#177: Top Coaching Mistakes & How To Fix Them (Part 2)

Michelle and Katey continue this week right where they left off in Part 1. Listen and find ways to have a bigger impact with your clients. And remember to sign up for this free training on the Art of Coaching – https://healthcoachpower.com/artofcoaching

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Michelle Leotta:
Hello there health coaches. Last week was a lot of fun. And I felt like it was so needed just based on all the engagement and questions that we were getting. So we are back as promised with part two of our topic on coaching mistakes and how to fix them. Katey, thanks for joining me again for this.

Katey Caswell::
Thanks Michelle. So happy to be here.

Michelle Leotta:
Now last week, last week's episode, and in this week's episode, we're tackling the mistakes that coaches are making, but you know, that's kind of negative. I was thinking we should go out. We gotta look at the flip side of that. We do, and it's all about developing our skills and learning the art of coaching and Katey and I are going to be a free training next week called master the art of coaching and build your confidence. So if this is a topic that's really resonating with you, please sign up to join us for that free event. It is at healthcoachpower.com/artofcoaching. We're looking forward to seeing you guys there.

Michelle Leotta:
Before we jump into today's topic. I wanna give a quick shout out to Leanne. Leanne, are you here? She's one of our listeners and healthy profit university members, and she left this five star review for us on apple podcast. She said changing the health coaching game. I absolutely love Michelle and her podcast. After listening to her for a few months, I enrolled in her course healthy profit university. It's been not only have I learned everything I've been doing wrong, but everything I need to be doing to grow my business. I have paying clients. I'm less stressed about the process and I get super excited with every next step. Michelle is so knowledgeable and always available for handholding when needed. Thank you. Thank you, Lee. Your reviews help us reach more health coaches. And we all know there's a ton of health coaches out there who are struggling, so they need this sort of guidance. So I really, really appreciate that. You took time to leave a review. Please send your mailing address to support@healthcoachpower.com and just reference episode number 177. We have a little thank you, gift that we're gonna send you away.

Michelle Leotta:
All right. So, thank you, Leanne. We're gonna shift gears now and get talking about our coaching topics. Katey last week was so juicy and you saw how I posted in our Facebook group. And I asked our members on a scale of one to 10. How confident do you feel coaching clients? So I wanna talk about that for a minute. Yeah. Like after I posted the question, I, I guess then I really thought about it even more deeply. And I was like, well, what does it even feel like? How do you know that you are truly coaching with confidence? So let's say that somebody and we did, we had coaches rate themselves at a tent. I am completely confident when I'm coaching my clients. What does that feel like in your body? What does it feel like for you, Katey?

Katey Caswell::
It just feels like home. Like, like it just feels like you are at home and you're comfortable and you're at peace. Like I'm sitting on the couch with my family and I have a real rapport with my client and I know whatever curve ball she throws at me. I'm either gonna have the answer or I'm gonna feel okay with saying no idea what you're talking about, but let's find the answer together or I'm gonna be able to redirect her to my she's really asking me, you know, if she says, I'd like to know all of the exact numbers for my thyroids and I, and I think that it's this. And, and then it's like, what are you really worried about? Are you worried that you're gonna continue getting sicker and feeling worse? Or do you really, you know, are the numbers really important to you? Do you want to keep a log? So what are you really asking? You know, so being able to feild those curve balls and still feel like I'm sitting on my couch, on the chase with my feet up, getting ready to watch another episode of, I think we're watching boy meets world right now.

Michelle Leotta:
Yeah. So the way you described it, use the word home, to me that, um, like safe and calm.

Katey Caswell::
Yes. Safe and calm.

Michelle Leotta:
Safe, and calm. We love that. So, um, I, I completely agree. And I know that I'm coaching with confidence when I'm, um, able to just say, oh, I have a call and I just dial the phone and I don't really think twice about it. And then when it's over, I just, okay, great. And I just move on with my day. Um, it, it just flows. It's easy, right? Like I people say, you know, I, I think one-on-one coaching is so difficult or I need to prepare all this stuff. Or before I can start coaching, I have to put together all my materials and record all my videos and do all my things. And I'm like, action. Actually, you guys like really awesome. Coaching is so easy. You don't need to do anything in advance. You just show up and you give that hour or half an hour of your life. And if you really can like give it to your client, that's all that's required. And then there's no extra work.

