Lindsay Dotzlaf

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Mastering Coaching Skills with Lindsay Dotzlaf | Balancing Strategy and Mindset Across 3 Different Niches

Ep #59: Balancing Strategy and Mindset Across 3 Different Niches

I have another incredible panel of ladies on the show for you this week. I got so many gems out of this conversation myself, and seeing the overlaps between these different coaches is truly eye-opening, so I know you’re going to love this episode.

Michelle Runnels is a parenting expert and life coach for moms who helps women raising children center into their own lives so they can parent in a way that makes them feel proud, powerful, and joyful.

Elizabeth Sherman is a life and weight loss coach who helps women in midlife who want to lose weight but are completely done with dieting, so they can change their relationship with their food, exercise, and with their bodies.

Brittney Stefanic is the founder of Sleeper Teachers, which helps moms, as well as the whole family, get better sleep, and she also does some business coaching on the side.

Tune in this week to hear the surprising similarities between these amazing coaches all with very different niches. They’re sharing how they help their clients, the importance of combining mindset with the strategy you use as a coach, and of course, their experience of working with me in Coaching Masters.

If you want to take the work we’re doing here on the podcast and go even deeper, you need to join my six-month mastermind! Coaching Masters is now open for enrollment, so click here for more information or to sign up!

I am so excited to hear what you all think about the podcast – if you have any feedback, please let me know! You can leave me a rating and review in Apple Podcasts, which helps me create an excellent show and helps other coaches find it, too.

What You’ll Learn from this Episode:

  • How these coaches help their clients look at their problems and their successes in a completely new way.
  • What these coaches see as the most important reasons for combining mindset with strategy.
  • How all of these coaches work with the same type of women, coming at their work from different angles.
  • Where strategy alone is not enough, no matter your niche, and where the mindset has to come in.
  • How these coaches evaluate their own coaching.
  • Why fast always beats free when it comes to solving a problem.
  • How Coaching Masters has changed the way these coaches help their clients.

Listen to the Full Episode:

Featured on the Show:

Full Episode Transcript:

Hello, this is Lindsay Dotzlaf and you are listening to Mastering Coaching Skills episode 59.

To really compete in the coaching industry, you have to be great at coaching. That’s why every week, I will be answering your questions, sharing my stories, and offering tips and advice so you can be the best at what you do. Let’s get to work.

Hey coach, before we get started today, I want to tell you I had a couple spots open up in my Coaching Masters mastermind. If you think that’s for you, now is the time, you have to jump on it. This is the only place I’m going to talk about, is on my podcast.

And if you are interested, what I want you to do is to send an email to me, Lindsay, at, and let me know. Tell me you’re interested, tell me why you would love to join. We start in January, it’s a six month mastermind and I would love to have you. So, if that’s you, get on it. Send me an email, let’s do it. I can’t wait to meet you.

Today we are doing something super fun, it is the third in the series of the podcast panels that I am doing with my current Coaching Masters mastermind clients. And what I love so much about this, I’m having so much fun doing them and what I love the most is that after every interview I do, every conversation I have with my clients, I have such a fun takeaway that is usually something I already kind of knew. But it’s just really fun to kind of see it play out when I have multiple coaches on at a time talking about their thing.

And probably my biggest takeaway from this particular episode is how no matter what type of coaching we’re doing, it is all so similar. And how there are so many overlaps and how it doesn’t matter if you’re coaching on business, weight loss, parenting, being a mom, being a woman, having more confidence, all of the things. Just there are so many similarities and there are so many overlaps and you can really see that in this episode. I hope you enjoy, here we go.

Lindsay: Hello, I am so happy to be here with you all today. This is so fun. We have been doing some podcast panels on the podcast, obviously the listeners know this. And today is the third one that we are recording. And I’m just so excited to introduce you all. So let’s just get started.

Michelle, you go first. Who are you? What do you do? Anything else you want to tell us.

Michelle: Okay, thank you. Lindsay, thank you so much for having me here, particularly with these wonderful women. I get to see them every week and that’s one of the greatest things about being part of your mastermind, is that I get to kick it with really amazing coaches. So thank you so much, I feel really privileged.

My name is Michelle Runnels. I’m a parenting expert and life coach for moms. My work is centered around helping women who are raising children center into their own lives and create the life they want to lead so they can parent in a way they feel proud and powerful and joyful about.

Lindsay: I love it. And as you were talking I was looking around realizing although you have three very separate niches, they actually all pair together very well. So that’s really fun.

Elizabeth, tell us a little bit about you.

Elizabeth: So I am Elizabeth Sherman, I am a life and weight loss coach. And Michelle and I are like just buds, so I love being on this podcast with Michelle. We’ve talked about it and we are actually kind of doing the same thing. We’re helping the same type of women, just coming at it at different angles.

So yeah, I’m a life and weight loss coach. And so I work with women in mid-life who want to lose weight but are completely done with dieting. They know that dieting just isn’t the answer. But we’ve been brought up in a culture where, what else? How else do I lose weight?

They know that they want to lose weight because maybe their joints hurt or they feel fatigued. They understand that the food that they’re consuming really isn’t helping them to feel better, but they just don’t know another way.

And so I help women change their relationship with food, with themselves, with exercise, and with their bodies. And most of the women that I work with don’t want a six pack. We’re women who are in menopause and perimenopause and we know that we don’t want a six pack. But we want to feel good physically and we want to feel good in our jeans. So yeah, that’s who I help.

Lindsay: So good. And some of them probably want to sleep better too, right?

