Discover The Path To Your Potential

Are you hesitating to map out your future? 

If you just let it unfold, would you consider the possibility that you’ve mapped it out anyway? 

    Choose to map your future with a coach, and you engage a co-traveler for your journey. When you journey with a coach, you amplify your abilities to efficiently reach your desired goals, and create successful outcomes.

Are you ready to create a map of your future?

What is your destination?

    Even if you aren’t certain of your destination, you do know the territory intimately. That territory is your inner knowing. You discover and reveal your latent goals by responding to the questions your coach designs just for your needs. As you answer their questions, you turn your concern, project, or situation upside-down to expose its end-point. Revealing your desired end-point, you clarify your goals and create your ideal destination.

Now that you’re clear where you want to go,

Why do you want to get there?

    Knowing, your purpose, in a clear, meaningful way, reinforces your commitment, regardless of the challenges along the way. As you journey with your coach, you clearly articulate the intention behind your undertaking, and cultivate your inner compass.

What will it be like when you get there?

    As you discuss your goal, and reveal your sense of purpose, you recognize how your destination will effect all aspects of your life and/or work. What will develop as you create what you want? What will you have when you get there? How will your work or life be different, in just the way you want it to be? Creating these clear expectations of what your experience will be like while you are achieving your goal, and once you get there buoys your endurance. 

How will you get there?

    The journey to your outcome may be a smooth and even road, or it might require cutting a new path, blistering work, and creating strategies for reassessing and navigating obstacles. Now that you have sense of purpose for taking on your journey, you have staying power regardless of the challenge. As you answer your coach’s questions, you create your tool-kit for achieving your goals. While creatively planning your future in a non-judgmental environment, you chart the most efficient and effective path for your journey. When you round corners that require a difficult approach or are out of sight-lines, you have the grit and tool-kit to reassess and revise your plan with your own creative approach.

How might your coach support your journey toward your goals?

    As a collaborator on the journey, your coach spots you as you navigate obstacles, challenges you to return to your journey if you get distracted or discouraged, and provides tech support if you need to reset your compass. You lead the way, setting the pace. Your coach trusts that your intuition, abilities, and creativity will reveal to you your own solutions. If you get mired in a muddy path, your coach will flash a signal mirror to reflect your criteria and thinking process, and/or provide some fuel to jump-start your creativity about next steps. If appropriate, your coach might ask you whether it is time to send up flares for additional resources (in the form of information gathering from other sources) and/or offer general options you could modify to create your own best solutions.


    Your coach supports you to find joy in the beauty of the journey, not just the destination. Mis-steps are opportunities for shared humor and reconsideration of next-steps. This shared vulnerability provides for deep attunement, shared development, and collaborative creation of the path to your desired destination.

    When you reach your destination, you know that the journey, success, and end-product are your own and that your coach was there only as a partnering guide.

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Coaching for Coaching Certification

Q: How will I know I’m ready for a mentor session or to submit a recording for my EPC (Erickson Professional Coach) or ECPC (Erickson Certified Professional Coach)? 
A: Well, first you have to start recording coaching sessions!

Have you recorded your coaching sessions yet? Not sure how to get started recording or worried about the results? Feeling Stuck? Here are some answers and questions to help you get started. (Consider answering the questions in italics as you read the article to get you on the path to your EPC or ECPC)

Which Coaching Sessions Should I Record?
The more sessions you record, the more comfortable you get with the process of recording, as do your fellow learners and clients. Start with your Erickson colleagues, particularly the colleagues that you are most comfortable coaching. After you practice with your colleagues, move on to the more challenging types of sessions, and then on to your clients.

What About Technology Concerns?
It’s not just about getting comfortable knowing that you are being recorded, but it’s also about getting comfortable with the technology.

