Only If…

22 Dec 2017

What do you know, I'm 42.

Twice the legal age.
The one we were all racing for.

No one races for forty-two.
Perhaps we shouldn't race at all.
The race is over.

You've arrived!
Stop. Look around. See. Listen. Be. Breathe. Smile. Cry. Emote. Live.

To live life fully, the saying goes, follow your passions...

Chase them down the hall.
Peak around the corner at them.
Follow them on facebook.
Stay up late at night and dream about them.
Dream with your friends about how wonderful a life together with your passions would be.

If only...

At forty-two, "If only" turns around and looks backward...
It becomes inspired by what it now sees in the past
It charters a new course from a new understanding

It becomes "Only if..."

Only if something fills my life with passion and purpose will I do it
Only if I've learned the lessons from the failure, will I move on
Only if I'm bringing joy to those around me, will I find joy in myself
Only if I am fully, 100.0% present with you, am I being 100.0% real with myself.

42. The year of the fighter pilot.

Only if...

The Emotional Sandwich

OK, so I’m waiting for the chance to talk to my guardian angel. He’s given me the gift of this time to write. Here goes.

I’ve been crying unexpectedly and inexplicably over the past few days. All of the sudden. Inexplicable because these things can’t be explained, you see. They are emotions, and...

Emotion = Energy + Thought

I can share with you my thoughts about the Why behind the tears, but I can’t share with you the Energy. See, it’s “my thoughts” and “the Energy”.

That’s where we go wrong. We allow ourselves to believe* that the thoughts are OURS and that the energy isn’t.

The opposite is true. And the opposite of that is also true…a divine paradox.

These thoughts are not MINE. They just come...they’re just passing by. Like the smell of a garbage truck driving through a city.

The energy - now THAT’s mine. That comes from within me. But. It’s triggered by those thoughts. Those mental intruders who ride the fumes of refuse.


The emotional sandwich.

I can eat it for lunch. I can eat it for a snack. Breakfast. Dinner. Dessert. Midnight snack, too. While sitting in my favorite chair. While holding my baby girl in my arms. It’s late, but maybe one more sandwich, you know, to soak up the alcohol. And one for comfort. How about one “just ‘cuz." I guess I’m hooked - so far gone that I might as well have another. And another. And another…sickness, tragedy, negativity, unending, inevitable.


Where can I get my next one? Maybe I can sneak off into a corner for another. Got an errand to run...EXCELLENT - I can enjoy a delicious emotional sandwich along the way.







Who am I? What have I been doing? What time is it? Who are my friends? Where did that little kid I used to be bugger off to? How did it become winter already?

I’m so least I have these sandwiches.

* Thoughts that ARE yours are known as Beliefs (well, at least, you think they are yours).

These "identity thoughts" add great stickiness to the emotional makes them go straight to your hips. The energy wrapped up in beliefs has no other place to go. Not until you can let go of the thoughts.

That's what coaches help you do…explore these thoughts until you realize that they are just thoughts…and like the garbage truck in the city…they are not yours.

With their release, comes a release of energy. This energy, you can now use to work off all those sandwiches.

Beginner’s Mind

You may think you're in the middle of it, you may think it's ending, you might even think it's over – but here's the secret: it's always beginning!

This is wonderful news! Rejoice!

You already know the implications of this fact, of course.

When you think you've got it figured out - when you focus on the end and not the means...that's when you get mad. That's when you separate from others. That's when you become blind to what's right in others. That's when your world starts to turn against you.

It's reactive. It's limiting. It's not for you.

When we all think we know better, we've nothing in common. There's no place to go. It's over.

Ahhh, but when you have NO IDEA, and you admit it...that's when you're most approachable, that's when you are fascinated by the world and everyone in it, that's when people give you a break (followed by a hand), that's when your eyes are bright and your tail turns bushy, that's when you're really you.

It's freeing. It's expansive. It's yours for the taking.

When we all admit that we don't know, we become equal. Our ground is common. We begin together.

Be an eternal BEGINNER with your return, they will be eternally grateful, eternally open, eternally exploring.

