Do you ever find yourself slipping into coach mode when you’re around friends or family? Are there times you’re with a client, and you can tell they don’t feel comfortable getting coached on a certain topic? Have you ever wondered what kind of coaching I invest in and if I have any investment regrets? You’ll find out all this and more on today’s episode.
Tune in this week to discover how I make decisions around investing in coaching and the importance of consent when it comes to coaching, whether casually or in a client session. I’m sharing situations in which I invested in coaching that I probably didn’t need at the time, the skills I’m working on as a coach, and how to meet your clients with love and care when they need it most.
Hey, this is Lindsay Dotzlaf and you are listening to Mastering Coaching Skills, episode 151.
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, as usual, I’m so happy you’re here today. I want to do a second episode of Q&A, you sent in a bunch of questions. Last episode, if you haven’t listened yet, was mostly business related questions about my business, questions about how I’ve done things in my business. And if you missed it, go listen.
But today I’m going to answer all the other questions I got. And they will cover mostly questions around myself and kind of what kind of coaching am I investing in? Most of them are, a good portion of them are what to do when this thing happens in your coaching or in your sessions. And then just a couple of fun personal questions at the end. So let’s just dive in.
So the first one says – This is not a question, which I’m going to read anyway because it just makes me so happy. It says, “This is not a question, but I wanted to thank you from the bottom of my heart for episode number 143. Your playlist broke open my heart and I finally made the breakthrough I’ve been working on for years. Bless you for being fully vulnerable and a beautiful soul. I’m forever in your debt. I was frozen and now I’m free to see again in my business.”
Okay, can we just talk about how I had to practice reading this a couple times without crying. So thank you. So sweet, thank you. Thank you for this kind message. I’m so glad you sent it in. I do not care that it is not a question. It was just so nice and I’m really grateful that you shared that. It felt very vulnerable for me to share that episode and for me to share my playlist with you.
If you haven’t heard it, go back and listen and find the link for the playlist and take a listen yourself. But I am really glad. I do find that music is really, really helpful for me, it helps me get into my body and really just kind of investigate like, what’s going on?
What’s coming up? What do I need to find? What do I need to come up? What do I need to move through maybe? And it just is a very different experience than thinking about the kind of more logical type of self-coaching that sometimes we might do when we’re exploring our thoughts. So you are so welcome. Thank you for your kind message.
Next question, “Hey, Lindsay, I find myself unintentionally slipping into coaching when talking to my friends and family and it’s becoming more frequent as I dedicate more time to coaching clients. Do you have any advice on how to avoid entering into coach mode during personal conversations?”
I do. I have lots of advice. I feel like I could probably record an entire episode on this, but here’s what I’m going to say. Two things. First, I totally get it. I think a lot of coaches are probably nodding along as they hear this. I think it’s very common as a coach to do this or to want to do this. It’s also very common and totally understandable that maybe people in your life might not love it when you do it.
So let’s just take a second to recognize that. So especially if you can tell that they’re not loving it, then maybe you decide, okay, this is an action, like something that I’m doing that I really would like to shift even though it maybe feels hard. So if you’re familiar with this term, which I think, I don’t know if this is where it was created, but the first time I’ve heard of this concept truly was talked about by Brooke Castillo.
So the idea of just allowing an urge, which she talks about a lot of times in the context of food. So really knowing I’m not actually hungry, this, I don’t know, whatever. I’m not big into this work, so it’s hard for me to talk about it in this context. But I want to eat this cookie, but I’m not actually hungry. It’s just I want to eat it to cover up something else that I’m feeling, right?
And so she kind of teaches just to allow the feeling, allow the urge to pass you, like the urge to actually eat the thing. I’m going to say you can use that same concept in this. Like noticing that you want to do it, that you want to slip into coach mode, and also just allowing yourself to sit in the discomfort of not doing it. That is one way you can handle this, just kind of noticing, “Oh, okay, there it is.”
And I think for me it was like really knowing that the person that I was talking to, especially if it was my husband, might not want me to coach him in this moment and maybe he’s made it clear in the past. So just me knowing he doesn’t love this really helped for me to be able to allow it, to just sit in that discomfort knowing I could maybe help them in this moment.
