Monday, March 26, 2012

Want Positive Results? Pick an Experienced Coach!

By Dwight Bain

Want a better life? Get a better coach because if you pick the wrong one you will not experience the results you want. In fact if you have a bad coach you may have to fire them. Don’t worry - A non-performing coach knows you will fire them since coaching is about results for the client, nothing more, nothing less.

So how can you find a better coach? Here are the action steps to help you, and those you care about , find a coach who can challenge you to climb higher, dream bigger and accomplish more than you could have ever done alone.

Start with the basics in your own life…

1. Are you “coachable,” that is, do you seek out coaching and respond to critique?

2. Is your life emotionally stable?

3. Are you ready for a coach?

4. Do you have the time to take on new projects?

5. Are you eager to move past the roadblocks toward experiencing your potential?

If you answered ‘Yes” to at least 4 of these 5 questions then move forward to the next section in seeking out a great coach. However, if you answered “No” to more than half of these questions coaching may not be right for you at this time. Once an experienced coach discovers you aren’t really ready to change they will likely fire you for wasting their time.

So who is an ideal coach for you? Look for someone who:

· Shares your values

· Who has extensive experience

· Who is a good fit in personality

· Can relate to your life journey

· That you can feel connected to

· Who offers one-on-one coaching specific to your needs

· Who is taking new clients

· Has a level of success in their niche of the coaching industry

· Who offers a free consult, (it is wise to avoid people who are more motivated about getting your money than listening to you to see if they are a good fit)

You have to ask the right questions to find an Experienced Coach

Choosing an experienced coach is essential if you want to experience positive results to rapidly reach your goals. Here is an extensive checklist of key issues to ask before you select a coach. Asking the right question can save you a TON of problems, a lot of money and more importantly protect your time in reaching your goals.

___ Is the potential coach's belief system and moral values similar to yours?

___ Research the coach's education, credentials, knowledge and experience in dealing with your specific type of coaching challenge

___Ask how many years the coach been in professional practice, and how long in this region of the country? (This usually shows they are highly skilled and well connected in your region in case you need local referrals for other services).

___Ask about the coach's professional reputation in the community; Are they viewed as a leader within their industry, or a novice just beginning their career? (Remember, experience counts when you are trying to rapidly solve problems)

___Does the coach possess additional training, certifications, and credentials that match your specific challenge?

___Is the coach quoted by the media or recognized as a published author on the issues you are facing? This is important because it shows that the coach is a trusted resource by the professional community.

___ Can you find them on the Internet via Google or other search engines as an established author or professional known for their areas of expertise who is highly trusted and recommended by other leaders?

___Was the coach referred by a physician, lawyer, clergy member or other member of the professional community that you trust?

___Was the coach referred by a prior coaching client? This adds significant credibility to the coach's work because you can ask your friends or family what their experiences were like. Did they like their coach and was their time useful to achieve results?

___Does the coach believe in a team approach to find other professional to address challenges they are not skilled in, and are they open to referring you on to the best professional in case they can't best meet your needs?

Critique, not Criticism

Remember, a coach's role is to challenge you. It won’t be “warm & fuzzy” and no one will be singing “Kum-ba-Ya” at the end of the call. Coaching is about results. If your coach's values are too different, the questions and techniques they offer may not make a lot of sense to you and you won’t achieve your goals. Ruthlessly press past the fear of hurting feelings to make sure you have the right professional by your side. Effective Coaching is an adversarial process, even for Christian Coaches so you shouldn't start looking for a new coach just because your current coach pushes and actively challenges you. Getting in your face about issues is their job. As long as they are offering valid critique you likely have the right coach.

However, CRITIQUE is different that CRITICISM. One is about challenging you, the other is about attacking you.

Finally, consider these factors after the first meeting with your coach to insure that they are a good fit to achieve the greatest results.

___Did the coach listen to you, and most importantly respect you?

___Did you feel valued as a person?

___Did you feel confident the coach had the skills and experience to move forward?

___Did you feel comfortable honestly describing your roadblocks to your coach, or were you embarrassed to spell it out?

___Is the coach easy to get in touch with if you have a question, either via telephone, web or email?

___Does the coach appear to be organized, or do they have administrative support staff to assist with tasks to keep their office running efficiently and smoothly?