Katey Caswell::
So, just showing up,I think the confidence part comes in knowing that just showing up is enough. You don't need more. You don't need more than you. You know, it's like one of these fashion models that walk out and they're wearing a dirty coat and everyone still stares at them, they didn't spend three hours getting ready. They have that confidence inside of them and everybody sees it. And I think when you have that confidence as a coach, your clients see it, they're more likely to react with you. It becomes a symbiotic relationship where they're giving you what you need to give them what they need.

Michelle Leotta:
Ooh. So for those of you that are here, live, tell us in the comments, if you are like a 10 on a scale of one to 10 in, um, in coaching confidence, or even if you can just imagine being like, what would that feel like? How would you know that you had like all the confidence that you needed? And I also wanna talk about the opposite. So let's say that we're not feeling very confident in our coaching abilities and trust me, I have been there, Katey. I know you've been there. We all start that way. So it's cool. But just for contrast, what does that feel like or look like for you? Do you remember?

Katey Caswell::
Yeah, so I, I got into this because I lost a lot of weight. So the people that I felt most com with at the beginning were people that were looking to lose weight. And I remember I had a client and when she showed up on my video screen, I think she weighed 92 pounds. And I immediately, my stomach sunk. I, I was just wondering, why is, why is she here with me? What can I possibly do to help this woman? Because if she's looking to lose weight, you know, that's its own problem. . And if she's not looking to lose weight, I know that I know the connection, but can I actually help her? So there's a panicky feeling, you know, your heart starts fluttering. Your mind starts going a million different places. I, you know, surreptitiously pulling out the keyboard and typing things and you know, your head's not in the game, so you're not gonna help. Right. So the minute you kind of admit to yourself that you don't think you have the answer, or you don't think you have what they need. It's, it's just like a downward spiral. It's just a downward spiral.

Michelle Leotta:
I just started laughing. When you said the thing about like quietly Googling something on the side, I mean like really raise your hand. If you've been there, I've totally done that. But you know, you don't need to do that and you certainly don't need to do it secretly if you are going to look something up. Right. So that's funny if you find yourself, you know, secretly Googling things, that's a sign that you're not, you know, showing up with as much confidence as you could have. Um, the other thing is that panicky feeling. So yes, when you are, and I see that joy wrote something here about not liking to be put on the spot, um, that can make you panic. Especially in the beginning. I know that I would get at panicky feeling before I even got on the call. So maybe it's 20 minutes it's before the call schedule.

Michelle Leotta:
Now it's 10 minutes before I'm getting a little sweaty. I'm getting a little fluttery, I'm getting on the phone. And I'm saying some strange things because I'm coming from a place of nerves. Yeah. And that is the opposite of feeling grounded. It's the opposite of what your clients need for you in a session. So, uh, that like physical reaction is always a clear sign to me that, um, I'm not coaching with confidence. Right. And also afterwards, if you find yourself second guessing everything, oh, I should have said this differently. Why did I say that? Oh, that was so dumb. Right. And you're just thinking about it and rehashing it. Yes. Okay. This just me that you're, you're still working on mastering this art. That's all.

Katey Caswell::
And that's okay.

Michelle Leotta:
That's how it works. Right? We have to practice. There are certain skills that we picked up along the way. Um, I want again, remind you guys, if this is you, if you resonate with this, by the way, tell me in the comments. If you resonate with any of that, flutery panicky, sweaty feeling. Remember to join us with the free training next week at healthcoachpower.com/artofcoaching. So, Winnifred is saying being a 10 would feel like a seamless flow. No overthinking. Just a natural flow. Yes, yes. And way less exhausting. Right? Cause all of that overthinking before the call, after the call, it is exhausting and it's really drains your productivity, doesn't it?

Katey Caswell::
Yep. Yes. Oh, I need to go look up this again. I didn't tell her this. Let me send her an email. Let me make a note for next week. All, all, all of that. Yeah.

