Are you meant to be a life coach?

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 00:00:53 Welcome to Master Coach Mindset™ podcast. My name is Rhonda Britten, host and Master Coach, and I’m here to support you in becoming the best Coach you can possibly be. Whether that means that you are a parent wanting to support a child. Whether that means you’re a boss wanting to support your team. Whether that means becoming a better friend, a better boss, a better employee, a better employer, a better lover, a lover, a better family member, a better friend, coaching skills give you all that. As I shared before, miscommunication is at the heart of our heartbreak, of our suffering, of our disappointment because we aren’t sure what they meant or what they said and we ignored it. We pretend it didn’t happen or we assume. We do so many things that fuddle up our communications with the people in our lives, the people that matter.
00:01:41 In Season 2 we’re talking about Eight Coaching Skills that I teach and train my Life Coach Certification Program™ candidates. When you understand coaching skills and how it really works, then your communication evolves, your communication expands, your communication up levels. Then all relationships improve. All relationships get better. Not only because you have an awareness of yourself, but because you know how it feels to be in that conversation. You honor those people, you honor your feeling and the other person’s feeling, and then you have the coaching skills to move that conversation forward.
00:02:20 How many times have you been in a conversation with somebody and never been able to get out of it? You keep going around and around in circles. Well, that’s communication skills, needed and necessary. Today we’re talking about Part Two of “Speak to Actions Versus Story,” our Sixth Coaching Skill.
00:02:37 Last week if you remember, I answered a question, and I only answered a part of the question because it was a really a two-part question. They had asked me one question but in two different parts. I’m just going to review the question, and I’m going to talk a little bit about the part that I have left unanswered. The question from last week was, “I have Clients who often have actions, thoughts, and words that are not aligned.” That’s one of the things that I talk about a lot in my coaching program is: alignment. If you’ve seen me speak to coaching groups, ICF, etc., then you probably heard me talk about alignment. Are the thoughts, words, and actions aligned?
00:03:18 This person who asked me the questions, “I have Clients who often have actions, thoughts and words that are not aligned. I ask questions to clarify,” good work, “and then mirror to them that they’re saying two opposing things, but they insist that both are correct. How do you navigate that?” Then she goes on to say, “Give an example of a Client wanting to travel yet have kids because she thinks that will bring her relationship closer and bring joy. Or she wants to live in a big house with a pool but afraid of being alone or the only one awake in the big house.”
00:03:46 The first question really is, “How do you navigate that? They both insist are correct.” My answer from the last Episode is they both are correct. You can want a big house but still be scared to be alone. You can want to travel but still miss having a relationship if you’re going out and traveling on your own. You can want to have kids and want that feeling of connection to a family and all of a sudden some days you’re like, “Oh my god I wish I never had kids.” Those things all exist. Those things are always true. Alignment does not mean that there’s no pros and cons, costs and benefits. That’s not what that means. That means that when you make a commitment, you’re doing so with your eyes open and therefore you know that some days you’re going to be scared to live in that house by yourself. You know that’s going to come up, but that doesn’t make you stop wanting to live in that house.
00:04:40 Excuse me. I got a little something in my throat. I don’t know what it was. So yes, I’ve got a yes, I’ve got a big jar and yes, that’s my lipstick and yes, it is not a plastic straw. It’s a reusable straw. Yep. Rose tea. Decaf rose tea. Caffeine free. Yummy, Yummy, yummy. Okay. So where was I?
00:05:16 “Speak to Actions Versus Stories” is our topic today and the question is all about alignment. Alignment doesn’t mean that you don’t have different feelings come up once in a while, that you don’t have conflicting intention so to speak. You want to actually support a Client to fulfill and look at all the things they can look at to make a decision to buy that house or not buy that house. There’s probably going to be 10, 20 things that they have to look at. You ask them so that they can really buy that house with clarity and purpose.
00:05:48 Just because they buy the house doesn’t mean they won’t feel alone in it once in a while. Just because they buy the house with clarity or purpose and know they want to do it, doesn’t mean once in a while they’re going to regret it. Those things they coexist. Alignment is really just having your Clients understand that the actions they’re taking to go buy that house, the thoughts they think about that house, and the feelings they have about that house moving to that house are all…you kind of want to push them into alignment in the sense of, “We know why we’re moving into that house.”