But also knowing that it feels really bad to be on the receiving end of help when you don’t want it or awareness when you don’t want it. Or sometimes in the world we just like to commiserate with our friends and just, “Hey, this is just me, I need to complain for a minute. This feels healthy for me to complain for a minute,” like, that’s a real thing. We don’t always have to just jump into, “I could change my thoughts immediately,” or “I could feel differently immediately.”
So I think there’s that part, right, just recognizing it. And this comes up even with coach friends. I think I’m really big, something I teach in The Coach Lab and something just in general that I’m really big on is asking for consent to coach. So I’ll even do that sometimes in a coaching session. If I can tell it’s feeling very uncomfortable for my client or something heavier is coming up, I’ll ask for consent to keep going or to ask another question.
And if I can even tell that they maybe want me to just give them some advice. They think they want coaching, but I can tell by the way they’re asking me something, that really what they want is advice. I’ll even ask them consent, “Hey, do you mind if I ask you a few questions about this first?”
So there’s that piece, right? Just remembering we don’t want to coach people without consent, because it can feel very bad to the person receiving it. And sometimes your friends might be into it, whether they’re coaches or not, or your partner or your whoever. They might be into it and you can ask them, “Hey, can I offer something on this? Do you want coaching on this?” That kind of thing you have to determine in the moment, right?
But if you can just tell that is not what they’re here for, they are just trying to complain about something. They’re just maybe commiserating with you or just sharing something, they just want to be heard. I think getting good at reading that will also actually help in your coaching.
There’s also another side to this, and I saw this meme the other day, I wish I’d found it before I started recording this. But I follow this woman who’s a – I don’t know exactly. She’s a psychologist or something along those lines, a therapist, something like that. And the meme was basically, like she’s single and the meme was talking about – It’s not going to be funny the way I say it.
But it was basically like, if we’re not talking about your issues and how you’re healing them in the first five minutes of our date, I’m not interested or something along those lines. But the reason I bring that up is because it really just makes me think like, sometimes you could also just own it, right?
This is just who I am. These are the types of conversations I love to have. I love to have these deep conversations with the people in my life, with my friends, with my whoever. And so there could be a piece of it that’s like owning that about yourself. Like this is just what I like to do.
But I would also just always recommend that first part of balancing it with really being aware of who you’re talking to, the verbal or nonverbal communication cues that they’re giving you about how they are experiencing what you’re saying, like all of that.
All right, hopefully that was helpful. And then, again, just allowing it. Okay, this is really uncomfortable to not say something, but I can see maybe this isn’t my place to jump in on this topic right now.
Okay, next question. “What are you currently investing in coaching wise? For example, a mindset coach, business growth, health coach, et cetera. What are you enjoying about the investment? And do you have any investment regrets?”
Great question. So currently I have a business coach, which you’ve heard me talk about before, so I’m not going to go into that. But I do have a business coach. I have a personal finance coach. So her name is Keina Newell, and I’ll link these people in the show notes.
But we are coaching on, you know, one thing that is interesting for me, I didn’t grow up, like I wasn’t raised with money. I didn’t grow up having money. And so I can really see, now that I have a business and now that I have money that I didn’t used to have, having money is a skill.
Knowing how to save it. Knowing what to do with it. Where is it smart to put your money? How to make decisions about it. How to not just spend all of it because you do have it, right? Like how to actually keep money, keep some of the money. How to make smart money decisions, all of that is just not something that I was taught growing up.
I mean, I was but not in the way – It was very much from a place of we don’t have money, right? Like money doesn’t grow on trees. I could go through the list, you guys would probably really resonate with some of the sayings that I heard growing up. So there’s a piece of unlearning of that and just learning how to just have money. So that’s what she helps me with, with a lot of A line like budgeting, saving this, opening this account, all of those things, which is really fun.
I hired someone to do that in my business quite a while ago, you’ve heard me talk about her, Emily. And so now having that also in my life just feels really fun for me.
