Today, I’m bringing you another panel of three amazing coaches. We had so much fun diving into the topic of feelings, emotions, and exploring that side of coaching. We also go in-depth into the conversation around general life coaching without a super-specific niche, which I know so many of you are going to love.
Sheri Strzelecki is a life coach who helps her clients create results through mind-body connection. Kimberly Mathis is a former therapist turned general life coach who helps anyone with anything. Jess Johnson is also a therapist turned general life coach who helps her clients manage their minds around any problem they’re facing and move forward from there.
Join us this week to hear from three successful life coaches with no specific niches. We’re discussing the importance of owning your coaching style and the methods that feel right to you, and how working on your coaching skills always leads to more success in this industry.
Hello, this is Lindsay Dotzlaf and you are listening to Mastering Coaching Skills, episode 60.
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, today I am having a conversation with three of my amazing clients, Sheri Strzelecki, Jess Johnson, and Kimberly Mathis. And we have so much fun just diving into really talking about feelings and emotions and exploring that side of coaching.
We also talk a lot about, which I think will interest maybe a lot of you, we talk a lot about what it’s like to just be a general life coach, to not have a super specific niche. And the way the three of them make it work and how they think about what they do and how they think about what they’re coaching, and how they kind of talk about what they do. And so many other things.
You are in for a serious treat, they are so much fun. And you are going to learn a lot today. So buckle up, get ready. Here you go.
Lindsay: All right. Hello, I am so happy you’re here. We are going to have so much fun today. And I don’t know why this is kind of making me laugh, but you guys just look so serious right now.
But before I introduce you, I just want to say before I hopped on here today, I was having visions of at least Sheri and Jess, and Kimberly, you can tell me if this is true for you as well, that your preference would probably be for us to just be in person. Like sitting on the ground holding hands, just recording this whole podcast just as close to each other as possible. All the things, feeling all the emotions.
Unfortunately, we’re not doing that. We’re just on Zoom. But that’s okay, we’re going to get through it. The first thing I would love for you to do is introduce yourselves. Sheri, you go first.
Sheri: Hello everyone, I’m Sheri Strzelecki and I’m a life coach helping clients create results through mind body connection.
Lindsay: Love it, Kimberly.
Kimberly: Hi, I’m Kimberly Mathis. I am a former therapist turned coach, and I’m a general life coach. I pretty much help anyone with anything.
Lindsay: So good. And Jess.
Jess: And I’m Jess Johnson, I’m also a therapist turned general life coach and, yeah, bring me your shit. I can help you manage your mind around it and figure out how you want to feel and move forward from there.
Lindsay: So good. Kimberly, what do you think? Would you like to be in person holding hands recording this podcast?
Kimberly: It’s so funny you say that because I think I’m a good social in-person faker. But I would really rather just kind of be by myself or have a very specific amount of time, like this will be like 10 or 15 minutes, and then no one is required to stay.
Lindsay: That’s so good.
Kimberly: And you can leave.
Lindsay: I feel you on that. So okay, we’re on the same team. And Sheri and Jess, I just have a feeling that would probably be your preference. What do you think? Sheri for sure.
Sheri: Yeah, I was going to say well, I don’t know. I mean, I will just be hugging you and grabbing you and touching you all if I am in person. Just loving all over you. So for sure.
Jess: Yeah, I want to be in person. I can’t wait to meet all of you guys in person eventually. But don’t touch me, please. Unless I ask you to. I’m very mindful of my personal space and yeah, I’m always like, get off. Yeah, my husband and I have different love languages too, so that’s interesting for us to maneuver.
Lindsay: Same. Yep, I can relate very much to that.
Okay, so let’s just dive in. And what is so fun about having you here, first of all, I feel like the three of you are kind of friends, so that’s fun. I think that’s why I was thinking this podcast is just going to be special.
And the other thing that’s really fun about you is that all three of you have pretty successful businesses, and you’re all general life coaches or some form of, like you might have some areas that you prefer to coach on or not. But none of you have very specific niches.
And I thought we would just get started there talking about that. Because some coaches teach, some business coaches teach this, of course, which isn’t a problem. It just happens that I disagree that you have to have a very specific niche. That the more specific it is, the easier it is to make money.
And I don’t necessarily think that’s true. And I’m curious what your thoughts are on that. And how you think it affects your coaching positively, negatively, whatever comes up for you, like whatever you want to share around that. Jess?
Jess: So, if you have a niche, if there’s something you want to speak to great. But I know, and I’ll be interested to see if you went through this as well, Kimberly, as a therapist I didn’t have a niche per se. I did work with a lot of complex trauma. I was in the military. Before I was in the military I worked with domestic violence, sexual assault survivors. I’ve had background with working with kids.
And you never thought of things in like these layers of having a niche or anything like that. And so it was kind of surprising the niche drama I had when I pivoted to coaching. And I spent like three years in my transition from therapy to coaching stuttering around calling myself a life coach. I’m a therapist, maybe, I don’t know. I’m thinking about doing this coaching thing, but I’m definitely a therapist. I had this background in therapy. I thought it made me sound more credible.
Finally, when I just started embracing, and this was definitely through your teaching and another coach I know that you’re familiar with. And it’s just like, wow, I can just call myself a general life coach and not worry about this niche piece, which is essentially a marketing piece.
