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How to Be An Effective Coach

The only way to take control of your life, raise your standard of living and move beyond merely surviving is to create your own unique product or service that you offer to increasing numbers of people in exchange for the things of value that you desire. This simple formula applies to countries as well as people. A self-sufficient economy has its own products or services of value to export to the world. Similarly, a self-sufficient individual has something of value to exchange in the global marketplace. That thing of value is based on your natural talent, skill, or interest—in other words, your passion!

So, do you want to be a coach? Do you believe you have some expertise or experience to share with others to help them achieve their goals? Do you see yourself as a life coach, a business coach, relationship or success coach? Or have you signed up as a coach for a children’s or employee team? While I can’t claim any sports coaching experience, I do have a business and career coaching practice through which I’ve culled the following general guidelines and principles that might help.

A Coach Must Help Find The Hidden Value

Whether you’re coaching a little league team or million-dollar client, everyone has a unique value and thus a unique advantage they bring to their journey. Your task is to identify, present and help your team members or client develop that individual value. You must help him complete his own master list of assets and direct him towards honing those assets that are most conducive to success in the project at hand.

A Coach Must Stir-But Not Serve-Passion

As your coach, it’s not my job to remind you every day to do what you know needs to be done. I can remind you what needs to be done, but I won’t remind you to do it.

The purpose of my coaching practice is not to produce income (for me) but to produce results for you. I don’t want to provide on-going coaching just to have a constant source of income, by constantly replenishing a depleted well of passion. You have friends, church sermons and good motivational audio programs that can do that for you quite well. My task, and the best use of my resources and your money, is to get you from point "A" to point "B" in your journey. I can help you set the destination. I can help you find the vehicle. I can help you plot the course. But I won’t drive the car for you.

My coaching style demands that you find the motivation and the energy yourself. How? By aligning your dream with a higher life purpose, by helping you set achievable goals, by helping you find your own personal "why" for embarking on the journey. I can’t motivate someone who can’t find the time or energy to devote to their passion. But once a person has identified his reasons for pursuing a goal, that energy starts to flow.

A Coach Must Offer Clarity

As a coach, one of my most important roles is simply to ask the right questions, and then wait for answers. So, when I ask a client, "what do you want to see happen next in your life?" it forces her to conceptualize, visualize, and formulate a response that communicates that vision to me-another human being waiting for an answer. It’s that communication that makes all the difference.

You see, the average person, if left to his own habits and comfort zone, will not adequately answer the basic questions that can help him formulate accurate intentions and a direction for his life. Communication creates clarity. Without it, the intention and the goal is just a nebulous idea in mind without clear focus.

A Coach Must Know 'What’s Next?'

This is a critically important ability to develop. Even though it may appear to be another way of saying that a coach must have a plan, there’s a subtle distinction. "What to do next" varies from person to person. I can coach two people towards the same objective but the steps for each person will be radically different. Each person comes to the table with a different set of assets, abilities, and-very importantly-perspectives that you must take into account if you are to move them forward effectively. Someone who has a piece of information missing in his/her perspective of reality must be helped in a unique way.

A Coach Must Be Able to Identify and Fill In The Gaps in Understanding

It’s been my experience that everyone is potentially capable of doing anything they desire. The reason more people do not manifest that potential is that there are gaps in their understanding of the world and of themselves-what they believe about the world and their role in it.

Sometimes that understanding may be of some practical process (i.e. how to start a business, how to apply for a grant), but often it’s a less quantifiable misapprehension of some basic laws of the universe. In other words, some people believe they have to be smart to be wealthy. Some people believe they must be cutthroat to be successful. Some people believe in a universe of scarcity. Some people aren't aware of the law of cause and effect. Some people believe that it’s ungodly to be rich. Some people believe that life and scoring must be difficult. Some people believe in the chaos theory of reality, in a punitive and vengeful God, and the list of beliefs goes on and on.

Many of these beliefs, more than anything else in life deprive an individual of greater expectations, and thus a fuller experience of the game of life.

