Coach School

Laurie Lambert, New Direct Sales Certified Coach

Ultimate Coach university Graduate Laurie Lambertby Dana Phillips.

Meet Laurie Lambert, Certified Direct Selling Coach from Arlington, Texas.

Laurie uses coaching daily in her role as a Field Development Manager. Laurie entered the UCU program for a variety of reasons.  As part of her professional development plan, she wanted to grow her skills as a coach for her position with Dove Chocolate Discoveries.  Additionally, she admired leaders who used the coach approach to leadership and looked for a program that would support her to be a more effective coach.  UCU made sense to her because “it was the only program that combined the professionalism of the international coaching community with the practical application of the direct selling industry.”  Laurie is currently working on her ICF ACC credential and expects to have it soon.

Reflecting on the skills, tools, and processes Laurie learned in UCU coursework, she was most impressed with the work she did with her mentor coach.  “My mentor coach really modeled good coaching skills as well as helping me improve my own coaching.”

Laurie feels her greatest growth was in the area of coaching presence.  “The ability to enter into my client’s world, stay there, and really hold that space for them is exciting. When it is their idea, their solution, positive change happens.”

Laurie and her husband Mitchell enjoy a variety of hobbies. She recognizes that coaching significantly impacts her role as a spouse and mother to adult children.

Read More

Jana Arkell: New Direct Sales Certified Coach

New Direct Sales Coachby Dana Phillips.

Meet Jana Arkell, Certified Direct Selling Coach, from Highland Branch, Colorado.

Jana is an energetic and insightful coach!  She is a wife and mom with a busy lifestyle. She runs a successful business from home and is an independent Executive Sales Director for Pampered Chef.

She completed the direct selling certification program this year and uses coaching with her team.  Her attraction to the coaching program at UCU started with a conversation from another leader in her company. When she asked Darla Oelmann, a top leader what one thing she could do in her business that would make the most impact, Darla responded, “Learn to coach”.

One of the greatest discoveries Jana found personally and professionally is that “every obstacle can be surmounted through coaching”.  She learned that coaching supports people to get out of the emotion and become more solution oriented.

The results make an impact. This year, through individual and group coaching she saw solid growth in personal sales and consistency in her team.  She uses coaching skills from UCU in conversations as well as specific performance coaching.

As her mentor coach I found Jana really took advantage of the time in her sessions as well as her classes. When we started coaching, she was overwhelmed with the busyness of her life, business and family. She always had more to do than she had time for in the day and felt like she had to do it all herself. Through coaching, Leisa was able to set priorities, delegate better and focus on the activities that support her success.

You can find more about Jana’s business at

Read More

Angilee Myers: New Direct Sales Certified Coach

Angilee Myersby Dana Phillips.

Angilee Myers, Certified Direct Selling Coach from UCU, has been awarded the ACC credential from the International Coach Federation.  Angi is not stopping there, and is hard at work on her next coaching credential, the PCC, which she expects to be awarded soon.

Angi picked Ultimate Coach University because “I was looking for a coach school that would help me take my coaching to the next level and allow me to integrate my direct sales experience with my coaching. I was also drawn to UCU because I was familiar with and really comfortable with the instructors. Neil and Dana are knowledgeable and inspiring. They have pushed me, believed in me and challenged me to stretch to see things differently. I have thoroughly enjoyed my UCU experience.”

Coaching has been a big part of Angi’s personal and professional development and this achievement marks an impressive journey of self-discovery and discipline. Formal coach training has had a profound impact on Angilee’s life.  As she describes it, “Things have changed in my life, my business and my family as a result of UCU. As a coach, I approach situations more thoughtfully. I am fully present and listen better – to what’s said and isn’t said. I am much more effective at work, especially as a leader. I believe that the coach approach makes relationships better; training is more effective in getting the best possible results. It’s a way of life and I think I am a better person for the experience.”

Angi current serves as Senior Manager Sales Leadership Development at Thirty-One Gifts. “I work with the most amazing leaders at Thirty-One Gifts. These women are powerful, strong, faithful and confident leaders who change the lives of those around them every day”.  She believes in coaching as a leadership style and models the coach approach in all of her activities.

