What is a mindset coach?
Mindset coaches are dedicated to rewiring an individual's mindset, allowing them to be the very best version of themselves and to unlock their full potential. These coaches typically avoid directly giving advice or solving problems. Instead, they focus on asking questions to help the client identify and solve problems on their own.
Who can use a coach?
Mindset coaches can help a wide variety of people, from corporate clients to individuals who just want to take control of their own destinies.
Consider the following examples:
Crisis Chris — a senior sales VP of a bank who is going through a midlife crisis and isn't sure what he wants out of life. He is adrift and losing motivation.
Plateau Paula — has plateaued career-wise and wants an extra coaching boost to get a promotion or take the business to the next level.
Gary Grower — owns a small business that has grown tremendously. He has garnered much success, and is perpetually working on self-improvement.
Decreasing Dayna — was once very successful at selling but has since declined. She isn't sure why her sales decreased but she does know he isn't happy they are lower!
Step number one in the mindset coaching process: you must have a desire to change. Everyone wants to be better but not everyone wants to do what it takes to be better.
Such is the reality for some people. They may believe they’re ready for change, but they’re not willing to go all-in. But if you’ve made it to this page, then you’re at least headed in the right direction. Looking into mindset coaching means that you acknowledge the gaps in your life and you’re looking for something to fill them.
How a coach can help
A mindset coach has a wide variety of tasks, and what they can help with is tailored to the individual. But in general, a mindset coach can help you do the following:
Self-improvement is impossible without self-awareness. However, criticizing yourself can be hard to do without giving into bias. In these cases, an outside perspective is necessary.
The individual’s instinct here is to turn to friends and family, as they are who tend to know the individual best. Here’s the problem, though: sometimes, friends and family tell people what they want to hear rather than what they need to hear. Friends and family give the feedback you want so they don’t jeopardize the relationship.
Turning to the people you know is also not helpful because you likely surround yourself with people who think and act like you do. This means they approach problems, share biases, and deal with life the same way you do. Sharing these things means they are unable to give insights on who you are from a different perspective than your own. What they often give you is an affirmation on what you already know about yourself.
Another problem with feedback from peers or loved ones is that it tends to make people tense or defensive, which is less than ideal when trying to promote self-awareness. Getting well-reasoned, calculated, and sound advice from an official figure, though? Well, that’s a much easier pill to swallow. Think about it: would you take golf tips from a friend who is equally as good as you? What about a golf coach?
In the professional world, the mindset coach is your expert opinion. They may not improve your golf swing, but they will improve your life.
The coach is not a yes man. Instead, the coach provides genuine, unbiased feedback without tearing the client down. They teach clients to notice and address their weaknesses, while also pointing out their clients’ strengths so that they may continue to develop in a positive way.
Coaches help their clients take responsibility for outcomes. Leading clients to be more self-aware helps them to determine their own success.
How can self-awareness positively impact others?
Some may think that self-awareness only improves the self. It’s in the term, after all:
self-awareness. But people don’t exist in vacuums; they are constantly interacting with each other, pushing and tugging each other in different directions with even the simplest conversation. Just like that, self-awareness can become social awareness.
When an employee is on the path to self-improvement, they become role models for their co-workers. People are naturally drawn to self-motivated individuals, often picking up rays of motivation beaming from those individuals. If you can increase your drive and motivation, you can start to influence those around you. By increasing your motivation, you have the capacity to create a culture of perpetual self-improvement, which will help everyone around you.
Thus begins a ripple effect. Suddenly, the workplace becomes a place that fosters individual growth as well as positive relationships between colleagues. This, in turn, promotes productivity, which creates more revenue for that particular business.
With the right kind of guidance, you can take the necessary steps toward your desired future.
While coaches can and do actually hold you accountable, their real value is teaching clients how to hold themselves accountable. We do this by building discipline in following through on actions.
That being said, there are actually coaches that specialize in accountability, called accountability coaches. What sets a mindset coach apart from that is their ability to move beyond simply holding you accountable. Accountability has to do with outside motivation. It requires someone else to reach out to you. However, to really change a behavior, you have to do some internal work. This is brings us to the mindset coach’s main task, which is to...
Mindset coaches take an inside-out approach to motivation. We help you change, or rewire, the way you’re thinking so you can get authentic and sustainable results. Instead of you doing an activity because you know you’re going to talk to your coach about it during a coaching session, the coachee learns the hows and whys of their mind.
When you’ve been in the same career for a even a few years it gets to be increasingly difficult to get better. This happens to good, hard working, people because they get stuck in their routines.
Coaches are trained to help clients rediscover an inner drive to move forward. We teach clients to recognize and even redefine their intrinsic values. Once clients have unlocked that knowledge, they can begin to not merely survive in a career, but thrive.
Ultimately, coaching helps you become the person you want to become. This means that you don’t need a coach asking you if you did a certain activity. Coaches don’t just help you achieve results — we help you become someone who always gets results.
