How To Coach Couples

couples need coachingAre you a relationship coach or counselor? If so, you have your work cut out for you!

Relationships are hard work for any  couple, and it takes a great coach to help them move through these difficulties. They will stumble;   they will fall.    It will be your job to make sure they don’t stumble and fall backwards! 

There is a new soon-to-be published book with the working title Men Are Stupid, Women Are Crazy… that may be a great tool you can use to understand and coach your couples.   The authors, Michael and Brigitte Craig, are currently asking for your stories about stupid men or crazy women (or both).  The fact that this subject is only now coming to light is interested . . . .because this comes under the “everybody knows” category, right?

The reasons men and women are so different are the same reasons that couples coaching is so difficult – and more of an art than a science.  Sessions usually consist of listening, followed by questions about how they want their relationship to look, then a lot of followup sessions with you trying to help them figure out how to smoothe out the wrinkles.

Sometimes couples simply cannot come to common ground, and end up separating or divorcing.  Its not anyone’s fault necessarily; these things happen.

Your job as a relationship coach is to guide them towards

  1. Understanding the needs and motivation of one another
  2. Finding ways to accept those needs, and
  3. Finding ways to satisfy those needs for their mutual benefit.

If this cannot be accomplished, so be it. The timing may be off, or they genuinely may not be good for one another.

If the coaching doesn’t help at all, its usually because one or both partners don’t really want to stay married, and have hidden agendas that don’t come to light during your times together.  Even a split can be considered successful, however, if both parties come to the realization they were not meant for each other (they need to reach this decision mutually, however . . . not be told this is the best solution)!

The only real way to avoid a poor coaching outcome for your clients is to have enough experience to know when they are sincere, and when they are feeding you a line of BS.  Only through listening, asking, and digging to bring to light hidden motivations will you be able to help them resolve these sticky men-women problems.




Coaches: Develop Those Listening Skills

Are you a life coach who wants to be more effective with clients?  Simple:  Learn to LISTEN! 

If you were certified as a life coach, you probably already know this, but for those of you who have not yet been certified, or who would like to hone your skills, the best way to start is to learn the subtleties of active listening.

Active listening involves listening to the person to develop rapport, get information, and find out certain key items that motivate or animate the speaker.  The following exercise is a great place to start:

New Years Resolutions: Do They Work?

Do New Years Resolutions Actually Work…?

life coach new years resolutionsOr are they simply a way for us to feel good about ourselves while staying “in the process” of doing very little . . . or trying, then giving up a few weeks later?   I guess it all depends on the person, but I recently discovered 12 “magical steps” to make New Years Resolutions actually take on some traction.

The author, Dr. Michael Craig, says he came up with these methods years ago when setting his own goal to ride 1000 miles a year for charity . . . on a unicycle! Since then, he has accomplished this goal – and much more – for four years and counting.

Check out these 12 Magical Steps, then use them!  I plan to follow this program this year, and hope to achieve my goal of being on the path to achieving six figures or more as a coach by the end of 2016.  According  to the ‘magic plan,” that means I will need to be earning at least $8,333.34 per month by December, 2016.  This breaks down to six clients at $1,500 per month, or 12 clients at $750 per month (or 2 clients at $4,167 per month)!

If I can do this, I know you can too!  I therefore challenge you to a “life coaching success year” in 2015!  Let’s aim at getting halfway there by then – “just” getting 6 clients for $750 a month!!

If you and I can’t do that, we both need a new job or career!

Merry Christmas

There, I’ll say it again:  Merry Christmas!

Political correctness being what it is these days,  if I offended a Jewish person, Muslim, Hindu, Buddhist, Kwanzan, Wiccan, Atheist, Zoroastrian, Satanist,  or Kwanzan I’m sorry.  But December 25th is the official date of the birth of Jesus Christ, and I thought it would be appropriate to say “Happy birthday, Jesus!”

Now don’t get me wrong;  I’m not a Bible-thumping zealot.  I simply believe that when a large number of people have a particular religious belief – especially when that belief is part of our Western tradition – then we should hone the tradition, if not the religion.

So have a Merry Christmas!  While it won’t be a white one here in Florida like it always is in Russia, I will still have a great time going to the beach in a bikini!


How To Talk To People About Coaching

talking about life coachingHow do you talk to people about coaching? 

Are you confident?  Full of life and energy?  Ask questions of the people about their needs, goals and aspirations?

Or do you walk up to people at a party or gathering, tell them “I’m a life coach,” then slither over to the corner of the room and stay silent for the rest of the evening because they walked away when you opened your mouth?  Ouch.

First of all let’s get something straight:  not everyone is going to be your client!  In fact MOST people at any given party or network gathering are NOT looking for a coach or consultant . . . they just want to have a good time, meet people, and tell OTHERS what THEY do!

Sound familiar?  It should… you are just like them!  You want to talk about YOUR stuff, they want to talk about THEIR stuff . . . and nothing gets said except a bunch of words to people standing there wishing they could get a word in edgewise!

