The Coaching Conversation

I recently participated on a panel as one of four the top coaches in the USA. It was quite an honor to be selected and it was interesting to see the approaches of other coaches considered to be leaders in the field.

It became very apparent that I have a different and unique approach. I thought I’d share it with you. My approach is a combination of the best practices of elite performers and laws of science.

If you look at a definition of coaching you will see that it’s a partnership designed to forward and enhance the life long process of human learning, effectiveness and fulfillment. This operates from the major assumption that people want to live in excellence and continue to learn and become for effective and fulfilled.

I’ve rarely come across someone who doesn’t say that they want this but most people don’t believe that they can have change and improvement so they simply don’t try. They live their lives in resignation believing that they are doing the best that they can be doing.

I challenge people about this. I ask, “Do dogs love bones?” almost everyone will say yes. I reply, “No they don’t. They love meat, they settle for bones!” Where are you living your life in resignation believing that you are doing the best that you can be doing.

This type of analysis is not good or bad, it just is. So I’ll ask you to look inward without judgment. If you go to judgment you will become defensive and justify your circumstances. This will prevent personal and professional growth.

As a result of the coaching conversation that I have with people they will have the following experience. I use this triangle as an anology.

They will see things differently then they have on their own in the past, new perspectives. They will be challenged and they will be held accountable. My approach also cares about how they are as a human being, how fulfilled they are, their mission, their fun and passions. Also included is their actions. Are they doing not only the right kinds of activities but enough of them for a result to occur. That’s human doing.
I start at the bottom of the triangle, physiology. This is the foundation. Almost everyone that I work with is on my health program. Some are not. I have a coaching commandment that states the following; “Your lifestyle is an asset, not a liability”. This is backed up by another commandment, “What I can control, I must control”. I also embrace the serenity prayer and add that as a coaching commandment as well, “God grant me the serenity to accept the things that I can not change, the courage to change the things I can and the wisdom to know the difference.” We go for progress, not perfection.

Also a major part of this foundational base of my coaching triangle is attitude. All behavior is driven by neurons, your brain. Attitude is mind set. It’s a set of beliefs and neurological networks call schemata’s. These are wired together bundles of neurons that make up a habit. We must control our attitude.

Science says there is no dispute about this. Your thinking is an electrical impulse that generates the release of chemicals. These chemicals (neurotransmitters) have a charge and like attracts like so it is your thought that creates your reality. I like what the noted biologist Benjamin Libet says, “Reality is in the mind of the observer”. This is a quantum physics discussion for another time.

Have you seen the mathematical “Coincidence or Not?” formulas? It states the following;




1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 25 26


K + N + O + W + L + E + D + G + E

11 + 14+ 15 + 23 + 12 + 5 + 4 + 7 + 5 = 96%

H + A + R + D + W + O + R + K

8 + 1 + 18 + 4 + 23 + 15 + 18 + 11 = 98%

Both are important but fall just short of 100%


A + T + T + I + T + U+ D + E

1 + 20 + 20 + 9 + 20 + 21 + 4 + 5 = 100%

Is this a coincidence? Well the world is made of math. Language is the math of communication. There are no mistakes in the universe, who knows. It’s a very interesting observation that is supported by science. For example, a positive attitude works in opposition to the emotional amygdale in the limbic system, the emotional area of the brain, by keeping electrical activity in an area called the septum. With positive thinking the septum is activated and that opens receptor sites for brain chemicals associated with focus, attention and well being. There is a scientific reason to be training your attitude.

Physiology, attitude, mind set, beliefs are ongoing processes of discovery, trial and error, failures and successes and are constantly being developed in my coaching.

Next I jump up to the top of the triangle, Goals. We must ask and answer these questions;

1. What do you want?
2. What are you building?
3. Why bother?
4. How much is enough?

This includes your mission, your vision, why you exist, what your philosophies are as well as the specific targets.

Next will come a discussion on the tactics that you will use to reach those goals. This includes staffing, campaigns, marketing, etc.

This is followed by a discussion about your metrics, what you can observe and measure as well as the systems that need to be in place to execute your plan.

Next the following questions are asked;

1. What do you need to do to have what you want?
2. What do you need to do this week?
3. What will you do this week, your commitment?
4. How will you be held accountable? What is your behavioral contract!

This is a powerful conversation to have. Remember, change is very, very difficult. The reason is due to how the brain works creating neural networks of bundled neurons that wire together and fire together. They become dense and fire fast.

I have mentioned in previous articles how change goes through three stages;

1. Unbearable.
2. Unconfortable.
3. Unstoppable.

Most people won’t make it through the unbearable stage. It takes a reason to persist. You’ve got to have a clearly defined WHY! If you do persist however, you will generate new neurological patterns, called brain plasticity, and then move to being unstoppable.

It’s a matter of purpose, passion, excitement, planning and accountability. I have my clients follow the following steps of their program;

1. Constant learning fosters neural genesis, new brain cell development. So, they read one page a day from my “Day Book’.
2. Meditate 5-10 minutes every day. Meditation strengthens the development of the outer cortex, it enhances the mylenation of the neurons for faster and easier firing and increases meta cognition, a noticing of your feelings and sensations.
3. Precise previous planning prevents poor performance. We do weekly behavioral contracts and embrace accountability.
4. Hire a coach!

That’s my menu for excellence. Make it a great day!

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