Ep 139 – The Art of Crafting Powerful Coaching Questions

I have something really special for today’s episode, which is about powerful coaching questions and is a part of a new series on Coaching Skills.

There’s a free download that you can get so stay tuned …

First, I want to share something personal with you. I have been so buoyed up by wonderful reviews lately. So I want to give a shout out to Gemma who said recently to me:

“I’m sending a heap of gratitude to you, Rhonda, your generous podcast has helped me identify my platform and program. Also, I know that I’m not alone in this. You’ve helped so many coaches. Thank you for cutting through the noise.”

That made my week. So I’m grateful to you, Gemma, for taking the time to write that review for me on iTunes.

So let’s roll with today’s episode.

I have the pleasure of introducing you to Laurie Cameron of WAKE UP Enterprises.

Laurie is literally the best coach I know. She is also the best coach trainer I know.

In 2001 I co-created curriculum for Coach Training Alliance and I designed their certified coach program, I was their first trainer. Then I brought Laurie in. She surpassed me significantly and she is their Senior Mentor Coach now.

I first met Laurie 20 years or so ago at the Denver chapter of the International Coach Federation and we became fast friends. We were both on the board there. Beyond that, Laurie and I have been accountability partners for each other and doing a little co-coaching now and then. Something every coach needs.

LAURIE CAMERON: I am really excited and thank you for all those kind words that made my week as well. So I’m really thrilled to be here.

The Most Powerful Coaching Skill

RHONDA: Laurie, I’m going to ask you some questions. I hope they’re powerful questions because that’s the topic that we’re bringing today. So I wanted to start with … What is your favorite coaching skill, Laurie, and why?

LAURIE CAMERON: I would like to ask you a question in return. Complete this sentence: If you want better answers, you …?

RHONDA: … have to ask the right questions.

LAURIE CAMERON: Close. See when I do full day coach training workshops with leaders and managers and when I train coaches through coach training Alliance, that’s the common answer. A better answer is you have to craft better questions.

RHONDA: Nice distinction.

LAURIE CAMERON: Thank you. Questions are amazing and they’re even more amazing and more powerful when you are adept at putting words together in a way that draw somebody’s wisdom out and draw out something new and, and send them deep. That’s why I love powerful questions and learning how to craft them.

Take Your Time To Formulate Powerful Questions

RHONDA: That’s great. I wanted to notice something. You know, you asked me that question and I jumped with my answer. You’re talking about crafting and crafting takes some time. How can a coach that’s in the middle of a coaching session take the time to craft a question?

LAURIE CAMERON: Well, it’s about taking the time to do that actually. And one of the challenges that I’ve noticed that newer coaches have about asking questions is they don’t take the time to craft one before they start asking it.

So as soon as the kernel of a question pops into their head, it’s coming out their mouth, they are revising it, editing it out loud, and it actually turns into this long thing that the client just loses track of.

Learning how to craft a powerful question is more about taking the time, pausing, being comfortable with the silence — which is also a challenge for a lot of coaches — and crafting internally before they open their mouth.

LAURIE CAMERON: That’s great to know and it reminds me that a lot of times when I’m working with my own clients. I have something to say, could be a question or it could be anything, but if I don’t quite have it ready yet, I’ll just buy myself some time. I’ll just say: Give me a second, I thinking.

It’s Okay to Be Human and Transparent with Your Coaching Clients

LAURIE CAMERON: What makes coaching not only powerful is you can be transparent. You can be vulnerable. You can say, give me a minute. Or I found myself occasionally stopping mid question and saying: Wait a minute, that’s not the question I want to ask. Let me redo this.

RHONDA: Exactly. That is so important to remember that even though someone is paying you for this service, if you put yourself up on a pedestal that actually becomes worse for you and them.

When you’re training coaches, what are some of the biggest challenges that new coaches have with asking pithy questions?

LAURIE CAMERON: I love pithy. That’s a great way to describe really important, powerful questions because those are the questions that get to the heart of the matter really, really quickly.

