The Ultimate Guide to Life Coach Salaries

Want to know how to make a good living as a coach? We've got answers!

Read Article →

20 Hottest Life Coaching Niches for 2021... And Beyond

How do you differentiate yourself as a life coach? Choose a specialty.

Read Article →

2021 State of Life Coaching & The Wellness Economy

Make the most of emerging trends within this $4.5 trillion industry.

Read Article →

Why Choose JRNI Life Coach Training?

You’ve got choices. time to find out if we check all your boxes!

Read Article →
Thank you! Your submission has been received!
Oops! Something went wrong while submitting the form.

View By Category

The Business of Life Coaching
4 Secrets to Help You Sell Your Coaching Services More Authentically
Learn the art of the successful sales call
Team JRNI
Jul 21, 2021
This is some text inside of a div block.
The Business of Life Coaching
This is some text inside of a div block.
used cms

Guest blog by Meredith McCreight

Meredith McCreight

Meredith is a brand consultant, designer + developer, and a certified coach. She owns Create Without Bounds, a creative consultancy that helps scale small businesses through soul-focused branding, strategic design, and authentic marketing. After receiving her coaching certification from JRNI in March 2018, Meredith realized she needed to integrate coaching into her design practice in service of women business owners. Five months later, after nearly a decade and a half in marketing and design jobs, she said goodbye to the corporate world forever and founded CWB.

Meredith believes everyone has a unique purpose in this lifetime, and it’s not only our divine right to live in alignment with our purpose, it’s our responsibility to share our gifts with this world in service of the greatest good. Branding and marketing are merely tools that allow us to spread the word about our gifts so that we may serve and impact our community.

Meredith would love to connect with you on her website, Instagram and Pinterest.

Authentic Sales Strategies for Life Coaches

When I first left my full-time design job and started my business, I had no problem getting work. But that’s not the same as getting clients

Right off the bat, I was able to secure several retainer contracts with companies who would send me small design projects daily or weekly. The money was great. The work... eh, not so much.

I spent my first six-plus months in business designing PowerPoint slides, white papers, and report graphics. Now don't get me wrong—I'm grateful that I had work at all. Starting a business is scary AF and it was nice to have reliable income.

But when I decided to integrate life coaching into my creative business, I had NO idea how to sell my services to potential clients.

IF I could even get someone on the phone with me to begin with, I fumbled through the call with white knuckles and desperation. And I'm still not sure why those clients agreed to work with me (but thank goodness they did!)

I believe that there's a lesson to be found in every experience, and ooof... did I learn some hard lessons over the following year. Here are a few of the biggies:

  • When you're willing to do anything for a client's money, they can sense it. And many times, they will take advantage of it. You may find yourself doing things you don't enjoy long term, or even things that you’re not even good at.
  • When you let a potential client negotiate you down to a price that is less than what you're worth, you actually feel less worthy (and resentful) as a result. The quality of your service suffers because you’re not happy about the work or the client relationship.
  • When you aren't clear about what you offer, you'll attract clients who aren't clear about what they want. Even if you "close the sale" and sign someone on as a paying client, it often doesn't end up feeling like a win.

You may be wondering at this point how TF are lots of top coaches are:

  • Attracting great clients,
  • Getting clients to pay high ticket prices for their services, and
  • Enjoying a healthy working relationship?!

They weren't born with some super power that other humans don't have.

They aren't even using a proprietary method of selling.

They simply understand that there are a few critical elements that are required to be able to sell effectively, authentically, and in sustainable ways.  

What are they? I gotchu. 

How To Conduct A High Value Sales Conversation

Secret #1: Embrace an Attitude of Service

It starts with making sure your heart is in the right place. A sales conversation can’t just be about… the sale. If you're not deeply committed to helping people, they will be able to feel that and will take their business to someone who is.

Secret #2: Understand Your Client’s Pain

Next, you must understand what your client is experiencing in order to offer them a solution for their problem. If you took your car to a mechanic and they told you that you needed thousands of dollars worth of work done, but they hadn't even looked under the hood of your car, that would be bananas right?! 

We can't sell solutions to problems our clients don't have. This means understanding how their main problem is causing pain in other areas of their life — financial, physical, relationships, etc. In order to have a clear offer, which leads to a successful sales conversation, it’s critical to research your audience and understand where they’re stuck and how that’s affecting their ability to be whole and happy.

Secret #3: Offer Less Options With More Value

The most successful life coaches create a minimal amount of offers and pack a ton of value into each one. Instead of offering the client whatever they ask for, bending over backwards to accommodate, offer one to three things (services, packages, programs, courses, etc.) and let them choose from those and only those. 

Being clear about your coaching offers  makes the decision easy for a potential client—they’re either in or out, no wishy washy business.

Secret #4: Plan and Practice Your Call Script

The initial/informational call—that’s a sales call, whether you call it that or not. And there's a script for it! For real. 

You can customize it so it doesn't feel scripted, but there are legit phases of the call and psychological evidence that those phases actually work. It's a non-salesy, non-pushy, compassionate and empathetic method of selling to people who are a good fit for you. Being clear and confident helps you command your worth as a successful coach, and makes it much less likely that potential clients will try to take advantage of you.

Sound too good to be true? 

I promise it's not. And ANYONE—including you—can learn and implement these tools and strategies. 

Build Your Coaching Business One Conversation At A Time

Here’s how you can start creating your own authentic sales process today:

1) Write down your WHY. It’s easy to embrace an attitude of service when we have a clear understanding of why we’re doing the thing we’re doing. Fill in this value statement: To [insert your contribution / service] so that [insert your impact / the benefit to clients]. 

2) Do your homework. Conduct some market research on your audience. Who are they? Where are they? What are their current struggles? Where are they stuck? Where do they want to be? What’s stopping them from getting there? In other words, what does that ideal client want? You may also look into other service providers who have the same audience and take note of any strategies or tools they’re using to connect with this audience that you might be able to integrate into your sales and marketing plans. 

3) Create your offer(s). Write out and price each individual offer (up to three). What’s included? How long does it take to complete? How is it different from other offers in the market? Any bonuses or perks? How much does it cost? How can new clients sign up? 

4) Craft your sales script. Write out what you will say on your sales calls. How will you empathize with your potential clients to validate their feelings and show them you understand where they’re stuck? How will you get them to where they want to be? How will you take their first payment? What are the next steps after a client commits? Or, how will you respond if they say no? 

Organizing the elements of your sales process, and keeping them authentic to you and those that you serve, will create a sense of alignment that will boost your confidence on your initial calls with potential clients.

I'm willing to bet that it will also result in a better response.

If you’d like more support implementing these strategies in your own coaching business, I cover all this and more, including the exact script for your sales calls, in Soul Centric Selling, an online course for service providers who want to learn a new system to sell more confidently and consistently, in a way that feels heart-centered and authentic.

Want to Be A Life Coach?

One of our values at JRNI is that we dare to be different. Our coaches like Meredith ignore the expectations society tries to impose on them, and seek to live from their own truth instead. If you are ready to step into your power and you’d like some partners in the process, come check out JRNI Life Coach Training. Grounded in science, our ICF accredited program features authentic instructors, a robust curriculum, and business instruction to prepare you for liftoff in the life coaching industry.

JRNI Coaching: Vibrant community. Evidence-based life coach training. Lifetime support.

Podcast
How to Coach Others Through Grief (And Grieve the Lives You Won’t Live)
Explore exercises that can help clients process grief and loss
Team JRNI
Jul 16, 2021
This is some text inside of a div block.
Podcast
This is some text inside of a div block.
used cms

The Everything Life Coaching Podcast, featuring JRNI Coaching founders John Kim and Noelle Cordeaux, is a deep dive into the experience and business of being a life coach. In this episode, we discuss how coaches can best support clients in navigating grief and loss.

Navigating Grief & Loss

Often when we think about grief, we associate it with the specific loss that occurs when someone dies. However, grief is complex and arises in response to many forms of loss. This can often include the loss of the person you used to be, or a hoped-for future that is unlikely to come to pass. 

As coaches, how can we grieve and help our clients process grief as well?

One of the most arduous and universal trials of human life is enduring our grief. The deep pain and suffering that characterizes grief can be life-changing. When faced with grief, we carry a heavy burden of sorrow with us as we attempt to make sense of life again.

While the inevitability and permanence of loss connects us all, the time it takes to accept loss is unique to every individual. Nevertheless, research suggests three common personal rituals that can help us adapt to loss: letting go, self-transformation, and honoring. 

What do we mean by “honoring”?

Honoring a person’s memory plays a significant role in developing emotional acceptance. A helpful approach to coping with grief is to not minimize our experience, but to instead cultivate and remember the good things related to the loss when possible. 

Rather than dwelling on stories of loss and despair, honoring and reflection offers a meaningful and tangible route to transiting through a hard chapter through the preservation of memories. 

What We Need to Know as Coaches

Recovery after bereavement takes time, and for some, the grieving process may take much longer than others. There is no set schedule for grieving, and there should be no pressure to ‘move on.” Grief work is not about getting over the loss. Quite the opposite, in fact. While caught in the grip of grief, it’s unlikely that one can even begin to imagine "accepting the loss." 

If acute grief is interfering with a client’s ability to function, it’s appropriate to refer out for support from a therapist. This doesn’t mean, however, that working with grief is necessarily beyond the scope of your role as a coach. Coaching is an ideal space for addressing personal transformation, acceptance, and the ritualistic aspects of moving through loss. 

Let's explore 2 exercises you can use with coaching clients to support them in processing through grief.

Exercise 1: Reconciling Loss

This exercise can be an effective tool for helping a client renegotiate their relationship with grief so that they can remember and solidify an enduring connection with what they have lost. This exercise is also extremely personal. While the sharing of stories can help give meaning to loss and remind the bereaved that they are not alone, clients do not have to share completed works with you or others if they choose not to or are not ready to do so.

If, at any point, a client becomes overwhelmed by this exercise, they should be encouraged to take a break and return to the activity when they feel ready to do so with no rush or time constraints. It is important that the questions are worked through without unnecessary pressure.

Taking the First Step: Identify the Loss

This could be the loss of a person or pet, a personal identity, a relationship, or anything that is meaningful to your client. This step is all about reflecting on and thinking about special memories, and the different ways in which this subject influenced their life.

The hope is that by thinking about all those unique characteristics and stories, it will help your client realize that their relationship with the subject encompasses more than the pain they are feeling right now. Grief is not easy to bear, and it can be difficult to remember the good times before the loss, but by looking back, we can also begin to look forward.

Have your client take as much time as they need to think about the following questions and write their responses. It can be helpful to share these questions with them as a handout that they can complete in writing.

Exercise Questions:

  • Name the loss.
  • What three words best describe your loved one/identity/relationship/life chapter?
  • What advice, quotes, or sayings do you remember or associate with them/it?
  • What do you love or appreciate most about this loved one/identity/relationship/life chapter?
  • Think back over the gifts this loved one/identity/relationship/life chapter gave to you (including skills or life lessons they/it taught you). Which of these gifts means the most? Why is this gift so meaningful?
  • In what ways has this relationship or chapter helped you become the person that you are today?

Exercise 2: Honoring Lost Possible Selves

In her book Creating Your Best Life, Caroline Miller talks about the importance of honoring lost possible selves. The idea is that when we lose someone or something, the space of loss opens up a new field for a different self identity to emerge.  

Miller recommends honoring this past version of you as it relates to your loss, and saying goodbye to that version of self through a narrative essay exercise. Once you are done writing your goodbye, it is appropriate to burn or wash away your note. Afterward, it may be comforting to approach this cleared space inside with curiosity for what new life will emerge.

Episode Resources

The concepts and exercises discussed in this episode are adapted from the work of Elaine Houston, Caroline Miller, and Kristen Neff.

Additional reading:

Coryell, D. M. (1998). Good grief: Healing through the shadow of loss. Shiva Foundation.

Neimeyer, R. (1999). Narrative strategies in grief therapy. Journal of Constructivist Psychology, 12, 65-85.

Miller, Caroline Adams, Creating your best life. New York : Sterling, ©2009, (DLC) 2010275766

Sas, C., & Coman, A. (2016). Designing personal grief rituals: An analysis of symbolic objects and actions. Death Studies, 40, 558-569.

Walter, T. (1994). The revival of death. Routledge.

Castle, J., & Phillips, W.L. (2003). Grief rituals: Aspects that facilitate adjustment to bereavement. Journal of Loss & Trauma, 8, 41-71.

Fareez, M. (2015). The ‘Life Certificate’: A tool for grief work in Singapore. The International Journal of Narrative Therapy & Community Work, 2, 1-12.

Want to Become a Coach?

If you’d like to talk with a member of the JRNI team to find out if coaching is right for you, we’d love to hear from you! Schedule a call to get your questions answered, and discover how you can become a force for even greater good. 

JRNI Coaching: Vibrant community. Evidence-based life coach training. Lifetime support.

Inspiration
8 Books on Life Coaching That Will Inspire You To Take the Next Step
Enhance your coaching knowledge and skills with one of these picks!
Team JRNI
Jul 15, 2021
This is some text inside of a div block.
Inspiration
This is some text inside of a div block.
used cms

Ready for your next good read? 

We’ve assembled a sampling from the best life coaching books available, including both new releases as well as a handful of the tried-and-true classics you’ll want to be familiar with.

This collection of authors explore core themes related to the practice of life coaching, some of which include:

  • How to find a job you love
  • Living with passion and purpose
  • Conscious leadership 
  • Why change can be challenging, and what to do about it
  • Intentional life design

And yes, you may notice some of our picks aren’t explicitly “books about life coaching” - and that’s by design. These recommendations offer a range of examples that together demonstrate what life coaching is all about.

Mindset. Habits. Inner Guidance. Transformation.

In other words, some of the essential ingredients required for achieving meaningful outcomes as a coach!

Whether you're currently working as a coach, or considering becoming one, you’ll find plenty of inspiration here… along with practical guidance to help you make the right decision for your own life and career.

BEST LIFE COACHING BOOKS

 (A sampling!)

Walks of Life book cover

Walks Of Life by Jill Fratto

If you’re looking for a how-to primer that covers the ins and outs of becoming a coach, consider this guide. Written by an ICF certified professional coach with more than 15 years of experience, it’s one of the best books on life coaching “from A-Z” that we’ve encountered recently. In it, Fratto addresses everything you need to know about how to successfully enter the coaching industry.