Elizabeth: Exactly.

Lindsay: Which is why we have Brittney here. Brittney, introduce yourself. Tell us what you do.

Brittney: Hey there, I’m Brittney Stefanic and I am the founder of Sleeper Teachers, which is a whole family sleep consulting business. So like Michelle and Elizabeth I work with women, primarily moms who are interested in better sleep all around, whether it’s for their children or for themselves.

And more recently I’ve started some side business coaching supporting moms who are running businesses. So working with lots of sleep coaches, who are doing the same work that I am in the sleep industry. And then also looking to kind of dive further into business strategy and mindset too.

Lindsay: So good. I’ll never forget when you reached out to me about the mastermind and said something along the lines of I think I’m accidentally a coach now. Something like that. I was like, wait, what does that mean? Tell me more.

Brittney: Yeah, I remember when you first posted or I first saw a post about the mastermind. And I think you had posted on Facebook and I said like, “Oh, I need this” or tell me more or something. And you messaged me and you were like, “More about Coaching Masters?” And I was like, “Yeah.” And you were like, “Oh.” And I was like, “Yeah, I think I accidentally have become a coach.”

Lindsay: So fun. You were building your business, the Sleep Teacher’s business, doing so well that you had people reaching out to you saying, “Hey, teach me how to do that.”

Brittney: Yeah, and I’ve just gone with it, which has been really fun.

Lindsay: So good. Okay, so one thing I’ve been asking on every panel so far, and what’s going to be fun about it today is that within the three different niches I’m interested to see if your answers are the same or if they’re different. And tell me about within each area that you coach, like what’s the importance of combining the coaching piece?

So the mindset, the emotions, really looking into all of that. What is the importance in combining that with the strategies that you use with your clients? Elizabeth?

Elizabeth: Yeah, so I thought about this a lot. And when I first started coaching, like years ago, I got a certification through an organization called Well Coaches. And one thing that they kept instilling was that the client always knows the answer.

And at the time I had no idea what that meant. Because I was like, well, but the client is coming to me because they don’t know how to eat, they don’t know how to exercise. And so why are they coming to me if they already know the answer? Wrapping my head around that was just so incredibly difficult.

And over the course of time– So what I tell or what I’ve been telling my clients for years is that I help my clients in the areas of sleep, not to– As I said that I’m like, oh, wait, but Brittney helps people with sleep. No, I help them with sleep, I help them with eating, I help them with physical activity and stress management.

And over the course of the years I was always really unsatisfied with the way that we tell people to manage their stress. We tell them to get manicures, we tell them to get massages. But it wasn’t until I got into life coaching that I realized that the way that we help people with their stress is to help them look at their problems in a different way.

And so I feel like my blend of strategy and mindset is actually really kind of interesting because I can give you the habits of what you need to do. But the reason that we take care of ourselves or don’t take care of ourselves has everything to do with how we think about ourselves, how we think about our problems and allowing those problems to get in the way of, yeah, how we take care of ourselves. So that’s my answer.

Lindsay: Yeah, I love that. And I think, especially with the three of your specific niches, I think that there is sometimes an idea when clients hire us as coaches that maybe you’re just going to tell me what to do. You’re going to tell me what to eat and tell me to exercise and to sleep however many hours a night and to drink however many ounces of water.

And all of that is great, just like you said. That’s all great depending on what they want to do. But there are also so many different ways to do each of those things, right? Maybe not the water, drinking water is probably just drinking water. But just thinking about how do we bring in the mindset piece, right? Like, what is the importance of that? And I love the way you just described it.

Elizabeth: Well, and the whole reason that we do or don’t do anything has everything to do with how we think about it. Like all diets work, Weight Watchers works, keto works. And I have so many clients that have gone on those diets. And I’m like, “So why did you go off of it if it was working?” And they’re like, “Oh, I don’t know. I got sick of it.” Or I got tired of it or it just became too hard.

And so that’s where the mindset piece comes in, is how we look at those things, how we look at what we’re doing and how that impacts the rest of our lives.

Lindsay: Yeah, so good. Michelle, how about you?

Michelle: I totally wanted to piggyback on that because that’s just genius. And so I want to start from something that Elizabeth said, she said that one of our jobs as coaches is to help people look at their problems in a different way. And I know she’ll totally agree with this, one of our jobs is also to help them look at success in a different way. To help them look at what does it mean to succeed.

And I think that when you’re talking about integrating coaching with what our strategies are, that’s what I think is the challenging part for me as a coach. And what I’ve really gained a lot from being in your program just because sometimes you just hear the same message again and again, again. Oftentimes what I need to hear is it’s okay for me to tell my clients facts and give them tools and the truth.

But it’s also my job, and the job I knew clearly was how to challenge them to look at success a different way. And also to look at, like what Elizabeth said, their problems in a different way.

I can talk about different ways to get what you want. Different strategies for having your kids help around the house, for creating boundaries, for having your kids keep their agreements, for strategies. You know, hey, here’s a tool for not nagging anymore and you can do this instead. I can talk about that for days. And I do on my Facebook page, I’ve got video after video.

But if you have decided that your kid needs to obey instantly and cheerfully, and you want tools that are going to help them behave that way. And when they’re not instantaneous and cheerful, then you don’t see when they’re instantaneous and PO’d and still do it. You don’t see when they linger and quietly do it.

You don’t see those successes. You only see the success that you’re framed to see, which is a child needs to behave this way or either they are flawed or I’m flawed as a parent. And so I try to help parents shape what they want from their experience as a parent on every level, mind, body spirit, intellectually, in terms of their relationship with power. And redefine what hierarchy means, particularly as our kids get older.

