In this episode, Shannon is talking about key things to do with coaching, a profession she loves and has been working in for around two decades!
Shannon believes coaching is one of the best investments you can make and dives into why she loves coaching, a list of things to consider when hiring a coach and how she ended up leading a coaching certification.
This episode is definitely not just for coaches. It is useful for you if you have ever been coached or considered hiring a coach, are, or have ever thought about becoming a coach.
She Leads She Thrives, the podcast for ambitious, ingenious souls hosted by Shannon Dunn of Thrive Factor Co.
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Find the following key points at the following times;
03:51 My first experience of coaching
05:39 What is coaching
08:10 Are you lost in your coaches reality?
11:21 Why coaching is a great investment
14:43 How to find the coach for you
15:52 Eight considerations for finding your coach
24:18 How I came to be leading a coaching certification
She Lead She Thrives, the home of inspired conversations, practical and creative wisdom, expansive leadership and business insights, abundant Bragaudacious moments of celebration and useful info you can actually do something with.
You’ll hear about mindset marketing, money, magnetism, self awareness and the Thrive Factor Framework, it’s Archetypes and more. Amplify your role as a leader, a self led soul. Tap into your effortless success zone. Turn your ingeniousness and wisdom into profitable income streams.
From solo shows to guests you’ll definitely want more from, there’s something for every ambitious ingenious soul.
I’m Shannon Dunn, a true OG of the business coaching space, with an obsession with thriving. You are so welcome here. Let’s dive into today’s episode.
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This episode was brought to you by the Thrive Factor coach Certification offered by Thrive Factor school. The certification is a unique immersive experience into professional coaching, and developing proficiency using the Thrive Factor Framework and its 12 female-centric self leadership archetypes. Being a Thrive Factor Coach offers a unique gift of personal transformation your clients will be filled with gratitude for. This is a genuine opportunity to engage in a world class personal and professional training experience and become part of a community of impact makers, as a licensed Thrive Factor Coach to find out more email email@example.com.
Welcome: Shannon 01:44
I love coaching, like really love it. I remember my first experience of it in a business and leadership context. It was the early 2000s. So I’m totally showing my age here. And I was in a newish leadership role in the corporate setting that I was working in at the time. Now, like many of you, I’m sure, I’d experienced coaching as a child, and then as a teen also in a team sport setting. But coaching for a group of leaders in an organization. What was this going to be all about?
I was curious. And thank goodness for that curiosity, and where it would lead me. Welcome to She Leads She Thrives. I’m your podcast host Shannon Dunn. And I am as always excited to be back with a new solo episode ahead of our first guest episodes launching very soon.
Today, I’ve got a few things that I want to talk to you about or share with you. I want to talk about why I think coaching is one of the best investments to make. I’m going to share with you some of my thoughts around how to find the most amazing coach for you if that’s your path of support. And also I’m going to share a little bit about how I came to lead a coaching certification. Because most definitely, it was not part of the bigger plan and vision that I had not that long ago.
There is so much that I have to share on all of this. And I know that there will be episodes in the future where I’ll certainly be exploring coaching in different ways, is the thing I’ve spent the majority of the past two decades doing so I have a lot to say. And a lot of the guests that I have on the show have either got coaching qualifications, or they work in the coaching space, or they have coaching as part of what they offer in their businesses. And many of them have lots of experience in this. So I have no doubt there’ll be lots that we will be able to dive into.
Let’s get back to my first experience of coaching. I remember my boss excitedly sharing there’s a leadership group we were going to meet with his executive coach once a month. And his excitement was so palpable. And while I wasn’t really sure what we’re about to experience, I was open to learning and to particular learning more about leadership and working in a team.
Sitting in that first group coaching session was both enlightening and confronting. I can’t exactly remember the context of what we worked through as a group. But I know in those moments, this was something that I wanted to know more about. I wanted to understand how to work with people in this way. It appealed to my fascination with harnessing human potential so much so. Having the personal lived experience of being coached by an exceptional coach, I planted the seed for what would end up becoming the business I lead today.
It set the example of what was possible when using coaching as a tool to work with and support others. It most definitely amplified a curiosity in me to explore the various ways I could expand on my fascination with human behavior and human potential. And use that in my work, whatever that look like. At the time I had an inkling that I may end up in a business of my own. But I certainly was well and truly an employee back then.
