Are you meant to be a life coach?

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00:00:39 Hi, Rhonda Britten. Welcome to Master Coach Mindset™. Season Two, Episode Five, and what are we working on today? What skill are we building? It’s the second part of our first coaching skill, “Speak as if they’re Innocent.”
00:00:56 Last time we talked a lot about what that means and what that looks like, and the gift that you give your Client when you see their innocence. Not just by lip service, not just by knowing, but from the core of your being. Creating a space and a place for them to see their own innocence because you witness their innocence so beautifully because you witnessed their innocence from a true place within you. Not just because you know it’s the right thing to do, but that it really is who you are.
00:01:28 I don’t know about you, but my goal always, my personal intention and my goal where I want to keep expanding is “I want to be a vehicle for love.” I want people to feel loved in my mere presence. Am I an expert at that? No, I’m not. Do people feel loved around me? Well, they tell me they do. Do I want to keep getting better at it? Yes. Do I want to keep getting better at it because there’s something wrong with me? No. I just want to heal myself, and I want to get more in my skin, and I want to move more into my own life. In that, in that capacity to love myself even deeper and even more that will radiate, and I will be in the overflow and allow others to experience that inside of me so that they can touch it inside themselves.
00:02:12 It’s just my own personal work because that’s the cool thing about coaching. The cool thing about coaching is that I get to give and share everything that I’m doing in my own personal work to my Clients. I don’t mean give, like literally, “Oh, let me tell you what to do.” No, but just my own willingness to practice these skills allows me to be a better Coach. Personally for me, “Speaking as if they’re Innocent” is the most critical skill that I can share, give, gift, be in touch with whenever I’m coaching my Clients, and of course when I’m just in life itself.
00:02:50 This is the second part of “Speak as if they’re Innocent.” If you haven’t heard the first part of this skill, I really encourage you to listen to Season Two, Episode Four so that you can learn the foundation of this skill. Today we’re going to get into some listening tips and ways that you could be “blocking yourself,” and a little guidance on how to do this better. I want to remind you, as I’ll remind you throughout our work together, is that I’m giving you knowledge, and you have to embody this knowledge and move it into your being, move it into your cells.
00:03:25 Knowledge is nice, but it’s not going to change your life. I mean, again, it’s nice, but we know the gap, right? The gap between knowledge and living it. That is the most painful part is it not? It’s just so funny that I’m saying this out loud because I didn’t even think about this, but my Client just asked me yesterday. I had a Session with a Client yesterday, just yesterday and she said, “How do I go from knowing it, not logically, to living it?” I think that’s the work of coaching is our Clients know a lot, or we can tell them a lot if we don’t Coach, and we’re telling, yet there’s a big difference between knowing and living. It’s also where our suffering is. I know for me, I knew a lot. I’m an avid reader and been reading personal development and self-help since I was 12-years-old.
00:04:16 I’m a huge self-help junkie. I’ve read books on Buddhism, Taoism, you name it, Erik Erikson. A ton of books. I knew what I should be doing, I knew how I should be living, but there was a complete disconnect at how to do that and if I could do that, and if I even had the right to do that or if it was possible for me. When I wasn’t seeing my innocence, I just thought I was damaged goods. I thought there was something really wrong with me and was I a bad person? Am I just never going to become who I’m meant to be? Have I failed this lifetime? I think this is like I said, is because if they’re innocent is the most critical skill, and it’s also the most critical skill for you as a Coach to learn to gift yourself with that and, of course, everybody you love and everybody you know.
00:05:10 Let’s talk about how to do it better. Remember, for those of you in the Insider’s Club there’s going to be a worksheet inside the Insiders Club for you to download so that I can talk you through this, move you through this a little bit more in depth so that you can embody it a little bit more. It doesn’t just become something you’re listening to in your car called a podcast and its nice knowledge, and you’re having aha’s and insights, but that you actually live it. Again, the difference between knowing it and living it is a huge gap of suffering and a huge gap for beating ourselves up. That’s what I want to start supporting with you in eliminating that gap so that you can move from knowing into your heart, into living, into yourselves.
