Podcast Episode 7
How Important is Coaching Certification?
Join us on this episode of the Coaches Commonplace as we explore some of the challenges that coaches often face in determining our best path to gaining expertise and clientele in the coaching community. In particular, we talk about some of the ins and outs of determining if certifications are the right thing for you including some of the benefits and drawbacks of attaining them.
In this episode, we delve into my journey to coaching and how I discovered my passion for helping others. We also discuss the meaning of a good life and share tips on how to achieve it. We aim to help cultivate a community that can help make coaching a realistic possibility for everyone. Lastly, we examine affirmations as a potential tool for personal growth and debate their effectiveness and use cases. Tune in for an informative and engaging discussion on how to live your best life and be sure to subscribe to catch future episodes.
“It’s so good to turn on the lights, but sometimes it’s good to sit in the dark for a second.”
This week on the Coaches Commonplace:
- Brilliants journey to coaching
- What does it mean to live a good life and how can we do it?
- The life’s best practices program
- The value of coaching certification
- Earning recognition and money
- Affirmations as a potential tool and whether they are effective
Brilliant Miller [00:00:01] So if we can help our clients increase their awareness to see the possibilities that are there, but they just can’t see with the limited, you know, awareness. And and I started to believe that, look, we. If we can somehow elevate our consciousness. I’m not even sure what that means. Right. But if we can become more aware, if we can become more conscious, that’s what will help eliminate or resolve, you know, these fundamental challenges we’re facing. So I don’t want to go necessarily get involved in one thing about, you know. One particular cause, but but instead work closer to the root of what I think is the root of these things.
Dean Miles [00:00:40] And coaching just seems to be the right vehicle for that outcome versus the mentoring versus therapy they have there aspects where they touch on that. But if if you’re looking for expediency and just a fine focus on that is the goal. Coaching seems to be the right vehicle.
Brilliant Miller [00:01:04] Mr. Dean Miles, how are you?
Dean Miles [00:01:07] Mr. Brilliant Miller I’m doing fantastic.
Brilliant Miller [00:01:10] Good. Welcome back and thank you for joining me for another episode of the Coaches Complace.
Dean Miles [00:01:19] You’re welcome. You’re welcome. Let’s go find the dark corners and see what we find.
Brilliant Miller [00:01:23] And shine light. That’s the hope. It’s what you’d hope for a guy named Brilliant to do.
Dean Miles [00:01:30] Right? Yes.
Brilliant Miller [00:01:30] Yeah. So in this in this podcast, I’m really interested in in exploring coaching, what it is, how to do it effectively, how to earn a living, how to enjoy it. So as we’ve talked about, sometimes the dark corners of coaching, sometimes the things that are right in front of us, yes, stuff is not necessarily obvious, but it’s also not all that complicated.
Dean Miles [00:01:54] Right. All excellent points. Well, my mind just went to It’s so important to turn on the lights. But sometimes it’s good to sit in the dark for a second. True. Right. And it’s in that reflection, it’s when you can’t see anything and it’s just. Tell me what you remember. Tell me what’s real. Tell me what’s true. I know where I just knew. God, that just took me over this tangent. But I think that’s part of what we do, You know, in this hour that we spend together is we turn on the light, but sometimes we go sit in the dark, right, and sit in the corner and think about your life.
Brilliant Miller [00:02:32] And but I am reminded that Tony Robbins assures us that confusion simply means you are about to have a breakthrough.
Dean Miles [00:02:42] I like that a lot. Well, I have to. I have to rely on that. That’s true.
Brilliant Miller [00:02:46] But today we will not be confused. We have a plan for this conversation. And the plan looks like this, Right? So we’ll talk about my journey to coaching.
Dean Miles [00:02:58] Yes. Well, I want to know a little bit about whether coaching certification matters. How important it is, whether it’s worthwhile investing your time, your energy, and finding a coaching certification program that. And we’ll talk if time allows, about writing, about the creative process, about what you’re learning from a master of the craft. Mr. Mark Kreider, New York Times best seller.
Dean Miles [00:03:27] Mm hmm.
Brilliant Miller [00:03:28] And also affirmations, whether they’re worthwhile, whether they’re useful for us as coaches to work with, whether it’s a tool that we ought to offer to our clients, encourage them to at least explore. So that’s a lot to cover.
Dean Miles [00:03:44] It’s good stuff. Brilliant, great stuff. So start us off. I think inquiring minds want to know what has been your journey with coaching? What do you remember from the first time you were made aware of the concept.
