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Come to the Edge: 7 Scary Ways to Become a Better Coach

written bySandi Amorimon 02/10/2015

First, you were inspired and trained to become a coach. Then you began doing what it takes to create a sustainable, successful business. Now what? Well my friends, the learning never ends. 

It's easy to become complacent after coaching for awhile, and becoming too comfortable with yourself and your skills is a slippery slope to be avoided!

7 possibly scary ways to hone your edge and become a better coach:

1. Work with people who inspire you.   

We're all walking the same path - like a labyrinth - and there are people ahead of you on the path, doing what you want to be doing. This can be intimidating, but it's not about comparing yourself to them. It's about modeling what they've done that's worked.

Connect with them, listen and learn.

Tip: Try on a new mantra, "If they can succeed at this, so can I."  

2. Find out what people think about you.   

Get out of your head! The stories you have about you are not the truth. It's time for a reality check. Choose 4-6 people you trust and ask them the following questions. This will give you a really good sense of how you show up for others, and will strengthen who you are as a coach. When I did this I asked 2 good friends, 2 clients, and 2 colleagues.

  • What do you think is my greatest strength?
  • What do you think I am known for?
  • What do you wish I'd give up?
  • What would you like to see more of?
  • How can I be of greater service?

Tip: Start with 2-3 people who love and support you unconditionally.  

3. Love yourself more.  

How can you be there for others when you don't love yourself fully and completely? Look in the mirror and notice one thing you love about yourself. Do this every day, and throughout the day. Go to bed acknowledging even more about you that you love. When you love and own your awesome self, anything is possible.

Tip: Another mantra to repeat, "I love myself." until you are smiling and giggling to yourself like a child.  

4. Fire the client that drains your energy.   

Whatever amount of money they pay you is NOT worth the energetic drain. It takes courage and confidence to do this, but you will come through a stronger coach.

Tip: Get clear on who your perfect people and prevent this from happening in the future.  

5. Make time for silence.   

In today's 24/7 world the power of unplugging and choosing silence can no longer be ignored. Start with the TV, social media and telephone ringer. Be with the discomfort that may show up. Through silence, new ways of thinking and being are likely to arise.  

Tip: Block out some time in your schedule. Bonus points if you have the courage to commit to a silent retreat.  

6. Underpromise.   

You want to be there for your clients and make a difference, but over promising is not the way to do so - it's a fast road to burnout. Instead, practice underpromising, ie: if you think you can have something done and emailed by Wednesday but know it will be tight, promise you'll deliver by Friday noon.

Give yourself what you need so that you can do great work and chances are, you'll deliver before Friday. The impact of overdelivering is priceless.

Tip: Notice the areas where you default to over promising. Make one change today.  

7. Say no more often.   

Every time you say yes to something you're saying no to something else, often something that's important to you. Now's the time to nip this one in the bud.

Tip: Develop your muscle with saying no. Start with 2-3 minor things and work your way up.  

BONUS: Say the thing you're afraid to say. 

You know that moment in a conversation with a client when you find yourself thinking, "I can't listen to this one more minute?" Dig deep for the courage to say it (responsibly of course!) and make an even greater difference for your client. Wimpy coaching works for no one.  

Tip: Role play this with a coach friend and practice various ways to lovingly, boldly tell the truth. 

“Come to the edge.' 'We can't. We're afraid.' 'Come to the edge.' 'We can't. We will fall!' 'Come to the edge.' And they came. And he pushed them. And they flew.” - Guillaume Apollinaire   

Over to You: How will you hone your edge this week in service of becoming a better coach?