Ep #96: Storytelling in Practice

Mastering Coaching Skills | Storytelling in Practice

Today’s episode is going to be a little different. Last week, I interviewed my friend and videographer Matthew Kjar, who shot and produced amazing videos during Expansion Week in Palm Springs. So, in this episode, I’m sharing recordings of the testimonials we captured on that retreat, so you get to see the power of storytelling in practice.

These are my clients telling their stories, which is great enough to listen to. But on top of that, you’ll see the benefit of having a talented creative on your team who helps you tell a great story, or even get some ideas for how you can start asking questions that make for insightful content yourself.

Tune in this week to see the end result of working with an incredible producer like Matt Kjar, why story matters above everything else, and how to create testimonials and short-form content that inspires.

September 19th through 23rd 2022, I am hosting a week-long training for all the coaches out there who want to learn how to show up as the best possible coach for their clients, and it’s totally free. We’re doing a few days of training, and then the community opens up for questions and coaching, and it’s going to be so much fun. Replays will be available, but mark your calendars for September 19th and stay tuned for more details. Click here to sign up.

To celebrate episode 100 of the podcast, I’m going to be answering any questions you have whatsoever about coaching, business, life, or anything else. You can ask me your questions by clicking here. All questions are welcome and I’m answering as many as I can in a few weeks.

What You’ll Learn from this Episode:

  • My tips for getting the best testimonials from your clients.
  • The power of capturing a story and sharing it with your audience.
  • What my clients have taken away from the specific work we’ve done and how coaching has changed my clients’ lives.
  • How to tell a compelling story through your testimonials.

Listen to the Full Episode:

Featured on the Show:

Full Episode Transcript:

Hi, this is Lindsay Dotzlaf and you are listening to Mastering Coaching Skills, episode 96. 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, I’m so glad you’re here today. I am doing something a little different. As you know, if you listened to last week’s podcast episode, I interviewed my friend and the video producer Matthew Kjar. And one time that I have worked with him is when I had him come to Palm Springs with some of my clients and I and he captured some of their amazing stories and amazing testimonials.

And I thought it would be really fun to share some of those. I’ve shared one on here already, but today this episode is just going to be some recordings of testimonials that we captured that week. And I have more coming, so this is just a little taste.

But I thought it would be really fun to do it back to back after you listened to his episode so that you can hear, you don’t hear him asking questions. You just hear some of my clients telling their stories and talking about the work that we’ve done together and just about coaching in general. But I thought it would be really fun for you to be able to hear some of the aspects of the storytelling and just thinking about what questions might he have asked to capture their stories.

And one thing that I think is so important, because I get this question a lot, like how do you get testimonials from clients? And one thing that I think about, and this is even before I have worked with Matt, I love to think about I’m capturing their story instead of how do I get a testimonial? Or how do I get a client to say something that sounds really great about me that makes people want to work with me? That is never, ever my intention.

Of course you’re going to hear, throughout these testimonials you’re going to hear them talking about me a little bit. But I think the more important thing and what I think about when I’m asking some of my clients questions, and I’ve done this in the past when I wasn’t using Matt, I’m thinking about what is their story? Why has coaching in general been so transformational for them? And what do they want to say, right?

What are the things that they are taking away from the work that we have done together? But also just from coaching in general, how has it changed for them? How has it changed things for them? So, listen for that as you’re listening to these. Think about some of the things that Matt was talking about last week as far as storytelling, and enjoy.

I will tell you, you might need to grab a tissue. Maybe not, but if you’re anything like me, I can’t get through any of these without crying. So now you’re just going to listen to them back to back. It’s going to be agony for you just like it was for me when I was listening to them when he first sent them to me. So I hope you enjoy, and here you are.

Brittany Deer: When I came across Lindsay and her coaching style it was an immediate like this is extremely uncomfortable and this is also exactly what I need. And I always say she’s the calm to my crazy because my brain is just very active.

I have a very strong personality as well and I was like, “I need someone to really ground me.” And that was the initial interpretation that I got from her. I was like, she’s really just going to come with non-judgment. And I have a hard time being vulnerable. And so she just held the space for me to be vulnerable about a lot of shame and guilt that I had carried for so long, especially around money.