00:06:17 It doesn’t mean you don’t have conflicting views once in a while or conflicting feelings once in a while. It just means that you as the Coach, have the space, the capacity to hold all of that. Then the Client in that freedom, because you’re holding that space for both opposing things, they then can make the real choice that’s right for them. Alignment is yes, your words, your deeds, your actions, your thoughts, your feelings all aligned. They’re all going the same place, but inside of that, don’t make it rigid. Don’t make it rigid because there is going to be doubt once in a while, there is going to be, “Am I doing the right thing?” That’s normal even when you’re completely aligned. All of you is going one way.
00:06:58 Do I want all of you to be going one way? Yeah, sure, absolutely. More things happen faster, your movement happens faster. It’s like the world opens up for you faster when you’re all aligned, but don’t mistake alignment with full freedom of expression of feelings. Don’t confuse the two. Does that make sense?
00:07:17 My heart says I want that house. My feelings say I want that house. My thoughts are I want that house. My body says I want that house. My intention wants that dream about that house. Doesn’t mean, “I’m aligned. I’m all wound up. I’m getting that house. That’s my alignment. I’m doing it. I’m going to do it.” Doesn’t mean there’s a whole bunch of things that don’t come up in the meantime in that alignment to be cleaned up. Alignment doesn’t mean that you don’t have to look, and you don’t have to clean up, and you don’t have to face, and you don’t have to deal with.
00:07:48 I just wanted to add a little bit to that question because I think that can be confusing. Let’s go back over to Actions Versus Stories which is again, similar to what we just talked about. They might have a story about wanting to buy a house. They might have a story about wanting to get married. They might have a story about how they think they should do it, how life should be. It’s the questions about the actions they’re taking, and what they’re doing that determines their success or failure. Actions Versus Story completely aligns with that question that I just answered.
00:08:25 Let’s go back to interruption. We brought it up. I brought it up last Episode, and I want to talk a little bit more about interruptions. You want to interrupt when people are telling stories in a few scenarios. One: when they avoid facing something. You want to interrupt that story because they’re using the story to avoid facing what they must.
00:08:42 Two: when they’re trying to cover something up. They don’t want to deal with it. They don’t want to talk about it. You must interrupt in order to ask them that question that opens them up to share.
00:08:52 Three: to justify their actions. This is very common. People justify their actions with their stories all the time. You must not let it be used. Their story cannot be used to justify their inaction or their action. They have a right to their story, but they don’t get to use it to let themselves off the hook.
00:09:11 Another reason you interrupt is when they’re blaming other people. When they’re being victimized and they’re blaming, you actually want to interrupt that story because you want to give the power back to your Client. When they’re victimized and when they’re telling that story, they’re going to blame themselves or blame others. There’s a blame involved.
00:09:30 If we’re talking about being 5 years old and you were molested, yeah, you are innocent. I always say that anyone under the age of 18 who had something bad happen to them and they’re blaming themselves, it’s not their fault. It’s not their fault. You do not have the skills, the tools, the awareness, the support when you’re 5 or 8 or 12 or 16, to actually make that change in your life. You need support from adults. You need support from your family and friends. You need support. When your Client is blaming others or blaming themselves, you want to interrupt. You want to put them back, and you want to empower them. You want to give them back the power.
00:10:14 Another thing when they excuse themselves, “Well, I don’t do it because this happened to me,” so they’re using it as their excuse. We interrupt. Another time we interrupt is when they’re using the story to try to get approval. When they’re trying to get approval, you want to interrupt. Those are some of the reasons we interrupt a person’s story.
00:10:31 Now go back to what I said last Episode. Do we want to honor their story? Of course we do, but it’s when they use that story to get out of their life, to make excuses, to justify, etc. that we want to interrupt. Move them in the present moment through your questioning. Move them in the present moment so that they can actually integrate that story and it not become about the story, but that story is just part of who they are. Happened to them in the past, but it doesn’t run their future, and it doesn’t run their present.
00:11:02 I’m going to tell you again, I said this last Episode, but I’m a say it again. Interruption. If you’re not skilled at interrupting, you’re going to feel rude and mean, and a horrible person when you first start doing it. You must learn how to do it. You must learn how to do it to do service to your Client. We all must be great interrupters, all of us. You must have the awareness of when to listen to that whole story and when to interrupt.