Neil Phillips PCC, her mentor coach reports, “Angi has been a dream to work with.  She exudes positivity and is always moving forward.”

Angi and her husband Steve make their home in Yorktown, Indiana. She stays busy with six children and enjoys attending the myriad of events in their busy lives.

Read More

Angela Burnell: New Direct Sales Certified Coach

angelaburnellcroppedBy Dana Phillips

Meet Angela Burnell, Certified Direct Selling Coach, from Victoria, British Columbia.

Angela is a compassionate and thoughtful woman.  She is a Connected Travel agent with Travel Best Bets and an Independent Consultant with Epicure Selections.

She completed the direct selling certification program this year and is a great coach.  Janet Daniels, Angela’s mentor coach praises her growth as a coach. “Angela sincerely cares about her clients and making sure her clients feel heard.  Her powerful questions emerge from fantastic listening skills.”

Angela found personal as well as profession growth as she completed her program with Ultimate Coach University.  “I will never forget those days in Dallas and how much it has changed me. It was an amazing thing to take that leap a year ago. I truly am a better person for it.”

Read More

Cindy Taylor: New Direct Selling Certified Coach

Cindy TaylorBy Dana Phillips

We are pleased to announce our first Canadian Certified Direct Selling Coach, Cindy Taylor. She completed the direct selling certification program recenly and is working toward her life coaching certification.

Cindy, a busy home schooling mother, is the owner of Cindy Biz Life Strategies and recently launched a successful “30 Days to What Next” this September.  She focuses on women in transition and is passionate about supporting people to find their next steps.

Her clients tell us that she is thoughtful and skilled at asking the powerful question: the one that makes you really think!  As a life strategist, she brings a wealth of experience, knowledge, and compassion to those she encounters.

“I’m grateful that Cindy introduced me to ‘Executive Toughness’.  Setting my top priorities and the steps to achieve them has been rewarding. I dearly appreciated Cindy’s accountability throughout the process. Her insightful coaching encouraged me to be confident in the here and now and hopeful in my future.” – Sarah Paterson, ENJO (

Cindy and her husband have four children. They make their home in London, Ontario.  You can reach her at


Read More

Breaking the Coaching Mold

Have you ever coached a client who just couldn’t seem to move forward?  And she was stuck for week after week after week? I was recently working with a UCU student coach on one of her clients.  I have permission to share the following.

The UCU student coach wanted to spend her session talking about her client.  Her client was saying all of the right things and appeared to be doing all that she committed to do, but there was no progress.  Sales, recruiting, and promoting were all stagnated.  Coaching calls also seemed to have stagnated. Neither coach nor client could figure out a way forward.

As we talked our way into the scenario, the student coach had an amazing AHA moment. For a client to do something differently, she has to think differently.  The same is true for a coach.  You have to coach differently in order for your client to respond differently.  The rest of our call was taken up with possible alternatives to the “business as usual” coaching model. The student coach was going to ask the client to “experiment” with some different coaching techniques.  (Let me stress that without client permission, none of these would occur). Here are some of the alternatives that might be used:

  • The coach may ask the client to allow interruptions.
  • The coach may ask the client to describe her week like a movie script or fairy tale.
  • The coach was only going to ask “what” questions.
  • The coach would speed coach as if the session was only half as long.

Get the picture?  The student coach is committed to coaching differently to see what different results she may get.

At the end of her experimental coaching session, the student coach will ask her client for feedback and thank her for experimenting.

How could you experiment with a client?


Read More

Intensive Introduction to Coaching

The three-day intensive coaching launch in May, 2014 occurred in Irving, Texas. Three of our students describe what happened during those three days.

Plans are gearing up for the UCU Coach Launch Program in Natick, Massachusetts on September 5, 2014.  It’s a three-day dive into key topics to get you started as a coach. You’ll leave prepared to start coaching immediately.

This program is geared for coaches beginning their professional career and for those simply wanting to add coaching skills to their toolkit. Experienced coaches participate to refresh their knowledge base and to hone their skills. The program is approved for 16 hours of Continuing Coach Education Units (CCEU’s) with the International Coach Federation.

