Lindsay Dotzlaf

Mastering Coaching Skills with Lindsay Dotzlaf | Shaking up Your Coaching Practice

Ep #160: Shaking Up Your Coaching Practice

As I discussed briefly last week, I’m making some changes to my coaching business. This week, I’m diving deeper into what those changes are, why I’m making them, and why you might consider looking at how you can do things a little differently—freshening up your day-to-day so you can start feeling better when you are hard at work.

Every once in a while, I check in with myself and my business to really uncover how everything’s going. I do this with my schedule, my productivity, and what I’m offering my clients. This means I shake things up every so often in my coaching spaces, and I’m showing you where you might want to do the same.

Tune in this week to discover how to evaluate your coaching business, decide what’s working for you, and start changing everything that isn’t. I’m showing you how I do this work in my business, and I’m giving you some inspiration for shaking up your own coaching practice so you can feel amazing while you’re hard at work.

Click here to sign up for the next round of my Advanced Certification in Coaching Mastery, starting in February 2024!

If you want to hone in on your personal coaching style and what makes you unique in this industry, apply for The Coach Lab here!

What You’ll Learn from this Episode:

  • Why I decided I needed to start readjusting how I schedule things in my life and business.
  • The importance of checking in and deciding what’s working in your coaching practice.
  • What structure looks like for me in my coaching business and how it could look for you.
  • How to start embracing what really works for you in your coaching practice.
  • One thing you really need to watch out for when you’re hard at work in your business.
  • Some of the changes I’m making in my coaching programs.
  • How to decide on the changes you want to make in your own coaching offerings and how you work with your clients.

Listen to the Full Episode:

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Full Episode Transcript:

Hey, this is Lindsay Dotzlaf and you are listening to episode 160.

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, how are you today? I am so happy you’re here. I just want to check in. Just take a second like, hello, how are you? Please, just think about really, truly, how are you today? Just take a second and check in with yourself. You can report back to me if you want to or you can just check in with yourself, ask yourself, how am I feeling? What do I need today?

Some of my favorite questions to ask at the beginning of my mastermind or certification calls are what are you working on today? Of course, this is about our businesses, right? This is the context that I’m using, but you could frame this in any way, whether you’re thinking about, you know, whether you’re not working today. Maybe you’re having a family day or a personal day.

But my favorite questions to ask are just what are you working on today? If you could just accomplish one thing, this week is usually how I frame it when I’m asking it to my clients. But if you could just, like what’s the one thing you’re working on, whether that’s today, this week, whatever. And then what do you need help with? How can I help you?

You could start every day just asking that to yourself. I think it’s a really powerful question. To just frame – I may have mentioned this last week, I can’t even remember, but I’ve just been thinking about it a lot. It’s just such a simple question to just ask yourself, even if it’s just in the morning.

What am I working on today? What is the one thing, if I only got this one thing done, what would it be? I think it’s such a useful way to kind of ground yourself back into the simplicity, sometimes, of what just needs to be done right now. Because sometimes we have 500 things happening in our brains.

Or at least if you’re anything like me, right? Sometimes you just have 500 things happening and you just need to ground yourself back into what am I working on right now? Like, let’s just come back there and stay there for a second.

Okay, I digress. That is not what we’re talking about today. I just thought I’d throw that in real quick in the beginning. Hello, I am so happy you’re here. Today I want to talk about, we’re going through, like this is something that I work on for myself sometimes. We’re going to go through some changes that I’m making and why I’m making them.

I started to talk about this a little bit in the last episode, but I’ll be honest, I was in a little bit of a hurry. My episode was late. I didn’t have any notes. I felt a little scattered. So I’m not going to repeat what I said last week, but I am going to build on it a little bit with a little more structure and a little more preparedness, maybe. And even talk about it in a different way and add a bunch of things.

So one thing that I ask myself every once in a while is I just kind of check in, like how are things going? And I do this with my schedule, with my days, with my work days, my coaching days, with kind of like what am I getting done? Are my projects getting done? Are the things I’m working on getting done? How are my client calls? I kind of do check-ins on all the things right?

So two things that I have focused on right now, and I’m going to share some very specific examples with you of just changes that I’m making for myself and why, and for my clients and some of my spaces and why. And I’m just going to use my examples, but I want you to take some of these questions, if they feel useful, and just apply them.

Like just think about how would I apply this to my business? Because your answers might not be the same as mine. But, of course, I don’t know your answers. I can’t necessarily predict your answers, so the best I can do is just kind of share what I’m working through, right?

Like sometimes I share things that are just teaching, that are just like, here’s how you do this, here’s how you do this. And you can just take it and learn it and do what you want with it. But this is going to be an episode that feels a little more personal. But I really want you to ask yourself, how can I take these examples and apply them to my business, if it feels useful?

