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Top Ten Reasons You Need a Coach

Posted by Julia Stewart

Do I need a coach?

 

Have you ever wondered, "Do I need a coach?" If so, this post is for you...

 

I've put together 10 of the best reasons to find a coach. And when I say, "coach" I mean a certified life coach, business coach, executive coach, career coach, relationship coach, wellness coach, etc. Make sure your coach has a reputable certification and some excellent recommendations. Most good coaches do.

 

Here are the Top Ten Reasons You Need a Coach:

 

  1. Your life, business, career, relationship, etc., is already good, but you want it to be much, much better. Coaching isn't a crisis intervention. Nor is it a substitute for psychotherapy, or advice from a professional such as an attorney, accountant, physician, etc. If things are basically good, but you know they could be a lot better and you're ready for that to happen, that's a great time for you to hire a coach.
  2. You want YOU to be much, much better. Just because most things are going well, doesn't mean you don't want to improve them and that includes yourself. Many people hire a coach because they know they are built for more and they want to reach their full potential sooner, rather than later. This is different from being insecure. People derive considerable joy from stepping into their personal greatness. In fact, some people believe this is the single biggest source of happiness. Great coaches are experts at eliciting their clients' personal greatness.
  3. You're going through a big transition. Change can be difficult, even when it's what you want. Anytime you go through a big transition such as starting a new business or career, getting divorced, moving to a new city, going back to school, etc.; it's a great time to have someone who believes in you and who can help you make the most crucial choices as smoothly as possible. A good coach won't take you on unless they truly believe in you.
  4. You're a high achiever. This is the type of client I prefer to work with. High achievers tend to be driven and good at success, but they don't always create the success they really want. If you're ever wondered, "Is this all there is?", or "How did I get myself into this and how do I get out?", you could really benefit from working with a great coach. Everybody has a few blind spots. In fact, neuroscientists say we are unconscious of 95% of what goes on in our brains. Think about that! A good coach can see you as you are, without judgment, and help you be your best and achieve what you're built to do. Just ask Google CEO, Eric Schmidt, Who needs a coach?
  5. You want more meaning in your life. "Meaning" is what makes your heart sing. It generally comes from doing what matters most to you. This gets much easier when you understand what you most value and find cool  ways to express it. If life feels a little shallow, or you don't know why you do what you do anymore, you could really benefit from working with a great coach.
  6. You want to take better care of yourself. Most of us were taught to take pretty good care of ourselves. That's fine if you want an average life. But people who accomplish great things often need to upgrade their lives tremendously before that's even possible. They need clearer boundaries, a physical environment that's supportive, more organization (or an organized assistant), enough rest, great stress management, and/or people who "get" them and who are actively supportive. Otherwise, "death by a thousand cuts" will slice their dreams to shreds. Good coaches know how to assist their clients to get the wonderful self care they truly need, to step into the lives they were built to live.
  7. You want to upgrade the people in your life. I don'tknow about you, but I used to choose my friends according to who I had the most fun with. They weren't always the nicest or most evolved people. Eventually, I realized I wanted to upgrade my friendships. Then I realized (gulp), I needed to upgrade myself in order to attract the people I wanted to spend more time with. It wasn't that hard, because my coaches helped me do it. I set higher standards for myself and started living up to them. I found others who lived up to similar standards and we were naturally attracted to each other. Now when I choose friends, I find people who are supportive, really supportive. And they've got a friend for life.
  8. You want to make more money. It might seem crass to bring up money right after talking about meaning, values, high standards and good friends, but let's face it, a great life or career usually includes enough money, sometimes lots of it. Many people hire coaches when they want to upgrade their careers or launch a new business. The funny thing is that values, high standards, good relationships, etc., tend to make people more successful in many areas, including finances. One thing a great coach can do is help you get over any internal blocks (we're back to that unconscious 95%) you may have about making plenty of money. In fact, eliminating all sorts of internal blocks is one of the ways good coaches help their clients enjoy success of all kinds. 
  9. You're willing to invest in yourself. This is about so much more than money. Are you prepared to take the time, effort, risk and yes, money, in order to have the life or business of your dreams? Or are you satisfied playing small? Are you ready to stop talking about your dreams and start living them? If you had the right coach in your corner, would you have the courage to step into your greatness? Only you can answer that.
  10. You're a coach. If there's one profession where you really do need a coach most, it's coaching, itself. Although coaching is still one of the fastest growing careers, success with coaching is definitely not a slam dunk. Every successful coach I've ever known has had his/her own coaches, usually several. It helps us keep growing and stay out ahead of our clients. And it's an integrity issue for us; we can't expect people to hire us, when we're not willing to hire our own coaches. That's one reason I offer a coach training, plus mentor coaching package for coaches who are high achievers.

