Coach School

What Makes a Coach Authentic?

Authentic coachingWhat does it take to be an authentic coach?  The real deal?

I really want your help answering this question.

If someone claims to be a coach, does that make them one?

Does education and credentials make a coach?

What’s the attitude of an authentic coach?

How does an authentic coach act?

For the curious minded, here’s what prompted this question.  I came across the name of a coach that I didn’t know and wanted to know more about him.   I googled his name. I was surprised to see that one of the articles was from a marketing company talking about how they were marketing his persona as a coach.  What?  This is not to say he wasn’t a coach. I just think that it takes more to be a coach than having your marketing company call you one.

I do have some ideas of how I’d answer these questions, but I’d rather hear from you. You can leave a comment here.  If it’s easier, just leave a comment on the Facebook page.  What makes a coach authentic?


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Four Key Topics to Brand Your Coaching Business

Key branding issues for your coaching businessI make no claims as a branding expert.  When that subject comes up, I try to look at people like Walter Landor, who helped companies from Coca Cola to Shell Oil to Levi Strauss define their brand for the public. He would say things like, “Products are made in the factory, but brands are created in the mind.”

As new coaches come into Ultimate Coach University and create their businesses, some key branding questions often come up.  They are simple and yet profound questions.  If branding is the something created in the minds of others, how will you approach this task?  Here are four core ideas.

1.  Who is your Ideal Customer?  This is your core question.  Start with your customer’s demographics.  Then work out from there to understand their values in action. This might be a business group (direct sellers, lawyers, salon owners, etc.) or it driven by the group’s characteristics such as entrepreneurial drive, introversion, or leadership development.

Once this image starts to come together, your opportunity is to become the expert for these customers.

  • What do they want that they don’t have? Don’t think about what happens in the coaching; what do they have afterwards?
  • Will these customers be better after coaching than before they started?
  • Will they know it?

2. How will they find you?  You have an image of your ideal customer.  How will they be able to find you?  Your goal is to have their mental image match the one that you are creating. Your passion and excitement need to be obvious.

  • Is your value statement clear as well as front and center?
  • How compelling is your mission or brand statement?
  • What visual images are you making available?
  • Is your headshot saying what you want?
  • What action shots or Pinterest options are available?
  • How well does your simple graphic represent you?

3. How will they know the real you? The answer is very simple: others will tell them.  Let’s face it; with information access at an all-time high, what others say is the most trustworthy source of information.

  • How often do you do a Google or Bing search for your name?
  • Who’s talking about you on Facebook?
  • How do you ask new customers, “How did you hear about me?”
  • One great suggestion: Ask your clients, “What is the one thing you would tell others about our coaching?”

4. Can you tell someone without blushing, stalling, or talking more than 30 seconds?  Seriously, you have to get comfortable talking about yourself and your business.  Have conversations.  Don’t just spew a prefab statement.  Tease, talk, entice, and solicit questions. You are not a megacorp.  You are having one-to-one conversations.

  • How will you practice your conversational skills?  Who with?
  • How can you describe the opportunity you are creating?
  • What question will you ask to continue the conversation?
  • How will you ask for a follow-up?

This is by no means a complete list.  Branding is creating a promise in the minds of your potential customers.  Your job is to have a solid idea of the promise and a solid idea of how you will communicate it.  The rest is strategic.

Please share.  How are you focusing on your branding?

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Enrollment is Open for UCU Fall Launch Workshop

On September 17, Ultimate Coach University opens its door for the next cohort of coaches at its Launch Workshop.  Here are a few things past students have said:

Why should you consider coming? If any of these reasons for attending apply to you, please join us.

IMG_0613You want to see “coaching training” up close to see if it fits your vision. You’ve seen trainers and you’ve seen consultants, and something seems to be missing.  Maybe coaching is it.

Mike Least at Coach SchoolYou are a coach and want more formal training so you can play a bigger game.

You get pumped beyond belief by supporting others to play full-out.

You are looking for the pieces of getting your International Coach Federation credential.

You want to succeed. You want your team to succeed. And you know that with the right type of support you can improve your ability to inspire and hold others accountable for accomplishing significant achievements.

IMG_1021Let’s face it; we all have experienced coaching and have seen coaching in action.  Have you ever thought about understanding coaching without the pressure of results? That’s what the UCU Launch workshop in September offers. Three days to understand coaching.

  • Day One is about thinking like a coach.
  • Day Two is about acting like a coach.
  • Day Three is about being a coach.

When you attend the three day Launch from September 17-19 in Dallas, Texas, you receive:

  • 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

Cupid Shuffle 2Want to talk about how this might just be what you are looking for?  Email for more details or a personal conversation about how UCU may be for you.







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Celebrating our New Coaches: Angie Howell

Angie Howell Certificate

Angie Howell, our newest Certified Direct Selling Coach lives in Addison, Texas.

