Tuesday Cruise-Day: How long is it?

IT’s a simple question–one I”m sure you’re asking yourself.

After all, just because I am calling this the “World’s First Coach Training Cruise” doesn’t mean that it’s something that you would necessarily sign up for.

I was aware of that right from the beginning.  And I knew that while the idea of a coach training cruise would be exciting and novel, but it would the the actual learning that would be the attraction that would make people willing to sign up and participate.

I had to start figuring this out quickly.  Although it would likely be a year away, (I was starting the planning back in January) time was going to disappear quickly and then it would be too late.

So what to do?  What to do?

The first thing we knew we had to establish was how long the cruise would be.  This depended on pricing, availability, itinerary and any perks the cruise line would offer.

My wonderful partner, Carol, who is also a travel agent, knew all the calls to make, the questions to ask, and the places to avoid.  She did a fantastic job researching different options during the end of winter time frame I suggested.

It became like something from a strange Goldilocks story.

The first cruise was too long.  10 days.

The second cruise was too short.  4 days.

And the third cruise was just right.  7 days.

Seven days seemed just perfect.  It was long enough to get away from the crazy of the world, and just enough time to fully recharge your batteries.  But any longer than that would make it difficult for many people to get away.  Even myself–I felt like I could easily arrange to skip a week with my clients, but two weeks was not going to fly too well.  Not when you’ve got momentum going on.

So one week cruise it was.

After researching various 7-day cruises in February and early March, we found this one leaving March 1.

It was perfect. Leaving from Ft. Lauderdale, Florida and then making stops at the Bahamas, St. Thomas, and St. Maarten islands.  (And they are all quite beautiful.)   What was even better was that schedule would allow us a few sea days that we could fill with training hours so that we wouldn’t conflict with shore excursions and all the fun activities that one does on cruises.  (And if you don’t know what that is, perhaps this might be a great time to find out.)

So once we settled on the date and the cruise itinerary, the next question was what were we going to do for all the “wonderful and exciting” coaching stuff.  How many hours was I going to fill and offer as CCEUs?  What was the content and learning?  What was the whole theme going to be?  Was it just myself or would there be others leading?  What would coaches be leaving with?  What would be exciting and beneficial and valuable for coaches to discover and experience?

In other words, why should they sign up for this in the first place?

And that wasn’t going to be as easy to figure out.

TUNE IN NEXT TUESDAY TO FIND OUT WHAT HAPPENS

 

The COACHING SKILLS FORUM calender is finally loaded

For those who don’t know, the calendar plug in on my website pooped out.  the guy who built it wasn’t upkeeping and maintaining it and when the WordPress platform was revised and upgraded, the plug-in ceased to function.

Which meant all the dates for all the upcoming CSF calls were also missing.

So I hunted and poked around and finally found a program that would suit my needs (although the adding of new dates was considerably more clunky than the first one).

So it’s taken me a while to reload all the dates (including add a few more)

I invite you to check out all the exciting (and free) CSF calls that are happening throughout the rest of the year and take advantage of all the incredible wisdom and learning these awesome calls provide for all coaches.

 

Tuesday Cruise-Day: Planning ahead for next year

Once I said yes, then the next step was to figure out when would be the best time to have a Coaching Cruise.

Considering the idea came up in the middle of this past winter, I was well immersed in that unpleasant environment.  

I don’t know about you, but we sure had more than our fair share of winter this season.  Relentless record breaking sub-zero temperatures–some of the coldest I’ve ever felt–, ongoing seemingly endless passages of grey skies with no sun to give us a sense of hope.  A continuous onslaught of winds that found every little crack and opening in your clothing and home, and the incessant piles of snow all around.  

And it wasn’t just that, it was the forever combination of all four, day after day after week and after month.  And just when we could get a glimmer of hope–the sun would peek through the dreary clouds, the thermometer would go above freezing, the wind would still–mother nature would swing it back, as if she was offering her handshake only to pull it back with that teasing “Skye!”

I tell you, by the end of this last season we were all worn down.  Our resistance, strength and sense of positivity and hope was strained.  And it’s really hard to be a source for others to lean on when you are beating down and tired and ready to just give it up.

The only thing that kept us going was the promise that we would have a couple days in California in March.

You see, every year we try to get to some warmer climate in the middle of the winter.  As a way to recharge our batteries.  the sunshine, the blue sky, the warm air, all welcoming us and inviting us to relax our tense and tired shivering bodies.

And I know that it wasn’t me.  There were hundreds, thousands, perhaps millions of other people feeling the same way… and some of them might even be coaches.

So it made perfect sense that we try to schedule this cruise sometime in the winter.

Well, of course everyone else has the same idea in those December/January months, so the prices were crazy.  not only that, but it would be tough for people to schedule in December.  

So February and March became the options.

And it seemed like 7 days was the perfect amount of time.  (those first three days are necessary just to slow down and get acclimated).

