Coach School

Being a Coach or Acting Like One?

Coaching evaluationWhether it’s your direct sales team, project team, start-up or company, an atmosphere that encourages coaching to grow and prosper doesn’t just happen naturally.  If you want a coaching culture, you deliberately have to make it happen.

To have a coaching culture, you have to be a coach. The error most people make is thinking that they can be a coach because they have had coaching.

I’ve previously written about the first step in creating a coaching culture is to have a coach.  Once you have experienced coaching, a completely new world opens up for you.  The error most people make is thinking that they are capable of being a coach at this point.  While everyone is capable of acting like a coach, being a coach is a different matter.

  • Over your lifetime, you’ve had to treat a host of cuts, scrapes and minor medical emergencies. Most of you wouldn’t feel qualified to set a broken bone or stitch a cut closed.
  • You’ve probably had to talk a friend or two through an interpersonal crisis or maybe provide some comfort in a time of need.  Do you feel qualified as a marriage or grief counselor?
  • You had some personal and business successes in your life.  That goes a long way to qualifying you as a mentor and a trainer.  Do you feel qualified to coach someone to do it a differently than you did?

To be a coach requires preparation.  Here are some examples (and the list is definitely not complete):

  • Observe coaching
  • Read about coaching
  • Go to a coach training school (and make it a good one!)
  • Train with coach
  • Do coaching with a mindset of seeking improvement
  • Be evaluated as a coach.

Of these six possibilities, the one that is the most worthwhile is the last one. If you want to get better at coaching, you will need to hunt for feedback.  What do your clients think?  If other coaches were to listen to you, what would they say? When you open yourself up to the possibilities, you are on your way to excellence as a coach.

What are you doing to improve your coaching—to go from acting like a coach to being a coach?

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Unlocking the Coach in You

There is never a perfect time to take three days out of your life to discover what coaching can do for you.  There will always be that last minute deadline, worry about family needs and wants, or doubts about money.

Do it anyway.  Your world will not end if you get off the carousel for a few days. Most of your fears are concerns about stuff that isn’t going to happen.  And for the things that will occur, advance planning solves the problematic issues.

The Ultimate Coach University Launch workshop is running from May 14-16, 2013 in the Dallas area.    This is your opportunity to Unlock the Coach in You.  This three-day seminar takes you from zero to coaching with an intense introduction to effective coaching techniques, attitudes, and skills. You receive:

  • Registration to attend our three day intensive coach training
  • 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

Is it worth it?  Coaches who’ve attended think so.  Terry Woods, who attended the last session in January, had this to say:

“The class time I spent with you, Dana and my classmates was such a wonderful experience for me.  I enjoyed your teaching styles, the materials, the organization and presentation of the materials, and frankly, the comfortableness and ease of the environment — with (my) “Strength Finder 2.0” attributes like harmony, learning, and input, I am strongly drawn to things that do not generate a feeling of dis-ease.  From my first introduction, you and Dana projected (to me) an air of welcome, friendship, openness and acceptance that continued to grow during my time in class.”

Other students echo her sentiments.

Interested?  You can read more about the program online or contact us directly.  Write to dana@ultimatecoachuniversity for details.  If you are ready now, online registration is open.

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How Coaching Can Make You a Hero

Coaching Heroes transformWho wouldn’t want to be a hero?  Wikipedia defines a hero as “A person who performs extraordinary deeds for the benefit of others.” Yeah, it may not pay well and the hours may really suck, but what else can you do that get universal affirmations?  Unfortunately (or happily, depending on your perspective) heroes are made and not born.  You have to work to become a coaching hero.  Joseph Campbell describes the process of becoming a hero by saying, “A hero ventures forth from the world of common day into a region of supernatural wonder: fabulous forces are there encountered and a decisive victory is won: the hero comes back from this mysterious adventure with the power to bestow boons on his fellow man.” If you want to be a coaching hero, here’s what has to happen.

Follow your calling.  Ask anyone who is becoming a coach why they are doing it.  You hear things like:

  • People tell me that I do a lot of natural coaching.
  • I love listening to people talk about what they want to do with their business.
  • I’m curious about how people make their dream happen.
  • I get jazzed when I can help people figure out what to do.

I’ve never heard anyone say, “I wanted to become a coach because:

  • It pays really well.
  • I do a great job of managing people.
  • I got tired of working for a company and wanted to start my own business.

Coaches are people who are called to a quest.  It’s their fate.

Be transformed. Coaches don’t just spring fully born into the world.  Like other heroes, they go through a transformational process; they study, practice, reflect, coach, are coached, and do it again and again.  As coaches earn their title, they develop their coaching powers.  They can:

  • Understand what is not said as well as what is.
  • Ignore what they want in favor of the client’s needs and wants.
  • Act highly intuitively and hit the mark.
  • Create SMART goals with their eyes shut (just a little comic relief).

