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How the Mass Exodus of Workers is Impacting Coaching

Posted by Julia Stewart

Exodus of Workers

Last year, unemployment was shockingly high, while demand for coaching surged.

The pandemic wreaked havoc on the world of work and the resulting confusion sent millions running for the help of coaches. Whenever there is mass confusion, a significant percentage of people will question their previous choices and wonder what's next for them. That's when they need coaches. It happened after 9/11, too.

This year, as the availability of vaccinations slows the spread of Covid-19, workplaces are again opening up, but workers are saying, "No Thanks!"

How is that impacting coaching? Read on...

First, some data on the world of work in 2021 (Sources include Bloomberg and NPR):

  • 77% of workers want the option to work from home at least some of the time to continue after the pandemic.
  • 23% say they would take a 10% cut in pay to continue working from home.
  • 80% of executives don't want to work at the office full time.
  • Three days per week is now the most popular office workweek.
  • 25% say they plan to change jobs after the pandemic.
  • 20% say they already have changed jobs since the pandemic began.
  • Pew Research says 60% of workers consider the pandemic a time of reckoning when they are reconsidering what is meaningful work for themselves.

 

These are powerful numbers.

 

Anytime there is this much flux in the population, millions of people hire coaches. This is why coaching usually does very well even when unemployment is high.

 

What reasons are people giving for changing their minds about work?

 

  • "Vaccine hesitancy" has created a perception that working on site is dangerous because new virus variants are more contagious and more deadly and unvaccinated people can spread them.
  • Childcare is still spotty and may expose children to the virus, so parents want to keep them at home.
  • Workers discovered that working from home saved expenses on clothing, commuting, eating out, etc.
  • They discovered they could get more done in less time without travel and constant meetings.
  • Service and leisure workers cite low pay and say it isn't worth the risk.
  • Service and leisure workers also were angered that managers expected them to risk their lives so other people could eat their cheeseburgers.
  • People felt disrespected by employers who dumped difficult work conditions on them with too little supportive infrastructure.
  • People were shocked to find how little disaster preparedness existed in their industries and that managers expected front-line workers to make up the difference.
  • People are disillusioned with gig work that fails to provide benefits or decent wages.
  • Medical personnel are traumatized and burnt out and are looking for new careers.
  • Women and people of color have been particularly hard hit.
  • Some workers took advantage of online education, while they were laid off, or working from home, to prepare them for new careers.
  • Some people moved out of urban centers to avoid the virus and now don't want to commute.
  • Many workers say the "old normal" was never normal, nor was it optimal or even healthy, and now they never want to return to it.

Millions of people are now transitioning to new lives. Coaches coach transitions.

 

What does this mean for coaching?

 

  • Many people are no longer willing to fit their lives to their jobs. They want meaningful work that fits the lives they want.
  • People are prioritizing their mental health, and even flourishing, over climbing corporate ladders.
  • People are realizing their nervous systems weren't designed to deal with high-powered careers complicated by worldwide disasters.
  • People are prioritizing personal life over work life.
  • People want control over their own time.
  • People are starting their own businesses to reflect their values.
  • Even those who believe working at the office is beneficial are faced with the reality that most people are no longer willing to show up at the office, everyday.

 

In short, people's values around work are changing dramatically and this seismic shift will impact everything from now on.

 

Coaches coach transitions. Right now, just about everybody is in transition. They need you.

Twenty years ago, the founder of the coaching profession, Thomas Leonard, predicted that coaches would mostly work from home. Because nearly everyone would work from home. Now it's coming true.

 

Coaching is the ultimate work-from-home career.

 

Are you thinking about becoming a coach? Nearly all coaches are well-trained and most are certified.

Now is a good time to become a coach because the need and demand are high. You can train online, market online, and coach online.

 

What are you waiting for?

 

Download the free Become a Coach eBook and get started:

Get Your Free 'Become a Coach' eBook Now

 

Topics: coach training, become a coach, Coach Training Programs, Thomas Leonard, coaching career, Values, Covid, pandemic

This is How New Coaches Set Their Fees

Posted by Julia Stewart

Professional Coach Setting fees

You've decided to become a coach. Congratulations!

You're getting coach training. Smart! According to research by the ICF, nearly all successful coaches are well trained in their profession and most are certified. Trained and experienced coaches also make more money.

But at every step along the way to becoming a professional coach and launching a successful business, new questions arise. None is more important, or more intimidating, than setting your fees.

Are you stumped on setting your fees? Help is on the way! Read on...

The first thing to realize is that you will set and reset your fees many times during the course of your coaching career. So you need to get comfortable and confident with it.

Most coaches are confronted by Imposter Syndrome each time they raise their fees. They ask, "Am I worth it? Will my clients all quit? Will I make less money if I am over-priced?" First, no matter how much you charge, you will always be worth more than your fee. The "Am I worth it?" question, along with all the other doubts related to imposter syndrome, are products of your brain's negativity bias. We all tend to focus on the negative when we are stressed, uncertain, or feel vulnerable. That's one more reason why working with your own coach is so valuable. Second, your clients won't quit, if you handle setting and raising your fees well.In fact, you may wind up with even more clients!

