Center for Coaching Certification

“When can we go back to normal?”

by Sheila Fain LaMarsh Global

Sheila FainHow many of your conversations start with: “When we get back to normal…”?  Around the world, the COVID-19 outbreak is disrupting every routine and plan. We are in the midst of a change that was not deliberate or desired.  One response is to tolerate and endure this new reality in the hope that we can return to life as we knew it before the global outbreak.  In this situation, there’s another option. When it is not possible to control change, we can adapt to our new environment and learn from the experience.

The typical change sequence is:

Desired State



The current state is our definition of “normal” and the desired state is where we hope to be when the change is complete. The process to transition from the current to the desired state is the change state.  In many change efforts, the change is initiated because there are clear and defined benefits in achieving the desired state. A purpose or goal is identified, and then we determine the optimal path to go from our current to the desired state.  However, that sequence is not always possible – there are scenarios where the change was not anticipated or planned such as COVID.

In the situation we are experiencing with the COVID-19 outbreak, it is understandable that the preferred change sequence may be:

Current State



We hope to return to a state that we understand – where our current health and economic struggles did not exist. And we want to avoid achieving a state that is less desirable than what we are used to.  In hopes of returning to normal, we are tolerating the change and waiting until it is over.

To learn and adapt, use coaching.  After all, coaching is a tool that supports change management and is a tool for exploring the possibilities when change is neither anticipated nor planned.  During coaching certification, powerful questioning is a skill that is developed.  Questions during COVID that help include:

  • What are the challenges you are facing?
  • What changes have you experienced?
  • Given the new circumstances, what do you want to change?
  • What is your ideal outcome?


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Coaching Techniques to Help Clients Beat their Inner Bully

by Monique Tallon, CPCC, ACC

Monique TallonAs a women’s leadership coach, I have had many clients who come to me wanting to switch careers, get promoted, or improve their leadership skills. Those are normal goals to bring into a coaching relationship. Throughout the ten years of experience working with these clients, I’ve noticed a consistent trend around the underlying blockages standing in the way of achieving those goals: a lack of self-confidence.

The Imposter Syndrome or lack of self-confidence usually shows up as an inner dialogue that makes the client feel like a fraud. I’ve dubbed these negative inner dialogues, saboteurs, or gremlins as our “Inner Bully” because let’s face it, isn’t that what bullies do? Bullies make fun, put down, and generally mock others to make them feel less than. The unfortunate reality is that many of us do this to ourselves through our subconscious thoughts and feelings. This results in beliefs that lead us to take actions that are counter to our goals and dreams, and in extreme cases can keep us stuck in the status quo. Because beliefs drive our actions (or inactions), it is integral to find ways to lower the volume on this Inner Bully and turn up the volume on our Inner Cheerleader.

The Inner Cheerleader is the part of the psyche that believes we are good enough, we are smart enough, and we do belong. We have a lifetime of achievements and successes to remind us of all the hard work, perseverance, and dedication it took to get to where we are now. One of the tools I use to help refocus my client’s attention on positive feelings and emotions is to help remind them about their achievements. Focusing on past successes and the qualities it took to get there can override the underlying feelings of lack or insecurity. Through concerted practice and in combination with other tools, we begin to rewire the neural pathways that make the client feel “not good enough” toward feelings of worthiness and self-esteem. Once we activate the Inner Cheerleader to replace the inner dialogue of the Bully, we can build the client’s belief in themselves which drives them into positive actions towards their goals and desired outcomes.

I have seen this work over and over again with my clients and have experienced the power of these tools through my own coaching and personal development process. I went from a person who had a very strong Inner Bully, someone who was shy to speak up in a small group of people during meetings, to a published author and keynote speaker on topics of women’s leadership. I attribute this transformation to the step-by-step process that I now teach to others. Through mindfulness practices, rewiring of the neural pathways to build more positive beliefs, and somatic tools and visualization exercises, we can help clients move forward. We can help them move from feelings of unworthiness and low self-esteem where they feel victimized, powerless or stuck to feeling more empowered and confident in themselves. Once they can inhabit this space, the possibilities are endless for the lives they can create – lives that have more meaning, more purpose and more joy.


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Coaching for the Times

Beth DonovanBy Beth Donovan

As coaches we are likely passionate about moving people in a toward/forward direction to reach their goals.  We believe in the positive and the possible.  In the world right now, positive and possible must be actively sought.  Looking from a mountain top perspective, coaches can see new technologies and other possibilities.  

Clients deserve time to be heard so we hold space for them to talk and think.  How can we, as coaches, be sensitive to a client’s wanting to be heard?  We hold space; even when it seems the client might be done, give a few seconds of extra pause.  Clients are processing what is going on around them and what is happening in the world.  