The Continuum: Moving Towards Mastery in Crafting Powerful Questions

LAURIE CAMERON: So one challenge is not taking the time to craft a question before they open their mouth. Another one is asking what the client is doing now or what they’ve already done about their agenda.

So let’s just say a client’s agenda is — I want to manage my energy better during the week. I hear a lot of coaches say something like: What have you done so far? Or … What are you doing now? Until you really learn how to craft a powerful question, that sounds like a great question.

But, there’s no pith in it, right? There’s no challenge to the client to think about how to move forward. What they’ve been doing or what they’re doing now that is not working and they want something different.

RHONDA: That makes a lot of sense. Do you have an example of a different thing that they could say?

LAURIE CAMERON: With our example — I want to manage my energy better during the week — a more powerful question might be: When you’re managing your energy, what does your week look like?

RHONDA: You’re asking them to think about the ideal.

LAURIE CAMERON: Yes. You want to help them uncover and create in their life.

Asking … What have you done so far? What are you doing now? It’s not necessarily a bad or a wrong question. Mastering coaching really is moving along the continuum from less powerful to more powerful.

RHONDA: That’s a great point. There’s the concept of continuous improvement. It’s not about being perfect today or having it all nailed down before I take a move, but rather to just say “Okay, I’m going to do what I can today with what I know.”

LAURIE CAMERON: So it’s less powerful to ask the current or past questions and more powerful to ask what do you want to move forward towards? Because that’s coachable.

The Qualities of a Powerful Question

RHONDA: That’s a fantastic distinction. Okay, so now I would really like to hear if there’s a formula for how to get further down that continuum to more powerful questions.

LAURIE CAMERON: Well and I don’t know that this is so much of a formula as it is a list of qualities of a powerful coaching question. So perhaps they’re, they’re similar in there.

First and foremost it’s short.

I hear a lot of newer coaches ask a question, ask another question with lots of different punctuation marks in it and pauses. And it’s really easy for a client to get totally lost in that.

“So client, when you think of all the things you just talked about, the timing of the project, the obstacles, the resources you have or the resources you need, what do you think is the most important piece to consider first, you know, before all the others can actually come to fruition and then you can move forward and figure it all out?”

RHONDA: Yeah, I’m overwhelmed just hearing that

LAURIE CAMERON: It’s, it’s very easy to get lost. So the more powerful question would be to say: So what has to happen first?

RHONDA: So simple!

LAURIE CAMERON: That’s five words.

RHONDA: I think most people who are overwhelmed are not able to really see themselves clearly. And that’s why coaching is so helpful. All of us get into that place of overwhelm. Getting out is about setting priorities. What is the next step?

LAURIE CAMERON: Yeah, helping a client figure out what they want to do or where they want to go and then create a strategy to bridge the gap from where they are to where they want to go and create an action plan to make that happen.

RHONDA: Is there anything else that that goes into the formula or the list of characteristics?

LAURIE CAMERON: Open-ended. And I think a lot of people are really aware of that. Being aware of it and noticing it when it’s coming out of your mouth are two different

A closed ended, yes or no question might be —and I hear this one a lot too — is something along the lines of “So do you think you can figure out how to make this viable?”

And it’s clear the coach wants to know and wanting to challenge the client and yet there are only two options with closed questions. Yes, I think I can figure it out. No, I don’t think I can figure it out.

It’s actually more powerful just to ask an open-ended question. What will it take to make the project viable?

RHONDA: Yes. Who, what, when, where, how and occasionally why. Although I’m not a big fan of why

LAURIE CAMERON: Me either.

An open-ended question assumes success. It’s saying I believe in you. This is what you want to do. So what’s it going to take to make that happen?

RHONDA: It’s empowering.

LAURIE CAMERON: definitely empowering. And at the same time there are very few moments where a closed ended yes or no question actually can be more powerful and most typically that’s towards the end of a coaching session when the coach is asking the client for commitment. Something like: Are you willing to do what it takes to make this work?

If a client says yes, then they have stepped up, they are ready for accountability.