So one thing that I kind of did a check-in on recently is just my schedule. So I don’t love to follow a super strict schedule. My brain sometimes is all over the place. About a year ago, I think, I was diagnosed with ADHD. It was a whole journey, whatever. You haven’t heard me talk about that often. It’s something that I still am kind of thinking through, like what that means for me, what I do about it, all of that.

So I don’t feel like I am enough on the other side of that to say here’s exactly how I handled it. And here’s, you know, whatever. But what I do know is that, like, one thing I’ve done over the last year is really learned to embrace the way my brain works and the way I operate. And I’ve always been opposed to having a very, very strict schedule, right?

So some of you may know of some scheduling methods that are taught in different spaces. I can think of a handful of them off the top of my head, where it’s like your entire week is scheduled. And one thing I’ve had to learn to do is really think through, actually, what is the best way for me to schedule my time?

So, of course, things like client calls, client-facing things or meetings with other people, meetings with people in my business, my business manager, those are always on the schedule, right? And I do them when I say I’m going to do them. But then the rest of my schedule is kind of always ever evolving. And I’m always thinking about, like, in this season of my business, what is the best way for me to structure this right now?

And one thing I’ve learned over time, over years, since 2015 when I started my coaching business, is that I have to have some structure because otherwise I’ll just be doing who knows what. But what it typically tends to look like for me is I do like large blocks of things or even entire days.

So, for example, right now as I’m recording this, on Wednesdays, Wednesdays are kind of like a free, not a free day. But like a free day as in I don’t typically have any clients on Wednesdays or I have a meeting in the morning with my business manager and then usually the rest of the day is free. That works out so well for me because what I am trying, like what I’ve started to do on Wednesdays is say, okay, look at the Wednesday and say, okay, this whole day, or at least chunks of the day, I’m going to use this as content days.

And then because I’m meeting with my business manager in the morning, we talk through, okay, what’s the output I need to have today as far as content, right? So if we have an upcoming launch, or a masterclass or just anything, anything that needs content written, words written. That might mean emails, that might mean writing or planning out an actual training. It might mean, one of the things I’m doing right now is creating some new content for The Coach Lab, which I feel very excited about. And so that might be in there, right?

It’s just like anything that just requires big chunks of time, which is how I tend to work better. I work really well when I can look at my calendar and say, okay, for the next four hours, all I have to work on is this, fill in the blank. Maybe it’s content. Maybe it’s whatever, something else, maybe it’s recording a podcast and writing the email that goes with it.

It doesn’t take me that long to record my podcast anymore. But in the beginning, it used to. That’s how long I would block off, four whole hours. That was to plan it, to write it, to record it and sometimes it even took longer than that. It was a real commitment in the beginning. So those of you that are starting podcasts or who have recently started podcasts, don’t worry, it gets much easier.

Anyway, back to what I was saying. So one thing I’ve done recently, I’ve looked at my schedule and said, okay, what’s working? I kind of do an evaluation, the same evaluation I’ve taught on the podcast and that I teach in The Coach Lab and that I use in every piece of my business. I just say what’s working? What’s not working? What do I want to change? What do I want to do differently moving forward?

So a couple things, some of them are kind of silly but I’m going to share them anyway, just so that you can see the types of things I’m talking about. But one of the things is the example I already shared, right, just noticing that my schedule was getting a little cluttered.

I had a meeting with my business manager and I said, hey, here’s what I think would be super helpful for me, is if we can clear, for example, clear my Wednesday schedule of calls and meetings so that I can use that day for content creation. And then we’re going to meet, we’re going to decide what I need to create that day, and then I’m going to do it. And so those are some tweaks I’ve been making.

Another thing I noticed is that especially as it starts to get cold, so I live in Indiana in the United States, we have all four seasons. And currently, if you’re listening in real time, it’s starting to get chilly. So in the mornings it’s very cold. And I have this weird – This is going to get real weird, I have this weird cyst in my thumb. It’s actually a tumor, it’s called a glomus tumor. I had it removed once. If you’re a physician, it’s kind of rare, so you might be like, oh my gosh, that’s weird.

So I have it in my thumb, but it causes extreme pain in the cold. Like extreme, like blinding pain. Pain like I’ve never felt before. So when it starts to get cold, it’s like my body is really sensitive to it even though I actually love cold weather. So it’s kind of a bummer, but my body is really sensitive to it. And the tumor, for whatever reason, because it’s coming back and it’s doing whatever they do. And it’s benign, by the way, so don’t worry about that, but I have this extreme cold.

So I haven’t been able to go on walks in the morning. And so instead, what I’ll do is I will stay sometimes just snuggled up in my bed. And I noticed I was doing that kind of longer and longer. I always get up early because I have to help the kids get ready for school and get on the bus. But then I would kind of climb back into bed. But then, because I did that, then I would start working. Maybe I would start checking emails or whatever.