 

 

This is a recent testimonial from one of my clients:

 

"When I hired Julia as my mentor coach, I wasn't entirely sure I needed it. I had quite a bit of education and experience already and the industry does not require certified coaching credentials to be recognized as a coach. I wasn't sure it would be a good investment for the money. After coaching for 3 months with Julia and taking several classes at SCM, I can say that not only was this a great investment but possibly the best investment I have made in my career. I would recommend this to experienced coaches as well as inexperienced coaches. The value of the service far exceeds the cost, which makes this a savvy investment in YOU!" - Patrice Swenson, CCC, Winona, MN

 

I have a couple of spots open for new coaching clients. If you'd like to discuss how Elite Coaching for High Achievers might help you, click below:

 

Learn About Elite Coaching for High Achievers

Topics: business coach, life coach, executive coach, coach training, coaching clients, Coach Certification, Great Self Coaching, certified coach, FIND A COACH

6 Ideas That'll Change Your Coaching and Your Life

Posted by Julia Stewart

Positivity RatioI'm always looking for new ideas that'll upgrade, broaden, or deepen my coaching, so it's more effective. You too? Then you'll love this post.

It's a challenge to keep readers like you, well...challenged. You're a pretty sophisticated bunch.

But here goes: some of the best ideas I've encountered, which ultimately changed my life and the way I coach and may change your life and coaching too.

 

1. The Power of Negativity. This first one is possibly the most powerful idea to come out of positive psychology. It's the concept of the Positivity Ratio and the upper limit of positivity, which can be measured as both positive thoughts and feelings, as well as whether you're curious or defending your point of view, and/or focused on yourself or on those around you. To flourish, you, your relationship, your business, or your coaching, needs at least a three-to-one ratio of positivity to negativity. AND there's an upward limit around eleven-to-one, beyond which things go down fast. So, if you're a Law of Attraction Nazi, or if you focus only on the good stuff in coaching, stepping over the problematic stuff, or if you relentlessly reframe problems into opportunities, or (as one of my clients famously put it) FLO's (F*cking Learning Opportunities), you may hinder, rather than help your clients. (Read Barbara Fredrickson's Positivity.)

2. The Tyranny of Mild Praise. This one also comes from positive psychology and it's about relationships. Let's face it, the relationship between coach and client does much of the coaching for us. Therefore, the concept called, Active Constructive Responding (ACR), is critical. What is ACR? It's an over-the-top form of acknowledgment that includes positive tone of voice (genuine excitement, awe, wonder), positive body language (smiling, eye contact, touching), repeating the specifics of what the other has said, commenting on it's importance to the other, suggesting a celebration; all of which leads to flourishing within the relationship. NONE of the other types of responses, including Passive Constructive Responding (Flat tone of voice, general praise, "That's nice."), Passive Destructive Responding (ignoring, changing the subject, turning away), or Active Negative Responding (showing concern, pointing out problems); I repeat, none of these promote relationships. In fact they ALL have a negative impact on relationships, which obviously can negatively impact coaching. I've listened to thousands of coaching sessions over the years. Even "good" coaches tend to rely heavily on Passive Constructive Response, or a hybrid of ACR and PCR, which  clearly limits the value of their coaching. ACR can be a challenge to weave into coaching and for some of us, it's a challenge to make it truly genuine, but master coaches do it all the time. For others, over-using ACR (see above) damages our credibility. This is a tool that we can't afford not to master. (Read Martin Seligman's Flourish.)