Of course this all seemed like a great idea to me.  but I had to ask myself, “Who in their right mind would be willing to spend about $1000 to get away from the cold, snowing, grey, dreary winter, and go to the Caribbean, bask in the warm healing sun, eat copious amounts of awesome food, spend hours upon hours of fun and activity or just doing a whole lot of nothing AND experience awesome advanced coaching workshops and get CCEUs?”

Hm.  When you put it that way, it seems like a great idea.

So… are you with me?

Shall we plan to take a break next year?

 

You are invited to the Fast Pass first call for free

There is nothing else like it out there.  This is the course coaches are calling “amazing” “powerful” “the best bang for the buck” “transformative” and “the best decision you could make since you decided to become a coach.”

It’s all kicking off Monday May 26 at 4:00 central

And I want you there at the first call.

There’s no obligation, but I promise you that you will discover something exciting that you can incorporate into your coaching right away.

And should you wish to continue, you will be able to lock in at the low rate before the price increase June 1.

 

Contact me and I’ll give you the number to call so you won’t miss this exciting gift to your coaching and your clients.

Friday Fired Up-Day: “I Don’t Know”

I love when clients say, “I don’t know”.  I think it’s exciting and amazing and wonderful.   After all, this is what MasterFull coaching is all about.  How to handle “I don’t know.”  Anybody who is a Master at something realizes just how much they don’t know.

Any black belt master in the martial arts is the first one to say, “I don’t know.”  But that doesn’t stop them.  It compels them, pulls them forward.  Any master musician or tradesman admits their limitations, but that doesn’t get in their way.  Instead it engages them in powerful and exciting ways.  For a master, “I don’t know” is an invitation to unlimited possibilities and potential.

And yet, it seems that most coaches out there just don’t know how to handle the dreaded phrase of “I don’t know.”

Hm.  Isn’t that ironic?  You’d think it would be exciting.  I mean, if you think about it, if your client already came to you knowing everything, then what are they calling you for?  They’re calling you because THEY DON’T KNOW.  Right?

But for many coaches, “I don’t know” is scary.  It’s a problem.  Something is wrong.  The coaching stops.  We’re stuck.  “Oh crap.  I just asked an awesome question and the client shot it down with, “I don’t know.” What do I do know?”  We are hijacked by the client’s unwillingness or inability to go deeper and give us a brilliant answer that tells us we’re awesome coaches.

What do we do?  How do we respond and handle that?

First off, before anyone replies with “Why don’t you just ask them “Well, if you did know, then what would your answer be?”” let me go on record with saying I HATE… absolutely HATE that response. (In fact, I think that every school, teacher, mentor, coach that teaches that phase should be be severely reprimanded for the damage they’re doing to the coaches they are growing.  So if you do that… please stop doing it.)

Yes, I know, sometimes that opens the door for your clients, but not nearly as often as you think.  If you ever coach me, DON’T ASK THIS QUESTION.

Why?  Because my response would be something more like, “Didn’t you just hear me, coach?  I just said, pretty clearly, that I don’t know.  Which means exactly that: I DON’T KNOW.”  What a way to indicate you don’t respect the client’s experience.

Let’s realize that when a client says this, it’s likely that they’re struggling.  There is some impending doom coming towards them if they don’t solve their problem, and as a result they are literally unable to access their creativity and intelligence… you know, what they DO know?  Besides, some people can’t think out of the box that easily, access and identify their emotions, be creative.  And asking them “What if you did know?” is like trying to pretend that there’s no problem.  It’s very dismissive.

Yes, I know it’s an attempt to get them to think out of the box.  And I agree with that approach.  But there are much more effective ways to do that.

  • Take away their threat.  “If money weren’t a problem, what would you do?”  “Imagine for a moment that this issue was solved, magically, then what would be different for you?”  And take if from there.
  • Step away from the problem for a moment and take the client to someplace else that they do know.
  • take a look at “I Don’t Know”.  In other words, ask your client what it’s like not knowing.  Or how does “I don’t know impact them”.
  • You could take the risk and challenge them with “Is that true?” but be careful that doesn’t shut your client down as the “What if” phrase.
  • Ask something like, “What do you wish the answer was?” which is different.
  • Go a different direction completely.  Let it go and ask a different question.  Perhaps you’ll come back to it later and the client will have a better insight.
  • And there are tons more approaches.

Besides, when we’re taught to ask this question, we fall into the assumption that that is the magic question.  “All you have to do is ask your client that question and you’re doing amazing coaching.”
Yes.  True.  Except when it doesn’t work.

In other words, (and here’s another reason why it gets my grease-can) “Well, what if you did know” is a set response to the coach’s own experience of “I don’t know.”

Crap.  I don’t know what to do with this client.  I don’t know how to respond to what they just said.  I don’t know how to get out of this mess and i certainly don’t know how to coach “I don’t know”.  So why are we teaching our coaches how to handle “I don’t know” so poorly?

