Center for Coaching Certification

Are you looking for a way to make the learning from DISC stick?

By Emily Bass, MSW, ACC, ACP Emily Bass

DISC Behavioral Profile offers an enormous amount of valuable information for anyone wanting to improve their relationships and their communication. The comprehensive DISC report was never intended to be understood and absorbed in one reading. Just like any new skill, putting to use the DISCprinciples requires daily practice in real life environments.

Learning can happen passively such as with small children learning their language; it just happens over time. All of a sudden, a child begins speaking through passive exposure to the language within their environment.

Learning also happens actively, with deliberate practice.  Active practice takes intentionality and motivation. The motivation comes from the purpose behind it, for example, learning a new sport so you can enjoy it with your kids as they grow.

We all make developmental investments in ourselves throughout our lives. Many of those investments require some sort of learning. We all have a choice as to how far we take the learning of those investments. Passive learning is easiest and requires the least amount of effort. Active learning is a deeper learning while requiring more effort from the learner.

Now, imagine combining the passive learning with intentional, active learning in your everyday environment. That is what DISC Daily does, it turns your efforts to actively learn the principles of DISC into both passive and active exercises within your daily environment.

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DISC Daily: Your DISC Accountability and Practice Partner

By Emily Bass, MSW, ACC, ACP  https://discdaily.comEmily Bass

Have you ever experienced the “Aha” moments gleaned from the DISC report begin to dwindle a couple weeks following the debrief?

As a leadership and sales coach providing assessment-based coaching, I find it exciting when assessments create those “Aha” moments. With DISC, I wanted to see that “Aha” moment stick for a lifetime and see the outcomes of the assessments impact client’s as I knew they could.

The 38-page DISC report was never intended to be understood after just reading and using it a time or two. Learning the principles of DISC is the same as learning any new skill, and like learning any new skill, it takes practice to master.

When working with clients, I use the language of assessments as a foundation for mutual understanding; a language we can use to touch a deeper meaning without having to go too deep in every conversation. This mutual understanding acts as a common thread of language between coach and client throughout the relationship.

So, when clients aren’t clear on the language of DISC or aren’t able to identify a DISC style, I send messages for practice, holding them accountable to the learning. For example, “Today, pay attention to the pace of the people around you. Are people talking, moving, acting fast or slow paced? How can you adapt to improve your interaction with them?”

The texts and the emails I send has made the learning happen more naturally. It has made such a difference toward owning the skills of DISC and being able to put them to use. You, too, can off this to your clients using DISC Daily.Also included are a suite of supporting tools to help each style learn in the way that suits them best.

Are you a coach wanting an accountability and practice partner for yourself and/or your clients to learn the DISC Behavioral Profile to its fullest? Create and build on those “Aha” moments!


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Meet Sarah Roberts, an ICF-credentialed ACC Coach

Sarah Roberts Sarah Roberts

Sarah lives in Colorado.  She enjoys traveling and looks forward to vacation in Michigan near shark-free sparkling blue water every summer.  Sarah came into coaching after years of advocating for employee professional development in state government.

What inspired you to become a coach?

I’ve always had a fascination with interpersonal communication and coaching is a great way to help people develop themselves.  I used it informally as a coach approach in asking rather than telling.  Coaching unlocks the best within people.

What specific areas do you focus on?

I focus on leadership and executive coaching, helping leaders improve their communication skills and build trust within their teams.

How long have you been coaching?

6 years.

What do you love about coaching the most?

I love it when people have ah-ha moments and discover something about themselves that they didn’t know. I also love how coaching can change the culture within an organization.  The leader becomes a more positive person, and everyone loves positive people.

I also love the coaching community and what I learn from other coaches around the world.

What is the biggest obstacle you have overcome as a coach?

Charging what I am worth.  I overcame it by listening to a book “You’re a Badass at Making Money” by Jen Sincero and reading “Overcoming Under-earning” Barbara Stanny. I also discussed it and had open conversations with my ICF group about what coaches charge.

What is one of the biggest challenges you helped your one of your clients through?

Identifying their blind spots and seeing how other people experience or see them.

What types of clients do you most like to work with?

I like to work with clients who have really bought into developing their leadership capability for a mission driven organization for a community.  For example, leaders in social work or government that give back to society or help people. Their mission is to better the world, the community. 

How do you describe your approach to the coaching process with a new client?

Doing a thorough assessment of their goals, creating a plan, and working the plan.  I like to measure where they are at the beginning, middle, and end of our engagement.