00:05:52 “Speak as if they’re Innocent.” When you do not see others as innocent, you may observe yourself. Here are some of the ways that you know you’re not doing it: One, you’re impatient. It’s one of my fear responses is inpatients. I get impatient if I think they should know more, doing more, figuring out. If I’m labeling my Client as they just don’t really want it, they’re stupid, or they’re lazy. Again, anytime that I’m saying that they can’t, they won’t, they’re resistant, they’re trouble or they’re difficult, all of that lets me know that I’m not seeing their innocence. Anytime that I’m showing impatience, anytime that I think they should be different than the way they are, anytime that I am judging, using a judgmental tone, anytime I’m labeling them, I am not seeing their innocence.
00:06:45 Also, when I ask them disempowering questions like, “Why did you do that?” That seems like an innocent question. You’re just asking why they did it. “What made you do that? Why did you do that?” Just feel the weight of that question. “So why did you do that?” Waa, waa, waa. I already feel bad, waa, waa, waa. I am bad. I’m wrong. The whole concept of why, and again, we’re not talking about the “big why” underneath your mission as has been popularized in the last few years and has been around for centuries, but when we ask a question usually like, “Why did you do that? Why would you think that? What were you thinking?” Even that, “What were you thinking?” Notice the judgmental tone. Just notice the heaviness of, “Why did you do that?”
00:07:34 Think about it. It seems like an innocent enough question, “Why did you do that?” It’s loaded with guilt and shame. It’s loaded with trigger. It’s loaded with, “Why did you do that?” You know what the answer most likely to any “why” question is fear. “Why did your Client stop exercising? Why did your Client quit work? Why did your Client give up on themselves? Why did your Client,” all those “why” questions most of the time are ladled, filled with guilt and coming from you, i.e., from a place of judgment. I’m not saying I’d never asked my Clients “why” questions. Sure I do. Of course, I do. I rarely ask my Clients “why” questions, because “why” usually for most people triggers that guilt, triggers that it should have been different, triggers that they should have known better. Be attentive to that “why” and definitely be attentive to that judgmental tone.
00:08:37 “What were you thinking?” Again that sounds totally judgmental. “Well, what were you thinking?” Not like, “Tell me your thoughts right now when you were going through that, tell me your thoughts,” that’s very different. “Tell me your thoughts and what were you thinking?” or, “Why did you do that?” Those types of questions, again, are just ladled with guilt and shame. A great exercise for you to do, this is a bonus, great exercise for you to do is start noticing the questions that you’re asked that make you go, “Oh, that hurt. Oh, I feel judged.” Just start paying attention to those and then listen to your tapes and see how often you’re asking those why questions or asking a question that sounds innocent enough, but it’s really ladled with judgment.
00:09:17 Again, if I’m labeling my Client, in my own mind, I’m not seeing their innocence. If I’m showing impatience, if I’m using a judgmental tone and I’m asking questions that are disempowering, like, “Why did you do that? What were you thinking?” I mean, I think of my parents. I think of teachers, I think of people that were supposed to support me in my life. Asked me lots of times, “What were you thinking?” Well, I wasn’t. I was afraid. I wanted to be accepted. I wanted to be loved. I didn’t have the articulation. I didn’t have the awareness to know that. When they asked me, “Why did you do that?” I would go, “Because I’m bad because I messed up because I was drinking?” I don’t know. I use any excuse. I didn’t know why I was doing it.
00:10:02 Our Clients don’t know why they’re doing half the stuff they’re doing. Again, because it’s based on fear and fear is tricky. Usually that “why” comes from, that answer to the “why” is really judgmental for themselves, they’re putting themselves down, and it sounds judgmental coming from you, even though it’s innocent. Be attentive to your tone. Tone is critical when we’re talking about “Speak as if they’re Innocent.”
00:10:23 Let’s do a listening tip here. Your job is, of course, to be present in the conversation. You’re not looking on your computer when you’re coaching, and you’re not writing notes in your computer. The question of the day is about this. We’ll talk about that in just a minute. You want to be present. You don’t want to be looking at your computer, and you don’t want to be distracted. You want to create a distraction-free environment wherever you’re Coaching, so you don’t get sidetracked. You don’t go like, “What’s that?” Right? The minute you are not present, the minute you’re looking at something, reading something, doing something else, you’ve lost the thread of the conversation. If you did that, that Client is not going to feel that you’re with them and if you’re not with them, that means you don’t like them. That means they’re damaged. That means they’re bad, and it definitely feels like disconnection.
