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Coaching Tip: Lessons Learned From Google Buzz

Posted by Julia Stewart

Google Buzz If you're active on social media, then you can't have missed the hoopla over Google Buzz, Google's foray into social networking.

Google gets it right so much of the time, that most of us were surprised when they messed up with Buzz. First off, after testing Buzz internally, Google made some assumptions about how customers would interact with Buzz. Those assumptions led them to integrate Buzz automatically with every Gmail account, instantly giving millions of Gmail users Buzz followers gleaned from their Gmail address books and linking private emails and chats with public social conversations. Whoa Nelly!! That's a major invasion of privacy!

In addition, Buzz links up blogs and social networking profiles, which is kind of a nice touch, but suddenly, millions of people realized that Google knows more about us than we thought and it apparently can't be trusted to use keep all that info private (see above). This prompted Karen Rubin of Hubspot, to comment that Google knows enough about her to build an exact clone. Eew.

Result? A lot of negative buzz on Buzz. And a mild sense of paranoia about what Google was really up to. Google has enjoyed a fantastic reputation for years and the Buzz snafu will hardly bring them down, but even big companies can spoil their success with too many missteps. (Re: Microsoft, AOL)

So what are the take-aways for coaches?

  1. All the data in the world doesn't mean you really know what your clients want. Nothing's better than asking and listening, no matter how smart and informed you are or how good you are at what you do.
  2. Just because your customers already love what you do, doesn't mean they'll love everything you do. You can build an awesome empire with one fantastic offering (like Google Search).
  3. Guard your contacts' identity info even more than you guard your own. People hate having their data spilled out where they don't want it and as a business owner, you are liable if someone's identity is stolen, because of your mistakes.
  4. Do Google potential clients and even connect with their social profiles. That's normal and expected these days, but don't collect so much info about them that you creep them out. Stalking is still extremely unattractive.

Bottom line? Be a coach in everything you do. Make it all about others and be sure to ask and listen. That's the foundation of great coaching and great coach marketing. It's why coaching is such a successful business (and why even Google's CEO says everyone needs a coach)

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Topics: become a coach, Coaches, coach, Coaching Tip, Google, coach marketing

Coaching Tip: Coach Who They're Becoming, Not Who They've Been

Posted by Julia Stewart

The PresidentsIf I were to make a short list of important coaching skills, this one would be near the top.

People naturally fill the shoes you lay out for them. When you coach any client, it's really important to coach them from the standpoint of who they are becoming, not who they are at this moment, or who they have been. You'll always have a bigger, more productive conversation, if you do. Your client will grow faster and achieve their goals. They will love you for it.

I learned this because one of the best coaches I ever had, failed this towards the end and I felt the result. In the beginning, she was my greatest champion and I absolutely blossomed with her coaching and naturally stepped up to the next iteration of me. Fabulous!

Problem was, I grew quickly and she continued to coach that last iteration. Eew. That doesn't work. I soon lost interest and moved on to a new coach.

Imagine coaching Barack Obama as if he were still a freshman senator. Then again, imagine coaching him in 2004 as if he were the next President of the United States.

And yes, our leaders in government have their own coaches. How else would they get to the top? 

photo by BL1961 Flickr Creative Commons 

Topics: Coaching, coach, Coaching Tip, coaching skills, Barack Obama

Coaching Tip: Nine Ways to Say "No"

Posted by Julia Stewart

No!Many people find it really hard say "no". And, as you probably know, some people are harder to say "no" to than others. But not saying "no" when you need to can absolutely ruin your life, so it's important to learn to do it right.

Saying "no" is the first step in setting effective boundaries, which is a requirement for living a great life.

When you have the tools you need to say "no", you can open the door do being, doing and having what you really want. However, depending on how hard it is for you to say "no", you may also need coaching in order to incorporate this skill into your life. I became a coach, in part, to master this skill and now it's one of my coaching specialties.