___Does the coach run on schedule to respect your time?

___Does the coach's approach and style feel like a good fit?

___Do you feel that the coach is genuinely interested in you and seeing you accomplish your goals?

___Does the coach offer additional guidance through printed resources, articles, assessments, tests, books or direction toward web links to give you greater insight?

___Does the coach remember important details from meeting to meeting?

___Does the coach inspire you to accept life challenges and push you toward creating positive change?

If you can honestly say that your coach is a good fit after mapping out these factors, then buckle up, because you are about to launch on a rocket-ride toward the life you were designed to live. Finding and living out God’s potential is one of the most important goals of life. Finding and listening to the right Coach will get you there.

Author Bio
Dwight Bain has dedicated his life to guide people toward greater results as an Author, Nationally Certified Counselor and Certified Life Coach in practice since 1984. He has spoken to over 3,000 groups on the topic of making strategic change to overcome major stress. He is passionate about positive growth and is quoted in over 20 personal development books. Corporate client list- Disney, Toyota, AT&T, Harcourt, SunTrust, DuPont & Bank of America. Organizational client list- US Army, Florida Hospital, American Heart Association, International Critical Incident Stress Foundation and the American Association of Christian Counselors. Bain is a Trusted Media Resource on managing major change and has been interviewed on hundreds of radio and television stations; as well as quoted in over 100 newspapers/websites including: Investors Business Daily, New York Times, Chicago Tribune, Sacramento Bee, Atlanta Journal, Orlando Sentinel,, Miami Herald, Newsday, and

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Monday, March 12, 2012

Parenting the Tough Stuff

By: Christine Hammond, MS, IMH

If the small stuff like bad test grades, periodic fights with siblings, friendships that come and go, or occasional defiance with food does not faze you as a parent, the tough stuff will. Sometimes it is a gradual progression, sometimes it comes in waves, and sometimes it hits you all at once. Whatever the method, the tough stuff of parenting can catch you off guard and leave you questioning yourself, your family and your child.

Perhaps you are dealing with a child who has uncontrollable anger with outbursts so intense that they say hateful things, are uncharacteristically mean, threaten to harm themselves or others, or physically take their anger out on others. Perhaps you are dealing with a child who stays out all night, comes home acting differently, has questionable friends, lies frequently or displays other signs of potential substance abuse. Perhaps you are dealing with a child who has withdrawn from most social engagements, has no desire to be with any friends, whose grades are slipping, spend most of their time sleeping or has no interest in things they enjoyed before. Or perhaps you are dealing with a child who threatens to commit suicide, has marks on their arms and legs indicating cutting, has lost extreme amounts of weight, or seems to do things to gain excessive amounts of attention. Whichever situation you are dealing with, this is the tough stuff. So what do you do?

Don’t deny. A common philosophy is to blame yourself for your child’s behavior. This is encouraged in psychology with Freudian beliefs, in society where to admit your child has a problem means that there is something wrong with you, and in our own internal thoughts when we rather blame ourselves than to be honest with the situation. While your child’s behavior is at some point their responsibility and choice and not yours, there is something to be said for a little self reflection. What is your child’s behavior telling you? Are they acting angry because you are suppressing anger? Are they demanding attention because they don’t feel loved? Are they withdrawing because they have been hurt by someone they trusted? Be honest with the situation and listen to the clues from your child’s behavior.

Deal with yourself first. Remember the instructions on an airplane, put your own mask first and then help your child. If your teenage child’s two year old temper tantrum is because they feel overwhelmed with all of the expectations placed on them, then look at the expectations that you have placed unnecessarily on them. More importantly, look at why those expectations have been placed. Are you placing expectations on your child that were placed on you? How do you feel about that? Or are you placing expectations that are inconsistent with your child’s talents and abilities just because others do the same to you? Again, be honest with yourself and see your child’s behavior as a reflection of the things you need to address that perhaps you have not addressed.