Watch the space of your relationship open up. If you close your eyes, you will sense the raised eyebrows of a golden retriever pup. You will feel an inviting, gentle, curious, playful tilt of the head...just a few degrees to the right. Pupils dilate ever so slightly...

That's your cue: grab the leash, put on your comfy shoes, pick-up a tennis ball, and go out for a walk in the sunshine. Just you and your client.


The Source

The source is the opposite of the beginning. The beginning is eternal and always happening, and you can never see the end because you can only see the beginning. The beginning is everywhere around us and we can't look anywhere without seeing the beginning.

The source is different. The source is at the center of the core of the earth and is one small, infinitesimal point...but that point is also cut in half and then cut in half again and then again and again again again again again again...forever.

The source has become so concentrated that is not visible, it is not material, it is not logical, it simply is. You can't see it and yet the entire universe is contained within it.

That's where the Big Bang came from – look what that created.

Where is your source?

When was its Big Bang?

What will it create?

Who will help you find it?

The Way It Was…(the eggshell sandwich)

So many people are stuck in the way it was. It haunts us. It keeps us small. It is the land where our saboteurs thrive. It is the land of the eggshell sandwich.

People who live in fear do not make noise...for the intruder will hear them and come in for the kill. As a result, we end up walking on eggshells. Every day, all day. After all that walking, we get callouses on our feet, so we don't feel the sharp edges any more. We tell ourselves instead that it is a comfortable carpet.

Every day we make more eggshells...then we repeat. Sooner than later, we end up eating eggshell sandwiches because that is all we have in the house.

When you're ready to say, "Enough!", and stand up to the intruder in your life, it will be scary. And you may have gotten so malnourished from all the eggshells, that you will find it difficult to muster the courage to take a stance.

When you're there - ready to break the oppressive, outdated mold of yesterday - that's when it is time to get someone in your corner.

It's lonely at the top, it's lonely at the bottom, and it is lonely in the middle. The middle is where you have likely forgotten that you are even alive.

That "someone in your corner" is your coach. Your coach is your sparring partner. Your coach sees your potential. Your coach will prepare you for battle. Most importantly, your coach is waiting to welcome the real you back to your life. In fact, that is the only thing your coach cares about.

If you're ready to meet yourself, go out and get a coach. The way it was no longer works.

And that's just the way it is.

Coaching and the Rise of Authenticity – Why the World Needs Exceptional Coaches!

Let's stop the niceties and take a long, hard look at the painful truth you need to hear to live YOUR life - the way it was intended.

Here's the real thing I care about. I believe that no human being has to go through their life putting their soul on the back burner for the sake of "success."

But, everybody else is working too much, everybody else is chasing the next promotion, everybody else is planning to finally relax when they retire, right?

We teach our kids not to buckle to peer pressure, but we conveniently forget to take this advice ourselves when we reach adulthood.

I know coaches who think that they are failures simply because someone they went through coaches training with is now making 2x, 4x, 10x the income they are making from their coaching practice.

Well, who cares?

You can always compare yourself to Tony Robbins, and choose to see yourself as a complete failure.

Tony Robbins, if he compared himself to Richard Branson (in terms of annual income), might consider himself a failure...and that would hold him back.

Instead, Tony Robbins cares about feeding the hungry.  As a young man at age 17, someone came to his house on Thanksgiving to help his family by giving them food to make it through the night and enjoy the holiday together...but his father was too proud to accept it.

Well, that made Tony mad, and that made Tony care. As a result, he started feeding families on Thanksgiving from the age of 18. This year, in 2015, fueled by his purpose and disgusted by inequity in the world, he is on a mission to personally feed 100 million families!

The measure of your success has nothing to do with the size of anyone else's bank account.

The measure of your success has everything to do with understanding what you care about in this world, and then going out and doing everything you possibly can (and then some) to make that thing you care about manifest itself in the world.

You care about that thing much more than you care about yourself. You care about doing that thing for the universe because you recognize that you are part of the universe, and the universe is part of you.

If you've come to the world of coaching, then you care about other people. So, let's look at other people.

