Are you meant to be a life coach?

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00:00:51 Hi. Rhonda Britten here for Master Coach Mindset™ and I’m so excited for this Season of Master Coach Mindset, Season Two. We are talking about the Eight Coaching Skills that in the past I’ve only shared with my Certified Fearless Living® Coaches at the Fearless Living Institute™. The reason this is so important is because there are two aspects of coaching. I mean there’s more than that, but for simplicity right now there are two aspects of coaching. One of the questions we ask and I bet that whatever program you went to or whatever training you’ve had if you consider yourself a Coach because you’re a good friend, let’s talk about that later. You have questions that you ask. Those questions are impactful. Questions are impactful, and it’s one of the reasons I created the Insiders Club to go along with Master Coach Mindset because I want to give you more questions that you are skilled at asking yourself as well as your Clients.
00:01:41 There’s a different and a separate aspect of being an effective Coach, which is the art what I call the “Art of Coaching.” There are the questions, but then there’s the implementation of the answers. There’s moving the Client from assigning them homework to actually them doing their homework. Then moving from doing their homework to actually having not only a change, i.e., in language but a change in their psychology, a change in their emotions, a change in their action. Not temporarily but permanently. That’s what I’m looking for. I’m looking for permanent change. I’m not looking for “Oh because you have a Coach you do better.” That’s good. We all do better with a Coach but that kind of leaves you because you don’t embody everything. Nothing’s embodied when you leave that coaching relationship. I always say that I want to have my Clients outgrow me. I want my Clients not to need me. Sure they can come for their yearly check-in, things like that but I want to support my Clients in not needing me every week to be their best because they know how to be their best.
00:02:44 As usual Jezebel my cat wants to say hello. She just knows when I am recording Master Coach Mindset, and she just wants to be a part of it. I don’t know if you can hear her, but she’s going, “meow, meow, meow, meow, meow,” like, “look at me, look at me, pay attention to me.” We’re just going to give her a look. Yes, Jezebel, I see you. For everyone out there that’s going “You named your cat Jezebel. What?” I did not name my cat Jezebel, I adopted my cat, and her name was Jezebel. I’m a firm believer, this is me most people don’t prescribe to this, but I believe never to change a cat’s name. Just like I wouldn’t change a child’s name, I’m not going to change my cat’s name. My cat’s name was Jezebel when I adopted her, and I actually have grown to … Oh, there she is. Oh, there she is. She’s coming to say hi. Yep.
00:03:35 We are in Eight Coaching Skills, and today we’re working on skill two. Last week remember we did skill one: “Speak as if they’re Innocent.” That’s right. “Speak as if they’re Innocent.” As I shared before, that is the most important coaching skill that you can have. It’s so funny because Jezebel’s actually going to give me an opportunity to actually work on the skill that we’re talking about now which is: “Speak Inclusively.” I’m going to include my cat, and I’m going to take her somewhere so just hang on right now. I’m going to be inclusive and tell you what I’m doing.
00:04:30 It’s interesting because I actually in this moment am going to be demonstrating this next skill, which is: “Speak Inclusively.” What does it mean to speak inclusively? Well, exactly what was happening around me? I’m going to say two things: One is, speak inclusively, i.e., with the Client but also you as a Coach must speak inclusively. My cat is meowing. Instead of pretending my cat wasn’t there, ignoring my cat, going, “shh, shh, stop, stop, stop,” thinking it’s ruining my Master Coach Mindset Episode. I am going to include my cat as well as I’m going to include you right with my cat. Then I’m also going to include you in telling you what I’m doing. I am now getting up and putting my cat outside and going to shut the door so she can have her fun outside and I can have my fun inside.
00:05:27 That is just one small way to be inclusive, to actually include your Clients. What’s going on with you as well as you knowing what’s going on with them in our physical environment as well as being a team. We want to be a team with our Clients. I am going to go because Jezebel was moving on my computer. I’m just going to get to my notes for this Episode. Again, including you in the process, i.e., “Speaking Inclusively.” I’m not going to pretend I’m not doing that. “Oh I’m not looking for something. I’m going to pretend that I know everything and I’m perfect.” No. Hey, my cat hit my keyboard and I’m looking for my notes.