Michelle Leotta:
Yeah. Right. You have to go take a nap after your client sessions, just that you can show up and finish your day. Um, Kimberly is saying the number has gone. Like I guess her number has gone up over the last few years. Her first one or two years of coaching was a two or three feeling in the eight-ish range. Now learning to really listen has helped. You just said it perfectly don't need all the answers. And I think it does, it can take years. I wonder how many years it really took me to start feeling that seamless flow. Do you have any idea for yourself, Katey?

Katey Caswell::
I think that's really hard to identify because cuz I don't think just like your client's journey. I don't think it's a straight line. I don't think you start out a one with your first client and then with the next client or the next client after that year or two. I, I don't think your confidence goes up. I think you start low or maybe you start high. I just got all of this training and learning and then you sit down with your first client and I think Julie was saying on this, you know, before I'm a, this and during I'm a this, and then after I'm a this and I think that can happen with each individual call. But I also think that during the course of your coaching, um, career, you can realize that I thought I was great, but now I'm realizing I was missing this.

Katey Caswell::
I wasn't doing this, this, I didn't understand that this is something that my client needs. You know, maybe you go into it with a lot of spreadsheets and a lot of process and a lot of informational PDFs to hand to people and you think this is great. I'm giving them exactly what I need. And then a year into it, you've had 10 or to 12 clients and you see them on Facebook and they're not really doing all that great. And you think, well, what was missing? Or you have one of those moments, one of those aha moments where a client really tells you that you've hit their spot. And then you say, why haven't I been getting this with all of my clients or with other clients? So then you to go down a little bit, well maybe I need to change. Maybe I need to do something different. So I think it's constantly a building going backwards building and going backwards. Um, but maybe three years minimum before, like you really have all your ducks in a row and you've taken everything into consideration.

Michelle Leotta:
I think this is so important because nine times out of 10, when I see a health coach who is struggling with marketing, which is different, but also so related. It's a lot of times it's cause they're just so fearful. What if it works? What if I succeed? What if my marketing totally nails it? And now I have all these clients, oh my God, I have to work with them. So, so let's talk about a couple different areas today that coaches are struggling with, why don't we start off with the coaching relationship itself? So what mistakes might we be? Might we be making that hurt our confidence and diminish our power as a coach in that regard? Yeah.

Katey Caswell::
So I think a mistake that I see young health coaches making not necessarily age wise, but young in the coaching journey, um, is giving over control to their clients. They're so excited to get a client. The client says, I wanna meet at nine o'clock Tuesdays and Thursdays every week for a month. And you're like, whoa, it really work past six. But you know, she's a client I'm gonna, I'm gonna let this happen. Or they don't show up for their sessions and they show up half an hour late and they're like, we can still do this. Right. And you're like, well, I don't have anything else going on. So letting your client really run the show and control things. Now, when you're trying to delve into what they're doing, they pretty much have the seat there. But as far of the boundaries and how you're going to work with them and what rules you're going to break or not break or make or not break, I think that's a mistake that I see a lot of health coaches doing because well, I just wanna get a client, but I think that affects your, your confidence in coaching because you've lost control of the whole situation and you're not building from your own foundation.

Katey Caswell::
You're kind of building from theirs. This is what they need and it's all reactive instead of proactive.

Michelle Leotta:
Okay. So obviously if we're working and I used to do this too, we're working until nine o'clock, 10 o'clock at night because that's what the client wants and we're letting them, you know, miss sessions or show up late or whatever that just creates havoc inside of our own business for obvious reasons. And, and for our own health too. Right. It's just so easy to overextend ourselves, but can you talk a little bit more about how that can negatively impact the client's journey and, and maybe even their results in the program?

Katey Caswell::
Yeah. I mean the client's coming to you because they haven't been able to figure it out for themselves up till now. And they're asking you for guidance for insight. And if you let them control the whole coaching relationship, they're much less likely to listen to what you have to say. If they know that they are the ultimate boss, well, she's working for me. So if I don't wanna show up and if I wanna eat the chocolate and if I wanna go to Starbucks, I'm gonna do it. So you're, you're really not setting them up for success when you don't give them some framework to work on, to go by. But then the opposite is also true. If you're so rigid in what you're doing, client, you must do this. And they say, well, it's really impossible for me to eat every two hours because I drive for a living and it's just not safe for me to have my microwave in the car. And you say, Nope, the only way that you can do this is if you're eating every two hours, because that's how you were trained. That's what you believe in. So that flexibility, knowing when to assert yourself, knowing when to let the client lead, that's really important.