Brilliant Miller [00:03:57] Well, it was more than ten years ago. So as we record this, here it is in March of 2023. It was more than ten years ago. I was at a point in my life where I was facing some transitions, some uncertainty. Personally and professionally, looking back, I think that’s just life, isn’t it? You know, there’s always opportunities. There’s always, you know, challenges. But I was at a point where it felt pretty acute for me. I was in a job that I didn’t love. I had just exited a marriage. I have begun a new relationship and thinks that looking back, I realize there are big questions of identity and, you know, life goals combined with the fact that probably was a mid-life crisis or somewhere near and. It even included a sports car. So I can confirm that that that is true. And I said to my wife or the woman who now my wife, I said, I think I could use a coach. I think I could benefit. I don’t know much about it. I don’t I don’t know anybody that’s a coach. I’ve done therapy in the past and that was useful. But it you know, it’s not what I think I need more of. I need something different. I’m not looking for a mentor, per se. You know, and at the time I was reading a book, I was reading the a book called The Success Principles by Jack Canfield. And if you’ve seen this book, you know, it’s like I think it’s like 500 pages. And it’s such a big one, Tom, of all this stuff that Jack Canfield, this master teacher, has learned in his I think at the time, he is probably in his sixties of his decades and decades of teaching personal growth. So I’m reading this book and and Heather Don says, why don’t you call Jack? Why don’t you call the author of that book you’re reading and see if he will coach you? And it hadn’t even occurred to me like, oh, this is a real person. Like, yeah, some abstract level. I knew people write books, but I certainly hadn’t thought like, I’ll call that guy and see if he’ll work with me. So I called and got through to somebody in his organization and learned that, yes, Jack does coach with individuals, but it’s pretty hefty fee. I think at the time it was like $100,000 and there was a six month waiting list and. Wow. And I said, wow, that’s, you know, not really in the realm of possibility for me at this time. Do you have anything else, like anything normal people can afford? And the person I talked to said, you know, Jack does this training program once a year called T a Train the Trainer. And it’s kind of an amalgam of practices that that Jack uses. And it’s everything from public speaking to coaching to facilitating, you know, all this. And I asked a few more questions and then ended up signing up for it I think it was about was still pretty expensive. It was 15 grand, it was a three week in person. So it’s a big commitment to travel. Yeah, well, a couple of the weeks were in California, one was in Arizona. And it was staggered. So one was in March, one was in June, one was in October. And it didn’t lead to an ICF certification or anything like that. But at that time that didn’t matter to me because again, I was looking for coaching not to necessarily to become a coach and I went and did the program and in between those three weeks there was coaching with, you know, there were exercises, we had assignments and then we would coach other participants and they would coach us. So that was just a very rich experience throughout 70 people in the program. And it was transformational, like it was enjoyable. I learned a ton. I filled a notebook, you know, I was the guy there on the front row many days just taking notes. And in that, just having the experience to to coach, to get the practice of it and to be coached and to see the clarity that can come from it in something like literally as little as 5 minutes, right. Little five minute practice session, you know, when you’re sharing real issues in a safe space and so forth. Yes, it was awesome. And that just confirmed for me that that was what I want to do. Those are the people that I want to surround myself with and interact with. And so that was that was really it. And and I left that program still not really knowing, okay, how do I organize my life around this? How do I earn money from this? How do I even, you know, continue the with the momentum and the principles that that we have? But Jack was very generous. You know, sharing what he knew. And and he said, look, if you if you leave here and you want to keep on this, he said, use my content. I go home and offer workshops or use it in your sessions. And just he said, you know, this is how every standup comedian pretty much begins is is as they’re practicing at home with family and friends and they’re young and so forth, they’ll just they’ll see what they they’ll share what they did and what they saw on TV.
Dean Miles [00:09:17] Yes.
Brilliant Miller [00:09:18] And others until they find their own voice, Until they find their own message.
Dean Miles [00:09:22] So let me ask you a question.Do you think that that’s where the seed was planted, this vision that you have or a world where coaching is a realistic possibility for everyone? Did you feel that then in that moment?
Brilliant Miller [00:09:36] No, no I don’t think so. I don’t think so. I think when I think about that, I think about when I had a chance to to participate in a group of young entrepreneurs and investors and philanthropists from around the world, there’s this really awesome organization that I found for many next gen wealth holders, people whose parents or grandparents were, you know, founders of organizations or inheritors of wealth. And now the next generation is saying, okay, I have these blessings, but what’s my responsibility and what are my opportunities? And as I went and met with other people in that situation, I could see that there were many people. First of all, there were many people that didn’t really know they were there to discover, right? We all start somewhere, right? But then there were other people who were very clear what their mission was and whether it was climate change or it was human trafficking or it was, you know, animal welfare or something like storytelling or sports for good, it was really cool how it was not everything was like an urgent activism, but there were people who were using passions and and talents to improve life for others. And what I could see is I kind of looked at all these causes or all of these opportunities was a none of them really resonated with me to the point that that was the thing I wanted to just latch onto. But be more than that, I could see look at the root of any one of these issues or these opportunities. Quite frankly, I think what’s really at Essence is consciousness, right? And if we can I believe and this was something I learned from Jack, Jack in that train, the trainer, he said, Look, your job as a coach is to help your clients expand their awareness in order to increase the range and quality of choices available to them.
Dean Miles [00:11:34] Yeah, so good.
Brilliant Miller [00:11:36] In order to. So if we can help our clients increase their awareness to see the possibilities that are there, but they just can’t see with the limited, you know, awareness. And I started to believe that, look, we. If we can somehow elevate our consciousness. I’m not even sure what that means. Right. But if we can become more aware, if we can become more conscious, that’s what will help eliminate or resolve, you know, these fundamental challenges we’re facing. So I don’t want to go necessarily get involved in one thing about, you know. One particular cause, but but instead work closer to the root of what I think is the root of these things.
Dean Miles [00:12:16] And coaching just seems to be the right vehicle for that outcome versus mentoring versus therapy. The other aspects where they touch on that. But if you’re looking for expediency and just a fine focus on that is the goal. Coaching seems to be the right vehicle.
Brilliant Miller [00:12:38] I think so. And I think that partly because there are some at least the way I’ve learned it, in the way I think I do like, I like to think I practice it, that there are some there are some beliefs implicit in coaching. Right. Whereas with therapy and I don’t I don’t mean to disparage therapy again, I’m a believer there’s a time and a place. Absolutely. But I think there’s a tendency, or at least there has been historically for therapy to have this orientation of like, you’re dysfunctional and we’re going to restore you to function.
Dean Miles [00:13:09] Yes.
Brilliant Miller [00:13:10] Right. And with coaching, there’s this orientation of, look, you’re already full and complete and perfect. You might not experience yourself that way. You might not experience life that way. But that’s the work. It’s not to fix you. It’s to help you experience the wholeness and perfection that you are or that life is. Right. And again, so just talking about it, there’s an aspect of it that starts to bleed into. Yes, it’s metaphysical. Yes. But I think there’s something really deep and profound about that. And it’s not to just avoid unpleasant truths or, you know, the reality of things, but it’s also to recognize that so much of life ceases to be a problem when we when we truly stop seeing it as problematic.
Dean Miles [00:14:00] It’s so true and brilliant. For those that are watching the podcast, they saw what I just saw, where you transition from your head into this heartfelt reality of something that you know is just capital T true. It’s just true truth. Man, does that make a difference? And it makes me think. So you’ve had this experience. You did the TNT train, the trainer. You then walk out. Fast forward a little bit to. You’re putting up a shingle. You’re going to go try to find a client. You’re not making money off of this yet. Right. You’ve just had your own enlightenment, your own awareness. What were some of the next steps? How did you then transition to becoming a good coach, A great coach, and then. Putting some dollars in the bank.