That is immediately when things started to change for me and my business became successful. And I stepped fully into like I am a life coach, I can help you. Bring me what you can, the experience I have before helps me with that. But it’s no longer something I bring up unless it’s relevant to the conversation.
Lindsay: I love that. And I think I just want to point out quickly before I let someone else answer that we’re definitely not promoting like don’t have a niche. Niches are amazing, they’re great, have one. But don’t let not having one keep you from building your business.
Or don’t feel like you have to pick one even when you don’t feel super connected to a niche. Which is, I think, that’s a lot of times what I see coaches sometimes trying to do is thinking I have to have one, so I’m just going to pick one that I don’t really resonate with. And then you end up changing it and it just is a whole thing. And I just love that you all can speak to this.
I actually completely agree with what you just said, Jess. Because I think my introduction to coaching was my coach coached me on everything. I didn’t even know that you were supposed to have a niche. So when I became a coach, it was very just like, here we are. I’m a coach, what do you mean, I have to pick a niche? Like a topic? Like I just have to pick a topic to coach on all the time? That sounds terrible.
And so when I started, I had such a, I think, similar journey to what you just described.
Jess: And I agree with that, like I think it’s important to talk about that because I know for my coaching certification, and I think a lot of others, too, it’s module one, pick a nice, stick in this niche.
And myself and almost all of the coaches I know going through that, our brains immediately went to what? You have to focus on here and you kind of shut down the learning of the other places because you’re stuck in this drama of, “Oh my God, who am I talking to?”
And you’re right, if you have a niche, if you know who you want to work with, great. Don’t spend any time doing anything else. But if you are listening to this and you’re resonating with this, just go out and get your feet wet getting comfortable coaching, period. And then figure it out from there.
Lindsay: Love it. Sheri?
Sheri: Yeah, I love this because right now even as we’re just chatting and I’m listening to you guys I’m thinking like yeah, but we also expect this out of 18 year olds when they go off to college. Right? Like, oh, what are you guys going to do?
And even when you’re asking this question, I’m sitting here and I’m like, oh, well, I was so grateful for the permission just to be a general life coach. Because much like when I was 18, I was like, what do you mean? I have no idea. I’m thinking about what’s for dinner or something like that, right? Not necessarily what am I doing with my life’s calling?
And I think for me it was so much of my own personal journey of accepting and receiving the permission just to be a general life coach, because I am such a seeker of like, oh, let me put this mask on. Let me see if this is what it’s supposed to feel like. And then I would go through the shame game of I’m doing it all wrong and just feeling really crappy about myself.
And then it was like, oh, wait, I can just like, help people with whatever that’s going on in their life and then decide if I’m actually the right person to help them? If that’s something that I can support them in? Or if it’s not, also being okay with like, hey, I love you. I’m here for this. But this particular thing I can’t help you with, here’s who I would guide you to.
Lindsay: I just want to ask one quick follow up question, how do you know when you can’t coach someone on something?
Sheri: That’s good. So for me it’s like the mind body connection, it’s a feeling. And I’ve had to exercise and practice this in discernment with myself of like, is this actually true? Or is it fear? And is that self-trusting? Sometimes it’s one of those things where I believe that I can, and then as we get in deeper I’m like, oh, wait a minute. Actually, I can’t.
And so I never feel like I’m forcing it in those situations and just trying to fake it because of fear. I really am with the intention of I believe that I can help you, and then if we get into a sticky situation then I’m like, oh. And that self-trust that I’ve had to develop is how I know.
Lindsay: Kimberly, how about you?
Kimberly: I don’t know, I want to answer the first question about general life coaching, and I was also thinking about my answer to the question of how do you know when not to coach someone? So can I do both? Is that okay?
Lindsay: Of course, let’s do it.
Kimberly: All right, so coming from the therapy world I had a little bit of a niche in therapy, only in that I really only worked with adult individual women. I didn’t see any man, I didn’t see any families. But that being said, the research shows that the number one predictor of success in a therapeutic relationship is not necessarily that someone has a specific process or method or that they’re trained in a specific modality, but it’s the rapport that you have with your practitioner.
So if you are good fit personality wise, and I would say also that they have good boundaries, they have good ethical practices, and continuing education, it’s probably going to work out well. So in coaching we’re not treating anyone, so there’s not the requirement for specific knowledge about psychological disorders and mental illness.
But I have kind of figured out, unintentionally I guess at the beginning, that coaching as a general life coach, like if I think about that rapport, it’s not necessarily that I need to figure out this one exact type of client to work with. But it’s more so talking to people like on social media or in email or whatever. Talking to people about what my process is for working with me and giving people an idea of who I am and my philosophy and my personal values.
Because no matter what anyone is dealing with or wanting to work on, for the most part if they feel like I speak in the kind of language that they do, I have similar values, I have a similar life philosophy, and I’m speaking about like, and here’s the things I can help with, then that’s probably going to be a good fit for them. No matter what they’re wanting to work on.
And then to answer the question about how you know that someone is maybe not a good fit for you. An example, a recent example, for me with this in particular is that I found out in the spring that I have ADHD. And so I started talking about that a lot on social media. And I had some clients come to me and they were like, “Ooh, you have ADHD too and you’re a coach. I have ADHD, I want some help.”
