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Mental Fitness

How to 100X Your Coaching Impact

Positive Intelligence

Published March 04, 2020
by Positive Intelligence

I want to challenge you to 100X your reach and impact as a coach.

Don’t get me wrong. I love who we already are as coaches. We awaken people to their potential and change their lives. I can’t think of a nobler profession. I have encouraged my own beloved niece (a brilliant mentor) and nephew (a top-ranked medical doctor) to become certified coaches. At the same time, I’ve warned them that the average coach today is having only 1% of the impact she could be having.

Our world is at a critical fork in the road. The increasingly emboldened darker side of us threatens not only democratic institutions but also the health of our mother earth. The stakes have never been higher.

As coaches, we hold a key.  Together we can awaken and unleash the mostly untapped good in the world to affect the outcome.

I want to challenge you to 100X your impact, because that’s what’s possible and that’s what’s needed. And I want to show you how.

As a former engineer, I used to be enthralled by the elegant power of operating systems. We used to rely on a stand-alone calculator to calculate, a typewriter to type, and a calendar to schedule. Now with an operating system, we can use one device capable of running these three applications, plus hundreds of others.  A massive and radical 100 to 1 simplification occurred.

You can 100X your impact as a coach if you use a mental operating system. How?

You can…

  • 10X your impact on any client
  • 10X the number of clients you impact

10 x 10 = 100 times the impact of your coaching business

Hard to believe? I don’t blame you if you’re skeptical. I have some explaining to do!

In search of greater happiness and effectiveness, I used to be an avid consumer of personal development books, coaching, workshops, and seminars. So I did my share of chasing the 7 habits of effective people, the 6 ways to sell better, the 4 pillars of leadership, the 11 secrets of a happy marriage, the 9 principles of good parenting, the 5 steps to greater happiness, and the 3 ways to reduce stress. Each promised permanent life changing transformation. Each resulted in temporary new behavior soon giving way to the old habits.

At some point it dawned on me that the problem was the lack of a common framework, a common operating system. The 6 ways to sell better didn’t apply to having a better marriage or being a better parent. Thus limited in application, each framework got little practice and was soon mostly forgotten.

So I asked myself: What if we could create a universal operating system for personal and professional development?

To devise such an operating system, we set out to conduct a massive factor analysis on the root-level factors that determine our thoughts, emotions, and reactions. (To date, this ongoing research has now included 500,000 people from 50 countries.)

What is factor analysis?  It’s an attempt to discover the fewest root-level factors that together account for a huge number of variations in outcome.

I’ll give you an example. There are thousands of colors in nature. But if you do factor analysis on them, you’ll discover that there are only 3 color factors—Red, Green, and Blue. These 3 factors recombine to result in thousands of outcome variations. What massive simplification! If you’re an artist, instead of buying 300 paint colors, you can stick to a palette of 3 and still create a masterpiece.

Like the colors, there are a thousand ways we sabotage our own happiness, cause our own stress, derail our own performance, and fall short of our true potential. But what’s at the root of it all? When we did factor analysis on the negative root-level dynamics of the mind, we had a breakthrough discovery.

Our analysis concluded that there were only 10 factors responsible for self-sabotage.

These 10 factors, which we’ve named The 10 Saboteurs, are:

  • Avoider
  • Controller
  • Hyper-Achiever
  • Hyper-Rational
  • Hyper-Vigilant
  • Judge
  • Pleaser
  • Restless
  • Stickler
  • Victim

We are all afflicted with a few Saboteurs. ALL our stress, upset, and other negative emotions are manufactured by our own Saboteurs.

No positive change effort is sustainable unless it exposes and weakens our root-level Saboteurs. 

On the positive end, while there are tens of emotional intelligence characteristics and leadership competencies associated with success and happiness, our research revealed that there are only 5 root level positive factors. Only 5!

We called these the 5 Sage Powers:

  • Empathize
  • Explore
  • Innovate
  • Navigate
  • Activate

These findings result in a dramatic simplification of personal and professional development. Using this operating system enables a 100 X improvement in your impact as a coach by having 10 times the impact on any individual client, and impacting 10 times the number of clients.

To illustrate this “100X approach,”, I’ll use the example of Mary the coach working with Bob, the client.

Attracting a New Client

Mary met Bob at a party. Bob discussed his job in sales and how tough it was to compete. Mary was able to quickly apply the operating system to this particular application. She described her coaching work as helping her clients boost their inner Jedi (Sage) and weaken their inner Darth Vaders (Saboteurs), an analogy that generated instant intrigue.

