My Blog:

A Dose of Insight

Part of my focus is on mentoring practitioners and coaches to build their practices, find their niche, and develop their confidence and presence with their clients.

To make today’s point, I’ll use examples of coaches wanting to work with young people, since people often feel insecure or uneasy about coaching young people more than adults.

Since I specialize in teens, and the demand for help in that population is huge and the number of providers are at an all-time low, there’s often an interest in working with them.

But what I hear over and over are the dozens of reasons why helping teens is something they could never be good at.

Here’s a few of the reasons people give me:

“My own teens roll their eyes when I talk, tell me I don’t get it, or I end up saying the wrong thing and making the situation worse.”

“My teens were never very troubled, not like the teens I hear about today. So how could I possibly help or relate with no experience to draw from?”

“I never really struggled myself. I did well in school, I had friends, I had the most boring childhood. Surely they’ll feel like I don’t get it. And maybe I don’t.”

“I haven’t raised kids of my own. Shouldn’t I have some first-hand experience talking to them and seeing what their world is like?”

While these may feel like valid concerns, we forge through all other areas of life with zero life experience.

Helping people is no different, even if the other person is your client and is struggling with something you’ve never been through.

But I find that practitioners so easily fall into doubt because they see their family and friends as ‘sample’ clients. And that’s not how it works.

The one thing practitioners often forget is that your teens, husband, or that friend you tried to help are very different from your clients in one important way: they’re not your clients. They didn’t invite you in.

I help lots of teens every day. Yet when it comes to my own kids, they want NOTHING to do with my help unless they ask (which they rarely do).

And when I forget and try to help without being invited, I get the eye-roll too.

If you’re starting a coaching practice, don’t judge your helping and rapport skills on your attempts to help your family and friends.

Your clients will be people that seek your help, and sacrifice their time and money to talk to you. They’re ready and interested.

They’ve invited you in.

You know when you shop and want to browse a store on your own, but some salesperson hovers, tries to make small-talk, and won’t go away even though you're borderline rude?

That's your teen. And we're the annoying sales people.

Your teens are not like clients looking for help. And they’re not receptive no matter how experienced you are.

Yet when I went to buy a wireless headset last week, I tracked down a sales person, and asked them all my questions. I wanted help, listened, and was happy for even the smallest amount of info he had. That’s who your clients are.

The potential to feel fully confident is available for any practitioner. It doesn’t matter whether they have the ‘right’ kind of background of experience. The desire to help, listen, bring some new perspective and a fresh set of eyes - that’s what actually matters.

Your 'credentials' and background aren't a factor.

And anyone that cares enough about people to pursue a coaching path has all those things inside them already.

That’s what today’s video is about.

This is the kind of topic I cover in my practitioner mentoring programs. If you're interested in 1:1 or group training programs, visit the 'Practitioner' tab on my website.

Every week I get a huge range of topics and concerns that parents of teens ask about in their meetings with me.

Their kids lack motivation, are fragile or overwhelmed, withdrawn, ungrateful, frequently down, or feeling lost without a sense of direction in life.

But when I listen past the details, what I hear is that they all have the same essential hopes as parents.

From my experience what most parents want is:

  • To feel close to their kids

  • For their kids to become independent and self-sufficient

  • For their kids to be able to handle challenges and adversity

  • To pass along something essential and valuable to their kids

I’ve also found there are ways parents can go about raising kids that supports everything on that list.

As a parent myself, I know there’s a huge amount of background noise around the decisions we make and how we handle things.

The judgment, the doubt, wondering how you're coming across to other people, thinking about how your parents did things, worrying about outcomes and worst-case scenarios - the list is endless.

That noise gets brought into the moment through the power of thought. And it clogs the system.

I also know that sometimes, in those rare moments of grace, we just see what to do, and we do it.

Maybe it doesn’t happen that often, but it happens.

We all have our own way of describing and naming that feeling.

I call it operating from instincts.

Everyone has certain situations, areas of life, or fleeting moments in which they’ve had a sense of clarity and knowing, regardless of how much mess or chaos they were facing.

Some people find that happens naturally for them at work, when they ski, or when they have to meet a deadline.

It’s a human potential everyone walks around with.

That potential can be developed and strengthened, like any other muscle group.

And as parents, in the moments (however rare) when we tap into our instincts, we check a lot of ‘parenting boxes.’

When we operate from our instincts, our level of presence goes up and our ability to handle adversity and think on our feet goes up with it. Which makes things easier for us.

But more importantly, it has the amazing side-effect of providing our kids with a live demonstration of the human potential.

That’s the focus of today’s interview.

Click below to watch.

Today’s interview was hosted by an organization called Three Principles Denmark (3PDK). The 3PDK is dedicated to sharing the body of work called the Three Principles.

To learn about the 3PDK and the amazing work they do click here.

Updated: Mar 3

Something I noticed this week about the business owners, teens, and parents I work with is that when life gets messy, they often get stuck in the very same ways.

Even though their worlds are very different, they react to struggle in similar ways that make things harder.

I think we all get that way.

But I found myself sharing a few points that seem to help all of them start to get a learning curve about handling the messes.

My teen client, a driven and high-achieving student, did badly on an exam, and is so frustrated and disappointed with herself it’s keeping her awake at night.

The parents I worked with this week have run out of patience with the drama and conflict with their two teen daughters.

Whether we’re used to being good at things, or whether life’s been hard all along, dealing with life’s messes can send anyone into a tailspin.

What’s helped me as a parent, in my work, and as a person, is realizing that messiness is a part of life. It’s a fixed thing.

Even in the areas we think we’ve done everything ‘right.’ And even if we’ve worked so hard we deserve a break.

Life just happens, fair or not.

And while we can’t avoid the messy-ness, there are things we can change in the way we relate to the messy side of life. That alone can make an enormous difference in how things play out for us, and how fast we recover from each ‘messy episode.’

We can learn to keep our bearings in a way that makes us more resilient and more hearty over time, instead of becoming more bitter and insecure over time.

That’s what today’s video is about.


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