But they can’t really parent effectively without tools. And there aren’t a lot of tools for tween, teen, and college age, and beyond, 35 year old kids, they don’t exist. You read the books and they tell you, “Have more family meetings and listen more.”

And well, that’s nice, but it’s not what happens when your child decides that they don’t want to eat dinner with the family and you really want that to be a family value. How do you do that without literally restraining your kid and tying them to a chair? Nobody has tools– Well, I do. But I couldn’t find tools so I created them. 17 years of experience doing parenting, I created tools that didn’t exist.

So I can mindset people all day long, but if they didn’t have a tool to use to leverage this new mindset, then what’s the use of the mindset? And I can give people tools all day long. But if they still have the same beliefs that they used to have, then those tools are never going to appear to work for them. Because they’re not going to reflect the way that they want them to reflect in their relationship with their kids.

I answered the question, right?

Lindsay: I think you did. And I just took that as everything you just said was for me, so that’s all I know. Because I was like, “Wait, oh, should I write that down, not instantaneously and cheerfully? It doesn’t have to be both. It could just be one or the other and it’s still a success? Weird. Okay, let me let that sink in.”

Michelle: Right, I know. I blow my own mind a lot because I make mistakes. Three days ago I had a blowout fight with my daughter. And the whole time I’m going, “You know you’re not setting yourself up for success right now.”

But success felt to me in the moment like asserting power. And then when the shame came later, I had tools to repair what I had done. Because everything either helps or hurts the relationship. Nothing is neutral. Even when it appears neutral, it’s not.

And so I had to repair it. And I had the tools to repair it in a way where I didn’t appear weak. Because I didn’t feel weak, I felt remorseful and I was able to say, “I’m really sorry, that wasn’t the best version of me.” Because that wasn’t a loss of power for me, that was gaining power. I was reflecting a level of power. The power to be able to be intellectually and emotionally honest. And that kind of sets the expectation for her too. So I’m not perfect, but I just know how to scoop my poop.

Lindsay: So good. I think we talked about this, it maybe came up when you were– You have been on the podcast before and I think maybe we touched on it briefly. But I just notice as my girls become teens, tweens, whatever you want to call them, sassy, that’s what I call them. It’s such an interesting reflection of myself, of my brain, of my thoughts.

And it’s just sometimes so weird being a coach and being in the moment being reflected back, you know, kind of like what you’re saying to them and having it reflected right back at you and knowing like, “Okay, these are my thoughts. Here’s how I’m feeling right now.” And still choosing to react in a way that’s like, yeah, I don’t care. I’m going all in. Here we are. We’re picking this fight. This is happening.

Michelle: Isn’t it crazy? Sometimes it just feels– I mean, I’m not going to tell Brittney her business because the whole sleep thing, I know it’s complicated. But sometimes it’s like picking up a doughnut is what you know you shouldn’t do, but you’re going to do it anyway. You know?

Lindsay: Totally.

Michelle: It’s like if you’re managing diabetes, picking up that doughnut is not a good idea. If you’re a parent, picking that fight is not a good idea. If you’ve got sleep issues, having that cup of coffee after a dinner that ends at 9:30 at night is not a good idea. But it sounds like, “Ooh, who’s going to win?” It’s that traditional like devil and angel.

Lindsay: It’s like an urge, right?

Michelle: Yeah, it’s hilarious. I mean, the human mind to me and our experience of ourselves is just the coolest thing on the planet. And if we can hold it in compassion and see those things we do and not allow shame into the mix, it makes it so much easier for us to move forward with just this real sense of being just in love with ourselves, as opposed to being in opposition with ourselves.

There’s a gentleness we can apply, and a self-compassion that allows us to change ourselves faster than if we decide what we’re going to do is just take a hammer and start to fix all these things we think are broken.

Lindsay: Yeah, I would say the biggest difference for me is just the noticing that I don’t have to beat myself up for choosing to act like that. For choosing to have the argument, for choosing to be like, “Here we are, going in.”

I used to say that with my husband too, like with arguments after I knew about coaching and I knew it was my thoughts. And I knew I could handle it, I could work through this on my own. And sometimes it was like, “Nope, I’m going in, here we are.”

But the option to not have to beat myself up about it is so good. To not have to beat myself up later, and just be able to come back. It also allows for the coming back to say like, “Hey, I’m really sorry. I shouldn’t have reacted like that. Maybe I shouldn’t have said that.” And being able to handle that in such a different way than I would have before I knew about coaching.

Michelle: Absolutely. I used to tell my husband, like this was the big warning, if you’re going to knock on the B’s door, she’s going to answer. So you need to decide because I’m warning you right now it’s like, that’s where we’re at.”

Lindsay: So good.

Michelle: And then it was like this way we communicated where he would decide like, are we going to agree to go all in? Or is it going to be like pausing the moment? Because sometimes I would just be like–

Lindsay: Today’s not the day, you should maybe just know that before we start this conversation.

Okay, Brittney, what do you think? And I’m really super interested in your answer because I know you kind of came into this with a heavier focus on strategy and on business building, and coming from your business into, “Okay, I think I’m a coach. I think maybe I need to combine some of the other pieces.” What are your thoughts about it as far as why it’s important to have a balance of both?

Brittney: So I love this question for so many reasons. And the first thing that comes to mind is actually because of the overabundance of information through Google, and blogs, and Pinterest, and all this stuff strategy is everywhere.

