The First Coaching Tip for 2023

Be Positive is Healthier.
Here is a little challenge from your coach. Make 2023 the year of positive health.
Take the P-Pill twice a day.

The P-Pill stimulates you to consciously, purposely even, seek to get the medicinal benefits of observing the positive in every moment you are in. Right now! and every now!

You already know positive thoughts change your body chemistry. So why not manufacture the drug for yourself? Set an intention to observe the tangible positive things that actually occur in as many moments as you can each day. Consciously note what is positive, what is working, and what is real. Like right now. Of all the things that are happening around you and to you, what is good about this moment you and I have together?

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Level 1 - ICF Accredited

After great effort and hard work, we're very excited and proud to announce that Coaching Out of the Box® has been approved as a Level 1 International Coaching Federation (ICF) Accredited Coaching Education Provider.

The ICF provides Coaching Education Accreditation to Coach Education providers. ICF-accredited education organizations must complete a rigorous review process and demonstrate that their curriculum and the organization aligns with the ICF Core Competencies and Code of Ethics and meets the highest industry standards.

How does this benefit you? Before our Level 1 accreditation, students that went through the Coaching Out Of The Box® Fast Track to ICF Credential program were only awarded 68 hours of ICF accredited coach specific education. Now they get 111.4!

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What's Next? Business Name

Sixth in the What's Next? Series

Business name, the last in our series of What’s Next? but definitely not the least important task. Niche, tone, branding, marketing, social…all are important and over the course of the last few months we’ve looked at each individually.

To recap, here are the tasks to consider when focusing on what's next in starting your business:

Website- August newsletter
Niche- September newsletter
Tone, branding, personality- October newsletter
Marketing - November newsletter
Social - December newsletter
Business name

You’ve looked at your competition’s website, reviewed your available budget for both website and marketing, dug into who you are as a coach and how you want to portray yourself to potential clients. Now, let’s put the icing on the cake and find a business name.

There’s a lot to consider and a lot that is in a name. Think of brands that you love, logos that you recognize on sight, emotions that bubble up when you see or hear that business name.

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What's Next? Social Media

Fifth in the What's Next? Series

As a small business you will be wearing many hats. Getting lost in the rabbit hole of any one of them can easily derail your day and your week.

To recap, here are the tasks to consider when focusing on what's next:


Website- August newsletter
Niche- September newsletter
Tone, branding, personality- October newsletter
Marketing - November newsletter
Business name

The last newsletter left you with some homework…Where does your ideal client scroll? Facebook? Instagram? LinkedIn? TikTok?

First step is knowing who your ideal clients are. Who are they? The demographics of your audience will influence what you say, how you say it and where you say it. However, this doesn’t mean that you can’t have a broad audience, just that you need to be consistent in who you are and what you say.

As usual, there is a lot to think about in this blog post but it's up to you to search further depending on who you are and who your niche is. It's not a cookie cutter situation.

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Marketing- Fourth in the series What's Next?


Where to start, budgeting, social or print, and word of mouth.

At this point of our series, What's Next?, we’ve discussed your website, niche, as well as tone and branding. Marketing is next on our list.

Tasks to consider when focusing on what's next:

Website- August newsletter
Niche- September newsletter
Tone, branding, personality- October newsletter
Business name

This can seem like an overwhelming task. Before you dive in, break down your goals and plans.

What is the purpose of your marketing?
How is your marketing plan aligned with your purpose?
Who is your prime audience/ client?
How much time do you want to spend on marketing?

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Tone, Branding and Personality. Part 3 of What's Next?

Tone, Branding and Personality

If you’ve been following along in our What’s Next? Series, you’ll have considered your website (nuts and bolts not actual design completion) as well as your niche. We’ve covered both of these in our August and September newsletters, and both are posted on our website blog page.

Tasks to consider when focusing on what's next:

Website- August newsletter
Niche- September newsletter
Tone, branding, personality
Business name

You may feel that marketing is the next step. But before that, you’ll need to know the intent behind your words, how to convey who you are and who you aren’t to your potential clients.

Tone, branding and personality.

Why are they important?
Which comes first?
What is affected by your decisions?
Where to start?

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The Quiet Quitting, The Great Resignation...Reshuffle, Reassess…

People have been quietly quitting for years, just without the trendy term. Whether they’re looking for a new job, are struggling with their career path or with unacceptable expectations; quietly quitting isn’t new.