In the coaching world, "other people" are simply our clients. As a coach, you love your clients unconditionally. If you don't, find new clients. If you can't find any clients whom you love unconditionally, find a new profession. The world needs you to be something else.

The greatest evil in the universe is people doing something – deciding to take specific actions and demonstrate specific behaviors – that they have absolutely no desire to do.

This goes for investment bankers as much as it goes for gang members. No one was born wanting to be either of those.

While investment banking, for some, is a noble profession and a great fit for their life, I postulate that many people in that profession don't want to be there.

Gang members, on the other hand, don't create any good in the world; and I believe that nobody truly, authentically - at their core and in the depths of their soul - wants to do anything that harms another human being.

They are merely doing what they see others around them doing. What they are really feeling is deep longing: longing for connection, longing for recognition, longing to be seen, and longing to be loved.

Therein lies the nobility of the coaching profession.

True coaches have the capacity to love, unconditionally, their clients; just as true parents love, unconditionally, their children.

Therefore, coaching is a crucial, fundamental component of the Rise of Authenticity - which is so direly needed in today's world.

The industrial revolution is over. We know how to make everything that we need to make. We've built machines that can do every mechanical task better, more consistently, faster, and with a greater sense of purpose than humans in nearly all cases.

There was a time when this was not the case. There was a time when the prosperity of the human race relied upon people to do monotonous work. What we now see as monotonous work, was dripping with purpose 50 years ago.

Unfortunately, the reality of the workplace has not kept up with the times.

The world has transformed away from the era when people lower in the organization needed to learn to do things exactly as they were done by people higher in the organization. This approach is called the master–apprentice model.

Today, people everywhere in the organization need to do their jobs in the way that only they, at their best, can do them.

Through the miracle of technology, the world has exploded in blast of exponential progress over the last  20-30 years.

Yet, the workplace has remained the same.

People are afraid to admit that things have changed, because if they were to admit this, they would also be admitting that they don't know the answer to every question.

Well, not knowing is the thing that makes us curious! Not knowing is the thing that leads to innovation. Not knowing, but figuring it out, is the thing that gets us engaged in our lives.

Looking around at everyone else, coveting what they have, figuring out how they got it, and copying what they did is one way to get it for yourself – that's true.

The problem is, you were not put on this earth to be like everyone have a house as big as their house, to buy a car that's as fast as their car, to know the trivia that they know, to talk about the must-see-TV that they talk about, to go to the office when they go to the office, to stay as late as they stay, to laugh at the jokes that they laugh at, etc.

We all need to face the fact that in today's world, where things change at a pace unimaginable just a couple of generations ago, we don't know – and we can't know – the answer to every question.

And this is the glory of being alive in this moment in human history.

Finally, we've come to a place where we can best serve the universe by being ourselves. This is the moment where it's actually useful – and possible – to get in touch with your life purpose.

Because everyone – and I mean everyone – has a unique life purpose. Everyone was put on this planet for a specific reason, and the best thing you can do to live in service to the universe is to be curious about your purpose.

Go on a quest to understand your reason for being, and then have the courage to break the mold, recapture your soul, and live the life you were meant to live.

And this is why coaching is the thing that will lead to The Rise of Authenticity.

As humans, we simply do not have the ability to look at ourselves, pull out a sheet of paper, list the steps we've taken to get to where we are in life, and figure out what makes us, us. This is because those haven't really been our steps, they are simply the thoughtless result of doing what was expected of us.

But we can discover our life purpose.

We can discover the secrets of our soul if we have a trusting, unconditionally loving partnership with someone who cares so much about us that they will speak the uncomfortable truth.

Someone who cares so much that they dare take us to the deep, dark, dank corners of our souls - the creepy crevices that we've been avoiding our entire lives.  We avoid them because we've been told "there's no crying in baseball."

Everyone needs to cry - it's natural.

We need to explore our dungeons, because down there, with tears in our eyes, we will find what makes us tick, and that ticking clock will tell us that the time is now.