Walks of Life delivers practical guidance on a variety of topics, including:

  • What life coaching is (and isn’t!)
  • Characteristics of a good coach
  • Coaching niches and specialties
  • How to choose a coach training program
  • The step-by-step process for getting certified as a coach
  • Coaching tools and techniques
  • Client case studies
  • Finding employment as a coach
  • Starting a life coaching business
  • Marketing and attracting potential clients
  • Contracting and ethics
Helping People Change book cover

Helping People Change: Coaching with Compassion for Lifelong Learning and Growth by Richard Boyatzis, Melvin Smith, and Ellen Van Oosten

Authors Boyatzis, Smith and Van Oosten contend that good coaching is about far more than helping people to achieve goals or solve problems. Rather, coaches can make the greatest impact by helping their clients connect (or re-connect!) to their personal vision, values, dreams, passion and purpose. This in turn stimulates intrinsic motivation, which is the  foundation from which sustainable change and growth can arise. 

Grounded in five-decades of research and experience, the authors draw directly from their work together at Case Western University, where they founded the Coaching Research Lab. The resulting guidance offered in this book is a useful primer on how to coach from a person-centered, rather than a problem-centered perspective. 

“With this book, we present a message of hope. The way to engage and inspire people to learn and change in sustained ways is not difficult, although it may seem counterintuitive at times. We discuss how to stimulate a person to explore new ideas in the context of his dreams and personal vision while on the way to solving specific problems. We explore what effective coaches and helpers do to help individuals make sustained, desired change in their lives. We examine not only an approach for effective coaching, but also what it looks like and, perhaps more importantly, what it feels like to be engaged in a meaningful coaching relationship from the perspective of both the coach and the person being coached.” - Boyatzis, Smith and Van Oosten
Transformational Life Coaching book cover

Transformational Life Coaching: Creating Limitless Opportunities for Yourself and Others by Cherie Carter-Scott, PhD.

Considered by many to be “the original life coach," Cherie Carter-Scott has been in the game for decades. A Master Certified Coach with the International Coaching Federation, she’s blazed a clear path for others to follow. In 1974, she founded the first life coach training program, and has been teaching coaches ever since.

In this book, Carter-Scott distills the essentials of how to deliver “transformation” in practical terms. She shares proven strategies that have been taught to thousands of students at the MMS Worldwide Institute, including:

  • The Checklist for a 'Brilliant' Session
  • The importance of acknowledging, integrating, and honoring feelings
  • Listening to messages to guide the process
  • Use of flow, energy, and chakras in the coaching process
  • How to transform old negative patterns into positive imprints
  • How to market and build your coaching practice
  • The Twelve Steps to Living the Process of Transformational Life Coaching

 

Find Your F*CKyeah book cover

Find Your F*Ckyeah: Stop Censoring Who You Are and Discover What You Really Want by Alexis Rockley

Alexis Rockley knows how to rock data, and she’s made it her mission to "bridge the gap between science and self help." In this book, she translates the research into practical terms, explaining why people get stuck… and what to do about it. 

A positive-psychology trained coach, Rockley guides the reader on an entertaining adventure inside the mind. Her contention is that gurus, teachers, coaches and influencers can’t give us the magic formula to achieve calmer, happier, or more fulfilling life - or as she likes to call it, your "F*CKyeah!” Ultimately, each one of us must unlock the code to happiness for ourselves. What Rockwell offers in these pages is a jumpstart to that process, helping you unlearn what isn’t working… so that you can get down to what actually does.

"So many people want to reinvent their lives but get totally stuck. Rockley breaks down the science of how that happens, while providing readers with the tools to break through the self-sabotaging sh*t that’s holding them back. Want to start living a kick ass life on your terms? Start here.” - Sarah Bliss, author of Take the Leap: Change your Career, Change Your Life

Designing Your Life book cover

Designing Your Life: How to Build a Well-Lived, Joyful Life by Bill Burnett and Dave Evans

The origins of this book makes for a great story in and of itself. Bill Burnett and Dave Evans both had long and interesting careers in Silicon Valley before they began teaching design theory at Stanford. After encountering student after student brimming with potential but lacking clear cut goals for the future, they wondered if the very same principles that apply to design thinking could be applied to life itself.

The outcome of that question turned into one of Stanford University’s most popular courses: “Designing Your Life”. It also resulted in some great research on the topic, this book, and a host of courses, workshops and frameworks! 

If you’re intrigued by LIfe Design, you'll also want to check out the recent podcast hosted by JRNI co-founders John Kim and Noelle Cordeaux: What’s Life Design, and How Do You Use it in Coaching?


Co-Active Coaching book cover

Co-Active Coaching: Changing Business, Transforming Lives by Henry Kimsey-House, Karen Kimsey-House, Phillip Sandahl, Laura Whitworth, Tim Andres Pabon, and Gildan Medi, LLC

Now in its 4th edition, this practical manual is often referred to as “the coach’s bible.” Written by the founders of the Co-Active Training Institute (formerly The Coaches Training Institute), the authors continue to innovate as thought leaders within the coaching industry.  

Written with business leaders in mind, this book provides a toolkit of resources that are easily applicable for coaches across practice specialties. It includes an exploration of techniques, exercises and ethical considerations that can help deepen and expand your practice as a coach or manager.

“Coaching basics are an essential skill set for any manager or leader who is interested in developing other people, so I use Co-Active Coaching material in most of the MBA courses I teach. Without fail, it engages the hearts and minds of people who care about acquiring meaningful and effective skills they can immediately put to use.” —Heidi Brooks, Ph.D., Director of Yale School of Management Mentoring Program, Lecturer at Yale School of Management, Clinical Assistant Professor at Yale School of Medicine, Department of Psychiatry

The Power of Habit book cover

The Power of Habit: Why We Do What We Do in Life and Business by Charles Duhigg

Our lives are ruled in large part by our habits. We know this. So why is it so hard to swap out a bad habit for a better one? MIT professor Ann M. Graybiel wondered the same thing, so she studied it. And what MIT researchers found has helped to shape our understanding of how the human brain works. 

“I have become fascinated with habits and rituals — and with trying to understand the neurobiology that underlies these behaviors of ours. Our habits are so familiar to us, so common in our lives, that for many of the little habits and mannerisms that we have, we almost are unaware that we are doing them — from morning routines to evening routines.” - Ann M. Graybiel

According to Graybiel, our behaviors get wired in, like well worn trails inside the brain. This is why it can take a lot of effort to shift into a new pattern of behavior - we're mentally resisting the impulse to follow a more familiar route. To change a habit, we have to bushwack a new trail inside our mind. 

In his book The Power of Habit, Charles Duhigg explains the Habit Loop that was discovered by Graybiel and her team of researchers at MIT, and how to disrupt it step by step. If you want to dive deeper into the theory and practice of habit change, we encourage you to explore Duhigg’s insightful and engaging work! 

Finding Your Own North Star book cover

Finding Your Own North Star: Claiming the Life You Were Meant to Live by Martha Beck

A Harvard-trained sociologist and columnist for O, The Oprah Magazine, Martha Beck is a giant in the field of coaching - and for good reason. She's written several books on life coaching, but Finding Your Own North Star may well be her classic.

In this book, Beck guides the reader through the process of attuning to your own internal compass. Along the way, she deconstructs how we’ve been socialized to ignore our personal inner wisdom, and offers guidance on how to recalibrate. Packed with exercises, case studies, and techniques from her own coaching practice, Beck deftly connects data and theory together with its practical application.

“Explorers depend on the North Star when there are no other landmarks in sight. The same relationship exists between you and your right life, the ultimate realization of your potential for happiness. I believe that a knowledge of that perfect life sits inside you just as the North Star sits in its unaltering spot.” — Martha Beck

Hungry for more brain candy?

JRNI Coaching is a community of intellectually curious humans dedicated to making an impact. Our coaches ignore the expectations society tries to impose on them, and seek to live from their own truth instead. If you are ready to step into your power and you’d like some partners in the process, come check out JRNI Life Coach Training. Grounded in science, our ICF accredited program features authentic instructors, a robust curriculum, and business instruction to prepare you for liftoff.

JRNI Coaching: Vibrant community. Evidence-based life coach training. Lifetime support.

Inspiration
Reaching Back Out: How to Build the Social Support We All Need
The value of community, and how to build yours with intention
Team JRNI
Jul 14, 2021
This is some text inside of a div block.
Inspiration
This is some text inside of a div block.
used cms

Guest Blog by Hannah Rudnick, MSW

Hannah Rudnick

Hannah Rudnick, MSW is an Empowerment Coach who has been working with people to embrace their best selves for over ten years. After leaving her career as a therapist to stay home with her first child, Hannah learned first-hand the importance of staying in touch with one’s true self and standing up for one’s needs. 

Hannah believes that all people have inherent value and deserve to live lives free from oppression and full of joy. She works with clients to get to know their deepest selves, feel confident in their decisions, and focus on living a life that feels authentic and empowered. Hannah works with clients from all walks of life, and also has a uniquely developed coaching program for parents who are ready to make themselves a focus in their lives again, as well as coaching for couples and group coaching.

Follow Hannah on Instagram @hannah_rudnick_coaching, or visit her website www.hannahrudnickcoaching.com to learn more about her work, or to book a free discovery call.  

How to Build the Social Support We All Need

Humans have always been social creatures who thrive among community. The last year was difficult for just about everyone for a myriad of reasons, but particularly in how it isolated us from the people we rely on for connection. 

As a coach, I just can’t help but look at a difficult situation and ask myself, “Okay, what’s the lesson here?”

While I imagine there are quite a few lessons to be learned from the pandemic, one that sticks out for me is just how essential our support system is to our wellbeing. When all else was stripped away, what my clients missed most wasn’t restaurants or concerts, it was sitting with their trusted loved ones and connecting. 

In a society that is becoming increasingly isolated, this sense of connection is more important than ever. 

In their book Burnout: The Secret to Unlocking the Stress Cycle, Amelia and Emily Nagoski argue that human beings are built to move between time filled with connection, or within what they call the “bubble of love,” and time to ourselves.

Over the last year, that oscillation hasn’t been possible, and it’s hurt us. We need a place for our feelings, for our experiences, for our worries and dreams, and that place is often in the circle of trust and love that is being in relationship with others. 

Relationships come in all shapes and sizes, and in all walks of life. A relationship can be between two or ten, among those with similarities or vast differences. The importance lies in the connection, the listening, the trust, and the steadfast support that carries us through. 

We know that creating “social capital” or a strong social support system, is crucial to our wellbeing as humans, particularly now that we are, in some areas, beginning to emerge from the isolation of pandemic living. (1) Connection with others helps bring meaning to our lives, and impacts how we interact with both the outside world and our own internal struggles. (2)

JRNI Coaching CEO Noelle Cordeaux’s recent blog about post-pandemic growth gives us a deep understanding of just how important these connections are in our lives. She argues that if we lead with love and empathy toward one another and return our focus to a more collective experience, we can create a “new threshold of shared humanity.” She continues to say that “a byproduct of this outcome is a world where chronic stress holds less power over us, and a world where we can all find abundant peace and safety through community.” 

Knowing is, of course, the first step; but what do we do next?

How do we build and utilize that support system in ways that work for us, specifically? 

Some of us will have networks already built that we simply need to reconnect with, and some of us will be starting from scratch. For some it is easy to reach out for support, and for others it is terrifyingly vulnerable. There is no one right way to connect; as usual, there are only the right questions to ask. 

What does a support system look like for you?

Mia Birdsong wrote in her phenomenal book, How We Show Up: Reclaiming Family, Friendship, and Community, that “the culture of a friendship is something we can make up if we take the opportunity to talk about what we want it to be. That infinite possibility is freeing.” 

We all see family, friendship, and support differently. Think about a time in your life when you felt held, cared for. Who was around? What did that look like for you? Think about what an ideal support system would look like so that you have a blueprint for what you want to build. 

Let your intuition and your imagination guide you. We don’t have to let what society, our families, or the movies have taught us dictate the parameters of our social support system. We have the grand opportunity to create something unique and beautiful that works for our own lives and needs. 

What can you do to build a support system?

An important step in the growth process is looking for the gems that are already in your jewelry box. What support do you already have? Who is already in your “bubble of love”? Who are the people in your life to whom you can extend a hand in times of need or joy? 

Sometimes it’s less about building something new, and more about growing what we already have.

Take time to make a list of who you already know and value in your life. If the list of people in your life isn’t quite as robust as you would like, take a look at areas of connection (parenthood, professional organizations, interest groups, creative communities, etc.)

  • What interests you? 
  • What are important identity and connection points between you and others? 
  • Where can you find these people? 
  • Who at work or school can you connect with? 

Online groups are also a great place to start. Perhaps you’re a mom looking for other moms to commiserate and share joys with. Is there a local mom’s group or class you can join? Local groups offer wonderful opportunities for connection. 

  • What is available in your neighborhood that you can attend? 
  • Are there religious or spiritual communities you’d like to join? 
  • Is there a local softball team or reading group? 

Take the time to figure out how you want to connect, and then find where those people congregate. 

We often feel like we’re the only ones out there looking for community, but I promise you are not. There are others out there who have decided to create spaces for connection, our job is just to find them and then be brave enough to join. 

Stitching the fabric of community

Okay, so once you’ve decided who you’re going to call, or you’ve found the group you’re going to attend, how do you then utilize those connections to build the strongest social support system?

It’s not enough to know people, we must be close to them. We need to build strong connections that will carry us through difficult times. This means we have to model the behaviors we want from others. 

  • What would a true, deep friendship look like to you? 
  • What does it mean to be in real relationship with someone? 

As Birdsong explains, we often save our relationship-defining exploration and conversation for romantic partnerships, but there is nothing keeping us from setting up the understandings, expectations, and boundaries in all our relationships that make them thrive. The idea is to be intentional and thoughtful about how we are showing up, and how we’d like others to show up for us, and then to be vulnerable enough to talk about it. 

Part of building those relationships is also prioritizing them and giving them the time and space to grow. 

In our busy lives we tend to put our relationships on the back burner, assuming that because in our hearts we care, things will just work themselves out. The thing is, what we water is what grows. If we do not put focus and time into relationships, we can’t expect them to thrive. 

So, ask yourself: how can I create space in my life for the prioritization of my support system? How can I make that one of the pillars of my life?

What obstacles might get in your way?

