View this issue online at www.todayscoach.com/Mar2004/030104.html
Tuesday, March 2,
to the Latest Edition of Today’s Coach
As promised, we have an interview with Coach, Author, and
Speaker Rhonda Britten.
Some of you may know Rhonda from the 3 books that
she has written, as well as her television shows
“Starting Over” and “Help Me Rhonda”.
Lately, it seems like a lot of coaches have an
opinion on these shows, and so I asked Rhonda about her
view of coaching and television.
Read on to find out what she has to say about
that, her views on fear, making it in the coaching
industry, and overcoming devastating life events.
Looking for another strategy to add to your coaching
in this issue, I’m excited to introduce you to Ginger
Cockerham, a successful coach specializing in group
Director of Communications and
CoachVille/Schools of Coaching
I’d love your feedback on how we’re doing.
Email me at email@example.com.
Living - An Interview with Rhonda Britten
are the life coach on the television show "Starting
Over." Some coaches love it while others hate it.
It must be difficult to watch "Starting Over" as a coach. I have a hard time watching it with the edits. I might work with a client for two hours and what you see on television is four minutes. There have been episodes I have watched where I have cried because they cut out the best work, the meaty work. Yet I have to stay focused on what IS working and how the show IS changing lives.
What helps me stay focused and unaffected by the negative criticism is I know I am doing great work and changing people's lives. My clients are permanently supported and I get hundreds of emails from viewers saying how 'Starting Over' has changed their lives. That is what is important to me. That is why I became a coach, to change people's lives and support them in seeing the world fearlessly.
I am saddened by the negative criticism from coaches. I feel they are missing a huge opportunity. 'Starting Over' is it when it comes to coaching on television. And to put something down that only exists to help is shortsighted and only points to the fear that still exists in our community. I take my role representing coaches seriously. I make it a point to make myself available to coaches to discuss their challenges and support them in regards to the show. I speak at ICF meetings without hesitation. When I agreed to coach on 'Starting Over' it was not an easy decision. It was something I thought seriously about knowing I would be the first coach on television that literally showed the world a tidbit of what we do. It is an enormous responsibility.
'Starting Over' began airing September 9th, and it's going to be running through June. We've taped 206 episodes. It's a syndicated daily show, Monday through Friday. You can go to
for where to watch.
How did your television opportunities come about?
The United Kingdom show has been going on for 2 seasons, and it's called 'Help Me, Rhonda', and the subtitle is 'Change your life in 30 days' which is the format I've been doing for the last 2 years in the UK - actually having only 30 days to change somebody's life. That's been an incredible experience, and the reason I did that show was I knew it would make me a better coach, which it has. Also, to be able to impact not only the people's lives that are physically on the show, but also to impact the lives of the viewers.
When the US show came calling, 'Starting Over', it was clear that the format was perfect for me - taking 6 women from all over the country, bringing them into one house, and changing their lives over anywhere from 6 weeks to 12 weeks. Because of my experience in the UK, I'm very familiar with how to coach on TV because it is a little bit different. And I love it.
How is coaching different on television?
A coach that coaches one-on-one on the phone or in person definitely has to alter the way they coach in certain instances to do it on television. And this is what I told the Boulder Coaching Alliance because obviously a lot of coaches have watched the show and a lot of coaches haven't. I said, 'You know, as a coach, I really encourage you to at least get on the website and read the daily summaries if you can't watch it' or TiVO it at least twice a week because it is a conversation starter for the general public. We have millions of people watching the show and it is their first introduction to coaching live on TV. I coach these women over time, and you're actually seeing them evolve day by day. The public is fascinated by it, and the good news is that they're getting introduced to coaching.
Another thing that I'm fascinated by is that we bring in experts all the time, so I'm always open to having different coaches with different expertise telling me about their skills, telling me about what their specialty is. If you have a skill that you would like to share on Starting Over, please email me at
and write in STARTING OVER in the subject line.
I was on your website looking at your media mentions, and you've done Oprah and Montel. What have you done to get this kind of exposure?