00:06:14 The most important thing about being inclusive is that you and your Client are a team. You’re not the authority, i.e. better than them. You’re not going to prescribe their solution for them. Correct? Now remember in a previous Episode we talked about the difference between coaching and consulting and a lot of consultants call themselves Coaches. If you are somebody who tells people what to do and you call yourself a business Coach or financial Coach, but you’re really telling them what to do and guiding them through the process, i.e. ABC for a particular outcome, that’s a consultant. A Coach is somebody who, a Client comes to you with a problem, situation, an experience, a value, whatever they want to shift in their life. Whether it’s career, family, friends, loneliness, weight, health. Whatever the topic is, is the topic. We’re going to work as Coaches the same way regardless of what the topic is. Now again most Coaches have their niche, which is fabulous, and the coaching, is the coaching, is the coaching. The coaching, is the coaching, is the coaching.
00:07:37 You want to be able to coach not just from a perspective of health, or money, or weight, or love. You can have that niche but you want to know that you can coach anything, anywhere with anyone because that is mastery. If you quote “feel comfortable in just one niche” then you probably have great questions in that niche and have had success in that niche, but when you get out of that niche you’re not sure how to do it. That’s where the “Art of Coaching” comes in.
00:08:10 “Speak Inclusively.” When you speak inclusively the Client feels valued and is more committed to the process because you’re a team. I cannot emphasize that enough. You are not better than them even though you might be slightly “ahead of them” in skills in this particular problem. You’re not different than them. You’re not the authority i.e. know more than them per se. Even though you might have experience in your niche and you might have experience about what you talk about. The minute we think we’re ahead or better than or we know best, we are no longer speaking inclusively. That’s not even possible. The minute you do that you’re putting a separation between you and your Client and you’re actually thinking that you are now gifting, honoring, “Aren’t they lucky to have me as their Coach?” Again that may not be your logical mindset but when you feel frustrated with your Clients you might actually experience, those words go through your head like, “Oh they don’t understand how hard I’ve worked.” “They don’t get all the value I give them.” If that’s true then I would say you need help with your “Art of Coaching” because your Clients will automatically know your value every week, every time. If you don’t feel like your Clients know your value that’s your opportunity to grow.
00:09:38 Working together the “we” brings momentum and solution. I love the word momentum. We don’t talk about it enough. Momentum is critical for our Clients to start flowing start moving forward and we want to create that momentum. It’s one of the reasons why in the beginning when I work with a Client I work with them every week and some Clients I work with twice a week. You want to create that momentum. In the beginning it’s very difficult to work with a Client once a month because it’s too long, the space is too long to build any momentum. You can even have shorter Sessions but more frequently and that creates momentum because you’re on their team, like we’re together as a team. Part of being inclusive is to build that momentum.
00:10:22 You’re not saying to the Client, they say “Oh I only work once a month.” Your answer is “no” because you know that Client. Unless it’s a very rare Client and maybe you’ve worked with them in the past but if it’s a new Client you’re not going to be able to help them build momentum. You’re not going to help them build momentum. We want to have that one-on-one experience so that we become that team, so we keep track, so we’re staying in connection. I know there’s so many software’s and different ways to stay connected; text messaging. You might even have a Facebook group that you keep in touch. I understand that you may not meet one-on-one every week with your Client. You might have different modalities to help you stay connected. The bottom line is, what I hope you’re hearing, is that staying connected is critical for speaking inclusively because otherwise you’re speaking from your agenda and not where they are. Your agenda versus where they are. Those are two very different things.
00:11:22 We want to focus on solutions and brainstorms. We don’t want to give our Clients solutions, we don’t want to give our Clients all the brainstorming answers, we want to do it together. That’s inclusive. To speak inclusively I want you to ask your Client things that … I bet you already know these questions. “What do you think?” “What actions have you thought of?” “If your best friend was having this same problem what would you say?” We are including the Client in coming up with the solution. Again we as Coaches aren’t answer people. I’m going to say that again. We as Coaches aren’t answer people. We don’t give answers. We ask questions. Yes we support and ask fantastic questions.