As always, rarely is anything so simple as just “doing it”. We may know what we need to do, but that doesn’t mean we don’t see obstacles standing in our way. Generally, obstacles are either internal or external. That is, they either come from within us and have to do with our own perspective, or they come from the world around us. 

When it comes to reaching out for support and connection, we are talking about making ourselves vulnerable, and that can be scary. Many of us might feel anywhere from awkward to terrified at reaching out to long-lost or new people, and that is completely understandable. 

If you read the above and started to get a knot in your stomach, I see you. Take a deep breath. Now ask yourself: what is it that is causing this reaction? What story am I telling myself that makes me feel scared to reach out? 

The reality is that all forms of connection involve making ourselves vulnerable. 

If we are ever to gain the myriad of benefits from our relationships with others, we will need to address whatever makes that vulnerability difficult. Whether it comes from low self-value, a fear of rejection, or any other internal obstacle, coaching is a wonderful place to start working on what’s keeping us from reaching out. 

There are also external obstacles that can make building our community more complicated.

A demanding and time-consuming profession, small children, caring for family members, transportation or technological limitations; these are just a few of what may come up when we start to think about reaching out. 

Understanding our obstacles is, of course, essential to making a plan. The more we address them up front, the less challenging they appear as they arise. So, list your obstacles and then think of all the ways you can address them. 

Often just thinking of a challenge can make us lose some steam, but if we ask ourselves not if, but how we will manage that challenge, we begin to see that very few obstacles are immovable, or at least impossible to work around. 

For both internal and external obstacles, the questions we must ask ourselves are: what is one thing I can try that might help me overcome? What has worked for me when I’ve come up against this challenge in the past? 

Pick something to try, and we think of it not as a test you might fail, but as an experiment that will give you data for the next attempt. 

Now it’s time for the next step.

You have all your information. You know who to call. You know what obstacles you may face and what you can try should they come up. All there is left to do is to put it all together in the plan that will help you build your community. 

What will you do first? 

What is one step you can take that feels like you are moving forward, but isn’t way out of your comfort zone? Start there! 

For each of us, this will be different. Some may be ready to start making multiple phone calls and setting up hangouts; others may want to start with sending one email. The important thing is that you start, and that you keep moving. 

Remember, you get to decide the community you want to create for yourself. 

We all have a different “relationship to relationships”. We have varied histories and experiences, but the one thing we all have in common is our humanity. As humans we need connection; not only do we need it, we deserve it. 

You deserve it. 

Somewhere waiting for you is a beloved community that will hold you in the way you need to be held. All you have to do is take one step toward it.

Article footnotes:
(1) Reblin, M. & Uchino, B. 2008. “Social and Emotional Support and its Implication for Health”, Current Opinion in Psychiatry. 21(2), 201-205
doi: 10.1097/YCO.0b013e3282f3ad89
(2) Harandi, T., Taghinasab, M., Nayeri, T. 2017. “The correlation of social support with mental health: A meta-analysis”, Electronic Physician. 9(9), 5212-5222.

Ready to Be A Coach?

One of our values at JRNI is that we dare to be different. Our coaches like Hannah ignore the expectations society tries to impose on them, and seek to live from their own truth instead. If you are ready to step into your power and you’d like some partners in the process, come check out JRNI Life Coach Training. Grounded in science, our ICF accredited program features authentic instructors, a robust curriculum, business instruction to prepare you for liftoff as an entrepreneur.

JRNI Coaching: Vibrant community. Evidence-based life coach training. Lifetime support.

Podcast
What's Life Design, and How Do You Use it in Coaching?
Help clients discover their truth with the Life Design method
Team JRNI
Jul 9, 2021
This is some text inside of a div block.
Podcast
This is some text inside of a div block.
used cms

The Everything Life Coaching Podcast, featuring JRNI Coaching founders John Kim and Noelle Cordeaux, is a deep dive into the experience and business of being a life coach. In this episode, we’re exploring how to “build your way forward” with the Life Design method.

What’s Life Design?

Drawn from the work of Stanford University instructors Bill Burnett and Dan Evans, Life Design is a problem-solving methodology that can be used to navigate change and transition at any stage of life using creative, iterative, human-centered approaches. 

Design Thinking graphic: inspiration, empathy, ideation, implementation, prototyping

Life Design has its roots in the fields of career planning, psychology, and the design thinking process. This method “applies design thinking to tackling the "wicked" problems of life and vocational wayfinding.” (Stanford Life Design Lab)

How Does It Apply to Coaching?

Life Design is rooted in the idea that you can “build your way forward,” based on curiosity, trial, and evaluation. This is a great method to draw from when a life coaching client is working on a “feeling goal” versus a more clear cut target or objective. 

What’s the difference?

Feeling Goal: “I want to be productive and happy in life.”

Target Goal: “I want to graduate from NYU Law, with a focus on entrepreneurship, then settle in the suburbs of New York to be in close proximity to my mother.”

In the second example, you’re working with coaching tools that support your client in laying out a plan and taking clear, actionable steps toward their desired outcome. Progress is measurable.

But what about that first example? As a coach, how do you help your client define and measure a more subjective end state such as “productive and happy”? This could mean many things! In this case, we aren’t really starting with the future vision and working our way backwards because there are so many possible outcomes.

This is precisely where design thinking comes into play. 

The process involves brainstorming like crazy, and a willingness to consider “outside the box” thinking and action. With each experiment, the client evaluates and improvises until they come up with something that works for them. 

When it comes to “feeling goals”, only the client can determine when they arrive at a desired state such as “productive and happy”. 

“Feelings goals" are awesome.

Here's why. Defining how we want to FEEL in our lives is often a far more precious objective than chasing levels of achievement and accomplishment as defined by society at large.

Where Did Life Design Come From?

Bill Burnett and Dave Evans both had long and interesting careers in Silicon Valley before they began teaching design theory at Stanford. After encountering student after student brimming with potential but lacking clear cut goals for the future, they wondered if the very same principles that apply to design thinking could be applied to life itself!

The outcome of that question turned into one of Stanford University’s most popular courses: “Designing Your Life”. It also resulted in some great research on the topic, a book by the same name, and a host of courses, workshops and frameworks.

What Do We Need to Know?

When we apply design thinking to our lives, we end up with a way of living that is generative. 

What this means is that your life is constantly evolving, creative, productive, challenging, and changing... and that there will always be the possibility of surprise.

If you hate the idea of tossing out the rule book, Life Design might make you feel a little squirmy at first! But as Frank Zappa once said: "If you end up with a boring, miserable life because you listened to your mom, your dad, your teacher, your priest, or some guy on television telling you how to do your shit, you deserve it."

So - let this be an invitation to run the gauntlet and see what happens when you embrace the potential for mystery around every corner!

How Do We Do It?

1. Radically accept where you are on your life’s journey.

We can understand the heart of what this means through the words of Dr. Maya Angelou:

 “We have to confront ourselves.  Do we like what we see in the mirror?  And, according to our light, according to our understanding, according to our courage, we will have to say yea or nay – and rise!”

2. Forget finding your passion! Seek first to understand yourself.

Very few people have “just one thing” that they are passionate about. Life Design requires constant and continual self-reflection, so lean into your curiosity. You cannot design your life well if you don't understand who you are, where you come from, and what unique interests and skills you have to offer the world.

3. Define what matters to you.

Investigate and take ownership of what matters to you about yourself, others, and the world. Release what doesn’t align with the person you want to be. 

4. Brainstorm many possible pathways. 

Instead of imagining one “desired future state”, think of 3, 5, or 10 very different future lives that you could picture yourself happily inhabiting. Consider an array of options.

5. Build a network through empathizing with and learning from others.

Connecting with other people and learning from them is something many of us are not used to doing. Traditional schooling has taught many of us to be competitive, stay in our own lane, and do our own work. Point of fact: students often get expelled for copying, or “cheating” by working with another student to find an answer. 

In Life Design, the idea is to cheat away!

Talk to people. See who’s doing what, and which approaches you might want to emulate in your own life.

It’s important here to acknowledge that this can be intimidating and difficult for many, especially those who do not have strong social capital.

Attempting to break into entirely new networks, especially ones that have historically excluded people of diverse backgrounds and identities, can be challenging. Coaching can help model how to do this effectively.

6. Design your story + your personal brand.

Guess what? This isn’t a one-and-done process. You can and will change along the way!

7. Try it out.

Test your ideas and assumptions in the real world. Yes, this can and should be messy and imperfect. Know that you can always pivot and reverse course.

8. Be flexible.

Adapt your plan based on what you learn. Whatever the outcome, where you end up will rarely look exactly like what you thought it would be.

9. Focus on who you are evolving INTO, not one static future. 

Life design is all about the journey. You might find yourself in a life you absolutely love, only to realize three years from now that it's time to move on to something new. So when that moment comes, as it likely will, remind yourself that life design is an iterative process. It’s something that you draw on again and again throughout life, and one that can be applied to help you redesign any arena of life.

10. Believe your life is worth designing.

Yes, you friend! Your life has infinite value and worth. You deserve a life brimming with vitality and purpose. Bring intention to the process, and enjoy the unfolding.

Every time you state what you want or believe, you’re the first to hear it. It’s a message to both you and others about what you think is possible. – Oprah Winfrey

Ready to Help People Design More Satisfying Lives?

If you’d like to put life design theory into practice as a coach, come check out JRNI Life Coach Training. Grounded in science, our ICF accredited program features authentic instructors, a robust curriculum, and fellow students dedicated to becoming a force for good in the world. 

JRNI Coaching: Vibrant community. Evidence-based life coach training. Lifetime support.

Life Coaching
The Difference Between a Therapist and a Life Coach
Let's bust the myth that coaches are “wannabe therapists”!
Team JRNI
Jul 7, 2021
This is some text inside of a div block.
Life Coaching
This is some text inside of a div block.
used cms

One of the most commonly held misconceptions about life coaching is that it’s "just another form of therapy".

It’s easy to understand why. People who seek out life coaches, therapists, and counselors are all linked by a common desire to make progress or experience some form of change in their lives.

So what’s the difference between a therapist and a life coach?

While practitioners in each of these areas share some overlapping tools and frameworks, there are very real distinctions between them. Depending upon where you are starting from, as well as the end result you’re looking for, those differences can be significant.

Whether you’re considering joining one of these professions, or just looking to hire the right practitioner to meet your current needs, it’s useful to understand what sets each of these modalities apart.

Therapy

“Therapy” has become a catchall term that covers a wide array of mental health services and techniques. Generally speaking, a therapist is trained in the workings of the human mind, and has a particular license to practice psychotherapy. These professionals have undergone advanced training, usually at the master’s or doctoral level.

A therapist is who you’d see if you want to take a deep inward dive.

Talk therapy most often focuses on exploring and processing the events and influences of your past, and how those experiences may be shaping your behavior in the present. A therapist is also who you’d want to check in with if you are experiencing emotional or behavior challenges that interfere with your ability to function at your best.

Therapists are licensed to treat mental illnesses using psychotherapeutic methods, and help their clients achieve and maintain baseline mental health. Psychotherapy includes treatment of depression, anxiety, PTSD, bipolar disorder, and other diagnosable conditions.

Only therapists and counselors are qualified to determine and diagnose mental illnesses. This is exclusive to the practice of psychotherapy, and wholly outside the scope of practice for life coaches.

Life Coach vs. Therapist, a practitioner’s perspective:

“I see therapy and coaching as being on a continuum, both equally important and beneficial, but at different points in a person's life. If your desire is to get where you NEED to be (back to baseline), hire a great therapist. If your desire is to get where you WANT to be (your best possible future), hire a great coach. That being said, I also believe that coaching and therapy don't have to be mutually exclusive. There are many people who could benefit from having both simultaneously - if done mindfully, intentionally, and with a fairly tight focus on the desired outcome.” - David Kessler, therapist and JRNI coaching graduate 

Counseling

Counseling is similar to therapy in many ways, but is generally considered a shorter-term intervention than working with a therapist.

Mental health counselors often utilize psychotherapy methods, and they also pay attention to a client’s past to help understand the client’s present behavior and mental state. Like therapists, counselors are also licensed to treat mental illness. These practitioners can be found in various fields, including: schools, hospitals, correctional facilities, mental health clinics, and social service agencies.

A mental health counselor is who you'd turn to when there's a specific issue that's hindering you.

Counselors are trained to support clients who are experiencing common mental health problems such as anxiety and depression. They can also help people work through emotional problems, self-esteem issues, alcohol and substance abuse, and marital challenges.

While therapy is typically conducted in one-on-one sessions, counseling is common both one-on-one as well as in peer group settings.

Life Coaching

There are many different types of coaches practicing in the broader wellness industry. Here at JRNI, we train life coaches representing a wide range of specialties: executive coaches, fitness coaches, self-love coaches, couples coaching, writing coaches, and more! While the interests and niches that our coaches serve may be diverse, there are common threads that run through all forms of life coaching. 

Unlike counseling or therapy, life coaching assumes a baseline level of emotional wellness. 

This is where coaching clearly diverges from mental health counseling. Coaches are not qualified to address mental health problems, or traumatic stress disorder. The focus of life coaching is on the present, and in co-creating the future. 

While our past does inform the present, a life coach generally doesn't spend a great deal of time mining a client's stories. Instead, coaches help others articulate their desired future vision, and develop a tactical action plan to achieve specific goals.

A THERAPIST explores the question “How did you get here?” The LIFE COACH asks: “Where are you headed?”

The International Coaching Federation (ICF) defines coaching as: partnering with clients in a thought-provoking and creative process that inspires them to maximize their personal and professional potential.  

Well trained life coaches understand theories and models of change, and bring tools for self-inquiry, focus, and accountability to the table. A coach’s techniques are similar to a therapist’s in that they are research and evidence-based, and rooted in positive psychology.

Should symptoms of a mental health issue arise during a session, the professional standard for life coaches is to note it, and refer the client out if they need further support.

Again, the job of a coach is not to make a mental health diagnosis. The expectation is simply that a coach will know when an issue falls outside their scope of practice, and provide the client with whatever support, resources, and practical tools that they are qualified to offer. 

Life Coach or Therapist? A practitioner’s perspective:

“Coaching uplifts people by focusing on clients' strengths. While therapy offers this in part, it is not usually the center of practice, as it is in coaching. While some therapists utilize solution-focused therapy, it is often not the entirety of the therapeutic practice. Discussing what therapy and coaching is or isn't - that's such a challenging topic! It is not black or white, and there are many therapists now practicing from a coaching-mindset.” - Amy Pandolfi, MSW mental health clinician & JRNI coaching student

Professional Training

Another significant difference between a therapist, counselor, and certified life coach has to do with the level of training required to legally practice under these titles. 