I also have recently invested in this program that’s very specifically for evergreen funnels. I’m not going to give a lot of feedback on that because when I’m recording this podcast, I just recently did it and I can’t say. I know things that I say, people I recommend can have a lot of weight with you and a lot of like, oh, I should do that, too. And I don’t have that yet because it is just getting started. So I have no feedback, I’m sure it’s going to be great.
And then that’s really it for me, but we are also investing in a coach for my daughter who’s like 13 and a half, she’s in eighth grade. And without giving away too much of her personal stuff, she was having just a lot of anxiety come up. It turns out, even when your parents or even when you grow up with not a ton of pressure to get amazing grades and to be great at everything, apparently maybe it’s a little genetic, I don’t know.
So she was having lots of anxiety around it, and we hired her coach. Highly recommend her name is Jill Goodman, I’m going to mess up. I think it’s Goodwin Gerlach maybe. That’s what it says on Facebook. I apologize, Jill, if that’s not actually the name you go by. But I’m going to put that also in my show notes. But she is also a middle school counselor, which is incredible because, of course, that’s exactly my daughter’s age.
So she coaches, girls, I think only girls, and I could be wrong about that. But middle school girls, and it has been just super, super helpful. So I know that’s not for me personally, but that is the other coach I’m investing in right now.
Which is actually really fun, too, because seeing how on board with that my husband is. As he has kind of really gotten to know more about what coaching is, how coaches help, all of that, he was fully on board with hiring her coach. And we left that decision up to her. But she really resonated with Jill and she is also loving it.
And do I have any investment regrets? This reminds me of the question I answered last time, which was like, would I do anything different in my business if I were to build it again? So my main answer to that is no. But if I were to go back and just really write out every single investment I’ve made and what did I get from it? My guess is one thing I might see is in the beginning, again, very similar to how I answered it in the last episode.
In the beginning, when I was very first a coach, I can see there was a lot of like, I need everything all at once. And there are no huge regrets like, oh, I definitely shouldn’t have done this, or I definitely shouldn’t have done this. But there were a couple things that I invested in that I just probably didn’t need or it wasn’t the right time for me to invest in it.
So it’s really hard to measure the payoff, even though maybe the payoff was later. Like I still took some of the coaching and I took some of the stuff I learned and maybe applied it later, but I just probably didn’t need it then. And then at one point, I did hire a coach to help me with my schedule. And hiring that person wasn’t a terrible choice or it wasn’t a bad investment, but I can see the thought I went into it with, now that I’m far removed from it.
The thought I went into it with was like, I’m really bad at scheduling my time and I just need to hire the specific person who’s going to teach me this very specific, exact way. And that way just wasn’t the best way for me. So now, years later, I can see it. And it’s like, oh, no, what I really needed to do was figure out my way.
So, again, no. No like, oh, this is a terrible investment, but those are just a couple of things that pop up for me. I want to be clear that those were never a problem on the other coach’s end. It was just really like my thought going into it.
“Can you please share some tips for interrupting a client? I’ve shared with clients ahead of time that sometimes I may jump in and interrupt them, and I very rarely do because I feel rude doing so. Sometimes a client may go on a tangent and I feel like I’m not being of service if I just let them go on and on without seeing how it relates to their focus or offering them a choice point. Thank you.”
So yeah, just in general on interrupting clients, those of you that have coached with me or if you’re in The Coach Lab especially where I’m coaching a bunch of people, I do interrupt sometimes. And if you’ve seen me do it, you can probably tell that there really is a way to do it with so much love and care.
And so that’s definitely where I would start, is like what is your thought when you’re interrupting? And if your thought is, oh no, I shouldn’t be doing this, or this client has kind of hijacked the coaching session, I must interrupt, something has gone wrong, then the way you interrupt, like those thoughts are going to influence the way you do it and it might not feel great, right?
The way I do it, and I can’t just give you the perfect example, because it really depends on the situation. But my thought really is like, okay, hold on, I need to either interrupt because I’m not clear about what they’re saying and I want to like rewind, like push rewind just a bit so that I can understand. Because I’m not going to be able to coach them clearly if I don’t understand what they’re talking about, right?