Next thing you know, it would be on some days, on the days that I didn’t have any specific meetings, I just noticed it was getting later and later, where now I’m like fully in work mode, but I haven’t gotten ready for the day.

So maybe something would happen, like my ads manager or my business manager or someone would message me, hey, is there any way you could create this video for this thing today? Or could you do this thing today? And I just noticed it was getting in the way a lot that I just wasn’t ready for the day.

So it’s like, okay, let’s not do that anymore. That’s not working. So instead of laying back in bed, if I am not going to go for a walk or not going to work out, then I’m just going to get in a warm shower. That’s just the new plan, that’s the first thing I do. Even if I wanted to lay in bed after the shower, which I usually don’t, by the way, right? It’s like once I’ve showered, I’m usually up for the day.

But even if I wanted to, at that point I’m showered, my hair is going to dry as I lay there or whatever. It just is very different, it doesn’t take nearly as long to go from that, as long as I’ve started to get ready for my day, to plan for the next thing. So that was one thing I noticed. I wasn’t upset with myself or mad at myself or like, oh, you’re so lazy, why would you do that? No, I was just like, oh, this isn’t really working and here’s why.

The next thing I noticed is that my tendency, I love to work in the afternoons. And so my tendency had kind of turned into work later and later and later. And then the part where I have to switch, where I have to go from working to the next activity, so that might look like taking my daughter to horse lessons or to go to soccer or to whatever. To meet someone for dinner to whatever, any of that. To cook dinner for my family, which isn’t always my job, but sometimes it is just to figure out dinner maybe for my family.

I was feeling super irritated, right? Because I was working later and later, I was kind of in the middle of something. I didn’t have a hard cut-off time like I used to. It just is like my tendency will be to work more and to slowly chip away at those boundaries I’ve created in my schedule until the next thing I know, I’m like, oh, I’m working two hours later than I had planned. Why is that happening? Is it actually effective? Or am I actually doing something useful in this time? Let’s just look at it.

Again, no judgment. Just looking, right? Saying, oh, this is interesting. Why am I doing this? Now sometimes, of course, I plan to work later. Maybe I have something big that needs to be done. I have a project I’m working on, I’m behind on something and people are waiting on me.

Or even right now actually, as I record this podcast it’s almost 5pm and usually I stop working a little after four, that’s when my kids get home. Or I try to at least stop and check in with them, which I did today. But then it was like, okay, well, this podcast is due today and I can either turn it in late or I can work a little later. Now, they both have homework, it’s not a big deal. They have things going on. No one’s waiting on me. It was just an easy decision, right?

So just to be clear, it isn’t just like, okay, I’m just done at four every single day, sometimes it is a case-by-case basis. But this is exactly why I create these check-ins for myself. I do them about quarterly where I’m just looking at my schedule, saying how is it going? Do I need to make any changes?

And then the biggest, like the number one thing, and I share this in case any of you are doing this or in case you can relate to this. One thing I noticed is that I was getting so cranky in the afternoon. And then I noticed what was happening is I am usually pretty good at blocking off time in the middle of my day for lunch. But what was happening is I was getting really excited about things I was working on, again, maybe just a tendency sometimes to overwork that I always have to catch myself on.

But when I’m really in something, when I’m really working on it, I’m just not hungry. It’s just not a thing. Like that switch doesn’t flip on that indicates like hey, get something to eat. And so what will happen is I will work through lunch and then a couple of hours later I still won’t feel hungry, I’ll just feel not good.

I’ll have a headache. I will just be really cranky. And then when I’m in that space, I’m just totally irritated by the thought of having to get food. So maybe I’ll just get like a protein bar or just an apple or just something that’s clearly not enough food and it doesn’t get the job done, right?

And I can tell a brain fog when I do that, where my body is clearly not fueled. So what I have done is I’ve set just a really strict rule for myself that sometime around one o’clock, I have to break. Like, if it’s two, it’s like we must break now, because I eat kind of a late breakfast. So if it’s two, like it can’t go later than two.

And not only do I have to break, even if I don’t feel hungry, I take a break. I know some of you are like, that’s weird. But for me, it is just not. Like I said, my body just doesn’t indicate. I don’t have that until I’m too far gone, right? Until I’m just hangry, grumpy, all the things. My body just doesn’t tell me like, hey, it’s time to eat.