3. Change Your Brain to Change Your Mind. This one comes from neuroscience and it has profound implications for positive psychology coaches, as well as every other type of coach. As members of my positive psychology course know, the Positivity Ratio can be used to measure and increase your current potential for flourishing and it'sa nifty coaching tool. There are also tools, founded in modern neuroscience, that can change the brain to sustainably increase peace, happiness, love and other elements of positivity. Literally, you can grow some areas of your brain so that they become more dominant, relatively permanently. And over-developed areas that may be problematic (such as the over-sized amygdala of those who suffer from anxiety) can shrink, again causing sustainable change. Change your brain; change your life for good. I just took a neuroscience seminar on this, but you can read more about it. (Read Rick Hanson's Buddha's Brain.)

4. Coaching's Not Complete If It's Not Integral. I'm taking a course from Integral Philospher, Ken Wilber. Some people say he's the most important philosopher since Plato, but that statement begs an argument, so I won't say it. Suffice it to say, if you don't know his work, your evolution may be stymied. And that of your clients, as well. As coaches, we say our clients are whole, complete and perfect. Trouble is, we may be blind to some of that perfection. And our clients almost certainly are. Blind spots make trouble (see #5, below). Wilber's Integral Model, known as AQAL, is an elegant map that streamlines how we know anything and how we evolve. It's closely aligned with Spiral Dynamics, which I'll be teaching next month. But AQAL goes even further. The AQAL Map is a beautiful tool to use when helping our clients design accountability structures, supportive systems, environments and strategic habitats (or whatever you prefer to call them). With AQAL, we can easily see if we're leaving anything out, or if the client is blind to some aspects of reality (almost everybody is). Plus, we have an evolutionary framework. It makes the complex simple, when you understand it. I'll be teaching an introductory course on integral coaching soon, but start reading books on Integral Theory now. (Read Wilber's simplest book, Integral Vision.)

5. All Coaching is Shadow Coaching - Or Should Be. My first lesson from Zen Master, Genpo Roshi, included a joke - on us. To paraphrase, he said (with a laugh), evolved people like to say they're whole, complete and perfect, except the parts they don't like about themselves. But you can't be complete without all of it! So what parts of yourself don't you like? The part that overeats? The part that's naive? The part that gets tongue-tied at parties? It's not those parts that keep you fragmented, it's the fact that you try to disown them. Then they become blind spots, which grow into shadows, which undermine and sabotage you. That's what fragmentation really is. For many people, the first step toward wholeness is integration of the parts they formerly disliked. That's the underlying cause of stuckness and it keeps coming back until all aspects of the self are integrated (or Integral). Some people are so fragmented that they lose the ability to choose wholeness. That's what is known as mental illness and I'm not suggesting that shadow coaching can cure that. But even healthy people have shadows and we can choose to integrate them with assistance from a skilled coach.  I use this approach in my Great Self Coaching. Genpo Roshi is incredibly masterful at it from a Zen perspective. (Read Genpo Roshi's Big Mind/Big Heart.)

6. Your Business Model May Be Too Infantile to Last. I've also been studying Adizes Management Methodology of late. Ichak Adizes is a legendary management consultant who deftly identified several different stages of a business life cycle. His theory explains, among other things, why the US Government is floundering these days (no, it has nothing to do with Republicans vs. Democrats). One thing that strikes me about it is that most coaches base their businesses on one of three early-stage levels and expect their businesses to continue at that stage forever. It won't happen. I'm happy to say, I saw this even before I studied Adizes and I'm ready for it. I'll write more at length on how you can design your business to last in a future post. But this issue could explain why our industry is so successful, but some coaches never enjoy that success. (Read Ichak Adizes' Corporate life cycles)

We all have access to too much information these days. But there really is no substitution for knowing the right stuff.

