Mastery is not a one-time event. It’s a series of small choices and overriding commitments that are made and empowered over and over again. Developing a set of strong habits that helps you grow every day as a coach and improve your business can help you avoid common pitfalls and take advantage of more opportunities to learn and grow as a coach.
Here are the strategies and practices I have observed the best coaches engage with on a regular basis:
- Work with a coach – You can’t see your own blind spots. If you could, they’d be called hard to see spots. Great coaches work with coaches so they can uncover and work through what is hidden for them. They improve as humans and improve as coaches. They also learn a TON that they can bring to their own clients.
- Create things – You can write, draw, record, sculpt, or choreograph. Creation demands that you choose to have something to say and learn how to say it. Both of which are essential skills in coaching.
- Teach – Translating your thoughts and ideas into a format that others can learn from, forces you to develop a deeper understanding of what you’re talking about. If you can’t teach it you don’t really understand it.
- Connect with other master coaches – You almost never find completely isolated masters. It happens, but it’s rare. Spending time with other coaches, especially those who challenge your thinking, will expose you to new ideas and invite you to consider new perspectives. Like stones in a riverbed, this process of the community will smooth your edges in important ways.
- Practice – Not all great coaches have a formal practice regime, but they all take a practice attitude to their work. Rich Litvin once told me about how he would listen to Michael Neill’s radio show and then pause before Michael would ask a question to see if he could guess what it would be. Other coaches I know watch recordings of their sessions to see how they could improve their work. There’s no one way to practice, but finding some way to become aware of your work is vital.
- Read – The world is full of great books and great ideas, but master coaches don’t read for knowledge, they read for understanding and application. Knowing lots of stuff isn’t always that helpful, but being able to distinguish and talk about different concepts is.
- Become Spiritual (or just have faith) – Coaching requires an enormous amount of faith. If your client’s success is all on you, it’s easy to become egotistical or resentful. When you can let go of that burden and trust the client and the process of coaching, you enjoy the process more. It’s often through meditation and/or prayer that master coaches find a faith that feeds them through hard times.
- Connect with People – Great coaches are great connectors. They don’t just reach out to people in order to sell something to them. They find joy in connecting from a place of curiosity and love.
- Take Care of Yourself – Despite the #hustle mentality in most of the world, master coaches handle their personal well-being. They get sleep, they exercise, they eat well. Master coaches understand that their mind and their being are their greatest tools. Neglect those at the risk of losing what makes you great.
- Have a Life – Coaching is only a part of life, but personal development can sometimes feel like a monster that eats all of your time, attention, and energy. Everything you do doesn’t need to be optimized, analyzed, and examined. Sometimes you can just eat ice cream because it tastes good, play video games because they’re fun, and go for a walk because you feel like it. Master coaches love coaching, but they love life too.
Get Good At Coaching
Once you’re clear on what there is to do, the rest is execution. But while it may seem like figuring out WHAT to do is the hardest part, often it’s the DOING IT that gets in the way.
Which is why great coaches put themselves in exceptional containers. They hire amazing coaches, they train with masters, and they surround themselves with incredible peers.
If you’d like to train like this, I’d love to invite you to apply for the Spring 2021 Dojo — over the course of 8+ weeks, you’ll get more time on the mat and more feedback on your coaching than most coaches get in a lifetime.