With a human resources background, Angie is passionate about coaching as a vehicle for personal growth and increased productivity.  She serves as the Director of Partner Development at J.Hilburn in Dallas.

Angie is a warm encouraging coach with exceptional empathic listening skills. Here is what she had to say about her coach training experience. “UCU has been a phenomenal opportunity for me. Not only have I grown tremendously as a Coach, I have grown in confidence and knowledge. I am more prepared to coach, train and communicate more effectively due to the information provided on the webinars and through the coaching proficiencies.”

Her mentor coach, Neil Phillips, has this to say about Angie. “Angie is living proof that when you sent your mind to something, you can achieve it.  She wanted things that were missing from her personal and professional life, she turned those wants into goals, plans, actions, and results.  And along the way, we had some laughs.” (Just look at that picture.  Who wouldn’t want to smile along?)

You can learn more about Angie on LinkedIn.

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Celebrating Our New Coaches: Leisa Burgin

Lesia Burgin, lia sophiaMeet Leisa Burgin, Certified Direct Selling Coach, from Indianapolis, Indiana.

Leisa is an energetic and enthusiastic woman!  She is a wife and mom with a busy lifestyle. She runs a successful business from home and is a Division Manager for lia sophia.

She completed the direct selling certification program this year and uses coaching with her team.  Janet Daniels, Leisa’s mentor coach praises her growth as a coach.

Leisa continues to brighten our day at UCU.  This is just one example of her encouragement to others. “I am SO grateful, thankful, and praising God that I’m completely finished!!!!!!!!!!!  Yay!!! I want to thank each of you for being great coaches & for being so supportive and kind.”

Janet Daniels, Leisa’s mentor coach has great things to say about coaching her.  “Leisa was very dedicated to being coached. 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 hire people to do some of the things she always did.”

You can find out more about Leisa’s business at

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Celebrating Our New Coaches: Michael Edwards

Michael EdwardsMeet Michael Edwards, new Certified Business and Life Coach, from Richardson, Texas.

Michael is a man of many talents.  He is a life-long learner, great communicator, and busy entrepreneur.  He is a Co-Founder & Chief Client Fanatic at Online Performance Marketing and a Managing Partner with J.Hilburn.  You can find out more about Michaels business at and

Coaching has supported Michael on a personal and professional level.  The faculty of UCU was thrilled to read this post over a year ago when Michael decided to become a nonsmoker.  “I have had a major epiphany in the last 2 weeks, thanks to my amazing coach & mentor Lyn Christian.”

Michael is close to completing ACC credential from the International Coach Federation through Ultimate Coach University.  He has been coaching many clients and used the coach approach to grow his team.  “I’m loving my J. Hilburn business! Not only do I get to transform the way men shop (saving them time, money, and garanimals), BUT I am able to coach new partners as they build their own businesses.”

Congratulations, Michael!

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Listening Like a Coach: What It Means to Not Be Heard

DiSC listening stylesAt the recent three-day workshop for Ultimate Coach University in Salt Lake City, I was gob smacked by one of those AHA moments that we all love to get once in a while.  The first day of the workshop, we spend several hours talking about DiSC and how coaches can use it to understand their clients.  On the second day, we dig deeper into the fundamental skills of coaching.  It was on the second day when Dana Phillips was teaching the section on listening skills for coaches that my learning moment appeared.  Let me share it here.

DiSC is a profile tool provides insights into communication and personality styles.  While we all are capable of using all four styles, most of us tend to exhibit a stable pattern of behaviors.   The four basic styles are:

D is the Dominance style.  These people prefer immediate results.  Their action orientation creates quick decisions and authoritative behaviors.

The i is the Influence style.  These people generate enthusiasm, a motivational environment, and fun.

S is for the Steadiness style.  These people tend to cooperate; their patience and loyalty tend to produce harmony and stable environments.

C is for the Conscientious style.  These people emphasize systematic approaches that will produce accurate results.

Now you may be wondering what this has to do with listening.  So here is the rest of the story.  As Dana Phillips gets started, she asks a very simple question.  “Will you describe to me what it feels like to not be heard?”  The answers in our group reflects the four DiSC styles.

  • The D said, “It was a waste of my time.”
  • The i said, “I was frustrated at being ignored.”
  • The S said, “I felt like I was not worth being listened to.”
  • The C said, “It was totally nonproductive.”

The lesson for me was pretty clear.  I can’t rely on my feelings of being heard because other people don’t think as I do.  As a coach, I want my clients to feel heard.  To do that, I need to speak their language in every way possible.

What do you think?  How do you know if you are speaking the other person’s language?

LIKE THIS ARTICLE? Don’t forget to share it with your friends! Don’t forget to leave your comments. Please, help me be heard.

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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?

LIKE THIS ARTICLE? Don’t forget to share it with your friends! Don’t forget to leave your comments.

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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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