And I have now realized, after having some ADHD clients, that I can help them with some things, but I’m not specifically trained in ADHD. So there are coaches out there, I hired my own, who have specific training and specific strategies for ADHD.
So while I might be able to understand an ADHD client, I understand what they’ve gone through, I understand what they’re talking about, I might not necessarily be the best one. I could be helpful, maybe more helpful than other things that they’ve done. And I also know that there’s other people who more specifically could help them with exactly what they’re looking for.
So I’ve started realizing that like, oh, I can talk about having ADHD, and that doesn’t mean that I’m necessarily the ADHD coach for you.
Lindsay: That’s an excellent point. And I wasn’t planning on necessarily all of us talking about this, but one thing I say in my marketing is that I help you coach any client on anything. And I have a hard time sometimes with marketing because I always want to put a caveat next to everything and then put parentheses that say like, but also blah, blah, blah, blah, blah.
And this is one of those areas where I can, because I do believe that if you can coach on one thing, you can coach on almost everything. But there are some times when clients come to us and want coaching on something, and that was an amazing example that you just gave, where maybe it just hits too close to home. Or it’s something maybe a little fresh, or something where you don’t–
Like for me, there are subjects that clients have come to me with before that I’ve said like, “Oh, I actually don’t coach on that.” Not that the client wasn’t a good fit for me, they may have already been my client, but they just wanted coaching on something that I just have no ability to feel neutral about to take that– And when I say feel neutral I just mean find that space in my brain where I’m not having so many opinions happening while they’re talking.
And I think it’s a superpower to just know that about yourself, right? And to be able to say I actually can’t coach you on this, but I’m happy to find someone who can. So just wanted to throw that in there because I think sometimes coaches judge themselves for that, and there’s no reason to do that. It just doesn’t make sense.
Were you going to say something else, Kimberly?
Kimberly: Yeah, I was just going to say along those lines, just because you can coach on anything, like you know the coaching process, you know the questions to ask, it doesn’t mean that you have to.
Kimberly: You don’t have to take every client. I would even argue if you feel yourself, either because you don’t want to turn someone away who wants help or someone who says they just want to work with you specifically, or you’re worried about money in your business. Like if it’s coming from that graspy kind of place you might not even be actually doing the best for that client by taking them on just because you can.
Lindsay: Oh yeah, I’m notorious for saying no, I will not coach on weight loss. It has always been a thing for me, just from the very moment I started coaching. I did some kind of like peer coaching on weight loss at one point, and I just knew from that point forward I have zero interest. That is not for me.
I will coach you on loving your body all day, but not on losing weight. Not that there’s anything wrong with it. I work with so many weight loss coaches, but I just knew, I just knew it wasn’t for me. But I think when you can be okay with turning away money on stuff like that, it really opens the door for like and here’s all the things that I do love coaching on.
Jess, did you have anything? Did we miss anything? Is there anything you want to add to that?
Jess: I love what Kimberly said about like even though I can do something, there are lots of things I can do, but I might not want to do them. Or they might not just make my heart sing. I am the kind of person most things to me I see as opportunities. And I’m adventurous and outgoing. I love being able to have an experience and formulate an answer from there. And so that can sometimes cause me to take on a lot, a lot, a lot of stuff.
And I’ve had to like really say to myself or get started with what are the top 5% of things and to keep it with this. It’s like topics, or clients, or people I want to work with. And then top three and then top one. But I have to keep kind of reevaluating and narrowing it down. Otherwise, I am putting too much on my plate.
And as coaches, most times universally all of us are, at least I know the four of us are like teaching our clients how to keep things simple. How to actually have more by doing less. And so if I’m not modeling that, I don’t expect anybody to trust that I can help them do it.
Lindsay: I love it. All right, let’s shift topics just a little bit and talk about emotions. And I’m curious, I would love to dive into this, I haven’t talked about this really on the podcast at all. I would love to hear from each of you, if you’re willing, how you think about processing emotion.
I know it’s something that’s kind of a coach term, right? It’s something we talk about, we help our clients process emotion. And I’m curious what that means to you. When you hear someone say that, you know, if someone asked, if you said that to someone and they were like, “Oh, what does that even mean?” How would you answer that? And then how do you do that in your coaching? Sheri?
Sheri: So I would consider myself as a highly sensitive being. So what I mean by that is I’m a feeler. Oftentimes I feel the emotion first before I ever kind of know what thoughts are generating that. Or just like whenever I’m in an experience, I’m tuning into my feelings.
And so as far as for me and for what tends to be important for my clients is it’s essential and important to be able to process your emotions, because that’s how we are functioning out in the world. And so, a lot of times we’re operating from this very subconscious level, and not really aware.
We’re just maybe feeling it in our bodies or feeling an emotion and really just trying to push it aside because it’s a negative emotion. Or we’re not even conscious that it needs attention because it’s something that’s so automatic for us.
And so what I really had to learn and kind of what I teach my clients is really like, okay, well, we have to slow that down and connect to that. And I do that a lot through mindfulness and creating the space to really acknowledge and name the emotion that’s actually taking place within us.
