Are you meant to be a life coach?

Listen to the full episode here.


00:01:27 Hi, Rhonda Britten, Master Coach Mindset™ season two, episode two. This season, we’re talking about the eight coaching skills that are critical for you to experience, embody, align with the Art of Coaching so that you don’t get stuck just asking question after question, after question with your Clients having insight and ‘ah-has’, but no real trust, confidence, mutual respect, the foundation of what we discussed in episode one, those eight coaching skills, innocence, and risk, and just so many juicy aspects of getting to be a Coach.

Becoming a Coach for me has been a spiritual journey for sure, because my desire to be the best Coach I can be, to be a Master Coach has awakened in me, and even nudged me, forced me, pushed me, given me the courage to face the places where I get triggered, face the places where I have judgment, face the places where I’m not building my own trust in myself, as well as not building trust in another.


Like where I have that insecurity or … I’m just going to go back to lack of trust in myself and my Client where I say I believe in them, I say my Client is whole, perfect and complete, I say that my Client has all the answers, but then, I subtly judged them in the past, right? That’s what I did. I didn’t mean to do it. I didn’t want to do it. I just realized that I was still holding myself back, that my triggers and my suffering and my pain were holding me back to be a witness to other people’s, and to help move them forward.

00:02:41 This is why I developed the eight coaching skills because when I really started looking at what sets my coaching apart from all other Coaches, it really came down to these eight skills. In the beginning, when I first started coaching, I’m sure every Coach out there, I just wanted to have my Client have those ‘Ah-huhs’ and insights because that made me feel like they were getting it, and I was good, right? My Client had an insight, I was like, “Yeah! Party down! I’m so amazing”, but it didn’t necessarily change my Client permanently, it didn’t transform my Client.


I wasn’t necessarily skilled at helping my Client eliminate the blame, shame, guilt, worry, anxiety, et cetera. I was doing things on a temporary basis, but not on a permanent basis. ThIs is why I developed the eight Coaching skills because as I looked back at my coaching life, I started recognizing themes and patterns of what the great Coaches that I met, and my coaching, and my Clients’ coaching, it could be my Coaches’ coaching.

I started noticing themes and patterns about what really made an effective Coach, and I started recognizing that most coaching programs and most Coaches focus on content rather than the Art of Coaching. I believe that the better we embody the Art of Coaching in our own being, the more we can serve our Clients, and that’s my honor. That is my privilege. That is my job. That is what I love.


I know if you’re listening to me right now or watching me right now, I know that is yours too, that you want to become a more masterful communicator. That might be because you’re a Coach, that might be because you’re a consultant or a therapist, or it might be that you’re a manager, a supervisor, a team player, a parent, that you just want to get better at communicating, and these eight coaching skills are going to show you how. That is why I am so excited to be teaching these outside my own Life Coach Certification Program™, outside of Life Coach Certification Program, so I am super excited. Let’s talk about a couple things before we get into coaching skill one, because I want to keep laying the foundation.


00:05:12 I want to first talk about the intention for having a fearless conversation because that’s what you’re havIng when you’re using the eight coaching skills, and having and using that Art of Coaching, right? You’re having a fearless conversation, whether it’s with your Client or whether it’s your Client with their spouse or partner, or whether it’s a manager with an employee, right?

It is always a fearless conversation when you’re having conflict, because again, if two people are talking and they understand each other, awesome. It’s when those misconceptions happen and when we get upset, when we get triggered, when we grow frustrated, when we start shaming and blaming ourselves and others that the communication you know most likely is off, and we in turn … I know I did for most of my life, I blamed the other person, right?


“That person is just hard to deal with, that person is uncoachable, that Client is resistant, that Client isn’t ready”, right? I blamed the Client for my lack of ability to coach. I labeled them ‘Resistant’. I labeled them ‘Withholding’. I labeled them ‘Difficult’, and Coaches, I hear that all the time. “Oh yeah, I want to get my ideal Client because then, I won’t have resistant, difficult Clients.”