One of the secrets of setting your fees is to find the fee that attracts the clients you want. Here's a quick story that demonstrates one effective approach to setting fees:

I was lucky. The Founder of the Coaching Profession, Thomas Leonard, helped me set my fees, 20 years ago, when I was a brand-new coach. Here's how...

My dilemma was that coaching paid more than the profession I was transitioning out of and I had a hard time justifying the higher pay to myself. I was a new coach and the clients for my first business were likely to become my first coaching clients. Previously, I had been a dancer and college professor who became a personal trainer while I transitioned into my next career. I lived in New York City where the going rate for personal trainers was $60 per hour. Life coaching starts around $100 per contact hour (business and executive coaching pay much more). How could I attract the same clients and get them to pay more for a new service?

Thomas said, "Why not just charge them the same to start and raise rates later?" Then my coach helped me flesh this out into a real strategy. I offered each of my personal training clients a free month of coaching (three half-hour sessions per month) to see if they liked it. Several of them took me up on it. The ones who wanted to continue, I charged $60 per half hour, or $180 per month. Since personal training clients usually paid me $240 for four one-hour sessions, the monthly fee for coaching was less for them, but I was making $120 per contact hour, a respectable starting rate for life coaching AND I used this strategy to attract my first coaching clients. It worked!

I found other clever strategies to raise rates over the next few years to build a solid living with coaching.

This approach may work for you, or if your situation is different, it may not. What I can guarantee is that getting expert advice and/or working with your own coach, will make setting and raising your fees a lot less stressful and attracting clients will get easier for you.

Would you like expert advice on setting your fees?

After coaching and training coaches for twenty years and working with literally thousands of coaches, I am an expert. Do you have questions for me about setting your fees? Would you like some valuable answers to those questions? What if you could attend a live Coaching Clinic and by the end of that webinar you could confidently announce your new coaching fee? How much more money will you make when you have set your fees with confidence and grace? How much more will you enjoy your coaching business? How many more clients will you help reach their goals and their full potential?

A smart fee structure creates a virtuous cycle for all.

Join me for the upcoming Coaching Clinic: How to Set and Reset Your Coaching Fees on Monday, July 12th, 3-3:30 PM Eastern/New York Time. It's FREE to current members of the Certified Positive Psychology Coach and Certified Neuroscience Coach programs. If you JOIN one of those programs by July 12th, you'll get it free too, PLUS you'll save an additional $500 by joining before tuition goes UP. That's $550 saved. Gee, you really are a smart coach! ;-)

If you aren't a member, no worries. You can still join this career-changing clinic for just $50USD. You'll still learn how to raise your fees in a way that is attractive to clients. It will help you make more money and coach more clients. PLUS everyone who registers for this clinic will get EARLY access to the new and improved version of our most-popular free eBook: Life Coach Salary

 

Ready to set your fees with confidence and attract more clients?

 

Register for Coaching Clinic: How to Set Your Fees

 

Topics: webinar, coaching success, ICF, life coach salary, Thomas Leonard, Certified Positive Psychology Coach, Life Coaching, new coaches, certified neuroscience coach

Should Coaches Be Givers, Takers, or Matchers?

Posted by Julia Stewart

Give and Take

Last week, Americans went to the polls and chose between a lifelong Taker and a lifelong Giver.

Think about it: You knew which was which even though I didn't tell you. This post isn't about politics; it's about a simple, research-based, rubric for understanding people. Like all great coaching tools, it offers clarity and simplicity in place of confusion and suffering.

It also points to a playbook for any new (or veteran) coach who wants a successful career.

You're may be asking, Am I a Giver or a Taker? And what is a Matcher? You know when you're on the receiving end of these behaviors because they govern whether your relationships, networks, and organizations are thriving or toxic. So it matters a lot.

What differences will these distinctions have for your clients and for your career? Read on...

Before I explain these three distinctions, let me give some background. Recently I attended one of Mattison Grey's TED Talk Talks. They're like virtual book clubs but with TED Talks instead of books (Highly recommended and free!) Cool people show up, such as graduates of this school, and Mattison facilitates awesome conversations. If your Zoom connections have been feeling shallow, this is a powerful alternative.

Mattison is one of the best coaches I've ever met by the way, and she is an Otherish Giver. More on that later.

In that recent TTT, we discussed psychologist, Adam Grant's "Are You a Giver or a Taker?"

According to Grant's research on organizations, Takers trigger toxicity, such as paranoia, mistrust, resentment and vindictiveness; while Givers make organizations better. Matchers give about as much as they get so their behavior can be influenced by Givers and Takers. By the way, one Giver can measurably improve an entire organization, but one Taker has two-to-three times the impact, only it's negative.

That ratio, between positive and negative, shows up repeatedly in positive psychology research, and is sometimes called, the Positivity Ratio.

Everyone does some giving, taking, and matching, but which "type" you are represents your default. Do you go through life asking, "What can you do for me?" or "What can I do for you?" or "If you help me, I'll help you."?

According to research, the old myth, "Nice guys finish last," is only sometimes true. It depends on what type of Giver you are. And as more people and organizations learn to spot Takers quickly, the not-so-nice guys are failing faster.

To explain, here are different types of Givers, Matchers, and Takers.