So I have to take a break. I cut up, I usually start with an Apple, just cut it up, force myself to start eating it. Once I start eating, my body is like, oh yeah, we’re hungry, let’s eat this, right? And to kind of incentivize myself to do that, I have started to –

I love audiobooks and I’ll just maybe for 20 minutes, 30 minutes, that might not be my whole lunch time, I might check emails or something also during lunch. But just to get my brain to transition into we are checking out for a minute. Like we are taking a break. We are sitting down and eating this food. I’ll just put on an audiobook or sometimes a short podcast.

Podcasts sometimes draw me in too much where a lot of them that I listen to, like the ones that are for fun, not for personal development will usually be like an hour long and it’s really hard for me to turn it off. Then I’m like, sucked in. I’m like, oh, I have to listen to the rest of the season, right? I go from listening to like 20 minutes to like, no, now I’m six episodes in.

Hopefully this is making some of you laugh. This is just real life, like things that happen in the day to day. Part of the reason I’m sharing this – And next, just so you know, I’m going to get to changes I’ve made in my programs like similar things, similar things that I’m discussing right now and why. And just being a lot more explicit about how I work with clients and kind of what it’s like inside my programs.

But one reason that I’m sharing this is because one of my clients recently, I was kind of telling her, like she was sharing something like this. And she was feeling kind of some shame or judgment of herself around this. And I was just kind of laughing. And I said, this just sounds normal to me. This is just what my day looks like.

And she said something like, that’s wild. I just envision you having your schedule perfect, you follow it perfectly, you get up at the same time every day. Like whatever she said, it just couldn’t have been more opposite than what my days actually look like. So I just thought I would share.

Do I sometimes wish that I could be a very extremely scheduled person? Yes, but also I have really learned to work with this structure, like it truly is the best way for me to work. I have forced myself to stick to very strict schedules for weeks and weeks at a time, and if I’m honest, it’s awful. I never get to the point where I’m like, oh, it’s going great. I love it. It feels good. It just always feels bad.

So I just offer this just in case any of you have those thoughts about me and then judge yourself and compare yourself even maybe, to me, in a way that just isn’t true at all.

Okay, so the next thing I want to talk about is some things that I have kind of always done inside my spaces that maybe I’ve just never talked about very explicitly. And also some changes that I’m making and why.

And one reason I wanted to talk about this is because I’ve had a couple of clients recently who have said things to me like, I’m just so glad I took a chance and joined your thing. It’s very different than what I thought it was going to be and I’m so happy.

And I’m really working on this, I’m working on like if you came to Coach Week, or if you listen to my podcast, or if you’ve ever just interacted with me, I’m really working on being so much more transparent about this is just who I am all of the time. There’s no bait and switch. There’s no like once you get on the inside, then you’re going to be like, oh my gosh, you’re totally different or it’s scary in here or whatever.

No, I am always pretty laid back. I am always like this version of me that you’re getting with. But I am working on aligning those even more, like being even more myself, 100% myself, which is, of course, what I teach, right? The irony of that isn’t lost on me. But just being even more settled into who I am, who I am as a coach, how I show up, what makes me different as a coach, and why you might want to be in some of my spaces.

So let’s just dive in because I don’t want you to ever feel surprised. I don’t want, I mean, even if it’s a good surprise, which is great, I’ve never had anyone, I don’t think, say it the other way. Like, oh, I thought I really loved you when I listened to your podcast or when I came to this training. And then I joined your thing and I was so surprised by how different you were, in a bad way. I’ve never heard that.

Now, if that is true, if you have been my client and that is true, let me know. And I’m serious, please let me know because I am very open to feedback. I think if you have worked with me, you probably know this about me. So let’s just go through, I made a little bit of a list and I’m just going to go through some of the things that I haven’t ever really talked about.

I notice that I sometimes have this thought that’s like, well, I’ll just sell you with the value and with the logistics of the thing. And then it’ll just be kind of like a nice surprise once you get inside all of these kinds of accommodations that I make on purpose to be sure that I’m creating connection and community and just safety inside my programs.

So for the most part right now I’m going to talk about the certification because that’s the one we are enrolling for right now, so it’s just top of mind. And I recently was going through just a list, kind of thinking through some things and I kind of made some big changes and I’m going to tell you why.

So we’re currently enrolling for the mastermind and one thing that I started thinking about, and I may have mentioned this briefly in the last episode. But one of my very favorite things about my business in general, my coaching business is connection. Connection to the work I do, like me feeling connection. Connection to the work I do. Connection to my clients, connection to you, if you’re listening. Connection to my colleagues and my friends.

It truly is something I spend a lot of time cultivating in my business on purpose because if I don’t have that and I’m just a solopreneur, just working by myself, I know for sure that I won’t love my business as much. And, for me, I think one thing that’s beautiful about coaching, and especially about coaching groups of you, of clients at a time, is the connection and community that we are able to create in the spaces.