What is new, or at least more in the forefront, is searching for meaning and better work-life boundaries. The pandemic has increased our stress and led to higher rates of burnout in most job sectors.

Then enters remote working, showing us different ways of working that also allows us to enjoy some personal time and flexibility.

Do a quick Google search and you’ll find articles and opinions from McKinsey to any news publication you follow. Rethinking and rejecting, hustling and quitting…in comes the passion economy. Where you do more of what you love. Regain control. Plan your life on your terms.

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What's your niche?

The second topic in the series, What’s Next?, may be a question that’s been on your mind since you started thinking about entering the coaching world.

What’s your niche?

Who do you want to be as a coach?
Who is your ideal client?
Who do you NOT want as a client?

If you’re following along in our series, the first topic (task I called it for the sake of accountability) was about your website. The topic covered budget, ease of use, ownership and much more. If you’re new to our newsletter community and missed the first newsletter, reach out to me at and I’ll send it along.

Tasks to consider:

Website- August newsletter
Niche- September newsletter
Tone, branding, personality
Business name

What is a niche?
Your niche helps you focus on a path. It also tells your potential clients where you specialize. A clear niche will help you not only focus yourself but also your branding and your message.

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The Writing Dilemma

On the issue of taking notes during a coaching session...

This is a question that often surfaces in coaching training. Is it ok for the coach to write while conducting a coaching session? What are the pros and cons of taking notes in coaching?

When it comes to coaching, I usually try to stay away from “black and white” answers.
Coaching is a human-to-human interaction, and as so, full of gray areas.

Writing while coaching is possibly one of them.

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be S.H.U.R.: Evolving Your Coach/Leader Approach

As coaches and leaders, the one constant that remains is our need to adapt and evolve our techniques and approach to our craft. This has never been more important than today, when every company, based on customers, suppliers, and employee location, is a global company.   As generation Z pours into the workforce, balancing five generations in the workplace, whether they show up and/or “zoom-in”, our complex environment continues to challenge many leaders. Meanwhile, geo-political instability, climate change, pseudo-recession, and endemic fears add stress and uncertainty for everyone.

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Back to School Season

Oh, the Back to School ads are dreadful,
But the summer is so delightful,
Since we’re coaches in-the-know,
Feed your soul, feed your soul, feed your soul.


Corny yes, but also true. As coaches and coaches-in-training, we are learning how we need to coach, what we need to do as a coach, and who do we have to be as a coach.

As summer comes to an end and we reflect back on a fruitful season, ask yourself three questions:

How did you use your white space this summer?
Did you get in your state of flow?
How did you feed your soul?

We get focused on our daily schedule, family life, and career goals and sometimes forget about taking care of ourselves.

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What's next?

That’s the big question. Whether you’re starting your coach training, are in the midst of it or you’ve completed your training, What’s next? is a big question that’s probably on your mind. What’s right in front of you? Using your new coaching skills in your current role? Adding a side gig? Or starting your new path as a credentialed coach and offering your services? Two out of three of these options are bigger than the other. Let’s talk about that.

Where to start? Personally, I’m very task-oriented, however, in the mindset of coaching the term task can be translated to everything from assignment, burden, responsibility, calling, or headache to mission. Let’s stick with tasks for the sake of ease and positivity. In the first of this series of blog posts, let’s talk first tasks. Below is a list of some (but not all) tasks to be considered when starting to promote yourself as a coach. The list is by no means complete and will also be altered to suit your needs. Some tasks will be easier than others depending on your experience and who’s in your network that you can call on (a key point to remember!).

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Coaching Topic Fatigue

You are taking a coach training program and part of this is tons of practice, this is all great but what happens when you can no longer think of a topic to use with your coaching partner. This should be easy, shouldn’t it? Enter coaching topic fatigue. What DO I want to talk about? How do I share something without revealing too much? How do I come up with yet another topic?

We asked our panel of coach facilitator experts to weigh in and here’s what they had to say:
“Sometimes I think of whatever has come across my desk that day that I might need help with. Or even what do I make for dinner? These are all great ways to come up with new coaching topics.” — Merv Rogers, MCC, Chief Coaching Officer, COTBx

“I keep an ongoing list of topics and I've even come to sessions without having a clear topic I want to take action around, but rather ideas/feelings/concepts that I simply want to explore further.  In fact, this is where I've been a lot lately with my own coach, and I find that those sessions are often the most meaningful as they really help connect me to myself and my thinking/feeling/being.” — Joanne Peck, PCC, Coach Facilitator/Mentor Coach, COTBx

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Big Changes Coming to the Credentialing Process

You may have heard the buzz that is happening at the ICF (International Coaching Federation) right now… all these changes but what is in a change? Let us enlighten you as we assure you, the ICF has just made it easier for Coaching Out Of the Box to remain your single place to obtain the coach training, mentoring, and professional assessment you need to comfortably apply for your ICF Associate Certified Coach (ACC) credential.