Brilliant Miller [00:14:54] Well. There’s this common saying, right? We teach what we need to learn.
Dean Miles [00:15:01] Right.
Brilliant Miller [00:15:01] Or the instruction. Yeah. Physician, heal thyself. Right. Not that I’m an M.D., but this, I guess, you know, start with yourself and. I. I knew. I mean, human beings are social creatures. Right? We need each other and need for so many, so many reasons. And there was a time this was January of probably 2017, 2018, and I was in Washington, D.C. at the time. It was it was cold. And I had this idea that I wanted to write down and share things that I had learned. I think first for myself to just capture them, like wrestle with these ideas, start to refine them, organize them, see if they stand up to the test of my own intellectual scrutiny, which shouldn’t be too hard right now, but really to to just start to play with them and. And then I knew that I wanted to share them with other people and invite them to respond. And what have you seen and what are your you know, what’s your experience related to this and what questions come up for you? And I didn’t know it at the time. I don’t think I had this distinction so clear. But but what I was really asking was, what does it mean to live a good life and how can we do it right? Like, is there. Are their best practices? Are there first principles? Right. And I’m convinced there are. All right. I’m convinced that living is a skill, just like driving a stick shift or baking a cake. And yeah, we may have some aptitude for it. Or maybe we’re not so, so skilled at the beginning or whatever. But it is something we can learn to do. And I said, Well, if that’s true, I want to I certainly want to know this for myself. I want to share it with other people and continue to learn from them. So I wrote down. I started with a with an outline and started to organize these thoughts. And then I invited about 100 people to be my accountability partners in this process of writing it down. And I said, Look, here’s how this would work. I suppose this will be a book. That’s the form. Could take a lot of forms. But I said, I want I want to write a book and here’s what it’s about. And I said, And here’s how I’d love for you to be involved, is I will write a chapter a week. I’ll send you one chapter a week. I want you to read it, answer the questions, do the exercises, get on a group, call with me. Have a discussion. Give me your feedback and then do it again next week.
Dean Miles [00:17:41] Mm hmm.
Brilliant Miller [00:17:42] And so of those hundred people that I emailed, friends, family, few acquaintances, former clients. About 50 said, I’m interested. Tell me more. What are the details? What day will we meet? And how much time am I going to spend each week? And you know, who else is there? Stuff like this? The practical things. Right. And of those 50 that said. Tell me more. 30. I think it was 33 said, I’m in. I was like, That’s great. Now I’m on the hook. Now I now I get to write this thing for real. And I went through it and it took me 18 weeks. And again, I just had an outline. And when I started, I started on my own of just saying, I’m going to do this no matter what. I got into it a couple of weeks and realized just how emotionally challenging it was, even with this attention and desire. I found a friend who is a very talented. Creative and and emotional support human and writer. And he was my collaborator through that. And by the way, I had an ops person who configured this that every Sunday morning, I think it was Sunday morning at seven or 8 a.m. the the draft went out. So it didn’t matter what the data was in that, Yes, 33 people was going to get the content then.
Dean Miles [00:19:05] Wow, that’s good.
Brilliant Miller [00:19:06] So there were many nights that I stayed up till sunrise till that, you know, working through the weekend and getting it up. And so that that resulted in getting this content written of what I now call life’s best practices. But I acknowledge it’s a little different from coaching, right, Because that’s content and that’s a group program. There’s an element of coaching that can happen or that’s related to it. But but that was a big, big part of of my journey.
Dean Miles [00:19:33] But then take us here and we’ll land the plane on that topic and go into the certification and explore that. What have you realized that’s become your coaching superpower?
Brilliant Miller [00:19:48] Well, when you asked me that before we started recording, I had one thought.
Dean Miles [00:19:52] Yeah.
Brilliant Miller [00:19:53] And now I’m having a different thought. Right. The thought I had when you asked me the first time was. There’s a lot. Part of it is rapport. Like rapport is this invisible is often invisible. It was to me before someone pointed it out and talked about what it is, how to use it, why it’s important like all this, but being able to develop enough of a relationship with someone that you can challenge them safely, right? That they trust you, that there are things you can do to develop rapport. And I don’t know that I’m a master of that, but I’m at least I at least make an effort. Right. So that that’s one.
Dean Miles [00:20:33] It’s really good. It makes me think about this and there’s something we’ve evolved to a bridge point. We have an expertise in a bridge point that nine out of ten people. Did your coaching. When you walk out of the room, they need to be mumbling to themselves while Dean gets me. Yes, ten out of ten. But you’re always going to have that one. But set that goal of nine out of ten. So even my experience in junior high and high school, I was I was friends with the smokers. I played violin. So I was friends with all the musicians. I was president of the chess club, so I was friends with all the nerds and I played on the football team. And so I just kind of learn now skill sets. I just I was friends with everybody in the high school and connected with them differently. The covey speed of trust, you know, to what level can you earn? The trust of nearly everyone. Think if you can be a great coach, more importantly, if you’re going to get paid, if you’re only good with 10% of the people on the planet. You’ve really narrowed down your market. Yeah.
Brilliant Miller [00:21:49] Yeah, for sure. Well, that ability to develop rapport is it’s huge. And I don’t think a coach can truly be effective without it. I think you can be a teacher without rapport. I would agree. I think.
Dean Miles [00:22:02] It could be different exchange, isn’t it?
Brilliant Miller [00:22:03] Yeah, it’s a different. It’s absolutely.
Dean Miles [00:22:05] More transactional.
Brilliant Miller [00:22:07] Yeah, definitely so. So I would say that. And then and then one thing I that I think about too is I think about something I read General James Mattis said about the most effective leaders. Our brilliant in the basics. That’s where he says this term.