So as I think about going into 2024, that is top of mind for me. How can I be sure that I’m doing that? Like creating community, creating the culture that I want to create, and just really leaning into that even more. And being more vocal about it so that you, if you’re listening and you’ve wondered what it’s like to work with me, so that you don’t have to wonder as much, right?

So that you’re like, “I love the sound of that,” if it’s for you. Or maybe you hear it and you’re like, “That is not for me, that is not what I want. I like to just do this thing solo, I’m not here for the community,” totally fine.

So a couple of changes I’m making. So for the certification, we start at the beginning of next year. We officially start in February with some optional pre-work that happens in January. And one thing I decided to do that I thought would be really fun that I haven’t done in a while is I love helping coaches plan their years.

And not necessarily from a money standpoint, although obviously that always comes into play, but really thinking through, what am I going to offer? What do the offers look like? What do the containers look like?

Kind of thinking through all of those things ahead of time so that as you’re going through your year and planning your year, you can think ahead and know what you have coming up. Or you can look at it and say all I’m selling this year is one on one coaching, period. I can plan for that, right?

It just allows your brain to really have a plan. It doesn’t mean that the plan isn’t going to change, because sometimes it does. But what it does do is just give you some guidance. And even maybe thinking ahead to like two years or just a couple of years ahead, thinking what do I want it to look like then? And then what do I start creating now in order to do that?

So anyone that decides to join us for this certification by the beginning of December, I’ll be honest, we haven’t picked an exact date yet, we’ll be announcing that soon. But sometime, by the beginning of December, anyone that joins by that date will get a one on one session with me where I just walk you through that. I’m going to walk you through planning your next year.

Now, if you’re in The Coach Lab, this is also something I’m going to be doing in a group setting of some form. We are planning that right now as we speak, so I don’t have all the details. But that will be coming very soon. So this will be something I’ll kind of be doing for everyone, but if you are joining the Advanced Certification, you will have the option to book a one on one call with me to just make that happen.

So that’s one change I’m making. That’s one thing I’m bringing back because honestly, I kind of miss doing it. And it’s a great setup for the space, right? Because if you’re joining the certification, it’s going to be really useful for you to know, what are the offers? What are all of the things that I’m working towards in my business? What’s the structure I want to have? What do I need to create?

One thing that we do within the certification is a project, right? So sometimes doing that work, I’m calling it the big picture, big picture 2024. So doing that big picture call with me might give you ideas of what you might want to work on for your project, right? Let’s say you’re like, you know what? By the end of next year, I know I’ll be ready to launch a group or a program.

Maybe your project is, okay, for the first six months of that year, you’re going to give yourself that six months while you’re working, maybe with one-on-one clients, to plan the group or to plan out the program. To plan the videos that you want to record. To plan whatever that is, to plan the client experience. Or to plan maybe a whole new branding or marketing plan for the program, right? It will just give you some guidance.

Another thing I was thinking through is I think one thing that’s happening in the industry right now, which honestly I kind of love, I’m like I’m here for it. Bring on changes that make sure that coaches are delivering, right? Make sure that the value of what you’re offering your clients is incredible. I see these changes happening and I’m like, I thought this would never come. I am ready. Like this is the work I’ve been doing, right? This is my jam. This is where I come in.

This is my love of coaching, is really helping coaches be sure that they know what they’re doing at every level. At the beginning stages, in your foundations, and then in that Advanced Certification of Coaching Mastery. That’s what we’ve been doing all along.

And so when I think about that for my business, one thing that I was kind of thinking through is I see a lot of coaches, either one way or the other, like I’m not really wanting to travel a lot right now or the in-person events are really important to me and I want that to be part of my plan.

So one thing I’ve decided to do is to take the certification, which does have an in-person, a three day in person event that goes along with it, and to make the in-person event optional. And to split up the pricing for it, which I think makes the certification more accessible.

And if you want the live event, which personally is one of my very, very favorite parts. I just love, like I said, it’s all about connection for me, right? So I love being around my clients in person, I think it just creates a different kind of coach/client relationship and experience. But it also is one of the most expensive pieces of planning something.

Like when you’re launching something, if you have an in-person portion, you don’t usually make a lot of money on the in-person portion. And it can create a lot more expense, which means what you have to do if you have something that’s like, let’s say, a six month mastermind or group coaching or whatever it is that you’re offering, and then you have an in-person event that goes along with it, you kind of have to, like when you do the math you usually end up having to charge more for the whole thing.

Like there’s just no getting around it because that in-person piece can add up very quickly. So we’ve separated it. We have the certification, and then we have the in-person event, and it’s optional. There won’t be recordings, that’s another way to cut down on costs. I’m not recording it this time, I’m not offering replays. There are actually a couple of reasons for this, it’s not just the cost. But one reason that I’m doing that is because it’s just going to be a standalone thing, right?

