Hey team! I wanted to come in here and talk about what it takes to be a masterful coach.
We’re talking about in here we’re supercoaches – and my definition of a supercoach is someone that has the skills and ability to do the internal work, the inner work of inner game, values, beliefs, mindsets, attitudes, capacities, and also can coach the outer world practical strategies, behaviors, and things that need to change in the outer world.
And for true transformation to occur, both types of skill development or shifts need to happen.
Yesterday I posted in here a short sentence and said you can’t be the most masterful coach that you could be if you’ve only learned coaching skills implicitly through being coached.
I know that that might be a triggering or challenging statement for some people who are working as coaches and have never undertaken coach training as such. So I want to just clarify a few things to begin with, and I think what I’m going to do now is break up what I want to teach or want to tell you about over a series of videos this week.
And this is what I want to say, to start with. I’ve had the privilege and the honor and the blessing of being able to invest very significantly on my education over the last 16 years as a coach, so I have had the blessing and the privilege of being able to learn a lot and be educated by some really great trainers over the years.
I know that not everyone has that capacity when they’re starting out. I had to scrimp and save to do my first NLP coach training, which was my first kind of foray into coach-related education.
The starting point may be being coached, like having an issue yourself that you need to work through and you go to a coach, and then you get some change, and you experience the shifts and you’re like, “Wow, this is amazing! I want to go into coaching.”
The issue is that we’re currently in an unregulated industry, so there’s no requirements. The barrier to entry is basically your confidence to say, “I’m a coach.” And there’s nothing stopping you from saying you’re a coach if you just have some skills and the confidence to do that.
What I’m a big stand for is masterful coaching and ongoing learning.
Some people say that you have to have the certification before you begin. Other people say you don’t need anything, just get started. I don’t mind where you start, but I do believe strongly that if you are growing a business as a professional coach and charging people money to be your client, then it is in yours and your client’s best interest to invest in ongoing learning in supervision, in getting the support to be the very best coach that you can be.
And I don’t believe that just being coached is the most masterful way to learn coaching skills.
Being coached gives you really amazing direct experience of the possible transformation that you can make. But for a masterful coach, a truly masterful coach… And I mean not just a coach like a sports coach who knows how to do sports and then coaches the local sports team. I mean like a mindset coach, a professional coach that is working on your inner game as well as your outer game. And there are certainly great sports coaches that work on the inner game as well.
When you are just being coached and if you only learn your coaching skills from being coached, then you’re having the experience of what’s called implicit learning. You are learning by being inside the experience. You’re learning by being the client, so you have a particular experience when you’re going through being coached as the client. When you imagine yourself and go, “Oh yeah, I’ve been coached. I can go and coach because it’s just conversation and I’ve got some skills and I can ask some questions. It’s pretty simple.”
And to a certain degree it is that simple.
In order to really be masterful, you need to be able to coach people that are different from you, coach people in different contexts, coach people across different results, or have the capacity to coach people across some wide variety of contexts and issues.
I see a lot of new coaches fall down or struggle when they come up against clients or they’re coaching clients that are very different from them and have a very different kind of psychological mapping or profiling than they do. It’s very easy to coach someone that is naturally already like you, it’s more challenging to coach someone that is different or even opposite to you, and you need to have skill mastery to be able to adapt your communication style in order to meet your client where they’re at.
What happens? What makes a masterful coach? Let’s answer the first question to be clear.
In my opinion, as a coach trainer – and I 100% acknowledge that I have a cognitive bias towards coach training that is in my financial benefit, I totally acknowledge that I am biased towards coach training. At the same time, I also fully acknowledge as a coach trainer that it is important to coach, and it’s in the benefit of our overall industry to raise people’s standards. And for people to get better results and for you to feel more confident as a coach, then you need to have the skills and the support.
With all those disclaimers in place, what makes a masterful coach is someone that has a series of lenses or models or maps that they can utilize to filter what their client is saying so that they can more effectively figure out where the client is currently in their present state, where the client wants to get to in their desired state, where are they herding, and what’s in the way, what’s stopping them from being able to get from where they are to where they want to get to.
A normal person, if you’re just talking to your friend, you can kind of figure out on a behavioral or a practical level, “Oh well, you might need this or you might need that.” But a masterful coach can figure out what’s going on in the background of the person’s mind, things that might be missing that the person might never say, or things that might be present that are framed linguistically in the way that says, “Oh, this is something that the person is shying away from” or “Oh, this is something that is an issue that’s preventing them.”