So as far as processing, for me, it’s naming that emotion. What’s actually happening? How do I know that it’s happening? Where am I feeling it in my body? What is it that I need to do? And can I create the space to dialogue with it or kind of see where it’s connected or originating from?
So sometimes it’s healing work, sometimes it’s thought awareness, but oftentimes, for me, it’s very much I’m very aware as to what’s happening in my body first. And it’s always an emotion that I’m processing. And once I’m able to create the space for that emotion to exist by naming it, then I’m able to work backwards and work my process of like, okay, what are my actual thoughts about it? What additional feelings do I have about that? What sort of choice do I want? How do I want to experience this?
Lindsay: Love it. Jess?
Jess: So emotions are different from feelings. Emotions are the experience of safety that we have in our bodies. So they’re like a gut reaction to something. And then feelings are like our interpretation of them. Oh, something just happened, I’m feeling sad. Why am I sad? What am I going to make this mean? And then feelings involve the judgment that we have of ourselves for having the emotion.
So when I think of processing feelings or processing emotions, I think of it in terms of understanding. And I, in my coaching, talk a lot about space and grace. And I think of that in terms of time and self-compassion.
And so when we train ourselves to feel an emotion, “Oh, I’ve got those butterflies in my stomach. I’ve got this tightness in my chest. What’s going on with me?” And then we back up and get curious with ourselves. What might this be reminding me of? How am I thinking about this that is now causing me to act in a certain way?
And so when I think of processing, it’s the process of understanding what our emotions and then feelings are trying to tell us. And then, like Sheri said, making a plan to go forward from there.
Lindsay: I love it. I’ve never actually heard it explained that way, I don’t think. So I just want to make sure I understand what you’re saying. You’re saying an emotion is maybe what I would call the sensation, like the physical sensation in your body. And then the feeling is what you would call it on the outside. Yes.
Jess: Emotions are like sadness, rage, disgust, happiness. I think there’s five. Feelings, there are thousands of feelings based on however you just interpreted the emotion that you’re feeling. And so the emotions are coming from your gut, they’re our immediate response. Typically that’s going to be based on what are our previous experiences of what’s happening in our lives right now.
So that’s why I ask the question, like what does this remind me of? Because I work with EFT in my practice and we’re tapping emotional freedom techniques. And so when we can give our bodies the ability to recall those maybe painful or anxiety driven experiences where these emotions were formed while tapping on then we’re able to kind of tell our body, “Hey, it’s safe. We can do this again now and maybe choose a new feeling about what’s going on to help us move forward.”
Lindsay: I love it. Teaching us new things today, it’s so good. And I think that maybe you and I have talked about this briefly before, but I just wanted to be sure. I knew that since I was a little confused, I wanted to be sure that everybody understood what you were saying. And I think that that is just so interesting to think about and to think about how we use that in our coaching. Love it. Kimberly?
Kimberly: I want to go on record for saying that I’m terrible at this, which is why I help other people with it because I’m practicing along the way. Okay, so I also want to start by saying when I was in therapy, and I still see this in coaching, but more so in therapy. It is like this pervasive, not a lie. Let’s say a pervasive unarticulated goal that therapists and counselors, I don’t think that they realize they’re even kind of joining in a client on this goal.
But people come in all the time to process their emotions. And what they mean is, I’m going to process this so well that it’s never a problem for me again. And that is the goal. And the problem with that is that you’re a human being, and you’re going to feel it again. And you’re going to feel it with less intensity, and you’re going to feel it with more intensity. And it’s going to happen over and over and over, everything you’ve never wanted to feel over the course of your entire life.
And so if you have this kind of idea that nothing is fixed or nothing is better until you’ve processed it enough where it’s gone away and it doesn’t ever feel like it gets in the way for you ever again, you’re just setting yourself up to fail. And you’re setting yourself up to have your brain give you a ton of more evidence that this is just always a problem and it’s not fixable, and you suck at it.
So let’s start there, shall we? And then I would say, again, I feel like this is the– There’s probably a list of things actually that are I would say the core of the work in my life. But this would be one of them. I feel like on the spectrum I’m either somewhere on one end. I’m either not feeling my emotion, refusing to. Or I am like getting swallowed up by it and I’m just rolling in emotional dysregulation.
So the work for me, and with a lot of clients that feel this way too, is to find the sweet spot in the middle. And the sweet spot in the middle is like a blend of giving yourself permission to be a human and to have these things and like, oh, here it is, again.
Also looking at what information does this give me? And not in a judgy way, just like, “Oh, I’m having thoughts that blah, blah, blah.” Or, “Oh, this makes me think of the time that this happened and it was just really, really hard.” And information about what it keeps you from doing, how it gets in your way.
And then you just use that to kind of reorient yourself back to more values focused action. Like even though I’m feeling all of this and it’s telling me a lot of things, what do I want to do? What would make me pleased with this version of myself that I’m trying to be in this moment? In a nutshell.
Lindsay: I love that, I got so wrapped up in listening to you that I just didn’t even think about what am I going to ask next? I was so interested in that. And I think I relate to everything you said. I’ve shared this definitely on the podcast before, but I would say I’m a lot like you. If we could just process it so I never have to experience it again, that would be fantastic. Let’s do that, I have a list of those emotions that I would just like to do that with and just not have come back.