The time is now to find an impartial, confidential, competent mountain guide for your soul. Without one, you will never be able to get from the valley of today, to the first base camp, to the second base camp, to the third base camp, and finally to the summit of your existence on Earth.

It's scary as hell to say: I've lived on this planet for 30 or 40 or 50 or 60 or even 70 years, and everything I've done...all that chasing "success," – even though it made me into who I am today – is not the way I need to live tomorrow.

But true progress, joy and fulfillment does not come knocking at your door when your house is surrounded by a murky moat of fear.

True authenticity does not live in the land of safe and easy.

Progress, happiness and meaning will not be achieved by wallowing in a festering, smoldering pool of frustration; spending our days complaining, bitching, whining, pointing fingers, making excuses, and feeling persecuted.

No, we must pick ourselves up out of the muck and grab the hand of someone who cares so much about us that they are willing tell us what no one else dares. We must be brazenly bold if we are to find out what matters to us.

No one really cares about their paycheck, they really care about their soul.

Your soul is fueled by your purpose...that thing that resonates in your bones when you are doing it.  Some people call it flow. Some people call it passion. Some people say it's a calling. Those people are probably all right.

It doesn't matter what it's called, it matters what it feels like. If you want to know what your purpose is, ponder this question:

What would you do if no one paid you?

Before the Industrial Revolution, before the monarchies and the nobility, before the invention of the economic monetary system, this is what people did. No one was paid; people did what they did because it was needed and it came naturally to was their purpose. Life was simpler.

Life is now complex, but finding your purpose can still be simple: Step out of the rat race and into the observer's box. Watch you in your life.

What are you doing when you don't care about the what you look like...when you don't care how fancy your car is or how big your house is or how much money you make or how impressive your job sounds or how busy you are or how many certificates you have hanging on the wall or how fast you can run the marathon or how brilliant your children are or how soon your kids teeth came in or how early baby Lulu uttered her first word or how long your parents lived or any of that bullshit that has nothing to do with you.

Observe yourself.

Be on the lookout for those moments when your eyes light up, when you wouldn't dream of going to sleep despite the ridiculous number on the clock, when you miss the bus stop because you're engaged in a conversation with someone you've just met, when you haven't gone to the bathroom even though you had to "go" for the last two hours and your bladder is about to burst.

Now, imagine your life if that's what it was all about. Imagine how powerful you could be. Imagine the beautiful unison in which you could effortlessly work with others. Imagine if you cared about you, and you cared about them, but you didn't care about what they think about you.

You don't care about what they think, your ego cares about what they think.

Your ego is the Anti-self.

Just as the dark is the absence of light, your ego is the thing that creates everything difficult and hard and mean and nasty and evil and rude and inauthentic and ugly and achy and shitty in your life.

If you could simply understand that your ego is your polar opposite, you'd be aware when it was in charge and you weren't.

You could catch it red-handed destroying your life, and you could put it in jail and throw away the key. You could take back control of your own existence, and you could be the happiest damn person on Earth, no matter what your job was.

Let's say you love food, and you love people. Well if you were in charge, you could decide to be a waiter or waitress is in the diner down the street from your house. Everyone who came into your restaurant who was lucky enough to sit in your section, would have the time of their lives.

They'd start to invite you over to their house, you'd start playing cards, you'd share stories, you'd become friends, and before you knew it; you'd be the the godmother or godfather of their children, and it wouldn't matter one iota how much money you made. could be the same person, in the same diner, but let your ego run the show. It would deeply "care" about how much money you make. It would compare you to everyone who walked into the restaurant, and it would resent all of them. They wouldn't notice you: no invitations, no storytelling, no card games, no friendships, no life.

So, what does this have to do with coaching?

Well, what you can't see (on your own) is that there's this tremendous potential inside of you – the world as we know it, won't allow you to see that. The world wants you to think that only by reaching the top of the mountain can you be happy.

And the dirty little secret is that most people who reach the top of the mountain – and I'm talking about the mountain of cash, not the mountain of purpose and abundance of life – those people have found out that it's damn lonely at the top.

