Guest Article from Mark Brandenberg, who specializes in coaching men.
Some men have trouble asking for help, and calling a coach is asking for help. Coaching men is useful because it is private. However, men don’t call coaches until they have a crisis. Men often call a coach when they are on the verge of a divorce. They are no good at picking up a wife’s signals that she’s tired of the marriage. They are often in shock about what is happening.
As a parenting expert coaching men, some clients will come with a crisis. A situation is imploding. How does a divorcing Dad converse with his son? A mother phones to say that her son wants to quit high school and join the Marines, and she does not like that idea.
Sometimes the crisis is low-key but still essential to the client. For example, a child needs to be potty-trained within a few weeks, or he will not be accepted into nursery school. Both clients want help! Both scenarios will impact your process of coaching men and the relationship with your client.
If the client is not in crisis, you will be able to establish your coaching sessions in a smoother way. If the client is in crisis, the focus of your first sessions will be helping the client through the rough spot and then establishing a vital goals in the coaching relationship.
Let the client talk it out.
Encourage your client to share deeper feelings. You have to listen. You listen actively and soulfully. Take notes. Hear your client’s concerns. Be aware of what the client says and what he or she is leaving out.
Listen to words, feel out the emotional content, and focus.
Stay in a listener’s role. You may be tempted to jump in with suggestions and practical information, but it is better to hold back and listen.
When coaching men, you may observe vulnerability and be tempted to take over the problem. At this point, remind yourself that you are coming from the coaching perspective, not a therapeutic one.
You are a coach, and as such, you believe that:
1. This client is a whole, healthy, and resourceful person.
2. This client has the inner resources to handle this problem.
Allow the person to talk through whatever is troubling him or her.
Ask questions so that you truly understand what is going on. The first session may be entirely about letting the client tell his story and vent emotions. You may do very little talking.
If a problem is fundamental and life-changing, you may have to refer your client for psychotherapy. When necessary, schedule more than one session per week in the first weeks of coaching. The thrust of your work will be to calm the person and determine how you, as a coach, can work with the person’s strengths to get her past the crisis mode. After a few sessions, the client will feel more in control.
Original content is the lifeblood of the internet and makes the search engine bots happy. Your content gives you good search engine rankings. Ultimately, your content brings potential new clients.
No doubt that creating lots of content is hard work and a continuous process. There are right and wrong ways to create content, so let us review the three biggest downfalls to anyone who writes their website content.
Writing on a Consistent Schedule
Have you had the experience of discovering a new blog that looks interesting, but the owner hasn’t published anything new in months or even a year? Sometimes, the situation is forgivable if it’s a mom blog or an outdated hobbyist blog.
If you discover an older business blog that is outdated, does your first thought go the owner’s credibility? The reader wonders if this person is still in business.
Or, maybe you are on an email list where the list owner disappeared for months, and then tries to start up by emailing again as nothing happened? It would help if you did not have to experience this because there is an easy solution–planning.
Create a writing schedule or outsource the writing tasks so you can avoid both of those scenarios. Life events affect how frequently you communicate with your audience. But if you’re in business to make a profit, you need a content writing plan.
Do You Sound Like a Sales Letter?
In general, focus all your content to provide value to your readers. There is undoubtedly a time and a place to use sales pages. But not every blog post, email, or video should be a hard sell to your coaching programs or signature product.
Answer your readers’ questions. Address their fears. Discuss changes in your industry and how it may affect them. Talk about how much fun you had on your weekend retreat that you hosted with select clients. Please give them a behind-the-scenes look at your office or how you record videos. Show them photos of your team members who keep the gears of your business running. Readers can relate to all of these topics. They will feel like you’re speaking directly to them and wanting to help them.
Not Editing or Proofreading Before Publishing
The world of internet writing is more casual than the writing we learned back in school. However, business people still need to be professional. Sending emails, contracts, or publishing blog posts that sound like a 5th grader wrote them or that have typos won’t bring new business.
How do you feel when you see typos in your local newspaper or some other authoritative resource?
Do you wonder why they don’t have a proofreader?