  1. Selfless Givers: These are the folks who never say, "No." What do they give? Their time, energy, knowledge, money, everything. They are the "nice guys" who finish last because they spend their time on others, making it harder to do their own work. They get drained and tired, become irritable, and eventually burn out. Once depleted, they can't do much for anyone and may even need others to help them. Even Givers may show up unconsciously as Takers when their needs aren't met and it's harder to meet your needs during a pandemic...
  2. Matchers: These folks are the majority and match favors and other types of giving, tit for tat. If they are surrounded by Givers, they will be inspired to give more, creating a virtuous cycle. If they are dealing with Takers, they give less and less, creating a vicious cycle, and may even become vindictive toward Takers, helping to create an environment of toxicity. That toxicity creates even more depletion for Givers. Matchers amplify giving and taking, which is one reason why Givers and Takers have such powerful impacts on networks and organizations.
  3. Otherish Givers: These Givers care about others but aren't selfless. I call them Smart Givers or Givers with Boundaries. These are the people who are ultimately most successful because Otherish Givers are attractive and spark virtuous cycles, plus they know when to say, "No." But success doesn't happen overnight because they do spend time and energy helping others. Otherish Givers protect their time and energy because they know how they impact everyone in their organizations and relationships. It's not just about them. When an Otherish Giver identifies a Taker, they may shift to more of a matching style. If they observe the Taker offering crumbs in exchange for their bountiful gifts, or if the Taker habitually transgresses their boundaries, they reduce their help and may even cut the Taker off. This helps create space for the virtuous cycle that boosts everyone else because Givers are free to give more, which inspires Matchers and reduces toxicity. Pro Tip: If you are catnip to Takers, like me, you might want to learn even more about how you attract Takers, how to change that, and of course, how to recognize Takers sooner. Read Grant's Give and Take. Or if you love complexity, read Dr. Ramani Durvasula's, Don't You Know Who I Am?
  4. Disagreeable Takers: These are often the leaders we have to put up with. They rise quickly to the top, mostly by taking, and people put up with them because they are afraid not to or they simply have no choice. The Givers get worn out and the Matchers become vindictive. Disagreeable Takers also attract other Takers who hope to benefit by association, which amplifies the toxicity. But even Disagreeable Takers show up agreeable some of the time...
  5. Agreeable Takers: Grant calls these, Fakers. They are the hardest to spot because they are so likeable. Many people assume they are Givers, or at least Matchers, because they are so agreeable. But agreeableness has nothing to do with giving styles. Agreeable Takers will brown nose you, but only when they want something. The rest of the time, they ignore you or criticize you. If you are a people pleaser, like many Selfless Givers, this can be a powerful hook because Agreeable Takers seem to offer the approval you need, but only some of the time. Like B.F. Skinner's Operant Conditioning, they can train you to give more and more. Keith Raniere is an example of how much toxic influence one Agreeable Taker can have on a group of Givers and Matchers. And how far an Agreeable Taker can fall once that group catches on.

U.S. presidents tend to be larger than life so it's easy to identify contrasting giving styles. In exaggerated fashion, our two recent presidents demonstrate Grant's research findings, perfectly. The Taker shot to the top in one leap, winning the ultimate prize in his first-ever election and immediately threw the entire country into toxic convulsions. Four years later, he's the only president in decades to lose his second term because a record-number of Americans, fed up with his constant taking, marched to the polls in Matcher-revenge and voted him out. The Giver, on the other hand, took nearly 50 years to win the presidency, attracted a broad coalition, and has already extended his hand, Giver-style to the other side. While the Taker, in perfect Taker-form, claims he's the real winner and threatens to sue. For some reason, Takers love to sue but they usually lose. They really do finish last in the end.

So how does this show up in coaching?

Well, Disagreeable Takers are unattractive and are rarely successful in coaching. Meanwhile, Matchers and Selfless Givers struggle. The former, because they are unremarkable. The latter, because they burn out before they succeed. Agreeable Takers can succeed for a while but don't last because both coaches and clients dislike Fakers. Finally, Otherish Givers rise to the top more slowly and often stay there. They build sustainable success. Don't worry, it doesn't take 50 years!

In other words, Otherish Givers do best in coaching.

The Founder of the Coaching Profession, an Otherish Giver, taught coaches to "Give for the joy of it" AND "Be incredibly selfish". Now you know why. Thomas Leonard taught the Principles of Attraction and gave them away for free.

 

Most successful coaches, such as Mattison Grey, do their own version of otherish giving and form strong networks of true fans.

 

Want to experience Otherish Giving? Here are two opportunities, one from Mattison and the second from me:

 

TED Talk Talks for Free  Attend Fully Alive for Givers for Free

 

Topics: Free, Thomas Leonard, Mattison Grey, Attraction Principles, TED, Fully Alive

The Vow: How it Is and Is NOT Like Coaching

Posted by Julia Stewart

Personal Development and Executive Success Depositphotos_125942550_l-2015-1

Like many coaches, I am watching with horror the documentary series, The Vow, on HBO.

