Posts Taged coaching

It’s Time to Unlock the Coach in You

Mike-Least-at-Coach-SchoolThere 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.  Maybe you’ve got that big business push or your company wants some extra time from you to get the year started.  Your personal growth mome3nts are never going to be at that perfect time.

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 January 26-28 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 The Power of TED* *The Empowerment Dynamic by David Emerald
  • 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 a January session, 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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Four Tiny Habits for Successful People

tiny habitsOne of the old clichés that we’ve all heard is that “The devil is in the details.”  That is really true when it comes to the habits of successful people.  You might think the differences between successful and unsuccessful people have to do with large chunks of their lives.  On the contrary, success is generated from little things that are built into habits.  Here are four of the important ones.

Successful people plan.  Successful people might not have a to-do list, but you can bet on them creating a top priorities list before they go to bed or very soon after they get up.  Setting goals and accomplishing tasks is a daily activity.  While they may have several items to “work on” they will have 2-3 top prorities to accomplish every day.

Successful people focus. They don’t multitask.  If anything, the opposite is true.  They compartmentalize.  Work is on one thing at a time.  There is a focus on the task-at-hand.

Success people read.  Reading is a habit that forces you to step away from doing and become mental (in a good way).  Reading gives you new ideas and connects old ones in new permutations.  Listen to someone you consider successful on YouTube or live.  You will hear several references to what they are reading or have recently read.

Successful people spend time away from work.  They unplug.  No one on their death bed says, “I wish I had spent that free weekend at the office.”  Successful people know that.  They spend time with loved ones in leisure activities.  When work is demanding, leisure may come in small bites, but it is there.

Think about two of the most successful people that you know well.  What are the little things that they do often?  Spend a little time making a list that can become delightful details for success.

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Feed Your Head: Dessert Blogs

iStock_000004588562SmallReading is a great way to open your mind to new alternatives.  Once you find a new thought, it becomes a force too powerful to ignore.  I will admit, however, that deliberately looking for new insights can just seem boring some days.  You need to have a few serendipitous pleasures along the way. Have yourself a group of blogs you call your dessert blogs.  You read these as a reward.  And sometimes, they will spark a wonderful thought.  This is Part Five of the Series called “Feed Your Head.”

Part 1 is on finding and subscribing to blogs.

Part 2 is about those blogs that whet your appetite.

Part 3 is about leadership blogs.

Part 4 reviews several outstanding coaching blogs.

Here are my dessert blogs.

Mental Floss.  Little more needs to be said about Mental Floss than its own description as “Random, Interesting, Amazing Facts – Fun Quizzes and Trivia.” If you are like me, there are times during the day you want a quick break, a chance to laugh or puzzle over anything besides work.  I love a two-minute break flossing my mind and am ready to dig back into my key activities.

Dilbert.  No morning is complete without a visit with Scott Adams’ cartoon Dilbert. While Dilbert may not make you laugh, you can find a cartoon or two to add to your inbox to start the day right.  Just Google the cartoon name and you find the opportunity to subscribe.  Frankly, a well-written cartoon puts my inbox into perspective.  I look forward to opening my mailbox in the morning and discovering the Dilbert sense of reality that makes me smile.

Dilbert 8-19-2013

PostSecret.  PostSecret is an ongoing community art project where people mail in their secrets anonymously on one side of a homemade postcard. While this sounds a little like being a Peeping Tom, it’s not.  You’ll find that by reading these postcards once a week that you are not so different after all.

The Homesick Texan. The Homesick Texan left the state around 2005 and discovered that she missed the unique recipes and foods from her childhood.  This blog is her attempt to share those recipes and create some new ones.  When I moved to Texas, my sense of curious adventure pushes me to make some of these foods and her blog has been incredibly helpful.  You can find recipes ranging from Chocolate Cherry Scones (like Central Market makes!) to Carnitas and Hoe Cakes. I challenge you to try out at least one recipe from The Homesick Texan.

One of the great things about reading blog articles is that you get to pick and choose.  Try one, two, or as many as you can read.  Try them out.  If you don’t like one, simply unsubscribe and find another.  Can’t find the time to read much today?  Well then just delete a few and start over tomorrow.