00:11:27 Now, remember what I said last week. I said you never interrupt a story if they’re telling it to you for the first time and you know they’re not a storyteller. What I mean by that is you know people that tell stories all the time. They’re not a storyteller, and so them telling you this story is a big deal. Then you listen. I don’t care if it takes 20 minutes, you listen. That takes so much courage on their part to actually tell that story.
00:11:55 If the other person says, “I have to tell you this, but Rhonda,” I get this all the time, “but Rhonda, I have to tell you the whole story, so you understand.”
I go, “I don’t need the whole story to understand. I will ask you the questions I need in order to understand the story so that I can coach you through it.”
“Yeah, but you need to understand the whole thing.”
“I understand that that’s what you believe and I will ask you the questions I need to get that story, the parts of the story that I need.”
“Okay? But if you only knew this about-”
“I understand. I understand.”
00:12:28 When people don’t let you interrupt, they don’t want you to interrupt them because they think that you need to know the entire story, every single bit of it or you don’t get it. You get to say, “Hmm. Don’t need it. Don’t need it. You might need it, but I don’t need it. You might need it, but I don’t need it. I’ll ask you the questions that I need about your story in order to support you moving forward.” Then you get quiet and let them rattle around inside their skin about that. It works.
00:13:00 Questions to ask like, “What worked? What didn’t work? Tell me one thing that worked.” You want to move them into action so where they’re into story, your job is to move them into the present moment about that story. To take actions about that story so that they can integrate, and embody that story, and not carry it around as their excuse or their justification. Actions Versus Stories.
Let me get to the question of the day. “Rhonda, how do you work with Clients who live in fantasy and others who don’t know how to dream?” Actions Versus Story is perfect for this. Let me give you the question of the day again. “How do you work with Clients who live in fantasy?” If they’re living in fantasy, are they living in story or are they’re living in action? They’re living in story.
00:13:54 “And others who don’t know how to dream?” They don’t know how to dream. Do you think they’re living more in action or more versus story? They could be doing a story, they could be doing actions, but the story they’re telling themselves is that they don’t have a right to dream, that if they dream, then they’re just going to get disappointed. They’ve told themselves a story about what happens to dreamers, what happens to people who go for it, people who get big too big for their britches, again, however they define it. Stories versus actions help both of these scenarios.
00:14:29 How do you work with Clients who live in fantasy? You ground them. You ground them through actions. You ground them. You take those stories and ground them in actions. We want our Clients to have the capacity to dream, to vision possibilities, and we’re going to talk about that in a future Episode coming up soon. We want them to be able to do possibility thinking. We want them to be able to dream. We want them to be able to see outside themselves. We want them to be able to brainstorm. When Clients are always living in, “Well one day I’m going to. You don’t understand. I’m going to make a million dollars,” and they’re only making $50,000, “I’m going to make a million dollars.” Doesn’t mean that’s not going to happen.
00:15:09 What are we going to do? Because if they can do it? Completely. If a Client’s making 50, I’ve got to get them to 75 before they get to a million, most likely. Most likely, right? If they’re in fantasy, and they don’t want to do the stepping stones in order to make that million, and they just want it to be magic, then they’re wanting to be … How would I interpret that? For many of my Clients is they want to be saved. They don’t want to do the work that’s needed and necessary because the work is the hard part. The work for many people brings up feelings that they don’t want to face. They don’t want to think about that. They just want to go into fantasy. Again, you’ve got to ground. One, you’ve got to ground. You’ve got to ground it. You ask them grounding questions about actions.
00:15:58 The second part is, “others who don’t know how to dream.” Well, we’re going to be talking about possibility thinking and all that in an upcoming Episode when we talk to “Speak to Possibilities and Opportunities.” To answer that part here just a little bit is that if a Client doesn’t know how to dream, it’s because they haven’t been given permission by the people in their lives, or have given themselves permission. For everything and anything that’s happened in their past. Maybe they don’t think they have a right to dream. Maybe they’re afraid they’re going to fail if they dream.
