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Scripted Sessions or Unscripted- Which is Better?

Well, good morning. I know it might not be morning for you, but it is for me, and it is early, and I'm surrounded by the zoo, and the house is very quiet and dark. But I, I knew I've got a lot to do today. We're going to New York for the weekend. My daughter graduated, so I'm taking her into the city, and we're going to go to a comedy club and a fantastican Asian fusion dinner at Tao, restaurant (shout out to Alex), and stay at a beautiful hotel called Moxie in Chelsea. She and I are very much city people. And so I'm excited to take her on this trip because I love going where we're going. And then the next day, we're going out to Long Island and celebrating my father-in-law's 80th birthday with the whole family.

And my son is able to come out, so at least we'll have three of the five kids together, and it's going to be pretty exciting. Still, it means that I have a lot to get done, plus the greenhouse course, the first module released next Tuesday, so I'm working hard at turning that ship around from the first version of the greenhouse course to this next one. Turning that ship around requires, as you can imagine, so much. It is open now I'm really excited about it, but in the middle of my excitement and the work on it, I also have to pack and take care of this zoo that is surrounding me and the puppy is now 25 pounds at under four months and Roxy is still not happy with him because he jumps on her.

And then the cat still scratches him with his one front paw. It's just pretty wild around here. So I like the early mornings. And today I wanted to talk to you about a question, a conundrum that a member shared inside the Christian Life Coach Collective Facebook group. And I think it was just a really great conversation starter I wanted to share it here on the podcast. So I'm going to share what I responded to this member inside the group, but I'm going to add to it a little bit now here in this episode.

The member said, "I had my first coaching session yesterday with a couple and I honestly felt scattered and overwhelmed. I'm having an issue with thinking I won't have the right answer, advice, or questions to ask them if I don't have some sort of script. I also feel like I don't want to be repeating myself. Maybe I'm putting expectations on myself, but I'm really trying to get, feel good about sessions and bring value. Any advice? How can I structure and stay on track? I just came out of that session questioning myself. I tried to show up well, and I believe the next one will be better. So thank you for your encouragement and support. I really want to be serving my clients well, and somehow in my head, I need solutions."

My first answer to all of that is great news:

You do not need to have a right answer ahead of time. And I understand, I remember feeling that way, and completely validate that this member and many of you listening feel that way like you have to know beforehand. If you were to think of a counselor- a counselor isn't going to know exactly how the session is going to go and exactly what they're going to say, exactly what they're going to ask, exactly what they will do and what the client will do.

And coaching is coaching is future-focused and not counseling at all. But it's the same concept of client work. So you just need to know and be familiar with your coaching skills, your tools, your methods. And you only get to know those by practicing and experimenting and using them and refining them.

Staying on track in a client section session just means you are an active listener and you ask great questions. That's what staying on track means. It does not mean you know everything. So you just need to be listening well, and then you allow what you hear to flow into further questions so the client can find their answers.

You're not a consultant, and you're not a mentor, so you don't have to know what to tell them to do. As coaches, we're never, just never going to have all the answers or have every experience that our clients have so that we always know what they're talking about, right? And even though sometimes you're going to have a strategy or solution or method inside of your coaching practice, you know, especially if you have a specific niche and you've developed a method that you walk people through, it always comes back to the fact that the client is truly the expert on themselves, even if they don't know that yet, even if you are guiding them into the self-awareness and their own expertise.

So coaching makes space for you to hear them, for them to share, and then for you to ask the questions and help unlock things for them. If you tell somebody what to do, it will never go as deep or become as sustainable as when they discover the right answer for themselves. And then they're going to take action because they feel it, they know and believe it, right? And even if you think you DO know the answer and you give it they're still going to make it their own if it resonates with them at all. Instead of needing to have solutions and certainty ahead of time, what you really need is just a strong understanding of foundational coaching skills that can help anyone, anytime.

In regards to having a script, I want you to think of having a flow of conversation because a script is one-sided, right? But the flow of conversation is two-sided. If your coaching is one sided, you're not coaching. You're preaching and teaching. Maybe, but neither of those is coaching. And while you can create a script, you're not going to stick to it because you don't have the human element of your client in front of you when you create that script.

So your script would have to have a lot of blanks, and in that term, I don't think it's a script, right? Whatever you lay out in front of you to give you direction, it will eventually turn into just a nice flow of conversation over time. You're going to get used to how things unfold in a session because coaching sessions go the way the client needs to go, or at least they're supposed to.