Listen intently for meta models and meta programs.  There is plenty being said through word choice and there is more that is unsaid.  Listen and help them use toward language, describe how they are internally motivated, and be proactive in their approach.  Listen to what they are not saying and ask powerful questions.

Probe your client with thoughtful questions so that the client provides complete information, evaluates clearly, and gets specific.  When you hear distortions, deletions, or generalizations, then you know to probe even deeper into what the client is really saying.  

For example, a client might say “There are no groceries to be found right now.”  A proper response might be “Tell me more,” or “What are some different possibilities?”  Support them thinking and moving toward a solution.

Right now, things are uncertain.  Be sensitive and flexible, more than ever, and dance in the moment.


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Assessments in a Coaching Program

Wyetta Fordby Wyetta Ford

Coaching professionals are faced with various challenges throughout their career.  Connecting with a client and developing rapport is one of the essential elements that dictate the success of the experience.  Successful internal coaching programs and private coaching relationships are hinged on the ability of a coach to provide an experience where a client has a safe space to explore options.

Throughout my career as an HR Professional and Certified Professional Coach, I have found great success by using personality assessments.  If you are looking for another tool to add to your coach arsenal, start employing a quality personality assessment.

As a note, for those of you who also graduated from the Center for Coaching Certification, we were all given an assessment dashboard for free and can give dozens of assessments at wholesale including the DISC and assessments designed to help during the hiring process. 

Personality assessments have been around in one form or another since 500 BC and with over 2500 personality assessments available on the market today a coach has a wide range of tools to explore.  Understanding the history of these sorts of assessments will help a coach understand how to use them today.  When appropriate, coaches can effectively use an assessment before starting a coaching relationship, throughout the coaching sessions, and once the coaching concludes to give a client the ability to self-explore, draw connections, and understand themselves.

Read “Assessments in a Coaching Program” in Coaching Perspectives IX to help you gain more knowledge around assessments to determine if it is the proper tool to use with your next client.


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Who Wants a Coach?

by Samson Umurhurhu Samson Umurhurhu

The role of the Coach is different from other professionals.  Examples of roles often mistaken for coaching include teaching, counseling, consulting, and mentoring.  This chapter makes the distinction amongst these roles, clarifies what professional coaching is, and explores its value

I highlighted the benefits of professional coaching in my personal life as well as in my roles of a leader as a coach.  I share how it helped to advance my progress, resulting in me achieving results with diverse people and cultures across multiple countries whether one-on-one or in resolving common and collective issues of my teams.

I present my experience that people generally are getting to know more about the benefits of professional coaching, hiring a professionally certified coach to help with their personal and professional development, and using coaching to fast track the accomplishment of their goals. This becomes especially relevant in our rapidly changing world and the associated disruptions to our lives and workplaces, and in which we must constantly adjust and adapt in order to remain relevant.Using a coaching situation I had with a client I call Matt (the name has been changed to protect confidentiality), I present a practical illustration of how professional coaching works to enable you to have an insight into the process. In the end, Matt said, he had the opportunity to see the challenges from new perspectives, leading to the difference he wants to create with the execution of his agreed actions steps.

My chapter on Who Wants a Coach? establishes that everyone will benefit from a professional Coach.  Professional coaching will give you an edge and help you thrive against the odds and be an effective support in realizing your goals. Read Coaching Perspectives IX to learn more.


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Changing Negatives into Positives

Beth Donovanby Beth Donovan

Are you ready to create and live a life you love?  Being a person who creates a life with a positive mindset is being a person that creates a life they love!  Our mental language, our self- talk, has the power to shape how we think and to change our actual brain chemistry and make us much happier people in general.

Most coaches already know the power of positivity.  Many coaches practice positive language in our coaching businesses as well as in our everyday lives.  That said, what is different about this chapter?

The difference is in the creative ways to turn our everyday negatives and our huge letdowns in life into positives.  This chapter gives examples of people who completely turned their lives around by embracing a positive mindset.  It delves into practical ways that we can all change our own mindsets and brain chemistry to be positivity oriented and create a spectacular life that is extraordinary.

My chapter in Coaching Perspectives IX offers guidance and suggestions for how to transform negatives into positives with simple methods.  This positive shift in mindset becomes very habit forming and the outcomes are incredible.

I invite the readers to use all the suggestions and see which ones best suit the reader’s life.  Ask yourself the questions provided at the end of the chapter and really explore.

