Ep 138 – A Coaching Skill You Might Not Have Learned Yet

This episode is about a coaching skill you might not have learned in coach training school. In fact, I’d go so far as to say it’s a relationship skill.

A few weeks ago one of my VIP clients emailed me asking if she could coach me in our next session to get more practice. It totally took me by surprise. No client had ever asked that before.

And I felt conflicted about it so I gave it some careful thought before responding. It wasn’t without risk. How might it affect our mentoring relationship?

I decided to say ‘yes’ if I could think of a good topic. It had to be something real for me because making something up would not give her practice. And it needed to be complex enough to truly challenge her.

And then I realized my topic was staring me in the face. I had been deliberating about a very serious decision. Something that involved my health, finances and it affected my partner too. Suddenly I felt gifted by the Universe because I really did need an objective person to share this dilemma with.

Into the Co-Creative Relationship

So in our next session we jumped into the co-creative relationship.

My client’s coaching was near to flawless. In fact, it was some of the best coaching I’d ever experienced. I came away from the conversation feeling clear about my next steps and leaning towards a decision that would honor my values and needs.

After coaching, we both stepped out of the co-creative role. She asked for feedback and it was easy to give her praise about a dozen things. There was only one thing that I thought needed correction.

Because I’d been working with this coach for a few months already, this thing hadn’t affected my ability to be coached well. But, I knew that it could be an issue for her with a new client if she didn’t make changes. It could even affect her ability to enroll a new client.

During our coaching her voice was a bit flat. Technically, she was masterful. Asking all the right questions with excellent timing and moving me through to my decision without advising or manipulating.

Voice Matters

But energetically, I didn’t feel enough human connection in the coaching. And this is important! It was not about the words she spoke. It was about the lack of feeling conveyed in the words through her voice.

Voices are amazing things. They have the power to communicate beyond words.

I first learned this in college when I took a voice and diction class. At the end of the semester my professor clapped his hand on my shoulders and looked directly into my eyes saying: “You must do something professional with your voice, Rhonda.”

That had impact I can tell you. But I didn’t become a singer or actor or broadcaster. I became a coach.

I’ve used my voice a lot of the last two decades. Never so much as with my podcast, which has given my voice more range in multiple ways. It’s impacting more people than ever.

Just the other day in a Discovery Call a prospect said to me: “You sound just like your podcast!” It seemed that was reassuring to her. And I felt a kind of connection that I don’t think couldn’t have come from her reading a bunch of blogs I’d written.

Back to my client – the excellent coach … I suggested that she raise the energy of her voice. Inject it with human connection. Just a subtle shift would make a big difference.

And she immediately knew what I meant. She recognized that in concentrating so much to use the coaching model and ask the right questions that her attention wasn’t on the energy she was conveying.

And she also noted that she could relate to the dilemma I brought in my agenda, which she said threw her off a bit, though I could not tell.

You can convey so much with minor modulation in your voice. Changes in the timbre of your voice, speed, volume, enunciation, and word emphasis add meaning beyond words.

Imagine that you are in session with a client. How can you convey softness in few words without sounding parental or overstepping a boundary? Could you hear the warmth in my voice just now?

How can you shine a smile or convey humor through your voice? I literally did smile as I said that.

How can you call attention to what you’re saying without becoming loud?

Did you notice that I slowed my words down just then and put a bit more emphasis on certain words? My mouth worked a bit more to put more meaning into the words.

If you’re meeting face to face with clients, you might not need to inject more humanity into your voice. It can also come across with a gesture or look on your face. You shine light through your eyes.

I’ve always preferred to coach over the phone. I’m an introvert. Plus I like to take notes. And I know there is intimacy in speaking directly into my client’s ears and they into mine. From my client’s voice I can read body language. I can tell a lot just by the tone, speed and little elements in their voice.

You can too. All it takes is attention to this. Now maybe you already modulate your voice for meaning. Or maybe you could use more subtlety in your voice. I think you know instinctively what you need to do to be an even more masterful coach.

Ep 113 – Is it Okay to Coach Without Permission?

Recently, I heard a group of new coaches discussing the challenges of coaching someone who is un-coachable.

As one coach continued to describe the situation it came out that this was a conversation between friends not a coaching session. They hadn’t talked in years. The friend was having a rough time and the coach, wanting to help, tried to coach her.

Hearing that, took me back to an unpleasant memory from early in my years as a coach when I tried to coach a friend and it ended our friendship. At the time, I thought my friend wasn’t coachable either.

As a new coach, I was so eager to use my newly trained coaching skills that I attempted to coach nearly every one if I thought they needed it.

And that’s the big mistake — believing that people NEED coaching. No one NEEDS coaching. It’s not on Maslow’s hierarchy of needs.

Now, I’m very careful to never step into the coaching role unless I’m directly asked to. And I’ve realized the arrogance behind the idea of thinking that people need me to coach them.