Whether it’s for parenting, or for weight loss, or for business growth, or for sleep. We can find the protocols, we can find the rules, we can find the strategies, literally in a millisecond. But then what?

And that’s where, to me, the mindset piece comes in. It’s like I can have the protocol for sleep, I can have the steps that someone else took to grow their business. And yet, it’s still the thoughts and the management of the emotions and the management of the thoughts that actually yields the results.

So taking the rules and the strategies and the decisions and merging that, blending that, marrying that to the emotions and the feelings and the thoughts. It’s just so fun. And I think it’s so important to have both.

And some people can with weight loss or with parenting or with sleep, get online, Google it, find the thing and they’re successful. And some people can’t. Some people need the marrying and the coaching and sort of that supportive part through the mindset piece.

So in working with the sleep clients, I would say it’s important, kind of like Michelle was saying, that when there are the big emotions in parenting, when we are making decisions, when we are deciding to go all in on the protocol, on the thing, on the argument, on the disagreement, great. And then let’s manage the thoughts afterwards.

Moving from the consulting, which is a lot of strategy, a lot of teaching into the coaching, recognizing for myself, and Lindsey, you helped me so much with this when I sent in my coaching and you gave me feedback. It’s like there is a place for the teaching. And then there’s a place for the coaching and letting it be both, the strategy, the teaching, and the mindset.

Lindsay: Yes, I am really grateful that you pointed that out because I have so many clients who come and they really judge themselves for, you know, I teach how to evaluate your own coaching. And a lot of things that a lot of my clients say is I talked too much. I feel like I was telling my clients lots of things, and I don’t know how to fix that.

And sometimes just pointing out like, no, there is a space for that. There is a piece sometimes. Especially depending on what type of coach you are, there’s definitely a space for teaching. There’s teaching, there’s explaining, there’s kind of showing them how the things they’ve told you are creating the results that they have, like kind of walking them through it. And then there’s coaching.

And there’s a space for all of it. And when you can know which one am I doing right now, it’s so useful. Because then you don’t have to beat yourself up over it. It’s like, no, I was teaching this thing. I was supposed to be talking on this part. And then here’s the coaching, and now I just get to coach them. And I think knowing the difference is kind of a superpower when it comes to coaching. So I’m really glad you brought that up.

What do you think, and this is for just whoever wants to answer this, either all of you or whoever wants to go first. We touched on it just a little bit, but when you think about your clients and the effect that the mindset, you know, examining their emotions, really showing them how to process emotions, what effect does that have on their results?

Especially if maybe they’ve come to you from a place of like, I’ve tried everything. And my guess is, specifically in all of your niches, that is a thing that probably happens a lot is like, I’ve tried it all. I don’t know, I’m clearly just a bad parent. Or I’m clearly never going to lose weight. My kids will never sleep. I remember that stage of life, the sleeping part.

And so when they come to you with that, what do you notice about the difference in their results? If anything, like when people come to you, they’re like, “I’ve tried everything.” And you’re like, “I know. And I also kind of have the magic, like the missing piece.” Which is how I think of coaching as Brittney said, and I’ve talked about this on the podcast, if you can Google it that’s not the magic that you provide.

Because anyone can Google how do I sleep more? How do I get my kids to sleep? What parenting style should I be using? You can Google any of those things, but there’s a magic that when you combine the mindset piece with it, that just makes such a big difference.

Elizabeth: Yeah, so I was just reading this book and in it the author said fast beats free any day. And there is no absence of weight loss advice anywhere, just ask anyone. In fact, the other day I was on the beach and I love listening to conversations on the beach. And I could overhear a family talking about the blood type diet, which isn’t a thing. But she was talking about how amazing it was.

And so talk to anyone and they will tell you what they did to get weight loss results. What worked for them. What worked for their brother. What were for their cousin, or their friends, sisters, brothers, blah, blah, blah. And so there’s no limit of information on the internet.

And in fact, when I went through my weight loss journey I didn’t have coaching really. I had to figure this stuff out on my own. I specifically remember, so I do call myself a habit-based coach in that I help folks create sustainable habits.

One of the habits that I teach them is called eat just enough, not too much. And so what this does is it helps people to stop overeating. When I went through this I had so much emotion pop up for me. I was just like, I remember, plating my dinner and only plating half of what I normally plated.

And just feeling all of these emotions pop up, like resentment. Like why do I feel resentful that I can only, and I put that in air quotes, only eat half of the meal. And all of this scarcity, all of this fear about what if I get hungry again?

Well, it was through talking myself through it that I realized, well, if you get hungry again, Elizabeth, you can eat. There’s an abundance of food in your house right now.

And so going back to fast beats free, through coaching clients will get the results faster. You can Google anything that you want to on any of these topics, but it’s allowing someone else to guide you through that process to success, taking your hand and walking you through the process. Versus will this work for me? I don’t know. Will this work for me? I don’t know. And having to do all of that trial and error yourself.

Lindsay: I love that. That reminded me of I was just having a conversation the other day with a girlfriend actually who was like, “I feel like you’ve lost weight recently. Why?” And I was like, well, I don’t– Weight loss is never really something I’ve focused on. And to be honest, I had my gallbladder out, that’s what happened. My body just really liked it, I just lost weight and here we are.

It just really struck me because she said, “Whoa, that’s one thing I’ve never tried.” Of course she was kidding, but just the thought of trying all of the things and even joking about maybe I should try that. I was like, “Oh, no, don’t. Let me get you a coach’s number. Let’s try that first.”