Right? That is baloney polony. Your Clients aren’t resistant or difficult. It’s your lack of coaching skills that is showing that up. Sure, there’s … Do you have ideal Clients? Of course, you have ideal Clients.

00:06:16 Of course, you have Clients you love to work with more, but when we as Coaches or therapists or parents call somebody difficult, then we don’t have to change, right? When we call somebody, “Oh, they’re withholding, or they’re not ready”, again, we don’t have to change. We blame them, and so what is the real intention of coaching? What is the real intention to have a fearless conversation, and what if you could never call your Clients resistant or difficult or withholding? What if that was not available to you and that wasn’t okay, like you never called your Client ‘Resistant’, and never asked your Client, “Why are you resisting?”?

00:06:58 Okay. That is like by far the worst question ever, just FYI, and we’ll talk about that in future episodes, but it’s just like that is such a question. It’s like, really? Do you think your Client’s really resisting? Really? Like, really? Like consciously resisting? No, they’re not. Unconsciously, they may be withholding, resisting whatever, but it’s because of fear, right? They’re not purposely doing it. When we call our Client ‘Resisting’, when we call our Client ‘Difficult’, when we say they’re withholding, when they say they’re not ready, that is a sign for us to become better Coaches. It’s a sign for us to improve our skills. It’s a sign for us that we must become better at the Art of Coaching, because we’re not asking questions in a attitude with a mindset that supports our Clients to have that transformation that they’re seeking.

What is the intention then for a fearless conversation? The intention is that you and your Client, and then I’m speaking to you, the Coach wIth the therapist, again whatever role you play in those fearless conversations, that you’re willing to practice having compassion, and that doesn’t only apply to your Client. It applies to yourself.

00:08:18 Can you see your desire to have compassion? Can you open your heart to have more compassion? Compassion … Again, we’re going to do that coaching skill on seeing the innocence in people, right? When we’re able to see the innocence not only in ourselves and others, we naturally have compassion, and when we have a difficult time with compassion, we’re not doing that first coaching skill with innocence.

00:08:43 The intention to have a fearless conversation, what we must walk in with in order to have a fearless conversation, to be open-minded, open-hearted, to be willing is to walk in to every single Session with compassion. Again, not only for the Client, but for yourself as well, because when you feel like the Session isn’t going well, rocky, uncomfortable, remember the question I answered in season two, episode one just last week, is, “Do you ever have rocky, uncomfortable starts with your Clients?” If that’s your experience, then let’s call for compassion. You must be willing to practice compassion not only for your Client, but for yourself.

00:09:28 The second thing is there’s no fixing or saving. You are not here to be the savior for anyone. I know. I know, right? I know you logically know that. I know every coaching program out there probably teaches that, no fixing or saving, but then we people-please. Then, we don’t interrupt. Then, we don’t ask the difficult questions. We say no fixing or saving, but then, we feel bad, right? You in your opportunity to grow to have that fearless conversation, no fixing or saving. No fixing or saving your Client. Now, the next intention to have a fearless conversation is knowing that all solutions are possible, that everything has a solution. It may not be the solution the Client wants or that you want, but there is a solution.


That causes all of us to grow, and we’re going to be talking about solutions, and we’re going to be talking about the difference between solution coaching and transformational coaching. Next intention to have a fearless conversation is detachment. Detachment. Yes, you must detach from the results your Client gets, and detach from where they are in the process, and if you have a scale or a rule in your mind, or where you think a Client should be at a certain Session, and maybe you want them, you have a twelve Session package maybe, let’s just make that up, and at ten Session, you want them to be at this particular place because then, they’ll re-up with you or they’ll finish high, and done. Then you’re having an agenda for your Client. Again, not that you don’t want to have goals, et cetera, but you have to be really conscious about where are you setting your Client up to fail, so detaching from the outcome.

00:11:24 The last intention to have a fearless conversation is listening with an open mind. Goes to compassion as well, right? Listening with an open mind. Can you really hear, i.e. listen to whatever the Client says, not just the things that you agree with, but can you listen literally to anything they say? If somebody said to you, “I’m feeling suicidal”, can you be with that?