Coaching is a co-creative relationship. For it to be ethical, both the coach and the coachee must intentionally step into the container as equals. If the coachee isn’t a willing partner, coaching won’t happen.

That’s why someone might seem un-coachable.

Coaching is a professional relationship where the client invests in themselves. The most effective scenario is they hire you to coach them.

So, you might wondering now, aren’t there any circumstances where you can coach individuals who don’t ask to be coached? For me, the answer is no because I know the damage it can do.

Think about it …

If you had a therapist friend, would you like it if they were using their skills on you without your permission? Would you like it if your clergy friend tried to preach to or counsel you without permission?

Not only would it be annoying, it would likely damage your relationship.

So you have this fantastic new skill set. You’ve learned how to listen deeply. You know how to ask open ended questions. Aren’t those skills useable in so many settings?

Yes they are. But it’s not listening and asking questions that create the breach. It’s the energy and mindset you have if you automatically step into the coaching role when it’s not mutual.

The next time you catch yourself thinking that someone needs coaching, check yourself. Don’t coach. If a friend comes to you in pain, listen, hold them in love.

If they ask directly for your help, don’t step into the coaching role. Ask them how you can help.

See the difference?

In the Next Episode: 10 Things That Help You Become a Coach in High Demand

Ep 96 – Can You Want Too Much for Your Coaching Clients?

This episode is part of the series called Manage Your Coaching Clients, which you can find at prosperouscoach.com/manage.

I clearly remember a moment in the first few years of my coaching business where I was sharing with my mentor coach some feelings I was having about a client.

Then she asked me a powerful question:

Do you want more for your clients than they want for themselves?

That woke me up! I began to examine my motivations and set healthier boundaries for myself with clients.

Have you ever sensed that you might want too much for your clients?

Most new coaches fall into this trap on some level.

The trick is to let go of your desire to effect change ON your clients. In other words, don’t try to fix them or heal them.

Build up within yourself the belief that your client alone drives their desire and ability to change and grow. They have to want it!

2 More Powerful Questions

You can never know the path of another person.

If you try to anticipate and course correct for your client’s potential mistakes, are you keeping them from valuable experiences that may bring success more quickly?

Or, if you jump in to solve their problems and salve their hurts too vigorously, are you diminishing your clients personal power and inflating yours?

You can only answer this if you stay aware during your sessions and regularly examine your own motivations for what you say and do with your clients.

The real beauty of coaching is the co-creative relationship. Both coach and client focus collaboratively to draw out and utilize the client’s wisdom toward high payoff actions.

You, as a coach must trust that your client is creative, resourceful and whole. In other words they are fully capable of taking care of themselves.

But know this … you don’t have to hold back a well-placed and well-worded challenge to your client to shift their mindset or take a more powerful action. That’s excellent coaching! After you do that, let go of attachment.

In fact, I think that having a coaching business and working with clients is a never ending life lesson in letting go of your attachment. It’s a key to happiness!

3 Symptoms and Causes to Watch with Coaching Clients

Let’s explore the symptoms, causes and side effects when we want too much for our coaching clients.

Symptom #1: Over-delivering

Cause: You’re to find solutions for every issue raised, rather than focusing on one coachable moment that will move the client toward a perspective shift and the takeaway stated in their agenda.

Side effect: The client is overwhelmed.

They are overwhelmed by your desire to help them beyond their current level of commitment to help themselves. How are big problems solved? One small integrate-able step at a time. Support your clients to make leaps in their perspective and to make more progress on their own between sessions.

Symptom #2: You feel drained after a session

Cause: You have stepped outside of the co-creative role and pushed your energy onto the client in an effort to correct, fix or “save the client from themselves.”

Side effect: The client progresses slowly and you lose confidence.

At its best, coaching energizes both the client and the coach. Focus on listening closely for the client’s wisdom, using intuitive responses and questions to invite powerful shifts. Take it easy!

Symptom #3: You do the client’s work for them

Cause: You abandoned the co-creative role to influence the client from a consultative, teacher or parental role.

Side effect: The client is disempowered. You overwork for your fee.

A caveat here … I’m a trained coach and as I’ve gained expertise I’ve shifted my business to a more consultative approach. I mentor my clients and advise them on coaching niche development and all things coaching business related. I use coaching skills continuously with clients but I no longer characterize my sessions as coaching sessions because I do teach and guide during them.

If your business model and your offers deliver consulting on a specific expertise, teaching or training and you’re up front about that when you enroll a client, then you’ve covered the practical side of this. You’ve made a business decision.

But there’s still what goes on in your mind as you utilize coaching skills.

An excellent way to teach in your coaching business is through products, training programs public speaking and other forms of content — such as blogs, podcast episodes and videos —all designed for your target audience.