The Vow is about a personal development multi-level-marketing company called, Nxivm (pronounced, aptly enough, like the heartburn medication, Nexium) that culminates in incredible levels of abuse toward its members. Long story short, top level members of this company, most notably the founder, Keith Raniere, who claims to be one of the smartest geniuses in the world and likes to be called, Vanguard, have been charged and/or convicted of sex trafficking, racketeering, and other outrageous deeds.

[UPDATE: Raniere was convicted on all charges and, on October 27th, 2020, was sentenced to life in prison.]

Personal development is supposed to help people grow and be their best, so how the hell did this happen???

Early videos of Nxivm depict seminars that look like most personal development events, which is to say, awesome. In fact, several details made me squirm in my seat throughout the first episode because I had had similar experiences.

Then I started watching from a different angle: How could people avoid getting sucked into something that is this wonderful on the surface but evil underneath?

The New York Times broke the story about Nxivm a few years ago. I'm a former New Yorker and still read the Times. Occasionally, I would see a story about this company called, Nxivm, but mostly about what went wrong at the end and the resulting trial. It included stories about a giant financial pyramid scheme, which was bad enough, but it culminated in a mysterious private order of sex slaves who were branded with Raniere's initials! Their "masters" controlled how much they could eat, whether they could sleep, and blackmailed them into submission. One woman was punished by being locked in a room for 700 days!

You'd have to be crazy or stupid to get hooked into this, right?

“It’s easy for someone sitting in the comfort of their home to say: ‘She’s stupid. That would never happen to me.’ But it happens to people every day,” said Neil L. Glazer, the plaintiffs’ lead lawyer. “Even if somebody is not holding a gun to their heads, it doesn’t mean they can leave whenever they want.” - NYTimes

Here's what creeped me out when I started watching The Vow. First, the guy who shot most of the footage is someone I met fifteen years ago at a coaching conference, Mark Vicente. He had been a speaker and sat across from me at a dinner. He worked his way up nearly to the top of Nxivm over twelve years. My first thought was, "That guy was involved with THIS??" That felt like a close brush with the sordid story I'd been reading about for years. I'm happy to say, Vicente was one of the people who helped break Nxivm in the end.

Then I watched footage of Nxivm's basic training known as the Executive Success Program (ESP). It took me back to my early years as a coach, attending coaching conferences that were fun and exciting, filled with happy people smiling, laughing, talking, jumping for joy, and hugging each other. People at Nxivm became best friends for life, just like I did with the coaches I met at seminars and conferences. It all seemed wonderful.

People who graduated from ESP were apparently screened before they were invited up to the next level: Coaches. Ugh. Even Raniere sometimes called himself a coach. Unfortunately, because coaching is unregulated, anyone can call him/herself a coach even if they are con men. Up until Nxivm, the worst stories I've heard about fake coaches who are really con artists are about financial abuse. That can be devastating enough but Nxivm leaders also committed crimes that were shockingly depraved.

But how did this lead to sex slavery and why was I unscathed when I started out in a similar manner?

  • My first thought was that I could see through that stuff. Ha! Read the quote by attorney Glazer, above. It happens all the time, even to smart people.
  • Second, with gratitude, I realized I had fallen in, from the start, with people who were basically good, welling meaning, and ethical. It could have gone differently, though.
  • Finally, I recognized three red flags that could warn off anyone from going down the rabbit hole with people who mean to exploit or abuse them:
  1. Nxivm told its trainees, from the start, to ignore their own inner wisdom and adopt only Nxivm's explanations. That robbed students of potential insights behind their doubts, gut feelings, and intuition, which should have protected them from being brainwashed. Nxivm's explanation was that prior conditioning can keep people stuck, which is true, but you cannot instantly replace it with something else and anyone who tells you to ignore it is potentially manipulating you. This has been a problem at least for the past 2,500 years when the Buddha instructed his students to never accept his teachings without first confirming their verity by going within. He was a great teacher because he understood that everyone has access to the truth but may ignore it if they think they have found someone who knows more than they do. Good coaches always defer to their clients' inner wisdom. Run from a coach or personal development teacher who tells you to ignore your inner truth.
  2. Nxivm discouraged self care. A hallmark of many cult-like organizations is that they limit sleep, food, bathroom breaks, etc. People become overwhelmed and depleted. Their bodies feel like they are surviving under emergency circumstances and the people who seem to have the power over what to think, when to sleep, and how much to eat, can control almost anything. Good self care is a basic pillar of effective coaching. People often deny themselves what they need because they think they have too much to do and too little time. Often, when they give their bodies what they need, everything else gets easier and people grow and succeed naturally.
  3. Nxivm blackmailed its members into silence and submission. They required "collateral" in order to share "advanced secrets" with members. This collateral took the form of nude photos, secrets that were potentially humiliating if they were ever revealed, and even deeds to members' houses. Ethical coaches will keep your information secret because they are members of professional organizations and take an ethical pledge to do so. And, I'd like to think, most of us would keep your information secret because that is who we are. If anyone tries to blackmail you, go to the police.

I could keep going, but I encourage you to watch The Vow and make your own conclusions. Do explore personal development but practice good self-care and defer to your own inner wisdom.

Thomas Leonard was the founder of the coaching profession. He taught his own version of personal development, including the 28 Principles of Attraction. Check it out, in his own words, for free by signing up for this 10-week eCourse. It's safe. Have fun!