Counselors and therapists must meet certain educational, supervisory, and licensing requirements before they can work with clients. 

Coaching, on the other hand, is largely unregulated. 

While anyone technically CAN call themselves a coach, we don’t advise it! Becoming a successful coach requires hard work, serious study, and a business mindset.  

The theoretical roots of coaching stem from sports psychology, goal setting theory, human development models, positive psychology, mindfulness, and neuroscience. Understanding why coaching works, alongside the application of those techniques, is a fascinating and worthwhile endeavor. 

“Don’t call yourself a ‘coach’ simply to negate the fact that you don’t have credentials in another discipline.” - Noelle Cordeaux, JRNI Coaching CEO

Life coaching is a job, just like any other job. You need to develop expertise in change theory and human development in order to be effective. Serious professionals show up better in the coaching space with the increased confidence that comes from having a handle on both the theory and practice of coaching. Which all leads to more positive outcomes for our clients!

For more on coach-specific training and how to become an ICF Certified Coach, check out: What Certification Do You Need to Be a Life Coach? 

So how do you know who is actually qualified to coach? 

This is where the International Coach Federation (ICF) comes into play. The ICF is a non-government organization dedicated to professional coaching. With the number of practicing coaches growing every year, clients are learning the importance of seeking out those who have been certified through an ICF accredited coach training program.

If you’re considering hiring a coach, check out their credentials and client testimonials! You’ll want to see that they have invested in reputable training and ongoing education, and possess proven skills that will help you achieve your goals. 

LIFE COACH VS. THERAPIST:

Which Path Is Right for You?

 1) If you're looking to hire a practitioner

To be clear, there is no right or wrong choice. There are many types of therapy, diverse forms of counseling, and a vast array of talented coaches out there. Only you can determine whether to seek out a therapist, a counselor, or a coach. 

Some questions for consideration might include:

  • Are you struggling with strong or dysregulated emotions on a regular basis, or experiencing symptoms of anxiety or depression? A therapist could be the place to start.
  • Are you hoping to work through a challenging experience or addiction with peer support? Group counselling might be a good fit.
  • Do you want support defining a goal, putting an action plan in place, and an accountability partner to help you achieve it? Coaching is the place to start! 

Coaching, therapy and counseling are all investments in your growth, and should result in increased life satisfaction. As with any investment, take your time and do your homework.

Common reasons people hire life coaches include:

  • Career advancement
  • Health and fitness goal attainment
  • Intentional life design
  • Rebuilding after a breakup or divorce
  • Launching a new business
  • Establishing clarity around life vision and goals
  • Accountability in achieving a goal
  • Stimulating artistic or creative self expression
  • Improving relationships (family, friends, significant other)

Research the different modalities and approaches. Understand how each service functions, and what you can expect. Explore practitioners’ websites and social media to discover whose style and approach feels like a good fit with your personality and needs.

Schedule a series of complimentary sessions with therapists, counselors, or coaches that appeal to you. Talk through what you are looking to achieve, and find out how they can serve you.

From there, listen to your gut. Your intuition is the real deal, and can be a very helpful screening tool!

2) If you're considering career options in these fields

If you'd like to train as both a therapist and a coach, it’s perfectly OK to do both simultaneously! Having multiple streams of revenue and modes of practice is fabulous... you’ll just need to clearly delineate those offerings.

When it comes to setting up a dual practice, here's some technicalities to be aware of:

  • It’s critical to know and follow state laws and regulations.
  • Two different practices are required. From a consumer perspective, it must be clear that coaching and therapy are two distinct offerings. 
  • Separate billing under a different LLC is preferred.
  • Most insurance companies don't reimburse for coaching services.
  • It’s recommended to have different websites, entry points, and marketing for your coaching and therapy services.
  • You cannot treat and coach the same person - your clients must stay on one side of the fence or the other.
  • When coaching, your coaching techniques should be specified in the client contract. This is protective for you both, and will make it clear that you are not conducting therapy in the coaching relationship.
  • If conducting therapy, this must be explicit when contracting with a client.
  • You can bring coaching techniques into your therapy practice, but it is unethical to use therapy techniques in coaching.

Educate your potential clients about the limits of coaching as a service, and how you will proceed if it becomes clear that they need therapy. 

3) For therapists thinking about adding life coaching to your toolkit

Training as a life coach is a dynamic way to expand your professional practice, allowing you more choice around who it is that you want to serve, and how. As a coach, the relationship with your clients is more flexible, as are the rules around where and how you can see clients. 

Adding new tools to your arsenal is not only intellectually stimulating, but can help stoke your inner fire and reduce the risk for burnout.

One of the things our therapists-turned-coaches enjoy the most is the increased sense of freedom that a coaching practice can bring. Coaching allows you to be creative in how you present yourself and your offerings.

For another therapist’s perspective on the topic, check out JRNI Coaching co-founder John Kim’s blog talking about why he made the transition:  Yes, Therapists Can Be Life Coaches Too! Here's How.

 Life Coach or Therapist? A practitioner’s perspective: 

“I'm a licensed therapist turned life coach and have worn both hats for a decade. I got my clinical hours. I took the exam. I worked in non-profit. I worked in high-end rehabs. I had a full practice. But then I started burning out. And I realized this wasn't how I wanted to help people. I felt like I was limiting myself and my creativity. I understood that it didn't have to be coaching vs therapy. So I called myself a life coach and started helping people in a way that felt more honest to me. - John Kim, JRNI Coaching co-founder

Want to Be a Coach?

Launch your coaching career the right way! Check out the JRNI's Life Coach Training - a program that's every bit as unique as you are. Grounded in science, our ICF accredited program features authentic instructors, a robust curriculum, and fellow students dedicated to becoming a force for good in the world of coaching.

JRNI Coaching: Vibrant community. Evidence-based life coach training. Lifetime support.

Podcast
Recognizing & Overcoming Internal Bias as A Coach
A self-compassionate exploration of bias, and what to do with ours
Team JRNI
Jul 2, 2021
This is some text inside of a div block.
Podcast
This is some text inside of a div block.
used cms
“Unconscious bias (also referred to as implicit bias) work is like any internal work: our progress will be limited by our tolerance for discomfort; our progress will ascend to the heights to which our genuine curiosity allows. We must be willing to exchange our comfort for growth, peeps. But, let’s be honest; internal work is hard work. It’s work that many of us choreograph our lives and relationships around in order to avoid (anybody with me on this one?).” - JRNI Coaching instructor Khary D. Hornsby, J.D.

As coaches, our unconscious biases will - not may - impact how we hear, interpret and are ultimately able to hold space for our clients. In order to do our job effectively, it’s important to understand what ours are. 

A self-compassionate journey into our personal biases gives us the mental endurance and framework to undergo real internal change. And it has the further benefit of making us compassionate, empathic and mindful coaches.

What is Unconscious Bias?

Unconscious or implicit bias is the underlying attitudes and stereotypes that people unconsciously attribute to another person or group of people that affect how they understand and engage with a person or group.

Common Myths About Unconscious Bias:

  1. Having implicit biases makes me a bad person.
  2. I am not biased; I have tons of diverse friends, in fact, I’m dating a _____ person. 
  3. I am fully aware of my thoughts and actions, and I make all of my decisions based on facts and evidence.

As Coaches, What Do We Need to Know?

In the study and practice of coaching, it's important to understand how human brains work. In looking at the function of internal bias as it applies to us as coaches - as well as our client - what we’re doing here is called Neuro Management.

Our brain takes in hundreds of billions of bits of information every second, but guess what? We can only bring forty-four pieces of information to our consciousness in order to make sense of the world around us. What this means is that we’re constantly doing mental sorting.

The way that our brains pick and choose what information to bring to the fore is itself a form of bias, and it's neither good nor bad.

This process is called the Availability Heuristic, and it’s a very important underlying principle of coaching.  

So how does the Availability Heuristic work? 

There is so much information in the world that our mind tries to create shortcuts. It hones in on information that has already been primed in our brain as a result of previous exposure to various people, places, beliefs, and ideas. One great example of this is how a piece of information that you hear more than once will sound familiar to you.

The problem is that for our brain, what we internalize becomes, in effect, a “rule”.

This puts us at a significant disadvantage when there are other pieces of information that might be better for us to take in, or if the original piece of information that we internalized is actually not true. (Source: Unconscious Cognitive Biases in Our Coaching by Carlos Davidovich - ICF Career Coaching Community Practice)  

Another way to think about this is that the information that our subconscious mind chooses to bring to the fore forms the basis of the stories that we tell ourselves.

Storytelling is central to the human experience, and the stories that we tell ourselves shape the course of our lives.   

There is a part of the brain known as the medial orbitofrontal cortex that gets activated when people experience pleasure, or a sensation of "rightness". When your expectation for the world around you (or the story you have told yourself) is confirmed, your “met expectations” turn that story into your reality. (Source: Useful Delusions by Shankar Vedantam) 

Likewise, when we experience negative emotions, unsurity, or an assumption of wrongness, the pain centers in our brain light up! (Source: ICF Career Coaching Community Practice, 2020.)   

IN SHORT:

Confirmation that we’re right = PLEASURE

The possibility we might be wrong = PAIN

The evolutionary traits that hold our stories in place are the same ones that keep us stuck in cycles, mindsets and ways of thinking that limit our ability to change and evolve further.  

Every innovation or necessary social change that has ever come to pass began with a spark and a will to question, experience discomfort in not knowing, and the courage to do things differently.

As individuals, and when working with coaching clients, we need to be especially aware of the stories we tell ourselves and how they impact our perception of reality.

What Are Self-Limiting Stories? 

These may be assumptions, opinions, conclusions or beliefs that you hold.  These stories show up everywhere, and most of us can’t consciously "see" them. 

In psych terms, what we’re talking about here is the Illusion of Validity Bias. This brain function creates the phenomenon through which our mind uses all of its shortcuts (availability heuristic) to find stories and patterns - even when all we have is sparse data or very few facts to work with. 

This happens because our brain needs to make sense of whatever is showing up in the present moment.

Fun fact: the brain does not care if the way that it makes sense of a given scenario is true or untrue.

This creates problems when the story that we tell ourselves leads us down the wrong path. Or worse, creates an anxiety spiral or stereotype that we wrongfully apply to others. If you’ve spent any time cruising political posts on social media, you already know what this looks like.

Real World Coaching Example

Let’s say your client and another colleague walked past a glass walled conference room and saw a meeting taking place where their leadership team was discussing something with great seriousness.  

Both your client and their coworker come up with a different story about what is going on in that room, based on their different and unique life experiences.

One knows it’s annual budgeting time, assumes the conversation is about revenue forecasting, and forgets about it. The other believes those executives may be talking about employee layoff scenarios, and immediately begins to fear for their job.

The coaching intervention we can extend for this scenario is to support our client in seeing that they’ve just told themselves a story. Some quick coaching questions that you can use to avoid letting a story sink in are: 

  • Do I have any information to confirm the story? 
  • What would another interpretation of this situation be? 

Summary

This quick overview is just the tip of the iceberg in our discussion of internal bias and coaching. We believe this topic is so critical that we’ve included it in the curriculum in JRNI’s life coach training program.

In brief, here’s what you can take away today:

  • Often, we get “the story” wrong because our brain wants to attach to information that is repetitive, rather than information that we may need to work a bit harder to validate as true.
  • This is not our fault - it's an evolutionary phenomenon that has allowed our species to survive. But right now, in society, it is harming us.
  • The fix is to begin to notice when you’ve just told yourself a story and try to come up with confirmation of the story before buying in.  
  • OR you can choose a different, better story. It doesn’t really matter if the replacement story is true or not. What this does is challenge the brain enough that over time you will begin to think and see differently by default. 

Ready to Increase Your Impact?

Coaching is a rapidly growing field that is continuously evolving. Even for seasoned coaches and managers, there’s always more to discover. If you’ve not yet earned your ICF coaching certification, there’s no better time than now to get started! Come check out JRNI Life Coach Training - a program that's every bit as unique as you are. Grounded in science, our ICF accredited program features authentic instructors, a robust curriculum, business and entrepreneurship instruction, and fellow students dedicated to becoming a collective force for good.

‍JRNI Coaching: Vibrant community. Evidence-based life coach training. Lifetime support.


The Business of Life Coaching
Careers in Life Coaching: Exploring Options & Opportunities
Self employed or in-house company coach? You've got options!
Team JRNI
Jun 28, 2021
This is some text inside of a div block.
The Business of Life Coaching
This is some text inside of a div block.
used cms

If you’re drawn to the idea of becoming a life coach, but aren’t sure how to make a sustainable income, then friend - you’re in the right place! It’s natural when exploring a new path to wonder about prospective employment opportunities. Rest assured that there’s more ways to make a good living as a coach than you might imagine.

In this article, we’ll cover:

  • Life coach salaries and income potential
  • Running your own business 
  • Working for a company
  • Who’s hiring life coaches - yes, an actual list!
  • Other ways to generate revenue

Life Coach Salaries

“Is it really possible to make a living as a coach?” 

If you’re asking yourself this, you’re in very good company. It’s the #1 question most aspiring life coaches have as they enter this industry. So let’s knock this question out first!

Team JRNI analyzed a broad range of reliable data sources, and we’re here to take the guesswork out of income forecasting for you. According to the International Coaching Federation, the average annual salary for life coaches practicing in North America is $62,500.

How does the average life coach salary stack up against other professions? 

Pretty well, as it happens! Check out a few related points of comparison from the U.S. Bureau of Labor:

  • Marriage and Family Therapist = $50,090
  • Human Resource Specialist = $48,410
  • Fitness Trainer = $57,370
  • Real Estate Sales Agent = $56,290

In the United States, the average salary across all professions currently stands at $48,672. Comparatively speaking, it would appear that life coaches can make a pretty comfortable living, right?

Now before you take that figure to the bank, there’s something else that’s equally important to know. What average coach salary figures cannot tell you is whether or not YOU are likely to earn this amount in your own coaching business. 