RHONDA: And there’s a bit of challenge in that question after you’ve helped to empower the person to later on ask a challenging question is a really great thing to do with your clients, because coaches who challenge their clients actually get a lot more from their clients.

LAURIE CAMERON: Yeah. Letting clients off the hook is not really leveraging their investment in you.

Why Not Ask Why?

RHONDA: Yeah. You know, before we get too far off of it, I just wanted to go back to the why thing. You and I both said we’re not a big fan of why questions and I would love to hear your reason for why not why?

LAURIE CAMERON: Well, a couple of them. One, there’s an underlying judgment in a why question and even if it’s not the intention of it, and even if the person hearing the why question is not fully cognizant, it’s as if a parental unit is standing there wagging their finger saying, so why didn’t you do this? Why didn’t you do that?

And with that judgment comes a need to defend one’s actions.

Two, it perpetuates the story. Why questions put people on the defensive.

RHONDA: So if a coach is wondering why, how can they ask their client something without why?

LAURIE CAMERON: What would be an example of a why question that comes to mind, Rhonda?

RHONDA: Why in the world would you ask me that? Lori?

LAURIE CAMERON: Thank you. That’s great LOL. Well, I would re frame that as: Where’s this question coming from do you think?

RHONDA: Yes! And by the way, sometimes it doesn’t have to be a question, but more of an inquiry. I am a big fan of saying … Tell me more about that.

Multiple Choice Coaching Doesn’t Land Well

LAURIE CAMERON: That’s a wonderful way to invite your client to dig deeper. As long as you give them silence.

This is another challenge I hear from newer coaches … they just start asking question after question after question. A powerful question will stand on its own.

I hear a lot of times what I call multiple choice coaching where a coach might say:

How do you see yourself being accountable for tracking your progress? Do you need to track it on the calendar or maybe talk to somebody, get somebody on board with it? What do you think?

What happens in those instances is whatever options or possibilities that are popping into the coach’s head, if they put those out there in answer to their own question, it limits the client’s options. As opposed to saying: How do you see yourself being accountable for tracking your progress? Question mark. Be quiet. Let the client go through their own options, their own choices and sort through that rather than limiting them.

RHONDA: I’m so guilty of that one.

LAURIE CAMERON: You get to be human too.

Universally Powerful Questions For Any Agenda

RHONDA: Let’s move on to another question. Are there any questions that you think are universally excellent or powerful for numerous coaching agendas?

LAURIE CAMERON: Oh, of course. Yes. I definitely have my favorite —what I call toolbox questions.

These are questions that are generic and fundamentally powerful when you customize it with the client’s agenda or goal or action. Can I share three of them?

RHONDA: Yeah, please!

LAURIE CAMERON: Okay. My first one is typically at the beginning of a session just after the takeaway is clear for both coach and client is, I call it THE MAGIC WAND QUESTION.

You know … the perfect outcome, ideal resolution. You touched on that a little bit earlier. Ask a client to tap into their true desire and paint that picture of success without worrying about the how yet.

It’s saying … What do you really, really want? Don’t think yet about how you’re going to do it or if it’s possible or any of that. That’s not on the table yet. For right now be bold, be big, dream big, be creative.

And the client might not actually realize that ideal situation. But when they start with what they really, really want and you coach them to move in that direction, there are a lot more likely to get more of what they want.

RHONDA: Great. Love that one.

LAURIE CAMERON: Okay. And another is: How will you know when you’re successful?

I love this one because it asks your client to project themselves into a future state of success and describe it. It’s kind of similar to the magic wand question. And when they answer this kind of a question, what they’re doing is they’re also identifying the parameters that they’ll use to evaluate their success and their progress.

So it opens the door for them to strategize what actions they have to take in order to move in that direction. If we use the same agenda that we were talking about before — I want to manage my energy better during the week, we ask: How will you know you’re successful?

It helps the client think forward in they might say: Well, I’ll have enough time in the evenings to spend with my kids. I’ll be exercising consistently and how, you know, when I get home on Friday, I won’t just drop onto the couch and pass out. I’ll have enough energy to go out and have some fun in the client. Identifying how they’ll recognize success when they’re in the middle of it.