00:11:52 If they talk about how they feel like a failure, and they’re not making enough money, and they feel horrible about themselves, are you going to move into fake cheerleading like, “No. No. No, that’s not true”? Right? That’s fake cheerleading. Can you really be with the Client wherever they are, and have that, what’s called ‘witness consciousness’?

00:12:17 These are some of the intentions to go in to your Client Session in order to have these fearless conversations that are necessary and needed inside every Coach Session. It’s not just, “Oh, when my Clients go through difficult things”, your Clients constantly going through change, transformation, and you must be up for a fearless conversation each and every time, every single Session, and daresay have one. It doesn’t mean calling your Client out. That’s not what a fearless conversation means. It means moving your Client to the next best place, okay?


That is your intention for fearless conversations. Now, what if you aren’t doing those intentions? That’s called ‘Dirty coaching’. Yes, I made up that term, dirty coaching, and too many Coaches do dirty coaching. Again, they’re doing it, they think they’re doing great coaching, but they’re really doing dirty coaching. Let me describe dirty coaching, and ask yourself, “Where are you in intention to have a fearless conversation, versus dirty coaching?”


If you are operating out of your own agenda, you have an agenda for your Client, and maybe even they said, “I want to triple my income”, and so you say to yourself, “That’s your agenda”, and you’re going to get them to do that, triple their income no matter what because that’s why they hired you, and, “Gosh. Darn it”, that’s what it’s for. Every problem your Client comes with is just an opportunity to transform their life. I will leave it at that for now, so if you’re operating out of agenda, dirty coaching.

00:14:05 Second, if you worry about how you sound in a Session, if you’re speaking, you’re saying something to your Client, asking that question, open and closed questions, open questions, closed questions, one to ten, et cetera, whatever question it is, and you’re worried, you’re thinking about how you sound, you’re probably dirty coaching. You’re dirty coaching if you’re telling your Client what they feel. Yes, if you tell your Client what they feel. “It sounds like you’re angry. What are you doing? What are you doing?”


You’re the authority, and for the most part, that’s how, even though we try again not to have that hierarchy. There’s a natural hierarchy there, and Clients want to please Coaches. Even though we don’t want that, many people want to please their Coach. If you ask a Client, “Oh, it sounds like you’re angry”, the Client for the most part will probably say, “Yes”, and you don’t actually know what they feel. If you are telling a Client what they feel, you’re dirty coaching. I know for the people out there that do non-violent communication that have learned to kind of guess what the Client’s feeling. I want you to do it a different way.

00:15:18 How we do it here at Fearless Living® is we don’t say, “Sounds like you’re angry.” We say, “What are you feeling right now? Are you feeling angry, upset, lonely, happy?” We always give a Client a range of feelings so that they have the power to choose, and it’s a range. It’s not just angry, upset, worried. It’s angry, upset, happy, confused, again, whatever … You have to give a range, and I say a minimum of three. Then, the Client can really sit with themselves and go, “I do feel lonely. I do feel upset.” Right? We don’t tell Clients how they feel. If you think you know how a Client feels, I guarantee you, you’re dirty coaching.

00:16:00 Next, if you want to be right. Yes, if you want to be right. You know who you are. You like to be right. It’s so good to be right. It’s so good to hear your Client go, “Oh, you’re so smart. You’re so amazing. You help me so much.” If you’re coaching to get praise, you’re dirty coaching. If you want to be right, you’re dirty coaching. There is no right. It’s not your life. It’s their life, so be awake. Are you wanting a certain outcome because you like that outcome, because you think that’s where they should go, and you think that if they want to triple their income, this is what they need to do? Again, if you want to be right, dirty coaching.

