Tag Archives: coaching and training

Season’s Greetings: Giving While Receiving

2015 Lead Holiday Family PhotoImage
One of the best ways to celebrate the holidays is by giving back. I teach that you can do it while also receiving. It’s always great to hear about one of my students successfully putting that learning into practice.

Following my suggestion, Preeta Banerjee, a recent graduate of our Holistic Life, Career & Executive ACTP Coach Preeta_Banerjee_PhotoTraining, found a cause and a non-profit organization she believes in — The Hope Foundation — which works with schools to create successful learning communities. In exchange for having Preeta’s services promoted by another organization, she will donate 50% of her coaching fees to the Foundation to help rescue and educate girls in India* (here’s the link to find out more about Preeta: http://mytreeoflife.com/meet-preeta.html?

Congratulations to Preeta for following through on the kind of practical advice you’ll get when you enroll in our trainings.

If you’re interested in becoming a coach, honing your existing coaching skills and getting clients — inquire for more information about our training programs.

Happy holidays and best wishes for the New Year!

Upcoming 2016 Class Schedule


  • Tues., Jan. 5 at 7 PM EST
  • Thurs., Jan. 7 at 11 AM EST
  • Thurs., Jan. 7 at 4 PM EST
  • Thurs., Jan. 7 at 8 PM EST


  • Mon, March 21 at 6:30 PM EST
  • Wed., Apr. 6 at 11 AM EST
  • Wed., Apr. 6 at 7 PM EST

Building a Coaching Vocabulary

I believe that coaching is a new language. In order to learn that language and build a coaching vocabulary, at the beginning of my coach training classes, I ask my students to memorize coaching questions and coaching responses. Along with that, we use role playing to simulate a variety of coaching situations. Once we build our vocabulary, the true power behind these questions and words may and will be revealed only when they are being personalized by the coach. However, to make that language “your own” takes time. And when the time comes for my students to coach real people, I ask them to forget everything they’ve learned and trust that their deep listening and deep caring will bring about the right response without them having to consciously search for it.The danger to watch out for is for coaches to hold on to these responses and questions as a child holds on to their safety blanket for too long. When a coach clings to these memorized questions, these type of questions will stick out like a sour thumb, feel out of place and may be foreign to the language their client can naturally relate to, which may result in lack of trust. When we train people to coach, we must be careful to set that expectation for their own “freedom” — letting them know that what they must learn at the beginning will and must become their second nature after they practice for some time; and their coaching language will become a language they speak fluently without having to look up words in a proverbial “coaching dictionary”. What are your best practices for building your coaching vocabulary?


Copyright 2013 © Marianna Lead. All Rights Reserved in All Media.


Coaching & Training: Philosophical Distance

I was reading some psychology literature and encountered this term “philosophical distance”.  I really like that as a concept. It sounds much better than “being an observer”. But, essentially, that’s what it is. However, it adds something to the concept of an observer. You are observing with a deeper quality in mind; you are observing from a philosophical distance.  Observing doesn’t have to mean to be void of emotions or void of judgment. It depends on the emotions and on the type of judgment. And, as we take on being philosophical about it – then little things that ordinarily drive us up the wall, would look and feel meaningless and small from a larger, more philosophical perspective.  Our feelings and our judgments are good to notice. That’s the first step in being able to shift them. And, often enough, when we look at things from a philosophical distance, that shift happens instantly.  What are your thoughts on that?

Join our LinkedIn ICF Coach Mentors and Mentees Group for exciting discussions about coaching & training techniques.

Copyright © 2012 by Marianna Lead & www.GoalImageryInstitute.com All Rights Reserved in All Media.


Coaching & Training: Judging versus Telling the Truth

I don’t believe that my client has the talent she thinks she has. I watched her perform – and it sucked! Do I tell her?

One of the aspiring actresses hired me to coach her in preparing her own one-woman show. She was going to invest lots of time and money in this. She invited me to see some of her work and it was awful. The problem was that she thought she did great.  I wanted to be honest, but I also wanted to be supportive. I was also thinking about “judging”, which we, as coaches, are not supposed to do.  However, if I didn’t tell her, I’d be out of integrity.