They already have three things that they want to make sure they do. Spend time with the kids in the evening exercise consistently and go out and have fun on Fridays.

RHONDA: I would, in that situation, repeat to them the things they said.

LAURIE CAMERON: Yeah, absolutely. And that leads me to my third really favorite toolbox.

What will it take to …? And you fill in that … with the, the agenda, action or goal.

So what will it take to make sure you have time to spend with your kids in the evening exercise consistently and come home on Fridays with enough energy to go have fun? Yeah.

That what will it take question kicks it into strategy mode and you could say: What’s your plan to do that?

There’s something about the word ‘plan’ that is abstract and they have to start thinking in different ways.

But the question: What will it take to do what you want to do? is simple, more direct. And I’ve discovered that it’s easier for clients to go right into planning and strategizing mode and then you can coach them:

  • to figure out what level of accountability
  • how are they going to put this into place

There are three variations that I have of the What will it take question:

  1. What has to happen?
  2. What has to be different?
  3. What has to be in place?

The Coaching Skills Quickstart Giveaway

RHONDA: Great. They’re subtle but they’re simple. And Laurie, I know that you have something that you’d like to give everybody listening. What is it? And where can they find it?

LAURIE CAMERON: A list of Sample Toolbox Questions — all the ones that I’ve talked about plus a handful more.

This list of toolbox questions is adapted from a self-study guide I wrote for leaders and managers called The Coaching Skills Quickstart and I retooled it back to professional coaches and what they might come up against in a session with a client.

RHONDA: Brilliant gift. You can find that at https://wakeupenterprises.com/prosperous-coach/

By the way … know that whenever there are links shared with you verbally on these episodes, it’s really easy to go find this stuff. If you’re listening to the podcast on a podcast app, then it will be in the show notes. If you click details on there. If you’re listening to it on my website, well it’s right there in front of you in the SHOW NOTES.

So Laurie, I just want to thank you so much for your time, for your incredible expertise and I’m definitely downloading that baby for myself!

LAURIE CAMERON: Wonderful. It’s always such a joy and a treat and an honor to spend any kind of time with you, Rhonda. Thank you.

RHONDA: You are so welcome. My absolute pleasure. I feel the same way about you, so virtual hugs to all!

Ep 83 – Overwhelm is a Bad Habit Coaches Need to Break Now

I’m tired of overwhelm. Aren’t you?

Nothing sucks the joy out of your coaching business like that over-burdened feeling:

  • An endless to do list
  • The overflowing inbox
  • Too many learning curves to climb

I know overwhelm. I remember what it feels like to launch. It’s a project with so many moving parts and you can easily get ahead of yourself.

The truth is, most often overwhelm is a bad habit wanting to be broken. Whatever your reasons, some part of you is choosing to feel overwhelmed. It’s a choice. But it’s not a conscious choice.

Like in the story of the boy who cried “wolf”, your brain and body has been trained to perceive challenges as emergencies.

You’re actually OK, but you don’t believe that you are OK.

Now is your opportunity to teach yourself how to be conscious and not choose overwhelm.

There are 4 main reasons overwhelm occurs:

  1. Non-stop stimulation
  2. Chronic disorganization
  3. Scarcity consciousness
  4. Lack of inner resources

And, as this episode is coming out during the 2020 pandemic and the uprising after George Floyd’s murder, there’s so much pain and sorrow, fear and hope about what has and what could happen. That takes energy.

It actually means you can’t do as much as before.

Sure, you can push through but there are consequences to that and it won’t help the sense of overwhelm.

Now, don’t get me wrong. I do encourage you to keep moving forward on your business as you can. Be gentle with yourself.

These days I feel done with my day by 2:00pm. It means I’m getting less done than I used to. And with the rest of my day I need to do more to re-source.

Coach, Turn Off the Firehouse of Information

There’s so much coming into our psychic space all the time — we’re rarely without connection to global media (much of it anxiety-ridden especially right now).