Get Thomas' 28 Principles of Attraction Free eCourse

 

Topics: Coaches, Thomas Leonard, Attraction Principles, personal development

How Thomas Leonard Prepared Me for the Covid Pandemic

Posted by Julia Stewart

Covid-19 Reserves

In 2001, the Founder of the Coaching Profession helped me get ready for Covid-19.

He also helped me thrive through 9/11 in New York City. Unfortunately, Thomas passed of natural causes in 2003, but his influence still prepared me to flourish through the Covid pandemic.

How am I flourishing? Well, my online business is doing great in the shut down and I just took my blood pressure. It's 97/67. I'm not special. Here's how Thomas Leonard helped me get here...

Thomas was a self-described worrier. He was also a massive risk-taker. That's a tough combination. But he was endlessly creative and among his many brilliant approaches to coaching are some that are designed to boost confidence for even the biggest scaredy cats so they can take big risks to reach their cherished goals. What follows is just one approach that works for me...

Twenty years ago, before paranoid preppers were a joke, Thomas found a simple way to get ready for almost anything and thereby raise your confidence and lower your anxiety. (Here's my distinction between paranoia and anxiety: The first is a sense of threat that people are out to get you. The second is a worry that things will go wrong and you won't be able to handle it. It's normal to feel anxious if you're unprepared.)

This approach eliminates the greatest source of human suffering.

Thomas created a checklist called, Super Reserves, that helps people develop a reserve of almost anything they could ever need because when our needs are met, we are freed to live our best lives. Until our needs are met, we unconsciously suffer and chase what we don't have instead of enjoying what we do have and creating what we really want. That word, need, is important because this concept is related to Abraham Maslow's Hierarchy of Needs, which you probably learned about in a course on psychology. It's a precursor to positive psychology.

Reserves sound like they couldn't possibly work but my story, below, demonstrates the dramatic shift they cause.

I got my very first coaching client the week of 9/11 when I was still living in New York City. I was studying coaching with Thomas Leonard and also had a successful personal training business that I eventually transitioned out of. But those weeks after the terrorist attacks were filled with bomb and terror threats (90 false threats on September 12th, alone). It was still possible to drive in and out of Manhattan and even park for free, in those days, but the threats and resulting twelve-hour traffic jams were constantly shaking me up.

I was terrified.

I talked to a psychotherapist friend who said the best antidote to anxiety is to take action. I reviewed my options for taking action. Could I stop the threats? No. Could I stop seeing my clients? No. What was the worst that could happen? I'd be caught in a terrorist attack. What was likely to happen? I'd get stuck in an epic traffic jam. What would I need if one of those events occurred? Ah! That's where Reserves came in.

I made a plan.

Honestly, I thought it was kind of silly, but I decided to follow Thomas' Reserves approach and get ready for "anything". So I got out an old gym bag that I carried in my car and started filling it with whatever I might need if something bad happened: masks, goggles, extra clothes, a blanket, comfortable shoes, food that would "keep", water, etc., etc.

What happened?

At some point, my anxiety vanished because I knew I was prepared. Did I ever need the stuff? Nope! But it already did its work: I was happier, more relaxed, and able to show up at my best to coach the many traumatized New Yorkers that I had the honor to work with over the next year.

You see, your nervous system has two basic modes.

One is optimized for connection and works best when you're relaxed. The other is optimized for protection and is triggered when needs aren't met. We tend to be at our best during connection and are more attractive and able to see opportunities and possibilities, but our unconscious behavior is more negative and off-putting when we're in protection mode and we tend to see problems everywhere. Both modes are needed sometimes but connection is often needed more. Filling my needs with reserves put my nervous system in connection mode.

So how did this prepare me for the current pandemic?

I never forgot that Reserves lesson. Now I always keep things on hand that I might someday need. When toilet paper was in short supply, I already had a case of it. When we found out we needed masks, I already had a box of N95 masks. I was also able to donate masks to first responders and healthcare workers, which felt a lot better than panicking because there was a shortage. My business was already online and I work from home and have experience training others to do the same so business is good. I could go on and on...

I was ready, so I could relax and help instead of panic.

I train coaches to coach their clients to be ready for anything, because in the age of the Climate Crisis, anything can happen. If you'd like to learn more about the ultimate work-from-home profession, download the free Become a Coach eBook, below.

 

Get Your Free 'Become a Coach' eBook Now

Topics: become a coach, Thomas Leonard, 9/11, Climate Change, Covid, Reserves

Four Surprising Ways Being Grateful Boosts Your Success

Posted by Julia Stewart

Thankful and grateful

 

This time of year, known collectively as "the holidays", is when you see lots of articles about giving thanks and being grateful.

I thought I'd share some of the lesser-known benefits of gratitude with you. Here goes...