Topics: coaching business, Coaching, Coaches, Law of Attraction, master coach, Great Self Coaching, Spiral Dynamics, Ken Wilber, Genpo Roshi, Big Mind Big Heart, Integral Philosophy, acknowledgment, coaching tool, Positive Psychology, Martin Seligman

9/11: A Day to Celebrate Personal Greatness

Posted by Julia Stewart

The 10-Year anniversary of 9/11 is a day of sadness and mourning for many of us.

But it's also a day when we saw the best in people a million times over. As a resident of New York City, someone who could see the towers burning from my street, I can say that I never felt as close to my fellow New Yorkers as I did that day and in the months following.

One snide conservative politician said New Yorkers became uncharacteristically 'human' on 9/11. He's wrong. New Yorkers are some of the kindest people I've ever known.

Today, I live in a small town, where farmers stop their pickup trucks to chat, blocking roads in both directions. You can do that in a small town. In fact, small-town people value that kind of friendliness.

In a huge crowded city, where there are always millions of people behind you trying to get home or pick up their kids, kindness is often expressed via efficiency, impatience and hurrying. We're all getting out of the way of our fellow citizens, because passing the time of day can cause traffic jams and delays.

In 2001, I lived on a small, nautical NYC island, called, City Island. The local clam-diggers, or those born on the island, were often descended from generations of sailors, boat builders and sail makers. Most were poor and uneducated, but great people.

The great 9/11 Boatlift, above, is one of the untold stories about the attacks. One radio distress call from the Coast Guard that morning, brought hundreds of boats within minutes - work boats, pleasure boats, ferries - to lower Manhattan and rescued 500,000 people who were trapped behind the destruction. It was the biggest boatlift in history.

They didn't know if they'd be killed in the attacks. They came because they were needed.

My work, as a coach and coach trainer, has always been to bring out the Personal Greatness, also known as the Great Self, in my clients and students. Horrific tragedy elicits Greatness in many, but we don't have to wait for  awful moments. We can choose to be Great, daily.

As one Boatlift hero says in the film, above, "I believe somebody has a little hero in them. Got to look in. It's in there. It'll come out when it needs to be."

Choosing to be great may mean to show a little more compassion or a little less criticism. It may mean smiling at a stranger or acknowledging a cashier. It also means serving others when it's inconvenient or dangerous to ourselves. We all do it uniquely. That's why we're different.

There is courage in Greatness.

Another hero says, "I have a theory in life. I never want to say, 'I should have.' If I do it and I fail, I tried. If I do it and I succeed, better for me. I tell my children the same thing, 'Never go through life saying I should have. If you want to do something, you do it."

These men aren't philosophers, coaches or motivational speakers; just regular guys who stepped up.

How can you step up today and celebrate Personal Greatness in your world?

Topics: coach training, Coaches, greatness, Great Self Coaching, 9/11

Coaching Tip: Your Brain is Like an iPhone

Posted by Julia Stewart

 

Great Self Coaching

If the brain is like an iPhone, how can coaching help?

Imagine you are a smart phone with 10,000 brilliant apps, but you don’t know how to use them or even what each one is for.

Instead, you try to make the weather app do the job of the GPS app and then blame it for not telling you where you are. Or maybe you use a shopping app to help you lose weight, but instead you just spend money...



Sound familiar? Some of us have frustrating relationships with our phones!

Yet virtually ALL of us have frustrating relationships with OURSELVES. Why? We don’t understand all of our brilliant apps! We don’t appreciate them because we don’t know what they are or how to use them. And when we use them without awareness, we get poor results...

Worse, we blame ourselves and others and even sabotage the very things we value.

How does this happen? Research tells us our brains are made up of hundreds of discrete modules, comprised of billions of cells, making trillions of connections and... 95% of it is UNconscious!

Think about that: you’re unaware of 95% of YOU.

Psychologists go so far as to say we each have multiple personalities, not pathologically, but adaptively. We tend to be different in different situations, but usually we are unconscious that we have even changed. Others can see us and our blunders, but we are blind to ourselves.