The ICF is the Gold Standard for professional coaches around the world, since its inception in 1995 the ICF has been a vital element in the industry providing accreditation to coaches. This accreditation begins with the coach training and as providers of coaching education, it has been our role to ensure that our training meets the ICF’s high standards.

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The Future of Coaching: Change Agent

As the coaching community begins to embrace diversity in coaching, it will need to embrace its role as a change agent as well.  “Coaching is not seen as neutral; it either supports the status quo or creates critical awareness necessary to change it”, states Charmaine Roche and Jonathan Passmore in their recent article Racial Justice, Equity and Belonging in Coaching.

In coaching, our opportunity to change the status quo is by identifying and exploring the dimensions of difference within your client.  Whether these are dimensions of diversity or cultural differences, this discussion gives deeper and greater context to the client's lived experiences.  In this way, the client can determine whether those differences may or may not have an impact or meaning in the context of their future life.  This is embracing diversity in coaching.

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It Takes Two to Tango

Lessons In Coaching From 3 Common Mistakes Made When Dancing Tango

The intention of this post is to invite you to consider the synchronous nature of your coaching through the use of a dance metaphor.

The Tango is a dance influenced by African, South American, and European cultures and is characterized as being based on a syncopated rhythm that allows for much improvisation and full expression. To watch a couple, dance the Tango in a synchronous way can be an immersive experience; watching the dancers float across the floor effortlessly, perfectly synchronized, connected, and fully expressing. They share equal power in the movements even though one partner is leading. It can be so moving when the dancers are in sync. When the dancers are out of sync or “off” in their partnering of the dance, the experience for the observer can be choppy, disconnecting, and in some way uninspiring.

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Coaches: Develop a Lens of Diversity

“I feel as though I have been tokenized…”

“There are so many times when I am the only one like me at a meeting…”

“It is exhausting … not being able to bring my whole self to work…”

(actual client statements)

As we enter into 2022, we are amid a social revolution caused by politics, protests, and a pandemic.  The great resignation is driving career contemplation more than ever with more than 4.5 million quits in November 2021 alone, the highest recorded for one month since the US government began tracking the statistic back in 2000.

For these reasons, coaches are needed.  What we say and do, continues to shape who we are and reminds us of the impact we have on others. Coaches, and managers as coaches, need to heighten their awareness of the changing needs of their clients and embrace the growing complexity of the world around us.

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The First Coaching Tip of 2022

Welcome to 2022.

If lockdown, vaccinations, social distancing, and COVID-19 were no longer terms you use in 2022; What would you be talking about?  What would you be thinking about?

2022 and your coach are inviting you to start exploring these two questions. 

At first, resist looking for definitive answers, rather, see the trends or directions of your answers.  Observe the themes of your thoughts and feelings. Is there a repetitive pattern? Are you starting to hear your dreams, hopes, and desires creep back in? Are you being drawn towards more responsibility, new or deeper relationships, balance, or love?

The secret to 2022, a six-year, is to Accept what is and build on it

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Happy “All-The-Days”?

With the holiday season upon us, it is time to give pause and reflect, what’s in a name? Answer: Everything.  

Last week, I watched a commercial for a very large box retailer gladly tout, “Happy All-The-Days!” (pronounce it like Mary Poppins’ friend Bert might, with a terrible Cockney accent).  Today in the grocery store, someone said, “Happy Day of Thanks”. Did they mean Thanksgiving?

My niece is a teacher in a local elementary school where they have removed specific holidays entirely from being discussed and celebrated. They removed Halloween and Thanksgiving in favor of “Fall Festivities”. They also removed Christmas (December 25), Chanukah (begins November 28), Diwali (November 4), and Kwanzaa (begins December 26) in favor of “Winter Holidays”.

Has there been a rash of recent holiday name changes that I am unaware of? 