So first, to rehabilitate your brain and overwhelm habit, consider a media diet a few times each week. Thoughtfully control what you watch, read and listen to.

You need mental downtime to get ready to effectively learn and grow.

Think of your brain like a basin. Information coming in is like the flow coming from a faucet. If you leave the flow on full, your brain is soon overflowing and you’re in overwhelm.

Do you find yourself signing up on lists, attending lots of free courses, purchasing too many programs?

It’s tempting, I know. But most likely it’s increasing not decreasing overwhelm.

How often are you actually implementing what’s taught in those emails, posts and programs? Most coaches cannot possibly take action on the amount of how-to information they access daily.

There’s this other habit that drives us to think it’s easier to go get more information than to implement what we’ve got in front of us already. Taking in information is passive and seems risk-free. Taking action requires taking risk.

But taking action is like the drain of the basin. It’s what makes the space for more useful information, like allowing learning to be integrated and leveraged.

Turn off your info-jones:

  • Develop the habit of mining your own wisdom, experience and knowledge first.
  • Reach only for information you need right now to inspire or take the next immediate step.
  • Integrate and implement what you learn. Commit to doing this before reaching for more information.

Taking action is also the key to beating those twin progress killers – disorganization and procrastination.

Get Your Coaching Business Organized

The key to a disorganized mind or process is so simple … focus on only one step at a time. Clear the decks. Block out your time.

Procrastination is mostly a reluctance to make decisions and take risk. There may be a place for delaying a decision in your personal life, but when you are faced with a decision in your coaching business, it’s usually best to make it quickly.

Postponing decisions creates a bottleneck which brings on overwhelm.

Here’s a confession. I make half-baked decisions in my business all the time. Mistakes, too.

It can be embarrassing, but train yourself to blow off embarrassment. You deserve to make mistakes. And in the end, the mistakes teach you something you couldn’t have learned any other way.

Is Scarcity Driving You, Coach?

Taoists say that wherever your attention goes, that’s where your life energy goes. Whatever you focus on expands.

Modern life trains us to focus on what is missing, what is not going right. Building a business redoubles that training, demanding that we fill the gaps and fix the problems in order to get results.

But if you allow your mind to become fixated on what is wrong, then overwhelm has you in its grip. Maybe you don’t believe you are enough (not good enough, not up to it). Maybe you believe you don’t have enough knowledge.

My favorite version of scarcity is “It will take so much time to do this.”

If you find yourself running this racket, the most important thing is to catch yourself in these thoughts, and consciously choose the beliefs you want to hold. No one is the master of their thoughts all the time, so be willing to repeat this process over and over. Often it helps to write it down:

  • the old tape you’re running, and
  • the powerful statement you are choosing in its place.

Then (again), move into action – one deliberate step at a time. When overwhelm starts brewing, take a five minute break from whatever you’re doing, and move away from as many sources of stimulation as you can. Do nothing else but move and breathe.

You’ll quickly come back to center, refreshed and resourced.

In the Next Episode: Are You Afraid to Ask Coaching Clients to Pay You?

Ep 73 – Do You Fit One Of These Coach Archetypes?

This episode is another REPRISE during the pandemic to give me a chance to be with my emotions while still provide something helpful to coaches. Bless my foggy brain. I need a break, ya’ll!

So you’re going to love this if you haven’t already heard it. And if you have already heard it consider listening again.

And, I double dog dare you to choose just one of these archetypes as your primary archetype and not just say “Oh, I can relate to all them.” In my experience, one rises to the surface like cream.

So this is a creative exploration of how personality can affect your choice of coaching niche.

When I work with coaches to help them determine their niche, I ask a lot of questions to uncover clues that, when strung together, point us to natural possibilities for them.

I’ve been playing with this idea for years — that coaches often have a natural inclination, which influences how they will build and grow their business. And that can influence what type of audience and niche will fit them best.

This is not usually a conscious choice, but rather a subconscious leaning. I’ve decided to call these archetypes.