Brilliant Miller [00:22:25] And this fundamental discipline is applied consistently. And the reason I’m saying that is one of the fundamental disciplines for a coach and something I like to think I’m good at is helping to define an outcome, right? Because it’s easy for a coaching session to, I would say, devolve into story time or commiseration or explanation or a lot of talking that really isn’t productive. And there’s a time and a place for that, for the expression and the sympathetic ear and like all of this. But at the same time, if that’s not in service to an outcome, well, what is it that you want? And then being able to relate that back and sometimes redirect or sometimes cut people off and in service to them producing their outcome?
Dean Miles [00:23:06] That’s right.
Brilliant Miller [00:23:07] So I think that’s one is just putting a context around a conversation oriented toward the achievement or the realization of an outcome that’s chosen by the client. Right? It’s up to me. That’s right. To teach for the outcomes. Sometimes it’s to remind them, you know, or to understand. So I would say, you know, that’s another one that I might say a superpower is just helping a client like define and remain oriented toward an outcome that matters to them.
Dean Miles [00:23:38] Here’s what I’m hearing. It’s less of what you’re saying is more that you’ve identified something. Because I’ve asked coaches, especially aspiring coaches, what’s your superpower? And unfortunately, their shoulders do this. Hmm. I just like people. And that’s good, right? I mean, that could be their superpower. But it’s the uncertainty that I’m concerned on their behalf. Right. Be certain and be wrong, but pick something. Yeah, right. And go get some feedback on it. What? Where did that just take you? What are you thinking about?
Brilliant Miller [00:24:17] Well, I mean, I think you’re right. And I think this is part of like, being consciously competent.
Dean Miles [00:24:22] Yeah. Good words.
Brilliant Miller [00:24:23] Right? Of knowing what it is you’re doing. Because, again, I do think a coach is a practitioner. This is sometimes there’s, you know, a hammer and sometimes it’s a hacksaw and sometimes it’s a feather. There’s different tools at your disposal. Questions are one of those, right? Being aware of different types of questions, using them in different ways at different times. You know, so it I could go deeper on that. But I think just having that awareness of this is a craft. I think coaching is a craft. It’s a skill. And and knowing that it’s not a formula necessarily. I do think there is some linearity to it. And I guess it’s that in my coach training program and I’ve been a little surprised to have this feedback from participants when I’ll lay out on one slide the I call it the anatomy of a coaching conversation, and it begins with rapport. By the way. Check in how you’re doing, you know, like this. Yes. And then for me, it ends with a question of what was most valuable for you here and a commitment to help ensure action. Right. But there’s a so there is a structure, but there’s also an art.
Dean Miles [00:25:33] Yeah, well, I think this transitions well into the certification. Yeah, it’s this is an art and this is a process. Well, is that what certifications are all about? So once you kind of set that up for us.
Brilliant Miller [00:25:48] Yeah. So when you and I talked a few months back in one of these coaches commonplace conversations, I think we I’m sure that listeners have just been on edge waiting for us to come back.
Dean Miles [00:26:01] Let’s assume that.
Brilliant Miller [00:26:02] And close that loop about certification. Does it matter? Like, why or why not? And I am of the opinion that it matters if it matters to you. Right. And it matters if if it whether or not it matters. Depends on what you want. No surprise. It’s life’s operating question. Operative question is what do you want? But I think that here’s the here’s the- I guess if I try to distill it in my decade plus of being a coach, observing other coaches, working with being coached. I have come to believe absolutely that there are great coaches who are not certified by any certifying body. And conversely, there are coaches that I think are not effective. They are not great coaches. I don’t even think they’re good coaches in my sole judgment, and they are certified. So like everything, you know, there are probably good dentists and bad dentists and good mechanics and bad mechanics. There are good coaches and not so good coaches. And whether or not they’re certified is no indicator of whether or not they’re good or whether or not they’re right for you. And part of it is they’re getting paid.
Brilliant Miller [00:27:22] Right. Or if they’re getting paid, Absolutely. So that’s my fundamental take, is that I don’t think a certification in and of itself matters. But it’s also like this that. Right. If you believe that the purpose of a goal is not in the outcome of the goal, it’s not in the trophy or the pile of cash or the car or whatever, but it’s what you become on your way to that goal. And the certification can be that thing. It’s like, is the certification valuable? Probably not as valuable as what you might become in the process of pursuing the right course.
Dean Miles [00:27:57] I really like that. Brilliant. I mean, when we say is it necessary, we’re assuming that there’s a desired outcome. It’s is it necessary to get paid or to land a job? There’s always the exceptions. But as a general rule, for someone who’s been full time coaching for 17 years, it’s certifications that can help you close the contract. It just isn’t because there’s enough noise in the environment. The people have met the master certified coaches. They can’t make a living coaching. They make their living coaching by helping someone else get certified as a master certified coach. That’s their business model. And if you want to do that, that’s fantastic. But getting that certification doesn’t help you get the contract or to land the client. As a general rule, will it make you a better coach? My experience. Not in the process of just getting the certification. Where I got the most value and where I asked people to go get certified in something is for one reason. The practice. And they get feedback to find out where. Are you uncomfortable coaching? So I was through this pick my brain dot world. I’ve talked about this in previous podcasts. You can. It’s a great collection of people that have volunteered themselves to to pick my brain. And there are thousands of people that have put themselves on the website for free. And you could talk to anyone on the planet for a half hour. So one of the first person persons I talked to, I won’t use her name, but she was the first Iranian woman to win the world championship in kickboxing.
Brilliant Miller [00:29:55] Well, this shouldn’t be hard to Google, then.
Dean Miles [00:29:57] No, I’m with you on that, But I’m not to say she’s done it. Yes.
Brilliant Miller [00:30:03] Go ahead.
Dean Miles [00:30:03] Well, full disclosure. I won’t use her name, because I don’t remember it. So that’s full disclosure. Well, no, Imagine your name. I’m drawing a blank. My age is showing. So it’s not that it’s a secret. I just don’t remember it. But she tells the story of how she had been practicing, and then she went and got a coach to get her ready for the world championships. And that’s when she realized the gap between regular training and world championship training. Like she wasn’t even close. So now I think about I had a natural coaching ability and I’ve had some coaching moments which put me on this path to go get certified as a coach. What I then realized was the gap between where I was and where I needed to be, not to just be a coach, but to be a masterful coach. So it wasn’t about insight for me. It wasn’t about my ability, it wasn’t about the results, it was how much pain was I willing to self inflict to get better and to what level would I be willing to practice? Like run the track to your vomiting to do those football practice or you do it twice a day on the on Saturdays. Well, you’re just on the edge of heat exhaustion. Well they willing to do that level of practice. Because I wanted to be a masterful coach. That’s why I think sort of the case in matters. Because I don’t know where else you can get pushed like that.