But also, I’m the same, I either find myself resisting, avoiding all the emotions altogether. Or very much on the other side, like just now it’s a waterfall of emotion and what in the world? So I appreciate that you said that.
And I think one thing, I think Sheri and I talked about this maybe. Sheri has been on the podcast before, so if you’ve been listening you’ve heard her. But one thing I think we talked about it on the podcast where one way that I think about it– I’m recording an entire podcast about this coming up, so stay tuned.
But one way I think about it is sometimes I see coaches love to debate this, like which comes first? The emotion, the feeling, the thought, the sensation, whatever. And my opinion on it is I think that’s a crazy oversimplification of science.
I mean, I’m sure there probably is an answer to it. But for me, I just think about it from the client’s perspective. When I think about being an amazing coach, I don’t need to know which one comes first I just need to be paying attention to my client and saying which one are they experiencing first?
Because some people are so in touch with their thoughts and they can tell you, “Here are all the thoughts I’m having right now.” And then some people, when you ask them what are you thinking, they’ll say, “Well, I feel…” And they will literally lead, like they’ll just change it and not answer what you asked.
And I think just paying attention and noticing this client really can always tell me the feeling that they’re having right now, let’s start there, right? Just being able to take those cues from your clients and let them lead, I think is so important. Does anyone have anything to add to that before we move on?
Jess: Just how important it is to have the skill to be able to do that. Like to be able to observe what’s going on in your clients and help them negotiate and navigate that everything’s okay. That’s, for me, science and steps and terms for me about how I’m feeling, I could give two shits about.. I just care like how am I going to feel better?
And something Kimberly just said made me think of this, but I don’t remember what part it was. The more patience we can have ourselves and the more kindness that we can cultivate for ourselves, instead of just immediately experiencing this judgment. I think that’s what gives us the ability, as humans, right?
And I’m going to speak about the four of us as humans now, not just coaches because just because we’re coaches doesn’t mean we never experience any of these things. We definitely have our own ups and downs and layers that we hit. Yeah, being able to step back and just how am I going to love myself through this? How am I going to give myself a lot of kindness?
So many people think that the only way to hold themselves accountable is to just be really mean and layer more of that mean feeling on top. And it never inspires us into action, it just keeps us in that place.
Lindsay: I have no idea what you’re talking about. I’ve never experienced that ever in my life.
Jess: uh-huh, uh-huh, uh-huh.
Lindsay: We’ll talk about that later. I love that. Yes, and one thing I think about having the three of you on today is that it has been so fun for me as your coach, and as your friend, to watch you step into the role of a coach and to really own like this is how I coach. This is how I talk about feelings. This is how I incorporate you know the things into my coaching, like the methods that I use. And own this is what I do.
And I would also say that the three of you, is that you are very clearly and I think you can tell even in your marketing, very clearly in touch with who you are and own you’re human. Own that human piece that’s like you’re a coach and you still experience negative emotion and you still talk about things that I sometimes see coaches want to just cover up.
It just makes me sad sometimes when I see coaches go down that road of like, “Oh, now I’m a coach, this means I’m no longer human.” And to me, I think that’s just doing a disservice to kind of everyone, themselves and also all the people that are watching what they’re putting out into the world.
So, that was a long thing to say I appreciate all of you. And I love just watching what you share and watching how you talk about your interaction even with your own coaching and self-awareness. So that’s all, just wanted to say that.
Okay, so the next thing that I want to talk about is one thing that I haven’t– This is the, I can’t remember now, the third or fourth of these panels that I’ve recorded. And one thing I haven’t talked about with any of the groups and I thought it would be a good opportunity to do with you is how working on your coaching skills and how all of you are in my mastermind, some of you twice, one of you three times, over achiever. And I think that it’s just interesting to talk about how improving your coaching skills helps you make more money.
It’s not something we discuss a lot. I don’t talk about money a lot. But I do think that that is a huge kind of side effect of everything we’re doing in the mastermind. So I would love to just hear your thoughts about that. Do you think it affects the money you make? Why do you think it does? And anything else you want to add.
Jess: Hell yeah it effects the money I make because when you are a coach focusing on your coaching skills, the confidence that you know what you’re doing, the results you see in your clients. It’s going to step up in the content that you create that’s going to result in more people coming to you, more people wanting to work with you, waiting lists for you to happen.
I mean, yeah, Coaching Masters has been instrumental in helping me step into that confidence, which then pays out tenfold in terms of how much money you make. You can’t make a lot of money, I think, without being a fantastic coach. And you can’t be a fantastic coach without really knowing and applying coaching skills to yourself and then to the world.
Lindsay: I love it. Sheri?
Sheri: Yes, 100%. And I will say, again, it’s essential. You have to do that because especially for, I’m assuming the four of us, I feel like I could speak for us around this is we’re so passionate about our work that of course this is when we are going to see all of our own shit come up for us, right?
And so when we are exercising and practicing our coaching skills, we are also looking at those little hidden thoughts, that hidden energy that we are carrying within us and how we are responding. And so when we practice this for ourselves, it only makes us better for our clients.