I began to witness 5 major patterns in the way a coach will grow their business. So, in this episode I’ll explain those 5 major archetypes and how they emerge to influence the direction of a coaching business.

One of them might be a clue for you.

A few caveats here …

  • Not every coach will have one clear archetype.
  • You might not relate to any of these archetypes. After all, they come out of my experience only.
  • And for some people this archetype isn’t yet awakened until they launch their business and something blooms within them.

I’ll use myself as an example.

I had no idea when I decided to become a coach that 3 years later I’d be developing my own curriculum and teaching others how to coach. I didn’t know that I’d launch a new and specific business 12 years ago to help coaches choose a smart niche and launch with confidence.

I didn’t intend any of that.

Meet the TEACHER ARCHETYPE

If you fit the Teacher Archetype then you have a strong leaning towards teaching.

And it’s born out of your own ideas, not someone else’s.

That’s a key distinction.

It might happen like this …

You struggle mightily with something — in my case it was trying to figure out what my own coaching niche is — and your sense of determination kicks in full force.

You decide that you’re going to study this problem from all sides.

It becomes a bit of an obsession.

You fall on your face a few times but it doesn’t matter because you’re like a dog after a bone. You’re going to figure this out.

And this DRIVE TO SOLVE is a big part of the teacher archetype.

At first, you’re not thinking about helping others with this problem. You simply want to

solve it for yourself.

But at some point, when your ideas start to have a positive affect on you … you realize that you’re not the only one with this very difficult challenge.

And you begin to look at things from a meta-level. While transforming yourself you’re also continuing to study the problem and develop a system or a model.

And maybe, unbeknownst to you, you have a gift for breaking complex things down into steps. And so you write them down.

It’s often the way you respond to challenges.

Over time you perfect the system. And then you realize this could help others. So you create a program, you write the workbook, you put it online or gather together people who have the same problem as you. You walk them through the actions that will solve their problem.

That’s the teacher archetype.

1. It starts with a personal journey of transformation around a key problem.

2. From sheer grit and your own experiential study, YOU create the solution.

3. Then you offer it to others.

Often, but not always, the services you offer will be B to B. Business to Business.

Another example of this Archetype is Tami Stacklehouse of the Fibromyalgia Coaching Institute.

Tami’s struggle with her own fibromyalgia turned into a coaching business serving others with fibromyalgia and quickly became an institute where she trains other coaches, who had fibromyalgia, in her system to help others take back control of their lives.

Wow huh?

See how specific and narrow this is? But, Tami has made this into a very successful business that is able to help many more people than she can coach by herself.

Later this month I’ll be interviewing Tami and hope to share her story on this podcast.

You can see how your coaching business model would be affected by knowing or discovering that study, teaching and solving is your natural drive.

Can you relate to this? You might fit this Teacher Archetype.

If so, your niche will be very specific, fit one narrow audience who shares the problem you had. And you will create the solution, from your own unique perspective but not by learning it from someone else.

Meet the HEALER ARCHETYPE

Similar to the Teacher Archetype, the Healer Archetype is born out of a personal challenge.

If this fits you, you’ve experienced something deeply personal and possibly traumatic —in your youth or adulthood.

I know, it seems like we all could fit this archetype, but not everyone has the inclination to heal themselves or others.

Healing yourself through various means, you have a natural inclination to help others who have felt the same source of pain that has created difficulties in adulthood.

The way the Healer Archetype is different from the Teacher Archetype is that the personal transformation doesn’t necessarily become a mentally driven study that results in a desire to teach.

Instead it’s more of a heart based desire to hold space for another person as they work with the fallout of their trauma towards a more whole and healthy existence.

As coaching is not the same thing as therapy, a coaching business built around this type of transformation requires additional training to be ethical.

I had the pleasure recently of interviewing, Jennifer Davoust, who has a popular meditation podcast called Tune Into You. I highly recommend that you subscribe.

I’ll have the link to her page and anyone else I mention on this episode’s show notes at prosperouscoach.com/12.