Brilliant Miller [00:31:45] Yeah. And it can be hard to push yourself like that.
Dean Miles [00:31:48] Well, I won’t. I can clarify that to everybody. Left to my own devices, I will take the easiest route possible.
Brilliant Miller [00:31:55] Well, you’re, that’s all organisms. Right. We avoid pain and we move toward pleasure. We’re all very basic creatures in some way. No, I’m with you, and I can see that that’s a huge benefit of the certification program. So I see that. And I think, too, as I’ve looked at this, because you and I both have earned an ICF certification. So we’re trained as people who have gone through this. And again, I advocate it for anyone who. Has done some hard thinking, talked to others, and still says, Yeah, this is important to me because of who my clients are or because of how I want to present myself or whatever. The one thing that I look at is I just really encourage anyone who is in that situation of, you know, looking to grow their practice, wondering if getting a certification is the thing that’s going to take them to the next level is whether or not you’re looking at this to solve some problems for you that it really won’t.
Dean Miles [00:32:54] That’s good, right?
Brilliant Miller [00:32:55] And the thing I think about here is I have a friend who has an employee who had a car, so my friend’s employee had a car and she crashed the car and she owed some money on the car. Even though it got destroyed, it wasn’t totaled. So she didn’t get an insurance check. Right. That’s her employer. He he paid the debt on her car, gives her gives her this check. That was over the weekend. She comes in on Monday morning. She’s got a new car with new debt. So she’s just recreated this situation for herself. Yes. And as he explained this to me, he said what I learned from that was money can’t solve money problems. Right. If this is a mentality of like somebody who will continuously just put themselves in a disadvantageous financial situation, just paying off somebody’s debt for them doesn’t change the underlying mentality. Right. Right. And the reason that I think of that story in relation to a certification is if you have some kind of I don’t know what to call it, because I don’t want to judge it like I don’t want to say like a scarcity mindset, but if you have this orientation of I need something else, I’m not ready yet. Right. Just kidding. Just checking that box probably won’t make you feel any more ready. You’re going to be left with that underlying sense of I’m not good enough yet or I need something brilliant. So that’s part of why I really I guess I would say caution or at least encourage people to think really deeply about what’s motivating them to get the certification and not and hopefully not this false belief of like, Oh, right, when I have it, then I’ll be ready to start growing my practice.
Dean Miles [00:34:40] Right. Yeah, those are really wise words. I would encourage you. You’re listening right now. Pause. Back that up about 5 minutes and listen to that again. Otherwise, you’re really setting yourself for disappointment.
Dean Miles [00:34:55] Yeah, potentially. And I certainly didn’t have the most pure motives when I was going through certification. I was already doing some contract coaching for a smaller firm. And what their guarantee or their promise statement to their clients is that all of the coaches are certified or in the process of becoming certified. So I started certification thinking I was really good at coaching. It was a high level of certainty. And I was humbled and I was humbled quick, which then set me on the path. And I told the story last week of how the professor told me, You know, Dean, you’ve mastered the art of fake curiosity. And had I ever. So that’s where I got reoriented of really, why was I doing the certification wasn’t to help me get clients. It was really to help me get out of my own way and to achieve this masterful status without being an idiot.
Brilliant Miller [00:35:58] Well, Dean, let’s talk a little bit about. About earning recognition and money as a coach. So we’ve talked about, you know, whether or not it makes sense to to go through the pain of getting a certification, but whether or not one does and we’re still faced with our clients, how do I let people know this is what I’m doing? How do I let people know that I might be able to help them? You know, how do I put myself out there in any way that might be appropriate? And I know you’ve been taking a class from engaging in conversations with. Yes. Mark Ryder, who’s Marshall Goldsmith’s co-writer. Ed. Right. An agent. He’s like a unicorn in the world of publishing. Very magical creature, though. So what a privilege for you to connect with him every week for this. I don’t know. I don’t know. What’s the next level of a masterclass between this and masterclass? Right. But I understand you’ve been talking about memoirs, about writing.
Dean Miles [00:37:01] We have, Yeah.
Brilliant Miller [00:37:01] So what have you been talking about lately?
Dean Miles [00:37:03] He has been. So this has been over the course of a year. Actually, just over a year. There’s a writers workshop with Mark Rider write spelled differently, but nice play on the words and a couple of themes. Come, come to play here that I will take as coaching, but also to to be the author of something to reshare or to tell your own story, whether that be fiction or nonfiction, I guess. And he pulls on some of William Zinn’s honor. And if you’re not familiar with who that is, it’s worth going. And Googling that and finding some of his his his writing books. And it’s really, really challenging. But there’s some themes in there, and it starts with you to be yourself. Mm hmm. It is such a good reminder. I did this incorrectly, and every coach in this phrase been or 50 coaches that have come through bridge point, that’s on our bench. And I’ve watched every one of them make the same mistake. We hired them because they’re really good coach. And then when they come in, they start acting like a coach. Which is not the same I did when I went through certification as sort of pretending and acting like how a coach should act as opposed to just being myself.
Brilliant Miller [00:38:23] What do you mean? Like what’s an example of that? What do you see in these coaches that you hire or maybe in yourself?
Dean Miles [00:38:30] If I change even the tone of my voice, I start to get breathy. They’ll list. Talk about you. What’s become more clear here? I don’t talk like that. And I’m taught that anywhere else in my life. And all of a sudden that feels coach like.
Brilliant Miller [00:38:47] I call that the HR voice.
Dean Miles [00:38:50] Oh, that’s a good one.
Brilliant Miller [00:38:51] Oh, come on in and sit down and let’s have a conversation.