I saw coaching as a platform for me to combine my experience and expertise, to bring together counseling, transpersonal art therapy, leadership, business, marketing, psychology mindset. And then to be able to launch a business where I got to blend all of this all I’ve learned and experienced together. So I really do have such incredible gratitude for that first example of coaching in the business world. And it has definitely been pivotal in shaping the kind of coach I’ve become.
There are so many diverse examples of coaching in the world, I’m certainly clear on my version, and when to use what in support of my clients. Coaching is actually a methodology. And it’s one that I love. And I’m proud to have spent a lot of time honing my craft and embracing and evolving the way I coach. Because to me, coaching is an art form.
I respect the traditional coaching methodology where coaching is a collaborative way of working with a client. And the collaborative aspect is about working with the client to guide them to connect with their resources, which really are a combination of their lived and learned experiences across a lifetime. In, not completely unique way, but in the way that I do, it’s certainly unique, I’m also very educational in my coaching.
And when I describe my coaching as also having an educational aspect. I mean, there’s times when clients want to learn from me, they want to learn certain things. They want me to teach them aspects of business, for example. And if I can, and it’s appropriate, I’ll do that. And my Mentor Teacher Thrive Factor Archetype loves the inclusion of education teaching in the way that I work with clients.
I’m also very consultative in my coaching, because there are times that clients want me to tell them how, they want me to give them an exact step by step this is what to do. And there are times when I do have the appropriate expertise, that means it’s also appropriate to do this, even though a consultant and coach are definitely not the same thing.
I love the blended methodology, I should say I’ve chosen and I love how it allows me to draw on and include the diverse business psychology and creative and artistic backgrounds that I have. Infuse this with the Thrive factor framework, and it’s a genuinely unique way of coaching, and a genuinely unique coaching experience for every client I feel so privileged to work with.
There’s something else it’s underpinned my entire business. It’s a commitment to follow my own path. It can be so easy to get caught up in a belief cycle that feeds false realities. And the coaching industry definitely has great influence over the client community that we serve the world over. And a lot of people who come to work with coaches can often find themselves lost in the coach’s reality instead of their own.
As some examples. I’ve even worked with coaches who’ve encouraged and even instructed me to do things like follow their exact steps or process or path while ignoring my vision and my strengths. In that particular instance, I was intrigued as to their insistence that my experience and results were because they decided I wasn’t following what was theirs and more interested in listening to my voice, my art and my intuition. I literally got berated for following what made sense to me.
Another example, was around when I was encouraged to compare myself to others so I could track how I was progressing. This just makes me cue a big huge red flag. Comparison can be super helpful when it’s a conscious activity to create motivation, not to measure yourself and determine if you are underachieving or if you’re good enough or not. I have no doubt that comparison and the whole kind of trap of comparison is going to be a whole episode on its own in the future.
I’ve had coaches telling me I would struggle to find success unless I focus on something people were paying for at the time. And the suggested focus was on the same topic that particular coach focused on that was definitely an awakening for me to the limits of that coach’s ability to coach me for who I was. It seemed that the edges of their limits were based purely on what they were focusing on and learn themselves.
And I’ve also had a coach tell me to stop talking about things like personal psychology, and self awareness and Archetypes, because business people didn’t care about that kind of thing. And all I can say to that is, has anyone looked at the personal development industry lately? Look at the statistics and look at the number of people out there teaching things around mindset, self awareness, self care, self love, you know, all the personal psychology stuff.
They’re only a handful of examples that I could share, there’s so many I can share, and maybe I will another time. But I do love coaching, I know that it can be one of the most profound experiences. It can also be a source of disappointment, judgment, criticism, and even failure for those who become a measure of their coach’s success, instead of a focus on their coach’s belief in meeting people where they’re at, and actually coaching them towards what they, so you as a client, want.
So we’re gonna get now more into the how do I find a coach that’s right for me. So find a coach who is all about you, not about their process, or their income, or their success, or whatever they’re sharing is. That, again, it’s gonna be a whole new episode, that last bit, so I’ll add that to my list as a future topic.
Before I get into how to find a right coach for you, I want to share a little bit about why I think coaching is one of the best investments that you can actually make. When you work with someone who uses actual coaching principles and methodology, you’re investing in someone who’s able to guide and support you to tap into your inner brilliance, your strengths, your intuition, your innate guidance system, your wisdom.