So a script's only going to get you so far since you don't know ahead of time exactly where the client wants to go. Just remember, you've got to get out of your head and into theirs. is one of the keys to a successful coaching session. Instead of the script, you go inside of a conversation, and that's where you have a guided direction.

As you identify, in the beginning, what the client's goals for the session are, then you're going to pull from all of your coaching skills, all your training, which is the best way for us to go based on the goal that they have? What is the best method to help them reach their desired results?

When you're starting out, I think it's wise to have your different tools, methods, and ideas in front of you so you can find them easy. That way you can stay present and focus on the client and not say like, 'Oh, sorry, I need to just look for this on my computer or hold on, I need to pull out this binder and search for something'.

Okay. So you can either lay them out on your desk or on your computer, have them up, or just have a document up on your screen underneath your Zoom window or notes next to you. Obviously, if you're meeting face to face, you can just put them right there if you have your computer or notes. And if you're familiar with the tools and methods but just need something to jog your memory of what's possible, what are your options?

Maybe just make a bullet list of different ones that, you know, you put a short description next to it to help you choose what you need in the moment. And I suggest always having a list of great questions to ask with you so you can always contextualize those questions if you get stuck and you're not seeing which way to go, you can contextualize them to The client's needs.

So it's common to feel what you feel, especially in the beginning, but practice makes progress. And I highly encourage you to treat yourself like a client who's trying his or her best and showing up and you give permission to be in process. You are your most important client. And I'm thinking of, um, Simon, Peter and the Bible.

So he was like just a fisherman before he met Jesus. And the Bible called him and asked for like an unschooled, ordinary man. But Jesus said, you're going to be the rock the church is built on. And he ends up preaching the gospel to thousands at Pentecost, even though he had denied Jesus three times on the way to his death, right?

So what's this tell us? It means that God uses unschooled, ordinary people to do his work and to share the truth boldly to like transform the world. And this doesn't mean you never went to school at all. It just, it could just mean that you don't have a lifetime of education in one certain area. You're not an expert at everything.

Yet, God wants to use you to reach the one because he doesn't require your expertise or your certainty or your perfection. That's just something our human souls wants to have. And it's helping us to mitigate. the risk, the possibility of failure or rejection. But when you're a coach, you get used to failure and rejection and you start letting those things be allowed in your life because you find out how much freedom it is to walk a client into the truth that failure and rejection are part of life.

And if you consistently prevent yourself from failing in one way, it means that you're failing in taking action or trying at all. If you're constantly trying to protect yourself from rejection, it means you've rejected yourself before anybody else has a chance to. So failure and rejection are happening anyway, but you're just not getting any good, good fruit from it.

And wanting certainty is our soul's way of mitigating failure and rejection and risk and all of the things we're worried about, everything we fear. So, certainty is not required for your clients, therefore it is not required for you, but do equip yourself, put things in front of you that are going to help you and support you and guide you.

And as you practice that and experiment with all of it, it's going to get refined and you're going to get better at it. And it's going to become a really lovely flow.

If you're listening and you wish you had these skills that could help any client with anything, I invite you to join the Greenhouse Life coaching course with me.

Come get trained as a Sterling and Stone coach. You can go to and inside, we're going to learn the foundations of coaching and the 10 roots, which are the 10 coaching skills everybody will need at some point, regardless of your niche.

And then also the simple starter strategy that's going to help you onboard your clients ASAP and start making money as a coach. The money, the moment that you're ready to make money, I'm going to equip you to do that, even if you don't want to make this a job. All of these skills will transform your life, and you can share them with your kids, family, friends, coworkers, and neighbors.

And basically everybody, you know, will benefit from your knowledge of the 10 roots because we should have learned them in high school, maybe middle school, right? So it's a hybrid course. So you learn at your own pace and you can join me every other Tuesday for live training and coaching sessions. And you can be a fully trained and certified coach in under six months, but honestly, certification is not the goal.

Training is, and the coaching skills and the action taking are. I want you to immediately be able to put these things to use and start making an impact in the world around me. Certification is nice, but the thing I want you to go do is grasp what I teach you and then go use it because teaching is the highest form of learning.

So if you don't go use what I've taught you and put it into action, you don't learn it. You don't ingest it and marinate in it as deeply as if you were to turn around and share it through your coaching sessions or reteach it in your content. Whatever you need to do to absorb it and pour it back out, then that means that you've learned it at a much deeper level.

Inside the greenhouse course, you are immediately propelled to start coaching, and I support you in it. So please join me. It's open to you anytime. I'm on a mission to see 1 million lives transformed, and I need you to help me do it.

So bless you, friends, and I'll see you on the other side of New York.


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