Dean Miles [00:38:53] Let’s talk. Yeah. Yes. So this idea of be yourself, that’s the first one. Second is just use concrete ideas. And details. So to get out of this generalization, to specialize, right, to really know what you’re talking about. And I think that’s some of the process that you are talking about. Aim for simplicity. I like this idea a lot. Show don’t tell. So rather than simply telling. Um. I’m looking at my notes here. Show the reader what happened and how they felt as opposed to just telling someone what happened. And so another version he gave of this brilliant was. People are more interested to know what you’ve learned versus what you know. Hmm. Because if I tell you, here’s what I know. You can say you’re wrong. And here’s the ten. And you can counter it. If I say, here’s what I’ve learned. I here’s what I experienced. There’s no counter to that. It’s just my own story. Use humor. And then just be honest and open. And just really great, great reminders.
Brilliant Miller [00:40:20] Yeah, I can see that in my dad where he wrote his autobiography and he was. As I knew him. He was always a very open, you know, authentic person. But that’s a comment I’ve heard over the years since he wrote his book about I can’t believe how honest your dad was about what it was really like to build that business or about the challenges he faced or about experiences with people that I had read about in the newspaper. And then here he is. You know, so that’s true. And I’ve you know, I’ve heard it said that. The intimate is the most universal. And so this idea of when we’re when we are like I want to say honest, but when we do share.
Dean Miles [00:41:07] Yes.
Brilliant Miller [00:41:08] That people people do connect with that. Because partly I do think it’s it’s it’s rare. You know, so it’s no surprise.
Dean Miles [00:41:16] Yeah, unfortunately. Well, one of the books that Mark was the author of of a memoir, the opening sentence is Everyone Has a Secret. Here’s mine. And I think it’s such a brilliant opening line. I just found it to be true. And when you can get to a place, I think. Well I my own personal. As a coach you to my rapport when I can start off with in a coaching relationship. Here’s my limp. Right, because I think we all walk with a limp. Jeffrey Immelt, who took over for Jack Welch to General Electric, talked about if you wanted to be on his team, you needed to have gone through a crisis. So don’t create the crisis. Different conversation. But he wanted to know that you’ve gone through a crisis. This means that you’ve you’ve been on your knees, you’ve been in the trenches, and you survived it. He doesn’t want you to find out if you have what it takes on his watch. All right. I want you tested. I think those that I coach makes me more human when I tell my own story of Here’s the mistakes that I’ve made. Here’s the pain I’ve suffered. And here’s what I’ve learned through it. So I just shared my secret. Now you want to share yours? Yeah.
Brilliant Miller [00:42:37] Yeah, absolutely. Well, in this, as you know, Dean, writing is something that I’m just so fascinated by. And someone pointed out to me that there’s a reason we call it spelling. There is a magic to language.
Dean Miles [00:42:55] I’ve never thought of that before.
Brilliant Miller [00:42:56] That’s good. It’s pretty remarkable. And the incredible power of language. And not that every coach needs to write their book. I know many want to and for various reasons, don’t. But the power in that. And I just wanted to capitalize on a few of your lessons and insights. You know, as you’ve had this opportunity over the last year to learn from from Mark. So thanks.
Dean Miles [00:43:20] Thanks for sharing a chance. Mark tells he gives a statistic. And Marshall Goldsmith also says that if you wanted to be a masseuse, maybe you’ve heard them say brilliant. If you wanted to be like in the top 50% of book sales. How many books do you should you have sold to get into the top 50%?
Brilliant Miller [00:43:41] It’s a crazy low number.
Dean Miles [00:43:45] Two. Yeah.
Brilliant Miller [00:43:46] Like. Yeah. There’s more than a million books on Amazon right now that have zero sales.
Dean Miles [00:43:51] Zero? That’s exactly right. I thought it interesting to test. You said everyone wants to write this story, and I think there is something in us that wants to tell our story and to be heard.
Brilliant Miller [00:44:04] Yeah, And there’s something in us that resists it as well.
Dean Miles [00:44:08] That’s true, too.
Brilliant Miller [00:44:09] It’s like the opposition in all things. No surprise. We want to be seen, but we also want to hide. You know, we want to be in love, but we want. We want to but we want to avoid commitment. You know, there’s all this. Every strength has a weakness kind of thing. Well, just on the power of language. And let’s let’s talk now about affirmations.
Dean Miles [00:44:32] Yes.
Brilliant Miller [00:44:33] And talk about the power of affirmations and whether they’re garbage or whether they’re useful and whether we ought to start working with them, keep working with them, encourage our clients to work with them. What’s your view? Affirmations. Are they worth while, or have we been sold a bill of goods?
Dean Miles [00:44:57] So I am taking a class by Dr. Sukumar Rao and the name of the class his creativity and personal mastery. And he makes a statement. Very provocative. And nobody does this on purpose because it gets people’s attention like like he did for me. And it’s that we’ve been trained our whole lives to be unhappy. Here’s what Dr. Al said. I was like, Man, is this true? And it’s just this idea that if I, you know, when I get this the f thing, then ah, the F then.
Brilliant Miller [00:45:34] Yeah, there’s what Marshall, when I love Marshall, calls this the great Western disease. I’ll be happy when.
Dean Miles [00:45:41] Yes, yes. And so if you’re good boy, you can get some ice cream. I think it’s true in the east now too, though.
Dean Miles [00:45:48] What I think. Oh, very much so. Yeah. Yeah. This disease has spread. So I think because of that, it creates this mental chatter. I have it and it’s nearly constant. And it can be from a place where everything’s out to get me and the world is unfriendly and the universe is unfriendly. And I’ve upset the gods, you know, when you sacrifice someone or someone to please them. So it’s from there. I think the affirmations are important because it can reframe you to something that’s more optimistic. That added, We’re trying to avoid pain. We’re trying to avoid uncertainty. We’re trying to avoid hard work. The affirmation gives me just enough hope that maybe I have a chance. Yeah. So those are my original thoughts. So take it because I want to hear what you’ve been thinking on this.
