There is no doubt that most people get into coaching because they are powerfully gripped by a personal sense of Mission. This Mission compels their hearts to reach out and invest in others and stirs their minds to build impactful content, real-world solutions, and coaching programs that educate and empower their clients. This coaching Mission shines like a beacon when she needs guidance, radiates like a lighthouse when he needs hope, and burns brightly when we need inspiration.
However, a question I often ask, when training coaches, is how skillful are they when it comes to Messaging their Mission? In other words, do we put as much time and effort into perfecting our craft of communication as we do into living and loving our Mission? A clear Mission hindered by confused communication and mixed Messaging is a disaster. Let’s dive into both of these concepts here.
No experience should ever be wasted. We are the sum total of every relationship we’ve experienced, every situation we’ve been in, and every struggle we’ve been through. Every moment is a maturing, each event is a learning opportunity, every difficulty is for development, and every pain is a possible gain. Pain is mandatory, but misery is optional. Aldous Leonard Huxley said: “Experience is not what happens to a man. It is what a man does with what happens to him.”
The greatest thing we can do with experiences is give them away. So, how can we take our life experiences and personal background, and use them to help others? By developing a clear coaching Mission…
As a first step, Study What You Have Experienced. Take a fresh look at your journey. The most successful coaches scratch the itch. They meet real needs. They offer solutions for problems people are facing, healing for wounds people are feeling, and answers to questions people are asking. They offer possibilities, re-framing, and empowerment.
Consider how your experiences do this. Become intentional and aware of your journey.
Ask this first set of questions (WHO AM I?):
- What Are My Past Successes & Failures? What Are My Highs and My Lows?
- What Has Been My Education, Roles, and Work History?
- What Grief and Pain Have I Walked Through?
- What Struggles Have I Overcome?
- What Are My Passions & Personality?
- What Am I Exceptional At?
Then, ask this second set of questions (WHERE ARE OTHERS?):
- What are the problems people are facing?
- What are the wounds people are feeling?
- What are the questions people are asking?
- What are the barriers people are experiencing?
At the convergence of the WHO AM I?, and WHERE ARE OTHERS?, is the place of your success and abundance!
Never de-value your life experience and personal background by not leveraging them to offer support, encouragement, and nurture to others:
- 2-3 things I have learned from my journey about overcoming pain, difficulty, and hardship are…
- 2-3 things I have learned from my journey about inspiring myself and fulfilling my dreams are…
- 2-3 things I have learned from my journey about health and wellness are…
- 2-3 things I have learned from my journey about healthy relationships are…
- 2-3 things I have learned from my journey about spirituality and values are…
- 2-3 things I have learned from my journey about leadership and influencing others are…
- 2-3 things I have learned from my journey about making money and being successful in business are…
Secondly, Share Your Experience. Elbert Hubbard said: “God will not look you over for medals, degrees or diplomas, but for scars.” Share with others what you have experienced and lived through. You will be replenished when you see how your scars heal, empower and refresh others. Embrace the coaching Mission. Become an amazing coach. A mentor. A guide and partner to others as they journey. And the universe will be grateful.
Messaging Your Mission
As we now see, we need to discover and live aligned with our Mission. However, a question I often ask coaches is if their Mission is being adequately served by their Messaging. In other words, if you have a “world-changing Mission”, do you have “world-class Messaging”? Your Mission will be empowered through skilled Messaging. Here is the difference:
- Your Mission is about your passion, while your Messaging is about your practice.
- Your Mission is about your effort, while your Messaging is about your excellence.
- Your Mission is about the desire, while your Messaging is about the diligence.
- Your Mission is about the sweat, while your Messaging is about your skills.
- Your Mission is about the care, while your Messaging is about your credibility.
- Your Mission is about the talent, while your Messaging is about your training.