Whether you aspire to part-time work, or intend to join the ranks of full-time life coaches, you’ll want to explore our in-depth industry analysis to learn what you, personally, might be able to expect. In this special report, we slice and dice the numbers by life coach hourly rates, coaching specialties, years of experience, and services offered:

The Ultimate Guide to Life Coach Salaries

Solo Coach Practitioner

When people think about the work of life coaches, self-employment is often what first comes to mind. And after talking to thousands of prospective coach training students, we’ve uncovered a set of common elements that many people are looking for from a career in life coaching. 

Do any of these resonate for you?

  • Autonomy to set your schedule 
  • Flexibility to work at your own pace
  • Working from wherever you want 
  • Doing your best work for even better pay
  • Deciding which clients you’d prefer to work with
  • Creative control over your workload, priorities and outcomes  

What this all adds up to is the freedom to design your own life. 

Now here’s an insider’s secret: life coaching in itself doesn’t provide these benefits. What actually makes those things possible is self-employment.

Coaching is just one way to ditch your 9-5 grind. And YES, it can be a very viable one... if you’re willing to put in the time and effort necessary to launch a solo practice. 

Striking out on your own requires courage, especially if this will be your first go at running your own business.

You’ll need to know more than how to be a good coach to thrive. You’ll also need some entrepreneurial skills. It may also mean sacrifice along the way, and facing down your own fears and uncertainty. And while it can be hard work to be your own boss and generate a sustainable income, it’s also deeply rewarding! Many coaches we know wouldn't have it any other way.

Need a hit of inspiration?

Check out these stories from JRNI coaches who’ve gone solo and are loving it!

How I Made the Transition from Side-Hustle to Full Time Life Coach

How To Build An Online Presence That Gets Results

JNRI Alumni Case Studies

PRO TIP for Solo Practitioners: To boost visibility and attract new clients, individual coaches often team up with regional businesses such as yoga studios, wellness clinics, and others that align with your chosen coaching niche. For even greater reach, you can also apply to join online professional collaboratives such as:

Working for an Employer

Guess what? Not all life coaches want to run their own business, and that’s OK! 

Serving as an in-house coach offers the benefit of a steady paycheck, which can be attractive if you don’t have an appetite for the risks associated with self-employment. What you may trade-off in terms of personal freedom could be worth it in terms of competitive salaries, health insurance, and amazing benefits!

There’s many reasons to consider working in a coaching capacity for an employer. Particularly for newer coaches, this can be a great way to gain further training and direct client experience... while getting paid. It can also serve as a stabilizing interim step as you transition from a prior career to launching your own coaching business.

Coaching niches that align nicely with what many employers are looking for include:

  • Wellness Coach
  • Fitness & Nutrition Coach
  • Career Coach
  • Financial Coach
  • Business Coach 
  • Leadership Coach
  • Management Coach

Who’s Hiring Life Coaches?

Like any other profession, there’s many ways to seek out information about how to land a job in the coaching industry. You can use a simple Google search, and run queries on Indeed, Flexjobs, Monster, and other job boards. 

Check out those job ads and explore what's available through industry associations. These searches will give you a taste of what’s out there… but know that it’s just the tip of the iceberg!

PRO TIP: Drill down and look at those companies that interest you most. Visit their career pages and job listings regularly.

The two types of opportunities you’re most likely to come across include:

  • Companies that hire coaches to serve their employees in-house
  • Organizations that serve external clients, where you’re assigned to consulting and coaching clients generated by the firm. 

Some companies will expect that you’ve already completed training and are a certified life coach. Others will offer training and professional development upon hiring. 

Ready to get started?

Check out these companies that regularly hiring coaches:

Universities, community colleges, and other educational institutions are also a great source for job leads, particularly if you’re interested in career or wellness coaching. Many also hire full-time employees to coach first generation students, and those pursuing careers in STEM. They may not be as likely to publish job ads, so go directly to an educational institution's website to search employment opportunities.

How to Be a Competitive Candidate

If you’d like to get hired, here’s what you’ll want to consider to rise to the top of the pack.

1) Complete Coach-Specific Training

Effective coaching is both an art and a science. A reputable life coach training program will provide you with frameworks, interventions, methodologies, and broad exposure to a variety of coaching techniques. In addition to hands-on practice, you'll also learn ethical considerations, and the full scope of responsibilities of a life coach.

With so many coach training programs out there, how do you know which is right for you? 

These resource can help: 

7 Things To Look For In A Certified Life Coach Training Program

How To Identify The Best ICF Coach Training Program For You

Why Choose JRNI Life Coach Training?

2) Earn Your Life Coach Certification

There’s a difference between taking a class and getting certified! Many, but not all, coach training programs offer certification. So when you’re researching training options, you’ll want to be clear about what you’re looking for.

Certification - be it for life coaches or other fields - typically means “authorized provider.” Individuals, agencies, programs, and organizations acquire certifications to demonstrate they've been credentialed through an outside process in order to provide specific services. 

In the field of coaching, pursuing a certification from an accredited training program allows you to genuinely (and ethically) call yourself a “certified life coach”. To be clear: you cannot call yourself certified if you’re not. This is just like getting a college degree - you can’t say you’re a licensed nurse if you earned a nursing degree but don’t have a license to practice!

3) Secure ICF Credentials

The biggest reason to become an ICF credentialed coach is the unique opportunities that are available to those who hold this credential. 

Since coaching is a largely unregulated and emerging field, the International Coach Federation is the closest thing we have to a governing body. Therefore, many employers and larger companies require an ICF credential to be considered for certain jobs. In fact, we’ve often heard JRNI alumni report that they were hired for coaching roles within larger organizations explicitly because of their ICF credentials.

Even if you plan to start your own business, this is still worth considering. 

If you plan to contract for companies, or will be serving clients whose employers pay your coaching fees, you might just need those credentials.

Other Ways To Make A Living As A Life Coach

94% of coaches surveyed by the International Coach Federation do something else in addition to one-on-one coaching. And check this out: on average, life coaches that run their own business allocate just 44% of their time to 1:1 client coaching work.

What does this tell us? If you want to reach or exceed the average coaching salary through your own business, consider how you can impact your clients' lives in multiple ways.

Ways To Expand Your Coaching Revenue

Group Programs

Groups are an efficient way to bundle what you offer, while still meeting your clients' needs! In fact, this is one of the most common strategies life coaches use to increase their impact and income. Bringing a group of people together who are seeking a similar outcome is an effective means of delivering coaching content on a larger scale, while also building a community of mutual accountability and support. 

Podcasts & Public Speaking

With a dash of charisma and a message to share, your voice can be a core component of your practice. Podcasts are an effective way to deliver content, grow an audience, and enhance your creativity.

And lest you think you need to create a podcast of your own… think again! Many podcasters are seeking guests to join them for an episode, which offers an excellent way for you to get exposure to new audiences.

Live events are another way to widen your reach while earning revenue. And like podcasts, you don't necessarily have to plan and execute these yourself! Consider speaking engagements, guest teaching opportunities, and collaborating with other practitioners to support or co-facilitate programs they are offering.

Membership

Another method life coaches use to generate "evergreen" revenue is through hosting a platform that offers practical tools, guidance, and resources for your ideal client. Members might subscribe monthly or annually to gain access to your unique training, materials, content, and member services.

Workshops & Retreats

Use your expertise to facilitate memorable experiences! From international health and wellness retreats to financial planning workshops, there are many ways to profitably connect in-person (and remotely) with clients.

Publishing

If it worked for JRNI co-founder John Kim, it just might work for you too. If you’re a writer by nature, harness those skills to serve your coaching practice. From blog posts to books, there’s always an appetite for fresh and meaningful content. It’s also a great way to build an audience of prospective future coaching clients.

Ready to Become A Coach?

One of our values at JRNI is that we dare to be different. Our coaches ignore the expectations society tries to impose on them, and seek to live from their own truth instead. If you’re ready to step into your power and would like some partners in the process, come check out JRNI Life Coach Training. Grounded in science, our ICF accredited program features authentic instructors, a robust curriculum, and business instruction to prepare you for liftoff.

JRNI Coaching: Vibrant community. Evidence-based life coach training. Lifetime support.

Life Coaching
WTF Is Human Design? Coach Yvonne Chung Breaks It Down!
Discover how Coach Yvonne weaves Human Design into her practice
Team JRNI
Jun 26, 2021
This is some text inside of a div block.
Life Coaching
This is some text inside of a div block.
used cms

Guest Blog by Yvonne Chung

Coach Yvonne Chung

Yvonne is a Purpose & Fulfillment Coach that specializes in empowering creative, impact-driven womxn of color to break the mold, redefine success and happiness for themselves, and carve their own path toward deeply fulfilling and meaningful lives. 

As an Asian American daughter of immigrant parents, Yvonne knows what it’s like to try and fit into a box someone else prescribed - and what it's like to lose touch with her own dreams, desires, and vision for life in the process. A graduate of the JRNI Life Coach Training program, her mission today is to guide and empower other people of color to know themselves, honor themselves, and create the lives that they want - not the ones they have been told to have. You can explore Yvonne’s work on Instagram: @yvnchng

How Can Understanding Human Design Enhance Your Life?

If you’re into Enneagram, Myers-Briggs, or Astrology, I’m calling it: you’ll probably love the Human Design System. It is a powerful and incredibly accurate tool for self-discovery and empowerment - and it has been a serious game-changer in my work, relationships, and life.

My name is Yvonne. I am a Purpose & Fulfillment Coach for womxn of color and children of immigrants. In short, I use Human Design and Positive Psychology to empower people with the self-knowledge they need to create deeply fulfilling and satisfying lives. From work and career, to love and relationships, to purpose and life satisfaction, I’ve found that the Human Design System can offer insight and wisdom on every step of a client’s journey.

So, WTF is Human Design?

The Human Design System is an empirical system developed by Alan Robert Krakower that synthesizes both modern and ancient sources of knowledge: Astrology, the Chinese i-Ching, the Jewish Kabbalah Tree of Life, the Hindu-Brahmin Chakra system, modern astronomy, and quantum mechanics (whew!). 

To my friends I say it’s like Astrology on steroids… but it is so much more than that. 

Unlike subjective personality tests such as the Myer’s Briggs or Enneagram, where your answers to their assessment questions may change from day to day, the Human Design System uses your specific birth information to give you a unique chart. Your chart is like an energetic blueprint, so to speak, mapping out the nature and mechanics of your energy and the specific themes of growth and expansion on your life path. 

At its core, Human Design is a system that provides a framework for exploring and empowering the self. It is a tool for self-optimization and self-acceptance that provides practical tools for learning how to move through the world with less friction and more ease.

And honestly, that’s just the tip of the iceberg. Think of it like an energetic operating manual for this vehicle we call our body, helping us understand how to move with ease, flow, and purpose in our day to day lives. 

How can Human Design help you understand yourself better? 

Human Design has proven to be a valuable tool in my coaching practice, offering insight into how a person can operate in energetic alignment specifically for that individual.

I’ll get to a brief explanation of the Human Design system in a moment, but first let’s talk about what it’s NOT. Human Design won’t tell you your future. And no, it won’t tell you what job to get or who you’ll end up with romantically!

What it will do is teach you about your innate strengths, how you naturally affect and influence others, and where you're most susceptible to conditioning and getting off track.

It will teach you your own personal and reliable way to make decisions that are in alignment with how energy moves through you. It empowers you with explicit strategies and tools to minimize resistance and wasted energy in every area of life.

Human Design is not a faith or belief system. It’s more like a user manual. It does not require you to “believe in” anything, but rather to suspend disbelief and just experiment with the tools to see how they affect your life. I’ve witnessed these tools completely transform people’s lives, including my friends, family and clients, as well as my own.

Try it out and see what happens. Take what resonates and leave the rest.

What are the implications that arise from learning about your Human Design? 

We live in a culture that constantly tells us to:

“Go get it!” 

“Make it happen!”

“Just do it!”

“Chase your dreams!” 

… But what if I told you that only 8-9% of the population is actually designed to INITIATE with minimal resistance? 

... And that around 70% of us are designed to WAIT TO RESPOND to something that shows up in our outer world before committing our energy to it? 

.... And that 20% of us are designed to WAIT TO BE RECOGNIZED, valued, and invited before engaging? 

Why do these things matter?

Let’s say you’re in that last 20% (like me) and you run around trying to initiate or give your input without being recognized. You’ll usually hit a wall or meet a ton of resistance along the way. Here's the good news: it doesn't have to be that way.

Most of us have been operating against our natural design our entire lives.

There are many reasons for this, including the dense conditioning we have experienced from culture, school, parents and family… even our peers. But here’s what nobody tells us: when we are operating against our natural design, it manifests as resistance and friction (burnout, bitterness, frustration, anger, disappointment). In short, energetic misuse and misalignment. 

Human Design re-acquaints us with our inner guidance system.

It gives us the tools (Strategy and Authority) to minimize that friction and wasted energy. By understanding the mechanics of how you are designed (Should I initiate? Wait to respond? Wait to be recognized?), you minimize the amount of energy you’re wasting on people and opportunities that are not right for you.

With this information, you can start to examine and understand how your decisions are what will bring you ease or resistance on your path. The more you make decisions in alignment with your Authority, the less resistance you’ll face.

The Human Design “Big 3”: Type, Strategy, and Authority.

If there is anything you take away from Human Design when you first begin working with it, it should be the following 3 things. You don’t really need to know anything else. If you were to only work toward understanding these three elements of yourself, the rest of your design will unfold as a natural result. 

Your TYPE is your “vehicle”.

It tells us how your energy shows up, how that energy is best used, and the way it interacts with the world and the other people around you.

Your type will tell you: 

  • Are you here to initiate and get things started? 
  • Are you a slow and steady, masterful builder? 
  • Are you a sprinter who’s adept at pivoting? 
  • Are you here to sense and guide other peoples’ energy?
  • Are you here to evaluate and mirror the state of people, your environment, and the world?

Your type provides a framework (known as your Signature & Not-Self Theme) to inform you of when you are in alignment or out. It is a felt experience. Are you here to experience satisfaction, recognition, peace, or delight? Are you constantly experiencing frustration, bitterness, anger, or disappointment instead? This framework helps you identify when and how you have gotten off track.

Your STRATEGY is your “GPS”.

It tells us how you are designed to interact with and navigate through people, opportunities, and experiences in your life in order to minimize friction and maximize ease. Your strategy is your way of understanding and protecting your energy.