Brilliant Miller [00:46:41] So. Something I think about with affirmations is, you know, I think there’s a doctor. I think it’s an Emily Cooper, a French doctor in the fifties that popularized this super, super famous one. Right, I think it’s every day and every way. I’m getting better and better every day and every way I’m getting better and better. And for a while. And personally, I love the old timey American like self-help that thinking grow rich, the power of positive thinking, how to win friends and influence people like this. It’s just its own genre. It really is.
Dean Miles [00:47:17] For sure.
Brilliant Miller [00:47:18] That I’m not aware of any other country or and it’s largely 20th century, right like 1900 to. So anyway, I acknowledge like I have an affinity for that genre just because if nothing else, I think there’s a part of it. It’s cute. It’s like oh, look the people are trying.
Dean Miles [00:47:37] You know, Yeah, bless their hearts.
Brilliant Miller [00:47:38] And I also acknowledge there’s a lot around it about privilege and, you know, luck and like all this other stuff. But whether or not affirmations work, whether they’re useful, you know that. So going back to the question, I think you’re right about like we all have this constant stream.
Dean Miles [00:48:01] Of.
Brilliant Miller [00:48:01] Noise, of mental chatter. It’s like a torrent. Sometimes it’s louder than others. Sometimes we’re aware of it, other times we’re not. Many times it just kind of runs us right? And it is this kind of programing. I think in a way it’s.
Dean Miles [00:48:15] I mean, that’s what marketing. Marketing is based on this.
Brilliant Miller [00:48:18] Exactly. So there’s a lot that we’re that we’re at the effect of, I would say, and part of what I think is a power of an affirmation is to interrupt that pattern. In a way to do it deliberately. Right. And to take a statement. In other words, to to take meaning and to be the creator of meaning in your life, even if only in the moment of making a statement. Even if it’s silent, like even if you don’t say it out loud, just saying, you know, whatever, and picking something. And then I would go beyond that. And I think there’s tremendous power in that. What I look at is I kind of look at an affirmation, a little bit like a boulder. That you can you can drop a boulder in that stream of consciousness that will redirect the flow. Right. Or you could build a dam or a dike or whatever, like whatever metaphor. Right. But you can you can change it. And and to say that that doesn’t have power, I know there are many people that will like this on affirmations. And I think the thing there is like, look, to just ignore like the pain because pain has a message, right? Or unpleasant realities or things you don’t like. I think there’s a time and a place to acknowledge that and not to use an affirmation like a Band-Aid.
Dean Miles [00:49:37] That’s right.
Brilliant Miller [00:49:38] Right.
Dean Miles [00:49:39] But to be delusional. Right. Right. Not to.
Brilliant Miller [00:49:41] Be delusional. That’s right. And so all of that, I am an advocate. And at this and then I think about, you know, the way Tony Robbins teaches affirmations. He doesn’t teach affirmations. He teaches something called incantations. Right. Which, again, coming back to this magic, not that Tony teaches that any kind of magic, but instead with intensity, with intention, with intensity, with repetition, of looking at it as this deliberate declaration. And I think getting to the point of this is something that, as you can tell, I get pretty geeked out about.
Dean Miles [00:50:12] Yeah.
Brilliant Miller [00:50:13] We’ve all become who we have become like in our at the level of our nervous system. Mm hmm. Because of the experiences we’ve had, the environments we’ve been in or put ourselves in, and that has in a way, conditioned us. And we’ve done that almost entirely. Not on purpose, unintentionally.
Dean Miles [00:50:35] Oh, true. It’s so true. Well, there is this phrase. I’m interrupting. I want you continue. Yeah. Yeah. This idea of tell me what you’re doing right now in with a high level of probability. I can tell you what you will be doing 5 minutes from now.
Brilliant Miller [00:50:48] Sure.
Dean Miles [00:50:50] Because you’re having a thought and it’s either serving you well or it is. And there is there is really no hold. Right. As the farmers will say, you’re either grain and growing or you’re ripe and rotting. That’s it, right? I mean, is it ready? It’s just. It’s a fleeting moment.
Brilliant Miller [00:51:10] Yeah, that’s right. Life is a dynamic process. So. Absolutely. And I and I do think that there’s something powerful about taking conscious. I would say control. I don’t like the word control, but making a conscious effort through the language we use and how we use. Right. And I’m not I don’t speak or write Sanskrit, but I’ve learned a little about it and about how there’s this in Hebrew is the same way that the letters mean things. It’s not just right, like the letter B, it doesn’t necessarily mean anything, but that in Sanskrit, as I understand it, every letter also has a vibration associated with it, which makes sense when you speak it that they’re all unique, and that when we use that and this is part of the idea, I think of a mantra. Is that there’s a power. We’re invoking a power by using this language.
Dean Miles [00:52:06] Yes.
Brilliant Miller [00:52:07] Right. And when we do that, again, with intentionality that we can language actually is creative or it can be and it can be destructive. Right. And and that I think there’s something to make that process more conscious can be incredible. So that brings me to the thing that I when I wanted to talk about affirmations, I told you that I had found one that I’ve been working with and I don’t I don’t do affirmations every day or anything is not part of my routine. But I came across one in a book that’s been on my list for a long time called The book is called I believe it’s called The Game of Life and How to Play It. Yep, The Game of Life and How to Play It by Florence Scoville Shin. She lived from 1871 to 1940. I love that this is a woman that wrote a book about this. And she has this affirmation in this book that she offers the reader. And part of what I love about this affirmation is that it it talks about destroying. It’s actually because so many things, so much in personal growth is about layering on and adding and doing more. But in this affirmation, she actually uses language to destroy. And here’s the affirmation, by the way. Let’s see. So, she says. And I feel inclined to preface this, by the way, of course. I’m not sure. I’m not sure if I want to, because there’s this whole other thing again, the mystical, metaphysical thing.
Dean Miles [00:53:53] Yeah. Just say it and then we’ll come back.
Brilliant Miller [00:53:55] Well, let me. Let me just talk for a moment, and then I will.
Dean Miles [00:53:59] The suspense is killing me. I know.
Brilliant Miller [00:54:04] I guess as you can see, I’m really in my head about this. And it’s this idea of a Christ, Right.