And then when we show up to be of service for them, just with love, compassion, and holding the space and help them, then it’s a ripple effect out there. And so we are able, like Jess said, gaining more clarity and confidence around our own personal work translates into creating more success and money with flow and ease, which is awesome. I love it.
Lindsay: That’s the best kind. Kimberly?
Kimberly: I really have the thought sometimes that I kind of feel bad for clients that I had prior to Coaching Masters because my coaching skills are so much better. And I have done other very business oriented coaching programs. That’s a big, big market for people who are stepping into coaching and trying to get their businesses set up.
And also, I’ve recognized this year that even though I have an email list, which I rarely ever send anything to, and I have Facebook and Instagram, I don’t think I’ve actually signed a single client who did not know me, like out of the blue, or did not know a previous client from social media. All of it has come from the work that I have done with my clients who then are either like, “I want to keep going,” or are telling other people like, “Hey, you should go work with her on that thing.”
So the better the work is, one, my clients are getting what they wanted out of it. They’re getting to see a lot of change, and action, and more of the results and outcomes that they want. And, two, they’re then going and telling other people that it worked for them. Which is the best, I think, kind of selling that I’m not even having to do.
And the really nice thing about Coaching Masters just specifically has been I felt like it has helped me to take more of myself out of the equation when I’m working with a client so that I– Not that I completely clear it out, I think that’s really hard to do as a person. But I’m getting better at getting my mind shit and emotion shit out of the way so that I can focus on what is happening with the client in front of me and just tend to whatever they’re needing.
I don’t have to know the answer. I don’t have to have it all figured out. I mean, good coaching in my opinion is like you are just a mirror, you’re reflecting back to them and helping them get really clear. I don’t have to be the expert on them and have all the answers.
Lindsay: I just love that. I think that those answers are so good. And I’ll say, I have been very resistant at lots of points in selling Coaching Masters to even talk about money or to talk about it in my marketing. And I noticed during this past launch that I was doing that, actually one of my colleagues pointed it out to me and said something about it.
And my reaction was, “No, I don’t talk about that because not everyone that comes to Coaching Masters is a full-time coach that works for themselves. Sometimes I have clients who work for other coaches, sometimes I have clients who do something else but want to add the element of coaching in with their business.”
And what I realized that is just so fun, first of all, everything you guys talked about I have like all of that written down pretty much. But I also realized that even if you’re a coach who’s working for someone else, you’re still going to make more money when you’re really good at what you do.
Which is so funny, I’d never even considered that. Which is ironic because I work for other coaches on occasion and I get paid a lot of money to do so. And I love to pay the coaches that sometimes fill in for me a lot of money because it’s fun and I know that they’re really good at it.
So I just thought we would have a kind of discussion around that because I think that it is, sometimes I say it’s like the less sexy side of what we do. It actually is to me the most sexy side of it. But the thinking about the coaching instead of the thinking about the money you’re going to make and all of that side of it.
And I just want to bring it back a little bit and say, but wait, this is the one thing that affects every piece of our business, right? Everything about what we do and how we feel every day when we’re coaching all comes back to how do we feel about how good we are at it or not good? Jess?
Jess: I just want to say to you, one of the reasons why I’m going to be your client and friend for life is because every time I listen to you, whether it’s a Coaching Masters, one of our mornings or hours together, or listening to your podcast, watching you, seeing you embrace your humaneness is what allowed me to do the same thing for myself. Because a year ago, and I’m getting ready to do my third round of Coaching Masters too.
Jess: But definitely last year, almost exactly a year ago to the day before I joined my first round, I was very much still navigating through not just the nice drama, but the human versus coach drama. And in this lonely place of not knowing how to really be able to own my own kind of humaneness and be able to move forward with this. And so when you just shared even now, I feel like my mind just blown again.
And I know you’re always very vocal about this, like here I am at this level, but the mind drama never leaves you. There’s always going to be things for you to have to navigate your mind around. And hearing you say even at your level, catching the resistance to talking to money and then examining your thoughts about that.
I think sometimes, even when we think we have things figured out and we can be so totally sure. And then we’re so quick to being like, “And I don’t have to think about it anymore, ever again. Never, never, never. This is what my decision has been made.”
But when we can step back and catch ourselves and allow somebody just to be having a conversation, whether it’s a coach or a friend and think like, “Huh, well, what are my thoughts about that now? And do I still want to keep this?” So just thank you for that.
Lindsay: You’re welcome. One thing that that made me think of when you were describing that is sometimes this thought that I know I have, I know other coaches have it because I have coached them on it. And this could be fun to talk about too, but that just the thought of like, “Oh, I thought I already worked through that.”
Have you guys experienced that or do your clients experience it? And what do you tell yourself? Or what do you tell your clients? How do you handle that when it comes up? Because I do think part of what I see my role as in the coaching industry is truly normalizing thoughts like that, right? Just we all have them, you can share them, you can tell people. It is okay, you can still be an amazing coach and have the thought, “Uh, I thought I already worked on that.” Kimberly?
Kimberly: I think this is yours and it should be copyrighted, but I now say all the time, what if that’s not a problem? And I say that to my clients all the time. And I have clients and people I know commenting that on things I post now because it’s just so helpful. Like, it’s just not a problem. It’s expected even that it will happen again. And if it’s expected, it’s especially not a problem. I’m like, oh, there it is.