But it just really struck me of like, this is probably an over generalization, but I think women in particular are just kind of programmed to think I should always want to lose weight and I should always be thinking about my body. And it just was so interesting coming from her, who’s just like a very normal sized human to say something like that.

Michelle, do you have anything to add?

Michelle: How many pounds did you lose when you got your gallbladder out?

Lindsay: Now everybody’s going to want to do it. It’s going to be the next fad diet.

Michelle: I mean, I’m looking at whatever, you know. Anyway, just joking. I’m not going to do that. Yeah, I actually wrote down what Elizabeth said, fast beats free and day. Yeah, I love that.

So this is what I think is so interesting along the lines of this question, and Elizabeth’s quote made me think of it. It’s like as humans it’s really interesting, we have this interesting relationship with ourselves where we are the most unique, the only version of a human being ever. Nobody gets us, nobody could understand us. Our reasons are different than everybody else’s.

And then when we become desperate for an answer, we’ll take anything that anybody else has done that worked. And I totally get the leap. But in the middle, in between that is what do you want? What do you really want? How does this serve you? What are your goals? What changes are you looking to make? Let’s look at what you want. What do you want?

And there’s an intimacy that marries both this idea of I am unique, which is true, but also, I’m like all the other slobs out there too, which is also true. And it marries those things saying, okay, well, you got your own unique makeup. There’s only one version of you that’s ever hit this planet. You’re the only person ever like you, and you’re living in a culture a lot of other people live in. And you’re living in a family structure a lot of other people live in. Even if it’s a unique family structure, there are more people like you, and then all of these things.

So how can you put all of that together and marry what is available to all, but is only necessary for you to meet your unique goals at this time? And they always change. And let’s do that. Let’s give you the relationship with your daughter that you want. Can I use an example from my practice?

Lindsay: Of course.

Michelle: And I’m not suggesting that this is something everybody else would want, but I had a woman who was in a lot of struggles with her teenage son and was really trying to shape his behavior. And when we got down to it, a lot of what he was doing, she really wasn’t necessarily triggered by. She was just more concerned about what other people were going to think of it.

And then when we dove deeper, her priorities were who he was at home, and who he was at school. And who he was at school was great. He was a leader, and respected, and doing all of these things, and he’s supportive, and the teachers had great relationships with him. And who he was at home was just like a real teenager.

And there were some things she wanted to do to have a better relationship, but they were all super manageable. What was unmanaged and what was hurting her and what was causing her pain was who she was perceiving him to be out in the world based on other people’s opinions of what teenagers should and shouldn’t be doing.

And once that was sorted out, now we’re doing the refining. Like, this is awesome. So we are dealing with the micro issues. She’s learning parenting tools to deal with those things. Parenting tools that are going to last her until her child is tucking her into bed at night, because that’s how these tools scale because we’re dealing with young adults.

And she’s also focusing on who she wants to be in her own world because there’s so much more psychic and mental and emotional and spiritual space to say, “And who am I?”

And so that’s how I think this works, is that you can throw spaghetti at a wall for days. But the thing is you need an opportunity to have someone hold space for you in an unconditionally accepting and loving relationship where you and what you want is the new territory. Is the uncharted world.

The uncharted world isn’t what tool can I use to make things the way I want them to be so all of these symptoms go away. Let’s look deeply at what you dream about, what do you want to create? And when the answer is, I don’t know, oh that’s so great.

Lindsay: That was such an amazing answer. And it actually made me realize something that I’ve never really thought about when it comes to coaching. Because really at the end of the day, what coaching is when we think about it applied to really any niche, is helping clients get the results they want, but in the way they want. Which is what you were kind of just saying.

Someone could come and want weight loss coaching, but they might say, “I want to be able to eat all the foods still.” That’s an option, right? But it’s not necessarily as Google-able as keto diet, or how do I lose five pounds, whatever. And I think that that is just such a good point, is that as coaches we do have that flexibility that some of the other strict, follow steps one through 20 methods might not have.

Michelle: Can I add something?

Lindsay: Yes.

Michelle: Since we’re on this wave, I also want to say when we’re talking about how we consume information in order to apply it, that’s a fuel based approach. It’s like, well, what do I need to take in to mobilize my make my life better engine? But there are so many hidden obstacles. There’s so much friction that we don’t even recognize in our lives that no amount of fuel is going to get us through. No amount of fuel is going to–

I mean, when we shot a man into outer space, there’s literally a hidden ring around our planet that sets fire to the thing when it tries to go into outer space. And that’s how I kind of perceive of my clients, is like they’re trying to get out of their own atmosphere into a newfound world where everything is different. And there’s this hidden layer of friction and every time they start to pierce that, life gets so hot they just fall back down to their old experience.

And what my job is, is to help people experience, see it. I’ve helped them put goggles on so they can see where that friction is. And we navigate that together. We need to take off if they’re too heavy, we put on what they need to put on to protect themselves while they go through it. If it gets to be too much, we change strategy. So I just wanted to kind of– That’s the analogy I use is the idea of fuel and friction. All of these tools are fuel, but we don’t always need fuel.

Lindsay: I love it and I really wish everyone could just see you acting it out, doing your arms everywhere. It’s so good. I could just watch you talk about that all day. And that is an incredible analogy, I never would have come up with that one. And I just I love it. Thank you for that.

Brittney, I am certain that you probably have something to add to this. And I’m curious too, because you came into the mastermind, I know you had some coach skills for sure before you came into the mastermind. But you’ve spent the last almost six months at this point improving them.