00:16:43 Lastly, if you are manipulating your Clients with questions, leading your questions down a path to get them to make a decision that you think is the best for them. You’re not asking pros and cons, costs and benefits. You’re not asking empower or disempower. You’re not asking both sides of the question. You’re asking one question. When you ask only one side of a question, that’s called ‘Manipulating an agenda’. Let me repeat myself. If you are manipulating the Client with your questions, and only asking one side of a question, not giving both sides equal view, an equal opportunity to be answered, you are dirty coaching. Operating out of your own agenda, worrying about how you sound, worried about what results you’re getting them, you’re telling the Client how they feel, wanting to be right, and manipulating the Client with your questions, that’s called ‘dirty coaching’.


Today, we’ve gone over already the intention to have a fearless conversation that you need to walk into every Session with, and we’ve also talked about when you’re doing dirty coaching, what you’re doing unconsciously to set that Client up, I want to say to fail, but more importantly, to not own who they are and to align and integrate with their true being. Dirty coaching, are you having an intention for fearless conversation and willing to practice that, or are you dirty coaching and calling that, “I’m just helping them get where they want to go”?

00:18:09 Baloney polony! It is not a fearless conversation because it is about you, and not them. Dirty coaching is when it’s about you, and how you feel, and what you like, and what you want, versus what they want, and not manipulating them to get where you think they should be to help them get what they want. That is dirty coaching. Does that make sense? I want to go to the question of the day because I think it’s imperative right now that this is where we go, and it’s relevant to what we’re talking about right now.

The question of the day, “Are there telltale signs early on when a Client isn’t the right one for the Coach, referring more to things like personality clashing or them not being forward, and give them …” Let’s just make sure. Oops. Sorry. Sorry. Sorry.
Referring more things like personality clashes or them not being ready to do the work and making changes, and they said excluding when they might have issues beyond my expertise. I get that. I’m going to repeat myself because I did that kind of sloppy. “Are there any tell-tale signs early on when a Client isn’t the right one for the Coach, referring more to things like personality clashes or them not being ready to do the work and making changes?” Let me answer this way.

00:19:38 If my Client shows up for the call, they want what I have. Meaning, they want to move beyond where they are in their life. If your Client is showing up for a Session, maybe they’re not prepared, maybe you feel like they’re being resistant, which again is false, they want it. They want transformation. When you say them not being ready to do the work and make the changes, if they’re showing up for the call, they are ready to make the changes, and you as a Coach must help them get ready and help them do the work in the way that they can in order to move them forward, and it might be an inch rather than a mile, but they are moving forward, okay?

00:20:27 Does that make sense? “Are they moving forward?”, because that’s the key. That’s the difference. If they’re moving forward, maybe not at the rate you think, or maybe not at the rate they’d like or about what they like, but if they’re showing up for my Session, I confidently know that they want change. That in and of itself, that’s the end. That’s it, right? If they’re showing up for the Session, they want it. They may not know how to get it, they may not be able to get beyond themselves, but they want it, and your skill as a Coach is going to help them do that.

If you feel like your Client isn’t ready but they’re showing up for a call, then what I would say is that you get to practice new skills and new ways of coaching so that you can help them, their willingness match their readiness, right? Like they want it because they’re showing up for the call, but they’re maybe not doing their homework or they’re having difficulties understanding things. Again, whatever that issue is that you think they’re not ready to work on it, whatever you’ve labeled that, that’s yourself. That’s your skill as a Coach,


If you are a beginning Coach, you probably are at the place in your life where, or in the coaching in your life that you think, “Oh, I do this, and they should do that. I assign homework, and they should do it”, and you’re in that black and white thinking, that’s where just questions come in, right? You have questions, you assign homework, and why aren’t they doing it? That’s why like I said, the number one question that I get from Coaches whenever I’m out in the world is, “How do you get your Clients to do their homework?” If you don’t know how to get your Clients to do their homework, then you need the Art of Coaching because you can’t Coach out of the box, right? You know how to ask a question, but you can’t Coach out of the box. In order to become masterful, in order to really help a Client to the most of your ability to support them to the greatest of your ability, you got to Coach outside the box, and that takes the Art of Coaching.