Dean Miles [00:54:11] Which, yes.
Brilliant Miller [00:54:12] Is in this affirmation. And as I’ve learned Eastern traditions and I’ve been introduced to the idea of a Christ consciousness separate from any individual.
Dean Miles [00:54:22] Yes.
Brilliant Miller [00:54:23] That, I think is actually really powerful. In other words, it’s maybe just another word for. Highest self or intelligence or something, Right. So that’s in this affirmation. I just wanted to acknowledge that because if you hear it as.
Dean Miles [00:54:39] Yes.
Brilliant Miller [00:54:39] I’m associated with some faith tradition, I think the affirmation loses some of its power. Okay. But notice here’s what it says. I now smash and demolish by my spoken word every untrue record in my subconscious mind. They shall return to the dust heap of their native nothingness. For they came from my own vain imaginings. I now make my perfect records through the Christ with him, the records of health, wealth, love, and perfect self-expression.
Dean Miles [00:55:13] So good.
Brilliant Miller [00:55:14] And that idea of smashing and demolishing by my spoken word like to me, there’s something that’s just awesome and invoking the subconscious because there’s so much that I think we are so unaware of that actually, like, I don’t know, forces that we can draw upon, we can use. Know, Buckminster Fuller said don’t fight forces, use them. Right. But how much is there in this universe that we’re. What’s that saying about the universe is full of. What is that saying? Waiting full of like amazing things, waiting for our wits to grow sharper.
Dean Miles [00:55:51] I think that’s right.
Brilliant Miller [00:55:52] Right. It’s like and we’re just coming to this hopefully coming to this fullness of realization and this idea that we can.
Dean Miles [00:56:00] See.
Brilliant Miller [00:56:01] Through language.
Dean Miles [00:56:01] And.
Brilliant Miller [00:56:02] We can smash and demolish by our still.
Dean Miles [00:56:05] Way different than avoiding, outrunning, ignoring. Right to smash it. I’ll tell you a true story. A woman was divorced. Waited almost five years for you on our first date, Right. Just trying to build up this courage. So if she meets this guy for lunch and she’s like, Oh, the top thing to do, like, don’t go to dinner or that kind of thing. And she was probably in her mid-forties. So they they meet at this restaurant for lunch. They’re not even really 11 minutes into this sit down. Well, then he stands up. And says, let’s just let’s just call this good. This is not going well. There’s no chemistry here. We’re not vibing. You’re really lucky that I’ve even stayed this long. I mean, because look at you. You clearly don’t care about yourself. I mean, you’re out of shape. I mean, look at how big your hips are. I mean, your eyes are sunken. I mean, I really did you a favor, even just staying this long. And then he walked away. Now, I can only imagine what you’re thinking. Brilliant. And what those are Just heard me tell the story. But let me flip with this a little bit. That’s not what he said. That’s what she was saying to herself. Mm. And we do this not constant, but in these moments that tend to matter. Yeah. The chatter is loud and it’s cruel. Right. And had she had this affirmation to smash and destroy. That moment could have been completely different. Yeah. Sitting on this date in the afternoon in New York City. Absolutely.
Brilliant Miller [00:57:57] Absolutely. Well, and the other thing, too, man, that I just want I I’m geeked out by is that there is or can be power in language that we can feel. Right. And sometimes it’s based on the rhythm.
Dean Miles [00:58:16] Yeah.
Brilliant Miller [00:58:17] The cadence, you know, the particular words, the mixture of consonants and vowels. And it doesn’t even need to be super analytical. But like, you can by speaking it aloud. And I think speaking it even more perhaps, than just reading it. Right. And that ability. I think there’s something really profound that’s available to us. Again, it’s not in that act of affirmations or even incantations, but like just availing ourselves of a power or a clarity, you know, that’s accessible that we might have not been present to if we hadn’t been working with tools like words.
Dean Miles [00:58:56] So good. Brilliant, Right. Like my mom from my earliest memory. So my full name is Michael Dean Lyles. So Michael, right now, the most powerful angel. Michael The angel, The messenger. And when we go and is looking at, you know, what’s the meanings of names and the origins of names that we give our children, my mom was quick to let me know that Michael and Michael Michael Dean together just means courageous at heart. Mm. Now, that doesn’t have to be true, but that’s what my mom told me. And so when I got to these moments from as a young as a young boy scared of the dark basement to having to walk home late at night to ask and the girl out on the first date, you know, ah, it has gone girl to to a dance to my first interview for a job to apply for college, to ask my wife to marry me, to starting my own business. Right. That my name meant something.
Brilliant Miller [01:00:04] Yeah, for sure.
Dean Miles [01:00:04] And it pushed me into doing something that maybe I wouldn’t have done, which created motion, which causes results and consequences. Yeah.
Brilliant Miller [01:00:15] Language is powerful or it can be.
Dean Miles [01:00:18] Can be. Well, no, it is. It’s either going to be use for you or against you. Yeah.
Brilliant Miller [01:00:23] I have heard a belief that every word either creates, sustains, or destroys. And again, that’s a little metaphysical, but interesting to think about just when you greet someone, when you are having a conversation with someone, what is the energy, what is the intention behind it? And I think there’s a point admittedly where we can overthink that. But there’s also, I think a lot of times where we would benefit by at least inquiring within ourselves, you know.
Dean Miles [01:00:52] Pretty great.
Brilliant Miller [01:00:54] I know, I know. We’re at the end of our time today, but I have really enjoyed this conversation. I learn a lot every time we talk. I mean, enjoying getting to know you even better. Courageous at heart. So thank you for sharing.
Dean Miles [01:01:11] Yeah. Thank you very much. Great topics, great inquiries.
Brilliant Miller [01:01:15] Well, let’s do it again sometime.
Dean Miles [01:01:18] I have a feeling we will.
Brilliant Miller [01:01:20] We’ll see what we can do to help ourselves and those who are listening to be great coaches, to earn recognition and money, to live good lives, lives of health, happiness and meaning.
Dean Miles [01:01:32] Yeah. Hear, hear. Thank you, Brian.
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