00:12:07 With the “Art of Coaching” we remember who’s in charge. We’ve talked about this a little bit before. Is the Client in charge? Yes. Are you in charge? Yes. That’s speaking inclusively. Your job is to support that Client in reaching out towards something larger, bigger, more. If it’s up to them, remember their box is only their box. If you’re allowing them to lead they’re only going to stay in their box. They can’t break the box if you don’t lead as well. It is that give and take, that team. Sometimes you’re asking great questions of your Client and your Client’s having insights and aha’s and you’re saying, “Write it down, write that down, write it down, write it down.” By the way you better say that to your Client because they may not be writing it down. “Write that down. That sounds fantastic. Good work. Congratulations.” We’ll be talking more about acknowledging in a future Episode.
00:12:56 Your job is to make sure that you’re not the answer person and it’s seductive to do that. Especially if you have been through the experience before and you think you know the right way. I know logically you know that isn’t the way to do it. I know logically and you understand that that’s not coaching. We all get seduced by it because it’s easier. It’s faster. It works better for us because we think we move the Client faster. In actuality we may move the Client faster logically intellectually, but we do not move the Client their whole body, their spirit, their emotions. We’re actually leaving that part of them behind and just talking to their head.
00:13:37 We actually want to take the Clients whole body so it might take a little bit more effort for embodiment and alignment. That is critical for your success as a Coach for your Client. We’re all seduced. We’re all tempted to just tell our Client. We’re all tempted. Your job is to never tell them. Sure you can share stories etc. You can share things about yourself of course at appropriate moments. Telling them what the answer is does not help them embody it.
00:14:11 ROLEPLAY:
I know sometimes your Client is going to say, “Just tell me the answer.” I know my Clients do. “Just tell me, Rhonda, you’ve been doing this a long time, just tell me.”
I’m like “Would that really be helpful? How would that help you? Let’s say I give you the answer. Let’s just pretend I’m giving you the answer. What would happen?”
“Well, then I’d know what to do.”
“And then would you do it?”
“Well yes.”
“Really? Have you ever known the answer before? Have you ever known any problem you’ve ever had you knew what you’re supposed to do?”
“Well did you do it?”
If they say “yes,” go “100%?”
Knowing the “right answer” does not make someone take action. Does not move somebody to break their “bad habits” or to shift their patterns, or their neural pathways.
00:15:08 Having the right answer isn’t helpful. You’ve got to take their whole body with them. You have to take their whole body. That’s why the questioning is only one part of the coaching. Having the foundation of what it means to take a Client with you every step of the way. Sometimes you go a little backward to move a little forward because what you’re doing every step of the way is helping them embody, anchor, integrate, align so that when they do have that aha it literally shifts the cells in their being. Then they can move forward in that new place. Most Coaches don’t learn the subtle art of this. Instead, they’re just told questions, and they get seduced by insights. I’m going to say this probably 100 times in this Master Coach Mindset podcast, and I’ve said it already a few times, I’ll probably say it 100 times. Do not be seduced by insights and ahas. Those are lovely. Those are wonderful. They’re exciting. You’re like, “Yeah, it’s working.” You feel like “yes.” Remember an insight or aha is just a door opening, it’s just a door opening.
00:16:20 I really want you to visualize this. You have an insight and aha as a Coach, as a Client. You’re like “Aha, yes I get it now.” How many times have you acted on that insight and aha in your own life? Exactly. Point taken. Your Clients are also going to have insights and ahas. Your job is to make sure you help them take that insight, take that aha and get it in their body, in their brain, in their heart, in their cells so now they can actually live it. That’s very different than being seduced by an insight and aha and believing that’s going to change your Client. You and I both know that doesn’t. Then the Client comes back and goes, “I was so excited last week, but this week I’m having a really tough time.” You’re like, “Well, what was that insight?” And they say, “Blah.” “Okay well, what did that do for you?” “Well, it made me realize this.” “Great. So what action do you want to take?” “Well, I want to take this action.” “And have you done it?” “No.” “Because?” “I don’t know.” This is where the “Art of Coaching” comes in.
00:17:25 When your Clients can tell you the truth, by the way, because this is also a part of “Speaking Inclusively.” When you are with your Client, they can actually tell you the truth and not try to please you. When you say, “Well what actions have you taken,” and they start fumbling around trying to prove they did something because they don’t want to be wasting their money, or want to impress you, or want to feel like they’re a good student, or whatever their fears are. Your job is to not be seduced by that and to let them off the hook with that, so they don’t have to do that. “Speaking Inclusively” is you are literally with the Client. You’re with the Client. If they have an insight, you don’t … Okay so Client goes “Yay,” and you can go “Yay,” but you know that that is not the change. You go in with the questions as well as the foundation of the “Art of Coaching.” You can have that Fearless Conversation™, so they can have the Fearless Conversations they need to have. You can move the Client forward embodying that insight, embody and anchoring that. It’s not just like, “What do you want to do with that insight?” That’s a great question, by the way, fine question. That’s not going to be enough for most Clients to actually take action.
00:18:39 That’s why the number one question I receive from Coaches is, “How do you get your Client to do their homework?” The “Art of Coaching,” that’s how I do it. That’s actually what coaching is. Coaching is not questions. Questions is the content. That’s not coaching, that’s questions. Anybody can learn questions. I can grab 100 questions, memorize them and ask those questions but that doesn’t make me a Coach. That doesn’t make me a Coach. Sadly most of the Coach training out there, that’s what they do. They might call it a six-month program or eight-month program. They might give you insights and ahas, and basically, you get a list of questions, but you don’t embody, practice what I call the “Art of Coaching.” That’s what we get to do, and really in order to embody this stuff you need support, you need supervision and mentoring, etc. so that you can have guidance so that you know where your ” tripping up,” where you’re getting seduced. “Speak Inclusively.” Do you hear how important that is?
00:19:34 Logically it’s like, “Of course I’m inclusive, I include my Client of course.” That’s only an understanding level, that’s only an understanding level. We want to actually understand their heart, their soul, and the guts of what it means to change their life. We as Coaches don’t get seduced. We include their process. We include ourselves. We’re together, two or more. We’re bigger and better and more than two people. When you understand the human reality or the human psychology of change, and you understand that an insight aha is not the change itself you can actually be a more effective, more impactful Coach.
00:20:19 Now I’m going to say something. Take a deep breath. I’m going to. If you have a coaching program that’s twelve weeks long and that’s all you do. You only work with Clients twelve weeks or ten weeks or eight weeks, and that’s your program. You don’t work with them for a year or six months, you only work with them twelve weeks or eight weeks, whatever your coaching program is. Then they go, “bye bye.” Some of these things you’re going to get away with doing poorly because you’re not going to be with Clients long enough to actually see the impact and the effect of this lack of inclusion. If they’re in a six-week, eight-week, twelve-week program, there’s acceleration. There’s momentum. Maybe even you’re doing a group-coaching program, which of course gets you out of doing a lot of these things. You can “say” that the Client wasn’t motivated. You can “say” that they didn’t take advantage of every opportunity. Yes, all of those things are correct. If that’s okay with you, okay. That is not Master Coaching.
00:21:45 I work with my Clients a year and a half, two years, four years, longer. My first Client that I coached over 23 years ago still calls me for coaching. In order to do that the “Art of Coaching” is critical. If you want just a program that you put people through, and if they get it they get it, and if they don’t they don’t, well then you probably won’t care about the “Art of Coaching.” I’d stop listening now because you’re not going to use it effectively. It’s not going to matter to you. It does matter to your Clients. I think one of the shames, one of the sins, one of the downfalls of the coaching industry, as a whole is that we subtly blame our Clients for not getting it. “Well, you didn’t take advantage of every opportunity.” Again that might be correct but isn’t that why they hired you? To get the support and get the help and have a helping hand push them up and help them when they’re stuck?
00:22:50 If your putting everything on the Client and have a twelve-week program and they’re supposed to do this, this, this, and this. Which again no problem. Understand. That Client walks away from that twelve weeks if they’re not one of your stars because again there’s only so many stars in a class. The perfect person at the perfect time at the perfect moment and they’re ready to go. Maybe they’ve been coached before, just some sort of magic’s happening. If you have a class of 100 people, let’s just say there might be two to three to five stars. I say five is probably not going to happen but maybe. Maybe another ten they’ll totally get it, and they’ll be on their way. The majority of our students again, not that they don’t get value, not that they don’t get value, but there’s not enough coaching for them to actually make the changes that they need. They actually need more support.