00:16:36 I’m just going to talk about myself for a minute about dreaming because I don’t sit there and dream like I think most people do. Many people do. I don’t sit there and dream. When I was an actress years ago, I didn’t sit there and go, “Oh, one day I want to … ” I didn’t think that way. I knew what I wanted to make happen, and some people might think it’s a fantasy, but I didn’t sit there and dream about it. I just looked at what’s in front of me and just kept going and just did the things that I thought I needed to do in order to get where I wanted to go. Dreaming wasn’t part of my past. I think that dreaming for me probably was really scary because dreams don’t happen, or dreams are ripped from you, or dreams are lies.
00:17:35 I think for me that was true for most of my life. When people would ask me what I dreamed of, I’d be looking at them like, “What are you talking about?” I didn’t dream, but it didn’t mean that I didn’t have goals. It didn’t mean that I didn’t have aspirations. I just didn’t allow myself to dream bigger than what I thought I could achieve.
00:17:58 This is something to talk to your Clients about. If they have a hard time dreaming, is that you wanting them to dream? Is that you wanting them to be able to vision? Or how they operate and how they work, does that work for them? Ask yourself, are you making not dreaming wrong and do they have goals? Do they have possibilities? Do they have intentions? Do they have something they want to go for?
00:18:30 One: don’t make it wrong or bad. Never make it wrong or bad. Two: we’re going to talk about this in upcoming the Episode, but it’s really moving into opportunities, and possibilities, and maybe using other people to help them dream. Kind of looking around themselves or looking at other people. When you look at somebody’s life, what life would you like to occupy? Whose life would you like to occupy? Would you like to occupy your sister’s? Your mother’s? Your father’s? Your best friend’s? A famous person? Somebody in a book? Most people go, “I’d love to do that. I’d love to live like that”, but then they don’t take it and make it a dream. They just go, “Yeah, I’d love that, but that’s never going happen to me.”
00:19:15 A way to help your Clients, start accessing some of that possibility and some of that dreaming, is to start asking them about the people they admire and respect. Ask them about the people that they read about and go, “Oh, I want to be like that.” Then ask them questions about that, “Well, what part of that story do you like? What part of that best friend’s life do you like? What part of your mother’s life do you like?” so that they can start verbalizing what turns them on. What they secretly want.
00:19:48 I think it’s normal for somebody to be either get caught in fantasy or not dream, and those are just two sides of the same coin. They don’t want to face reality, and they don’t want to live in the present moment. They don’t know how to live in the present moment. That’s another thing you can teach them is how to live in the present moment. How do you do that? Actions versus stories. Move them into action. What now? Now. Now. Now. Now. Now. Ground them in now. That’s going to allow the fantasy people to start taking action and the people that are stuck in muck and mire and unable to dream, allow them to start thinking maybe just a little bit bigger. Actions versus story. It’s really critical that you learn to interrupt.
00:20:28 This week, why don’t you try to interrupt your Clients? One Client. That storyteller that you have. We all have that storyteller Client. I bet you probably have a storyteller Client. That Client that’s a storyteller, why don’t you write down how you want to interrupt? How do you want to do that? Do you want to say like, “Excuse me, I’m confused?” Do you want to say, “Excuse me, I’m lost.” Do you want to say, “Excuse me, I have a question. Excuse me. I just want to understand?”
00:20:58 Write that down and practice saying it in the mirror. Practice saying it while you walk around. “Excuse me.” Interrupt the grocery clerk at Ralph’s or at Safeway or at Walgreens. Interrupt people that aren’t risky. Grocery clerks, Macy’s, Target. Interrupt them just so you can practice the skill of interrupting so that you can start feeling more sure of yourself, and you start understanding the power of being interrupted, and that yes, it’s not mean. It’s not rude. It’s needed and necessary so that you can be a better Coach. Next week we’re going to be talking about the next Skill, which is Number Seven, which is: “Speak to Acknowledge Risk.” I love this one.
00:21:57 Risk is what we’re all about here at the Fearless Living Institute™. Being Fearless is all about taking risks, so I cannot wait until next week’s Episode: “Speak to Acknowledge Risk” our Seventh Coaching Skill. Until we meet again, perhaps in a membership site, hopefully you’re in the Master Coach Mindset Insider Club, or at the Fearless Conversation™ weekend. Of course, you can find both of those at Master Coach Mindset. Until then, I look forward to seeing you next week. Be Fearless.