  • Are you designed to just go for it, initiate, and inform along the way? 
  • Are you designed to wait to respond to things that come to you before committing your energy to them? 
  • Are you designed to wait to be recognized before sharing your gifts?
  • Are you designed to wait a lunar cycle before making big decisions? 

Your AUTHORITY is your innate and reliable decision-making process.

It explains how to make decisions that are in alignment with your energy. Knowing your Authority can clarify:

  • Should you be following your first instinct? Your gut?
  • Should your decision-making be more spontaneous and in the moment?
  • Should you sleep on it and get clarity over time? 
  • Do you need to hear yourself talk it out before making a decision? 

Your Authority is how you decide what to actually commit your energy to. It is there to help guide you to those things that you actually have the energy to pursue (instead of all the “shoulds”).

How do you weave knowledge about your Human Design into everyday life? 

Discovering Human Design and using it as my own personal, energetic and psychological operating manual has been absolutely invaluable on my journey over the last three years as an entrepreneur, coach, partner, and human being. 

It’s helped me to understand how I am designed to work, rest, learn, harness my energy, share my gifts, understand others, and help others. But it doesn’t end there!

Here’s what else I’ve gained as a result of following my unique Human Design:

  • I’ve stopped chasing opportunities and wasting my energy trying to force things to happen. Instead, I’ve stood tall in my value, remained visible, and allowed the most exciting and aligned opportunities to come to me - and they have! (#projectorlife)
  • I’ve discovered that I operate best when in a position to guide other people rather than “doing all the doing”. No more burning out, and no more pushing myself past my natural energetic threshold.
  • I’ve learned how to make truly self-honoring decisions (most of the time!) instead of succumbing to mental or peer pressure.
  • I’ve learned that people receive my energy, insights, and perspective best when I am first recognized and invited to share them.
  • I’ve owned and accepted that I am not designed for a regular 9-5 job. I require a bit more rest than some others types, and that is OK. No more shame here. Bring on the naps!
  • I’ve learned that my routines are meant to be somewhat fluid and flexible with options instead of rigid structure. This confirmed how I’ve always felt, but had been told was “wrong”.
  • I’ve discovered that I’m here to share my perspective and guide others with powerful questions, but only by those who recognize and value my insight.

Learning about my Human Design has helped me relax into my natural way of being. It has given me tools to understand my energy and its best uses. It has confirmed for me things that I’ve always known and felt about myself, but had been conditioned to not accept.

I no longer feel like I’m swimming upstream. These days, I am flowing with the river.

Human Design is a system that helps you uncover your path of least resistance so that you can move through life with greater ease.

And it is completely unique to YOU. Instead of swimming against your natural current, you learn how to surrender to the flow of your personal river.

I like to describe learning your Human Design as the permission you’ve always wanted, but never needed in the first place, to be exactly who you are. 

After human design sessions, my clients report feeling seen and validated in a way that is comforting and empowering. It’s an affirmation of who they are and how they have always shown up in the world. It’s confirmation of their natural way of being in a world that tells us every day to be different than who we are.

What's the benefit of having someone read and interpret your Human Design for you? 

If you’ve looked at your own Human Design chart, you might have noticed that there is a LOT of information in there. (And if you haven’t but would like to, you can run yours for free at Human Design America.) Having a reader interpret your chart for you will help you quickly get at the key aspects discussed above without getting lost in the weeds. 

A reader will also be able to examine your full chart in context, and provide you with powerful questions and guidance for wherever you are on your path. They can use your chart as a reference point for alignment, and help keep you on track throughout your journey.

How I use Human Design in my life coaching practice.

As a Purpose & Fulfillment Coach, I use Human Design analysis in tandem with Positive Psychology to help my clients create lives and careers that are deeply fulfilling, meaningful, and energetically sustainable.

Positive Psychology offers the framework for understanding what everyone needs to thrive.

Human Design is a tool for understanding what you, personally, need to thrive.

Positive Psychology gives us general tools for goal setting, accomplishment, and productivity.

Human Design shows how to accomplish your goals in an energetically sustainable way for you.

Some would say it’s energetic alignment. Others call it thriving or flourishing. Both frameworks offer a different set of tools to help get you there.

I use the two intuitively and synergistically to provide a client with practical tools and deep de-conditioning work. Together, we help them take their power back, honor their own energy, and navigate the world, their goals, and their lives confidently and with ease.

When people gain a deeper sense of self-understanding, higher fulfillment is a natural byproduct. 

As a reader, I love doing Human Design Breakthrough Sessions (they’re my fav!). They allow me to really dive into a client's current situation through the lens of Human Design and teach them how to use the practical tools of this system to visualize and plan for their future, define energetically aligned goals, make self-honoring decisions, and move through blocks, resistance, and conditioning. 

Human Design is a new system of self-knowledge, and a framework for deeper self-understanding. Through it, you begin to understand your needs, your shadows, your thresholds, and your dreams more clearly. With this newfound clarity, you begin to make truly self-honoring decisions and start showing up unapologetically for yourself. From there, it’s easier to create the life you truly want: of even greater purpose, satisfaction, and ease.

Interested in exploring a Human Design reading with Yvonne? You can check out her current offerings on Instagram: @yvnchng

Curious About Becoming A Coach?

One of our values at JRNI is that we dare to be different. Our coaches like Yvonne ignore the expectations society tries to impose on them, and seek to live from their own truth instead. If you are ready to step into your power and you’d like some partners in the process, come check out JRNI Life Coach Training. Grounded in science, our ICF accredited program features authentic instructors, a robust curriculum, and business instruction to prepare you for liftoff.

JRNI Coaching: Vibrant community. Evidence-based life coach training. Lifetime support.

Podcast
What Does a Life Coach Do — and NOT Do?
How coaching differs from therapy, and other useful distinctions!
Team JRNI
Jun 25, 2021
This is some text inside of a div block.
Podcast
This is some text inside of a div block.
used cms
The Everything Life Coaching Podcast, featuring JRNI Coaching founders John Kim and Noelle Cordeaux, is a deep dive into the experience and business of being a life coach. In this episode, we’re clearing up the confusion between life coaching and therapy, and clarifying what it actually means to be a life coach.

In an attempt to explain what coaching is, you’ll often hear it compared to other disciplines. And one of the most commonly held misconceptions about life coaching is that it’s “just another form of therapy”. 

It’s easy to understand why. People who seek out life coaches, therapists, and counselors are all linked by the common desire to make progress in their lives.

So what does it actually mean when we say that life coaching and therapy are different? Aren’t they both about helping people? And why might you want to choose a career in coaching?

Let’s break it down!

Therapy

A therapist is who you’d see if you want to take a deep inward dive.

Therapists help explore and process the events and influences of your past, and how those experiences may be shaping your behavior in the present. A trained health provider is also who you’d want to check in with if you are experiencing emotional or behavior challenges that interfere with your ability to function at your best.

Therapists are licensed to treat mental illnesses using psychotherapeutic methods, and help their clients achieve and maintain baseline mental health. Psychotherapy includes treatment of depression, anxiety, PTSD, bipolar disorder, and other diagnosable conditions.

Only therapists and counselors are qualified to determine and diagnose mental illnesses. 

Life Coaching

Life coaches help translate insight into action, adding rocket fuel to the process of achieving your goals, aspirations, or dreams.

This is where coaching clearly diverges from mental health counseling. Life coaches primarily work with clients on issues related to their present life and forward. Together, coach and client define a future vision, and develop a tactical action plan to achieve the client's specific goals.

A good life coach understands theories and models of change, and brings tools for self-inquiry, focus, and accountability to the table. The coach’s techniques are similar to a therapist’s in that they are research and evidence-based, and rooted in positive psychology. But these are two distinct, albiet complementary modalities.

What Does A Life Coach DO?

We’ve touched briefly on the core scope of work differences between mental health professionals and coaches. Now let’s dive into what it means to be a life coach, and how it’s experientially different from other fields!

Job of the Life Coach

Looking for the specific definition of a life coach? The International Coach Federation talks about coaching as “partnering with clients in a thought-provoking and creative process that inspires them to maximize their personal and professional potential”.  

Why do people need life coaching?

We all have insights and revelations. That’s the easy part. It’s translating those ideas into action that can be tricky. Life coaches help clients to identify what they really want, set and achieve measurable goals, clear roadblocks, and assess progress along the way.

Coaching is all about execution: figuring out what to do, and how to do it.

If you’re curious about what motivates people to hire a coach, and what clients typically receive from the process, check out: Who Hires A Life Coach, Anyway?

Professional Freedom

In coaching, there’s more opportunity to choose your own adventure, or as John Kim likes to put it… to be a “Mad Scientist”! 

Life coaching is an emerging field with ample room to experiment, play, and try new things. Whether you're interested in remote work and location independence, want more flexibility in your professional life, or are seeking deeper meaning and a more creative process in your work… there's a place for you in coaching.

Flexibility

We’re often asked: What does the typical day of a life coach look like?

The good news/bad news is that there isn’t one way to do it! It’s up to you to put together the approach that’s right for you... and your clients. 

This might seem intimidating if you’re jumping from a structured 9-5 background and into coaching. However, the ability to structure your business your way is one of the greatest sources of satisfaction for most coach practitioners.

LIfe coaching is liberating, but it’s not a free-for-all! When you enter this field, you’re joining the ranks of a global industry of professional coaches.

While you can have your own take on the "life coach definition" and how you practice within your specialty, the best practitioners follow a shared set of professional guidelines, standards, and a code of ethics, as set forth by the International Coaching Federation.

Content Creation

Whether it’s on social media or through workshops, articles, and programs, part of what it means to be a coach is to share your point of view.

Offering up your perspective is not just about marketing, attracting prospective clients, and making sales. Coaches produce content as an intervention, and as a way to share possibility and hope with others. 

Whether it’s the neuroscience of habit formation, or your own story of transformation, coaches share and talk about what we know to be true from both our training and experience. 

Personal Connection

So what does it mean to “share your story” as a coach?

HINT: Clients choose to work with you, not your resume. 

Odd are, there are going to be other life coaches out there offering services similar to yours. Whether you specialize in business coaching, focus on health and wellness, or are a relationship coach… you probably won’t be the only one in your niche. And that’s OK!

What makes your services unique is not just your training or the life coaching packages you offer, but YOU. Your lived experience. The challenges you’ve faced, joy you’ve experienced, lessons learned, and who you’ve become as a result.

‍Here's the important thing: your perspective is the single greatest asset you possess.

Your style and unique way of seeing the world is what draws prospective clients to you. It's why people choose to hire you. Those clients will rightfully expect you to draw from your own lived experience alongside the coaching training, techniques, and tools you have to offer. 

Coaches DON'T:

Provide Advice, Wave Magic Wands, or Offer Easy Answers

One of the most common misperceptions about coaching is that you’ll receive advice and guidance. Or that you'll be mystically "transformed" simply by signing up for a coaching program.

Nope.

As coaches, we don’t advise. We're also not your fairy godmother.

Instead, we regard the client as the expert in their own life. We help clients assess their thinking, get clarity, shift perspective, and uncover the wisdom of their own inner guidance system.

Many people who enroll in life coach training have heard countless times that they are “great listeners”. Often, our students also tell us that they’re the person friends and family come to for advice. So it can come as something of a shock in coach training to discover that this perceived strength may need to be “unlearned”!

In a life coaching session, the work is always client-directed.

What this means is that it’s not a life coach’s job to tell other people how to live. A coach’s role is to hold space in such a way that the client can have their own revelations.

Want more intel on how coaches do this?

Check out: If Life Coaches Don’t Give Advice, What Do They Do?

Coaches DO:

Bring Expertise to the Table

You may have heard that coaching is "an unregulated industry". That's true. And while anyone technically can call themselves a coach, we don’t advise it. Becoming a successful coach requires hard work, serious study, and a business mindset. 

Life coaching is a job, just like any other job.

The theoretical roots of coaching stem from sports psychology, goal setting theory, human development models, positive psychology, mindfulness, and neuroscience. As a coach, it's necessary to have an understanding of change theory and human development in order to be effective. Understanding the science behind why coaching works alongside the application of those techniques is a fascinating and worthwhile endeavor. 

The work of professional coaches is fundamentally about holding space and asking good questions. It’s about providing expert facilitation.

For more on coach-specific training and how to become an ICF Certified Coach, check out: What Certification Do You Need to Be a Life Coach? 

Want to Be A Coach?

One of our values at JRNI is that we dare to be different. Our coaches ignore the expectations society tries to impose on them, and seek to live from their own truth instead. If you are ready to step into your power and you’d like some partners in the process, come check out JRNI Life Coach Training. Grounded in science, our ICF accredited program features authentic instructors, a robust curriculum, and business instruction to prepare you for liftoff.

JRNI Coaching: Vibrant community. Evidence-based life coach training. Lifetime support.

Podcast
The Biggest Myths About Coaching (And Why They’re All Wrong!)
Find out what it REALLY means to be a coach
Team JRNI
Jun 25, 2021
This is some text inside of a div block.
Podcast
This is some text inside of a div block.
used cms

The Everything Life Coaching Podcast, featuring JRNI Coaching founders John Kim and Noelle Cordeaux, is a deep dive into the experience and business of being a life coach. In this episode, we dig into some of the more pervasive myths about the coaching industry.

Did you know that the coaching industry only began to take shape 35 years ago? As a discipline, coaching itself is still in its infancy! Nevertheless, myths about the coaching industry already abound. 

Many of the common misconceptions about what it means to be a coach are throwbacks to early perceptions about the newly emerging field of coaching. These days, the term “life coach” is less likely to conjure up the image of a cheesy motivational speaker than it once did. Though we still appreciate the classics:


Public consciousness around coaching is rapidly shifting. As a consequence, the demand for coaching services is on the rise.

So if you’re thinking about becoming a coach, let’s break down 5 common myths you’re most likely to encounter. Separate fact from fiction so you can jump into your true calling with confidence!

MYTH #1

The field is saturated

Don’t believe everything you see on social media.

If you’re thinking about becoming a coach, you’re likely pulling more coaching content into your field than the average bear. Once you begin following coaches and wellness professionals, you’ll be subjected to more advertising for coaching and related services. As this feedback loop intensifies, it can start to feel like coaches are suddenly everywhere! 

It's a common misconception, but trust us... they’re not. Even with the rise of newly trained coaches entering the industry over the past several years, there’s still plenty of human need and market demand for more coaches.

Trust the facts.