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The Benefits of Coaching for Grantmakers

Luisa Taverasby Luisa Taveras

A career in philanthropy can be very rewarding; after all, your job is to give away other people’s money to promote the welfare of people.  While seemingly simple, investing for the greater good is intricate.  Good grant making requires issue expertise, strategic thinking, emotional intelligence, strong interpersonal skills, and comfort saying “no” – even to good causes or former colleagues.

A skilled professional coach is also dedicated to supporting and promoting the welfare of others – namely their clients.  An effective grant maker is a critical friend, trusted thought-partner, and advocate.  Similarly, a good professional coach is a strategic partner that supports, guides, and empowers clients to fulfill their personal or professional mission.

While money facilitates the work of grant makers, it is the people within the organizations that make social change happen.  Adding professional coaching to your professional development or grantmaking strategy is a powerful tool for advancing transformational change in individuals, organizations, and in society.

The coaching profession offers a variety of niches from executive and leadership coaching to career development, and other skills building support for improved public speaking, writing, professional growth, and capacity building in mission driven fields.  Moreover, a professional coach can be a key ally in helping grant makers successfully navigate the technical, emotional, and intangible aspects of the job.

To learn more about how professional coaching can help improve grantmaking for greater impact, and to get additional insights on the benefits of coaching, please review Coaching Perspectives IX, available for purchase at


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Coaching for Job Search Success

Gail Lennoxby Gail Lennox

Looking for some new ideas to motivate and inspire you in the New Year?  This is typically the time of year when we reflect on where we have been and where we want to go.  The good news is, there are many options to consider and select from!

Sometimes you are completely satisfied with where you are, and feel no action needs to be taken.  Then other days there is an inkling that you want something more.  You may wrestle with this for a while, until it comes to you.  You want a change!  The change you are seeking can come in many different forms, as each one of us is different.  It may be a promotion, a new job, a new career, a reinvention, starting your own business, or just somehow making your current work more creative or interesting.

There are many things to consider when embarking on a self-discovery journey and creating an action plan.  Where do you start?  Start by taking stock and asking yourself a few key coaching questions. Here are a few questions I have my clients answer, and a few to get you started:

  • Who are you?
  • What do you want?
  • Make a list of some of your accomplishments and/or things you are proud of – for example: earning a college degree, achieving a goal, promotions, creating something, learning or mastering something, developing something, implementing something, teaching something, etc..
  • What are your greatest strengths?
  • What are your favorite tasks to do in a job?
  • What do you like helping people with?
  • What do you love to do?

For more great tips to help get you motivated, I invite you to review my chapter in Coaching Perspectives IX and gain insights for your next steps.


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Discovering the Coach Within

Martin Laramieby Martin Laramie

Martin Laramie, an experienced coach and leadership trainer, approaches the coaching role from the perspective of a journey to authenticity from within. The following excerpt from his work explains this transformative process:

When a coach is coaching from their center, each session can be very transformational for the coaching client.  An inexperienced coach will often try to emulate some other successful coach or try to work through scripted coaching sessions.  As time goes on, a coach learns to find their voice, gain self-awareness of who they are, coach in the moment, and hold the space for the client to set the agenda.

Authentic coaching only occurs when the coach has traveled the journey toward authenticity, competency, and credibility. It is only then that they can look in the mirror gaining a deeper awareness of who they are and what they have to offer.

The coach who exudes credibility from an authentic center will be able to establish rapport with the client and build a trusting relationship.  The client will resonate with such a coach sensing they are in a safe place to share concerns and work out goals and objectives.  The client will rely on the coach to hold them accountable and want to achieve success in the endeavor.  The coach “talks the talk” and “walks the walk.”

For further reading, you may purchase a copy of the book Coaching Perspectives IX here.


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The Art of Helping Others Move Forward

Noreen Bakerby Noreen Baker

The chapter titled The Art of Helping Others Move Forward outlines the basics of the coaching process in helping others move forward.  This chapter is written to serve as a reminder to those who are still sorting through all of the information received during coach training and is new information for some as they start coaching.  It will help coaches and clients alike master new skills and gain knowledge to bring about change in their own personal lives and move forward to help others live to their fullest potential.

It gives insight into the coaching experience and highlights the importance of the role of the coach by taking a look at the coaching process, powerful listening, the phenomenal words that help to change the way a client may think, and the importance of the coach’s language in assisting the client to move forward.

Moving forward is such a delicate process and a coach must use the right tools, techniques, and wording to guarantee that progress will take place.  It is very important that the client has a safe space to learn and reflect so that they will see that a shift has taken place.

This chapter says that I have a plan, I have a mission, and I have a purpose.  My Art of Helping Other Move Forward chapter in Coaching Perspectives IX is about making the shift to position myself to help others move towards their goals and live their best life.


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