Michelle Leotta:
Okay. So one is more about like the coaching arrangement, right? Like, like showing up on time, right? The times of your sessions, the locations, things like that. Getting paid. Hello. Can we talk about that? Oh, wow. Yeah. And then the other is, um, actually in, in the work doing the work, right? So we play dual, dual. We play like a hundred roles when we run our own business. But the first is more about being your own admin in a sense or your own front desk. And the second is actually being the practitioner. Um, I do wanna say that there are some schools of thought, which I do not disagree with. I know it's hard in the beginning, but I've heard people say your clients should not see you doing administrative tasks because it changes their perception of you to a degree.

Michelle Leotta:
So if you're the one who's like, oh, let me I'll refund that amount or wait, did it go through da, da, da, da, da. You know, they, they are not seeing you in that role of coach. They're seeing you as a front desk person and that can also impact the way that they respect or, you know, possibly lose some respect for you. So, so, um, if, and when you're able to hire someone to help you with some of those tasks, even that can be helpful for establishing the, the hierarchy in a way of here's how it's gonna go.

Katey Caswell::
Yep. Yes. I'm the one that you tell all of your deepest thoughts to so that we can move forward. And I'm not the one that's harassing you for payment. I'm not the one that's telling you your credit card. Didn't go through cuz that is very dichotomous and it can cause some confusion in the client. So I agree. A hundred percent someone else should be sending out those emails.

Michelle Leotta:
Yeah. When you guys get there, right? Of course right away, you're running your own show, but we just wanna talk about how important it is for you to maintain the, um, I don't know if control is the right word, but maintain the boundaries for the relationship, right? Like we create the container for the coaching to take place. And I'd love to hear, for those of you that are here live, um, what's going on in your coaching relationships, have you felt like you've been pushed past a boundary? Like, you know, I said, I used to work until nine o'clock at night. I'd work from five in the morning until nine or 10 at night and I'd do it basically seven days a week, which is absurd. And that's why I pretty much burned out and I almost quit the whole thing after a year, cuz I said, I cannot do this.

Michelle Leotta:
This is horrible, but we really are in control it. It is our business. And we have to remember that. Um, especially if you haven't run your own business before and I had never run my own business before, this can be tricky. Rhonda was saying earlier, she said, it's been ingrained in me from nutrition school that you ask those questions. I'm not sure which questions she's referring to, but that you ask certain questions, but I find, I get a mind block and I can't think of the right questions. And then it doesn't flow. Did you ever do the thing where you have that list of questions, like open ended coaching questions right there on your desk? I used to do that so I can refer to it if I got stuck.

Katey Caswell::
Yes. Yes. Um, that reminds me of that scene in the parent trap where Lindsay Lohan goes to her psychiatrists, mom's office and sits with the client. And how did that make you feel and how did that make you feel? You know, just, just that mantra. That's that's all she was doing is asking that. And sometimes I feel like as a health coach, we, we get, we get there with those of open that list of open ended questions that we, you know, our cheat list.

Michelle Leotta:
You only need a couple in your back pocket, but, I like the idea of turning things around and asking the client versus me coming up with, okay, now let's talk about this or Hey, like what do you think about that? Sometimes you can just say, what would you like to talk about? I almost always start my sessions that way. What is important for you to talk about today?

Katey Caswell::
Absolutely because you could have, you have no idea what their day was like, what happened to them on the way to the session? What happened to them early in the morning? And if you put an idea in their head, if you have kind of made that container for them and given them a, a little bit of I'm the leader in this, just the slightest bit, they might differ to you. If you say something like, Hey, how was this today? And then they go off on that tangent and they're not addressing what they really need to.

Michelle Leotta:
Right. All right. So another area that we wanna cover today is this idea of making sure that we treat our clients as is individuals. So what does that mean, Katey? And what mistakes should we be aware of?