  1. You probably already know that gratitude is one of the surest ways to boost positivity. Here's why that matters. Positivity leads to flourishing in pretty much all areas, even good health and long life! So when the New Year starts and you set goals to live healthier, be sure to add gratitude to you plan and enjoy greater happiness and health.
  2. Gratitude helps you stay present. Goal-oriented people tend to live for the future when they hope they will reach their goals but they miss their lives in the process! That's why mindfulness has become so popular lately, because there is no point to living if you miss experiencing life. Look around you right now. What do you see that makes your life good? Appreciate it. Repeat daily. Make that your new healthy habit.
  3. Gratitude strengthens your relationships with others. You probably were raised to say, "Thank you," because it's polite. How about elevating that into a Grateful Acknowledgment? Instead of, "Thanks for cooking dinner, Mom," try something like, "Mom, you worked hard on this meal and everything was delicious. Thanks for making it wonderful." Make a habit of sharing a Grateful Acknowledgment at least once each day. Watch how comments like these raise everyone's happiness and strengthen the bonds between you and your loved ones.
  4. Gratitude helps you succeed at your goals. We tend to think reaching our goals will make us happy. Actually, that's backwards. Happy people are more likely to reach their goals. And the goals themselves usually only boost happiness briefly. In fact, people who are already grateful for what they have tend to set more meaningful goals that they enjoy reaching more easily because they are already grateful. And when you practice gratitude, you have an opportunity to extend the happiness of reaching goals. So instead of spending your time striving and stressing over your goals or visualizing yourself reaching goals that seem forever out of reach. Appreciate what you have now and unhook yourself from the future. Works way better.

 

We're grateful that you read this blog and share it on social media so others can enjoy it.

 

To say, "Thanks!" Here's a free eCourse from the Founder of the Coaching Profession, Thomas Leonard.

Get Thomas' 28 Principles of Attraction Free eCourse

Topics: gratitude, Thomas Leonard, goals, positivity

Coaching Businesses: A Simple System for Identifying Which to Trust

Posted by Julia Stewart

Coaching Businesses and Trust

Coaching companies can transform your life or business for the better, but like any profession, coaching has a few charlatans.

The wrong coach or coaching company can actually harm your life and business so you need to know how to identify who to work with. It's as easy as Stop, Wait, and Go.

I learned how to read red, yellow, and green traffic signal lights one day, long ago, as I sat on my tricycle in kindergarten. Probably I remember it because it was the only day I got to bring my trike to school but it was a valuable safety lesson that I have used everyday since. I hope this blog post will prove valuable for you and keep you safe in the world of business and coaching.

If you're a coach, you probably use positivity and intuition to make choices and that is awesome. But as readers of this blog know, using your whole being is even more awesome. Let intuition guide you but also explore your doubts, do your due diligence, bounce ideas off friendly skeptics. Be 90% positive but also explore the wisdom of waiting when it's warranted.

Avoid making big decisions with just half your brain.

To be clear, there are wonderful coaches and coaching companies that just aren't right for you, but that's not what this post is about. I'm talking about the small percentage of coaching companies that are probably not right for anyone. They can hurt you or your business. Even though they aren't the majority, you will encounter them.

Some coaching companies are well-meaning but just don't know what they are doing. A few are actual scams. They claim they will help you succeed by providing clients, or marketing training, or a back office, a website, or whatever. They over-promise, under-deliver, and then disappear. Coaches who do business with them lose their money and often feel shocked, embarrassed, and discouraged when they realize what happened. They may quit coaching as a result. Some have been financially ruined. Some lost friends who tried to warn them.

Below is a list of potential signals that indicate when to STOP because the signs spell trouble, WAIT until you learn more, or GO ahead and take the next step. They are based on actual experiences of real coaches.

Compare these signals to a company you're interested in. No one signal will be enough to decide whether to work with them so add up all the signs and then check in with your intuition, your emotions, your coach, trusted friends,  favorite skeptics, and most of all, dig deep into GOOGLE.

In the end, you're responsible for all your own choices, so choose with wisdom. Think of a company you've considered joining and grade them on each of the following with STOP, WAIT, or GO. Use your own grades to decide. Here goes...

How did you find out about this coaching company?

  • If you find a company on a job-listing website but the "job" turns out to be one where you pay the company rather than them paying you, be careful. This is known in retail as "bait and switch". You're initially offered one attractive option, but when you inquire about it, a salesperson talks you into something else. It may not break any laws but it is misleading and signals that the company isn't as honest as it should be. Trust is incredibly important in coaching because clients share their most cherished dreams with us. Think twice about doing business with a company that has already betrayed yours. Would you Stop, Wait, or Go with this?
  • If a trusted friend invites you to join a great new company they've joined, find out how long they've been with the company and what their own results are. If they just joined or haven't seen definitive results, hesitate. Don't rely on your friend's enthusiasm or the company's own promises to make up your mind. If your friend has been with the company long enough to see positive results, maybe this really is a good opportunity. How would you grade it?
  • If you receive a great-sounding offer in an email from a coaching company you never heard of, it's probably SPAM. No reputable company will ever SPAM you. How would you score SPAM?
  • Did you find the company through a profile on social media or in a directory? If so, is the profile complete and informative? If not, check for other complete profiles for them on the web. If you see a pattern of incomplete profiles, that says, "fly by night". What's your verdict?
  • Did you find the company through online reviews or ratings? If there are a lot of high ratings and reviews, that's great. If there are only a few good ratings or if the reviews sound like they were all written by the same person, the company may have hired someone to write good reviews for them. What's score would you give them?

What is the company's website like?

