As a coach, you probably believe in powerful questions. And as TEDEd speaker, Michael Stevens, demonstrates, powerful questions make all the difference in teaching, too. In fact, questions such as, "How much does a video weigh?" and "What color is a mirror?" have made his Vsauce channel popular with millions. They foster curiosity, because most folks have never considered these quirky questions before.
Is there such a thing as unanswerable questions? Stevens can answer the above questions with science. But coaches are simply looking for clarity, inspiration and action, rather than actual answers. Or are we?
Sometimes an unanswerable question expands awareness. When tapping into a client's Higher Self, for instance, I'll ask, "What color is it?" and "Where is it located?", questions that don't make logical sense, because the Higher Self isn't a physcial thing. But my clients step into the present moment, along with their intuition, as they attempt to answer my questions and that's the whole point.
My favorite quirky question is "Is the truth really a question?" Coaches intuitively feel the answer is, "Yes." But it can't be, because "Yes." isn't a question. So the logical answer is, "No." But this question invites us to step out of linear logic into a broader, deeper way of thinking.
So then what's the answer? My favorite answer is the coach-y, "What do you think?" Which is all I care about. But the most concise answer is, "Yes?" Which embodies the perfect attitude to bring to a coaching session: open, positive, curious and affirmative.
Watch Michael Stevens for more on quirky questions:
Oddly, when you market your coaching, you really don't want to attract everybody. You only want to attract those who are right for you and your business. Erika Napoletano at TEDxBoulder 2012, explains in hilarious fashion, with a few swear words. Love her or hate her, hear her message.
Sales-impaired coaches sometimes hide behind the yuck-factor and claim they don't have enough clients, because they hate to sell. That's a lie.
Not selling your coaching boils down to one thing: your refusal to own your own fear and vulnerability.
Sure, integrity and sales skills matter, but there's a risk you'll be judged when you sell something intangible like coaching and it's safer to hide.
Learn from the 8-foot bride, the art of asking. Then challenge yourself to trust that much.
Do you know which types of happiness will create lasting value for your coaching clients? Positive Pscyhology founder, Martin Seligman has identified 3 happy lifestyles, each more enduring than the last:
- The Pleasant Life
- The Engaged Life
- The Meaningful Life
The engaged life is one in which you're challenged to use your greatest strengths and slip into a brain state called, 'flow'. Great performers, athletes, inventers and more have described this state of flow in which everything else disappears. Turns out, flow is an important element of happiness and flourishing.
Watch this TEDTalk with the 'Father of Flow': Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi to understand how flow is the secret to happiness:
If you want to become a business coach, your best strategy is to shut up and listen. Yes, what you know matters, but less than you think. Listening is your key to helping others succeed.
Watch this TEDx video with Ernesto Sirolli, Founder of the Sirolli Institute, on how you can't help anyone unless you first listen.
This is true whether you're coaching them or selling coaching to them. To learn more, click the button to join Business Coach, Master Sales Coach and Provocateur, Mattison Grey, MCC; for a free teleclass on how to Stop Talking & Get More Clients.
But first, get inspired by Ernesto's impassioned talk. You'll love it!
Mattison Grey sent me the 'Shit Life Coaches Say' video the same day that I got an invitation to create a TEDed Lesson. So voila! I made a coach training lesson out of it.
That was also about the time I set up a Pinterest account and started linking it to some old 'How Not to Coach' videos from SCM. Some of them are quite funny and 'Shit Life Coaches Say' fits right in.
Like all How Not to Coach videos, this one has some truth to it. Newer coaches quickly adopt the language of the profession and love to talk the talk with each other, because they all 'get it'. Nothing wrong with that. Except...
If you can't put something into plain language, you probably don't really understand it, yet. And that makes it hard to communicate it to non-coaches ~ including those you'd like to have for clients. Move away from using jargon as soon as you can.
Oh, and if being laughed at makes you uncomfortable, get used to it. Life coaching is a recognized profession and like all others, it's a target for jokes. Remember the one about the doctor, lawyer and priest?
What should every life coach (and business coach) know?
Coaches are in the business of change and creativity. Namely, our clients want to create change in their businesses and lives.
So why should a business or life coach understand vulnerability and shame? Because they have everything to do with creating change. In fact, if your clients didn't fear vulnerability and potential shame, they might not need a coach.
Watch researcher Brene (rhymes with Renee) Brown's highly entertaining TED Talks on Vulnerability and Shame. And learn why one of your most powerful coaching tools is your own vulnerability. Call it, The Me-Too Factor.
Thanks to Life Coach, Traci McMinn, CCC, CGC; and Business Coach, Mattison Grey, MCC; for sharing these.
I just watched Magician, David Blaine, tell how he held his breath for over 17 minutes (!) on the new TEDMED.
It's an incredible story of commitment and dedication to a goal. He sums it all up (through tears) with, "It's practice. It's training. It's experiementing and it's pushing through the pain."
His emotion clearly adds one more: It's passion. Not the kind you manufacture in an 'Law of Attraction workshop', but the kind that scoops up your life and hurdles you forward with relentless intensity.
Watch out! You (and your coaching clients) may be inspired right out of your comfort zone! David tell his story here: