Are you meant to be a life coach?

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00:00:39 Hi, Rhonda Britten with Master Coach Mindset™, the podcast that’s going to support you in becoming the best Coach you can be. I love Coaches. I know that many of the issues that we think we have in building our business we think, “Oh, I’ve got to become a better businesswoman or man. I’ve got to become better at business. I’ve got to become better at recruiting. I’ve got to become at sales.”
00:00:59 All those things. There’s maybe some truth to them. What I notice is that when you’re confident in your skill, when you know you can Coach the bajeebers out of somebody’s life, and you know that there’s transformation going to happen at every turn; all of a sudden it’s not difficult to talk about your coaching, talk about your coaching practice, and tell people what you do, and how you serve them. You know you deliver. You have confidence in your coaching.
00:01:23 If you doubt yourself you are in the right place. If you want to be a better Coach, you’re good, but you want to be great and masterful, you’re in the right place. If you want to have more impact with your Clients, you are in the right place. My job is to support you in basically becoming the Coach that, like I said, you were born to be. I want every Coach to have the practice their heart desires, and to change lives the way that serves their Client best. Are you ready to get going? All right, let’s do this Episode.
00:01:56 This Episode is all about continuing our conversation about coaching skills, and what I call the “Art of Coaching.” There’s content; those are the questions or the topic that you teach or coach, et cetera, et cetera. There’s something beyond that. There is the “Art of Coaching.” When you understand the “Art of Coaching” your coaching catapults. It’s no longer like, “Which question’s best?” It’s about, “Oh, I get it. The questions are just tools that I use.” The “Art of Coaching” really transforms people’s lives.
00:02:32 We are on coaching skill three. We’ve already talked about “Speak as if they’re Innocent” and “Speak Inclusively.” Today we’re going to be talking about “Speak to Clarify.” This one is probably the one you know best. Most coaching programs talk about clarifying. You know helping a Client get clear. Just bear with me because maybe I have another level of understanding to support you. “Speak to Clarify” is a necessary skill to be a great Coach, and let’s just say sometimes we get sidetracked.
00:03:06 Let’s go, shall we? “Speak to Clarify.” What does it mean to “Speak to Clarify?” Speak to clarify is helping the Client hear their own answers coming out of their mouth. We’re going to clarify for them through our questioning, so that they have a deeper understanding about their, “big why” or what it is that’s stopping them, what it is that’s been holding them back, what it is that’s been blocking them, what stories they’ve been making up about themselves or other people.
00:03:36 When we clarify that’s when all the pebbles drop. That’s when all of it’s like, “What?” Remember, this is the third skill. We talked: “Speak as if they’re Innocent” and “Speak Inclusively.” Those things have to be a foundation in order for the Client to tell the deepest truth. If you want to have the Client tell the deepest truth to themselves through your coaching, they’ve got to feel that you see their innocence and that you are including them and including yourself in the process. If you don’t include yourself, they’re probably not going to trust you fully and completely.
00:04:10 “Speak to Clarify.” What exactly does that mean? Well, you probably know the difference between open-ended questions and closed-ended questions. Closed-ended questions are yes or no questions. Red or blue, white or yellow, go to college, don’t go to college. They’re finite answers. There is a yes or no, a clear direction. A lot of Coaches believe that closed questions are really what we don’t want to do in coaching.
00:04:38 Well I disagree. Sometimes to clarify you need that closed-ended question. Think of it this way: When we’re clarifying, the first thing we want to do is get their language down. We touched on this in our last Episode, but I want to go a little deeper here. I want to make sure that the language they speak is something that they understand. When a Client says, “I want to find love.” What’s your first question? “What do you mean love?” “Well I want somebody to be there at home with me, and I’m sick of sleeping alone.” “Okay, so I’m a little confused on what that has to do with love because you’re telling me that you don’t want to sleep alone. Is that love? Or is that a roommate? Or what exactly does that mean? So tell me what you mean by love. Tell me what that looks like. Tell me what it feels like. Tell me how your life would be different if you had love. And again, what does that mean?”
00:05:33 We want to get really clear on their language, and we want the Client to be really clear on their language. When they say, “I want to triple my income.” What’s your first question? “Well, how much do you make now? What does tripling mean? What will that give you? How does that work? Do you have a plan for that? Do you know how you’d do that? Let’s talk about it.”
00:05:50 You as the Coach cannot be afraid to talk about anything with your Client. You must have the courage to ask the clarifying questions that are going to support them in having the awareness to transform their lives, to anchor this new way of seeing the world. I’ve shared before in neuroscience; neuroscience isn’t necessarily just talking about changing behavior. When we talk about neuroscience that’s what they talk about, right? Changing the neuro-pathways, which of course, is what we want to do.
00:06:10 In actuality, what you really want to do in neuroscience is you want to change the filter in which people see. If I believe that I don’t have love because I’m not worthy…maybe, maybe not. It may have nothing to do with your worth. That’s just a handy thing that most people attach out in the world. “I must not feel worthy because I don’t have love.” Maybe. Maybe not. I don’t know. I’m going to investigate.
00:06:46 When you think about speaking to clarify you’re in discovery mode. More importantly, you’re helping your Client discover what they’re really saying, what they’re really thinking, what they really want, what they’re really yearning for, what their real desire is. You’re testing through your clarification like you’re nudging their box open. Right? They’re in a, “I want to make this dream happen. I want to fall in love. I want to lose weight. I want to triple my income. I want to have a spiritual practice.” Whatever it is that they’re coming to you for. There is a box in which they see what’s possible for them.
00:07:20 Your job as a Coach, through clarification, is to nudge that box open. You’re always nudging that box open. The box, even if it’s a dream, even if it’s a wonderful dream, you actually are building out that box. You’re actually breaking that box through your clarifying questions so that they can see what’s possible that they can’t even see. That they can’t even see now, they’re going to be able to see. The clarifying question is, “What do you mean by love? On a scale of one to ten, what does that mean to you? What would happen if you did it? I want to know specifics.”
00:07:49 In Fearless Conversations™ what we talk about, when we talk about the “Art of Coaching,” is always as a Coach you’re going broad, and then you’re narrowing with closed-ended questions. You’re going broad again with open-ended questions, and then you’re narrowing down through closed-ended questions. Then you’re broadening with open-ended questions, and you’re narrowing with closing. That’s really the rhythm of a coaching Session. You’re broadening so that they see other things so that they can turn their head. Not just straightforward into what they think they want, but actually see over here and behind them, and be able to see the whole landscape so they can freely choose.
00:08:24 Then in order to create an action plan and move them into embodiment, you get narrow. You take that bigness, and you narrow it down, so they actually have action steps to take, the one thing. You want to go broad, then narrow, and then broad again because going broad again after you get narrow actually helps them anchor and embody. We broaden out through open-ended questions; we narrow using some open-ended questions and closed-ended questions. Those closed-ended questions help to clarify for them, hear them say yes, hear them say no, hear them say one to ten. Does that make sense? That’s super, super, super important.
00:09:02 The other thing about clarifying is that your number one job is to listen. In your listening, you are actually listening for the next question. How do you listen? Well, you’re listening with your whole body. You’re not listening with just your ears. You’re listening with your whole body. Have you ever been in a conversation with somebody and you felt like they were lying about how they feel or lying about what they want? Maybe the lying is too strong of a word. Maybe it’s that they’re just not quite telling themselves the truth. That happens on a regular basis with ourselves and with our Clients. They’re not purposely lying, and you’re not purposely lying, it’s just what you have access to. We, again, want to make that available to our Clients so that they have the courage to tell themselves the truth.
00:09:47 “Speak to Clarify” allows a Client to explore without commitment, so they don’t feel pressured or caught in perfectionism or moving into “I better do all of that.” No. We’re going to slow it all down. “Speak to Clarify” is understanding the language, listening, and then following their language. If you really listen, and you’re really committed to discovering, then clarifying becomes easy.
00:10:20 I like to think of it this way. As a Coach I’m in a Session and have you ever been in a Session where your Client is talking, talking, talking, talking, and your mind wanders? Your mind is wandering, and you’re like, “Oh, when should I interrupt?” You’re even thinking, “When should I interrupt?” Your mind starts wandering. Well, if your mind wanders, you’ve just left the Session, and then you won’t know what to clarify. You won’t even know what’s going on in the Session. In order to clarify, in order to have the Client fully embody, your job is to keep with the language of the Client and keep with them. Keep with them.
00:10:58 ROLEPLAY:
If they’re saying, “I want to be healthier.” What’s the next question if they want to be healthier? You define, “What do you mean by healthy?” That’s one of the skills of clarifying. Define using one through ten, using yes or no, closed-ended questions. All of these things help clarify. “On a scale of one to ten, how scared are you?”

“Well, I really want it.”

“On a scale of one to ten, how much do you want it?”
“You know, if I could just fall in love, it would solve all my problems.”
“What percentage of you is committed to doing that? What percentage of you really believes that that’s true that if you found love, it would solve all your problems? What percentage of you really believes that?”
They might be like, “I know that would make me feel wanted and connected.”
Then you get to say clarify, “So are you saying … I just want to make sure I understand you again.” Again, you’re clarifying. You want to make sure that you get it. So you go, “I just want to get clear. I’m a little confused. So are you saying to me, you just said that you’d feel heard and loved and respected if you get married? What percentage of the time do you believe that’s true? Okay, and what else could happen? What else could be true? Do you think that you won’t feel ever heard or respected or loved if you get married?”
“Well, yes.”
“Okay, so then let’s talk about what you’d do in those situations.”
“Well, I just want to find love.”
“I understand. So do you want to find love? Do you want to keep love? Do you want to stay in love? What’s your commitment? And how much of you, what percentage of you, actually believes that you can find love, maintain love, and be in love forever.”
“Oh, a hundred percent.”
“Okay, great. Do you have the skills necessary to do that? Do you have a relationship right now that that’s true?”
00:12:46 Again, if they do, awesome, great. Yay. We don’t want to rip their dream out, but we want to put grounding under our dream, and that’s part of our clarifying questions. We don’t want our Clients just to fantasize their way through their life. We want to actually ground their dreams. You want to ground their dreams because when their dreams are grounded, they trust that they can do it more, and they also trust you because you’re not just saying, “Sounds good. Awesome. Yay, you can do it.” That just feels fake and doesn’t feel good. It might feel good for a second, but then they go home and doubt themselves. Remember there’s the Session, and then there’s all that time in between the Sessions.
00:13:26 We’re going to be talking about this a little bit later in another Episode of Season Two, so hang with me because I’m going to expand on that. Bottom line is: “Speaking to Clarify” is a necessary skill in order to transform your Client’s life. The language in which they use and the language you use is key. Moving from possibility to reality, to take in their human reality matters.
00:13:51 For example, let’s just say that you work with a 50-year-old man who wants to be a professional baseball player. You’re not going to down on his dream like, “Fifty years old. You want to be a professional baseball player? That’s too late, buddy.” No, you’re like, “Okay, awesome. So tell me about that.” You will clarify what he is really searching for because he’s “attached” that feeling, that want, that desire to becoming a professional baseball player. You’re not one to say he can’t do it. You’re one to help him explore what that means and explore what that feels like. I bet you by the end of the first, second, or even third Session he’s going to have a very different experience about what he really wants. You’re not going to be the “Debbie Downer” and ruin his possibilities and desires.
00:14:34 No. Through clarifying he awakens. He awakens to what really supports him, what he’s really yearning for. Being that professional baseball player might really be that he wants to be accepted by his father. It has nothing to do with baseball. Or it might have everything to do with baseball, and he recognizes after he does research on how to become a professional baseball player, he says, “Oh, my gosh, they don’t take people over such and such an age.” Or maybe they do, and he can get on a farm team. You don’t know.
00:15:04 Clarifying is going to help him get to the real root, the real reason. Speaking of clarifying, think of it this way. It’s exposing the root of the problem instead of just solving the superficial problem. Don’t get me wrong, every problem I know is not “superficial.” When your Client is having a problem it feels real to them, and it’s a big deal, and it’s bothering them, and they’re suffering, and they’re having pain and anguish. I don’t mean to minimize that in any way.
00:15:31 You know, as somebody who’s practicing to be a Master Coach, that there is always something that’s driving that desire. Your job is to not only help them get the solution to the problem that they have but also to understand something deeper so that they can heal themselves at that deeper level. They can have an awakening at that deeper level so they can see themselves with new eyes and change that filtering system. Here at Fearless Living®, we change that filtering system from fear to freedom.
00:16:02 Language is key. You want to be attentive to their language as well as yours. It’s amazing how often we subtly blame and shame. Remember that innocent piece we talked about at the beginning of this Season? How our doubts and worries and anxieties subtly come out. Your job is to make sure you’re clean and clear, so they don’t. You’re not there to put your fears onto somebody else. Ask those questions to understand the Client’s language. Never assume you know what they mean by abundance. Never assume you know what they mean by love. Be specific. Break down that thought process.
00:16:44 We’re going to go wide to go specific, general over broad, specific, broad, specific, broad, specific. That’s going to really take your Session from something that’s one note to dynamic, grounded, exciting, have momentum, and help your Client understand who they are. As I’ve shared before in Master Coach Mindset, we coach process, not the problem. Do we solve the problem? Yes, but we coach process.
00:17:21 Are you coaching the process? In order to do that, you have to clarify. You’re always cleaning up. Well, you’re not sure what to say when you’re discombobulated. When you lose track, again, we want to clarify. Remember, we talked about innocence and inclusion. If I’m confused by what my Client is saying, I have to have the courage to say, “Oh, wait a minute. I’m not understanding this.” That’s true “humility.”
00:17:55 As a Coach you’re constantly admitting when you don’t get something when you’re confused, and you don’t understand. It is the only way to help the Client clarify. Your Client is talking going, “And I want to fall in love, and I want to have three children, and I want to-” You are confused now. They say something like, “And then my brother in law said this,” and you’re like “What? What does that have to do with anything?” You’re confused.
00:18:22 The minute you go, “Huh?” The minute you go, “What?” The minute you go, “I don’t get …,” you have to actually stop the Client. Yes, you have to stop the Client. You have to stop the Client because you have to stay current with the conversation. If you get confused and lost, and you lose track, you lose the thread of the conversation, how can you clarify? How can you move them to the next place of their transformation? You’ve got to stay with the thread of the conversation and how you do that is to clarify.
00:18:52 “I’m a little confused by that. Excuse me. I just need to interrupt you for a minute. I’m just a little confused by that statement. I don’t know. I didn’t understand where your brother in law and falling in love with three kids came in. Could you explain?”
“Oh, yeah, we were just talking about my brother in law because he said …”
“Oh, okay. Got it. Now I’m with you. So go ahead.”
00:19:09 You, the Coach, have to know the story and what’s going on every minute, every second, every moment, because if you don’t, you’ll get sidetracked. What we talked about, I believe in Episode Two of Season Two, the difference between the speed of speaking and the speed of thinking. There’s that gap, and if you’re confused, you’ll start thinking. If you’re thinking, you’re not present. To clarify, you must stay present with the Client.
Let’s go to the question of the day. “I have a tendency to say what’s on my mind to try and fix my Clients. How can I learn to stop talking and listen until the end? Is it ever okay to interrupt?” I’m going to repeat that question. “I have a tendency to say whatever’s on my mind and fix my Clients. How can I learn to stop talking and listen until the end? Is it ever okay to interrupt?”
00:20:16 First of all, you’re not going to listen until the end, period. You’re not going to listen to the whole end of 30 minutes. Your Client is not going to talk for 30 minutes or 40 minutes without you interrupting or without you asking a question because then they’re just monologue-ing it, and you’re not doing your job. That does happen. I see this all the time with Coaches. Their Client starts telling a story. The Client gets sidetracked, starts telling another story, and the Coach just sits there and listens. They think that’s coaching. They think that’s being a service to their Client.
00:20:49 I’ll take a caveat here and say of course if it’s an emotional story, if it’s a dramatic story, if it’s the first time that Client’s ever said it, of course, you’re going to listen. I’m talking about a Client who’s just talking for the sake of talking, and you have to get in there and clarify what’s going on. “Tell me the one reason you’re telling me this story. What’s the one thing you’re looking for in telling me. What do you think you’re getting out of telling me? What is it you’re telling yourself. What feeling is moving through you as you’re sharing this story. What thoughts give you permission to actually tell this story? What does this story mean to you? Why this story?”
00:21:28 Any and all those questions are relevant and more. “I have a tendency to say what’s on my mind.” Well, that’s about you and not about the Client because you’re going to be using your limited experience or your vast experience to give advice. Then this person goes on to say, “Fix my Clients.” Then you’re not really interested in helping the Client change at a core level; you just want to solve a problem. If you just want to solve a problem, then you’re a consultant. Again, there’s nothing wrong with consultants. I go to consultants. I work with consultants.
00:22:03 Just know that you’re a consultant and own it. Own it. Yeah, you come to me, tell me your problem, I’m going to tell you what to do. Own it. Call yourself the solution Coach. You’re not going to work with people long term. You’re probably going to have one to three Sessions and solve it and be done if that’s what you want to do. If you’re more interested in sharing what you know, and your expertise is “why they come,” and you’re not interested in discovering and supporting them to change at the core level, awesome. Then just name it so.
00:22:37 If you’re fixing your Client, then you’re walking in without innocence, without inclusivity. You’re missing the first two coaching skills. Your desire to fix. What’s that about? What does it say about you? What does that say about you? Do you need fixing? When we want to fix people, we’re probably uncomfortable with the unknown, and it’s the very thing we want our Clients to be comfortable with is the unknown. Clearly, that’s the only way they can make a true choice is living in the unknown. If they have to know, then they can’t be free.
00:23:13 “I have a tendency to say what’s on my mind and try to fix my Clients.” You’re a consultant, not a Coach. Get curious and discover. Start with innocence. Episode, I believe that starts in Four of this Season Two. Start practicing the innocence skill because when you do that and start having the foundation of innocence, you will know your Client doesn’t need fixing. You will know that at the core. They might need support. They might need courage. They might need to trust. They don’t need fixing. That says more about you than them. Again, be a consultant.
00:23:48 The second part is, “How can I learn to stop talking and listen until the end?” Practice asking one question at a time. “Tell me what it means to you to triple your income.” Don’t say another word. Maybe time it. If you’re practicing and I’m on the phone, my Client doesn’t see that I’m timing it. I’m going to probably time it and just keep a little thing and keep track. The minute my Client answers the question; I’m now going to ask another question.
00:24:23 “Is it okay to interrupt?” It’s necessary to interrupt. Coaches need to become expert interrupters. We are flawlessly; powerfully amazing interrupters except this is what happens. All of our stuff comes up. “I’m being mean. Oh, they’re not going to like me. I’m being rude.” All of your judgments and all of your feelings will take away your permission to actually interrupt. When that happens, you are not serving the Client. You are indulging in your own fears.
00:25:59 When you have a difficult time interrupting, you are indulging your fears; letting your fears run the Session rather than serving your Client. Yes, it’s one of the things we work in the Fearless Conversations™ Workshop is: “how do you interrupt.” How do you do that gracefully? How do you do that empowering? How do you do that? We’re going to talk about that more in the next Episode of Season Two of Master Coach Mindset, and I cannot wait to keep sharing the other skills.
00:26:24 We’re on skill three. There are eight skills in Fearless Conversations, The “Art of Coaching.” I look forward to seeing you inside the Insiders Club. Make sure you download the worksheet from today so you can embody and integrate what we’ve already talked about. I look forward to seeing you next week when we expand on “Speak to Clarify.”
Until then, Be Fearless.