And then the people that are in the certification who don’t opt into the live event, I’ll be offering a couple of sessions just to be sure that if there’s any work we do at the live event that we need to get into for the clients who aren’t there, I’ll just be doing separate sessions with them.

I think it makes the in-person experience even better, in my opinion, because if you’ve ever been to an in-person experience with me, one thing that I love, like one thing you might know about me or maybe you’re just going to learn it now for the first time is that I’m not a stand on stage and talk to you coach. Can I do that? Yes. Is that my preference? No.

So when I think about an in-person event, I keep it small. And I think about how are we going to be comfortable? Are there couches? Is there plenty of room to move around? Can we break up into small groups and do some work? Can we sit outside for a little bit? If it’s cold outside, can we move back inside? What are just all the things we can do?

And if I’m also not thinking about how we have to stay in one space so we can record it all day, it gives us even more options, right? So, for example, this live event is going to be in Miami, we might do a session by the pool. Or if we’re, you know, it’ll be like a group decision. But it will also be, okay, we’re going to break up and do some workshopping, maybe some of the workshops go outside. Maybe some of them sit at the kitchen table.

I just love space to move around to, like I said earlier, just create space for brains like mine that don’t have to sit in one chair all day. Personally, I lose my mind. If you’ve ever been to an event with me that’s not my event, maybe a big event where there’s just a stage and then lots of seating, you might have something in mind, I go to lots of things like this.

So if you’ve ever seen me at something like that, you will often see me just standing in the back because I have to get up. I have to get up, I have to move, stretch, move around, just all of it. I get so antsy. So I keep all of that in mind when I’m planning my events.

Another change I’m making is thinking about, like leaning even more into how do I make it even more welcoming for that neurodivergent brain, right? How do I make it a space where everybody feels like they have what they need and they feel comfortable?

I recently went to this event. I loved this. I went to this event with the Institute of Equity-Centered Coaching, I went to one of their live events. And one thing that they had that I was like, how did I never think of this, this is incredible, at every table they had things that you could just pick up. Like fidgets kind of.

They had pipe cleaners, and they actually did a little thing with that. I missed the first part of the day, so I wasn’t there for that activity. But the pipe cleaners stayed on the table, so you could pick them up and kind of mess with them. They also had the little puzzle things where you just slide the things back and forth. They just had things to keep your hands busy if you needed them. There was candy and drinks and just things that you could do.

Now, I’ve always tried to be good about this and keep this in mind, but this was just like the next level. It was like how did I never think about having things like that, that I like, right? That I really appreciated being there. How have I never thought of this?

So I am doing a lot of work around this before the Miami event, just thinking through like what are all the things if I had my – Like kind of putting aside, if you think about last week’s episode, one thing I talked about is how you kind of learn something by watching, right? And you start replicating it before and then you do it over and over and over. And then eventually you make it your own.

So when I’ve done live events in the past, whether it’s retreats or just all different kinds of things that I’ve done, I’ve always thought about, like used examples that I’ve seen. And I feel like this is the part where I step into, like what are the kids saying? It’s like my whatever era. This is like my let’s just own it all era. Like let’s just go there. How do I make it even more me, right?

Maybe we just all wear sweatshirts and joggers. Is that a thing? Like maybe, I don’t know, I’m not saying this is happening, but maybe. I think that might be a thing. And actually, I joke, but I already know one thing that in the past people were like, well, what do we wear? Like give us a dress code. I’m like there is no dress code, you show up however you need to show up. Especially because we’re going to be sitting on couches and being kind of cozy. You wear whatever feels comfortable for you to do that.

And I was thinking about this – Here’s one change I’ll be making. I was thinking about this and I’m like, oh in the past I have invited my clients to do that. But then I show up in a suit, which does feel really fun, don’t get me wrong. Like I wore a yellow suit to my last event. That does feel really fun to me, I love to do that sometimes. But I was really uncomfortable by the end of the day, right?

A couple hours in a suit is good. I love to put it on, maybe take some pictures, do whatever I need to do, and then put my joggers back on. I do not love to wear tight clothes all day. It’s just not for me. I’m really weird about textures and all the things, tags. And so this is just me leaning into what would I want? Like how can I be more thoughtful about everyone’s preferences?

Not that I’ll always be able to create a space where every single person gets every single thing that they want. But I can try. I can try to get as close as possible. I think this is especially important for in-person events because I think they can already be awkward, right? You’re meeting people for the first time. You are in groups, which some people love and some people don’t. There can be a lot of noise, it can be overstimulating.

Like there are just so many things, so many obstacles that some people are already working through just to be in a room like that, that I am ready to spend a lot more time thinking about how do I make that more comfortable for everyone? And I’m not just talking about neurodiversity here, right? But like all types of diversity. All ages, all ethnicities, just all of it. All of it. How do I make it the most comfortable for everyone?