I’ve heard from several people that they have started reading more and really love what they find.  Try it! It just might change your life.

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Feed Your Head: Leadership Blogs

iStock_000005835000SmallThe main reason that you read blogs is to grow your capacity and knowledge in your profession; to feed your head.  These blogs are one of your main courses.  This is Part 3 of the Feed Your Head Series.  Part 2 is about those blogs that whet your appetite.  Part 1 is on finding and subscribing to blogs.

For me, the main category of blogs I read are on leadership development. and coaching.  This is what I want to feed my head.  You may have different topics. If you like this areas, let me share some of the top ones that I read.

Linked2LeadershipL2L is a group blog designed to support it’s readers in building their leadership so that you can build others. They have a great goal on 2013. “Imagine a “virtual year-long leadership development conference” where members and interested readers can come to read and participate in 12 related topics that we have selected for the 2013 season.”

Leadership Freak. Dan Rockwell is crazy about leadership development. His blog, Leadership Freak, reflects that. Right now he is using his Facebook page to take suggests about terms related to leadership.  He’s up to “H.”

Brian Tracy’s blog.  What can I say; it’s Brian Tracy’s blog. The blog is concise, helpful, and you will never leave without know what the core idea is.

Blanchard LeaderChat. See comment on Brian Tracy.  Except call it the Blanchard Leaderchat.  It’s a little more of the big picture ideas and a little less of the personal leadership development approach.

Great Leadership. Dan McCarthy is the Direct of Executive Development Programs at the University of New Hampshire. The blog title, Great Leadership, says it all. He covers the breadth of topics on leadership development.  His insights on personal development will leave you asking why you haven’t done that before.

Try them out.  The worst you could do is not subscribe.  On the other hand, they may just change your life.

Part 4 is coming soon.  Any meal would be boring if you ate the same thing.  These are the other main course: coaching blogs.


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Feed Your Head: Good Blogs for Your Start

iStock_000008635378SmallSome things are written so well that you have to read them even if you haven’t heard of the author before.  These blogs are the kind to whet your appetite.  This is Part 2 of the Feed Your Head series.  Part 1 is on finding and subscribing to blogs.

This post is about some of those great blogs that you will want to consider adding to your reading material.  While there are lots out there for you to select, we’ll focus on five. Check them out, subscribe for a while, and then either keep’em or unsubscribe.

Seth Godin’s blogSeth Godin has been blogging longer than about anybody but God.  That means he has figured out how to do it well.  Seth is a self-described agent of change.  No comments are allowed, quick reads (often less that 200 words) and seldom are their pictures.

Celebrate What’s Right with the World.  DeWitt Jones spent 20 years as a photographer for the National Geographic.  His blog, Celebrate What’s Right with the World, is just a cool place to visit.  You’ll see pictures that change you if you let them.

Get Rich Slowly.  This group blog is centered around Get Rich Slowly.  It’s about common sense ways to save or make money.  You can also figure out how to talk with children, parents, or spouses about money.

ZenHabits. Take a habit, break it down into little pieces, and then figure out what you know.  That’s what Leo Babauta does in zenhabits.  If you are trying to figure out how you got where you are, this blog will help you in that journey.

The Calm Space.   Do you need to get centered? The Calm Space will help you do that.  They describe themselves as “an online magazine that is like a virtual day-spa for your senses… decadent, informative, relaxing. A real no-mobile-phones-allowed kind of escape where you can chill for a minute or an hour and emerge refreshed and ready to face anything your day throws at you!”

Part 3 of Feed Your Head is coming soon. Look for blog “Main Courses.”

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Don’t Villanize the “Closed Ended” Question

Last week while teaching a class on Laser Coaching, an inquiry came up about the danger of using a “yes-no” question instead of open-ended questions. Here’s my answer:

While open-ended questions are terrific for training our brains how to ask high quality questions, we don’t want to villanize our other options.

Think about it. Would you want to neglect asking some of life’s most powerful questions just because they are not open-ended?