What is your favorite coaching tool?

The assessments.  I believe in explaining the assessments to the clients.  They can be very helpful in coaching.

In closing, what do you want to say to anyone considering becoming a coach?

Just do it!  Coaching can change the world.


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Coaching Your Client with SMART Goals

Clients come to coaches wanting to create change and/or succeed at a goal.  Coaches partner with clients and many use the S.M.A.R.T. goal model to define the goal.  This also prepares the client to design an action plan and process.  This tool encourages both motivation and success. Coaching Your Client with SMART Goals

Clients gain clarity with S.M.A.R.T. goals and they gain perspective.  This tool breaks things into achievable steps that clients design.

S stands for Specific.  Questions to ask:
·      What exactly do you want to accomplish?
·      How do you define your goal?
·      How do you describe your life after you achieve your goal?

M stands for Measurable.  Questions to ask:
·      How will you know when you have achieved your goal?
·      How will you measure your success?
·      What does success look like to you?

A stands for Actionable.  Questions to ask:
·      What might get in the way?
·      What steps will you take to achieve this goal?
·      What resources do you have that make this goal attainable?

R stands for Relevant.  Questions to ask:
·      What is important about this goal to you?
·      What will be different for you when you achieve this goal?
·      How will you feel when you achieve success?

T stands for Time Bound.  Questions to ask:
·      When do you want to achieve your goal?
·      What are the milestones on the timeline along the way?
·      When will you complete each of your action steps?

A note: sometimes people use the word achievable for A or realistic for R.  Both these words require knowing the future so during coach training we learn to use actionable and relevant instead.

S..M.A.R.T. goals are a positive, motivating tool to help get your client define and achieve their success.


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Search Engine Optimization for your Coaching Website

We hear a lot about SEO optimization.  It is important when you have a website!  That is because it is one way people find you online.

When you want to find something on the internet, you type words into a search engine such as Google, Bing, Fire Fox, Chrome, or Safari.  These sites then list the pages the algorithm considers most relevant.  How does it decide which pages are most relevant?  The algorithms consider the age of the website, the expiration of the URL, they key words for each page, the meta description for each page, the alternative text for the images, the content on the page, outbound links, inbound links, and more. Search Engine Optimization for your Coaching Website

When you design your website, list different key search words for each page that accurately describe the page content.  Name each page differently, simply, and so it clearly defines what is on it.  Write a meta description of what is on each page.  Be sure your key words, title, and description match the content on the page.  When someone is on your website, they will very quickly decide if it offers what they are searching for and whether to stay and learn more.

Incorporate words your ideal clients may enter in a search engine.  The niche of coaching, your client’s concerns, and solutions to challenges.  A health coach, depending on their area of expertise, may have weight goals, meal planning, and physical training as key words.  A life coach may use work/life balance, family support, or relationships.

Images are important too as the search engines also look for a word count to image ratio.  The use of strong and compelling images can be seen by many people – the search engines are machines, so they only “see” the alternative text you provide for each image.

Link to other sites that offer valuable information for your clients.  Link from your social media pages to your site.  List your site in directories.  Write blogs that link to your site.  Invite others to link to your site with guest blogs, social media, podcasts, and videos.

Build these basics into your site because they are low or no cost options that help.  At the same time, remember that referrals and public speaking are the top two sources for new clients so get yourself out there!


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Whether new or an experienced coach, writing a bio may seem challenging.  What will sell your coaching services?  What is your target market and ideal demographic?  What words or phrases represent you the best?  These things are important.

When someone reads your bio, they want to know whether you offer what they want and will help them.  Knowing you offer what serves them determines whether they will reach out.  Share your story or example facing a common challenge, your mistakes, what you learned, and your success. WRITING A COACHING BIO FOR YOUR WEBSITE

Tailor your bio to your ideal client and write based on what they want to know.  Express how you identify with their pain point.  Share how partnering with you will empower them.  Write just for them.  Use the word “you” to personalize it.  Our brain focuses on what is most important to us personally.

Create curiosity so that readers want to keep reading.  Use teasers and strong imagery. Ask questions that hold interest.  Create trust and safety.  Having severable consistent with your bios on multiple social media platforms and your website.  List your certifications, education, experience, affiliations, and successes.

Incorporate reviews and testimonials from real people.  Reviews, ratings, testimonials, and social media icons help people to make decisions.

Be easy to find.  Be easy to see.  Be easy to work with.  Let people know exactly how to contact you on the phone or via email.  Describe easy steps or use call to action buttons on your website.