I've put my blinders on; I didn't get caught up in what everybody else was doing. Comparing myself to other coaches or paying attention to what they are doing to get clients is a career killer for me. For instance, when I focus on others and start hearing myself say, 'Oh, I should be doing that' or 'I should be doing what John's doing', I know I am in trouble. When I first started out, I got caught up in what everyone else was doing. Now, I continuously think from the place of, 'How can I share what I know?' or 'How can I reach more people to support them?' 'How could benefit from understanding more about fear?' 'Who else can I talk to?'
I'm the person who, when I lived in Los Angeles, started speaking to community groups, Lions clubs, and Chambers of Commerce every day. I would drive 2 hours to San Diego for an hour talk. There was no 'no' in my vocabulary. I did whatever I had to do, and a lot of people aren't willing to do that. Everyone has their own drive, passion and life commitment. Mine happens to include the question, "What else can I do?"
Every dollar I made went back into my business. I don't live in a fancy house and have a fancy car. I have a 10-year old Ford Explorer. I've got jeans on right now. I put money into staff right away. I got an assistant; the minute I made enough money to hire somebody for $10, I did because I knew if had somebody in the office taking calls and calling, I could be out in the world doing my speaking and coaching groups. And, I did it in my house.
When I first started out as a coach, by the end of my first year, I was doing a Tuesday night group in my house, a Thursday night group in my house, and a Saturday workshop, plus doing speaking events. And, I was married then, so that was not an excuse.
It's a very compelling message; you do what you have to do. You have to be out there and very active. You have to be 'doing'.
And I think that I have a real knowing-ness that this is what I'm meant to do; I have no doubt about that. So, I have an extraordinary passion and clarity of purpose that some people don't have. I think once I really understood that this is what I was made to do, I then had full permission to express that. There was no hesitation. I put my blinders on and I just went. I did things that other coaches weren't even contemplating. I went to different mediums and everybody was like, 'What are you doing?' I said, 'I'm going'.
In my 'doingness' I practice fully 'being.' There is not one with out the other otherwise, I would be driven by fear rather than propelled by freedom. A huge distinction and one I particularly pay attention to on a daily basis.
You're the author of 3 books including Fearless Living and Fearless Loving, and now you've got a brand new book out,
Change Your Life in 30 Days. Tell us about the focus of your latest book.
Change Your Life in 30 Days is a book designed to be a tool and skill-building book. Each day is focused on a particular skill to build your awareness. As you and I both know, awareness is critical for change to happen. This book is designed to increase your awareness, while helping you incorporate new skills through asking you thought-provoking questions as well as giving you an assignment that can be integrated into your day and your life.
The point is that if you want accelerated growth, and if you want to make real change happen quickly, and I think a lot of people do, these are the 30 qualities or skills that I think you must have if you're going to be the person you yearn to be.
How did you arrive at these 30?
They're themes that keep coming up for all my clients, whether they're with my show 'Starting Over' or whether it's my private client practice or through my work training coaches. For instance, people always ask me about balance, motivation, and passion. So I have a chapter called 'Forget Motivation'. And some people believe the world is against them. That is another chapter, 'For or Against.' They think they're optimistic, but when you break down their language, they really do believe that there are people or a person that are subtly harming them, or are giving them permission to blame themselves or another. I'm going to take all those excuses away from you, and build your own level of awareness so that you can take back your life.
One of the focal points of your first book was to live a life without excuses, so that shows up again here.
It's a continuous theme because as human beings, we want to feel okay about ourselves and I think that's what coaching is all about - how do you support people to feel good about themselves.
Change Your Life in 30 Days is really about how we dis-empower ourselves. We say we want to live by intuition, by our heart, through our soul, but we get all mixed up. We say that we want to have purpose and passion, but again, we get it all mixed up. I really would like to set the record straight fyi so you can be in alignment - your languaging, your actions, your thought processes, and your feelings.
What's your opinion on a 30-day blitz versus a 6-month program? Can anyone benefit from a 30 day intensive, or are some people suited to a more sustained approach?
A lot of people love 30 days because they want instantaneous change.
Change Your Life in 30 Days is languaged like a result book, when in fact, it's really not what you think it is. The subtitle says it all:
The Journey to Finding Your True Self.