I would have missed several game-changing moments if a handful of coaches and friends had not challenged me with these direct, closed-ended questions:

  • So is this making you happy?
  • Is this what you want from life?
  • Are you going to give up?
  • No, are you ready for a rest?
  • Is this your truth?

I’ll bet you can add a couple of your own hard-hitting questions to this list. So don’t be afraid to mix it up. Go ahead and facilitate great thinking in your clients by leaning into a heavy dose of open-ended questions. Then change the pace. Throw in a good old fashioned “yes –no” question once in a while to keep your client honest and digging deep.

In fact, one of my favorite sorts of paradigm shifting questions is the type which pits the client’s thinking against two distinct options – polarities. Most seasoned coaches know how to use this brand of question called distinctions. Rather than tell you any more about distinctions, let me show you.

Below you will find one video directed specifically for life-coaching situations and the other for business situation:

Now that you’ve taken a look, keep blending the types of questions you ask so that your work with clients is both interesting and effecting.

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Your Coaching Cause

If you are in the business of coaching (or any business for that matter), there are at least two marketing basics that can lead to enjoying prosperity.

First, make sure you have a great product or service.  If your offering meets a market need (something that makes your client’s lives better) AND is above average quality, you get a ticket to play in the game of business.


Great Product + Market Need = A Ticket into the game of business!

With a ticket into the ballpark, you are now positioned to begin attaching marketing efforts to your offering.

Note: Marketing poor products is a waste of your time and energy and your potential client’s time and energy. Marketing sticks to and works best when your offering fits the formula above.

Once you’ve proven the quality of your product, add marketing to it. One such marketing tenet I use to grow abundance and joy within my coaching business is to create or join a cause.

When you attach to a dream, a cause, a purpose bigger than your own business model, you play a bigger game than meeting a quarterly sales goal. When you marry what you do at work with a cause you make someone’s life better while communicating the principles and values of your organization. Making your principles and values visible makes you more attractive.

Here are three guidelines to follow when picking or creating your cause:

  • You must believe in the cause like you do a personal core value (lip service looks and acts like lip service while authenticity looks and acts like authenticity)
  • The cause has to be something you can rally behind (you have as much support for your cause as you do for a child, your partner, your most cherished friend)
  • You can sustain your cause (you are willing to consistently nurture your cause and its related needs  year-after-year)

The idea of having a cause-driven business strategy cannot be underestimated no matter your product. In the United States consumers consistently support cause-related programs.

  • 78% of adults said they’d be more likely to buy a product or service associated with a cause they care about.
  • 66% said they would switch brands to support a cause.
  • 54% said they would pay more for a product that supported a cause they care about.

So what does creating or joining a cause actually look like? Great question. One example of creating a cause is our annual selection and distribution of two to three SoulSalt Awards: awards that I literally created for my own circle of influence.  This year we are awarding: The Persistence Award, The Leadership Award, and The Reinvention Award. Also see: Courage Award 2012, Persistence Award 2012Achievement Award 2011.

An example of  joining a cause would be what I’m doing on May 18th. I believe we can improve our life/work experiences when we have healthy habits for movement, sleep and nutrition. So I’m not only competing in The Woman of Steel Triathlon, I’m wearing rally bracelets during the race for five women who need the energy of movement and female support in their lives but can’t compete this year.

Now that you’ve read what has been stated above, what are you going to do about it? I’d love for you to put your thoughts into action and share them here or email them to me at


Authors Note:

Every frugal, effective marketing strategy I’ve ever employed (yes this includes creating or joining a cause) has been generously shared with me by Jackie Huba. She is truly the most masterful blend of researcher, geek, and world-leading expert on the concept of Word if Mouth Marketing.

I’m bringing Jackie to Salt Lake City in June to launch her new book. Join us live on June 20th or simply get a signed copy of her newest book Monster Loyalty from us by contacting Shannon via email,

To immediately learn more about how to create your own cause or join a cause while learning about the main tenets of effective marketing, sign up now for the Church of the Customer Blog

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Failing and Loving It

Failure is winningI love it when my clients fail.  Not because they fail; I’m not that cruel.  I love when my clients fail because of what they gain along the way.