Have you noticed a difference even in, because you’re still doing some of the same work you were before the mastermind and after? Have you noticed a difference in just results and the way your clients respond to the coaching?

Brittney: Yeah, I totally have. I totally have. I think one of the biggest changes for me has been my ability to ask questions as a coach. That has improved dramatically thanks to the group of gals in the mastermind.

And then when I’m able to ask those questions to really get at the thoughts, because as Michelle said, with the fuel, the tools, the protocols, all of these things that we can find online comes the friction. And then the questions kind of probe at and poke at the thoughts.

And when we can really start to question those thoughts and really get at that friction and see like okay, how can we remove these layers? Where we getting stuck? It definitely yields results fast over free.

Lindsay: So good. I love it, you guys are just like– Every answer each of you gives just plays on the last answer and I I love it. I feel like you’re taking the listeners just on this journey of just the whole spectrum of thinking about really how important it is to combine mindset with strategy tools, whatever it is that you use as a coach.

And I do want to be really clear just for everybody listening that everyone here today probably does have quite a few tools, strategies that they use with their clients. But if you’re a newer coach, if you’re listening thinking, “Oh my gosh, I need all of these things. I don’t have all of the things.” I think, and I’ve talked about this on the podcast before, the tools are amazing, especially I think you create more tools the longer you’re a coach, you create more tools and strategies that you use, and depending on what type of coach you are, right.

But even just simple mindset tools, if you use something that you’ve learned in certification or whatever it is, those are also tools and those work perfectly. So I just don’t want anybody listening to think, “Oh my gosh, I have to go learn 100 new tools because the three people we have on here today have been doing this a while and coach in very specific niches. And I love it. They’re all geniuses.

Okay, last question. So for Michelle and Elizabeth, you’ve both been in Coaching Masters twice now, which is so fun. I love it, amazing. And Brittney, obviously this is your first round. What would you say the mastermind has helped you change about your coaching?

Michelle: So going back to the feeling friction analogy, I feel that Coaching Masters, what I had gone to Coaching Masters for was to find more fuel. And I didn’t realize that until the beginning of my second round when I’d settled into it and was really there with a real sense of security in what I was already doing.

And what I realized is that really what it did is it took away a lot of the friction that I was having. It helped me really own the fact that, like you were saying earlier, Lindsey, that sometimes my coaching sessions are going to be a little bit seminar.

When I’m teaching parents like, “Okay, I know you don’t like these things about your children, but you need to understand this is a lighthouse, it ain’t moving. You’ve got to figure out a way to navigate around it. Their brain is in this state, and this is how they perceive the world and they don’t have the skill set you are asking of them. They go to school and they’re worn out when they come home, following all those rules. It is not easy for them. It’s not rote, this is their learning.”

And I build a sense of understanding, and empathy, and compassion in them. And that takes information. I mean, sometimes we just need to understand. And I was always feeling kind of a level of self-indulgence and worry that I had kind of taken the stage and I was the center of the focus. That it was about me as opposed to being about my client.

And now I really understand that because I do bring years of expertise to this and I do bring concrete parenting tools and facts, like scientific facts, that sometimes it isn’t all about managing their thoughts and feelings and managing their experience of themselves and all the other kind of like micro tools I use.

Sometimes it really is about saying you don’t have information you need, and here it is. Now let’s talk about how this re-frames things for you. And if it doesn’t, let’s manage that. Let’s figure out why you’re so resistant to believing that your child is just not able to do this for you at this point in time in the way that you’re asking.

And so that was so helpful for me because the irony is I wanted to focus more on my client, but then I would share information that I thought fit perfectly. And then for at least a few minutes in the session I’d be recovering from that, focusing on myself. Oh my gosh, did I over talk? Did I blah, blah, blah? And then I’m losing this valuable time to actually help them integrate what we had just kind of talked about.

So that is a huge win for me. A huge, huge win. And also, it’s just to be around other coaches and to see how differently we do the same thing. And just how like– Oh my gosh, I’m getting emotional, sorry.

Just how generous it is to choose this work. I did it and I didn’t have other coaches reflect it back at me at first. That’s the container you create. And just to see, just we come and we love our clients. We want to serve them, it’s a job of service. We want people to inhabit the lives they dream of having. And we believe in them, we hold in that belief.

And I don’t know any other profession that does that, but doesn’t see people as broken, we see people as whole. And so whole that you’ve got all the freaking answers, let’s just dive in and open the treasure. Why is this rusted shut? Let’s figure out a way to open it. And I just think to be in a container full of people who just have such generous hearts and spirits, it’s just such a privilege, in my opinion.

Lindsay: Oh my gosh, first of all, if you make me cry– Okay, you guys are going to laugh because when you hear– It hasn’t come out yet, but the episode I just recorded the last episode with some people from the mastermind, I didn’t ask that question. And at the end, they said, “Wait, wait, wait,” I think it was Monica, maybe that was like, “Wait, I want to say something else.” I was wrapping up and she said, “Hold on, I have to say something.”

And she said, but I want to talk about Coaching Masters.” And I was like, “Oh, okay.” And then they all started talking about it and let me just say, first, I was trying not to cry. Second, I said, and you’ll probably hear it in the episode, I said, “Okay, this is getting uncomfortable for me. I think I’m going to have to go get coaching on just compliments and people talking about the thing.”

And so the fact that you just started crying, that’s enough. You guys, nobody else gets to answer, I’ve had enough. We’re good. We’re just cutting it off there.