They don't give a shit about their money. They just want to have real human connections. They don't want to be judged or feared or outcast. They don't want to be treated with false respect. They want their human interactions to be effortless and natural.

So here's what this all has to do with coaching...

As coaches, we're trained to see the potential in every human being on Earth – from celebrities and CEOs and world leaders, down to middle managers and hourly workers and homeless people and prisoners and drug addicts and gang members and investment bankers and doctors and lawyers and priests and teachers and bus drivers and hotel room maids and factory workers and seamstresses and airline pilots and sewage plant managers and on and on.

We're trained to know that every human being on this planet was born naturally creative, resourceful, and whole.

We know that no matter at what stage a client is in life, there is a greater future available to them.

Coaches are not distracted or impressed by resumes or rap sheets.

No, we're curious, faithful and resolved to take anyone and everyone on The long as they are willing to find their truth. We are built to help our clients discover their egos and say to them: "Thanks for getting me this far, I'll take it from here."

If you are this kind of coach, get out there and do everything within your power to make your mark on the universe.

Get out there and create The Coaching Revolution.

Get out there and contribute to The Rise of Authenticity.

The world needs you. Your clients need you.

Leave your comments below.

Maybe We’ve Got It Wrong – Coaching isn’t (just) about helping clients live the life of their dreams – it’s about discovering our true selves

A lot of people out there write about coaching as if having a 45-minute call every two weeks for six months is going to transform a client's life from today's reality to a state of nirvana...where all their dreams have suddenly come true.

That is simply not possible!

By the time you get to the place where your dreams have come true, you will realize that your dreams have never been true. For most of us, our dreams are a bit fuzzy, because they are not based in a solid understanding of who we really are.

Let's face it, the reason you got into coaching in the first place is that you realize you were doing something wrong in your life. You realized that the life you were leading was completely dissonant with your true nature.  In the worst case, you recognized that were seriously at risk of becoming a zombie. That revelation is huge, and it starts the process of living your life "on purpose" - so congratulations, Coaches!

Knowing what you are not does not equal knowing what you are.
The Authenticity Equation

If you are a coach, you are very likely not in this profession to make a ton of money, and not even really (just) to help others - you're here to figure out who you are and to become a better version of yourself. The amazing thing about that is...miraculously, as you hike up the mountain toward your destiny, you will guide your clients on their own journey toward their truth.

"Wherever you go, there you are."

Consider the following scenario – it's something I hear coaches say happens to them all the time:

You're struggling with a challenge in your life (maybe your work is turning you into a zombie, you manage your time with the attention span of a squirrel, you're (wrongly) blaming your spouse for the level of difficulty in your life, you just feel like sitting on your ass on the couch all day, etc.)...

Then, the phone rings for your next coaching session, and you ask your client the question you are supposed to ask:

"What would you like coaching on today?"

The next words out of your client's mouth speak straight to your struggling soul - their story is your story!

And NOW...magic can happen – that is, as long as you are able to stay "over there" with your client in Level II and III listening and not make it about you.

The magic that happens is that you can see the topic (your topic!) from a totally new, unbiased perspective. Suddenly, the powerful questions that you couldn't fathom asking yourself just pop-up in your brain matter. You powerfully belt them out to your clients, not letting them off the hook - no matter what.

Their answers resonate with you, your intuition blazes like the stadium lights at the Super Bowl, the back-and-forth with your client is electric, and all the know that as your client figures himself out, you are starting to chip away at the frozen tundra that has surrounded your authentic self for years. You feel warm inside, because you know the ice is starting to melt.

Discover Your True Self within the IcebergPhoto by: Natalie Lucier

This ice is not just a cube floating in a a glass of cola...this ice is the B15 iceberg, and you can damn-well spend the next 20 to 50 years trying to melt it...that is why you can't imagine not coaching people.

That is why you're able to really listen to the cashier at the grocery store, and you feel compelled to ask her a question about her values or her dreams or her fears. You feel compelled to ask everyone you meet about their lives, because you see yourself in them, and you are curious as a Thundercat to uncover yourself.

