I touch the future...

 Early in the afternoon of Tuesday, January 28, 1986, I was walking back from lunch to my part-time job as an undergraduate academic advisor at Pace University.  It was a day like most other New York City winter days -- the air was brisk, as was the undulating throng of pedestrians moving along the city sidewalks toward a thousand different destinations.  

 

Until, all of a sudden,  they weren't.

 

For those who hadn’t been watching TV that morning, the "breaking news" had to be passed along the old-fashioned way... through a rare midday publication of a city newspaper.  Peering around the clusters of people to find out what headline had grabbed so much attention, I learned that the space shuttle Challenger had exploded just 73 seconds after takeoff.

 

For me, the Challenger explosion marked my first collective "before and after" moment -- a global event that cleaved time into two categories:  before it happened, and after it...

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Just call yourself a coach

 As a lifelong learner, I'm always looking for ways to learn and to grow -- whether formally or informally.

Recently, I signed up to earn a certification in religious trauma studies.  The program is relatively robust and -- to date --  has been well-designed and delivered.  Having said that, it's nowhere near as rigorous as the ICF certification process, and there are no ongoing requirements once initial certification is earned.

Students in this program are also invited to join a Facebook group -- another powerful opportunity to connect with those who want to learn more about this topic.

Last week, another enrollee in the program posted this question (modified, to ensure anonymity):

 

"I am a student in this program.  I have an unrelated master's degree and am an ordained minister. I am not a licensed social worker, nor am I a family counselor. I wanted to market myself as a spiritual counselor but was advised by counsel that I can't do so in my state....

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There is nothing to fearโ€ฆ

There is nothing to fear…

 

...but fear itself."

 

These powerful words, now iconized as part of the American vernacular and spirit, were delivered by President Franklin D. Roosevelt during his first inaugural address on March 4, 1933.

FDR's wife, Eleanor Roosevelt, was an equally powerful orator... inspiring generations with her timeless wisdom and insight.  Like FDR, the First Lady also spoke about fear:


"You gain strength, courage, and confidence by every experience in which you really stop to look fear in the face."


So... let me see if I have this straight:  do we stop to look at fear itself, so as to overcome our fear of fear?  Or, do we stop to look at that which we fear?

Perhaps both have value.

And... perhaps both are relevant to an obstacle (or opportunity?) that all of us who choose to become ICF-certified coaches will face:

Mentor Coaching

What makes mentor coaching challenging – even fear-inducing – for many of us?

Well......

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Coaching Questions: The Unexpected Key to Selling Your Services

Coaching Questions: The Unexpected Key to Selling Your Services

As a coach, you're no stranger to the power of a well-placed question. It's the tool you wield to unlock insights, foster growth, and guide your clients toward their goals. But have you ever considered that the same questions you use in coaching can be your secret weapon in selling your services? Let's dive into the universe of questions that sell, and trust me, it's as intriguing as the latest science fiction novel I've been engrossed in!

The Art of Questioning in Coaching

In coaching, questions are the bridge to understanding. They help clients articulate their desires, confront their fears, and chart a path forward. But what if we took those same principles and applied them to the sales process? Paul Cherry, in his enlightening book "Questions That Sell," describes effective sales questions as "truth-seeking missiles." And just like in a gripping sci-fi plot, when aimed correctly, these missiles can have a...

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Mastering the ICF Core Competencies: A Comprehensive Guide for Coaches

Knowledge of ICF Core Competencies is essential to being an effective coach. Today, we're breaking down these competencies to help you understand their importance and how to utilize them effectively in your coaching sessions.

Mastering the ICF Core Competencies: A Comprehensive Guide for Coaches

As a coach, you strive to provide the best support and guidance to your clients, helping them unlock their full potential and achieve their goals. To be an effective coach, it is crucial to understand and utilize the ICF Core Competencies. These competencies serve as the foundation for the coaching profession and are essential for acquiring the ICF Certified Coach credential. In this blog post, we will break down the ICF Core Competencies, emphasizing their importance and how to effectively utilize them in your coaching sessions.

Demonstrates Ethical Practice

Coaching is a profession built on trust and integrity. Demonstrating ethical practice means understanding and consistently applying...

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Yogi (the Tour Guide, not the Bear)... and ICF Core Competency 5

In 2016, I traveled — one might even say took a pilgrimage – to a Middle Eastern country.  My thoughts often go back to the many ways in which that journey changed my life, and changed me.  As is so often the case, the most profound insights and changes occurred organically and separately from the itinerary, but that is the stuff of a different blog post.   

The trip was sponsored by a local Christian church.  I opted to add a three-day "Jesus Trail" (https://jesustrail.com) 'package' to the beginning of the trip.

The Jesus Trail tour was led by a guide named Yogi, who happened to be Jewish (this fact will become relevant in a moment).  Yogi was exceptional at setting the stage for the seven of us to have life-changing experiences simply by the way in which he led this tour (more on that later, as well).

The subsequent 10-day tour was led by a different tour guide.  This tour guide, whose name escapes me, happened to be Christian...

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I've Got This!

 Whatever the topic, we can all look back on situations in our lives about which we were uncertain at the time...  

... challenges that we didn't know how to face.

... circumstances that we didn't know whether we could overcome.

… possibilities that jeopardized the “status quo” in some way.

And, even with the inevitable failures that all of us will experience along our respectful journeys, we usually emerge from these challenges with renewed confidence, a deeper understanding of our own capabilities, and valuable lessons that we can apply to our future endeavors.

As coaches, we even intentionally tap into our clients' 'history of struggles and successes.'  

How so?

Imagine this -- or, better yet, reflect back on when a client came to you describing a challenging and unfamiliar situation they were facing.  It could be almost anything -- the birth of a child, a new management role, a marathon, a job layoff, choosing to end a...

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Six Strategies for Successful Community Building

A brand community is only as valuable as the work you put into it or provide. Meaning you can't expect the community to do the work for you at all times. You must put work into it first to gain the amazing benefits brand communities return. Strong communities share your messages across many different avenues, starting with their closest friends and family, ultimately increasing your brand awareness, recognition, and credibility.

Here are six community building strategies to learn and how they can grow your business:

1. Incorporate Customer Feedback 

When you receive any feedback from a customer, whether email, in the community, or otherwise, use that information in the community. If it's positive feedback, call out the customer in the group and thank them. How you respond to negative feedback demonstrates how you will make it better or change something you do. This shows your customers you are listening.

2. Respond to Product Reviews

If someone gives you a review, don't just...

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The Business Strategy You Need is Brand Community Strategy

Communities keep your ideal audience all in one place, making it easier to communicate, market, engage and motivate them to buy your products, use your services, and consume your content. All of this together shows you why communities are a valuable marketing tool and business strategy to adopt if you want to grow your business. Plus, having a brand-centered community is fun too. And who doesnít want to have a little fun while making money?

The following are the top five crucial reasons to build a brand community:

To Increase Brand Awareness and Recognition

Building a community increases brand awareness and recognition by capturing your audience into a smaller captive unit that you can send information to easier than if theyíre all out in the wild. For example, you might have to run an advertisement to capture someone to learn about your new product, but your audience in the community will know about it simply due to being part of the community.

To Engage and Interact...

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