Category: Blog

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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