The Best Holiday Gift: A Life Well-Lived

Start the New Year right, by making a few changes today.

While I love lists, I don’t promote very many because each one usually has a few points I can’t get behind. This list, however, gets my vote from top to bottom. Why? Because:

  1. it’s a comprehensive list of insights that will rock your world, whether you’re 17 or 97
  2. even if you only embrace one or two tips, your life will change for the better: more freedom, more peace, more love, more success
  3. you can use this list to launch the New Year by sharing it with your clients and asking them which ones they most want to master
  4. I couldn’t have written this list any better myself

Enjoy! And as always, thank you for your continued support – we wish you a very happy holiday season!

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Clarifying Foundational vs. Inspirational Values

In this 2-minute tip, master coach Lori Shook takes a fresh look at a classic coaching exercise. Published as a part of her Coaches Going Corporate training program, this short piece discusses two different types of values your clients might express – and how learning to work with each, separately, can take your values work from informational to transformational.

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Starting the Year Unstuck

Happy January, friends! Ready to take this New Year by storm?

We’ve all got the best intentions, but even coaches get stuck from time to time. Use this list to get this year started on the right foot!

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A Shortcut to Happiness

This short video showcases “gratitude in action.”  If you want a sure-fire assignment to help your clients “up their happiness quotient,” these ideas deliver.

And to really bring it home, end your sessions with an authentic and heartfelt acknowledgment of your client. Way to walk your talk and leave your client feeling seen.

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The Magic Carpet: A Conflict Management Tool

Whether you’re dubious or curious, you gotta admit that title’s got game. But it’s no game when a parent is trying to referee the fourteenth instance of the same argument (this week) between two kids.

The following solution* involves a “magic carpet,” a “talking stick,” and a bit of hubris:

We have a magic carpet in our home. To the untrained eye it appears to be a small oval rug that sits in front of the fireplace. It serves as a safety net should burning embers make it through the fireplace screen and fall onto the floor. The protective nature of this rug is an important and appreciated function, but is not related in any way to its magical attributes. Our magic rug plays a more important role. It produces magical and elegant solutions to family conflicts. This is how it works.

Last week, Austin began an algebra unit in his 5th grade math class. His older sister, Chelsea, has been studying Algebra throughout her 8th grade school year. When Austin made an error on one homework problem, Chelsea leaped to the rescue. Fashioning herself as a future math teacher, Chelsea saw this opportunity as a chance to practice her trade. There was a slight problem, however. Austin did not want to be the practice dummy. A light disagreement began, gradually escalated it’s way into bickering, and then bloomed into a full blown argument, complete with angry tones and loud voices. Read More…

So coaches, listen up: this idea can work for “kids of all ages,” and the “carpet” can be any defined space – for example, a masking tape rectangle on the floor. So next time you need a conflict resolution tool in your coaching (or for a workshop), pull out your “magic carpet,” and watch what unfolds!

*Thanks to friend and colleague Norb Rozanski for sharing this piece with me.

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The Do’s and Don’ts of a Powerful Testimonial

We all know that a strong testimonial is one of the most persuasive marketing tools out there. After all, there’s no better way to build credibility with potential clients than third-party endorsements. But how do you get them?

First, it pays to know what makes a good testimonial. Business consultant Michael McLaughlin offers a great overview – not only of what a top-shelf testimonial looks like, but also how you can ensure a good outcome by taking an active role in the process.

Once you have a plan for the what and the how, it’s time to decide the who.

Choose wisely: approach clients who’ve already given you positive feedback about their coaching outcomes. And when you ask, offer them some guidance about how they can easily create a high-impact testimonial – including the “three pillars” of a high-quality success story:

  1. Keep it short
  2. Make it authentic
  3. Be specific

In order to jump-start their thinking, you might even include an example (like the one in McLaughlin’s post) or some open-ended questions about their coaching experience.

By participating in the process, you can help make the difference between a lukewarm compliment and a winning endorsement – maybe even one that inspires a prospect to become a client!

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Forward Your Goals With One Simple Question

Whether it’s the holidays, the impending New Year, or simply the idea that one chapter is ending as another begins, we all want our lives to keep improving, to keep moving forward for the better.

So before we wrap up this year, I leave you with just one question, with which to end this chapter on the right note and propel yourself forward anew. Ask yourself:

What one thing I can do today to forward my goal to ______ (move my business forward, progress toward a financial goal, improve my health, etc.)?”

If you ask yourself this question each day (and then of course, do that one thing), you’ll be celebrating your success in no time at all!

P.S. Don’t forget: this is also a great question to use at the end of a coaching session. And your clients will thank you for expediting their success, too!

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Coaching Relationships Through Movement

Add this playful yet valuable tool to your couples coaching and/or relationship workshop toolkit and invite your clients to “Dance into learning about your partner.”

The idea is simple: put on some music (or not) and see what blossoms in a safe space. Debrief afterward, using questions like the ones below, as a place to begin the coaching:

  • What was created that wasn’t there before?
  • What was hard about this exercise?
  • What did you learn or discover?
  • What’s this prepare you for?
  • Where can you take this relationship now that you couldn’t before?
  • What’s your takeaway? How does this apply to moving your relationship forward?

You can get a flavor of “Dance Improv” in the video below:

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