00:11:11 When people feel disconnected, they don’t feel safe anymore. Your job is to create, be totally present in that conversation and not be in your own head thinking about how you sound (remember Dirty Coaching™) thinking about what you should say next. If you’re doing any of that, you’re not present. I know that takes practice to get out of your own head to come up with a question, but that’s your goal. Your goal is, “I don’t want to be thinking of my question while my Clients’ talking,” because again, that’s a disconnection and your Client will feel like you’re not with them. They won’t take it as you’re a bad Coach, they’ll take it like, “You don’t like me.” Some Clients will call you a bad Coach, but most people won’t. They’ll blame themselves because most people that come to coaching have a tendency to blame themselves and not blame others.
00:11:54 It’s kind of like whose attracted to Coaching. They beat themselves up, not others. They blame themselves more than blaming others. Be present in the conversation. Another listening tip, be aware that most people speak 200, or 250 words a minute and they listen 300 to 500. They speak to 200 to 250, and they listen 300 to 500. What do you think happens between the speaking and the listening? Yeah, you’re jumping in the conversation. You’re trying to fill in the blanks. You’re trying to make things up. You’re trying to figure out the “why.” You’re trying to do all the work and make everything up in your own being. “Should I ask this? Should I not asked this?” Or “What are they really saying? Oh, I’ll figure it out all by myself over here,” Which of course eliminates a Client.
00:11:42 If you eliminate the Client, do you think the Client feels connected? Do you think the Client feels like it’s innocent? No, you’re doing all the work for them. Your job is to stay present. You actually have to slow down. You have to slow down, as I say, in Fearless Living®, a quote by Rhonda Britten: “Slow is the new fast.” Slow is the new fast.
00:13:01 Another tip to give you is to eliminate the “you” before sentences. Of course, you are going to say “you” sometimes, just like sometimes you’re going to ask “why,” but it’s more. It’s not like, “You are doing this. You should be doing this, you, you, you, you, you, you,” that feeling of “you.” Like when every question is with a “you” or a statement is with a “you,” it can feel attacking. It can feel pressure.
00:13:30 It can feel like you’re challenging them. Be attentive to how many times you say “you” in a conversation and, of course, are you going to say it? Of course you are but listen to your tapes. Are you going to record your conversations? Yes. You’re going to record your Coaching conversations and listen to your tape and count how many times you say “you.” Count how many times you ask a “why.” Keep track of how many times you were distracted on the call. That’s your work to do. Your Client isn’t boring. Your Client isn’t boring. You’re not present. Let me repeat myself. Your Client isn’t boring. Your Client isn’t flawed. Your Client doesn’t have to entertain you. Your job is to stay present, and that’s a skill, an expansion for you. To be present takes something, it takes a muscle, and that’s why when you first started Coaching, having three Sessions in a day is exhausting because you have to stay present for three Sessions.
00:14:28 That’s why when beginning Coaches have one Session or two Sessions, and they’re like, “Oh my God, I’m exhausted.” They don’t understand that they’re actually expanding their energy capacity. They’re expanding their ability to stay present, and again, that’s a muscle. How long can you coach? How long can you teach? How long can you speak? How long can you stay present listening to somebody? That is your capacity. That has nothing to do with them being boring. It has nothing to do with their lack of being entertaining. That’s not their job to not be boring/not entertaining. That’s your inability to be present. Let’s get really clear about that. If you can’t be present, it’s going to be very hard for your Client to feel like you see them as innocent and feel very difficult for your Client to stay connected and to feel accepted by you.
00:15:13 That’s your growth opportunity for you. A growth opportunity. How present can I be? Meditation, of course, comes into that. Meditation is a critical skill that we all get to practice, and it’s okay if you meditate five minutes at a time or even a minute at a time, but just being attentive to your own thoughts and watch your own process. Remember, as I shared last time in Fearless Living, we coached the process not a problem.
00:15:37 Potential roadblock. This is a potential roadblock to “Speak as if they’re Innocent” and it is lecturing, teaching, telling them, teaching, lecturing, right? Like, “You don’t try hard enough. Come on. You’re having such a negative attitude. You’re not committed to the process.” I love that one, right? We think we’re being tough. We think we’re being tough and integrous. You’re not committed to the process. No. That’s lecturing, and it’s filled with guilt and shame.
00:16:13 You have no idea if they’re committed to the process, you don’t know what their capacity is, and you don’t know how much afraid they are. You’re just using everything, whether they do it or not, and you’re using the integrity and commitment to coach. Commitment and integrity are just languages, words to use in order to support a Client in going deeper into the experience. If you’re using, “You’re not committed to the process,” because they didn’t do their homework.