The other change I’m making, which some of you, if you’re my client, you’ve already seen me doing this. But again, leaning into my value of connection. One thing I used to do a lot of is kind of give my clients my phone number or just do things that some coaches might be like, you can’t do that. You’re not supposed to do that. Don’t you know how many clients you have? Like that’s too many.

Not that I’m like posting it in The Coach Lab and giving it to hundreds of clients and saying, text me anytime. But just being much more casual about it, like, listen, if you need to get a hold of me right away, text me, here’s my number. You want to take a picture of me at an event? Great, text me the picture, here’s my number. Just being a lot more open, a lot more accessible to my clients and a lot more available.

Personally, it’s something that I have kind of always done. And I think one reason I started kind of leaning away from it is I just had a fear that my energy, like that I would be overwhelmed with, I don’t know, like are my clients going to text me all the time or whatever. And it turns out, I kind of love it when they do.

And also, one thing that I have grown in over the last couple of years is just boundaries, right? So just because someone texts me doesn’t mean that I’m going to respond right away. And actually, if you’re a friend of mine and you’re listening, you know this about me.

You know I either respond immediately or like three weeks later. Oh shoot, I’m so sorry I missed this. Circling back, do you still want to talk? Or you know, whatever it is. Here’s my answer. You probably already figured that thing out, but here’s my answer.

Now, obviously, again, I’m not just giving my phone number to all of my clients. It’s not like I’m saying it on my podcast or just like everyone text me all the time. But just really being, like leaning so much more into who I am naturally, how I love to show up in the world, and just being willing to get it wrong. And to even say like, I might get it wrong. I might make some decisions about the live event that not everyone loves. That is always a possibility.

I’m going to try my hardest for that not to be true, but it’s true in every space, right? I have made decisions about, for example, The Coach Lab, it’s been open for a year and a half at this point. And I’ve made changes because there were some things that I did in the beginning that I was like, oh, this is not going to work the whole time or we need to make this change, or we need to make this change. I am just always willing to get it wrong.

I think when you can loosen your thoughts around that, I see a lot of coaches, they come to me because they have this thought, they’re like frozen because they’re so afraid that they’re going to do something wrong, that a client is going to be upset with them, whatever. And, of course, we’re going to try as hard as we can, maybe not all of us, some of you might not care that much.

I try as hard as I can for my clients to never ever be upset with me. But every once in a while I’m like, you know what? I’m sorry, this is taking way longer than I thought it would. I recently said this to my last round of certification.

I think I mentioned this in my last podcast episode, but we are making these handbooks. And I recently had to say, you know what, this is taking us, like on our end, you all did your work. This is taking us so much longer than expected. And I am sorry, but they are coming and they’re going to be amazing when you get them. And I’ve corrected it for next time, right?

Okay, let me see. Let me look at my list. Oh, another thing that I’ve decided to do for the certification is to remove the application. What I noticed is that sometimes I think people have the thought that an application means I have to apply and then I have to be specially selected to get in. What I’ve decided to do instead, which has actually been so much more fun for me, is just to open up 20 minute calls with me.

So for anyone that’s thinking of joining the certification or that has questions about it, I don’t know that this will be sustainable, but at least for right now, for this round, for maybe the next round, I am doing calls with people. I’m helping them make sure that it’s a great fit.

I want it to be a great fit as much as they do, right? So really giving my honest feedback. Yeah, I think this is a great space for you or maybe you’re better suited for The Coach Lab. Or here’s this other thing I know about, you might want to check that out. I am very open and honest when it comes to that because of the space that I’m wanting to create, right?

I want everyone in the room to feel like they are in the exact right place. So I removed the application, instead going to a sales call. And I’m just thinking about what are all the weird arbitrary boundaries I have between myself and my clients that I thought previously needed to be there to kind of protect my energy or protect my space? What I’ve realized is that I can just be good at doing that on my end.

Now, of course, this is if you’re listening in real time. Who knows what changes I’ll make to all of this in the future because I’m always learning and always making changes.

The other thing that I am doing is just being a lot more open and upfront about who I am. One thing you’re going to hear me talking about more is just some of the big transformations I have had personally from coaching.

Because I have started working with so many clients and being very focused on, like, here’s the work I do, I kind of stopped sharing more personal things. Like kind of sharing reasons why I am so passionate about coaching. Why I love it so much. Why I think it’s one of the best industries that you can be in. And why it’s so important for you to be great at it, right, or at least good. Like minimum, bottom line, you need to be a good coach, period. I feel very strongly about that.