Recent studies have shown that while a minority of people have sought coaching at this time, a growing majority plans to! What the data points to is a seismic shift in the public’s consciousness about the value of coaching.

In the near future, a growing number of potential clients will seek coaches—and the need for coaches will be greater than ever. We are starting to see this trend pick up even more in the wake of the pandemic. As folks are starting to center themselves and reach for opportunities to make a better life, they're looking to coaches for support.

For more intel on industry data and trends, see our annual report: State of Life Coaching & The Wellness Economy

MYTH #2

Anyone can coach without training because the industry isn’t regulated

While anyone technically CAN call themselves a coach, we don’t advise it. Becoming a successful coach requires hard work, serious study, and a business mindset. 

“You can only ride on charisma and what you personally ‘know’ as a coach for so long before the bottom drops out.” - John Kim

The theoretical roots of coaching stem from sports psychology, goal setting theory, human development models, positive psychology, mindfulness, and neuroscience. Understanding the science behind why coaching works alongside the application of those techniques is a fascinating and worthwhile endeavor. 

The work of a coach is FACILITATION.

Life coaching is a job, just like any other job. You need to develop expertise in change theory and human development in order to be effective.

Serious professionals show up better in the coaching space with the increased confidence that comes from having a handle on both the theory and practice of coaching. Which all leads to more positive outcomes for our clients!

For more on coach-specific training and how to become an ICF Certified Coach, check out: What Certification Do You Need to Be a Life Coach? 

MYTH #3

Your life has to be in order BEFORE you can be a strong coach

Anybody who’s watched Grey’s Anatomy knows that your own life can be a dumpster fire AND you can still be good at your job.

Joking aside, you really don’t need to have a picture-perfect life to be an effective coach. Coaches facilitate discovery and change processes for people, groups, organizations, communities and even nations. It’s a role. One in which you must develop technique and expertise in order to perform well. This has little to do with your actual life outside work.

Of course we all have bad days. Coaches have sick days too! In fact, the International Coaching Federation Code of Ethics calls for coaches to pause work if you feel that you can’t do a good job and seek appropriate medical attention if you need it. 

MYTH #4

Coaches are “wanna-be” counselors or mental health providers

Coaching, counseling, psychology, psychiatry, and social work are all distinct disciplines. A certified doctor or mental healthcare professional is highly trained in their specific field, as coaches are trained in ours. Each is overseen by different professional or regulatory bodies.

“Don’t call yourself a ‘coach’ simply to negate the fact that you don’t have credentials in another discipline.” - Noelle Cordeaux

These fields complement one another but are separate professions. The “fruit bowl analogy” is a good one: each of these disciplines is a different kind of fruit: apple, orange, pear, and so on. Each is essential work, focused on various aspects of a client's growth. They all go together nicely in the bowl of “helping professionals,” but they don’t all do the same thing. 

Want to further understand the differences between the disciplines? What’s The Difference Between Counseling, Therapy and Life Coaching?

Considering doing both? From Therapist to Life Coach: How to Make the Move Successfully

MYTH #5

Coaching involves giving advice

“If you think coaching means giving people advice, man that’s a lot of pressure.” - John Kim

An assumption exists that coaches give advice and it is SO false, but we can’t fault the average consumer for this one… because that’s what most professions do. If you hire an attorney, they give you legal advice. If you hire a financial advisor, they give you  financial advice. But coaches don’t advise.

David Rock, who pioneered brain-based coaching, perhaps said it best: "Coaches help people think better."

The International Coach Federation defines coaching as “partnering with clients in a thought-provoking and creative process that inspires them to maximize their personal and professional potential”.  

Great coaching is, in essence, a facilitation process.

Coaches provide a customized conversation that helps a client strategize and create a plan to get what they want by thinking and acting more resourcefully.

Now, what about consulting?

Sometimes a client relationship also calls for consulting, and that’s OK. If you're qualified to consult within your specialty, go ahead and consult! Just don't call it “coaching”.

Spell out your consulting or mentoring services in a separate contract so it’s clear for both you and your client when and under what circumstances you’ll be “switching hats”. 

Additionally, don't call yourself a coach to negate the fact that you don't have the credentials to do something else. If you're not a counselor, psychotherapist, financial advisor, legal advisor, or health professional, etc.; it's unethical to advise people under the heading of "coach". 

PRO TIP: Sharing your story is different from giving advice.

If you choose to share a personal experience in a client session, just make sure to check in with yourself first. Ask: “Am I about to tell this story for self validation, or to enhance the coaching process for my client?”

Thinking about becoming a coach?

One of our values at JRNI is that we dare to be different. Our coaches ignore the expectations society tries to impose on them, and seek to live from their own truth instead. If you are ready to step into your power and you’d like some partners in the process, come check out JRNI Life Coach Training. Grounded in science, our ICF accredited program features authentic instructors, a robust curriculum, and business instruction to prepare you for liftoff.

JRNI Coaching: Vibrant community. Evidence-based life coach training. Lifetime support.

Podcast
What Does Appreciative Inquiry Mean for Organizations and Society?
Learn how to use AI's 4-D's framework in individual and group coaching
Team JRNI
Jun 17, 2021
This is some text inside of a div block.
Podcast
This is some text inside of a div block.
used cms

The Everything Life Coaching Podcast, featuring JRNI Coaching founders John Kim and Noelle Cordeaux, is a deep dive into the experience and business of being a life coach. In this episode, we discuss how to apply the Appreciative Inquiry 4-D model in both business and individual coaching contexts. 

Great coaching relies upon our ability to ask the right questions.

Powerful questions not only shape the direction of a coaching conversation, they also allow clients to explore how taking a new perspective might catalyze better outcomes.

This is true not only at the individual level, but within organizations as well! 

A recent crossover from the field of Organizational Development into the world of coaching that is taking the art of questioning to new heights is Appreciative Inquiry (AI).

The Cooperrider Center for Appreciative Inquiry, based in the Robert P. Stiller School of Business at Champlain College, calls AI "the best large-group method in the world today.”

“The hallmark of AI Coaching is robust awareness and appropriate engagement of the social network of which the client is a part and which is relevant to the objectives of the coaching.” - International Journal of Appreciative Inquiry

What are some of the benefits corporations, organizations, and nonprofits can expect to experience from implementing AI methods and coaching? 

According to the Cooperrider Center, AI outcomes include:

  • Increased profits, while at the same time improving the world.
  • Shows businesses the bigger picture, including their place in the world from a sustainability point of view.
  • Allows employees to be more creative and to have more buy-in with the company's strategic plans.
  • Improves efficiency and output due to the revitalized commitment and enthusiasm from both employees and management for the company's mission.
  • Engages entire communities in creating improvements in their region.
  • Works across all types of organizational sectors, from for-profit to the social sector.
People working together at business conference table

In their foundational paper introducing the field of positive psychology, Martin Seligman and Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi called for the promotion of ‘positive institutions’. In their view, positive institutions move individuals toward better citizenship, responsibility, nurturance, altruism, civility, moderation, tolerance and work ethic.

⁠⁠Attributes of positive institutions include:

  • Valuing the collaboration process 
  • Learning from colleagues 
  • Appreciating one’s colleagues 
  • Connecting with staff around shared values 
  • Feeling energized and passionate 
  • Having a clearer vision of the organization’s future direction 

One way to cultivate these types of institutions is through… you guessed it… Appreciative Inquiry! AI is all about making a commitment to look for the best in people, their organizations, and the relevant world around them. 

So how does AI work?

The AI method involves facilitating a respectful inquiry into a topic of interest. This creates a framework where a specific set of questions is asked in order to help participants identify solutions that already exist and are working in a given system. Working with the question sets, participants explore ways to reflect and amplify those “working” aspects in order to move the system in positive directions (A Positive Revolution in Change: Appreciative Inquiry Cooperrider & Whitney, 2001). 

In other words, AI facilitates an intentional examination of the aspects within an organization or person that help a living system to function at its best. 

AI represents a paradigm shift in the world of work and community development. 

Rather than focusing on “what’s not working”, it adopts a strengths-based change approach. A similar paradigm shift can also be seen in the world of psychology. In traditional psychology, the focus is on correcting weaknesses, whereas in positive psychology and coaching, the focus is on building strengths.

Puzzle pieces put together by many hands

Implementing the AI Method

Appreciative Inquiry utilizes storytelling to achieve its results. The process of sharing positive stories opens people up to their past and present capabilities, such as: achievements, unrealized potentials, strengths, values, motivations, hopes, dreams, innovations, traditions, and visions of possible futures. 

Within this context, people listen to one another, share information, generate meaningful discussions, and ultimately produce new knowledge. 

The 4-D’s of Appreciative Inquiry

Appreciative Inquiry consists of four key stages: Discovery, Dream, Design, and Destiny. 

AI is designed to help both individual and organizational clients examine important personal relationships using the following 4-dimensional process:

  • to discover what is working well in the relationship;
  • to investigate the client’s hopes and dreams for the relationship in the future; 
  • to design plans to realize part of all of the hopes and dreams; 
  • to implement those plans and actions.

Tip for Coaches: The emphasis in Appreciative Inquiry is on imagination and innovation rather than intervention. This may feel tricky at first, but instead of focusing on negativity, criticism, and diagnosis, the focus is on the discovery, dream, and design. When applying the AI Model, make sure that your language and the tone of the session are encouraging, optimistic, and inspirational.

Exercise: Test Drive the AI Model!

Step 1: Choose a focus

Identify an important relationship or team in your professional life. Describe the current state of this relationship, including how you feel toward the other(s) and the relationship in general.

Step 2: Discover

Celebration: Within important relationships, each person makes meaningful and purposeful contributions that should be celebrated and acknowledged. Think about a moment or experience with this person or team that is worth celebrating. Consider the following:

  • What was it about this moment that made it worth celebrating?
  • What qualities did you bring to this moment?
  • What qualities did the other person (people) bring to this moment?

Maintenance: Maintaining an important relationship is a collaborative effort. Consider:

  • What do you value most about yourself that contributes to the healthy development of this relationship? In other words, what is your greatest strength in this relationship?
  • What do you value most about the other person that contributes to the healthy development of the relationship?
  • Describe a time when you worked well together to come to a solution in a way that made you both feel respected.

Step 3: Dream 

By thinking about and visualizing an ideal future, you can begin to make positive changes to help achieve that future. For the next few minutes, close your eyes and visualize your ideal relationship with the person you selected for this exercise. 

  • How would you like your relationship to be? 
  • What would you like to see more of in your relationship that would create a greater feeling of harmony and peace? 
  • What words could the other person use to describe you that would make you feel proud? 
  • What hopes and dreams do you have for this relationship?

Describe or write down what you visualized.

Step 4: Design

Now let’s look at what you can do to move the relationship closer to your newly envisioned ideal.

  • What concrete steps could you (as an individual) take to move towards your ideal future relationship? What strengths could you use to help realize your hopes and dreams?
  • What concrete steps could you take together with the other person to help you realize your hopes and dreams for the future?
  • When you look back on your relationship with each other 1 year from now, what actions and behaviors would give you the greatest sense of pride, meaning, and fulfillment?

To learn more about Appreciative Inquiry, check out:

David L. Cooperrider Center for Appreciative Inquiry

International Journal of Appreciative Inquiry

Appreciative Inquiry in Business: Solving Management Problems

Ready to Increase Your Impact?

Coaching is a rapidly growing field that is continuously evolving. Even for seasoned coaches and managers, there’s always more to discover. If you’ve not yet earned your ICF coaching certification, there’s no better time than now to get started! Come check out JRNI Life Coach Training - a program that's every bit as unique as you are. Grounded in science, our ICF accredited program features authentic instructors, a robust curriculum, business and entrepreneurship instruction, and fellow students dedicated to becoming a collective force for good.

‍JRNI Coaching: Vibrant community. Evidence-based life coach training. Lifetime support.

Life Coaching
How to Establish A Strong & Successful Coaching Relationship
Tips for creating trust between coach and client
Team JRNI
Jun 9, 2021
This is some text inside of a div block.
Life Coaching
This is some text inside of a div block.
used cms

Tips to Build Trust Between Coach and Client

The best coaching relationships are built on a foundation of trust. And yet, we often need to get personal with new clients fairly quickly. Why? Because setting the stage for meaningful  change requires a certain degree of vulnerability.

When the time spent together in coaching sessions is limited, it becomes even more important for us to get this part right. Oh, the pressure!

Life coaches are trained to help people feel seen, heard, and understood. But how can we really do all that... in just one hour? Buckle up - you’re about to find out.

Establish A Firm Foundation

In both personal and business relationships, we know that building trust is a process. According to social psychology’s  “proximity principle”, the formula for establishing close relationships usually goes something like this:

Time + Familiarity = Intimacy

As a life coach, your first order of business is to create the conditions that will fast track that relationship building process. This requires intention and mindfulness.

Start building trust from the moment of first contact.

Consider how you generally interact with prospective coaching clients. This includes social media followers, email or direct message inquiries, requests for information, and the process of booking an initial consultation. 

  • Would you call these points of contact “relationships”?
  • What’s the experience like for the prospect? 
  • Do you give them the same attention and regard that’s offered to your current clients? Why or why not? 
  • What time and energy boundaries feel most appropriate to you? How can you hold them in a way that conveys professionalism, while also honoring the prospective client?

Well before someone signs a coaching contract with you, the groundwork for your coaching relationship has already been laid. Each point of contact along the way should feel relational rather than transactional.

What do we mean by that? It could look as simple as this:

Instead of thinking before each new client consultation call, “I wonder if this person will sign up for one of my coaching packages?”, and yourself: “How can I serve this person today?”

Remember: every interaction represents an opportunity to establish trust. 

Create the Container

“Sometimes holding space feels like doing nothing.” - Heather Plett

One of the first things we learn in life coach training is that our primary job is simply to “hold space”. As coaches, we establish the conditions that allow a client to access their inner wisdom and formulate answers for themselves. The coaching relationship is, in essence, the psychological “space'' where this work takes place.

Yeah, that sure sounds nice… but what does it actually mean in practice?

⁠According to Heather Plett, author of The Art of Holding Space, to do this well means:

“...to walk alongside another person in whatever journey they’re on without judging them, making them feel inadequate, trying to fix them, or trying to impact the outcome. When we hold space for other people, we open our hearts, offer unconditional support, and let go of judgement and control.”

While it might sound like “doing nothing”, the impact of being in full relationship presence with another person is profound.