Lindsay: Yes, sometimes I picture that coaches think that maybe we’re supposed to have this book full of just thoughts and feelings. And as we work through them, we just get to cross them off and we’re just never going to go back there. That it’s like, “Oh, I got that one. Check. Got that one, check.” It’s like a checklist. And it’s just not true. That’s not how it works. That’s not how the brain works, all of it, this isn’t how it works. Sheri?
Sheri: I always call it it’s an ebb and flow. Right? I’m here, I’m riding the wave and so when it’s high, I’m high. And when it’s low, I experience it and it’s also okay. And I offer myself the compassion and grace and just love that like, of course, it’s okay.
And here’s also what I remind myself of, is that I also have the tools. I also know that I’m not going to stay here as long. It’s also not as painful, or as deep, or as hard that it was before. And so I always just bring awareness to that part of it and just say, “You know, it’s an ebb and flow. Of course, we’re human.”
Kimberly: I was going to add to that, that yes, we have the tools. And sometimes even though I know I have the tools, I’m just like, “I don’t want to use the tools right now. Thank you very much.”
Lindsay: That’s so true.
Kimberly: I just want to feel the thing, I want to be mad. I feel sad so it is a day for dim lights and depressing music. And I don’t want to get out of it. And that’s also fine. Just because you have the tool doesn’t mean you have to magically self-coach yourself out of everything all the time.
Lindsay: I love that you just said that. I will tell you, so I’m in master coach training right now and one of the assignments is we have to turn in self-coaching, we have to do it every day. It’s just part of the thing. And I was reading mine yesterday before I turned it in.
And I got to one specific day and I was like, “Wow, that got really dark.” And then the self-coaching the next day is like, “How do I want to feel about this?” I was like, “Nothing’s gone wrong.” And that was true, that is how it felt. But the day before, that is definitely not how it felt. Even in my coaching at the end I wrote, “And I don’t want to be out of it, period.”
And it just was such a good reminder of like sometimes we just know, this is how I’m feeling. I’m having all the emotions, all the drama, all the everything. And that’s okay. We can choose, we’re just going to sit in it.
Jess: So I love talking about the compassion diaper. Like sometimes, yes, I just want to sit in it. And I want to sulk and I want to get my diaper rash and whatever. I sometimes still do experience really in depth, painful, painful emotion. What is different, so whereas maybe the intensity is the same and maybe the length has gotten less.
But there is a reassurance that I have, that I have my own back through it, that I know exactly what to do, I know what exact support I need. And above all, yes, there is a choice. Sometimes, yeah, I’m not ready. Even those deep, dark, painful moments have something to teach us.
And so when we, again, take a step back– I also like not just what if this isn’t a problem, but what is the actual problem? And oftentimes I find, “Oh, no, nothing, this isn’t a problem. I’m just being a human right now. And I’m being a human, and I’m going to allow myself to get through this.”
And I think what also has changed a lot that helps with the reassurance is that then I don’t have as much judgment of myself. It’s just like, “Uh, my body is being hijacked by sadness right now, what do I need?” Do I need to take a break, take a nap, read a book, watch TV in the middle of the day? I can allow myself to do any of those things and not tell myself that I’m a failure because of it. Nope, hey, this is a good thing. This feeling is here because it’s teaching me that now I know exactly what to do to take care of myself. And that has been very helpful.
Kimberly: I was going to piggyback on that and say I think sometimes, like if I am frustrated, or stressed out, or overwhelmed, or feeling mopey, I know as a coach, right? And if I ask for coaching on it, people are like “Well, what are the thoughts you’re having about it?” And I’m like, “I know the thoughts I’m having about it. And they feel good.
I’m enjoying being pissed. I know I’m pissed, I know that I’m having these thoughts about someone. And right now, that’s just how I want to be. And I think that is okay. Similar to what Jess just said, I do notice that there’s more of a shift in my own understanding and my own self-awareness. It’s like I’m kind of choosing these.
Not everyone would have these thoughts that I’m having right now. Not everyone would see it the same way. It’s the thoughts I am having, it’s what my brain is saying about it. I kind of have a choice in the matter, which just feels like more ownership over it, I guess.
And then I also know because this happens over and over again, this will also pass. The next day, next week, things will feel back to normal. This is not going to be a problem forever and ever 24/7. But sometimes they just, it doesn’t mean anything’s wrong with you or you’re a bad person. But sometimes we like feeling the things that don’t feel good for some reason.
Lindsay: I love this conversation because I think that it’s so good for everyone listening to just know that sometimes you can give your clients the option of being coached on something right? Like sometimes when they come to you, especially if they’re angry or really any negative emotion is coming up, that they are just really in it. One thing you can ask your clients sometimes is, do you want coaching on this? Or do you want me to just listen right now? Or neither? Do you want to change the subject?
And I think that that is so good to know. Because I’ve heard this from so many coaches, I get a lot of emails with questions about can you talk about this on the podcast. And this is one that people tend to ask a lot, is what do you do when your client is just really holding on tight to a thought, to an emotion, to a feeling, to a story, whatever, however they would phrase it.