And, so...maybe in 20 to 50 years, you will be living your dream life, but that dream will be grounded in an authentic sense of truth about your being that is totally unflappable, because you've been studying it for decades.

That is why you will no longer care what people say about you, because everything they say is merely something they see on the outside: you're not funny, you're too fat, you're bald, you're a bit hunched over, your house is too small, your ego is too big, you make too much money, you're a shallow bastard...

None of that matters to you, because you know who you are.

Keep coaching for your own sake – it's what will keep you motivated to live in service of your clients for the rest of your days!

More importantly, it's what matters to's what matters to coaching.

Listen Up, Coaches – It Matters! The simple mindset shift that will transform the nature and quality of your coaching in a HEARTbeat

One of the first fundamental skills we develop on our journey to become phenomenal coaches is listening. In most coaches training programs we study the three levels of listening:

Level I – listening from self (what I affectionately call, Level "I" listening)

This level is about taking in the words we hear and evaluating them exclusively based on what they mean for our own lives. When someone tells us about their last vacation, we have an urge to tell them about our last vacation. When someone talks about their favorite movie, we start to think about our favorite movie.

We fully experience their stories through the lens of our own lives - as if we are the only person on the planet who matters. This is exactly how we want our clients to listen during our coaching sessions - after all, it is the client's life that takes center stage in the coaching conversation, and in that context, they are the only ones who matter.

Level II – listening "over there"

In this level of listening, you listen so intently to your client that you may even forget that you exist.

You've done this type of listening before...perhaps, when you were on your first date with your first love. You were hanging on their every word, trying to understand every morsel of their being through their stories – sentence by sentence, word by word, image by image. You couldn't get enough of the words dripping out of their were so engaged that it is likely that four hours into dinner, you didn't even notice that everyone eating at the restaurant was long gone, all the chairs were put away for the night, and the staff was seriously annoyed with you.

Quite possibly, the only thing that pulled you out of your love-struck stupor was that your bladder went into DEFCON 1, and you realized if you didn't get up to go to the bathroom, this would likely become your last date.

That's Level II listening.

Level II Charades

Just in case you can't summon a vivid recollection of listening this way, try this trick to help you out: listen to your client (or any other human being, for that matter) as if you are playing a game of charades.

The person talking (talking is allowed in "listening charades," okay?) is describing the "clue". As you listen to their words, focused on deciphering the "clue", create a full-motion picture in your head of the story they are telling you. They become the narrator to the movie of their lives - and only you can see it, because it's in your head.

Now, notice the details of their story - what are they wearing? what is the temperature in the room? how many people are around? what time of day is it? what material is the floor made of?

Next, get wildly curious - what do you want to happen next? what secrets are they revealing about themselves? who is the hero? who is the villain? what are they longing for? what are they afraid to admit?

When you can listen to someone so intently that you make a vivid, striking movie out of the words that vibrate out of their larynx and into your eardrums, you will forget all about yourself - and they will notice. They are likely to feel as though they've never been listened to so intently before.

You are giving them and embroidered invitation to open up and share their real story of their lives.  It's okay to be vulnerable.  I care, and I'm here to help you make sense of it all.

Level III – listening with your whole body

This is where it gets a little bit weird, I must admit. You could also call this level "listening from your intuition."

If you've heard of the concept of a "gut feeling," then you know what level III is all about. Listening at this level is really just listening to your gut - it knows when something is fishy; it knows when something is important.  If you can listen to your gut, it will open up your coaching like a may flower...

Did you ever walk into a room, and, although no one was saying anything; you knew they were talking about you before you got there?

Awkward silence! Tension in the air. Uncomfortable vibe.

Your radar detector starts to blow up. Your gut tells you that something's up. Well, that "thing" you're hearing that is not being know it's there because you are listening at Level III.

Level III Bird-watching

Listening at Level III is like bird-watching. Most of us walk through life totally clueless about those little buggers that nest in the trees above and soar the skies (until they use us for target practice or leave us a "lucky" present on our freshly washed windshield).