  1. Remember to start and stop the recordings. What might be one way you can support yourself to remember?
  1. You will need to regularly download your recordings from Webex because each free account offers only 256 MB of allocated storage space. It’s important to rename them, sort and store them for listening and learning, as well as for choosing sessions to share later with a mentor. How can you best support yourself organizationally to remember to download files and name/file them so you can find them later?
  1. There are lots of connection and recording applications. If you are having trouble converting .arf files from Webex to MP3/MP4, or just having trouble with Webex, try using Skype,, your phone or FaceTime and record using a QuickTime application or another recorder on your phone. There are many options available, find what works best for you. Who might you ask to support you with the technology?

What About Coach To Client Confidentiality?

    1. Respectfully and kindly, ask your clients before sessions if they are willing to allow you to record sessions. Explain that the recordings will be completely confidential. Offer to password protect them when sending them to your mentors. Which of your clients might respond best to your request? How could you word your request to encourage more clients to support your learning process?


  1. Write out a statement that you will use to request permission for recording at the beginning of each recorded session, eg.:

    “Hello, this is Milton Erickson, with Jane on September 15th, 2016 at 830 am PST. Jane, do I have your permission to record this session? And Jane, as we’ve discussed, this recording will be kept confidential, but may I ask your permission to share this recording with my mentors at Erickson Coaching International who will delete it as soon as they’ve listened to it?”


Minding The Arrow.

Laminate a copy of the Arrow, the Logical Levels Graphic and the As-If Shift Graphic, and any other graphics you find useful. Put them in a prominent location on your desk. Which graphics would be most helpful for you? How will these and other graphics support you to be the coach that you most want to be? What else might you do to easily mind your learnings while immersed in a coaching session?


Schedule a Mentor Session or work with a colleague to support your EPC application.

      1. If you have recordings, schedule a mentor session. Follow the directions in your Module V Student Manual.
      1. If you are going for your EPC, are there colleagues you could work with to hone your skills for your submissions?
      1. If you don’t have recordings, schedule a session a few weeks in the future and start recording!
      1. Consider: Why is scheduling a mentor session important to you? Who might you become as you progress through your mentor sessions? What might be holding you back from scheduling a session? How could you navigate that obstacle and feel ready to schedule a session?


Prepare for Your Mentor Sessions and review submissions for your EPC.

    1. Ask yourself: What do I want to get out of this mentor session?
    2. Are you working on honing a particular technique? For example, your tone of voice, keeping sessions to 30 minutes and/or remembering to effectively use a particular part of the arrow? If so, choose one intention for a few coaching sessions. Make that skill your “focus point” for 3-5 coaching sessions. What else might you do to support practicing that focus point? What focus points are most important to you today? When will you update that list?
    1. Perhaps you are hoping for some more confidence in your skills? Then choose a recording that you feel is particularly good, maybe even run it by a coaching colleague you trust. Focus on working with colleagues or clients which whom you feel a connection. What else might you do to gain confidence?
    1. Perhaps you want feedback on the intention you chose to work on for a few of your coaching sessions? Choose a session for which you feel your mentor might have the most feedback to offer you, whether it’s as What Worked Well (WWW) or Even Better If (EBI). Let your mentor know what your “focus-point” was for those coaching sessions.
    1. Perhaps you had a really challenging session with a coaching client? Choose that session to share with a mentor. Let them know that this was a challenging session for you and ask them for feedback that you can use effectively in the future.
    1. Re-listen to your recordings before choosing one to share with your mentor. Write down your thoughts, questions, and WWWs or EBIs. Consider sharing the session with a colleague you trust first as a way to build your confidence in sharing the session with a mentor-expert. What else would support you in preparing for mentor sessions or submissions for the EPC? 

Are you ready to start recording? Are you ready for a mentor session? Still stuck? What about self-coaching or having a coaching colleague take you through the Logical Levels, a Mentor’s Table, Values Based Self-Image or other exercise to get you there?
Good luck and happy coaching!