You may not notice it when you see a coach, but the coach knows. At the core, the coaching hero is in tune with their transformation.

Be willing to bestow boons.  Coaches have a different set of powers from most heroes.  Coaches know they are successful when the client succeeds and is willing to claim the credit.  Coaches bestow powers like:

  • Self-determination
  • Positivity
  • Proactivity
  • Self-awareness

How about you?

Are you a coaching hero?

Do you have a coaching hero?

Would you like to be a coaching hero?

At Ultimate Coach University, the goal is to unlock the coach in you, to set your hero free.  UCU Launch workshops start in March and May.  Leave a comment and we’ll fill you in.

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Why We Need More Direct Selling Coaches

Coaches supportPart of the great joy of training coaches is to see what happens to a client.  Recently I asked some clients to think about what they get out of coaching.  When you read their thoughts, it just might inspire to you to become a professional coach.  I am so glad I did.

COACHING SERVES THE WHOLE PERSON: Barb Braden, Legacy Executive Director. I have had a personal coach for the past 6 years.  While the original intent of getting a coach was for my Tupperware business and to help me be a better “Leader of Leaders”, the coaching experience has helped me in all aspects of my life.  Having a coach that is truly interested in my success not only as a business owner/leader but as a person gives me permission to explore all areas in my life.  This then leads me to a better understanding of how I work physically, mentally and emotionally allowing me to be much more proactive in my thinking and doing.  My coach keeps me honest with myself.

COACHING HELPS KEEP THE MAIN THING THE MAIN THINGDiane Nozik, Senior Executive Director.  Coaching has not only transformed both my personal business but also my organization with some fantastic spillover into even my personal relationships. This year, I promoted more leaders then I ever had before, closed more shows and submitted higher sales. Beyond that, it helped me focus on the truly important areas of my business and I learned how to let go of so many of the distractions that seemed to pop up and keep me from being truly productive. Working with my coach helps me address some of the uncomfortable parts of being a top producing direct seller so I’m more confident and can help my team be more confident. Plus, I’m now working more efficiently in my business and that has spilled over into more quality time with my family plus I have more to give to my team. The work I do with her is really the most important part of my work week.

COACHING BRINGS ACCOUNTABILITY: Sally Michael, Senior Executive Managing Partner.  Coaching has been an enormous step for me in my business. I have never run a large organization and coaching has helped keep me stay on track and keeps my business moving forward. I am a person who has a lot of energy and drive but can get sidetracked so much of the time. Coaching in three areas has been life changing for me:

  • calendar blocking or time management
  • accountability with my team and personal goals
  • processing decisions and sticking with them

Because I have accountability, I tend to not procrastinate as much and I am always looking at the steps I need to take to make my goals happen. I have realized through coaching that I can work smarter and not harder. I need to plan my work and not let my work plan me. I have more balance in life, my business and in my head because of my investment in myself.

How can we encourage more people to consider becoming a coach?

Please.  Take a moment and comment.  How has coaching helped you?


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The First Step to Being a Coach

Student coaches coachingI’m sure it’s a common complaint among children that they are not treated right.  I remember protesting to my mother when I was a very young boy about “You never let me ___________ .  When are you going to treat me like a _________ .” (Fill in the blanks.  I said it a lot.)  Her answer was always the same.  “When you start acting like a ______ , I’ll start treating you like a __________ .”  That’s still great advice today.  I want to give that same advice to new coaches.  They want to know how to get started.  My answer is to act like one and the rest will follow.

You don’t need to fake being a coach.  You have some idea about what you need to do:

  • Ask curious questions
  • Ask open-ended questions
  • Let the client control the outcomes.
  • Listen with your whole heart
  • Ask about accountability for actions.

Nobody says that you have to do these activities well.  Just do them.  Put your heart into acting like a coach and then you will be one.  The key word is ACT.  ACT is the root word of ACTION.  DO something and the rest will follow.

I don’t just make this stuff up.  No matter how much you study coaching, train on coaching, write about coaching, or claim to be a coach, you are NOT a coach unless you actually coach.  The verb COACH is part of being a noun COACH.

The International Coach Federation has worldwide standards for the certification process.  To be an ICF Certified Coach, you must experience coaching.  The minimum amount of experience required is 100 hours.  To be a Master Coach requires 2,500 hours of documented experience.  For the ICF, learning requires doing.

The biggest challenge you face is the first step; the first little bit of acting like a coach. At Ultimate Coach University, we work to make that a positive experience from the very beginning.  You get to experience coaching at our three-day launch program.  As part of the process, you get immediate feedback from your client and from the faculty who are cheering you along.  By the time you leave your coaching launch workshop, you will have already started acting like a coach.