Jennifer experienced a traumatic childhood. Then she transformed her life from what she defined as directionless and worthlessness to confidence, courage and a life that lights her up.

You can read her story on her website.

Now, as a Self Love specialist, combining coaching, meditation and hypnotherapy, she’s supporting others who want to learn to love themselves. Sometimes they are struggling with low self esteem, perfectionism, self judgment and anxiety.

Her podcast is how people find her. And, if you listen to her podcast you’ll hear how she uses her buttery voice and hypnotherapy to soothe us all.

This type of support in the Healer Archetype is usually directed at individuals rather than entrepreneurs or companies. It’s B to C, Business to Consumer, rather than B to B.

Another example of the Healer Archetype is Julie Cluff of Build a Life After Loss. http://www.buildalifeafterloss.com/

Julie lost two children in an accident. Her reality shifted to one of just coping. But 3 years in, she realized that she could honor her children and also live a purposeful, joy filled life.

Now Julie helps women who have lost children to build a life of purpose and joy. She’s trained in Grief Coaching.

Meet the PURE COACH ARCHETYPE

This is someone who loves coaching in it’s purest forms. These coaches are most likely to call themselves Life Coaches or something similar.

They tend to crave learning and often fall in love with the tenets of a coaching model or a system that someone else has created. For example — a Tony Robbins coach or a John Maxwell coach.

Some of these coaches don’t want to run a business of their own and so may find coaching firms to represent them or be hired by a corporation to coach for internally. Many leadership and corporate coaches fit this archetype.

But others in this archetype will create their own business and the way they serve will be largely guided by that coaching model they love so much.

I recently did an On Air Coaching session with Marshall Stern. I’m guessing that Marshall fits this Pure Coach Archetype.

You can hear that session where Marshall & I work on firming up his target audience in Episode 11 of Prosperous Coach Podcast.

Meet the ICON ARCHETYPE

This fits a person for whom coaching is only a small part of a much larger, and often more grand, business model. In fact, the individual might not even be a trained coach but has natural coaching and motivational skills.

Think Tony Robbins, Marie Forleo and Danielle Laporte.

These people have a big personality and a strong desire to be a publicly recognized figure. Someone might discover them, recognize their star factor and back a venture where they are the face, voice and personality of the company.

These people are likely to write books, speak on big stages, get TV interviews or other high profile media appearances.

Some coaches may end up in the Icon Archetype only after starting from one of the other archetypes.

Have you heard of Ali Brown? She’s been on ABC’s Secret Millionaire and several other TV channels. She was once named “Entrepreneurial Guru for Women” by Business News Daily.

She puts on large, well known events. For many years, it was called SHINE. Her latest event is called ICONIC Content and I.P. Retreat for entrepreneurs and thought leaders.

Interesting that it’s called ICONIC, eh?

But what most people don’t know is how Ali started. I met her back when she took the coach training, that I co-authored, at Coach Training Alliance.

Close after that, she did a very smart thing. She wrote an ebook to help entrepreneurs create an ezine (what is now called a blog). She was first to the market offering a very affordable step by step how-to.

Do you recognize the Teacher Archetype?

Now and for the last 15 years she’s been the glamorous star of her own empire.

If you have aspirations to be a big name and own the big stage, you might fit the Icon Archetype.

Meet the CEO ARCHETYPE

This last archetype is one I’m just testing out because I haven’t had personal experiences with coaches who fit this. But I knew an option was missing in the pantheon of coach archetypes.

Similar to the Icon Archetype, this person has big dreams and goals that might look like this …

They become a professional coach then build a firm with a stable of other coaches who all serve a particular industry.

Or, they build a multi-employee company that isn’t necessarily centered on coaching as the service but incorporates coaching principles or models into a larger idea.

I’d love to hear if this episode sparks an idea for you about the direction of your niche or coaching company. Or, if you have a theory about an altogether different Coach Archetype, email me at rhonda @ prosperouscoach.com

In the Next Episode: Is Fear Holding You Back from Launching Your Coaching Business?