Coaching is an inquiry based exploration. Its designed to centre you as a source of your own answers and solutions. And coaching is not advice giving. And it’s also not “pay to be in my space”. That’s become a big trend in recent years in the coaching industry. It is not telling people how, it’s not this is the way I did it, or do it and so this is your solution. And it’s not meant to be a disempowering experience, or one that makes you feel crappy about yourself.
I literally saw a post by a self proclaimed seven figure coach, in the last couple of days sharing her strategy of how to build a highly successful multi-six or seven figure coaching business. Now I say self proclaimed because I don’t know the realities of her business. And I’m not saying she’s lying, but I don’t know the realities. But the core thing is that her post went on to say, you’ve got to teach people how you did or do something. But let’s be clear, that’s not coaching. That’s education, it’s teaching. And it often comes with advice giving, also not coaching.
This experience can be really degrading for a lot of people, it can be damaging, it can be disheartening, when they’re really not sure why they’re not getting the results. But the experience of coaching can be, , with the right coach for you, one of personal growth that changes you. And not because there’s something wrong with you, or you need fixing. It’s about you’re realizing how phenomenal you are, how many resources you have to access, how much you can trust yourself. It’s about receiving support and guidance to see things you may have been blind to or not able to see clearly previously. It’s about creating a landscape of curiosity and self awareness. And I really see coaching, with the right coach for you, like a gift that you’re giving yourself. In a future episode that I’ve recorded with our guests, Cristina Bold, we touch on this a little bit, so look out for that one in a few weeks.
So how do you find this right coach for you? If you really desire support, you know, in the moment or in at some point in the future and you think that coaching is probably somewhere you want to go and explore. Now over the years, I’ve published a few lists of things to consider – blog posts, social media shares. I’ve taken my suggestions from a long experience of hiring coaches, observing the industry, and its trends and from also coaching clients, thousands of them this many years in.
And I was recently interviewed by the platform Cliniko, who support health professionals here in Australia. They had done a survey and in their response from their audience, it was highlighted that business coaching offered value for accelerating success. But they wanted to understand key things that could benefit their community. And when they reached out to me for contribution to their article, I shared a lot of the following because these things are relevant for any kind of coaching in my view.
So let’s start here, in a world filled with coaches be considered and intentional when choosing who to work with. Now, I’ve got eight top considerations when hiring your next coach. And as I said, this goes for any type of coach, whether it be a business coach, life coach, health coach, relationship coach, mindset coach, money coach, any kind of coach you can think of. And they’re not in a particular order or preference. But they are valid factors that you might like to consider when hiring a coach. I like to think of working with coaches, or hiring a coach to work with, like a recruitment process. Because you’re making a significant investment, when you consider the money, the time, the emotion, the energy involved in building and nurturing a healthy and purposeful relationship with your coach.
So here’s the eight things that I had to share.
Let’s start with number one on my list credibility. And as I said before, these are in no specific priority of order. That credibility is so key is your potential new coach, someone who’s actually training coaching methodology. I feel this is so important. As I mentioned earlier, coaching is not a regulated industry. Coaching is also not advice giving, or regurgitation of what your coaches coach taught your coach who passes the exact information on to you because they know no other way. I feel like there’s an increasing abundance of coaches across all niches, who don’t really understand the nuances of coaching and how to safely work with clients in a client-centered way, for the best outcome for all involved. So credibility is key.
Accountability would be the next one that I would look at, as your potential new coach have some kind of accountability system, or experience built into the way that they work? And I don’t mean, do they check on you each day and ask how you are? Or hold you to ransom if you haven’t taken action and all the things you said you do. I mean, do they hold space for you to show up for yourself. Leading by example and offering you the opportunity to develop self accountability, which I would also look at as self leadership.
Next on my list of considerations is outcomes. So you want to be mindful? Is your coach focus on supporting you to achieve a set of outcomes that are meaningful for you? Or is their agenda and a nice chat every couple of weeks, all about, you know what their focus is for them. If their agenda is a nice chat every couple of weeks, and to hype you up and make you feel good, that’s not really coaching. It may be what some people want to pay for. But I have no doubt that as an ambitious ingenious soul, you expect more than that and want to learn, to get challenged, to evolve, to achieve your goals, to make more money if you’re in business to create impact. So be mindful of what your coach can actually achieve with you. Not for you. With you.
Genuine social proof is my next one as a consideration. Do the clients that your coaches have worked with happily provide testimonials? So are there testimonials on the coaches website if they have one for example. Are client’s commenting and sharing accomplishments? This is a good sign that that coach is working in a way where their clients are getting results. But also consider this, so this is kind of a like a double edged put this one on the list for consideration, not all successful, incredible coaches will have clients raving about them on social media. I’m a living example of that.