You as a coach must have a more complete understanding of the universe, the world, reality, individual potential, (i.e. the game) and how it works. Then you must be able to listen to what a client is saying-listen very carefully-and watch what a client is doing-observe very keenly-then, by dissecting the words and ideas that they use, and the actions they choose, assess what’s missing from their understanding of the universe. It might be their belief system as it relates to money, people, duty, purpose, goal scoring, whatever.

So your task as a coach is to have that understanding and then supply it to your team member or client. The trick here is, if YOU also share an erroneous understanding of the way the world works as it relates to the path a client is taking, then you cannot effectively coach that person along that path. This brings me to the next important concept.

A Coach Must Lead The Way By Example

I couldn’t write an article on coaching without mentioning a quote that has always inspired me:

"You teach best that which you need to learn most."

The spirit of that quote (credited to Richard Bach, author of Jonathan Livingstone Seagull), is the permission you need to jump into coaching even if you’re not the best player around. Even though I believe "you’ll coach best that which you’ve already achieved," you don’t need to be Pelé to be able to coach soccer. And you don’t have to be a millionaire ALREADY to help others become rich. You only need to be a few steps ahead on the path in order to guide someone to follow you.

That’s why I can promise to be able to help people do the things I have personally done (write and publish books, launch websites that sell, generate passive, residual income, quit their jobs, and live a nomadpreneur life). When and if I ever choose to focus on and achieve the goals of getting on Oprah, having one of my books on the New York Times Bestseller list or taking a company public, then I’ll add those to my list of coaching deliverables.

A Coach Must Raise Belief Level

Finally, having value, clarity, passion, a plan and true understanding all serve the ultimate purpose of raising the client’s belief level. Everything you do as a coach must be with that purpose in mind. Your job is really quite easy, actually. Your primary job as a coach is to raise your client’s belief level about what’s possible. That’s it.

Once someone believes that a thing is possible, that thing becomes more probable. Once clarity is achieved about a thing that is probable, that thing becomes more likely. Once steps are taken towards a thing that is likely, that thing becomes anticipated. Once faith and purpose are aligned with an anticipated thing, that thing becomes expected. And a thing expected, pursued diligently, with an understanding of the basic laws of the universe eventually becomes a result.

A coach helps to reduce the time between intention and manifestation by raising the client’s belief level. I'll say that again. A coach helps to reduce the time between the desire for a goal and the scoring of that goal by raising the player's belief level.

A Coach Must Get Results

As a coach, people are coming to you achieve a desired goal. Nothing else matters.

A Coach Must Recognize Opportunity, Not Create It

Producing results is a function of optimizing the opportunities that exist in a person’s experience. The “how” will usually take care of itself once the intention and expectation is developed. Every person’s life will present a unique set of opportunities that, more often than not, you will find already exist* The steps to achieve a thing, therefore are always a secondary consideration. Your task through your actions is simply to open up the channels to allow, experience and manifest that which has already been created in mind, honed by clarity, backed by faith and flavored with understanding. (Read Acres of Diamonds by Russell Conwell at

It Works!

The reason coaching works in developing winning teams, in guiding clients in their careers, business ventures and relationships is because there ARE certain truths of reality that are consistent and knowable. Yes, coaching works because value CAN be found clarity CAN be developed, results can be achieved purpose CAN be known beliefs CAN be raised, and action CAN be taken towards the realization of any worthy ideal or specific goal.

Whether you’re starting your own coaching practice, or doing it for fun, to be an effective coach you must develop first your own awareness, practice, habit, mastery of these truths of the game in your own experience, then share them with those who look to you for guidance and success!

To the degree that an individual or a society recognizes its value, achieves clarity pursues results, aligns with a higher purpose, raises its belief level and takes necessary actions to manifest the goal, success can be achieved!

IMPORTANT ANNOUNCEMENT: (As heard on Harry Blalock's Island Issues program). I predict you’ll see all this in action tonight at 6:30pm at a brainstorming session at Oleai Beach Bar and Grille, as passionate residents figure out ways to use the tools that are freely available on the Internet to creatively market our oceans and other assets to promote tourism and business in the Marianas! All are invited to attend. Bring your “A” coaching game!

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Until next time, remember, success is a journey, not a destination!-Walt


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