So I might say, “Okay, hold on just one second. I have a question. Sorry to interrupt, I just want to be sure I’m clear,” right? I just say that. I just want to really be sure I’m clear before we move forward. Sometimes just doing that will really help redirect a client and they’ll kind of see, oh, right, let’s go back to this so we can stay here and coach on this.
But also remember, I’m coaching coaches and most of you are not. So when you’re not and you do that, you just want to do it with so much love, right? With love in your heart and in your mind so that when you do it, it doesn’t feel to the client like, “Oh, whoa, that was abrupt.” But more just like, “Oh, this is the flow of the conversation.”
Because I would also do that in a conversation with a friend. If I didn’t understand what they were saying or if I needed clarification or whatever, I would say, “Oh, wait, hold on, I have a question. Can we back up? I want to be sure that I understand what’s happening in this story.”
Now, if you have clients, maybe you have clients who do this all the time, they just go on and on and on. Or you have a client who’s doing it and you can just tell in the moment this is just going, it’s going from one thing and now we’re in a totally different space and now we’re in a totally different space. This is a time when you – A couple of things. You get to, one, make a decision based on your client.
So if it’s a client that doesn’t usually do this and today they are, I would just be curious. Maybe there’s a reason it’s happening. Maybe they have a lot on their mind and they do need this little bit of space to like dump, right? Sometimes that can be really useful.
But if it’s a client who does this all the time, you notice it all the time in every session. Or you just notice that in general your clients do it and you aren’t sure how to turn it around, then it probably is a good idea to question it, to interrupt a little bit to bring them back. And I really think when you have the thought like this is what’s best for them or I know they’re not getting a lot out of this, or the other time, when you can see their emotions rising and rising the more they tell the story, right?
Like they’re getting upset. They may be repeating themselves. You could gently even show them that, right? Kind of here’s what’s happening. I want to interrupt you, I want to show you something. Here’s what’s happening. I want to point it out. And then I just might ask, where do you want to start? Let’s just pick something specific. It doesn’t have to be the right place. Let’s just decide, I think it’s going to be more effective if we just find a place to start with the coaching.
You can also wait till they get all the way to the end. And you can say, okay, what would you love coaching on? That kind of shows them like, oh, this is not the coaching where I just say all the things forever and ever. That’s not the coaching. We need to pick something to get coached on.
And remember, as the coach, you get to teach your clients these things, right? You get to teach them over time, okay, what a coaching call isn’t, is that I just come and talk for an hour while my coach listens. That might be a little more, like they might benefit more from therapy. That can be some form of therapy. That’s really what it is, right? Just like talk therapy where it’s just you talk the entire time, you kind of leave the session just like, oh, I got it out, okay.
But that’s not really usually what coaching is, right? So you get to teach a client that. You get to teach them. So the more you redirect them kindly with so much love, the more over time they’re going to learn, oh yeah, this is what we’re doing today. So I would say just don’t be afraid of it, right?
Don’t be afraid of like, oh, you wouldn’t say these words, but just thinking you’re just confused. My client is just confused. She doesn’t know exactly what coaching is. No problem, I get to redirect. This is not a problem. The more you believe it really isn’t a problem, the easier it’s going to be to decide how to handle it and to just interrupt in general.
“Hey, Lindsay, love your work.” Thank you. “How can we deal better with endings? Is there any ceremony that works for you?” Ceremony in quotes. So sure, I’m going to answer this just like I do everything, which is you have to find the thing that works for you. And it totally depends what you’re working on, who your clients are, just all of that.
I can give you some examples of things that I’ve had coaches do in the past. So just thinking of myself as a client, I’ve had coaches who are like, “Okay, tell me your three takeaways from today.” They just kind of put a pin in it, wrap up the session. And that’s thinking about like session to session.
You can also end with like, “Okay, what would you love to work on this week before our next call?” I know a lot of you love homework. I was not a coach that would give specific homework. If it was, it was like I want you to think about this thing or focus on this thing or see how often this thing comes up for you this week. Or I would just ask, what do you want to focus on this week throughout the call? So that’s specifically like session to session.