00:16:40 That’s your incapacity. Not able to Coach them. Let’s put it that way. I know I can’t get that word straight. It’s calling out you not able to Coach them. If you’re judging them like, “They should be able to do this. They said they’d do it now and they’re not. I guess they’re not ready for Coaching.” That’s all your job to become a better Coach to coach them through that. That is coaching.
00:17:06 Coaching is not saying, “What are you committed to? 1 to 10,” and they say, “10,” and then next week when they don’t do it, your job is not to go, “You’re not really committed, are you sure you’re a 10?” That is not coaching. No. That’s asking questions that you learned, but that’s not coaching. Your job is to learn these Coaching skills, these Eight Coaching Skills so that you have the capacity and the skill when a Client comes to you.
00:17:32 Last week they said, you asked them, “How committed are you?” And they said, “A 10,” and, “Okay, how are we going to do this homework?” “Yes.” “You going to do it?” “Yes,” and, “You’re going to let fear stop you?” “No. Yay,” and they come and they didn’t do anything or they did one thing. Your job is to actually investigate, ask questions, coach, help them accept themselves right where they are.
00:17:54 Help them see their own innocence, help move them forward, just a nudge. Don’t get caught up in, “Well, they said they were committed and then they didn’t do it. I guess they’re not committed.” Again, that’s your inability to see their innocence and your inability to coach them through that process. It’s not me saying that that’s bad.
00:18:13 It’s okay for you to start identifying where you get to grow as a Coach. Knowing this is good information. It’s not me going, “That’s not what you should be doing as a Coach.” It’s me going, “Oh, my gosh, look at what you get to practice.” Like all Coaches, all therapists, all people who want to have Fearless Conversations™, you get to get better. You get to learn about yourself, grow into your own power, grow into your own body and become more of who you are meant to be. It’s not about, “You’re not committed to the process”. If you say that and you’re focused on integrity and commitment, and use their language, and think that their actions are going to match their language.
00:18:54 That is a rarity, because we want to do more than we may have the capacity to do or maybe have the courage to do. We want it so we’re going to go like, “We’re going to do it.” Right. That’s why people who say, “I want to make a million dollars,” and they make 500,000 and they made 200,000 last year. They go, “But I didn’t make a million dollars.” It’s like, “Wait a second. You went from 200,000 to 500,000. That’s amazing!” We dream. We can dream bigger, we can go for more, we want to believe we’re committed. In the moment we’re committed, but then life happens and we as Coaches get to support them in understanding how life happens. Help them move through that so that they can keep moving forward and not beat themselves up and not stop in their tracks because they have so much shame and guilt and self-deprecation.
00:19:41 Lecturing. “Speak as if they’re innocent.” I’m going to read a quote from myself. “A characteristic of a trusting heart is the knowledge that no one is perfect, including you.” I’m going to read that again. “A characteristic of a trusting heart is the knowledge that no one is perfect, including you,” Rhonda Britten. This is really critical.
00:20:09 “Speak as if they’re Innocent.” I could talk and talk about “Speak if they’re Innocent “for the next two years. I could teach a class on just innocence because this is how important it is. This is just the beginning. If you’re a member of the Insiders Club, I’m also going to give you some questions to ask your Clients, ask yourself, and so make sure you download the worksheet.
00:20:38 As we’re moving through these coaching skills, it’s really critical that you get the worksheets and actually do the work. I’m not going to ask you, “How committed you are,” because life happens. I am asking you, “Do you want to embody this more? If you do, if that’s you,” because some people just want to listen to this podcast. They just want to listen to me and get it in their cells that way. If you’re somebody who likes to write, somebody who likes to be asked questions, to go a little deeper, to actually have a Mentor/Coach, move them through this material in a deeper way. Then Insider Club, because I’m going to give you a worksheet that’s going to help you take it deeper to help you integrate it more. Make sure you check that out. If you’re not an Insider, go to and check out the Insider Club.
00:21:47 QUESTION OF THE DAY: “What’s the best way to respond and just dive into a Session when I call a Client and they ask, ‘how are you?’ or start to chit-chat?” So I’m going to ask that again. “What’s the best way to respond and just dive into a Session when I call a Client and they ask, the Client asks, ‘how are you?’ or start to chit-chat?” This is awesome. This is really a boundary skill, this is remembering what your role is. Are you a Coach, or are you a friend? If somebody’s paying me for a Session, I’m there to maximize every second that they talk to me, right? They’re paying good money to be supported and to hire a Coach. We want to make sure that we’re not there as their friend, we’re there as their Coach. The whole Session can be talked about, a whole podcast Episode could be devoted to friend versus Coach.