Whatever it was, I just wanted to do the right thing.

I went back to the ICF core competencies and read about “direct communication”, but I still didn’t know what to do. However, after reading it, I had a shift in my own energy. I decided to stay open, be thoughtful and caring, and, at the same time, be in integrity. I also decided that if needed be, Id just ask for a permission to be honest and direct. I meditated a bit before my next session with her and when we started, “things” just came up naturally. I asked her if she inquired about what other people thought of her performance.  Then I asked her if she perceives her show to be a business or a hobby. Then we went into a discussion (she talked, I listened) of how differently she should be treating it now, realizing that this is her new “business”. Out of that discussion she came up with an idea of checking out her competition (other one-woman shows), making sure that her product is a high quality product (getting expert opinions), etc., etc.

My insight was that shifting my energy and emotionally preparing myself for the session enabled me to be both supportive and honest.

Were you ever challenged like that as a coach? Did you ever feel that you had to be straightforward with your client and just tell them the truth, but didn’t want to be “judging” wondering if this was your place to even say anything at all?  Please share your story.


Join our LinkedIn ICF Coach Mentors and Mentees Group for this and other exciting discussions about coaching & training techniques.

Copyright © 2012 by Marianna Lead & www.GoalImageryInstitute.com All Rights Reserved in All Media.


Coaching & Training: Should Coaches Be Asking, “What are You Feeling Now?” Part III

Here’s another interesting point that some coaches bring up about the use of the “feelings”question. They remind us that people naturally have different learning channels and for those who are more visual or auditory, the more effective questions may be, “What are you seeing?” for a visual client and “What does it say to you?” for an auditory one. Even though these questions expand awareness, they are not focusing clients directly on how they feel.  I don’t think it matters much even if we were to ask “how do you feel” question of someone who is more auditory or visual. In this context people are well aware that we are really asking about their emotional state of being and not about their sense of touch/feel.  Not ever in my coaching experience, a response to “What are you feeling now?”  was “I’m feeling the breathe coming from my window.” or “I don’t understand what you mean.” Sometimes certain schools of thought in coaching make very simple things too complex artificially.

I also noticed that what coaches ask to create client’s awareness depends largely on their coach training. As coaches, we must be aware to what degree accessing emotions is important to making effective decisions and/or how to help their clients to access their emotions. For scientific perspective, we can refer to the work and many books of Antonio Damasio, Gregg Braden, and others.

In attempt to avoid the “feeling” question, some coaches suggest asking “What are your thoughts?” instead. Even though it’s a great question on its own,”What are your thoughts?” invites your client to access their thinking and not their emotions/feelings. So, the intention and  meaning behind these two questions  are different. Granted, some people are not very much in touch with their feelings, but that is even more of a reason to help them “get there” on their journey of self-discovery. And, you can ask it differently. For instance, you can ask, “What’s coming up for you now?” This would open up a coaching conversation  to either accessing clients’ feelings and/or thinking.

Join our LinkedIn ICF Coach Mentors and Mentees Group for this and other exciting discussions about coaching & training techniques.

Copyright © 2012 by Marianna Lead & www.GoalImageryInstitute.com All Rights Reserved in All Media.


Coaching & Training: Should Coaches Be Asking, “What are You Feeling Now?” Part II

People talk to their hairdressers and bartenders about feelings – why shouldn’t they be able to share them with their coach? And, in turn, why a coach should look for other words to substitute the word “feel” with?

As I’m having many conversations with a variety of experienced coaches, even though all agree that developing awareness around one’s emotions is important, many insist on staying away from that word.  One of the main reasons that they offer is that it may remind our clients of therapy.

I don’t agree with that at all. Since when therapy has a copyright on that word? Of course, we don’t want to use any words that are jargon-like, industry-specific, and may not be understood or misunderstood by our clients.  However, that’s not the case here. We use the word “feel” every day in our lives and have used it before therapy as an industry even existed. It’s not a “therapy” word; it’s just a word.  Should we cut it out from our coaching vocabulary just because it is “popular” in therapy?  Also, I doubt that people who are in therapy are going to be attracted to coaching. And, once we clarify with our clients what coaching is and what it isn’t from the very beginning, there should be no misunderstanding or confusion about that.