I just feel so many emotions, I think, for all of my clients. And you just put words to things that I think about a lot, which is like I’m so grateful to be a coach and a lot of what you just said is the reason. I just think it’s so amazing what we get to do with our clients. And the fact that our clients let us in and just sometimes tell us their innermost thoughts and feelings and trust us with that is, to me, just everything. So thank you so much. Thank you for saying that.

Brittney, what about you? Do you want to go?

Brittney: Yeah. Okay, so one of my biggest takeaways from Coaching Master’s has been the evaluation phase, and really evaluating the coaching, the calls. I’ve been able to incorporate it both with my sleep clients and with the sleep consultants, so sort of in both lenses.

And just not being afraid to evaluate. I had a lot of fear around like, but what if I look back at the call, what if I look back at the coaching, and I didn’t do it, “right”? What if I look back and I feel like there were opportunities that I didn’t take advantage of or there were questions that I didn’t ask that I should have asked.

And for that reason, I really shied away from the evaluation until the last few months. And just seeing the value in that and that I’m constantly growing as a coach, just as my clients are constantly growing too, and that we all have human brains, we’re all resistant to the evaluation part. And yet there’s such immense value in it.

And that was a really unexpected growth for me. I didn’t realize how much resistance, the friction that was coming up around the evaluation piece. And I’ll be honest, Lindsay, when you shared with us that we could send in the coaching for your evaluation and for feedback, I pretty much shat in my pants.

I was like, “Oh no. This is not required, right? She’s not going to kick me out if I don’t do it.” But guess what? I did it and I learned a lot from it. And I feel like it was maybe one of my favorite parts, even though at the beginning, it was like, “She what? She wants us to do what?” So thank you for allowing that bit of discomfort and then holding space for me to push forward through it anyway.

Lindsay: So good. One thing that I have learned recently, over the last several months, maybe six months, maybe since the beginning of this mastermind that you are in, is how resistant some people are to evaluations.

Which I totally understand the fear of not wanting to turn one in. I have that fear all day, every day. Like, “Oh no, then they’ll know.” Who is they? I don’t know. But then it’s like the truth is out, I’m canceled, we’re done here.

But even just the resistance that some people have to evaluating themselves, that’s the part I find fascinating because I don’t have that resistance usually. It probably depends on what we’re talking about. But it has really just taught me so much about it’s kind of important to work through that as a coach because we’re asking our clients to do it every day.

So I’ve even been digging in with myself of like where is it uncomfortable for me? And where can I learn from this? Where can I kind of look to find this discomfort so I’m better at teaching my clients how to work through it and how to like, “Yeah, it’s a little uncomfortable and that’s okay.” So I’m glad that you brought that up. I love that.

Brittney: Yeah, totally. And one more piece about evaluation, I was so thankful to learn and I’m so grateful that part of the evaluation of the coaching, of the self-coaching, it can be awareness, it can be celebrations. It doesn’t have to be this whatever went wrong. There are also things that went great that are worth the focus and the celebration.

And, of course, we hold that space for clients. And then when we’re asked to do it for ourselves, it’s like, “Oh, what’s that about?” So I was thankful. And just for the listeners, when Lindsey said she didn’t realize how much resistance people had about evaluating calls, we all raised our hands just now on Zoom.

Lindsay: Yes, that is true.

Brittney: So if you resist evaluation, you’re not the only one because at least you have the three of us with you.

Lindsay: Yeah, apparently, I need to just do a whole podcast episode on that because I actually just yesterday had a conversation with someone in the other round that I have going at the same time of Coaching Masters. And we actually coached on what if you only did the first part, which is what’s going well, like what’s going really well?

And I assigned her that and we talked all about still, what are you going to still learn from that? How effective can that be even if you don’t go to the place where you ask yourself what did I do wrong? Because she was literally in such a place where it’s like beating herself up so much about it that I just gave her the assignment of only focus on what’s going well, for now.

We’ll introduce the other later, but for now just stay there, see what happens. I think it’s going to be fun. It’s going to be so good for her. So there’s no right way. If you’re listening and you’re like, “Yeah, this is me. I hate evaluations.” Figure out a different way, maybe stick with what went well for now.

Elizabeth: Well, that’s so interesting because my last podcast of the year will be all about evaluating the year because I think so many people who attempt weight loss don’t want to look at the past. They don’t want to look at what happened. And they only want to look forward.  Well this time, it’s going to be different.

Okay, why is this time going to be different? You can’t do anything different unless you look at the past and get curious about why didn’t that work.

Lindsay: That is amazing. I love that and it’s so true, right? I think when you focus on– I think even just sometimes, this is what I’m learning at least, people hear the word evaluation and immediately your brain goes to, “Oh, what that means is finding everything that I did wrong and learning how to fix it or solve it. Like solve all my imperfections.”

And I think just seeing, “No, I’m already doing so many things well, here’s what they are. I can continue with these.” And then just finding like one or two areas to start with, especially when it comes to coaching, but probably the same for all of you, what are just one or two areas I can focus on right now and start making just small changes. Or examine the way I’m thinking about them.”

Whatever it is, but just giving yourself that direction without like, “Okay, here’s the list, it’s 50 things. I’m just going do them all, I guess I have to fix all of them.” Of course that’s going to feel bad and be impossible, and you’re definitely going to quit. So that’s no good.

Michelle: But I think it’s really hard to look at the positive because the unconscious assumption for many people is, “Well, I should be doing it like that all along. That’s just a given. If I say I’m a coach, of course I should be able to freaking coach.”

Lindsay: Yes.

Michelle: Instead of being like, “Every client is different. Every interaction is unique. What can I learn from that?”