Usually when we say “it was a great learning experience” we get a feeling that is right up there with kissing your dog.  It just isn’t very meaningful. And in light of the unsuccessful failure, any other roundabout way to claim victory seems a bit shallow.

Over time, however, your ability to understand and learn from their failures is an important one. Here are three significant things to learn about failure.

First, you learn from your past mistakes.  You are not doomed to repeat the failure. There has been some significant research using fMRI’s that when you learn from negative situations, you literally create new neural pathways.  Reframing losses as learning opportunities allows you to be optimistic about the future. Ask the question, “What else can this mean?”  You don’t need to ignore the failure, but the meaning of this situation contains more than one simple statement about failure.

Paine QuotationSecond, you learn to savor success. The easier the success, the less you care about it. There is an old saying that “leaders do the things that followers don’t.”  That’s the definition of success.  That’s why leader’s carry their success abilities with them.  They value the wins.

Third, you learn that failure is not the end of the world. You learn a perspective that gives the right amount of importance to failure.  You learn that there is no shame in failure; only in repeating it.

As coaches, we don’t own our clients successes or failures. We do have an opportunity to share in what our clients make of them.

Thank you for reading about how we can support others to understand and learn from their failures.

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

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Knowing How to Coach is 50% of the Puzzle

MP900255553-1Knowing how to coach is one part of the puzzle. In fact it is a big “thing” if you want to play an effective role coaching and supporting others.

Knowing how to generate Word Of Mouth support for your practice (either as an internal coach within an organization or a free-agent coach) is the vital other half of the puzzle.

Think of it like this:

Knowing how to coach is equal to having a ticket into the ballpark.

Having people wanting you to coach them is equivalent to picking up a bat, standing at the plate and actively playing the game.

I’m not a marketing expert, however a couple of business associates of mine are. One in particular is Jackie Huba. Jackie is one of the world’s leading Word Of Mouth marketing experts. Recently she and her partner Ben posted research proving once again that having the power of referrals and reviews from your fans is the strongest form of marketing. And…marketing your work is the second half of being a successful coach.

I think you’ll enjoy this post from my personal blog which reveals the Word of Mouth research mentioned above.

If any of you are in the Salt Lake area or want to be around June 20th, 2013 check out our up-coming SoulSalt Inc. event. We are flying Jackie in to deliver her keynote address as part of her new book tour for Monster Loyalty. Word on the street is that Jackie won’t be the only celebrity on stage that day. 


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(Here I am at one of my first triathlons, and believe me, I felt vulnerable and uncomfortable swimming in that open water!)

Most new coaches feel like they are imposters. If you or one of your clients has felt this way, this article by one of Lyn Christian’s former coaching students may prove to be useful.

mystery .001

Do you know who this is?
She’s an American actress who has:

  • earned more than 17 Oscar nominations
  • has won the Oscar three times
  • and has this to say about feeling like an imposter and wanting to give up:

Oh, I always think I’m going to give up. You get the cold feet. You think, “Why would anyone want to see me again in a movie? And I don’t know how to act anyway, so why am I doing this? I don’t have to do this.” It is something I confront at the beginning of everything. I have to start out with nothing each time. 


Would you believe this American actress is Meryl Streep?

How many of us are honest enough to admit that we too have daunting moments of feeling vulnerable and uncomfortable with whom we are in the face of what we are attempting to do?

If you can admit to it, take solace in the fact that it is a “normal” human condition to occasionally feel like a fraud. Maybe even a few of these common thoughts (which often run through our imposter fearing minds) will seem familiar as well:

  • You are worried that you’ll be exposed as unworthy or incompetent
  • You don’t feel skilled enough to be doing what you are doing
  • You don’t feel knowledgeable or experienced enough to do what you are attempting to do
  • You are afraid you’ll be found out as a fraud or imposter

Knowing what to do about feeling this way is coming up in “part two” of Mr. Hooper’s article. For now simply realize that even the best of us feel incompetent at times and most especially when we are starting out on something new.

To read the entire article by Dennis Hooper, use the link below:

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