00:23:48 I guess what I’m saying is you really have to ask yourself, “Am I teaching a class or am I coaching? Am I teaching a class and have a group coaching program and teaching a class?” That’s a different level of inclusion. What I’m talking about, Master Coaching, is I’m actually coaching that person through all their worries, fears, they want to leave the class, they don’t do their homework, whatever’s happening for them. I’m actually coaching them through that and not going, “Well bummer drag. I had a class about homework, and you weren’t there, I guess you don’t want it.” No, they want it. They signed up. They want it. They want it. Like I said if they show up for the call if they pay their money they want it. They just don’t know how to get beyond their fears. They don’t know how to get beyond their what they call procrastination. They don’t know how to get beyond it.
We’re going to be talking more about inclusion in our next Episode, but I want to get to the question of the day because our time, time is ticking. “Rhonda, what’s the best thing to do as a Coach when you need time to think and trying to find your words? Some say it’s okay to take that pause. Others say to keep asking questions even if it’s not the right one yet.” I’m going to read that again. “What’s the best thing to do as a Coach when you need time to think and try to find your words? Some say it’s okay to take a pause. Others say just keep asking questions even if it’s not the right one yet.”
00:25:22 First of all, get away from the right question. Get away from the right, perfect question because then what you’re going to be doing is you’re going to be seduced by thinking the right, perfect question is going to give that aha, and it’s going to make that change. Yes, there are better questions than others, of course, but don’t be seduced by trying to find … Don’t spend time trying to find that right question. Instead, you listen to your tape, and you go, “Huh, what other questions could I ask,” and then you brainstorm it out. The next time that occurs you have other ways of being, other questions on the tip of your tongue. When you need as a Coach time to think, which by the way there are times that I need to take a pause just to formulate my words, I think I’ve actually done it in this Episode.
00:26:09 What you have to do is you have to include the Client. Let’s say I’m pausing to think about how to phrase it. I say to my Client, “I’m just taking a minute here to come up with the phrasing I need. I want to make sure that I say it in a way that makes sense. So give me a second.” Then you’re silent and paused. Including the Client is including them also what’s going on with you. For instance, if I drop my pen and I got to take notes, and I dropped my pen, and I can’t reach it. I don’t have my earphones on or whatever. Somehow I have to leave the Session. Something spilled, something happened. My cat comes in the Session, whatever. You include the Client. “Oh, give me a minute. I dropped my pen. Oh, I just need to take a second. Sorry for interrupting you at this moment but my water glass just spilled and let me just grab a rag, could you hold a second? Thank you.” Go get the rag and do it.
00:27:13 You’re including the Client. Not only are you including the Client because you want to stay in communication and connected, but you’re also teaching your Client a valuable skill. To speak up and support them understanding how they work, to teach them how to include other people on what’s going on with them. Are you just going to keep asking questions? No. What I train my Coaches to do is to have their favorite five questions that they can pull out at any time because if they’re frozen … There’s a difference between formulating how to say it and frozen. I don’t know what to say. Well if you’re formulating a question do as I already demonstrated. If you’re frozen, and you can’t come up with a question that’s when you do need five questions you’ve memorized and just ask the question. Those are two very different things.
00:28:06 One is I’m formulating, “It’s on the tip of my tongue. I’m just trying to figure out how to do it.” The other one is “I have no idea what I’m doing.” If you have no idea what you’re doing, I always tell my Clients to have their five favorite questions and maybe they’re working on one favorite question, and just say that question. You have to start moving that frozen fear and start the process, just get your wheels turning. Does that make sense? Sometimes you’re going to pause, share with the Client what’s going on. Other times you’re just going to ask the next question because your frozen, it’s not contemplating, it’s “I don’t know what I’m doing.” That’s a sign. If you don’t know what you’re doing, that’s a sign that you’re not following your Client, and you’re not trusting yourself. You’re not following a Client, and you’re not trusting yourself.
00:28:55 If you on a regular basis are not sure what question to ask or doubt the question you’re about to ask, or looking for that right question. That is a function of trust, first of all trusting yourself, but also not being with the Client, not listening to the Client. The Client literally gives you the next question, always. The Client gives you the next question if you’re listening.
00:29:18 I am so excited to be sharing Master Coach Mindset with you. Our next Episode we’re going to be talking and continuing to talk about: “Speak Inclusively.” I look forward to seeing you then. Remember if you want the worksheets that go along with this Episode so you can integrate and embody what I’m talking about, then go on over to and join the Insiders Club and grab those worksheets that I create. Everyone is different, so you’re building a toolbox and a library, not only for yourself but for your Clients.
Until the next time, Be Fearless.