People are going to pick up the book thinking, 'Okay, I'm going to get that new job in 30 days' or 'I'm going to fall in love in 30 days'. All of that can happen, but it's going to be from a cellular level rather than an intellectual level. The 30 days can turn into 6 months, that's fine. You have to take it at your own speed.
You and I both know as coaches that you can sometimes go 3 weeks without hitting a wall. Well, great, you get up to day 21 and then you'll hit it - fine. It doesn't mean the book's not working; it actually means the book is working because you're hitting the wall. So whether you complete the book in 30 days or 3 months or a year, it is designed to serve you.
And it would seem to me the authenticity piece, your true self, is essential for any lasting change.
Yes. Most motivational and even self-help books are too geared to results. I named it as a result book, and yet when you start reading it, you think, 'Uh oh. Wait a minute! This is deeper than I thought!'
Are there segments of the book a coach might use in their own practice?
What I invite every coach to do is pick up the book and go through the program themselves. Do every exercise, read the questions, answer them for yourself - use it as a workbook. Once you start doing that, you will have certain sections or certain days or certain questions that really resonate with you. It's chock-full of exercises and questions that will help you become a better coach because it's going to broaden, and or deepen, your horizons.
We're all trained in how to help somebody find their purpose, but this is not the normal purpose conversation that I'm going to have with you. It's not the normal 'rah rah' intuition conversation, so you're going to be going to a deeper level. It's going to make you a more subtle, more effective and more profound coach. To really help a client understand it, we have to be willing to embody it ourselves.
And we may not be perfect at it - it's the practice, the willingness to work with it. Once you're working with it yourself, working with a client is going to feel more effortless and you will naturally integrate what works for you into the coaching practice you already have.
One of the things that's grown out of all of this is the Fearless Living Institute. Tell me more about that.
The Institute officially began right before my first book came out -
Fearless Living - in 2001.
The Institute was purely born for one reason and one reason only - to support people who actually want to embody what I'm doing. I provide all different types of services, from free teleclasses to workshop weekends (3 day weekends) to coaches training. It's all stemming from a pure desire to support. Anybody who wants to know more about what I do, there's a vehicle to get there.
I also created the "Coach's Coach". The "Coach's Coach" is a service on the website where you can go as a member for a very nominal fee, and actually hear me coach different situations and give you tips on how to build your practice. It's sort of a library of Rhonda Britten's thoughts on coaching, how to build a practice and coaching models.
You've also created Fearbuster groups. How do those work?
The Fearbuster group brings the book Fearless Living to life. You can create a Fearbuster group and specify how many weeks you would like to facilitate the Fearless Living process in a group setting. As we all know, support is critical, so Fearbuster groups were created for the sole reason of support. We even have training sessions to train you how to do it, so you don't feel alone, and we actually have monthly telecalls so that you can continue to be supported in how to learn to facilitate more effectively, for example, how to handle certain clients.
We have more people that want to join them than we can handle. It's a wonderful opportunity for coaches from any venue to begin to incorporate Fearless Living into their practice as well as support people who are eager to learn. You can take the Fearbuster training for free and start a group. Those people will turn into private clients; they'll become faithful clients, and you will be helping people integrate fearless living as well as your own work.
Let's talk about the concept of Fearless Living. One of the things that stayed with me in your book was when you said, 'Fear is an affirmation of growth.' What do you mean by that?
People get stopped all the time because they're afraid of failure, or they're afraid of being loved, or they're afraid of being rejected. In fact, those fears aren't meant to stop you; those fears are warning signs. If you can imagine that when you feel the fear of rejection or the fear of being unlovable or the fear of looking stupid, it's actually just saying to you, 'Oh, by the way, you're taking a risk. Congratulations!' So, Fearless Living literally alters the way that you process those fears. Instead of the fear of rejection stopping you, it actually inspires you and motivates you to take more action, and become more proactive and more accountable and more responsible. Therefore, you are becoming more authentic, you are living more of your truth, and you're having a more profound experience of yourself as well as other people having that profound experience of you. There's an interconnected-ness that happens with yourself and others once you realize that the fear of rejection isn't an illusion - it's just a warning sign.