Katey Caswell::
So, as I said, I started in, in the weight loss area and those clients needed so many different things, but I came at it from what I needed, what worked for me. And I think a lot of healthcare coaches who coach in their own realm in areas where they have experience, they forget that everyone is not having the same journey as them, even if they seem to be having a lot of the same problems, type two diabetes, or I have this autoimmune disease, but everyone's experience has not been the same. And I see a lot of coaches say saying, well, we absolutely have to make sure we do this, that, and the other thing with the client, um, for weight loss, I lost weight eating two every two hours. I think I alluded to that earlier every two hours I had to eat every two hours.

Katey Caswell::
And I know when I started coaching clients, they'd be like, oh, I skip breakfast. And I'm like, well, you really have to eat every two hours. And they would say, yeah, not feasible for me. And I would say, let's give it a try and they'd push back and I'd push back. And then the next person would be like, I love eating every two hours, which would validate me, thinking everyone needs to eat every two hours. So I spent a little time spinning around that before I realized, oh, if you skip breakfast, then they're gonna, and I give them the stamp of approval of eating breakfast. Then they're gonna be in a much better place for lunch. And their whole day is going to start off better rather than them thinking, wow, I'm doing it wrong. I I'm are gonna get this right, because I'm never gonna be able to eat every two hours. And my coach is telling me that I have to. So really looking at what your client needs and how you can shift your deeply seated beliefs about health to match their situation, because that's really your job. If they could do that themselves, they wouldn't be hiring. They wouldn't be hiring me to figure that out with them.

Michelle Leotta:
Yeah. This is particularly tricky. I noticed with, um, with coaches who are very staunchly vegan, or I am a keto coach, or actually I was just talking to one of our healthy profit university members the other day. And, um, she's all about intermittent fasting, but once she started to get clients... Pretty soon actually, it's been just a couple of months. She came back and said, you know what though? Like, I don't think everyone's really ready for intermittent fasting. So I wanna be able to meet them where they're at and do other things. Is that okay if I'm an intermittent fasting coach and I'm like, yes, dear baby Jesus. Yes, yes, yes, yes. Absolutely! And that is the most mature way that you can approach your, your client relationships with that this person is not necessarily going to do or want to do the thing that you want them to do. And to have total respect for that because they know their themselves, their life, their body way better than you ever will as a coach. So I definitely, I wanted to underscore that point for anybody who is coaching in a particular realm, uh, you know, dietary theory, right. That can get tricky.

Katey Caswell::
And I think you can still stay true to that dietary realm with the idea that they're moving closer towards that. Obviously, if you are an intermittent fasting coach and this person sought you out to work with, they have some interest in intermittent fasting. You know, they're not thinking I am never gonna intermittent fast, but I'm gonna hire this person. Who's an expert in it to help me not intermittent fast. So just not working for them now, maybe they're gonna get there. Maybe they're gonna realize that intermittent fasting is not for them. And if you've built a relationship and laid the groundwork, then you can continue to have them as a client, even though you're not moving them even closer to an intermittent fasting diet.

Michelle Leotta:
You know, Katey, I think we should also just briefly talk about, um, that, that conversation that came up inside the HPU group the other day, about what if I have resources, PDFs information for my clients and I'm giving it to them like week one and then week two, they get this stuff and week three, they get this, but then the client wants to talk about it out of order. And I think this goes back to treating clients as individuals. Um, I, I would love for you to just talk a little bit about that. Cause I liked what you had to say.

Katey Caswell::
I mean, I think, I think what I said on that post was that, um, she may the exact argument for why a pre modulated program doesn't work in 1 0 1 coaching. It works in a group coaching in environment when someone has different expectations. But when they're hiring you to one on one coach, they want you to deal with their current needs. And yes, you can have resources for them to review and look at, but reactively sending them versus so you can just go to module six. And I know we're only in our second week of coaching, but module six is gonna, is gonna give you that information. Um, and I love how you can do that in practice better. You can either have a program and move modules around or you can just send them the, um, what's that other, there's that other section of practice better where you can just send them in.