The other thing that you, if you’re a podcast listener, that you’ll hear me doing is just being more open about the things I’m working on and kind of hearing me work them out in real-time. In my certification, and especially I have kind of a mastermind that runs after certification for anyone that wants to keep working with me who’s certified. And in that space, it’s a very behind the curtains or whatever it’s called, like behind the scenes look into my business.

They consistently ask me lots of questions about my business, about my launches. And it is a very, I mean, they know every number, every metric, every everything about my business because I think that it’s really important, especially in that space.

I don’t think it’s important, like I don’t share it in The Coach Lab with all the brand new coaches that are in that space, because I think it’s a lot of information, it could be overwhelming. And it could be like that’s too far, too many steps forward, right? Like not even something they should be thinking about yet.

And then the other thing, you know, one thing that I had started doing in my business is making sure that I had every single detail of every single thing figured out before talking about it.

So, for example, for Miami for the live event that’s going to be part of the certification, I have picked dates. I have picked a week, but I haven’t actually settled on every single detail of the week. But I have still let people know, here’s the week, it’s the first full week of March. And the three days of the live event will be three of those days. I think we’re going to do Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday.

So that’s what we’re leaning towards right now, but I haven’t solidified it. And I’ve opened it to people and I’ve said I know that some people will be like, I don’t care, I’ll block off the week, like I’m in. That’s me. I’m that person.

You tell me it’s going to, unless they have some kind of direct conflict that I need to know dates for. But otherwise I’m like, no, I’ll just block off the week. I literally just signed up for something like this, right? I’ll just block off the week, you just tell me exactly when I need to be there and I’ll be there. That’s great. Some people are willing to do that, totally fine.

But I don’t think that that’s necessarily better than the person who wants all the details. So for the person, if it’s you, that wants all the details, don’t worry, those are coming. And I just hope that by hearing me talk about this, it gives you some permission to do some of this in your coaching and in your coaching business.

What I have found is it seems like it tends to put my clients at ease a little bit, like, oh yeah, she’s working on it, too. She doesn’t have it all figured out. And by the way, I didn’t before either. I just wasn’t talking about it as much, not because I didn’t want people to see the messiness or see the behind the scenes, because I’m always pretty much an open book when anyone asks.

But because I didn’t want to confuse people or I didn’t want to, you know, like I’m sure that some of you listening will have thoughts that are like, I really want to do that but I really need exact dates, right? And you might feel frustrated, or however you feel about it. And that’s okay because I’m just willing to let you feel however you feel while you see me work it out because I think the important piece is for you to see me work it out as I go.

Whether it’s my business, or as I’m creating these different containers, as I’m figuring out and making changes to some of my offers and talking about why, right? Like all of those things, it will just give you permission to do that as well. And so I can come back and say like, it went really well. Like that worked really well, or it didn’t. And I’ll be honest about that, too.

So we are enrolling currently. We have some people who have already joined the certification. The group is going to be incredible, it is the Advanced Certification in Coaching Mastery. If that feels like something you’re interested in, we will definitely link all the things in the show notes and I would love to chat with you.

Feel free, I’m not going to give you my phone number right now, it’s too soon. This is like we’re on a dating app and I’m not going to put my phone number in the dating app DMs because we just met. But you can email me and maybe we’ll text later.

But my email is lindsay@lindsaydotzlafcoaching.com. I would love to chat with you. If you have any questions about it, feel free to just send me a message. Feel free to send me anything that you’re worried about, or that you’re thinking about or that has you hesitating, because I am filling the spaces now and I am keeping it small.

One thing about this certification that I am being a lot more open about and leaning more into, I did it last year, I just didn’t talk about it as much. It really is a very individualized experience. So, in my opinion, at least right now until I learn how to do it in a bigger space, which may or may not happen.

In my opinion right now, I want it to stay small. I want it to be maybe 20 people or less because it is so individualized and I want to be sure that I give everyone the time that they need, right? Because it’s not, like you don’t join and then there are a bunch of modules that you watch, at least not right now when you’re listening to this, because everyone in there is kind of working on different things.

Now there are things that we will all be working on together. There are exercises that I’ll be taking you through on the weekly calls and the coaching sessions. But a lot of it is such individual work that I want to be sure that I have the attention to give to everyone that joins.

So if that sounds intriguing, if you’re interested, send me an email or book a call with me or just click the sales page, get the information. Whatever it is you need, just let me know and I can’t wait to see you. If that is not for you right now, that’s amazing, I can’t wait for you to listen to next week’s episode. I hope you enjoyed this. I will be back next week. Hope you’re having an amazing November. Talk to you later. 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.

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Hi I’m Lindsay!

I am a master certified coach, with certifications through the Institute for Equity-Centered Coaching and The Life Coach School.

I turn your good coaching into a confidently great coaching experience and let your brilliance shine.

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