  • Can you easily find the name of the company and its physical address and telephone number on the website? In some countries this is required by law. Usually that information is located at the bottom of each page, or on pages titled, "About Us" or "Contact Us". Don't spend money with a company if you don't know exactly who and where they are. Stop, Wait, or Go?
  • Is the website only one page long or is the site unfinished? That says, "fly by night." Careful!
  • Does the site have visible trust marks such as the Better Business Bureau (BBB) or accreditation marks from reputable organizations like the International Coach Federation (ICF)? These third-party organizations have requirements that the company must adhere to and may help you if the company fails to uphold them. If there are marks from fake organizations, that's a really bad sign. What score did your company earn here?
  • Does the company tell you what it will do with your personal information if you fill out a form? This is required by law in the European Union and most reputable companies worldwide honor it. The site should promise to keep your information private, not sell it to anyone, and explain what you will get in exchange for sharing it with them. What do you think?

What happens after you join?

  • Are they mainly interested in attracting more coaches/customers rather than in helping you succeed? Stop, Wait, or Go?
  • Do they expect you to do their marketing for them? Or worse, do they expect you to get your friends to do their marketing for them? This rarely works well and it's not what you paid for. How would you score it?
  • Do the tools and processes work as they should? If not, communicate with their support team. They should promptly make it right for you. How's your company doing?
  • If you complain, do they take responsibility, make excuses, or place the blame on you? You know the score.
  • Do they tell you to buy their more-expensive "next level" program where they'll tell you what you really need to know to succeed, even though they already promised that when you bought the program you have? Do they do this in a "coaching session"? Totally unethical in my book. How would you score this?
  • If you tell them you have no more money when they try to sell you more, do they reply that you're thinking too negatively and if you really wanted to succeed you'd open another credit card, take out a second mortgage, borrow from relatives, sell your valuables, or raid your child's tuition account? Some companies are shameless. You get to score them.
  • If you ask for a refund or stop paying your bill, do they ignore you or make an appointment for you with a "coach" who turns out to be a high-pressure bill collector? If you've joined an unethical company you're unlikely to ever get a refund. How would you score that?
  • Did your company dissolve before you got the services you thought you bought? You may have no legal recourse. What's the score?

 

If a company you're interested in scores a lot of STOPs, probably you should forget them.

 

If you want to learn more about how to attract coaching clients, register for this free eCourse based on Thomas Leonard's Principles of Attraction. If you want to understand small-business marketing in general, download this free Bootstrapper's Bible by Seth Godin. Mattison Grey can teach you the subtleties of marketing and sales with trust and integrity, and some coaches swear by C.J. Hayden.

 

Students at this school fill their practices with coaching clients based on Thomas Leonard's Coach 100 idea. It works.

 

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Topics: Coaching Companies, Coach 100, ICF, marketing and sales, Thomas Leonard, Mattison Grey, Attraction Principles, coaching businesses

How Does Artificial Intelligence Impact You if You Become a Coach?

Posted by Julia Stewart

Robot and human

You've heard that artificial intelligence (AI) is changing the future of work but how does it affect coaching?

AI is eliminating many job positions but coaching is surprisingly immune to this disruption. That said, you still need to know how to leverage massive changes caused by AI that may already be impacting how you coach...

Why is coaching resilient in the job market that's disrupted by AI when so many other professions, such as law and medicine, are turned upside down?

There are three reasons coaching is is one of the professions that have been hard to replace by artificial intelligence:

  1. It turns out that the human mind is harder to crack than neuroscientists and computer engineers previously thought. They've been successful at mimicking the so-called linear processing associated with your brain's left hemisphere, which includes math, language, and knowledge; but engineering artificial relationships that are trusting, empathic, intuitive, and characterized by non-linear insights has been much more elusive. So professions such as coaching, psychotherapy, and the creative arts are, so far, more difficult to recreate. Our massive human brain isn't big because we can process so much information, but because we are an extremely social species and social relationships require far more complex processing. That said, companies such as Care.coach are already convincing people that cartoon kittens care about them, but that may work only because actual humans are behind the cartoons.
  2. Coaching didn't become a profession until the internet, robotics, mobile phones, and artificial intelligence were already in the works and pioneers of coaching, notably Thomas Leonard, saw what was coming and designed the profession of coaching around the future instead of the past. For example, today's world of business works best when you have a mix of ways people can work with you. Be generous with free information on your website. Write a book that virtually anyone can afford. Join a coaching company that charges a modest price for coaching with a particular method. But your personal, customized one-to-one attention is today considered a luxury good. It needs to be priced accordingly. Coaching is for everybody but personal coaching is only for clients who see its massive value and eagerly pay for it.
  3. Quality coaching is phenomenally effective. Most people have no idea how to do it, which is why ICF accredited coach training is preferable to a degree in psychology. Coaching is new technology for human development. It has been designed to thrive as a profession despite the many disruptions of this century. It's sustainable.

The coaching profession was designed to withstand the onslaught of artificial intelligence and robotics in the job market. In a world of hypercomplex disruption, coaching thrives.

Be resilient in tomorrow's job market. Become a coach. Download this free eBook to learn more:

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Topics: coaching business, coach training, become a coach, ICF, Thomas Leonard, future of coaching, new clients

Can Evidence-Based Coaching Include Spirituality?