The difficult part for me was the emotional piece. I was in a constant state of overwhelm, frantic, indecision, maybe some anxiety, and definitely confused any time that there was life happening. No matter what the circumstance was, my brain went straight to all of my thoughts about money, causing my body to just constantly be in a state of, overwhelm was like my go-to emotion. And then when I was in overwhelm I avoided.

Working with Lindsay and being able to process and feel and manage my emotions was something I had never done before. So I had to learn how to do that. It was more of like shoving it under the rug, which meant I avoided.

And so in her coaching it was so neutral, and so calm, and so non-judgmental that it allowed me the space to see that these emotions are real and there’s nothing wrong with them and it’s okay. That I could really learn how to do this in a totally different way as long as I was willing to listen to her, but also to do the things that’s required to feel those hard, heavy emotions that we’re just simply not taught from day one that it’s okay to feel this way.

I remember saying to her that I’m pretty sure I’m a person that just feels negative emotion all of the time. And I was like facts about it. And she was like, “No, it’s 50/50. We feel positive emotion and we feel negative emotion.” I was like, “”Nope, I feel negative emotion at least 95% of the time.” So I had like identified myself as someone who just was like a negative emotion person. She just really holds the space for those hard, heavy emotions.

When you’re the client it feels very true. It feels very like this is factual and I’m never going to get out of this. You have to have a coach that creates the space for that to exist so that you can go into something, a totally different emotion.

When I started working with Lindsay I didn’t fully know who I was, even though I had been introduced to coaching. So I went from like not knowing who I was or what I was even really doing in life, to having like an entire dream, an entire mission, which is kind of the icing on the cake.

That wasn’t even one of the things, being so confident in who I am, and who I want to be. and who I want to serve, how I want to be as a wife, how I want to be as a parent, and how I want to be as a coach. And they all intertwine so much she’s allowed me to fully step into like a full version of myself and the impact that I do really want to make in the world.

Brig Johnson: Because of working with Lindsay I am the coach for the high achieving Black woman. I joined a mastermind for business and within that mastermind for business is when I met Lindsay. And it was suggested that I get a one on one coach because of my brain. And so I signed up with Lindsay and we worked together for a year and a half. And it was like the best coaching experience that I think I could have ever had as my first coaching experience because it was all that work of self-acceptance and all the stuff that comes up as a high achieving woman.

It’s like it’s not until you go for big things that your stuff comes up. And so she was able to help me as I set bigger goals, my stuff of like, “Oh, you’re getting too big for your britches,” those thoughts that come up as high achieving women, especially marginalized women, she helped me just coach through them like what do you mean? I don’t understand. It wasn’t I don’t get it in a way that made you uncomfortable, because I know there’s a difference. But it was in a, you sure that’s the right thought?

She presented it in a way that I knew it was my thoughts that was in it, there wasn’t anything wrong with me. And I think she created a container where I can come back week after week, say I’m still having the same problem and not be ashamed of it like, “I’m sorry, I’m not over this yet.” She was like, “Not a problem, we will we will coach on this 15 different ways, and if I have to explain it 30,000 different ways for you to understand it until your nervous system gets in and grasps it, that’s what we will do.”

And so she was the perfect example of fighting for and seeing your client at their highest, but yet allowing them to be in their humanity too. I think my first thing was I don’t deserve, because I was already making a six-figure salary, so it was I don’t deserve to be blessed again. Like God wouldn’t give me another blessing, that means I’m taking away from somebody else. Not true, but it was like I had to uncover that. Or I’m being greedy, I had to uncover that.

So it was like coaching and then like what’s the thing that’s keeping you? Like if your self-concept is here but your goal is way up here, it’s not that you can’t, but what’s the thing? So we would just unpack all those things, as long as it took.

The last six months that we were together we had Covid and then we had the George Floyd murder. And both of those impacted me deeply in different ways. Because Covid, I’m an anesthesia provider, so fortunate that I had her heard to go through that with me, like what’s true and what’s not true? What can I control? What can’t I control?

And from that experience, and because I got so grounded in it, I started a group for the community and I asked some other coaches to get on board. And so we started this thing, like it was just a community thing for people to just talk about their response to Covid and their stress level to Covid.

So it was like what I learned in the coaching container, it wasn’t just keep it and work on me, it was me working on me and then able to pour so much out into the community. So because we had that container and people loved it so much, we just continued.