For example, when I end my mastermind or my certification, the thing that we do, that I do, I’ve done this for a long time and I assign it as homework the week before so they’re not coming up with it on the spot. And mind you, this is a room of let’s say around 20 people, right? So I will assign them – I like to make the call a little longer than usual, so usually the calls are an hour, maybe the last call is an hour and a half.
I will assign them, I want you to come with one thing to share that you want to celebrate about yourself that you really want to pin in your mind that you’re taking away with you from the last maybe six months, that’s what my container is. From the last six months, what is one thing? And there are probably more than one. What’s one thing that you just want to solidify, that you want to remind yourself of?
And I kind of tell them it has to be about them. It’s something that’s for them, not for me. So not like I loved this container or nothing about the coaching space, but about them. One thing they want to remember about themselves as a coach. Just any of that, like something that felt very powerful that they just don’t want to forget.
So we do that and then I end with a kind of – That can get kind of emotional sometimes. It can bring up, it can just be like people feeling really proud of themselves or celebrating themselves can sometimes bring up some things. And so I honor that and then we end, usually kind of the last half hour or however long is left, this is why I make the call a little bit longer. We end with a Q&A where I open it up so that they can ask myself or their coaching colleagues in the space any questions.
It usually turns into a lot of questions for me. It’s like I’m a totally open book, kind of like this Q&A, actually. But they, mind you, have spent the last six months with me as their coach. And I’m a very open book in my containers in general, but this really just gives them the chance to like, do you have questions about my business or things like that. Or like, I want your opinion on this. Will you give me an opinion on this part of my business or whatever, right?
Because in my spaces we’re not doing just business coaching. So maybe that’s not something that’s come up, but they just resonate with the way I’ve built my business or something about my business, or how I balance business with family or just any of those things. I just give them the chance to just ask me anything. And that takes it from kind of a little heavy or a little emotional to a little more fun and silly. There’s lots of laughing usually in that second part. That always just feels really fun for me, and for all of us.
Hopefully those were helpful, but also just think about your space. Like what’s the thing that would be the most amazing? And use the frame for your clients, not for you, but for your clients. What do you think would be the most beneficial, amazing way for them to just wrap up if this is the last call that they ever have with you?
This is the next question. “How do you know exactly what your clients need to hear each week? Seriously, what is happening and how can you help us do the same? What coaching skill are you currently honing? What are you excited to create within your business? Thanks, Lindsay.”
Okay, so seeing the name, I know that this is someone who is in many of my spaces. She is an incredible coach. And when she asks, how do I always know what my clients need to hear, my answer is I don’t. I have just really honed the skill. I think this is the best answer I can give you. I think
I’ve just really honed the skill of being an excellent listener with my clients.
Really paying attention, really being out of my head in coaching sessions and in mastermind sessions and all of that. Just really paying attention. Outside of myself, listening to what my clients need. I’m listening to what they’re maybe not saying in what they’re saying, right? And I think that’s just a skill that you get better and better at as you go.
What coaching skill are you currently honing? Excellent question. You know, I will say I go back and forth on how I spend time honing specific coaching skills, right? Like a few years ago I went to LCS because I really wanted to learn the model, like really learn how to be great at the model. That was like diving into that mindset piece of coaching.
That’s just one example. I’ve done many other things. My most recent certification is through the Institute of Equity Centered Coaching, which really helped me learn the skills of being equitable in my business, but also showing up in my spaces just being able to hold space for lots of different humans, right? And just really understanding, giving me a deeper understanding of just what it’s like and the things we need to consider when thinking about that in our coaching spaces, especially when we’re coaching in groups.
And right now, so I go back and forth between like, okay, here’s a specific thing I’m honing. So I might do that for however long that is. And then really lean into, because I teach coaching skills and because I teach these things, really leaning into like, okay, the next six months is all about me developing my expertise. Like kind of taking all the skills I have, all the knowledge I have, all the background of the psychology background I have and really going inward instead of outward.