Posted by Julia Stewart

Positive Psychology - Neuroscience - Spirituality Model

At School of Coaching Mastery, we specialize in evidence-based positive-psychology and neuroscience coaching.

But what about spirituality? It's the backbone of early coaching technology. Can we still include it?

One of the strengths of early coaching was that it wasn't constrained by western scientific notions of reality. It embraced, among other things, the notion that what we think about tends to show up in our lives, an idea that is confirmed by Barbara Fredrickson's Broaden and Build Theory, as well as some neuroscience findings. That freedom was a strength for coaching that allowed coaches to creatively try new techniques that appeared to be quite effective.

Later on, researchers began studying some of these new techniques and found that many were indeed effective.

But that doesn't mean anything goes in coaching. Nor does it mean we can only use tools that have already been sanctioned by science.

As neuro-psychologist and pioneer of interpersonal neurobiology, Dan Siegel has said,

"We must be informed by science but not constrained by it."

By this he means non-science sources of wisdom can be useful in assisting growth in clients. So yes, spirituality, which I define as any perspective that takes us beyond our small ego-based thinking for greater functioning, does inform effective coaching. In fact, some would argue, the ability to accommodate rational evidence-based thinking while remaining open to transformative experiences that science cannot yet explain, is an advancement of consciousness. Maslows Hierarchy of Needs

In fact, spiritual wisdom can move us upwards beyond what Abraham Maslow identified as self-actualization toward self-transcendence (this last concept is often attributed to Viktor Frankl).

This doesn't mean you should impose your own spiritual beliefs on your clients. Rather, step into their beliefs and leverage them to move the client forward. Where their previous beliefs hold them back, offer reframes that may be useful and leave it to the client to embrace these new ways of thinking, or not.

Again, this requires an openness that most don't posses, which is why personal development and spiritual practice are often a must to develop great coaching.

Curious how new ways of thinking can help you grow and reach your goals? Learn non-science concepts taught by the Father of Professional Coaching, Thomas Leonard...

 

Explore Thomas Leonard's 28 Principles of Attraction in this free eCourse:

 

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Topics: Thomas Leonard, Barbara L Fredrickson, Attraction Principles, personal development, Positive Psychology, coaching with neuroscience, spirituality

Does Your Coaching Client Really Have All the Answers?

Posted by Julia Stewart

Client has all the answers

This week, a coaching student asked me about the old coaching cliche that the client has all the answers.

There are important reasons why effective coaches honor this principle and reasons why it's a coaching trap if you aren't careful with it.

Why is it a trap?

It becomes a trap when you treat it like a hard-fast rule. That violates the very nature of coaching, which is personal, customized, and flexible. Every coaching conversation and every client is unique and requires unique responses from the coach.

If you try to apply this rule to every coaching session, you and your client will sometimes get stumped and you won't know how to handle it. It's unfair to your client and to yourself to box yourself in with this belief.

How did it become a trap?

This phrase shows up in coaching books and training programs because, "The client has all the answers," is an attention-grabbing concept. It has often been used to distinguish coaching from consulting. But it is much too simplistic. Some coach-training schools still treat this as a rule rather than a guiding principle. They mislead coaches into thinking there is only one answer to the question,  "Who has all the answers?"

Why is it important to honor this principle in your coaching?

There are several reasons. Here are the top three:

  • When someone arrives at a realization or solution, themselves, they are far more likely to follow through on it. When you hand solutions to your clients you make it less likely they will do anything about them. As the fortune cookie says, "Ideas are like children. Everyone loves their own best."
  • Another reason is that your client's strengths, values, experience, and skills are different from anyone else's and the solutions that work for them will also be different.
  • Finally, when a client discovers that they usually have the answers within, it creates confidence and freedom from the constant need to hire experts to solve their problems. This feature has contributed to the mercurial growth of the coaching profession.

What's the alternative to, "The client has all the answers?"

Thomas Leonard treated this issue differently. He said, "The answer is somewhere," which is far more nuanced. He said it didn't matter whether the client has the answer, or whether the coach has the answer, or whether the answer was found outside the coaching session, as long as the client got the answer needed. I agree up to a point, but it really is true that people follow through on their own ideas more than those of others and without follow-through, clients usually can't succeed.

Here's an even more nuanced way to handle this:

If your brain, heart, or gut is telling you that "The client has all the answers," can't always be true, you're probably right AND it's still useful to approach your coaching from this perspective.

Ask yourself this: "If my client has all the answers, how can I help them find them?" You'll discover that asking open-ended questions which tend to begin with Who, What, When, etc... help your client gain awareness of themselves and their situations. Often this is all that's needed for them to discover the answers within. On the occasions when your client doesn't seem to have the answers, offer options, resources, and other helpful tools. But avoid telling them what to do. That just creates resistance and resistant clients are less likely to follow through to success.

Want to become a coach?

Learn what really works rather than rules that can become traps. The Certified Competent Coach Course is a great place to start. To learn more, click the button below or download the Become a Coach eBook here.

 

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Topics: become a coach, coaching clients, Coach Training Programs, Thomas Leonard, certified competent coach

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