A large percentage of my successful clients really use social media, so they don’t come into my socials is raving about their experience. It doesn’t mean they’re not achieving, and that they haven’t accelerated with whatever our focus was for their coaching. They just don’t jump online every two seconds to tell the world because they’re actively growing significant, impactful and wildly profitable businesses. There are businesses everywhere who don’t rely on social media as a platform for showcasing who they are, what they do, and for magnetising clients. And I know that sounds revolutionary, but it’s the truth. All credible coaches will though in my experience, have testimonials or reviews that will be easy to find, read them, look for the consistencies in their client experiences, go to their websites, and not just put a focus on their social media.
Now five on my list of eight is accessibility. Can you actually communicate directly with your coach from the first interaction? Or do you have to go through a team member or two, and a handful of calls and messages to even get to the point of finding out whether you could work with them? Coaching is such a personal experience. And my personal view is that if you’re going to invest to work with a coach, be sure to know what it’s like to communicate with them from your first interaction. It could be an insight into how the whole experience might be. People get busy as they scale their businesses. And it’s not uncommon to have a team member handling things like client inquiries, particularly through social media messaging. But my personal belief is that it’s important for you to actually get to communicate with the person you’ll be working directly with.
Now focus that was my next thing on the list of considerations. What is your potential coaches actual proven expertise? Even if they’re new as a coach, their past learning and lived experiences in forming their specialty or expertise as a coach. They don’t have to have a tight niche to be ideal for you, but do understand what they do or can do. Now the testimonials and the sharing from clients can have huge clues as to what’s tangibly possible for you.
Two more ago, authenticity and agility. So when it comes to authenticity, do they practice what they teach? No, I don’t say practice what they preach, I very much say practice what they teach. You’ll be able to tell. It’s I don’t think these days with the way that we share so much in the online space, that it’s hard to get a sense of who someone is. Now, your coach doesn’t have to be an instant, perfect, shiny person to demonstrate their success or their achievement, their values, what’s important. But when you connect with their content, are they real, vulnerable, genuine, willing to share an opinion, carving their own path or following the masses? Work out what you value most and consider that when making your choice.
And agility. That was number eight, on my list of considerations. Is there flexibility within the boundaries your coach demonstrates, and by this, I mean, is there a human factor in all they do, and awareness and understanding of the realities of life, where they’ll work with you, but show you how to grow to lead and to respect as you learn. Agility can also be in relation to how they’ve been able to lead their own evolution. So look for genuine signs of the coach’s self growth, not just their professional growth.
It’s a really important thing to do your due diligence, and I have no doubt that it’ll pay off in your favor. Also, trust your instincts, as well as your intellect, in fact, trust your instincts over your intellect. Okay, so you’ve got a good framework there for what to consider when hiring your next coach. So I want to share now next piece of kind of final piece to wrap up today’s episode, how I came to leading a coaching certification.
It’s a key offering in my business alongside one on one coaching, group masterminds, group education programs, retreats, and more. The Thrive Factor focus certifications didn’t start out as a coaching one though. It was initially all about the art of profiling using the Thrive Factor Framework and Archetypes. And when I launched, I should say, getting all tongue tied today, too much to share with you. When I launched the first iteration of the certification, it was exactly as I’d envisioned it to be. And that was a few years ago now. But as 2020 commenced and I was getting ready to welcome in a new group of students, I felt expanded and so alive by the whole everything that was happening here or was teaching something I created, an original system or framework of way of coaching others that was based on ancient principles of archetypes, and personal psychology. But my unique and original take on it all.
Now, at the time that we had a new group to commence, was the same time that the pandemic had taken hold across the world so rapidly, as we will all remember. And the students that were either inquiring and about to sign up or had signed up, suddenly started to dwindle off, and I get it, there was fear of the unknown, there was uncertainty about financial situations. All of that contributed to the reality of me leading a small group of just two students in that particular certification experience. Now, I loved leading the certification through a second round, which is what that was. We’d advanced our technology, so we now had an efficiently expensive way to profile our clients using the Thrive Factor Framework. That was such a significant evolvement in time. My understanding of each archetype continued to expand, to deepen, to settle in.
