When I first started coaching, I was very lucky to have been accepted in a full CoachVille program. The guy that runs this coaching school, Dave Buck, is one of the first coaches in the world. His mentor was Thomas freaking Leonard (the founding father of coaching), and let’s just say that he is a mastermind of coaching.
Why do I say I was lucky? Because our first mission in the first class, was to get 3 people to coach through the program. That’s how you graduate classes. You participate in the live classes, then you go out and coach, you complete the game cards (the fun version of “homework”) and then you share your experiences with your colleagues.
It was weird first, of course I was thinking “how the hell do I coach when I don’t have any experience?”.
Well, this was the best thing that I ever did. After only a few months I was confident enough to enroll paying clients. After 8 months from starting the Coachville program, I had already logged over 100 paid hours. And all of these happened while being a full time mom to a 2 years old during a pandemic.
The last book I read in 2020 was “The book of Coaching for extraordinary coaches”, written by Ajit Nawalkha. Who is Ajit? He was the CEO of Mindvalley and he is the creator of Evercoach, a platform that supports coaches with the best training and resources.
So, it makes sense that this book is a great read, right? Let’s see why this is a very important tool for any coach.
The author says that there are 3 critical elements of becoming extraordinary: you, your methodology and your business. He then deep dives into each element, breaks it down, and then he makes it accessible for everyone’s understanding. It doesn’t matter that you are a coach at the beginning of your journey, or you are already a successful coach, there is something for everyone to take from this book.
The first thing that coaches or future coaches need to understand, is the fact that no matter how many certifications you have, no many how many courses you take, if you don’t get out there and COACH, there is no way in which you can gain experience.
Coaching somebody requires listening, deep listening, and that means that you cannot stay there and wait with a list of questions and thinking about what to say next. That takes away your focus, your presence and it makes things awkward. The most powerful thing a coach can do is to build a safe space for someone, a space where that person feels heard and seen without judgement.
Our deepest wounds come from not being heard and/or seen. When you offer that safe space to someone, you connect to them on a deeper level, and that allows for powerful questions to arise.
Ajit underlines the fact that in coaching you have to be brave. And boy, is he right. He says “when you’re asking powerful questions, go ahead and be outrageous. Be brave. Be bold because you are doing something very important and valuable for your clients…
You are giving them permission to explore that which is hidden within them. Those beliefs and ideas they hold on to but which do not serve them. The thoughts that feel scary to explore. That dreams and aspirations that they desire but which make them feel uncomfortable. It is only in these hidden spaces that true growth and expansion can occur.”
The thing is, we are first humans and then coaches. Why do I say that? Because often the fear is what takes away the bravery from within. Fear is a natural thing, it keeps us safe, it kept us safe for thousand of years.
The thing with fear is the fact that nowadays, most of ours fears are irrational. We are afraid of things like giving a cold call, of giving a speech, of starting a podcast. We are not in immediate danger, but we are afraid of being rejected or judged. We want to be seen or heard, but when it’s time for us to act in order to be seen or heard, we freeze.
So how can we go beyond our fears and give our clients the best experiences?
Ajit shares that „the secret to overcoming fear: Feel that fear run through you and reframe it as enthusiasm.
Call it exhilaration. Think of it as “excitement for the unknown.”
“That’s not a solution, Ajit. How can reframing fear as excitement work?” It does and to understand how let’s go back to biology class for a minute.
Scientists recently found that the region of the brain that processes feelings of fear also processes feelings of excitement.
The exact same region.
When fear is made predictable, our brains process that feeling of
fear as excitement. Think about it…
We love horror movies, and terrifying roller coaster rides because we are certain we will be safe. Our fear is predictable. It means you can begin to train your brain and your thinking to reframe fear as the ‘excitement for the unknown.‘
We are taught to fight the negative feels. To fight fear, to conquer it. The thing is that fear is natural, we cannot escape it. No matter how hard we try, fear will ALWAYS come back.
Letting our feelings flow is the most underrated thing among humans. Just allowing yourself to feel, the good and the bad. You can take fear by its hand and understand it, and then you can understand what it’s protecting and move forward, because you know you are safe.
And then, you turn your fear into excitement. Here is how fear influences us:
So, understanding fear plays an essential role in your development as a human being and as a coach.
Another important thing that hit really close to home for me, was the importance of boundaries. Most of us are „people pleasers“, we avoid conflict or stating our opinions because we are afraid of being rejected or not being enough.
What Ajit is saying in his book, is the fact that YOU NEED boundaries in order to function properly, to be a healthy person and to have thriving business.
This is what it looks like when you don’t have boundaries:
Image from The Book of Coaching for extraordinary coaches
Toward the end of the book, Ajit shares some really good strategies to grow your coaching business, strategies that I will let you discover by yourself. They are juicy, useful, and most of all, THEY WORK.
What is my overall feeling about „The book of coaching“? It’s good. It’s really good. It makes things that we know come together in a beautiful way, it offers you structure, it gives you a practical guide from the beginning to the end.
If you don’t know where to start, start with this book. If you feel like something is missing from your coaching practice, and you don’t know what, start with this book.
It’s a refreshing perspective towards coaching, it gives you the understanding you need in order to be an extraordinary coach, and most of all, it teaches you to be kind to yourself.
To not compare yourself to others, because we are all at different stages in our journeys, and there is no way in which one journey is similar to another.
I enter 2021 with a set of very helpful tools for my coaching business, and I thank Ajit for this. Have a wonderful and healthy 2021!