Are you interested in learning more about launching your coaching practice or building your company’s coaching culture?  We have Launch Workshops in Salt Lake City in March and Dallas in May.  You can read about what you get during the launch at the website or by sending an email to dana@ultimatecoachuniversity.  We’d love to unlock your coach.



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The Science vs. The Art of Coaching

Art and science of coachingI’ve been working with another coach recently to enrich the student experience at Ultimate Coach University. The program has two major goals for every student: (1) provide students with exposure to the collective body of knowledge around coaching and (2) provide student with the opportunity to apply that knowledge to their own coaching practice.  The alignment of these two goals provides the student with an incredibly powerful learning opportunity.  The former provides a chance to see the science of coaching and the latter provides insights into the art of coaching.   If the emphasis between the two is lopsided, then you won’t be well prepared as a coach.  The sense of balance between the art and science of coaching will let you be part of a great program or an average one.

  • The science of coaching is concerned with tools and replication.
  • The art of coaching is concerned with finding the meaning in the moment
  • Science is about finding significance and understanding the probabilities.
  • Art is about giving significance and unlimited possibilities.
  • Science lets you appreciate the chaos that you don’t understand.
  • Art lets you appreciate the regularity and predictability in nature.

A good training program tries to find that balance between art and science that lets you appreciate replication and rules while at the same time encourages you to own your coaching art.  Besides the recent work at UCU, we’ve also had some opportunities to work on the development of leadership training programs with several companies.  It’s a difficult balance to find.  When you spend money, you want to be able to point to widespread replicable results; those things that you can say prove a solid return on your investment. But if you don’t leave space for the art of leadership, you only have half a program.   An IQ based education without an EQ component leaves you unable to work with others.  And the reverse also is true; an EQ based education without an IQ component lacks substance.

We can learn science, but must experience art.  The best education gives a good blend of both.

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The Two Big Reasons for Accredited Coach Training

ACSTH_WEBAs the interest in coaching continues to grow at an accelerated pace, the number of coaching schools continues to proliferate.  Unfortunately, not all coaching schools are created equal.  When you look for a coach-training program, you should seek one that is accredited or seeking accreditation.  While accreditation is no guarantee of a quality program, it certainly increases the odds of finding a reputable program.  There are two strong reasons to look for an accredited program.

1.       Accredited coaching programs must meet standards.  ANYONE can open a coaching school.  There is no guarantee of quality to a coaching school.  On the other hand, an accredited program has to meet the standards set by a professional organization.  Ultimate Coach University offers Approved Coach Specific Training Hours, which is one level of accreditation from the International Coach Federation.  For ICF programs, the standards are pretty comprehensive:

  • The Director of Training for the coach-training program is required to meet the highest level of coaching certification (Master Certified Coach).
  • Faculty need to be credentialed, seeking a credential, or be delivering coaching for 50% of their time.
  • Classes are taught using approved methods such as live or live webinars.
  • ALL of the training material related to the courses (slides, handouts, recordings) need to be submitted as part of the application.

Put simply, there is an extra layer of security that non-accredited programs can’t offer.

2.       Programs without accreditation are trainer dependent. If you are looking at a program because of the trainers involved and you like what you see, then choose that program.  Realize, however, that you may not really be getting coach training. You will be getting that trainer’s vision of what coaching is.  Their vision may not match professional standards and may not teach you anything about the core competencies of coaching.

Ultimate Coach University has put in the time and work to receive accreditation from the ICF.  You can always check at the ICF website to see if the program is listed.  Click this link and then type in Ultimate Coach University as the training organization.  That listing is your guarantee that you will receive coach training that meets professional standards. When you graduate from the program, you can tell people that you have been trained as a coach because you have.  You will have been immersed in the International Coach Federation competencies in a program that meets their standards.

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Coaching: An Indispensible Soft Skill for Leaders

Rolling doughCoaching is one of the indispensable soft skills for leaders. Hard driving results oriented leaders want to get to the bottom line as quickly as possible.  If a process (like coaching) doesn’t generate immediate dollars then why do it?

I’ve heard all types of reasons for not starting coaching.  Here are a few of the common ones:

  • We’re too small for coaching. We have to get bigger before we worry about focusing on improving individual performances.
  • We’re growing too fast to add coaching.  We want to see who is going to rise to the top as leaders before we provide them coaching.
  • Money’s too tight to add coaching. We need to invest in things with a solid result.
  • Things are going well.  Why change?

In every case, the company is ignoring the soft skills because the benefits can’t be documented.  But here’s the point:  just because the benefits can’t be measured doesn’t mean they don’t exist.  That’s the point in calling coaching a process to develop soft skills.  Here are two perspectives on this issue to explain more.