To tell you the truth… I Don’t Know.

What I DO know is that “I DON’T KNOW” is an exciting and amazing place to be.  It’s the doorway to unlimited possibility and potential.

Imagine instead of those dreaded three words, your client is actually saying, “Gee coach, I don’t have enough awareness, information or connection to my thoughts or emotions a this moment to answer your question clearly.”

What would your response be then?  think about it.  your client just said they don’t have enough awareness, information or connection to their thoughts and emotions.  What a coincidence!  That just happens to be your specialty (or, at least it should be).

Yes, I’m fired up about this.  It’s coming out now because it was a fantastic topic on today’s Fast Pass to MasterFull coaching class, where, on top of the lesson for today that explored ALIVENESS, we also focused on how to powerfully handle “I Don’t Know” in amazing ways.  How to appreciate and embrace “I don’t know”.  How to see “I don’t know” as the doorway and access to your client’s absolute brilliance and wisdom.

I could share more with you, but

A) This is a simple blog post, not a full out lesson.  that would take way too much time to write and I’m not sure if you would actually stick around and read it all anyway.

B) There’s so much more information that’s part of the Fast Pass class.  So I’ll invite you to join the next round beginning May 26 and you’ll not just learn how to handle “I don’t know” powerfully, but you’ll be able to do it, too.

C) There is no one way.  Every coach has their own way of handling this issue, and every clients works differently as well.  What is that magic and powerful way for you?

I don’t know.

But I’d sure be curious to find out.

 

So how do YOU handle “I don’t know”.  Please share.

(And before you quickly reply with “I don’t know”, stop for a moment.  Connect with that powerful, awesome and amazing coach that I know you are, and see what answer you come up with.

I’d love to know what you come up with and share.)

Tuesday Cruise-Day: Why I said Yes

I’ll be honest, when someone says to you, “Hey, would you like to plan a cruise?” my first reaction would normally be, “What?  Are you crazy?”

First off, it’s never been done before.  And there’s probably a reason for that.  Sure, there have been some “self-development” cruises out there, consisting of several figures in the business offering one or two workshops and anyone can register.  But we’re talking about a COACH TRAINING CRUISE… like, just for coaches.

But then again, I’ve had a past history of creating things to deepen our discovery of coaching–our power, confidence and success in this profession.

The Coaching Skills Forum started over 8 years ago when I was looking around for someplace I could go to have deep, provocative and engaging conversations about our coaching skills with other coaches.  I was only two years a coach and already sick of the calls out there that were all about getting on and listening for an hour to some other coach droning on about what they know.  That wasn’t fun.  And amazingly I found other coaches who felt the same way.  There is nothing else like it out there.

Coaches all over where (and still are) struggling with how to find their first five clients and get started.  And while there are lots of experts on building super coaching businesses, there was (and still is) precious little resources to help coaches really get moving to start building their business.  So I wrote “Finding Your First Five Clients”, which to this day answers so many questions.

 

Then I developed the Fast Pass to MasterFull Coaching, again because there was no place really coaches could go for Advanced Coach training.  Sure there were and always will be tons of workshops and classes that add to our toolbox, but precious few really sharpen our blades and provide us with powerful foundations that focus on the ART and PERFORMANCE of coaching.  And I continue to find coaches who are hungry for this experience and learning.  There really is nothing else like it out there.

And then I realized that while the ICF was stepping away from doing conferences, the Midwest chapters were beginning to collaborate with each other and a Midwest regional conference seemed the perfect things to focus our forces and combine our energies towards.  Now in our third year, it’s bigger and better than ever and is one of the largest and most exciting coaching events in the country.  And the unique part is that it’s a conference that’s created entirely “Of the Coaches, by the coaches and for the coaches.”  This conference continues to thrive because I was able to find other coaches out there who believed in the same thing and wanted to be a part of it.  Truly there is nothing else like it out there.

So I guess I’ve created a history of creating things that I feel are missing, that there’s a need for, and (and here’s the important part) there’s nothing else like it out there.

I think that’s what tipped it over the edge for me.

Just because it hasn’t been done before doesn’t mean that it can’t be done.  Think about it.  Everything that you have experienced didn’t exist at some point.

There was a time when someone had to recognize that now was the time, be willing to take the risk and find those others out there who were willing to support and play along.

So when one of my coach students proposed this idea to me, it tapped into three powerful motivators for me.

A) It was another way for me to help coaches and the coaching profession grow.

B) There were other coaches interested in participating and helping out.

C) It had never been done before.

So I guess I’m willing to take the risk.  Yes, it could be an absolute bust.    Who, after all, in their right mind would spend $1000 to get out of the cold and grey winter, play in the sun, eat as much wonderful food as they could, relax and rejuvanate, and grow their coaching?   Well, since i put it that way… maybe it’s not such a crazy idea after all.

I sure know it’s something that I would like.  And that’s how everything else has started.