Do get help. More often than not, parents bring in their child to therapy to deal with their behavior but do not go to therapy to deal with their own behavior. It is so much easier to point the finger at your child and drag them into therapy instead of the dealing with your own issues. Therapy is most effective when the entire family admits that there is a problem and each person deals with their own issues separately and together. Your child will do far better in therapy when they see you doing better because of therapy. Be the example that your child needs and get help for your issues.

Many parents will admit that they need help parenting but few will actually take the first step of getting help. Even fewer will go into therapy for themselves before they send their child however; this is the best method for healing.


Reprint Permission- If this article helps you, please share it with your own list at work or church, forward it to friends and family or post it on your own site or blog. Just leave it intact and do not alter it in any way. Any links must remain in the article. Please include the following paragraph in your reprint.

"Reprinted with permission from the LifeWorks Group weekly eNews, (Copyright, 2004-2011), To subscribe to this valuable counseling and coaching resource visit or call 407-647-7005"

About the author- Chris Hammond is a Registered Mental Health Counselor Intern at LifeWorks Group w/ over 15 years of experience as a counselor, mentor & teacher for children, teenagers & adults.

Monday, March 05, 2012

Growing In Relationships

By: Jennifer Graham, M.S., IMH

The beginning of a relationship is very exciting, so many new things to discover, sweet things that are spoken; it’s really that honeymoon phase like other "well seasoned" folks say it is. Then, that time passes and you get to know the other person more, you still like them, are even crazy about them but some of those "highs" are not as they once were in the beginning of new things.

Consider other areas in life where you have had a similar reaction. Perhaps it’s something simpler like getting a new pair of pants that you love and are excited about. You consider what function you will wear these amazing pants to? Or maybe it is a new piece of technology, new car or new home. So exciting, so cutting edge, so new! Or it might even be a new church, new city and new people you are connecting with - and the experiences bring refreshment and perspective to life and this too is exciting. Regardless of the means of the experience, the "high" is usually evident on some level and it is good for it to be there and its part of the process. Enjoy it for what it is when it is in season!

The reality, however, is that we don't live in the “high,” and that’s how it ebbs and flows in life and it is not an altogether "bad" thing. Still, sometimes when those aspects fade, we attribute it to waning emotions for another. That occurs when we make the foundation of any relationship what we feel about another person. Are emotions a part of relationship? Most certainly, and are a wonderful dynamic to experience! However, there needs to be a constant and consistent thread that relationships are built upon.

Consider further that when the absence of the “high” comes into effect, it can grow us by not catering to our personal selfishness in placing a burden on another person to meet all your personal, emotional, mental, and physical needs. No other person will be ever able to completely satisfy us in such a manner! At this point we are reminded that we were created by God for His pleasure and that we ourselves are fully satisfied in God alone. The bottom line is that you are fully and completely loved by the Creator of the universe because of what Christ has accomplished on your behalf on the cross. We lack for no good thing.

Then we begin to see that God has provided this relationship for a purpose and it goes beyond just enjoying what relationship gives a person. The gift of relationship becomes an avenue of serving and caring for another person, the focus is not on us. We begin to ask ourselves, “What does Christ want to do in this other person’s life and what part do I play in that?” versus “What can I do to please myself? What is in this relationship for me?” And when two people are in an honest and selfless relationship with one another, not only looking to their own interests but the interests of the other, they are humbled and encouraged all at the same time. Relationships really are not rocket science; they are about serving another person in love.

As you grow and mature in relationship you come to realize that the “high” takes different forms throughout the many different seasons that relationships offer. Making decisions together, appreciating the differences and working together in the midst of differences, learning the interests of the other person and participating in them, asking good questions that allow you to always be learning something new about another person. But even beyond the experiences you come to realize that there is a person behind the fresh experiences and fun aspects that new relationships bring, because a relationship in a connection between two people and not the highs and experiences themselves, it’s another opportunity to serve and love another person to the glory of God. Christ wants to ignite within you the passionate desire to share His sacrificial love with a special person.