In the delicate area of Messaging, like most other areas of life, the depth of your preparation determines the height of your destiny. Before greatness can come in our Messaging, we need to train, learn, prepare and practice. Who you are today is not all you can be. There is far more in you than you have let out up until now. Richard E. Boyd said that, “Few men during their lifetime come anywhere near exhausting the resources within them. There are deep wells of strength that are seldom used.” The only way these, “…deep wells of strength…”, get utilized is through skill development.
What often looks like “luck” is more often people who work hard and are ready for an opportunity when it arises. Oprah Winfrey said that, “Luck is a matter of preparation meeting opportunity.” When we prepare for the opportunities in our lives, it often looks like overnight success, but in reality it is the results of years of hard work. To realize our full potential, we need to hone our Messaging skills and cultivate our Messaging craft. J.B. Matthews said this: “Unless a person has trained himself for his chance, the chance will only make him ridiculous. A great occasion is worth to man exactly what his preparation enables him to make of it”
If there is one thing I have observed in my speaking career over the last 20 years, it is that credibility counts. We have to look credible. We have to feel credible. And most importantly, we have to be credible. It must be seen in all of our face-to-face communications. And, there are specific actions and words and energies and structures which make us look extremely credible when coaching and speaking.
There can be no doubt that there is tremendous power in effective Messaging. One needs to look no further than the inspirational influence of Martin Luther King Jr., Abraham Lincoln, Winston Churchill, and John F. Kennedy to feel the power, the impact, and the shift that occurs when a communicator steps up, hones their craft, and delivers a message that is relevant and poignant. Racism has diminished, repression has ceased, recessions have been halted, and revolutions have begun, all through the power of effective Messaging.
Your Message Must F.L.O.W. :
- “F” – Focus Your Message – When you are communicating to a group, exactly what are you trying to say? What is the “Big Idea”? What is the main takeaway that your audience simply must understand to be whole, complete, or effective? What is the focus of your message? Always think about what you have to accomplish in your presentation. A good rule is to identify the 1-2 key things you want your audience to take away – “takeaways”. These become the core theme and unifying elements in the presentation. Messaging that is focused is Messaging that is effective.
- “L” – Learn Your Material – At times, speakers with a powerful Mission struggle because they don’t master their material. In other words, they have one or two main points they want to share, but struggle to empower their Messaging with true life stories, real life experiences, research, data, or supporting information. You must master your material to effective Message your Mission.
- “O” – Organize Your Message – Once your Message is focused, and you really understand your material at a deep level, you are ready to organize. Put what you have to say in a logical sequence:
– An Introduction
– A Statement of Purpose: The “Big Idea”
– Two or more main points (development)
Here are some other ways to organize:
– “Here’s a problem or wound people are experiencing, here’s why it is serious, and here’s a solution.”
– “Here’s how it was then, how it is now and the implications of these changes.”
– “Three reasons to…”
– “Past, present, future…”
- “W” – Work On an Amazing Delivery – The element of an amazing delivery of your Message range from your verbals to your non-verbals. They encompass everything from skill in using metaphors and presupposition, to total verbal control, to effective body language, posture, and eye contact. In essence, the more your audience feels like you are having a conversation with them, the more effective you will be. In this short article, I can’t possibly cover all the facets of an amazing delivery, or completely becoming effective at Messaging your Mission. However, here I’ve shared with you a few keys.
To be effective as Coaches, it is important that we master Mission, but also our Messaging. My hope is that we visualize ourselves as great speakers, create an awareness of the qualities of great speakers, and hone an ever-expanding craft as great speakers. Becoming a great speaker not only nurtures an abundant platform for us as coaches, but it establishes us as an expert, and it can also become an unlimited stream of income.
In this, as well as in all things, grow! Keep learning. As much as our lungs need oxygen, and our heart needs blood-flow, so our mind and spirit needs the nourishment and feeding that continual growth and personal development will bring. When we stop growing, we start dying, and limit the gifts we are able to give to the world around us. Your Life Mission, experience and background will help others, as you continue to evolve and grow your Messaging.