So that’s kind of where I am right now. And then the next thing, and I’ve been talking to some of you about this, about your experiences in other programs. But the next thing is going to be, I don’t know when, at some point though some sort of more somatic body work type of coaching.
Like that’ll be the next kind of lane I go down even though I have done some of that in some brief trainings. And that happens in some of the spaces that I’ve been in. But just to really, that feels like where I’m being called, probably next.
And what are you excited to create within your business? Yeah, right now I have nothing. Sometimes I know I have something new coming in the future. And right now, I mean, don’t get too excited about this because I’ve not done anything about this. But I have noticed I’ve been craving a lot of in-person stuff.
So whether that’s a part of an existing offer, which my certification/mastermind does have an in-person part, so maybe it’s that. Like really honing that a little bit or maybe it’s something a little different. That’s just, I don’t know, that’s what I’m craving right now. I think a lot of you are craving that and I don’t know, no promises.
I’m always scared to say things like this on my podcast, because then it’s like, okay, when is this thing happening? But that’s just kind of where I am right now.
The last question, “Do you still wear Vuoris and do you have any new recommendations?” So for those of you that have been following me for a while and if you’ve listened to my past Q&A’s, you know I am obsessed with joggers.
As someone who’s not very tall, the joggers are amazing even though, I know, wide leg is back in. But when it comes to sweatpants or comfortable pants like that that I’m not going to probably get hemmed, I love joggers because I don’t step on them. I don’t have my heels, so it doesn’t get caught under my heels.
Probably too much information but I do love Vuoris. But yes, I do have a new recommendation, which is joggers from Beyond Yoga, obsessed. New obsession. I like their yoga pants as well, like their leggings. Order a size up, for reference. But they’re joggers, which I only have one pair but they are my normal size, so I don’t order a size up on those. But I am obsessed with the texture of their things. I’m big on texture. I’m like a real weirdo about textures. I am so particular, I’m so particular.
So that’s my new one. I also have shirts from there. From Vuori I mostly only like the joggers. From Beyond Yoga I like everything so far that I’ve ordered. It literally feels like butter. I can’t get enough, so TMI on what I wear. For those of you that work with me, when you see me coaching I almost always have on joggers on the bottom and sometimes just a t-shirt on top. I’m not always the fanciest of coaches partially because I don’t like to be distracted by the texture of my clothes.
So that’s like the real truth. I don’t want that to take away from my coaching. And I do have kind of a sensory thing. So if I know that some days I’m particularly sensitive to certain textures, then I allow myself to wear clothes that just feel really good on my skin so that I know whatever I’m wearing is not going to ever take away from my coaching or from the way I can show up for my clients.
So sometimes I’ll even get dressed, I’ll come and sit down, I’ll pull up my Zoom. I’ll be getting ready for a call and it’s like, nope. If I notice at all that anything about my clothes, whether they’re too tight, or they’re too scratchy, or they’re too anything, hot, cold, whatever, fill in the blank, I just have to immediately fix it before I hop on my calls for the day. Because that’s just one more thing that it’s like, let’s just remove this layer from me being distracted while coaching my clients.
So you either completely relate to that, I know some of you do. Or you’re laughing at me right now, which is totally fine as well. So I hope that this was useful. I hope you have some good takeaways from today. I said this last time, but the Q&As are going to stay open because I know that some of you sent them in in between.
I’ll make sure to be sure that that link is always in my show notes. So that you can always go there, you can always send in questions. And then I’ll either save them for the next episode that would be like 50 from now. Or if there are some that I see a lot of repeats like, oh, this is a great idea for an episode, or if there’s one that just really resonates with me that I’m like, oh yes, let’s dive into this, let’s talk about it. Maybe it’ll just get its whole episode.
So I appreciate you all so much. I am so grateful for all of you that sent in questions. Hopefully you got the answer you were looking for. If not, let me know. Find me on Instagram or wherever you’re going to find me and let me know like, hey, you didn’t quite answer it the way I was hoping. I need more. I’m always open to that. Always love the feedback. So I hope you have an incredible week. I will see you next time. Goodbye.
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.