If your intention is to coach then as much as you can use powerful questions to draw out what your client thinks first. Provide short cuts and resources only after you’ve thoroughly drawn out and endorsed their own ideas. Never do their work for them just because you can.

In all of these cases, what’s being unknowingly sacrificed is the co-creative relationship — the very thing that makes coaching so powerful for clients!

In the Next Episode: What If Your Coaching Clients Has Strong Emotions During a Session?

Stop Overdelivering in Coaching Sessions – Why and How to Shift

Over-delivery can be strategic, such as amping up the quality of your free offers or loading up a paid program with juicy bonuses. But chronic over-delivery in coaching sessions could actually undermine your financial success and relationships with clients. That’s because it’s often rooted in a lack of trust… either in the value of your services or in your client’s abilities. Or both.

Think about it…https://prosperouscoachblog.com/stop-overdelivering-coaching-sessions-shift/

  • Do you chronically go beyond the time boundaries of your sessions?
  • Do you sometimes do your clients work for them (when it’s not part of your package?)
  • Have you ever sensed that you want more for your clients than they do for themselves?
  • Do you ever feel resentful that you’re not paid well enough for your time, but then still over-deliver?

Enrolling Coaching Clients Requires Mindset Mastery

Recently, I posted 10 powerful questions for enrolling clients and it sparked excitement from some coaches that haven’t found sample coaching sessions effective and concerns from others about the potential for manipulating prospects with the questions. Thanks for the great discussion!

https://prosperouscoachblog.com/enroll-coaching-clients-mindsetSuccessful client enrollment is part competence with an enrollment process and part mastery of mindset. I explain in my previous post why, after more than a decade of coaching, I prefer the process of enrollment questions over giving a sample  session.

Are enrollment questions manipulative? No, not in themselves. But if the coach asking those questions is attached to the outcome of getting a client the questions could feel manipulative to the prospect. The coach’s attachment to outcome is the potentially troublesome factor.

How To Reach Thousands of New Clients with Joint Ventures

This is a guest blog post by my friend — Max Simon, founder of Big Vision Business.

I felt embarrassed and small.

I was at this well-known business conference talking to big name people about my business and the kinds of projects I was involved with… and I had “list shame”.

Everyone around me had 10,000, 20,000, or even 50,000 person mailing lists of people they could speak to on a weekly basis.

… And I had less than 1,200.

I felt embarrassed and small like my work in the world was not important or meaningful. As a result, I did not show up as powerfully or engage as fully as I knew possible.

After that conference, that was when I made the unwavering decision to build a bigger following so that I could interact with the people I respected and admired.

Unfortunately, I had no idea how to attract more people to be a part of my tribe… and most of the internet marketing strategies like buying traffic (and other complicated stuff like that) seemed too challenging to figure out.

Joint Ventures will help your business reach the masses

That’s when I discovered a strategy called “Joint Ventures”… which is when you inspire other people to endorse you and promote your programs to their big list of followers.

… Which in turn builds your email list with perfectly aligned people who are hungry for what you’re doing (and want to buy).

So over the last few years, I devoted myself to learning EVERYTHING you would ever need to know about doing joint ventures and working with partners… and today, I’m thrilled to say that “I no longer have list shame.”

Plus I’ve been able to build a 7-figure business that truly is making a huge impact in the world and allowing me to work with incredible people who I can truly help.

So today, I’d like to share with you the 3 important “Partnership Secrets” to learning how to master joint ventures so you can achieve the same kind of powerful results no matter how far along you are in your business right now.

Do You Want Too Much for Your Coaching Clients?

Many years ago, Thomas Leonard, founder of the first coach training school and the “father of life coaching,” said:

Never want more for your clients than they want for themselves.

That woke me up! I began to examine my motivations and set healthier boundaries for myself with clients.

Have you ever sensed that you might want too much for your clients?

Most coaches fall into this trap on some level, until they let go of their desire to effect change on their clients, and replace it with an understanding that what is best for the client is only what the client is ready to commit to change within themselves right now.

Handle Objections Like a Super Coach

As a coach you have it made in the shade! But sometimes you don’t realize it. The skills you use to coach — listening, asking powerful questions, intuiting, using perspective, messaging, reframing — are aces for enrolling too.

But sometimes when you’re enrolling new clients, fear sneaks in on little cat’s feet and you forget all that you have going for you. Here’s how it happens:

Things are going along swimmingly in a sample session, enrolling consult or preview teleseminar. You are connecting with potential clients, enjoying them, engaging with curiosity. Then, when it comes time to invite them to take a next step with you, you shift… in dramatic ways like when Dr. Jekyl turns into Mr Hyde:

connecting

Suddenly you’re performing when you were connecting.

Suddenly you are attached to outcome when before you were detached.

Suddenly it’s all about you when before it was all about them.

But in fact, nothing had to change.