And I think it’s just important to know I think your job as a coach is to make sure they understand the difference between coaching and just being okay with being in it. Because that is also available, is just the offer of you can stay in this. It’s okay, you don’t have to change your emotion in this moment, to feel better. Kimberly?
Kimberly: I think this is one of the differences to highlight between coaching and therapy also. Because in therapy, again, whether it’s articulated or not there tends to be more of like a hierarchical kind of power and balance. Just as the people going into therapy often see the counselor or therapist or psychologist as having this expertise. And for them, that means they are going to tell me everything that I shouldn’t be thinking or feeling or doing.
And so I think there’s a shift sometimes, especially when people have done a lot of therapy and maybe they’re working with a coach for the first time. I think on the coach’s part, it’s really important to kind of always have that on your radar. Where is the client deferring like, “Well, what should I think about this?”
Just kind of noticing when that is happening, because as a coach I’m often asking my clients things like, “Do you want to coach on it?” And I have watched clients with this background of working in other containers. They’re like, “Well, I guess I should. I guess I should coach on it.” Even though they’re resistant to it.
So it’s an ongoing conversation about that. And I think, for me, it looks like always reminding, like it’s a reminder that comes up a lot about we don’t have to. You can be angry about it. You don’t have to, and if it’s not for today, it’s not for today. And we can do something else and that’s fine.
But giving your client more ownership over what the work looks like is just an experience that a lot of people have not had before working with a coach.
Lindsay: Yes, I know when I’ve been given that option before I immediately just feel myself relax. If somebody asked me like, “Well, do you even want coaching on this?” I’m like, “Wait, what? No. Thank you for asking.” But it is that immediate almost calming effect of like, “Oh, I don’t have to move out of this.” I forget, even as a coach sometimes, I’m like I forget I’m allowed to just sit in it if I want to.
Okay, so let’s just go around and tell people where they can find you. This podcast will probably be out a couple weeks from now, from when we’re recording it. So if there’s anything that you have coming up next year, anything you want to talk about, go for it. But if it’s like this week, the people won’t hear it yet. But if they can come maybe find it in the future on your website, somewhere or something you can talk about that too. Sheri, you go first.
Sheri: The best place to find me and follow me is on Instagram at centered soul space. You can also find me on Facebook, centered soul space. And then my website, centeredsoulspace.com.
For 2022 I am creating a group program that’s called Mindfully Yours. And it is a 12 week program where I really just support my clients in creating a practice of self-awareness through embodiment. So mind body connection, there will be guided meditations, there will be breath work exercises, there’s going to be like inbox guided meditations that you can practice throughout the week.
And I just think that it’s something that a lot of us are really wanting as far as ways to connect ourselves. And really, we’ll kind of hit on some topics that I think are just loving and empowering and just moving forward and ready for the new year.
Lindsay: Perfect. That sounds amazing. Kimberly, you’re next.
Kimberly: You can find me on Instagram at the liberation coach because I love freedom and I’m a little rebellious, and I hate being in boxes. And also at my website, which is kimberlymathis.com. And I’m currently, I mean, nothing’s really– I don’t have major plans next year, I guess. Keeping on keeping on.
Lindsay: Yes you do, you’re signing clients, you’re going to keep coaching.
Kimberly: I mean, yes, yes, yes. But we’re going steady Eddie, I guess, next year. And I’m currently working with clients individually on a six month timeline doing weekly sessions. In a nutshell what I’m really helping all of my clients with, no matter what they’re bringing, to me is usually along the lines of some decision making and implementation.
Lindsay: Love it. That’s one of the biggest things you always tell me that from the mastermind, like I just love helping clients make decisions. And I’m sure because just in the short time I’ve known you, I’ve seen you make some or maybe it was even just a little bit before I knew you. But I know you’ve made some big kind of life changing decisions in your life. And I think they makes a lot of sense that you love helping your clients with that. Jess?
Jess: I can be found on Instagram at seekagreatperhaps1, as well as on Facebook at Jess Johnson coaching services, or even just my personal page, Jess Kissane Johnson. My website is under massive construction, but I’m really excited about it. It’s awesome. The three of you that know me are going to die when it eventually comes out. It’s jessjohnsoncoaching.com, www.jessjohnsoncoaching. I expect it to be completed, I’m going to give myself till February.
And I’ve got lots of big things happening next year, they’re still unfolding, so please follow me, check back, watch my progress because next year is going to be a big year of growth and change for me. So follow along.
Lindsay: So fun. I am just so grateful to have all of you here today. And I had the best time. I hope you did too.
Jess: I have one more thing to add.
Jess: People that I work with, anybody who wants to work on self-acceptance and cultivating patience needed for massive transformation, I’m your gal.
Lindsay: I love it. All right. Thank you so much.
Thank you, thank you, thank you for joining us today. I hope that you loved that conversation. I know I learned a lot, I’ve been learning so much from my clients doing these episodes. I think I’ve said that already. But it just blows my mind every time I get off of here thinking how much fun I have and how much I learn from every single client. So I hope you loved it. 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 lindsaydotzlafcoaching.com. That’s Lindsay with an A, D-O-T-Z-L-A-F.com. see you next week.