Set Realistic Goals
Goal-setting is something most professionals know how to do. Without goals, we would all just wander aimlessly through life without ever accomplishing anything. Goals help provide focus. Nevertheless, setting goals can prove to be just as challenging as trying to achieve those goals. It’s hard to determine exactly what you’re capable of accomplishing. Oftentimes, you are too close to the situation to determine whether your goals are achievable.
With a mindset coach, though, the journey becomes much more manageable. Coaches are well aware of their client’s capabilities. They know which goals could present a challenge, and they also know when to rein their client in a bit.
With this kind of guidance, you’ll know exactly how to spend your work day. All of a sudden, you can focus on what matters and cut out the rest. In other words, that list of clear and realistic goals will enhance your productivity.
Engage in Self-Reflection
Besides helping you set the goals, your coach will help you reflect on those goals. Specifically, your coach will help you track and make sense of your progress. You will learn how to reflect on possible failures and successes. Your coach will help you see what went wrong and what went right.
This is an important part of the process toward change. As Mindset author Carol Dweck says, “Becoming is better than being.” Success is undeniably great, but it means nothing if you don’t learn from the process. That’s why we call it mountain climbing and not mountain sitting-at-the-peak. You can’t get to the top without putting in the work.
Even once you’ve achieved your goals, your coach can still help! After all, you have to find your next mountain, don’t you? Based on what you’ve accomplished to that point, your coach can help you draft new goals, so that you’re constantly looking ahead and up.
The science behind how a coach helps
Humans have an innate, internal desire to get better. Whether you’re getting better at sculpting or getting better at making more sales calls per day, we all have it. This desire to get better is ingrained in our DNA. This desire to get better is one of the things that makes us human.
Getting better is something that we strive to do but find strangely difficult. Getting better at something requires change. Our brains hate to change. Your brain looks at who you are and says, “I am not so bad the way I am.” It thinks this because it is alive today. The fact that you’re alive and are decently fed is more than enough evidence to tell your brain that what you’re doing works. The current version of yourself has kept you alive so far. So why change anything?
The Lizard Brain
We know we can get better and learn to thrive, but our brain is focused on keeping us alive by doing the same things it already knows works. This is what scientists call Lizard Brain. We all have Lizard Brain. The Lizard Brain is really good at helping humans survive and adapt to situations when necessary. On the other hand, it drastically hurts humans’ ability to change out of desire. Lizard Brain keeps us stagnant, and it takes some real mindful efforts to overcome this stagnancy. Herein lies a major reason why you find yourself on Facebook at work when you know if you just picked up the phone and made your calls life would be better.
On your own, you may not know how to send Lizard Brain to the backseat and let your higher brain power take over. That’s where the coach comes in! Through proper coaching, you can get to know your brain a little better and create better habits that will trump those basic instincts and push you toward a brighter, more productive future.
Types of coaching sessions
As mentioned earlier, mindset coaches provide you with unbiased feedback to help you improve. Every once in a while, we need to get a big old slap in the face. A wake-up, cold-water-shower kind of pattern-breaking. The people you know and love may not have what it takes to give you a wake up call. They may not know how to give you one. They may not even recognize that you need one.
On the other hand, a mindset coach is trained specifically to give you that wake up call. Coaches help people break their patterns in order to get to where it is that they want to go. This pattern-breaking can be done in workshops, one-on-one work, or a combination of both. Each experience has its own benefits. Each one has drawbacks. Below is a description of what each scenario could look like for you.
Workshops help individuals by showing the coachee that others are going through the same or very similar issues. We are often tempted to keep our struggles to ourselves, because we believe we are the only ones feeling the way we do. However, by sharing our stories, we often find solidarity. We find a community of people who have the same struggles, which actually helps lighten the load.
Group settings also promote collaboration. Even the most solitary job positions require some sort of communication at some point. It could be just with a client, or it might be with another employee. Whatever form it comes in, collaboration is inescapable in the workplace. It only makes sense, then, to bring that environment to coaching.
In business, people have meetings to improve the business but not specifically to improve the people. This is why workshop collaboration can be so useful. It’s a great way to arrive at a solution. Individuals working to improve themselves might be able to accomplish something. But when you put a bunch of people who are looking to improve in a room together, things can really get moving.
Just like coaching itself, workshops provide you with an objective lens through which you can see yourself. You can bounce ideas around with others and hopefully get some tips on how to pull yourself out of your rut. Through shared experiences, workshop attendees can help each other grow.
One-on-one coaching is also incredibly useful when it comes to effecting change in your life. When you choose a one-on-one approach, you get a coaching strategy tailored to your needs and desires. Instead of fulfilling a common goal, you can choose for yourself what to work toward. Your coach then builds a program that will help you get you to where you want to be.
One-on-one coaching is typically done over the phone. These phone calls will happen regularly, as opposed to workshops, which are usually a single occurrence. Your one-on-one coaching sessions will keep you on task as you work toward your set goals. Coaching in this format is best for people who want focused, individualized assistance. If you’re interested in the exact process, check out this article we wrote on one-on-one business coaching.