There could be a hundred and fifty different species in the woods in our neighborhood, and we haven't a clue. Hell, there could be a scaly-sided merganser walking across the road, and we'd just think it's a duck!

But...not the avid, sharp-eyed birdwatcher. (Let's call this hypothetical birdwatcher "Dennis.")

Dennis is always on the lookout for something special in the skies. When he sees an orange-bellied parrot, he comes to life. He can't believe his eyes! He wants to call his mom and tell her he's in love! Dennis will remember this moment until the day he dies!

Well, a coach who learns to listen at Level III, is always on the lookout for the unsaid, and they don't let it pass by unnoticed or unexplored; they dig in by asking powerful questions, such as:

"What's causing that quiver in your voice?"

"I noticed you are super excited when you bring up this topic - what's that about?"

"Hey, your energy just shifted - what happened?"

"It feels like you've run out of steam, how can we add some coal to the fire?"

Level II & III - the listening Lambada

Powerful coaching lives in the land where Level II and Level III listening dance the night away.

Think of powerful coach listening like a dance. If you can get the rhythm just right, you can spin, twirl, and shimmy your clients by moving through Levels II (see their movie) and III (latch on to their emotions) until you are dancing in unison through their life, and before you know it, out pops their dirty little secret that they've been hiding from themselves.

By taking the reins and daring to dance the forbidden dance with them, they have just realized something totally new about themselves. From this moment on, they see the world a tiny bit differently...and they can start to be at choice in their actions in a new way...armed with a deeper understanding of their being.

Level 0 - the enemy of listening

So, those are the three levels of listening we learned at CTI (the Coaches Training Institute), and I imagine you learned something similar wherever you trained as a coach.

At Make Coaching Matter, I am sad to unveil a fourth level of listening.

It's called Level 0.

This is, unfortunately, the way that many, many people listen most of the time.

You see, this is listening from your ego. It's actually not listening at all, but rather just pretending to listen. Instead of listening at I, II, or III; you are smiling and nodding, or making dead eye contact while you think about something totally unrelated in your head, or you're telling yourself you are better (or worse) than the person talking.

Perhaps you are formulating the next thing that you are going to say or question you will ask to ensure you look "smart" or "impressive." Or maybe you're "multitasking": reading or typing an email, checking Facebook, worrying about doing your taxes, watching Prison Break, or playing Mortal Kombat with a friend in Vietnam.

Even worse, maybe you're just waiting to talk.

There is no place for this type of listening (some call it pseudolistening) in coaching. As a coach, nothing is more engaging to your client than to listen to them skillfully and with great care and curiosity. And nothing is more deadly than not listening at all.

Listening is the true currency of coaching.

Listen in movies.

Play charades.

Become a birdwatcher.

Learn the Lambada.

Discover hidden secrets.

Give your clients the gift of being heard. They'll love and thank you for it.

Want to bring in your perspective about the role of listening in coaching?

Have another topic dear to your heart you would like to discuss?

Join the coaching revolution - leave YOUR comments below - I'm all ears!

Discover the Secret of Coaching: It’s Not About the Problem!

There's a lot of confusion in the world about this thing called "coaching." Right off the bat, let's get one thing straight: coaching is not about solving problems, it's not about diagnosing what's wrong with you, it's not about development needs.

Coaching is about taking people on a journey. It's about having people dig deep down inside themselves to find their biggest dreams and uncover the beauty within.

A great coach is someone who loves his clients unconditionally, someone who can see through all the negative thoughts that have been imposed upon people and laser-in on the unimaginable potential of every human being on this earth.

With this powerful mindset, there is no limit to the grandeur of the life your clients can and, with your help, undoubtedly will live.

This community has been established to bring like-minded coaches to a place that's all their own. Together, we will raise awareness about the power of this beautiful and noble profession. We will help lift the fog that clouds people's perception of what coaching is all about.

Together, we will take the profession to unimaginable heights and spread good across the globe. Imagine a world where people feel completely free to live the life they were born to live.

To get involved and help define the profession you love, just leave a comment below and share your thoughts about what coaching means to you and to the world.

Welcome to the Coaching Revolution!