It had been a decade at that point that I’ve been working with the Archetypes. And I felt in some ways, like I knew so much, but I also had so much more to learn. But at that same time, there was an explosion in new online business owners, people seeking a way to earn money as their paid employment situation was removed or became incredibly uncertain. And there was, in my worldview at least, a rapid increase in the number of new coaches in the marketplace. Coaches who weren’t necessarily qualified to coach. Coaches who didn’t understand how to safely and professionally work with people. Coaches who were creating harm, likely unintentionally, but harm all the same. Coaches who were latching on to the sudden rise in business ownership. Others who were recognizing the opportunities the pandemic offered. Others who were advice giving without anything to back it up. This was my consistent observation for some time.
I also more significantly recognised the coaching methodology I created and continue to expand that directly related to the Thrive Factor Framework. It was robust, reliable client and outcome focused. So as I have spent my life reflecting, I began to find myself questioning coaching.
Did I really love it as much as I claimed? Did I really want to be a coach? Did I want to be associated with what I was witnessing coaching becoming? There was so many questions, some definite confusion, definite uncertainty. That each time I worked with a client or with my mastermind participants in group coaching, I was reminded why I love the art of coaching. Then I’d see another example of someone sharing their bad or disappointed experience with with a coach. And there would be a part of my heart that would sink. I remember talking it through with my own coach at the time, in fact, many times over, let’s be honest here, but she helped me to see how I could either feel despondent and stay trapped in my frustration with an industry I’ve been a part of for such a long time. Or I could use it as motivation. So in keeping with my Inspirer Believer and Visionary Creator Archetypes, I chose motivation. I saw how I could draw on my extensive coaching experience, refined expertise, continual education, integration, take all that into an evolution of the original Thrive Factor Certification.
And with that, a spark was ignited and I began evolving the training. Updating the initial six months certification and adding a professional coach-focused intensive that all graduates of the certification would go through upon graduation and choice to license as a Thrive Factor Coach. I held back for a bit before promoting the certification while all of this kind of had to settle. And the clarity was found for what the intensive would include.
New modules with lessons were created to focus on things like coaching dynamics, psychological dynamics, professional dynamics, practice dynamics, and ethical dynamics. I intentionally researched, considered and included the best practice information I could find. And there was a sense of pride growing each day as this evolution was on unfolding.
Now, just recently, the Thrive Factor Coach community have completed this four month intensive. It’s been such a joy to engage with them in our regular mentoring sessions to explore the lessons and the modules. Their learning, their integration of the learning, their remembering what they already know and it’s value for them as they guide clients using the Thrive Factor Framework and it’s 12 Archetypes.
And with this, I have a refreshed definition, a refreshed determination, a refreshed and realigned clarity of vision for making my mark in an industry I truly love. I might make an impact quickly. It might take me longer than I want it to. But one thing I’m certain of that I’m here for the long term, I plan on being here and being in abundance. There being, I should say, an abundance of licensed Thrive Factor Coaches across the world. We’ve been coaching others to meet themselves and to activate thriving and collectively impact the world in ways none of us completely understand is possible at this time.
I trust my knowing I believe in the vision. I invest consistently in support to continue my personal and professional evolution. I’m here to let my quiet rebel lead by carving unique paths for new and established coaches. And I’m so ready for all that is still to come. And I’m enthusiastically excited about who will join me.
Thank you so much for tuning in to everything I had to share today. As a reflection for this episode, I’d love you to consider either, based on your past coaching experience as a coach or being coached and based on your values, the things most important to you.
Here’s a few questions for you to ponder. What is your wish list for a coach? What are your non-negotiables? What expertise do you know a coach for you would have and what kind of client would you commit to being? If you’d like to share your answers to these reflections? You can certainly email them through to firstname.lastname@example.org and I’ll be sure to answer your email. Team will make sure that I get your message – 100%. And I’d love to read what your answers to those questions will be.
But until next episode, as I always will I wish you an abundance of thriving, ingenious, ambitious soul. And I want you to always remember, you’re such a superstar, so keep shining keep thriving.
Thanks for tuning into today’s episode. You are so valued and appreciated. Aside from this podcast, my favorite place to hang out online is definitely Instagram. So come and join me shannon_thethrivefactor and know my DMs are always open for genuine questions and connections. For all the latest Thrive Factor goodness visit ThriveFactorCo.com/links where you’ll find more about thriving in life and business. Be sure to subscribe and rate the show and share it with your friends. Let’s amplify thriving the world over.