Gifts are often appreciated and lead to more sales.  Providing a small gift in return for getting in touch, such as a mini book you have written, is a great way to collect potential client’s emails and phone numbers.

The key components of your bio include:

  • A story of with pain points followed by successes that gives them hope.
  • An examples and testimonials of how working with you helps them overcome their pain point and succeed.
  • Easy ways to contact you or schedule a free introductory session.
  • Call to action – invite them to take the first step.

During coach training we had the opportunity to share bios and learn from each other.  It is smart to look at several different bios for ideas to enhance your own.


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One of the many great coaching tools is brainstorming.  The word “brainstorming” may bring up ideas of white boards with scattered ideas and the challenge of engaging or of managing enthusiasm of others.  Brainstorming is a word for sharing and listing ideas.  “Ideation Session” or “Creative Thinking Session” may improve the perspective of the value. Brainstorming

Clients who are stuck say, “I don’t know.”  One thing we learned during coach training is to reply, “OK.  If you did know, what are the possibilities?”  That question may be followed by “What are the benefits of staying where you are?” when appropriate.  Alternatively, another approach is to ask them if they were giving advice to someone else, what advice will they give?  When the client is truly stuck and these questions do not produce insight or exploration, brainstorming offered as one approach to the conversation to choose from may lead to the sharing and listing of ideas.

Brainstorming is the practice of coming up with multiple ideas offered by both the client and the coach in turn.  It helps to jumpstart the mind with new ideas.  The idea itself does not matter because any idea can take the client into a new and interesting place of exploration.

With brainstorming, we realize that it is only our thinking holding us back.  For this reason, some general rules apply to brainstorming:

  • Be positive.
  • Focus on quantity over quality – “silly” ideas create some of the best exploration.
  • Encourage big thinking.

Brainstorming results in the client having a list of ideas to consider and choose from based on what they want.  The beauty is that this list is theirs to explore and gain insight from, a jumpstart for moving forward.


A final tip from coaching certification: when you brainstorm with a client be sure you have three or more ideas so instead of being perceived as a suggestion, it really is a brainstorming session.

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Coaching in Change Management: Some Lessons Learned (Part 2)

By Randy Kesterson, Kesterson

Confusion About Coaching in the Change Management Community

During my ICF-sanctioned training, I learned that a coach “guides from the side”, and they do not give advice to theirclient. Instead, they ask open-ended questions, helping the client come to their own solutions. However, when I look up the word “coach” in the dictionary, Merriam-Webster defines it as “a private tutor” and “one who instructs or trains”.I remember reading the dictionary definition for the first time. A golf coach friend of mine, Chase, immediately came to mind. Chase is successful as a coach, because he has vast experience as a golfer (years of lessons learned) that heattempts to transfer to his client by watching, showing, and correcting. Given the two differing definitions ofcoaching, I can see why there is confusion about coaching in the change management world.

Coaching in Change Management

Some of the work I do is as a Senior Change Advisor. I typically get involved when a client is attempting to usechange management on a large project and things have gotten a bit off the rails. My assignment is to help the client getthe project back on track by identifying significant risks to the project and then by helping the client mitigate theserisks. For example, a risk I often see is the lack of meaningful engagement in the project by the executive sponsor. Inthese change advisory engagements, I’m typically advising the client around a specific change managementmethodology, approach, and set of tools. In this regard, some of what I do is more in line with the role of a golf coachthan that of a coach using the ICF definition.

Wearing Multiple Hats

For me personally, I now comfortably wear multiple hats while working on a client engagement. When in coachingmode, I “guide from the side”, ask open-ended questions, and I do not advise the client. But at times, the client (oftenan executive) grows weary of the open-ended questions, and they say, “Just tell me what to do. I have a meeting withmy boss in 15 minutes. You’ve been in a role just like mine.

What would you do in this situation?” When there is a need for me to leave coaching mode, I will tell the client, “OK,I’m taking my coaching hat off now and moving into advisor mode.” The thing that helps guide me in thesesituations are the following words: What will best serve the client?

Who is Randy Kesterson

Randy Kesterson early retired from executive roles in industry, and he now works as a senior change advisor at TheKesterson Group, founded in 2013. Randy helps organizations improve their critical business results by advising andcoaching the CEO and other members of the senior leadership team. Randy has written and published two books aboutstrategy deployment and change management.