Cultivating Action and Accountability

“Motivating people does not work. . .  What does work? The essence of the answer lies at the heart of the science of motivation and the revelation of three psychological needs— autonomy, relatedness, and competence.” —Fowler, Susan (2014-09-30). Why Motivating People Doesn't Work . . . and What Does: The New Science of Leading, Energizing, and Engaging (p. 33). Berrett-Koehler Publishers.

As an Erickson trained, solution focused coach, I use inquiry to encourage my clients to design their own actions, plans and accountability in collaboration with me as a trusted partner. This type of collaboration satisfies Autonomy, Relatedness, and Competence (ARC), the three tenants of what works for people who are looking for motivated engagement in their work and life. 

Autonomy = I'm confident that my clients have all the resources necessary to create their solutions. I provide a open-minded space for them to access their inner resources.

Relatedness = My clients and I develop a trusted relationship through authentic, courageous, and compassionate collaboration.

Competence = I am certain my clients don't need to be fixed: rather, they are OK! I know they can an will make the best choices for themselves from a positive intention, especially during guided reflection about their goals.

Designing Actions with ARC in mind

Through individualized inquiry, my clients develop creative, client-designed action steps thats link to all the parts of their life: environment, behaviors, skills, values, identity and vision. As my clients recognize all of these linkages, they attain sustainable momentum towards their goals.

Planning and Goal Setting with ARC in mind

Through individualized inquiry, my clients create their clear expectations for achievable goals and timelines. These goals and timelines are linked through the all aspects of their lives: environment, behaviors, capabilities, values, identity and vision. With these linkages my clients  broaden their vision from central focus to to the peripheral boundaries of their knowing; thus, solidifying their resolve and perseverance as they attain their goals.

Managing Accountability with ARC in mind

Through individualized inquiry, my clients become engaged leaders of their own lives. They become their own authority determining the who, how and when for seeking accountability. They assume responsibility for creating the support structures they need to meet their goals. When these choices for managing their accountability are their own, they act with virtuosity and endurance towards their own greatness. Their motto becomes: “Don’t worry, I got this”.

Solution Focused Coaching . . .

What are your internal motivators? How do you create your own ARC?

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Acorn Flowers: Imagine the Possibilities

The greatest achievement was at first and for a time a dream. The oak sleeps in the acorn, the bird waits in the egg . . . Dreams are the seedlings of realities.
— James Allen

Cultivate your dreams with care: 

Imagine the possibilities. Connect them to your values.

Develop your options. Plans A, B and C.

Recognize the greater benefits. Hone in on what’s most important.

Take action:

Become your oak tree, Emerge from your egg,  Create your dream!

The future belongs to those who see possibilities before they become obvious.
— John Sculley

Awareness: The Challenge for Change.

Why Awareness?

Awareness is the first step to change. 

For me and my coaching clients, awareness and an opportunity to reflect on what we've noticed creates an opportunity to bring change and a willingness to challenge the edge of our skills and capabilities. This challenge for change results in experimentation and growth in what we imagine is possible. These open-mined possibilities allow us to create initially unanticipated and then well-developed changes that bring positive impact in all aspects our lives.

When do I experience awareness that motivates my change?

When I’m asked to:

  • Measure experiences,
  • Notice how different behaviors create outcomes I prefer or not, 
  • Connect what might have been disparate sensations/experiences.

For example my Masters Swim coach, Barbara, creates awareness through breathing exercises, stroke counting and cadence metronomes. An hour’s workout might encourage us to experiment with different breathing patterns, increasing and/or decreasing our normal stroke count per lap, and/or varying our cadence with the use of a metronome hidden in our swim cap. Barbara gives us a process for creating awareness and then asks to notice what we experience. What keeps us aerobic? Under what conditions do we become anaerobic? What cadence is easy? A challenge? Why? Because of the depth of experimentation and awareness through noticing in a non-judgmental environment, I’ve created a flexibility with what kind of experience I create for myself in the pool. It’s fun and translates to other sports and my life in general.