She asked Bob what happened to the negative Saboteur voices in his head after the many inevitable failures and rejections in sales, and how long it took him to recover his positivity and confidence. She discussed the neuroscience foundation of how Saboteurs and Sage lived in entirely different regions of the brain and how he could learn to shift his brain activation in order to recover to the positive state. She intrigued him further by how he could learn to identify and quiet the Saboteurs in his prospects, leading to higher likelihood of a deal.

All the while, Mary was able to completely and genuinely focus on serving Bob’s needs, as she had learned to quiet her own Saboteurs who used to torment her about desperately needing new clients.

More Impactful First Session

Mary asked Bob to take the 5-minute online Saboteur Assessment, so they could hit the ground running. Within the first session, they agreed to Bob’s two biggest Saboteurs: His Judge constantly beating him up for his shortcoming, deflating him. And his Stickler wasting a lot of time under stress, perfecting things where good-enough would have sufficed. A clear plan of action began to emerge.

More Impactful Next Sessions

In each subsequent coaching session, Bob presented different issues. They initially focused on work: managing conflict with a colleague, reducing stress, and handling a controlling boss. Over time, personal issues also emerged: challenges in his marriage and frequent fights with his teenage son.

Rather than treating each issue using a different framework, Mary used the same exact operating system to handle each issue: 

  1. Which Saboteur is interfering with you here?  
  2. How could you convert this problem into a gift and opportunity? 
  3. Which of your Sage’s 5 powers would be most helpful to help with this?  

She also practiced with him the simple 10-second techniques of shifting brain activation that would give him deeper access to those powers.

Since they kept practicing the same exact framework, those insights and muscles grew and became permanent habits.  They also became internalized. Bob could now coach himself out of difficulties, because the operating system and the mental muscles to use were clear.

Far from wanting to stop coaching as a result, he was more deeply committed to coaching, because it had profoundly impacted every area of his life. They agreed that he was now brown-belt Jedi (Sage) motivated to keep working with his coach towards black belt mastery.

Expanded Client Base

Since Bob had experienced the many applications of the operating system, he knew that it would have a similarly powerful impact on his entire team, and even on his daughter and wife. They had all seen the big changes in him and were open to trying the same.

Bob had shared his Saboteur Assessment information with them, and inspired them to do their own. Intrigued, they now wanted to work with Mary to get similar results.

Once Bob’s team members learned the same operating system, Bob was suddenly an even more impactful leader. The shared framework improved accountability within the team, because they could identify each other’s Saboteurs, intercept them, and shift to Sage. They were experiencing the power of positivity contagion. Trust, cohesion, and performance were at an all time high.

The operating system, now being shared, caused many naturally-occurring reminders through daily interaction to shift from Saboteur to Sage. Mary’s impact had quickly moved beyond Bob and spread into larger and larger concentric circles, benefiting from the “network effect” that’s possible through a shared operating system.

The Virtuous Cycle

Since the operating system worked equally well on Mary, every coaching session where Mary helped someone shift from Saboteurs to Sage resulted in Mary’s own Sage getting stronger. Her increasingly powerful Sage overcame her own many Saboteur voices related to her own imposter syndrome, worth and value. She was able to reach out to people of higher stature and influence, armed with a solid research-based framework that appealed to even the most pragmatic and skeptical types. More confident of her worth, she tripled her coaching rate per client over time.

Mary had 10Xed her impact on Bob by generating great value immediately, and helping him spread the impact into both his team and family, so that he was both supported and challenged to keep growing.

Her more influential clients attracted more of the same. Mary was well on her way to 10Xing the number of clients she impacted, as each client felt compelled to share the simple operating system within their own personal and professional circles.

Coach + Trainer

What we’re suggesting here is for you to augment your coaching modality with a trainer/educator modality. In trainer mode, you educate the client on the power of using a foundational operating system.

In my two decades of doing this work, I’ve found the coach and trainer modes to be extremely complementary. The key is to remember which mode I’m in.

When in training mode, I come from the solid foundation of research-based knowledge and my job is to impart knowledge which the client doesn’t have.

When in coach mode, my job is to draw out of the client their deep internal wisdom and their own answers to their own problems.

The operating system accelerates the coach and client’s ability to diagnose the problem and devise the solutions. And by repeated use of the same key components in a variety of applications, it enables steady growth of habit-forming mental muscles.

I invite you to consider how much bigger your impact could be if you were to augment your coaching with the use of this operating system. First, by growing yourself as a human being and coach. Then, by growing your reach and impact on others.

There is a reason you became a coach. Let’s make it count, at a time when our world is counting on you.

(Next Read My Multi-Million Dollar Grant to Coaches)