Randy lives in Davidson, NC with his wife Susan, their thirteen-year-old son Chase, and Petey Smalz, their two-year-old French bulldog. For more information about Randy’s unique background, see


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Coaching in Change Management: Some Lessons Learned (Part 1)

By Randy Kesterson, Kesterson

I’m a retired executive from industry and I now coach … well, I coach, advise, consult, mentor, facilitate, etc., etc.Coaching is but one hat that I wear while working on a typical engagement with a client. I also help clients withstrategy deployment, change management, and performance improvement. Today, I will focus on an engagementwhere I am helping a client achieve the desired outcomes with a large change project.

So, let’s talk about Coaching in Change Management. Full disclosure: My experience with Change Management farexceeds my experience with Coaching.

My Personal Discovery of Change Management

Twenty years ago, I was an Executive VP and COO running an international aerospace & defense manufacturingcompany. We had just acquired a company in Europe, and I was tasked with leading the integration. I wasimmediately struck by how difficult it was to make significant change, especially in organizations with significantlydifferent business cultures. This is when (out of desperate necessity) I discovered change management. I met JeffHiatt (the founder of Prosci) and then met Jeanenne LaMarsh (the founder of the firm by her name) and I was trainedand certified in both methodologies. I actually left my executive role in industry at the time and took a four-year, deep dive into the change management world. It was a fantastic experience, and I’ve used change management in executiveroles and advisory roles ever since. I’ve even written two books on the subject. Neither book is a million seller, butmy mother loves both of them (although I don’t think she’s actually read more than the first few pages).

My Personal Discovery of Coaching

I discovered coaching later in life. A few years ago, I was in a SVP Global Ops role with another internationalcompany, and I spent much of my time visiting people on my team based at 14 sites around the world. After returning home from one of these trips, while walking with my wife for exercise, she asked what I did while I wasaway. “Well, I coached some of my people,” I replied (rather proudly I might add). My wife, an HR professional andtrained coach, queried me on this. “Oh really?” she said, “What did you do?” I exuberantly explained my coachingapproach, and I can still remember her stopping in her tracks, laughing, and then declaring, “You’re not coaching,you’re just telling stories.” Damn it. She was right (again). When a member of my team would explain a problemthey were having, I would immediately go into my data bank of decades of experiences, find one that seemed to fit,and then use that story to explain how I had handled the situation. Most of the stories were funny (at least to me),because they involved how I had thoroughly messed up a situation. In telling the story, I was explaining a lessonlearned. It was a teaching moment – right? Maybe more mentoring than coaching? At any rate, soon thereafter, Isigned up for an International Coaching Federation (ICF) sanctioned class to learn what it meant to be a coach. After 60 hours of training and a lot of practice, I earned the right to join the ICF. I was still very much a newbie coach, but atleast I understood what it meant to be a coach.

For more information about Randy’s unique background, see


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Four Ways to Spot a Great Coach

Professional coaches get certified because they want to provide very best service possible  for their clients.

Professional coaching is still a relatively young field with the organization of the ICF in the 1990’s.  As a self-regulated profession, no legal regulations have been set in place.  This means that literally anyone who wants to say they are a coach is can say so – no license, degree, or experience is required to declare yourself as a coach. Four Ways to Spot a Great Coach

According to The International Coaching Federation (ICF), which is the entity that approves coach training programs and manages the credentialing process for individuals, a professional coach will uphold the Code of Ethics, and develop their skills in the Core Competencies.  To earn a credential requires coach training, coaching experience, mentor coaching, demonstrating proficiency by recording coaching sessions, and passing an exam.  All members of the ICF are accountable to the Code of Ethics.

At the Center for Coaching Certification, we hold to the highest standards and are accredited by ICF, and the International Accreditors for Continuing Education and Training (which means the credits are accepted by SHRM, HRCI, and many other professional organizations, colleges, and universities).

When you are looking for a coach, ask them about their coach training and coaching experience.  Ask them about their other professional experience.  Find out if they are a member of ICF and thus accountable to the Code of Ethics.

When you are working with a great coach, here are four ways to know they are serving you in the best possible way:

  1. They ask questions (rather than tell you the answer).
  2. They use many tools from their coaching toolbox (rather than relying on one).
  3. They pay attention to your language and use active listening skills.
  4. They are authentic and flex to your focus.

Coach graduates from the Center for Coaching Certification, CCC, were trained to ask questions based on your style and language, use and create many different coaching tools and processes, plus listen actively and on many levels.  Each earns their certification and has access to many tools to maximize each coaching relationship.  Hiring a graduate of CCC is a way to assure quality in the choice of a coach.


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