00:22:41 We’ll do that. We’ll definitely do that in the future, because there’s a big giant difference. If a Client says to me, “Hi Rhonda, how are you?” My answer is, “Fantastic, and what I can’t wait to hear is what risk you took this week.” I seamlessly go, I don’t say, “Great, how are you?” I don’t do that, I don’t do that. No. If you want to hear more about that, please make sure you go to get the Fearbuster Coaching™ Toolkit and if you’ve already downloaded it and watched the videos, watch them again because I go into this in detail. It’s really important that when a Client jumps on the phone with you, that you have that boundary of “this is a coaching Session.” You want to move it towards them immediately. If they start chit-chatting, use it for your coaching.
00:23:30 If they ask, “How are you?” simply answer, “Fantastic, and I’m so excited to be talking to you today. I cannot wait to hear what blank, blank, blank. I cannot wait to go over your homework blank, blank, blank. I can not wait to hear your risk this week.” Again, however you open your Session, I have a particular way to do it and like I said, it’s in Fearbuster Coaching toolkit, so go download that.
00:23:51 Your job is not to forget why you’re on that call. You’re a Coach, you’re not their friend. Now, some Clients want to chit-chat. They want to talk about they went to the beach. Great, you know that about your Client. Then incorporate that in the opening. You could actually say, “So tell me one fun thing you did this week?” Maybe you’re working on fun. “So tell me one fun thing you did this week” and then they go, “Oh, I went to the beach,” and like, “Oh, fantastic.”
00:24:23 If they say, “Oh, my gosh,” they got on the phone and go, “Oh my gosh, I didn’t know if I should cancel the Session or not because I’ve been at the beach all week.” Your job is not to go, “Beach? Wow. Tell me about it.” Your job is to go, “Fantastic. So what supported you at the beach? Tell me one thing that you got out of going to the beach. What gift did you give yourself?” Now you’re using their story of going to the beach as a coaching opportunity. Every single thing your Client says is a coaching opportunity. Let me repeat that. Every single solitary thing your Client says is to support you in coaching them. It’s not casual conversation, it’s not chit-chat. You can turn it into a coaching conversation, you can use it to further their life and that’s your opportunity.
00:25:10 Next Episode we’re going to be doing skill two, “Speak Inclusively.” Episode Six, we’re going to be moving to the second coaching skill of my Eight Coaching skills and like I said, it’s called “Speak Inclusively.” I cannot wait to share how to do that skill. That is really important in the Coach-Client relationship. Maybe that’s a good place for me to talk about the friend-Coach scenario.
00:25:41 We’ve talked about “Coaching versus Therapy”, we’ve talked about Dirty Coaching, I read the Eight Coaching skills in Episode One of Season Two. Go ahead and listen to that. If you’re new to the podcast, make sure you go listen to that, so that you know what skills are coming up and this is the second part of the skill “Speak as if they’re Innocent.”
00:25:59 If you haven’t listened to Episode Four, please go listen to that now because that’s going to build on and be the foundation of what we talked about today. As always, send your questions in. Go to and on the bottom, you’re going to see a place to ask Rhonda anything. I love your questions. I’ve got tons of questions. Tons of questions, tons, tons, tons of questions. And I love questions. So ask me your questions. I’ve got like, gosh, I’ve got like 100 and something here probably and I want yours, because yours might be the perfect question that I can use to further the conversations that we’re having in these Eight Coaching Skills.
00:26:40 I cannot wait to meet you in person at a Fearless Conversations™ weekend. I cannot wait to see you download the worksheet that goes along with this Episode and the Insider’s Club. I cannot wait to share some tidbits and surprises inside the Insiders Club with you. I can’t wait to hear how Master Coach Mindset is supporting you in becoming the best Coach you can be. A more Masterful Coach, a more empowering Coach, a more confident Coach, a more impactful Coach, a more influential Coach. A Coach that feels good from the bottom of her toes to the tip of her head and beyond.
00:27:14 Congratulations for being here. Congratulations for being willing to have these conversations with me so that we can both help the world become just a little bit more fearless and yes, see the innocence in everyone and with that, remember always Be Fearless.