To my delight, some top-notch executive coaches believe that it’s totally okay to use the word “feel”. They make a very good point that it’s not so much the word that we use that matters as the intention behind using it.  They say that the more up the leadership ladder you go, the more being able to access, recognize and manage your feelings becomes important. And as they work with CEO’s across the globe, interpersonal skills and EQ (Emotional Intelligence Quotent) become the focus of their coaching conversations.

And, to prevent your clients from telling a long story about how they feel, one MCC coach suggest asking, “If you’d use 1-2 words to describe how you feel, what would they be?” I think it’s an excellent question. And, even if we do get their “external” feelings only – that would serve as a jumping board for a deeper coaching conversation and discovery for a client. Also, I think that the purpose of us asking that question is not only to deepen the discussion and to create more awareness, but also to be in curiosity to understand and to know how and what our client feels.

Join our LinkedIn ICF Coach Mentors and Mentees Group for this and other exciting discussions about coaching & training techniques.

Copyright © 2012 by Marianna Lead & www.GoalImageryInstitute.com All Rights Reserved in All Media.




Coaching & Training: Should Coaches Be Asking, “What are You Feeling Now?” Part I

On my journey to MCC (Master Certified Coach) credentialing with ICF (Int’l Coach Federation), I’m having conversations with many MCC coaches about their views of coaching as well as getting their direct feedback on my coaching.

As a result, I’m really surprised at how many different opinions I’ve collected about asking a simple question “How do you feel about that?”

It looks like everyone agrees that feelings are important, but many feel (no pun intended) that asking that question is a bad coaching choice.

Some feel that the “feeling” question is not being specific enough. That argument doesn’t make any sense to me at all. Wouldn’t that be the very reason to ask it – so that our client could have the space to reflect and identify his/her feeling and make it specific? It’s up to our clients to identify their feelings and make them specific, it’s not up to us. It’s about increasing their awareness to how they feel. And, if they have difficulty identifying their feeling/s – that’s going to serve as a great indicator in terms of their ability or a lack of it to identify what they feel & their EQ awareness, which they can choose to focus and work on with their coach upon that discovery.

It gets better…  Since, according to them, this question is not specific enough, they suggest asking  “What are you thinking?” instead. Does that make any sense? In what way can it possibly be more specific? We are just asking our clients to access their thinking instead of feelings – that’s all. “Thinking” is just as general as “Feeling” in that context, isn’t it? What am I missing here?

And some coaches say that we shouldn’t ask that question because some clients may not know how to access their feelings. According to ICF  we must view our clients as “whole, creative and resourceful”. Wouldn’t anticipating  that your clients wouldn’t know what they feel suggests a lack of believe that your clients are really “whole”? A person who is whole should be able to access both their thinking AND feelings. We are not robots, we are human beings. Trusting that your client can only access thinking and not feeling, is like saying that they are half whole or, even worst, not human enough. Only humans – as opposed to computers  (built on logic and void of feelings) or animals (have feelings but can’t think them through) – can not only have feelings, but also are able to use their thinking to analyze them.

Another BIG concern is that if we ask about “feelings”, we’ll get into the realm of therapy. I don’t believe it’s the case. However, it’s getting too long for one blog post. To be continued…

Join our LinkedIn ICF Coach Mentors and Mentees Group for this and other exciting discussions about coaching & training techniques.

Copyright © 2012 by Marianna Lead & www.GoalImageryInstitute.com All Rights Reserved in All Media.


Natural Stress Relief: 7 Ways To De-stress For National Stress Awareness Month

By Amanda L. Chan | The Huffington Post

In case you haven’t heard (you know, because of all the stress in your life) — April is National Stress Awareness Month.

A little bit of stress is good for us, in that it provides energy and keeps us aware of everything going on in our lives. But even though stress is a daily occurrence for all of us, it’s important to keep it in check. When left to its own devices, it can lead to or exacerbate a number of health problems, from heart disease, to acne, to obesity, to depression and anxiety. It can even worsen ulcers, WomensHealth.gov reported.