Fear only comes up when you are growing. So, if you can imagine fear is coming up and you get to say to yourself, 'Wow! This means I'm growing! Wait a minute! Stop! Where is it?' When you're taking risks, you're vulnerable, and when you're vulnerable, fear's going to come up - that's normal. It's like the fear is there to say, 'Wait! You forgot to acknowledge yourself. You forgot to pat yourself on the back.' The minute you do it, the fear goes away.
Through the personal experiences you share in Fearless Living, how have you grown from your fears?
It really became my pathway to who I am. I had the great misfortune of watching my father murder my mother when I was 14, and kill himself. I was the only witness to a murder-suicide, the murder-suicide of my father and mother. That stopped me for 20 years; for 20 years, I used that as my, 'Well, no wonder I can't do this, or do that.' I wasn't worth living for. He didn't shoot me as he shot her; he kept me alive. I tried to kill myself 3 times from 14 to 25; I had nightmares every night, and it was obviously the source of very great pain and great shame. Shame is one of the things we coaches are devoted to diminishing; the motto of 'no shame, no guilt, no blame' is what I train my coaches to embody. You don't ever shame your clients, you don't ever guilt them, and you don't ever blame them.
I went to therapy and went to workshops and I did everything - you name it, I did it. And, literally, even though it made me feel good for a while, I was still faced with myself, and I still was ashamed of who I was. Even though maybe I'd achieved a couple things or gotten married or looked good on paper, I fundamentally believed that I was worthless. The best thing I ever did was to create exercises for myself and started to unconsciously kind of create this little fear and freedom thing that is now
That's where Fearless Living really came from. It's really my own journey - the exercises that I did to become who I am today. Those exercises that I created based on my own desperate need to live. You know, I think it was my soul's yearning to fulfill itself, and I think I was too scared not to do it. Fearless Living was born out of my own desperation to be healed.
What a beautiful thing to come out of desperation. You could have made other choices-so many others do.
Oh, absolutely! I'm shocked that I'm here, every day. I definitely tried not to be here, and for years didn't want to be here. When I figured out that what worked for me could help other people, I thought, 'Oh my gosh! My parents did not die in vain.' Based on this horrific experience in my life, I may be able to help and support other people so this never has to happen again.'
At the Boulder Coaches Alliance last night, I did a mock coaching. One brave soul finally came up, and I had her explain her issue, and then I opened it up to the room and said, 'What would you do?' They immediately went to solution - immediately. And I said, 'I would go there, but not now. Oh no. Instead, we must be with her pain of what she's experiencing. How it must be to be invisible at work, and how it feels to be heart-broken, when you entered this job with hope and now you feel hopeless. How painful is that?' As coaches, most of us are trained to come up with a solution, and most of us don't realize that part of the solution is just being with our clients as a person.
For me it's the only way to go, so that's what I train my coaches to do. Not to see people as problem solutions, but to see the person as a whole entity. They're not just something to fix, but something to be with and to honor. In that honoring, I will be guided with where to support the person next.
Britten is the life coach that changes lives on
"Starting Over," the first daytime reality
show. Her latest book is "Change Your Life in 30
Days" and she is the also the author of the
bestselling books, "Fearless Living" and
"Fearless Loving." She is the first coach to
be on two different shows featuring coaching on two
different continents. Repeat corporate clients include
Southwest Airlines, Toyota and Northrup Grumman. She is
the founder of the Fearless Living Institute and is
considered the global expert on emotional fear. For more
information on Rhonda and the Fearless Living Institute
Announcing the "Twelve Keys to Successful Group Coaching"
Mentoring Program, Led by Coach Ginger Cockerham
Meet Ginger Cockerham - In Her Own Words
How Does Group Coaching Add to Your Bottom-line as a Coach?
Groups allow me to coach fewer hours and to be more profitable per hour. It's amazing because at the same time I give my clients an affordable option to one-on-one coaching. A total win-win. Think about coaching seven people in a group for one hour two or three times a month rather than spending over 30 hours of one-on-one meetings if they were all individual clients. Groups are a great way to leverage your time to add more profit centers. You also add many additional clients to your network and create unlimited referrals. More profitability in less time- groups are a great combination for coaching success.