I'm here to tell you that if you have a hard time saying "no", you're missing out on some of the best things in life, because you're not getting the chance to say "yes" to what you really want. That's one reason why hiring a masterful life or business coach is such a powerful game changer.

Whether or not you've already hired your own coach, here are some tips on how to say "no" effectively to almost anyone, including family, friends, neighbors, and co-workers who nag, plead, bully, etc. You will need to practice them in order to master them.

How much freer will your life be when you only say "yes" when you really mean it?

  1. The simple no. Do your best to say "no" with a neutral tone of voice. No edge, no charge. Simply say, "No", followed by no explanation. This is the most powerful way to say "no". A variation is: "I'm sorry, No." The key is to not offer an explanation. Explanations just invite arguments.
  2. The kinder no. Say, "I wish I could." (If necessary, follow with: "I understand. I wish I could.") This establishes that you're still a kind person, but you just can't. Again, no explanations.
  3. The preference no. Say, "I'd rather not." (If necessary, follow with: "I understand. I'd rather not.") This time, you're being clear that you have a preference and that preference is, "no". No need to explain it.
  4. The conditional no. Say, "I can't do it now, but I can do it ______." (If necessary: "As I said, I can't do it now, but I can do it ______.") This is a conditional "no". In some cases, you may be willing to say, "yes", but only under your conditions. Avoid trying to convince the other person that your condition is right. It doesn't matter who's right. (By the way, you have a "right" to set boundaries, even if you're "wrong".)
  5. The broken record no. If the other person argues, say, "Be that as it may, I can't." Repeat exactly this phrase and nothing else, until the other person runs out of arguments. Again, avoid engaging in any argument or explanation. This is known as the "broken record" response. The person that you repeat it to will run out of steam, eventually.
  6. The oh no. Just say, "Oh." This is useful if the other person tries to push your buttons, which is a common tactic of people who can't accept the word, "no." They most likely are upping the ante in order to engage you in an argument that they are used to winning. "Oh" is disarming, because it gives them nothing to argue with. Again, use a neutral tone of voice. Do your best to stay calm.
  7. The I'm not having a good time no. If the person you're saying "no" to persists, say, "I'm not having a good time and I'd like to end this conversation." If they still persist, say, "I'm not having a good time and I'm leaving."
  8. The stop no. If they still persist, "I'm asking you to stop." Stay calm. Next, "I'm requiring that you stop." Continue to stay calm.
  9. The traffic cop no. Finally, put your hand up, palm forward (think traffic cop) and repeat any of the steps above. This is extremely powerful.

If good fences make good neighbors, then good boundaries make great relationships, great careers and great lives.

Once you've mastered these nine ways to say "no", the energy vampires in your life will slink off to find other victims and the energy that you free up for your own life will be incredible. You'll also start attracting higher quality people. And paradoxically, you'll probably become a more giving person. Trust me on this.

These nine ways to say, "No" will help you build effective boundaries within which you can create your best life. If you need a coach to help you, I still take a few clients. If you want to help others create fantastic lives and careers, join School of Coaching Mastery. Either way, it's okay to call me at 877-224-2780 to find out.

Topics: business coach, life coach, School of Coaching Mastery, become a coach, Coaching Tip, Masterful Coaching, setting boundaries, say no

Coaching Tip: How to Ask for What You Want and Get It

Posted by Julia Stewart

GivingIf you have trouble asking for favors, it could be that your intuition is telling you something important.

Sometimes coaches assume that if clients have difficulty asking for what they want, they just need coaching to get over their resistance and learn how to ask. However, in many cases, it's really the client's inner wisdom that's stopping them. The client may indeed need coaching, but coaching the wrong issue is just a waste of time.

Here's why. Most people have an inner barometer that tells them where they stand with others. This barometer is either instinctive or intuitive, I'm not sure which, but for our purposes, it doesn't really matter. It's the barometer that holds most people back from asking for, and getting, what they really want.