I also work with two talented pilates instructors. They see beneath their client’s skin, and provide cuing for balanced body awareness. Because of some old injuries, I have patterns of adaptation to structural imbalances. By providing exercises that give me the opportunity to recognize my tension patterns, they support my awareness of movement patterns outside of the studio. So, I’m able to extend the lessons to everything I do that challenges my posture, tensegrity, breathing, and balance, e.g. cycling, swimming, skiing, running, gardening, preparing food, working at my sitting and standing desks, and even how I sleep. Being aware means that I recognize imbalance before it becomes tension

As a business and life coach, I support my client’s awareness about the change they are seeking by asking open, resonant, salient questions, by sharing cues, and/or by modeling behavior that they are seeking to incorporate in their lives.

The next step in the cycle of change is to reflect on and verbalize what we've noticed about our experiences. Personally, I always get a deeper and more actionable result when I reflect with one of my coaching colleagues or through journal writing.

Lastly, it's time to make behavioral modifications, and this is the the challenge to change! As a coach, I support my clients to use the experiential learning cycle throughout their life as a meaningful model for change.

What awareness would motivate you towards change?

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Polarities: Resistance (Ω) vs. Acceptance (Ohm)

This past weekend, I was privileged to attend the GISC Community Gathering. Here are my reflections on the Plenary Session, “Resistance from a Gestalt Perspective,” led by Mary Anne Walk, MS, MBA, MCC and Stuart Simon, LICSW, PCC. 

Ω = Ohm.

Ohm = the electrical unit of resistance . . . . But it's funny, “resistance is futile” if I choose to exercise my Ohm. 

So, I wondered, “when do I feel resistant?” 


  • When I sense I’m not being heard
  • When I’m unconditionally expected to accept someone else opinion. 
  • When I’m being challenged in a way that feels like there is no compromise, or no interest in my perspective. 
  • When I feel obligated.
  • When I’m not getting curious about whatever I am resisting.

What happens if I exercise my Ohm when I feel resistant? 

My Ohm behaviors are pausing, breathing, expanding my perspective, and engaging in curiosity: 

  • Why am I feeling resistance?
  • What am I thinking that makes me resistant?
  • What questions could I ask to create collaboration within myself or with someone else to dissolve my resistance? 

When I exercise my Ohm, I notice an opportunity to create compromise, be relaxed, keep my perspective and accept someone else’s. 

What about you? What are your thoughts about your own resistance?

  • How do you know when you are feeling resistant?
  • What experiences trigger your resistance?
  • Why do you experience this resistance?
  • What might be one way to dissolve your resistance?

What is your Ohm?

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Listening With A Coach's Ears

By listening deeply to our clients, we provide a space that allows our clients to experience truly being heard. As coaches, we listen with non-judgement. This judgment free zone (JZF) opens-up the potential for trust and relationship between coach and client and within the client themselves. 

In the JZF, our clients experience the possibility of reframing their own judgements. And as they reframe concerns, problems and situations into the world of solutions and possibility they enter a creative and resourceful state that allows them to actively and meaningfully make choices in pursuit of their goals.

Listening as a coach is about the speaker’s: 

  • Curiosity, 
  • Focus points, 
  • Goals, 
  • Context, 
  • World-views, 
  • Who they are now, 
  • Who they wish to become, and 
  • What they wish to create. 


With coach’s ears on, everything else falls away. By deeply listening to tone, body language, and pacing, we support our clients as they create:

  • An awareness of their most meaningful goals, 
  • Who they want to be for themselves and others, 
  • Where they are now, 
  • Where they wish to be, 
  • Their innate abilities to achieve their objectives and 
  • Their own creative solutions that activate their objectives/missions/visions.

Try on a coach’s ears in your own relationships.

  • How much deeper was your understanding of yourself and your partner, friend, work-mate, employee, boss?
  • What new opportunities were you able to create together?
  • Who were you being as you deeply listened?
  • What does deeply listening create for you in the world?

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