A masterful coach has all of these frames of reference, multiple frames that they’re looking and they’re listening to the client through, looking and listening and hearing with all of their senses and all of their intuition on, and can find and pinpoint the key issue or issues that are preventing the client from getting from where they are to where they want to be, and then knowing specific processes, specific ways of languaging things, metaphors, reframes, in order to loosen up those particular obstacles or issues or biases and help them get out of the way so that the client can find a pathway to get to where they want to get to, and be who they want to be, and become who they want to become, and allow the emergent properties that are within them to start to show up in real life.
Yeah, it’s totally like detective work. It’s being able to look. And having masterful coaching lenses is like having night vision goggles. You can talk to a client and you’re like, “Hmm, there’s a metaprogram issue there that’s getting in the way” or “Oh, I see that they really want to see this, but they’re only talking about the big picture, they haven’t mentioned any details and they’re struggling to get things done. Hmm, well, that’s probably because they’re stuck up in the big picture.”
On a practical level of coaching at a behavioral or an environment level, you might go, “Oh, you need a new staff member or you need someone to help you with your marketing” for instance. But on a higher level, if you have these lenses and this awareness and this explicit training in place, then you can look through these lenses and go, “Ah, the person has a particular frame,” or a particular way of looking at this issue that is causing them to not even see the issue that you as the coach can see.
That, in my opinion, is what makes a masterful coach.
And the more lenses that you have, the more models that you can look through that categorize the way that the mind works, the way that neurology works, the way that biases or metaprograms or ways of thinking work, then the more effective you can be because you can see more deeply into that person using these different lenses.
If you think about a camera lens, it’s like you’ve got a zoom that can zoom right into their mindset.
That’s the difference between someone who has had implicit coach experience or coaching experience just by being coached versus someone who has had explicit education around how to coach. There’s a very, very different level of learning with you just being in the experience versus someone who has a very high level mastery teaching you what’s going on behind the scenes, what to look out for, what’s going behind in the coach’s mind that causes them to know what’s the next question to ask.
Having that explicit understanding really gives you a new level to be able to bring your coaching to the next level and see areas where there’s room for growth.
What are you saying here, Satya?
“I love that you’re raising this. Just like when I was starting social work, there’s lots of lenses that we were taught. In the coaching world there currently isn’t that sort of standard or threshold.”
Yeah, exactly, there isn’t any standard or threshold in the coaching industry. There is in different modalities, like in NLP there’s particular standards and associations, in the International Coach Federation (ICF) there are standards and things, but there’s no kind of one amalgamated or mutually agreed upon set of standards. And so, it’s a shame because it makes it really difficult for the potential client to figure out who’s a reputable coach to go to.
Particularly now with so much training around how to market effectively, there’s a lot of people that really know how to market well but maybe don’t know how to coach that well, and there’s people that can coach really well but maybe can’t effectively market their expertise.
I’m a big stand for raising your coaching skills so that you can deliver a better service and at the same time being able to raise up your skills and communication in being able to market to the people that you can serve the best. So, I think there definitely is room for growth for everyone in the coaching industry to be able to continue learning, like we don’t know it all, and it’s really useful to be able to have these open conversations.
I’d love to hear more in the comments below. If you’re watching this now, what are your thoughts?
If you’re a fitness coach and you’ve come into coaching and you’ve got great knowledge in fitness and you want to expand into more mindset or belief work, then in just the same way that you have biomechanical understandings, and in order to be able to understand the musculoskeletal system you need to have those models and maps and frames to be able to see “Ooh, that person’s hip is out” or something, the same thing goes for mindset, the same thing goes for the unconscious.
There are ways of navigating the thoughts that are going on in the back of our head, and these models and maps give us the pathway and a way to be able to see in the dark.
It’s really my mission, my passion, my interest, my skill set to be able to support coaches from either end of the scale, whether you’re coming from a more intuitive and healing background or a more practical, strategic business, fitness background, to find those mindset skills in the middle, which are largely based on my NLP trainer training but also incorporating lots of other things that I’ve learnt along the way, that I can help you to expand your mastery and be able to coach and support any type of client that comes to you, so you can get better outcomes, you can get your current clients’ results faster, you can get clients that might have been otherwise have been a bit of a headache or being difficult, you can get them results faster as well, and grow your business because you can be confident in knowing that you can get results.
I’ll go deeper into some of the other questions over the coming days, but I’m really thrilled to have you guys here. I’m thrilled and honored that you want to grow your mastery and I’m really excited to be able to support you to do that.
If you’d like to go deeper and you want to learn more about how you can start to learn more of some of these maps and models so you can see in the dark, then reach out and send me a message. We can have a chat about some of the possible options to go deeper with me.
Lots of love.
Join my free community the SuperCoach Society for in depth videos, coaching tips and masterclasses.
Join the SuperCoach Society