Referring things to personality clashes, I’m not saying that personality clashes don’t happen, and I’m not saying sometimes your expertise is not a fit, but if you really walk in with compassion, seeing their innocence, not have dirty coaching, not have agenda, you probably … Personality clashes are in and of themselves irrelevant, because personality clashes are usually power, power struggles, and so if you’re having a personality clash … Again, I’m not going to say there’s not rare instances where that’s true, but usually, it’s a power struggle, and somebody wants to be right, make the other wrong, they get triggered by the personality, they want their Client to be different, they’re having judgments about their Client. That’s your stuff.

00:23:36 If you’re not ready to face your stuff, then yeah, you can move your Client to somebody else, but also, that’s an opportunity for you to grow. I’m trying to think if I’ve had a personality clash in the last 23 plus years that I’ve been coaching, and I don’t think so, because I’m not there to be liked. I’m not there to … You’re not there to be liked, and they don’t have to be a certain way. They can be whatever way.

[00:24:05] They can be frustrated, and angry, and upset, and … I mean, I’ve had Clients that I guarantee most Coaches probably would be like, “Okay, that’s a “difficult Client'”, but I see my Clients when they make that phone call. I actually have a Client right now like that. She makes a little, tiny movement forward, and then she takes a step back, and then she makes a little, tiny forward, and then takes two steps back, and then a little, tiny forward, and a couple weeks ago, she’s like, “Oh, I don’t even know. Is coaching working?”

Even though the week before, she’s like, ‘Coaching is working. It’s amazing.” Now, she’s coming to the next Session going, “I don’t know if coaching is working.”
I went, “Was that true? Are you making it up? Let’s talk about it.” I’m not afraid of that question. She was able, through my questioning, to not only recognize her changes, but more importantly, to understand how courageous she is and how amazing she is. I said to her, “Are you showing up for these calls?”, and she said, “Yes.” I go, “Would you have showed up for these calls six months ago or a year ago or five years ago?” She’s like, “No. I would have never hired you.” I go, “Okay. Then, what’s the difference?” Right? “What’s the difference between then and now? Who have you become?”


Through our questions, we remind them of the truth of who they are, and if you have a personality clash, most tImes, it’s because you’re triggered and you don’t like a particular type of person, and you want it to be easier or different, or they remind you of your mother, or they remind you of your ex, right? Again, I’m not saying that you have to face that all the time, but I really can’t think of somebody that we weren’t able to move through whatever was up. Be attentive to that. Be attentive to that. Again, I’m not saying you don’t have ideal Clients and you can stay in your ideal Client niche in the box of ideal Client, but if you want to be masterful, that box, you can break it, right?


Season two, episode two, we’re starting talking about the intention of fearless conversations. We’re talking about dirty coaching. Next Session, we’re going to talk about the difference between coaching and therapy and questions. We’re talking about questions, and then as we moved through this season, we’re going to be going one by one through the eight coaching skills. Those coaching skills are going to start adding up to what I call the Art of Coaching, where you’re going to have more confidence, more skill, more ability, more integration, more alignment, and be able to move your Clients to a deeper place very quickly because you’re going beyond the questions. You’re coming in with a particular way of being that they can release, relax, become vulnerable, and share who they really are, and dream their biggest dream.

00:27:05 I leave you here. Again, next week, we’ll be talking about coaching versus therapy, and some other tools and tips. Then, in episode four, we’re going to start moving into the coaching skills. With that, I’m asking you to commit one more time. What kind of Coach do you truly want to be? How do you really want to show up for yourself and your Clients? Do you want to have an intention, stick with dirty coaching? Do you see your coaching as a way to move through your own spiritual development and become who you’re meant to be, and you’re doing the same thing with your Client, you’re hanging on to each other’s hand, supporting them until they can support themselves, and learning every step of the way?


I look forward to meeting you in person and giving you a Rhonda Britten hug, either at Fearless Conversations coming up or another workshop here at Fearless Living, but until then, I ask you to be compassionate with yourself and remember, always Be Fearless.