A wise person once told me “People are primarily interested in themselves.  when they look at a group picture, who do they look for first?  That’s right . . their OWN image!”  It’s so true.  People want to talk about themselves . . . AND, if you give them a chance to do that, guess what?  YOU become an interesting person!

Try that during these Christmas holidays.  When attending some event or gathering, walk up to someone and introduce yourself.  then tell them they look like and interesting person and you’d like to find out more about them and what they do.

Then sit back (or stand back) and let them do 75% of the talking while you actually listen to what they have to say!  You’re a COACH, dammit, so use your coaching skills when talking to people!

When they find out you’re a great listener, they will connect the dots and . . . VOILA!  You have a new client. And all you did was listen and give feedback to clarify their points.

So how do you talk to people about coaching when you’re not sure if they’re interested?

You don’t;  you simply coach.  When they come around to ask what you do, you tell them “I coach people on ways they can get the most out of themselves to accomplish . . . ” and then add a general topic, or whatever field or subject the person is talking about.  they will quickly see that this great listener can actually do something to help them . . . and likely give you another chance.

Be prepared afterwards to send them to an online opt-in page where they can sign up for a free offer, report or video training.  Or simply ask for their card and put them on your contact list.   You want to give them some reason that allows you to contact them again and follow up.

Then always be sure to follow up – with more information they seek or some resource – not even you – that they might find the answers they seek.  Send them a card, a clipping, an email with a link to the resource you told them about . . . something that will let them know you heard them.

They will remember you.

And – if you gave them specific steps to take that eventually lead them to sign up for long-term coaching – who knows?  Once they are convinced that you are the one to help them solve their problem, they will call!






For Starters: How To Life Coach

How To Life Coach

Is life coaching really so different as telling your best friend her dress makes her hips look fat? Well, a little . . . with a twist.

To begin with, TELLING your best girlfriend her dress makes her look fat is guiding her – hopefully – to finding a better dress and looking fabulous. Life coaching, on the other hand, is ASKING a client or prospect what he or she wants to accomplish, then guiding the client towards ways of achieving that goal or end result.

This is the difference, by the way, between DIRECT coaching and INDIRECT Coaching. The former method is all about teaching someone something he or she doesn’t already know . . . and wants to learn. The latter method, on the other hand, is about drawing out of the client something he or she already knows . . . and allowing him or her to UN-learn some things that may have gotten in the way!

life coaching
Life Coaching Just Happens

So what IS the difference? Let’s go over a few basic definitions, just so we”re clear about how life coaching is different . . .

Direct Coaching

Direct Coaching assumes that the client or student knows nothing about the subject matter being coached, and that the instructor is in a superior position regarding the knowledge or skill being imparted.

Direct coaching is all about teaching someone how to do something by step-by-step instructions, lessons, and practices. Similar to Direct Coaching – but slightly different – is Mentoring. A Mentor also provides instruction, except that this method focuses more on acting as a ROLE MODEL for the client to emulate, rather than providing a lot of instructions and lessons.

A Direct Coach teaches, models, instructs, and gets his client to follow his or her lead by doing the same. Learning happens when the client is able to match the instructor’s ability and/or skill at doing the same job, task, or play.

Direct coaching is best suited for sports, managerial or job training, teaching, and anything requiring specialized knowledge or skill.

Indirect Coaching

Indirect Coaching assumes that the client knows everything he or she needs to know about any given subject, skill or topic . . . and that it is the job of the Coach to simply draw it out of the client! The coach is NOT in a superior position as coach, but acts as a friend who holds the client accountable for his or her actions, deadlines, and results.

The indirect coach coaches by questioning the client to find out WHAT he or she knows, and WHICH of the items or tools at his or her disposal would be best suited for the job or goal at hand. The indirect coach acts only as a Guide to the client, providing vital feedback and processes that allow the client to DISCOVER what he or she really needs to know to complete a task, or achieve a goal.

The indirect coach digs for the client’s motivation, assists in discovering resources, and provides valuable feedback during the process . . . not to teach, but to bring the client back to the goal that he or she has already set.

Indirect Coaching is best suited for life coaching, counseling, and teaching . . . but only if used in conjunction with the Socratic Method of asking questions. A good Mentor also uses indirect coaching to bring the student to a place where he or she “gets it” . . . that ideal space where he or she shouts ‘Eureka!’ and runs off to do it themselves!

Transform Lives

You as a Life Coach are in an ideal position to transform lives. By using the Indirect Coaching method and allowing your clients to come to that moment of ‘Eureka!’ . . . you provide a TRUE “education” for your client (since the root of this term is the Latin ‘educare,‘ meaning ‘to draw out’).

You motivate clients without using many words . . . just allowing them to use their own ability to discover themselves. This is THE most important method of coaching in the world, and you should be PROUD to be called a LIFE COACH!