Coaching clients often say the most powerful aspect of a session is simply being seen and heard.

Additional resource: If you’d like to dive deeper, JRNI co-founders John Kim and Noelle Cordeaux discuss this topic at greater length in The Everything Life Coaching Podcast episode How To Hold Space for Others

5 Coaching Behaviors that Build Trust

Want to create coaching relationships that deliver great results for your clients? Master these five skills and you’ll be well on your way. 

1) Be fully present

Take a few minutes to center yourself before every coaching session. Make sure you’re not hungry or thirsty. Eliminate distractions. Clear your mind of whatever may be going on for you. Review client notes so you’re in the zone. Turn your attention fully to the client you’re about to meet with.

2) Show up authentically

There is no “right way” to coach. Know who you are, and embody your unique style. If you’re a high energy person, don’t dial it down to library mode. If you’re prone to cursing like a sailor, let it rip. Model the same vulnerability that you’ll be asking of your clients as they seek to live from their own truth. And remember: people hire you because they resonate with your presence. They have chosen to be in this relationship with YOU. Trust in that. 

3) Listen without judgement

Trustworthy relationships provide a sense of emotional safety. You can help establish that safety by regarding each person you work with as whole, worthy and capable. Life coaches do this by demonstrating respect for the client’s perceptions, identity, learning style, personal being, and where they are in life… right now

Pro Tip: There’s no getting around the fact that we all have biases. As a coach, it’s important to be aware of (and working on) whatever yours might be. You don’t need to be perfect! Simply cultivate the emotional intelligence and skills necessary to appropriately handle moments when you may feel discomfort or judgement toward a client. If there are situations where you can't do this, honor the client by referring them to another coach.

4) Have empathy

“Feeling with” is an essential skill for coaches. It allows us to connect deeply with the client, and respond with compassion. While sympathy comes from our ability to intellectually understand someone else’s pain, empathy is what actually allows us to feel into it.

In his book Heartificial Empathy, leadership consultant Minter Dial recommends these five practices to help strengthen your empathy muscles:

  • Listen actively
  • Explore differences
  • Read fiction
  • Practice mindfulness
  • Remember WHY you want to be more empathetic (it will motivate you to set aside the time to actually do #1-4!)

5) Demonstrate integrity

Consider what professionalism means to you, and how you want to show up inside your coaching relationships. With every interaction, you’re modeling what your client can count on from you. From starting sessions on time, to respecting client confidentiality… it all matters. Having a clear set of personal ethics serves both you as coach, and the relationship itself.

Need a tool to help hold yourself accountable? We suggest periodically reviewing the International Coaching Federation's Coach Core Competencies. You can use these industry gold-standards as a benchmark, and perform a self-assessment from time to time to see how you’re measuring up.

Want to Become A Coach?

One of our values at JRNI is that we dare to be different. Our coaches ignore the expectations society tries to impose on them, and seek to live from their own truth instead. If you are ready to step into your power and you’d like some partners in the process, come check out JRNI Life Coach Training. Grounded in science, our ICF accredited program features authentic instructors, a robust curriculum, and business instruction to prepare you for liftoff.

JRNI Coaching: Vibrant community. Evidence-based life coach training. Lifetime support.

Podcast
Gremlins (And How to Quash Them)
Help clients tame their inner critic with the Gremlin Technique!
Team JRNI
Jun 9, 2021
This is some text inside of a div block.
Podcast
This is some text inside of a div block.
used cms

The Everything Life Coaching Podcast, featuring JRNI Coaching founders John Kim and Noelle Cordeaux, is a deep dive into the experience and business of being a life coach. In this episode, we talk about the inner voices of doubt and diminishment, and how to help our clients befriend them.

 

One of the major issues that gets in the way of goal accomplishment and overall flourishing in life is coping with self criticism. While we all experience some degree of unproductive chatter inside our heads, every person has a unique story behind what causes these feelings, and how they relate to them. 

Understanding the way feelings manifest is essential for life coaches. No matter what issue your client might be facing, unpleasant emotions will likely play a role.

Anxiety is a general term used to describe these "icky feels", but there are many different flavors:

  • Stress
  • Frenzy
  • Shame
  • Overwhelm
  • Fear
  • And so on!

One of the most pervasive sources of negative feelings comes from a person’s own inner critic. This is also known in psychology as the voice of the pseudo self.  

Helping our coaching clients observe and notice exactly what that voice sounds like is an important step in empowering them to gain control over their negative emotions. When a client can identify and recognize that critical voice, it allows them to step back from it. From this place of detatched observation, they can then begin to develop strategies for putting it aside and moving on to something that is more important to focus on in a given moment.

Notice the language here, because it’s meaningful! We’re learning how to set negative emotions aside, not suppress them. When we reject and suppress our negative emotions, they usually pop up in other ways. Not an effective long-term strategy for growth or enhanced life satisfaction!

So how do we "work with" the inner critic?

Externalization is a technique that coaches can use that calls upon the imagination in order to help a client connect with whatever thoughts and feelings are getting in the way of what they want to accomplish. Externalization can be defined as "taking something outside of its normal boundaries." 

Gremlin-Taming is a coaching technique that employs externalization. It is based on the work of Rick Carson, who wrote Taming Your Gremlin: A Surprisingly Simple Method for Getting Out of Your Own Way.  

"Since at least the time of the Buddha, the 'Mind' has been recognized as the necessary ground of enlightenment, but also of all confusion and distress... Gremlin-taming is a most worthy ambition, and Rick Carson is a most worthy advocate and ally." - Jimmy Dale Gilmore; singer, songwriter, three-time Grammy Award nominee

How to Use the Gremlin Technique

The adaptation from Carson’s model that we teach JRNI Coaching students is simple: when you get smacked with a negative emotion, figure out where it comes from... then give it a face and a name.

For example, Noelle once had a client who was having a terrible time balancing her budget. She started to have anxiety attacks whenever it was time to pull out her receipts and see what she had spent. She described the task as “a monkey on her back.”

After introducing the gremlin technique, the client decided to call the negative feeling associated with her budget “Fred the Orangutan”.  

Once you have named the emotional source, you can talk to it. The client in this scenario decided that she would tell Fred to go sit in a corner while she worked on her budget. As silly as this may sound, she generally felt much better after doing so! 

From a cognitive perspective, there is a big difference between internal talk that might say “I am having a hard time with the crushing shame of my finances,” and “Fred the Orangutan really sucks.”

When this topic came up in future coaching sessions, Noelle and her client were then able to talk about the client’s financial anxiety in more playful terms. Together, they were able to bring “Fred” down to a manageable size so the client could move forward.

For more examples of the Gremlin technique in action, we invite you to listen to the full podcast episode!

Want to Be A Coach?

A lot of talented people dream of having a coaching business, but aren’t quite sure how to get there. We train and certify adventurous coaches, making sure you’ve got all you need to build a business you love and transform lives, on your terms. If you're ready to learn more about how to become a life coach, come check out JRNI Life Coach Training program

JRNI Coaching: Vibrant community. Evidence-based life coach training. Lifetime support.



Life Coaching
Becoming a Life Coach: What Credentials are Required?
What creds do you REALLY need to be a coach?
Team JRNI
Jun 10, 2021
This is some text inside of a div block.
Life Coaching
This is some text inside of a div block.
used cms

What does it take to become a life coach?

What if we said that you could stop reading right here because... there are no credentials “required” to become a coach.

Would you believe us and jet without finishing this article? 

Or would you wonder if maybe there’s more to the story?

Let's start with the basics:

FACT: Life coaching is an unregulated profession.

FACT: You don't need a license or certification to start a coaching business.

ALSO FACT: Good coaching is a combination of science, intuition, and experience

A coach who's the real deal transforms lives, and has clients raving to their friends and colleagues about it. (And they aren't just born that way.)

Technically, anyone can say they are a coach.

But we're guessing that you’re not here just looking for some easy money. In fact, we’re willing to bet that you want to become a life coach because you care about helping other people succeed. And that means offering real value to prospective coaching clients. 

Every week, we talk to a lot of people like you who are thinking about entering the coaching industry. You probably have a lot of the same questions that they do!

Questions like:

  • How long does it take to become a certified life coach?
  • What steps are required?
  • How much does life coach certification cost?
  • And finally… What credentials are needed to be a life coach?

In the following article, we've laid out the essential "Need To Know's" about entering the coaching profession. So let's get down to those burning questions!

Do I need training to be a life coach?

Yes, and here’s why.

As more life coaches enter the virtual marketplace, consumers are looking for guidance on which practitioners are most reputable. Yes anybody can do it, but how do you know if they're any good?

Let’s face it: personal development and “living your best life” are trending. Our social media feeds are filled with tips and philosophies for how to get the most from our “one wild and precious life” (props to Mary Oliver). From the guy next door to our former high school BFF, everyone’s got something to say about it. 

When hiring a coach, prospective clients want to know you will cut through all that noise and deliver results. 

Life coaching clients are savvy, and often shop around before deciding which coach they want to work with. They may even ask what techniques, methods, and processes you use. 

A reputable coach training program will prepare you to deliver transformative outcomes for your clients.

In the process of becoming a certified coach, you’ll gain broad exposure to research-based life coaching frameworks, interventions, methodologies, and techniques. You'll also “learn by doing”, with ample opportunities to test it all out in practice coaching sessions.

Need help figuring out which program is right for you? 

This short, step by step guide will walk you through it: How to Get Certified As A Life Coach

What’s the deal with coach training “accreditation”?

At this time, International Coaching Federation (ICF) coach certification represents the industry gold standard. And we don’t see that changing anytime soon. In fact, we believe the ICF seal of approval for life coach training programs will only continue to rise in prominence over the years to come.

Here’s what we’re seeing in the coaching industry today:

  • Many long established coach certification programs are applying for ICF accreditation. Why? Because they recognize that more and more coaching clients are looking to hire ICF credentialed coaches.
  • Human resource departments are vetting life coaching qualifications. Businesses are a leading employer of professional coaches. They are also among the highest paying "clients". Whether you want to land a corporate job as an internal coach, or are hoping to book more business coaching contracts… recognized credentials count.

Confused about the difference between coach certification, credentialing, and accreditation?

You’re not alone! For a no-nonsense breakdown, take a look at: What Certification Do You Need to Be a Life Coach? 

What life coaching qualifications should I care most about?

1) International Coaching Federation credentials 

As an unaffiliated nonprofit organization, the ICF is dedicated to overseeing the field of professional coaching. They also make industry-leading endorsements and recommendations for selecting a training program. Because of this, consumers have a safety net against fake programs... and practitioners who simply don’t know what they’re doing.

At JRNI Coaching, we're ICF accredited and offer a pathway to getting your ACC ICF Credential. If we’re one of the programs on your short list of options, check out: Why Choose JRNI Life Coach Training? 

2) Real-world coaching practice and feedback

Picture it: you’re ten minutes away from your very first paying session with a new client. This is it, the moment you’ve been waiting for! 

Are you ready?!? Facilitating an impactful coaching session is an art. It's also grounded in techniques that can be taught.

It takes practice to learn how to:

  • Build rapport and trust with someone you’ve just met
  • Choose the right question, at the right time, to stimulate client “a-ha’s”
  • Hold productive silence when a client is processing and making new internal connections
  • Inspire a commitment to take action and be accountable
  • “Get somewhere” by the end of an hour (it goes quick, friends!)

You’ll want to practice with a variety of people: rapid verbal processors, methodical thinkers, and everyone in between. It also helps to coach with peers and mentors who will give you direct, constructive feedback. Otherwise, how will you know if what you’re doing is actually working - not just in your head, but more importantly… in the mind of your client?

3) Continuing education in your coaching specialty

While it’s not required, many coaches choose to specialize in a particular area. Or as we call it in the industry, your “life coaching niche”. To attract clients within your chosen niche, you’ll need to be both knowledgeable and credible.

If you’re transitioning into coaching with existing expertise, you’ll have a leg up here. For example, if you’re a corporate management whiz you might decide to focus your practice in a business coaching specialty. But no matter how many years of experience you bring, you’ll want to stay current on new developments in the field you’re coaching within. If your clients desire keen insight into social media strategy, but you’re just coming out of a career in print media? Well, you may need to study up in some areas!

If there is very little overlap between your current background and your desired coaching specialty, further training in addition to your coaching certification may be advisable. Take someone with a career history in computer coding who wants to become a health and fitness coach, for example. In that case, additional training in nutrition and exercise may be just what the doctor ordered!

Like other certified professionals across diverse industries, ICF credentialed coaches are required to keep on learning. In order to have your life coaching certification renewed, you’ll need to log a certain number of continuing education hours each year.

What do I do next?

Become A Life Coach: The Quick and Dirty Checklist!

1) Research coach training programs

Resource: 7 Things to Look for In A Life Coach Training Program

2) Decide if ICF credentials are important to you

Resource: Why Become an ICF Certified Life Coach?

3) Run the numbers

Resource: How Much Does It Cost To Become A Life Coach? 

4) Asses program fit

Consider:

  • “Personality” of the program
  • Curriculum
  • Length of program
  • Tuition costs
  • Opportunities to practice and receive feedback 

5) Interview

If there isn’t a clear frontrunner in your mind at this point, narrow it down to your top 2-3:

  • Develop your questions - what’s most important to you?
  • Ask to talk with program staff and alumni 

6) ENROLL

Choose and commit.

What's the difference between dreaming about your future and actually creating it?

It’s simple: really. Those who succeed do so by taking imperfect action.

There is never a “right” time. Nobody can promise how it will all turn out. There are no guarantees in this life. There’s only right here, right now. 

Your capabilities. Your dreams. Your potential.

So... what will you do with YOUR one wild and precious life?

Ready to Get Started?

One of our values at JRNI is that we dare to be different. Our coaches ignore the expectations society tries to impose on them, and seek to live from their own truth instead. If you are ready to step into your power and you’d like some partners in the process, come check out JRNI Life Coach Training. Grounded in science, our ICF accredited program features authentic instructors, a robust curriculum, and business instruction to prepare you for liftoff.

JRNI Coaching: Vibrant community. Evidence-based life coach training. Lifetime support.


STAY IN TOUCH

Sign up here and we’ll keep you up to date on the very best of JRNI, live events and everything you need for your own journey.

Remarkable inspiration delivered weekly to your inbox. No spam, we promise.

Thank you! Your submission has been received!
Oops! Something went wrong while submitting the form.