And then that was in March, and of course we had George Floyd in June. So it was like March we were already going. And then when June came we already had the container for people to go and like this is some bullshit. And we had a space for black women to come to and talk about their feelings and share what they were going through.

But it was because I had been doing that work, and I did that work on such a deep level with Lindsay through that, that I was able to hold space for my clients. Because if not, I would have been in the pool with them. So I had a place where I could go and just be human, and then pour into other people.

The Universe planned it out in a sense of I was ready when it was time for me to step up because it was scared as I don’t know what to step up into some leadership roles within my coaching community. But the only reason why I was able to do that is because of the work that Lindsay and I had been doing for six months prior, of me unpacking all the levels of why I can’t be and why I can’t call myself. And then all of a sudden I just decided like, oh, okay. To everybody else it was like I just did it, but I was like, oh, no, that was six months of weekly work.

My process that I do came from that work I did with Lindsay. So she’s really good at helping people come up with their process or just acknowledging the talent that you already have. While working with Lindsay, the thing I taught myself the most was how to gently self-coach myself. It’s amazing when you can have someone as a coach, but when that coach becomes a friend, that’s amazing. And that’s what she is now.

Kimberly Mathis: Because of working with Lindsay I am much more self-assured than I have ever been in my entire life. And I am creating both friendships and professional connections and communities that I have not had before.

I’m Kimberly Mathis and I’m a general life coach. I am a former therapist and I coach pretty much anyone on anything. And I’ve been coaching full-time, I guess, from moving out of therapy for maybe two years now. For a lot of reasons I had what I feel like was almost a coaching existential crisis as I was moving out of therapy and into coaching. My own thoughts about coaching and my own thoughts about therapy, I was solo at this point in terms of taking care of my two kids and providing for myself.

There was anxiety about making enough money and having a successful coaching business. My thought was like I need something, I need a group, I need a coach, I need something because I’m just kind of spinning in my own overwhelm and drama. I just happened to be scrolling through Instagram and saw Mastering Coaching Skills, saw something about Lindsay’s podcast. And I was like, oh, the practice of coaching. There’s a group, maybe I should do that.

And that was so appealing to me to just get out of thinking about money and thinking about business and come back to what makes any coach successful, and that is how good they are at their job. I think there was maybe like a week before her next launch of Coaching Masters and so I frantically was like texting anyone I knew that had done the program. I ended up sending in my application and she accepted me and I did a round of Coaching Masters with her and it was phenomenal.

I think the biggest shift for me, the biggest one was more personal than anything, which has been even though it was personal it’s helped me so much with my clients because I know what a huge transformation someone can have from coaching.

My whole life I’d kind of carried the story with me that I’m always on the outside, I just don’t have a lot of friends, I don’t belong, I always feel different. And it was transferring over into my professional life too, because here I was in this round with these other coaches and very early on after Coaching Masters started I felt myself feeling that way again. Like all these people who are doing coaching well, like I’m not one of them. They’re somehow different than me.

And I brought that to Coaching Masters, I got coached on it, I posted about it in our group and got some great coaching on it. And because of that coaching I decided to start deciding that I wanted to think I am one of them, and I belong, and I can create connection wherever I want it. And I did a lot of work on that thought.

And within months I was asked by Lindsay to do an Instagram live with her. And I was like, oh my God, I remember when Lindsey Dotzlaf responded or liked a DM message that I sent her on Instagram. And I thought that was a big deal. And so she was asking me to do an Instagram live with her to talk about my coaching business, I was floored.

And then she has asked me to, since then she’s asked me to guest coach for her, she’s asked me to help her with the Coach Lab, we’ve become friends. I’ve made these other friends within the same professional circles as me, and it’s all because when I started working on that thought, I started changing what I was doing, and I started reaching out to people, and I started talking to people as though they were my peers instead of like fangirling over them, really.

And it just shifted everything for me. It has shifted my self-concept. And like I said, when I think about how long I have carried that story with me, I know that my clients can also bring things to me. Like I have this whole other level of proof for them about how coaching can help them when they come to me with some sort of story that feels like just a fact about themselves or their life. It can be changed. Like we can just do a little work on it and it can be totally different.

Because of working with Lindsay my business is simple, and calm, and successful, hugely affecting the changes that my clients want to have in their lives. It’s just doing good work because of the work I’ve done with Lindsay.

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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