The program provides coaches with knowledge, skills, practice, and feedback on their coaching. The course will address specifics for running programs in person and virtually.

Participants leave the program with tools, resources, skills and practice in coaching, including:

  • An understanding of what coaching is, similarities and differences with counseling, training, mentoring, and facilitation
  • Core skills and competencies for masterful group coaching
  • Foundational principles: Learning styles, listening, asking curious powerful questions, and feedback
  • Creating Connection, Trust and Accountability
  • Exercises, Tools and Resources for Coaching
  • Working with, and engaging, different learning styles
  • Navigating Tricky Issues
  • Practice and feedback on your skills

The program includes:

  • 16 hours of training ( 15 Core Competency CCEU’s)
  • Online DiSC profile to assess your communication style
  • Experience as a coach and as a client (your first three sessions)
  • Your UCU Resource Workbook
  • Online Time Mastery profile and self-coaching application
  • Your copy of Coaching for Performance by Sir John Whitmore.
  • Your copy of StandOut by Marcus Buckingham.
  • New Client Welcome Forms
  • Sample Coaching Agreements
  • Small student/faculty ratio for personal attention
  • Student rates on coaching tools
    • An opportunity for you to get hands-on practice and feedback on your coaching skills

Venue: Hampton Inn, Boston/Natick, Massachusetts Hampton Inn. Special rate of $109 per night is available until August 15.

Space limited to 15 coaches.

Cost: $1250 (payable in four installments). Register with one or more colleagues and save 10% each.


Here’s what past participants have said about the program:

“This is the place to learn the skills needed for coaching.” – Diane Dieffenbach

“Completely changed my mindset on the way I view people and life.  I am a better person now.” – Megan Salmon

“DO IT!  Sooner than later ” – Darla Oehlman

“A must to take.” – Diane Engle

For more details on-line, look for the Ultimate Coach University program descriptions. We are the only ICF ACSTH program that has an emphasis in direct selling.

Contact Dana Phillips,, with questions.

Looking forward to having you join us!

Read More

Two Lessons from Ultimate Coach University

Lessons from UCUWhile teaching at the Ultimate Coach University three-day program this past week, I was reminded of some of the important lessons I try to hold onto when coaching.  Here are the top two:

Everyone is whole and complete.  While this sounds like something out of New Age encounter groups, it is an important attitude for you to hold as you approach coaching.  It starts with yourself.  If you can’t hold yourself as whole, complete, and capable of making decisions, how will you do that for your clients?  You’ll see yourself as broken and then you’ll see your clients as broken.

Listening is the most important skill.  Good coaching starts with good communication and that starts with listening.  As a coach, you are trying to step in and stay in your client’s world.  That will let you ask the questions.  It ain’t going to happen unless listening takes the penultimate position for you. When you think about the questions, you are centering your thoughts on “you.”  When you focus on listening, you are focusing your thoughts on the client.

This past week, the eleventh cadre attended the Ultimate Coach University Launch in Dallas. The group of students represented five states and experience levels ranging from none to Master Coach.  Their interests were in direct sales coaching, life coaching, and business coaching.  While I’ve taught the material several times before, the coaching reminders are always important.  My sincerest hope is that the student’s took away some important lessons as well.

What about you?  What are the top reminders for you as you enter into coaching?

Read More

A Direct Sales Coaching Demonstration

You don’t often get a chance to see good and bad coaching done side by side.  This is your chance.

Two of Ultimate Coach University students recently had the opportunity to train from the main stage at their company’s leadership conference.  Darla Oelmann and Jana Arkell are top leaders in their direct sales company.  The video isn’t all of the training that they did.  The video is of a skit they did as part of the training.  The first two minutes show how NOT to coach.  The rest shows good coaching techniques.

I must admit to cringing a little during the NOT section.  Haven’t you ever done something and then said to yourself it was all wrong?

Darla and Jana were part of the Ultimate Coach University launch workshop in Columbus, Ohio last November.  We want to say a BIG “Thank you” for spreading the word about good coaching techniques.