How can you grow if you’re blind to yourself?

Fortunately, there is a way to become aware of your many personalities, modules and...apps. Coaching gives you a crystal-clear mirror in the form of a coach who absolutely believes in you. And that’s where Great Self Coaching comes in...

Imagine being in a safe space where you can explore unconscious aspects of yourself that you’ve never experienced before. This is deep work, but surprisingly unscary. It's also fun - and enlightening - what you’ll discover is ALL good news!

Imagine that you not only learn from yourself, and from me, but also from the other members of this very safe group. This amazing experience connects you to your best self and helps you master ALL your gifts for the very first time.

Actually, you probably can’t imagine this, but you can experience it first hand...

Right now, I’m offering Great Self Group Coaching by phone in a fabulous new format that is incredibly effective. But you can try it out for free, by signing up for one of three Great Self Group Coaching Sessions coming up in the next few weeks.

As with all of my free programs, there are no strings attached, just lots of value (although I love it when you share with them your friends). You WILL however get an opportunity to join an extremely low-priced (a few dollars per session) pilot group to continue this amazing process, if you want to.

But first find out if Great Self Coaching is right for you by taking one or more of the following free 75-minute sessions. They're filling up fast, so take action now.

 

Free Great Self Coaching Coaching Group 1: The ControllerGreat Self Coaching Quart
Wednesday, July 20th, 4 - 5:15 PM Eastern/NY Time

Free Great Self Coaching Coaching Group 2: The Protector
Thursday, July 28th, 11AM - 12:15 PM EDT

Free Great Self Coaching Coaching Group 3: The Analyzer
Tuesday, August 9th, 2 - 3:15 PM EDT

[UPDATE 7-14-11: These sessions are filling so fast that we've added a 4th:

Free Great Self Coaching Coaching Group 4: Fear
Thursday, August 4th, 8 - 9:15 PM EDT]

 

Click me

Topics: Coaching, group coaching, Coaching Tip, Great Self Coaching, Life Coaching

Coaching Your Great Self: A Whole New World of You

Posted by Julia Stewart

Great Self Coaching

What is the Great Self?

That's a great question...If you're a veteran of personal development programs or of some forms of spirituality, then you may have been introduced to the distinction of the Higher Self vs. the Ego. The terminology may have been different, but the basic idea is that the Higher Self is good (ex.: loving, spiritual, altruistic, etc.), while the Ego is bad (ex.: selfish, petty, destructive, etc.) Read A New Earth for one of the best descriptions of this dualistic view of human beings.

The Great Self concept takes this idea a step further from either/or to both/AND. The ego is an essential operating system for any healthy human being. It's there to protect you and look out for your interests. It only becomes a problem when our interests conflict with the interests of others. This tends to happen, because we are either unaware of the Higher Self or are rejecting the Ego.

Eliminating the Ego would be like removing the Windows, Mac, or Chrome operating system from your computer and expecting it to still work. In Great Self Coaching, we integrate the ego and all of its 'apps' with the Higher Self, which is enormously powerful. This is a HUGE upgrade, like going from 8 Gigs to 160. And it's a fun process!

How did Great Self Coaching come about?

Another awesome question. Great Self coaching is the culmination of decades of professional experience, helping people reach their dreams. I've synthesized and developed the work of hundreds of master teachers from fields like coaching, psychology, neuroscience, spirituality, personal development and more, such as Thomas Leonard, the Founder of the Coaching Profession, and Zen Master, Genpo Roshi, whose Big Mind process added the concepts of the Controller, Protector and Analyzer as gateways to the Great Self.

Great Self Coaching has been years in the making and you're invited to taste it for free in one of 3 group coaching sessions coming up:

Find out more about Great Self Coaching Here.

 

 

Image courtesy of Elan Sun Star.

Topics: Coaching, group coaching, ego, Thomas Leonard, Great Self Coaching, psychotherapy, Genpo Roshi, Big Mind Big Heart, Life Coaching, personal development, Eckhart Tolle

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