Why is Coachville Launching the "Twelve Keys to Successful Group Coaching" Mentoring Program?
Over the last few years, the interest among coaches in coaching their own groups has grown tremendously. As a result of being asked frequently how to coach groups, I made a CD series on Group Coaching "Creating, Collecting and Coaching Groups" that is in the third printing and has been a best seller in the coaching industry. Also, I have coached hundreds of coaches in groups on how to create and coach their own groups. The new program puts the whole process together so they leave the program coaching their own groups.
Ginger's Coaching Credentials
I am an instructor at Coachville and a Certified Mentor Coach. I also am a Master Certified Coach and on the Board of Directors for the International Coach Federation. I started coaching groups in 1997 with Financial Services Companies. Since then group coaching has been my primary focus.
Before coaching, I taught English and Journalism and later was the CEO of a company, Property Tax Specialists, for nine years. The combination was perfect because I learned to be a people and communications specialist in teaching, and then as a business owner, I learned how to run my own company, to negotiate effectively, and to market and grow my business. It turned out to be a great combination of skill sets for coaching.
The minute I heard about coaching in 1995, it was as if lightening had struck! I knew I had been a coach all my life, and now I had found a profession where I could live my gifts and talents. It was the greatest joy. I joined a coaching school and immediately got clients.
I live in Dallas, Texas with my college sweetheart and husband of over 40 years. We have four grown children and five amazing grandchildren. I love coaching from my deck overlooking a creek with tall trees, wood ducks and lots of wild life.
Benefits to the Participants of Twelve Steps to Group Coaching Success!
Increase your profitability dramatically by coaching groups.
Leverage your time and expertise-more clients and more free time.
Experience more excitement and fun by coaching your groups.
Incorporate the 10 Group Coaching Proficiencies.
Perfect a model to attract your ideal clients into groups.
Learn to use technology to manage and connect your coaching groups.
Upgrade your website to optimize its attraction to groups.
Create a Group Coaching marketing and PR campaign.
Identify HOT group coaching markets that fit your strengths and passion.
Use Speaking, Writing, Presenting and/or Workshops to collect groups.
Expand your referral network significantly with advocates.
Implement the skills that insure retention of your groups.
Develop your own proposals and agreements for group coaching.
Get out of your comfort zone and launch your own groups.
CD series and Group Coaching Manual
Resource and References for launching groups.
Manual : Full of Top Ten handouts, Proposals, Agreements, Guidelines and Templates.
Three CD series: "How to Create, Coach and Collect Groups."
What are other coaches saying about the program?
"If you want powerful, perceptive, and practical guidance on how to coach groups, enroll in Ginger Cockerham's program for Group Coaching. Ginger is truly a Master at the art of collecting and coaching groups. She is also a delightful human being who is really fun to learn from!"
Jacquie Damgaard, Ph D
"Participating in Ginger's program for coaches who want to lead groups was fantastic! Her wealth of experience was the gold mine we were able to tap into. Collecting groups has become the perfect way for me to leverage my time and do what I really love -- work with groups."
Pat Beaugard, MS
What are the Specifics about the program?
- This six month program will include all the tools and skills you need to successfully launch and coach your groups. Two one hour telemeetings per month.
- Ginger Cockerham, with 10 years of coaching and 6 years of leading groups, will lead all the of the program
- Each week we will encourage each other, incorporate key topics, report on successful implementations, learn new proficiencies and coach around obstacles and opportunities.
- You will receive extensive materials, worksheets, templates, proposals, agreements, flyers and group coaching presentations so that when you finish you will have your own "group coaching manual."
- There will be laser-coaching sessions for each person in the program who wants to call in for a specific session. These laser-coaching sessions are scheduled on the second Tuesday afternoon, and you can call the bridge number during the designated time period.
- Each group will be limited to 10 people so that we have an interactive and creative environment.
- This is a six months program, with two 60-minute sessions per month. The monthly fee is $250.00. This will give you the opportunity to create and launch your own groups during the program and co-create with others who are on exactly the same path.
Interested in learning more about integrating group coaching into your practice? Visit
Ginger can be reached at www.coachginger.com
or at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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