Emotional Intelligent Leaders.  Daniel Goleman included coaching as one of the six fundamental styles in a leader’s repertoire.  Coaching is not micromanaging or one-to-one directing.  Goleman describes the behavior by saying, “Coaching exemplifies the EI competence of developing others, which lets a leader act as a counselor, exploring employees’ goals and values and helping the expand their own repertoire of abilities. . . . As a result, people sense that a leader cares, so they feel motivated to uphold their own high standards for performance, and they feel accountable for how well they do.”  Goleman goes on to conclude “The coaching style may not scream ‘bottom-line results,’ but in a surprisingly indirect way, it delivers them.

Return on Investment.  Brian Underhill’s book,Executive Coaching for Results, is built around extensive surveys, interviews, and experience (the book is written in conjunction with Kimcee McAnally and John Koriath).  In the chapter on “Measuring Impact,” he reports his findings. “Leaders are generally less worried about impact metrics than organizations. . . . Organizational representatives (such as HR or LD professionals) are feeling challenged more often to justify the coast of coaching programs.” He goes on to write, “At least one organizational representative urged us to ‘measure the leaders, not the coaches.’”

We should remember Albert Einstein’s admonition, “Not everything that can be counted counts, and not everything that counts can be counted.”

Interestingly, the majority of coaches who come to Ultimate Coach University are seeking to add coaching to their skill set.  Whether it is for their career as an executive, entrepreneur, sales leader, or salon owner and operator.  They see the benefits of a coach approach in their industry.  UCU is launching their next program on January 29 and their is still time to enroll.  Reach out to and she’ll be happy to talk with you about enhancing your coaching skill set.

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Quantum Neuro Linguistic Programming Explained (whew!)

The popularity of Quantum NLP keeps growing.  As more and more people show interest in it, the popular questions are about the differences between traditional Neuro Linguistic Programming (commonly known as NLP) and Quantum NLP.  To produce some clarity around this issue, I have developed several videos that explain the basics of NLP and then dive into the Quantum universe.  Go to you tube to view it or just click below.

Feel free to contact me with any questions you have about Quantum NLP and how it can enhance your coaching practice. Contact me at or call me at (801) 979-4799.


Ultimate Coach University is starting their next session in January, so write to to find out how you can participate in their program and build your QNLP coaching practice.

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Ten Tips for Selling Your Coaching Proposition

DSA2012_InspiringEntreprenuersLogoEarlier in May, Ultimate Coach University joined the Direct Selling Association as a supplier.  It seemed like a natural fit. One of UCU’s majors is coaching direct sales.  We thought it was time to go to the direct selling companies and let them know about us.

This week, the Direct Selling Association had their annual meeting and Dana Phillips and I had the opportunity to attend.  Here are some of the things we learned about going to the marketplace.

1. Ask experienced people for advice.  At an early reception, I had the chance to ask several people, “what do you know now you wished you had known your first year?” Their advice was invaluable.

2. Know your value proposition. Everybody knows the difference between training and coaching, right? How about the difference between mentoring and coaching?  It only took about two conversations before my head was working fast and furious to make a clear, quick distinction.

3. Be brief.  UCU does a lot of things.  Most people don’t care about anything except the piece that fits them.  The longer it takes to find out their itch, the less likely you will be the one to scratch it.

4.  Drop names.  Normally this is not a behavior I engage in.  Here, however, I was advised (see #1 above) to mention names.  It’s a great way to help people understand what you do.  This was a big AHA moment for me.  It was like a shorthand for telling an anecdote or a story.

5. Carry business cards and find a reason to use them.  Dana did this much better than I.  She would ask, “Do you read blogs?” (Who is going to say no?) When they answered yes, she gave them her card, took theirs, and wrote on the back, “blog” as she was telling them she would subscribe them to ours.  The process was simple, painless, and a first step beyond a convention conversation.

6. Start conversations. It’s to your benefit to start conversations.  Nothing happens until there is talk.

7. Ask more questions more than you tell. Be curious (just like a coach) and ask powerful questions (just like a coach).

8. Listen like a coach.  The better you understand and engage in good listening behaviors (paraphrase, summarize, restate, etc.) then the better you will be at finding out their need.

9. Take notes.  You will talk to a lot of people in a short time.  Your short-term memory is a weak system for keeping information sorted and available.

10.  Follow-up, follow-up, follow-up. We create a spreadsheet with names, contact information, next steps, and desired outcome.  Something will happen every day until to create business.

What did I forget?  If you’ve had an opportunity to talk to people about your business, what do you do to make sales happen?

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Find the greatest research about Leadership and how become one of Them.

  • Check our newest post about Leadership
  • Great inspiration to succeed as a Leader
  • Tips, Tricks and much more about Leadership
  • How to Discover the Leader within you


Find the greatest research about Leadership and how become one of Them.

  • Check our newest post about Leadership
  • Great inspiration to succeed as a Leader
  • Tips, Tricks and much more about Leadership
  • How to Discover the Leader within you