If your inner barometer is holding you back from asking for what you want, what it's telling you is that you haven't been giving enough.

If you're someone who gives your time, effort, attention, care, acknowledgment, money or whatever to others on a regular basis, with little concern for how or when it will come back to you, most others will be happy to help you when you need it. If you just give to get, on the other hand, people will avoid you. And if you're someone who rarely gives, most folks will run the other way if you ask them for very much (except, perhaps you nicest relatives).

Giving without concern for getting is the surest way to get what you want pretty much all the time.

So why don't most people give more? What's this resistance really about? Well, some people unfortunately were brought up around people who don't understand this principle, so they were just never taught, but often there is a fear underlying the failure to give. This fear masquerades as a desire to not be seen as a doormat, or not to be "taken advantage of". Have you ever worried about that?

If you're concerned that giving more will cause people to take advantage or perceive you as a doormat, you've got a different kind of a problem. This is a matter of you and your own boundaries, not that other people are out to take advantage.

Any time you find yourself worrying that people might take advantage if you offer to do more for them, what you're really worried about is that you won't take care of yourself adequately by identifying what your boundaries are and communicating them. If you do that, few people will ever take advantage of you and those that do will be fairly easy to deal with. 

It's up to you to say "No" now and then and once you learn how, you're free to give with abandon and thoroughly enjoy it. Not only that, but people who tend to take advantage of others (known as "energy vampires") will naturally give up trying to get more out of you and focus on some other victim. Whereas people who are givers (Read: People who are good at saying "No") will naturally be more attracted to you and they'll be happy to help next time you need some assistance with something.

So when that resistance to ask for a favor, or a sale, or even a few moments of someone's time comes up for you, ask yourself what's it's telling you. If you haven't been giving enough, you've got some work to do and the first step is to set some boundaries.

To get more of what you want, learn to say, "No". 

Read tomorrow's blog post for ways to say, "No". 

Topics: Coaching, Coaches, coaching clients, How to, Coaching Tip, say no

Coaching Tip: How to Be a Winner in Two Steps

Posted by Julia Stewart

I won!From a Law of Attraction perspective, I guess it's no surprise that I won 2 contests in the past week: I'm also running the Best Coaching Blogs Contest and giving tips to the contestants on how to win it! :)

Still, I don't enter that many contests, so it feels really fresh to suddenly be a two-time winner. The first contest was just a nice surprise. One week ago I found out on Twitter that I'd won a $100 Gift Certificate to Amazon from Dimdim.com, the webinar company whose platform I love.

Yippee! All I did was retweet their announcement that they were a winner in the Webware 100 contest. So now I have a tough choice to make: spend $100 on some of those cool books that are on my Amazon Wishlist, or invest in a nifty Flip camcorder?

However winning 'The Peppered Customer of the Year' contest just about launched me into outer space!

What this means is that I get free virtual assistance for one whole year from Pepper Virtual Assistant, a great new company that 'gets it' and is doing really professional work. If you know me and my business then you know we're at that awkward stage where we need a lot more assistance without breaking our budget, so this is a dream come true!

How did I hear about the contest? My friend, Barbra Sundquist tweeted about it. Barbra found Pepper because she tweeted that she was looking for a virtual assistant that would work for free to help out a non-profit and Pepper volunteered.

Now I'm blogging about Barbra, Pepper and Dimdim. Are you seeing a pattern here?

 

If you want to be a winner:

  1. Be ready to help other folks out.
  2. Get on Twitter.

I invite you to follow me @MasteryCoach on Twitter. I post great quotes, retweet other people's stuff and report on cool companies and resources.

I also tweet updates on Best Coaching Blogs 2009. Help out some bloggers there by voting and commenting on their blogs. Then maybe go tweet about it...

Topics: Coaching, blogs, coaching blog, coaching blogs, Coaches, How to, twitter, Coaching Tip, Barbra Sundquist

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

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