Then who ever taught you, didn't tell you the whole story.

Yes, happy thoughts are much more pleasant and as long as they are intense enough, frequent enough and we believe in them enough, they will have a high correlation to what happens. But don't beat yourself up for being afraid. Fear is ubiquitous.  

Simply put your fear to work for you. Let it add intensity to your dreams. Let your dreams wake you up in a cold sweat at night. Let them put you to work frantically creating what you really want.

Along the way you might notice a few things.

Example: I used to have an intense fear of public speaking. I'd stress about it beforehand. Then I'd get up and my hands would sweat and my voice would shake. I could hardly focus on what I wanted to say.

Until I noticed something.

I kept getting up and speaking until one day it occurred to me that I wasn't really scared; I was thrilled to be speaking! My excitement about it was so intense that it felt really unpleasant, like I was petrified. 

After I made that shift, guess what? I started getting invitations to do a lot more public speaking. Now I pretty much make my living at it.  And I have a lot more fun!

My lizard brain and neo-cortex had been telling me my intense feelings were terror, but by noticing, I had the opportunity to change the story.

Next time you're overcome by fear, your might tell yourself you're doomed to reach your goals and that they are probably bringing you a whole boat-load of new problems. Let yourself get all worked up about it and then get into action making it all come true.

Fear is just energy for getting things rolling. By the way, the antedote to fear is action. 

We have quite a few more tools for reaching your dreams in our Personal Development for Coaches courses. Several of them are coming up over the next few months.

View some upcoming coaching classes here. 

Thanks to Rev.s Marigene and Larry DeRusha for inspiring me today. 

Photo by giraffe_756 at Flickr Creative Commons


Topics: Coaches, Law of Attraction, Coaching Tip, coaching classes, personal development, Center for Spiritual Living

Upcoming Coaching Classes

Posted by Julia Stewart

 


I just finished the Coaching Guide for tomorrow's class on Distinctions, part of the Clarifying Module. During the beta-launch, I'm working over time just to keep up! It'll put me ahead of the game in the Fall, though, when the full program launches. The feedback has been wonderful.

I'll be scheduling several more classes over the next few days, including Modules 1: Establishing & Maintaining a Relationship of Trust and 2: Perceiving and Affirming the Client's Potential. Those will be fun! I may also schedule an evening section of Clarifying Module, if enough people want to do it. These Modules will come up in July and August.

Just finished running a survey of the SCM Ad Hoc Advisors on what I should call the upcoming free introductory classes, "Become a Masterful Coach" or "Become a Certified Coach"?

"Become a Masterful Coach" won, 2 to 1!

No surprise, most coaches "get" that certification is a byproduct of mastery. So a class on how to become a masterful coach is automatically a bigger and more inspiring game, because it gets to the heart of why coaches coach. Namely: To generate success for themselves and their clients. Certification is just a measurement of the coach's ability to do this. And of course, a class on mastery can naturally include information on how to get certified in the process of becoming masterful.

The very first "Become a Masterful Coach" eClass will be offered to Ad Hoc Advisors only, later this month. If you'd like to be invited, be sure to join the AHA's (it's free, of course), by clicking the link below.

And if you want updates on the school and upcoming classes, as well as articles and interviews and ~ a bit of humor ~ be sure to subscribe to the Coaching Mastery News, below.

Join Ad Hoc Advisors here

Topics: Become a Masterful Coach, coaching classes, clarifying

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