Does it make them look sloppy or less professional? Consider the image that the writing portrays, and then determine what model you want to define you.
Let your content sit for a few days before you go back to edit it. When you look at your content too long, your brain becomes blind to glaring mistakes. At that moment, if you hit the publish button, your audience may think you look sloppy also. A solution is to hire a Virtual Assistant or proofreader monthly, who can review all your communications, so you don’t get bogged down with the task.
Get Professional & Affordable Done-for-You Content
There are organizations of writers and researchers who pride themselves on their professionally written done-for-you content. They have teams of writers and editors who review every piece of content multiple times before they make it available to you. You deserve the best, and they aim to deliver the best every time.
Browse through samples of done-for-you content and remember that every piece of content can be edited and branded to match your company’s image. They’re cutting down the time it takes to produce classes and workshops that your clients will love. Here is a list of the few organizations I follow.
Telling stories is a great way to connect with your audience, and for life coaches, business stories illustrate the struggles and successes we all share.
It doesn’t matter if you are on stage, teaching a class, writing an email to your list, recording a podcast or writing a blog post. Business storytelling could and should should play a big part of your content creation and marketing strategies. But how do you come up with those stories in the first place? Here are seven tips to help you keep the business story ideas flowing so you can find just the right one for just about any situation.
Share A Recent Encounter
Often the best story are happening to you and all around you. Think about a client who is successful in her achievements? Can you tell her story as an example to newbies? What is the best coaching conversation you ever had? Or which complement from a client meant the most to you? And why was that story most meaningful?
Recall A Conversation
Conversations offer great story ideas. Without going into too many details or sharing too much information about the person you were talking to, what was the underlying message of the conversation in your storytelling. Example: One parent, who called me, was frustrated her their three-year-old daughter was always singing, dancing, and seemed “overly” playful. The daughter was a total contrast to their eldest daughter, aged ten, who mom described as most like the parents. Parents and older daughter liked to read, study the stars, read science-type magazines. The younger child shared few, if any, interests with the parents and older sister. I shared with the parents how there are different temperaments, and because the older sister was an intellectual, didn’t mean that the second child would be of the same temperament. No, the younger child was the talkative, creative, dancing ballerina.. They got it, and I didn’t hear from them until ten years later. Now older daughter is thirteen and younger daughter is six. Mom called to share how the knowledge of temperaments changed their lives. They started offering the younger child outlets for her dancing body and creative brain, as they offered the older child classes and experiences in which her strengths could flower.
Dig Deep and Share A Childhood Memory
Childhood memories are another great source of story ideas. The memories that stick with us from way back when are often the ones that taught us a valuable lesson or had a significant impact on who we are today. Think back to what you remember from your childhood and how you can tie those memories into what you’re doing today.
Pay Attention To Your Surroundings
Stories are going on all around us. Pay attention to the situations and conversations people have around you. You’ll be pleasantly surprised how many story ideas you’ll get just by paying attention your surroundings. Example: I went to the hospital when I felt sharp pains crackle cross my chest. Heart attack? Not sure! Go to bed or go to the emergency room? Go to the hospital. Over five hours, I was admitted, assigned a bed, tested, and the doctor finally arrived in the early morning to tell me the news.
“You have a pulmonary embolism.”
“And that is….?”
“You have a blood clot in your lungs.”
Carry A Little Notebook
We’ve established that there are conversations around us from which we draw a story theme. as you observe those stories, which are memorable that would be a good fit with the content or product. Stick a little notebook and pen in your purse, briefcase or jacket. Keep it with you and jot down short notes about ideas, thoughts, conversations and situations that have storytelling potential.
Listen To Your Family and Friends
Pay attention to your loved ones. They are sharing stories with you on a regular basis. Listen to your kids when they come home from school. Sit down for an after-school snack, and ask them about their day. You’ll have an almost never-ending supply of storytelling material. Listen with rapt attention to feel their emotions and exemplify those feelings in your story, as they are genuine and believable. Keep looking for new ideas and keep telling those stories to grow your business, connect with you readers and make the sale.