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Case for Coaching in a World Interrupted by COVID

In a world interrupted by Covid, leaders are faced with even greater and far more pervasive challenges than the “pre-covid” era presented. Now more than ever, leaders need an approach that will help them, their teams, and ultimately their organizations thrive during these turbulent times rather than simply survive them.

Prior to Covid, leaders were already confronted with:

Rapidly evolving and constantly changing technology
A larger global “playing field” resulting in greater competition
24/7 connectivity and heightened expectations related to performance and response times
Multiple “generations” from diverse backgrounds all working together
Shockingly high levels of disengaged employees (the most recent “State of the Global Workplace” report published by Gallup reflects that globally, 80% of employees are actively disengaged at work. Per Gallup this lack of engagement costs the global economy US$8.1 trillion)

These challenges require leaders to interact with their teams in a way that fosters employee engagement, tolerance, agility, innovation, and increased resilience.

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Coaching the Coach About Diversity

In today’s global environment, where technology is making the world smaller and diversity remains one of the most important topics, coaches can no longer remain ignorant of the impact these two tsunamis have on their coach approach and on their clients.  As coaches, we need to lift up our heads, so we can lift up others. 

The current climate is looking for innovative ways of approaching diversity and cultural differences within coaching. Diversity in coaching is about understanding the mindset of your client within their larger context – be it culture, religious belief, gender, race, or economic realities.  As described by the International Coaching Federation, “this includes a paramount emphasis on … the critical distinctions between various levels of coaching agreements, the criticality of a partnership between coach and client, and the importance of cultural, systemic and contextual awareness.”

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Coaching Through the Lens of Diversity

Recently, I was talking with a new coaching client.  It was a usual intake meeting where we were getting to know each other and exploring ways in which coaching may enhance their life. We were about 40 minutes into the conversation when I realized the new client had not used any traditional pronouns while speaking about themselves or others.

A moment of decision; a time when a coach needs to determine the next step or the next question.  What do you do in that moment? Wait for the next session and determine the right approach? Or, remain curious and courageous and ask a difficult and direct question in that moment?

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Embracing Diversity in YOUR Coaching

With 2020 behind us, social protests and politics remain with us as we continue to struggle living through a pandemic. What we say and do, continues to define us and our legacy as coaches and continues to shape the impact we have on others. Therein lies both the challenge and the opportunity.

Coaches must re-address their coach approach through the lens of diversity, equity, inclusion, and belonging (DEIB) in every coaching exchange - adapting and evolving their mindset and presence to their client’s needs. Coaches need to embody the ICF competencies with a laser focus on building DEIB awareness, knowledge, and discipline to be an effective and empathetic coach.

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Diversity in Coaching

I played the oboe for years.  Beginning in primary school and through college, I practiced and practiced, joining the band, the wind ensemble, a church group and even formed a professional trio with a flute and clarinet.  Now you may wonder why I open a piece on Coaching with my musical skills?  Simple.  When I was seeking out a music coach, I searched for someone who understood me – and who understood the oboe – and the distinctive value of the double-reed instrument.  Not someone who played drums, not a tuba teacher, but a skilled musician that believed in the beauty and joy of the unusual oboe and related to the unique needs and challenges of the oboist.

It is the same with any coaching, whether it be leadership coaching, career coaching, or life coaching.  A client brings their unique perspectives – their differences – to every coaching session.  Hence, a coach must see their client, hear their client, and truly understand their client, all while respecting their own perspectives and honoring the coaching process.  This is embracing diversity in coaching.

Why is diversity important in coaching?  To be an effective and present coach, we must seek to understand the client within their context.  A client’s context that may include their identity, environment, experiences, values, culture, and beliefs. 

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Moving Down the Ladder: Using Powerful Questions to Help Clients Improve Decisions - ollyy

The amount and speed with which we receive information has almost become overwhelming. 

Add that with the increased pressure to take action more quickly, and the continued stretch of leading (and living) through a pandemic, leaders find themselves with less and less time to think through a problem. 

Without this space, I am seeing an increased number of the those I work with are making more reactionary, sometimes short sighted decisions.

The Ladder of Inference is a powerful tool to help leaders identify their thinking process in order to challenge the premise of decisions, thereby increasing the probability of a solid decision.  The Ladder of Inference was created by organizational psychologist Chris Argyris in the mid-1970s and became well known when it appeared in Peter Senge’s The Fifth Discipline: The Art and Practice of the Learning Organization.

The Ladder identifies 7 steps, or rungs we climb to make decisions.

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