Michelle Leotta:
I don't know, but not everyone's even using practice better, but the point is right. We can give them what they need when it comes up. Yes. When it comes us telling them when it it's going to come up. Yes. Even, um, it could be as simple as your client read an article this morning about X, Y, Z. And now they wanna talk about it, even though that was not part of your plan and that you didn't even see the conversation going there. Maybe you were gonna talk about that three weeks from, but I agree with you after, you know, I've worked in so many different capacities, different structures. I've tried with clients, groups, individuals, large groups, small groups, having that sort of pre modulated format, treating an individual like they are in a group or in an online course. Um, those two ideas kind of butt heads.

Michelle Leotta:
So, I would save the, this is week one. This is week two for when you are offering some type of online course, cuz then of course you have to create a system. You have to create, you know, the, the information for each one of your lessons and whatnot. But for most coaches, we're not there yet. The online courses later and to do an online course really well starts with really doing one-on-one one-on-one coaching well and getting a feel for how often does it flow like this? What do clients typically wanna talk about in what order, cuz then you kind of approximate that at when you create an online course, right? But the one-on-one coaching is essential for learning the order, learning what information is important. And maybe what's not, even though you thought it was going to be.

Katey Caswell::
Yeah. I think sometimes as coaches, we forget that we are in a very different place. We're almost looking backwards and they're looking forwards and the same place looks very different from both these points of view. Even if we've been through it, we're not there now. And it's, it's hard sometimes to put ourselves in the shoes of the person who is trying to make change because once you've done something, it seems really easy. You know, I think I talked about skiing last week. I can't ski and anyone that can ski is, looks at me like I'm crazy because it's the easiest thing in the world once they've mastered it. So once you've mastered the idea of listening to your body, putting your health first under, you know, all those things that we health coaches do, um, someone who's not there yet, they can't even understand that that's a concept most of the time.

Michelle Leotta:
Yeah. This is a really good point. It's it is hard for us to look back. Sometimes I think that all the stuff that we learn in nutrition school and then the further certifications that we get in health and wellness, sometimes it's doing us a disservice cuz we continue to move further and further away from where our clients are at. You know, they're back here going like, is there gluten in rice? You know? And, and we're like way over here, you know, learning some crazy science stuff. Uh, and yes, we'll have to look even further backwards to see them. For those of you that are here. Live. If you have any questions, you can feel free to put those into the comments. Katey, I know that we are going to be discussing how to handle the first session with your clients. We're gonna doing that during the webinar training next week. Why do you think that that first session is so, so, so important?

Katey Caswell::
Oh, it's like the foundation of a house. You know, you're building that foundation and you've started that in your sales call. But if you let it fall apart during the first session, if you let the client take control, if you start listening to what they think they need, you're just gonna move farther and farther away from where you need to be to bring them where they be, that walking hand in hand, that helping them see that they have all the answers and you are just really there to help them crack open that Walnut and find out what's inside. Um, if you don't set that up properly, it's hard to get it back. You know, it's hard to get back from a poor first session and client might lose trust in you. They might think, wow, she really sold me on that sales call and that's not what I'm really, really getting. Or maybe they suddenly feel like now that they're ready to open up to you, they're a little hesitant. Um, and building back trust. If you lose it in that first session by either being too business like, and stating the parameters of your sessions too strongly or the other way around, just kind of letting it all hang out and then they leave and they think, what did I just do? Right. You really need to set it up from the start.

Michelle Leotta:
Sets the stage for the coaching relationship. Good. Joy is saying she's super excited about learning how to do the first session. It does. I mean, I always feel like that's when people are the most excited, right? They've just signed up. They have the most enthusiasm. So I'm always thinking like a) you know, how can I make sure I set the stage well, but also how can I capitalize on this excitement? How can I, I help make the most of it. Like this is when they're most likely to, you know, agree with something or try something or have an open mind. So anyway, there's lots and lots to discuss there and we'll be talking about that more next week. So, we'll see you guys then Katey, thank you again for joining me for this two part series.

Katey Caswell::
Yes. Thank you so much for having me.

Michelle Leotta:
Always, you are always welcome here on the show and for all of our listeners, please join us January 26th for our free training on the art of coaching. It's open to all health coaches from any school, any kind of coach: keto, coach plant-based coach. We don't care. The art of coaching applies to all of us and you can sign up at healthcoachpower.com/artofcoaching. And we look forward to seeing you there. Take care, everyone.

Katey Caswell::
Take care. Bye bye