Read More

Coaching Powerful People

Coaching powerful peopleI’ve had the opportunity recently to start coaching some new clients I would call very strong and outgoing people.  Despite their dissimilar backgrounds, diverse occupations, and geographic distance, they were a lot alike.  Old school sales leaders would call them FIREBALLS or “natural born leaders.”  Organizational psychologists would call them “Type A” personalities.  Organizational behavioralists would call them Alpha’s.

No matter how you classify them, they are not people to be ignored.  My new clients are:

  • public decision makers (“I announced what we were doing.”)
  • unshakable in their confidence (“This is the best way to proceed.  Anything else is flawed.”)
  • domineering over their opposition (“They need to get with it or get out.”)
  • as demanding with others as they are with themselves (“It’s worth doing better than right.”)

In short, they are not people who want to have casual conversations about coaching.  Their time is more valuable than that.

My new clients are prototypical leaders.  Unfortunately, their confidence in their decision making can become the source of their problems.  One way to describe this is by saying that their habits of success have created their blind spots.  They are successful, they are the cause of their success, and their future depends on them doing the same things over and over again.  Because they are strong-willed and confident people, they don’t want to hear that they are wrong.  It’s at this point, when their life and business is trouble filled, everyone knows it, and they have an epiphany that things are not working right.  Of course, a coach should be able to help them.  While I’m sure you have some thoughts on what this can mean, let me suggest three possibilities.

Problems start to show up in their personal lives that aren’t apparent at business.  In their business life, they can roll over problems.  Confusion is your fault; not theirs.  It’s not their job to understand their direct reports; it’s the underlings’ job to understand them.  The job of their personal assistant is to help you understand what they meant.  At home, however, the story is often different.  The alpha is willing to complain about not being understood, laments that “my spouse has changed,” or is having escalating fights with the children.  Interestingly, alpha’s have difficulty seeing themselves as the cause of their problem.  Equally interesting, their typical control methods don’t work.

These alpha personalities will seek a coach to help them understand what’s going on.  The client feels that if they have understanding of “a” particular situation then “all” situations will be open to new understanding.  The client is asking the coach to help them shift their paradigm while being fundamentally blind to the paradigm.  When the alpha finally discovers that understanding is not of an external situation but of their internal psyche, then their world will hold no ceilings.

Somebody stronger comes along.  That somebody may be a new CEO or member on the Board of Directors.  It may be somebody in a different company who has a parallel position and does things completely different from the alpha.  It may be a new hire who seems to be operating at peak efficiency but not like the alpha.  In any case, the strong leader has an indisputable conclusion that something needs to change—even if she is not sure what.

These alpha personalities often think they want a coach to help them plan different strategies.  In most of these situations, the success of the coaching encounter is often transitory.  The alpha is like the gunslinger in the old west—likely to die with their boots on.  They don’t get new understanding or enlightenment.  They get to create a nuance of what they have always done and long term success is illusory.

The job gets too big.  As any successful entrepreneur will tell you, if you are doing it right, eventually you will have to do it differently.  An unwillingness to change will make you into an historic artifact.  These alpha personalities want to discover their role in what they have created.

Often these leaders can find the future role by having the opportunity to explain to a naive third party (the coach) where they are and how they got there.  By the way, this is probably the most common situation for coaches.  Increasingly, companies are hiring coaches to help their new executives find the right role to play.

Whatever the scenario, it is important for the coach to hold alpha’s as whole; capable of getting past the thoughts, actions, and habits that no longer serve them.  Coaching an alpha requires powerful questions that relate to the outcome and desired results.  Questions that lead to more introspection are helpful in the discovery of what the alpha can do.  Questions that lead the alpha to examine the consequences of her behaviors are often a source of revelation for this type of client.

Powerful people want to be effective. Don’t be afraid of coaching the powerful person; be their advocate in discovering how to work from their strengths to create the results they desire.

As I finish writing this, I realize it’s seldom this simple and straightforward. There are other reasons and ways to work with powerful clients. Part of the reason I love working with Ultimate Coach University is the constant reminder that other opportunities and approaches are out there.  Let me know your thoughts and reactions.  I love to have you share your ideas with me.

Read More