Lindsay: Yes, people are always surprised when I say I am actually in a coach training right now. And they’re like, “Wait, what? That’s what you teach.” I’m like, “Yes, and it’s a skill I’m always still working on.” It’s something that’s important to me and there’s always more to learn is my thought about it.

Okay. Elizabeth, did you want to say something else?

Elizabeth: Yeah, so I did two rounds of Coaching Masters. And the reason that I did two rounds was because they served very different purposes for me. The first round I did because I had recently gotten out of coach training.

And I was really trying to figure out how to incorporate my teaching, the coaching, and then also the systems and how everything would work together. Because in the coach training that I went through, they told us that we shouldn’t teach people or we shouldn’t tell people what to do on the action line.

So I was like kind of going back to the first one, which is that the client always has the answer. This coach training was telling me that I should only question people about thoughts. And I was like, well, but that wouldn’t be really effective if someone comes to me and says, “Okay, this week, I didn’t lose weight.” And all I did was say, “Well, how does that make you feel? Or what do you think about that? Or what are the thoughts that created that result?”

That’s just not helpful to my client. They want to know that I can help them actually set strategy for them to actually create the result. So that was actually really helpful in the first round of Coaching Masters, understanding how to mix those different aspects of how I work with my client.

And then in the second round I had just started a group coaching program and so I knew that there were going to be some challenges in addressing a group versus one on one. And I really wanted the support of the other women who were in the Coaching Masters group to figure out how to navigate some of those, just different things. And so it was also really super helpful.

Lindsay: I love that. So one thing I see within Coaching Masters, and I think I just have a unique perspective kind of on the industry because I have people from everywhere that come in. And I did not plan this, I didn’t know this was going to happen, it’s so fascinating seeing how different different coach trainings are.

I have clients who come in that are just like what you just said. That are like, “No, my coach school said never do this.” And then another client will say like, no. Not that we sit around and compare, but they’ll just make comments to me like, “Oh, I learned to never do that. Or I learned to only do this or only ask about this.” Or, you know, whatever. And it’s just so fascinating to see how different they can be.

And I find sometimes coaches get very confused because they’ll go to multiple certifications, multiple trainings, kind of like what you said. And sometimes they might get taught opposite things. And I think part of what we do in the mastermind is we say, okay, that’s great. All of them are great. Now, how do you want to combine that to make it your own? What kind of coach do you want to be? If you just get to choose which things you always do, which things you never do, or are you in the middle? What is it? So I’m glad that you brought that up. I love that.

All right, friends, so the last thing I would love for you to do is just tell people where they can find you if they connected with what you said today and they just want to know more or just see Brittney’s fun reels or just whatever it is.

Brittney has the best reels, by the way. And I think just as a mom I just think they’re hilarious. My kids are older now, but the one that you made the other day, I don’t know if Michelle and Elizabeth if you follow her. But her reels are pretty funny.

And she made one the other day that was she was like laying on the couch and was like texting her mom. Yeah, she said, “Mom, come pick me up from the sleepover.” And then the text response was like, “Honey, you’ve got to teach your kids to sleep.” Or something like that. Oh, like nobody’s sleeping, mom come pick me up from the sleepover, nobody’s sleeping.  I’m just totally ruining it.

But it made me laugh so hard. I sent it to my sister because she has little kids and she was like, “Every day, this is my life.” So I just thought they’re so funny. So everybody has to find Brittney, for sure, on Instagram.

And also Michelle and Elizabeth, obviously, you guys have both been here before, I could talk about you all day. Tell everyone, Brittney you start, where can people find you? If they’re like, “Wait a minute, I have kids, they don’t sleep. I need that in my life.” Where do they go?

Brittney: Thanks, Lindsay, that’s too funny. The reels are so fun to make. If you are looking to spice up your fun factor, just in life in general, reels. Watching them, making them. And you can find mine over at Sleeper Teachers.

Lindsay: And we will link all of this in the show notes. Just if you’re driving and you’re like, “Wait, what? I can’t write this down fast enough.” No worries, it will all be in the show notes. You can find all of them.

Elizabeth, how about you?

Elizabeth: You can find me on Instagram at ESherman68, on Facebook at Total Health by Eliz, and then my website is I work with my clients one on one as well as I have a group, and I also have a podcast called Done With Dieting, which is just super fun.

Lindsay: Love it. How about you, Michelle?

Michelle: So your listeners can find me at Mom Coach Michelle, that’s @momcoachmichelle on Instagram, Mom Coach Michelle on Facebook, and my web page is and Runnels is R-U-N-N-E-L-S. And, yeah, come on by.

And I do webinars online,  free ones often. So you can always check my web page or my Facebook page or my Instagram to see if I’m doing something free that might help you up.

Lindsay: Oh yes, I love that you have one coming up and this probably won’t be out before then but the title of it caught my attention.
What was it?

Michelle: It was Fight Free Winter Break.

Lindsay: Yes. Oh my gosh, yep. And you do stuff like that all the time. So everybody, go find her, go to the free webinars. Learn all the juicy goodness. I love it.

All right friends, thank you so much for being here today. I hope you had fun.

Thank you so much for listening today. I hope you had fun, I know we did. If you would love to find any of the coaches that were on today you can head to my website and find all their links in the show notes. You can also find the transcript if you want to go back and read anything that we talked about today. And I’ll see you next week. Bye.

Thanks for listening to this episode of Mastering Coaching Skills. If you want to learn more about my work, come visit me at That’s Lindsay with an A, see you next week.

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