Season 1 | episode 12

Welcome to the Coaching Studio Podcast

This podcast features fun, lively conversations with masterful coaches who are creating an impact. Get to know them, their journey into coaching, and discover what wisdom they would offer you about being a better coach.

Let’s go!

the Coaching Studio welcomes Meg Mann, JD, MCC to this episode

the Coaching Studio Guest

I am very excited to welcome Meg Mann, JD, MCC to the Coaching Studio Podcast. 

Quick Links from Episode
Learn more about Meg on her website
You can also find her on LinkedIn
The Book Recommendation: The Trusted Advisor

Credits

  • Host: Lyssa deHart, LICSW, MCC
  • Music: Frolic by Harrison Amer
  • Production Editing: Lyssa deHart
  • Social Media and Communications: Michele Logan

About This Episode

Read the transcript of this episode of the Coaching Studio Podcast:

Lyssa deHart

Hello, Lyssa deHart here, and welcome to the Coaching Studio. Today I have a wonderful guest Meg Mann, she is an MCC with the ICF. She is an American coach based in Europe and she’s been there since 1994. Meg began her career as an attorney and over time shifted gears into the development and delivery of managerial leadership programs across Central Europe and Russia.

Meg accidentally fell into executive education and coaching and began her journey as an executive coach, coach trainer, and experienced facilitator. Her diverse experience includes long-term transformational leadership programs and she, and global leaders in management consulting for many multinational companies. Meg has worked with executives from more than 70 different countries.

She spends considerable time training and mentoring coaches to become credentialed with the International Coach Federation and again she’s credentialed as a Master Certified Coach with the ICF. She has also been a coach trainer and supervisor in several accredited coaching training programs. Last but not least she’s fluent in English and Portuguese. She’s also conversant in Spanish, Italian, and French. Literally, four languages more than I can speak. Meg has lived in six countries on three continents and currently resides with her husband in Portugal. Thank you, Meg, so much for being on the Coaching Studio.

Meg Mann

It’s my pleasure, it’s wonderful to connect with someone from beautiful Bainbridge Island.

Lyssa deHart

Yes, well thank you, lovely to connect with somebody in Portugal and I love that we can do this right? You know, just be across the world from each other.

Meg Mann

Yeah, it’s great. And we have mutual friends who connect us and that makes it even more special. So thank you for having me today.

Lyssa deHart

Yeah, it’s networking on a bigger scale. For sure. It’s really fun. So you know, I loved this idea that you accidentally fell into coaching. So this really leads me to how just one accidentally becomes a coach?

Meg Mann

Yeah, well I could say you’re in the right place at the right time. Um so if you back up to when we first came to Europe, you mentioned 1994 my husband and I went to a small country called Slovakia right after its split from the Czech Republic. So it was Czechoslovakia and it split and we went as volunteers. So we were there with the idea that we have an adventure and we’d see how long the adventure lasts. And worst-case scenario, we go back to the States and I go back to practicing law and we’ll see what happens. And here we are still in Europe 27 years later.

Um but while in Slovakia, I got introduced to the managing partner of one of the global accounting firms and he was Dutch, also a lawyer and he was like complaining maybe I don’t know. Talking about his challenges. Let me put it that way. Talking about his challenges of having this really well-educated group of accountants and lawyers, well trained technically, but they were a disaster when it came to sort of the soft skills dealing with clients, uh managing teams, uh leading and understanding about business and communicating with their Western clients who were moving more and more into Eastern Europe at that time. Um so he said, he just kind of said, hey why don’t we design and deliver a program um uh to teach them these skills, you know, that you managed to law firm and you know why not? And I kind of went, hey, that’s cool.

And it sparked something in me that was a sense of again, adventure, creativity. He gave me carte blanche, pretty much of, I mean I had resources to their global human resource people, which was helpful, but pretty much said this is what I need, you design it, I’ll sign off and I’ll correct you and if you if you got something wrong there. So we worked together, partnered together to create this program, and part of the program was a one-on-one, was several, one-on-one sessions with the participants. This program was designed to go over three months uh cover a lot of the managerial leadership skills and I was the person who is going to be taking them through the one-on-ones, setting their goals, finding out what the challenges were, what got in the way, kind of checking on progress and et cetera. Well, this is 1995 when we started this. Uh, it spread for all these other countries. Um, and they started bringing in people from the Nordic countries. We went to spend several summers in Russia and Poland and you know, flying all over, it was exciting work. And every single one of these programs included one-on-one. Well, fast forward. That program ran for a good seven years.

Fast forward. I’m living in Brussels and my husband and I went there to get our MBAs, again just for fun. And uh as I finished my MBA I met a neighbor who worked for a very large consultancy company and she knew about this program that I used to be involved in. And she said, you know, the firm that does our leadership development work is looking for more faculty members, for facilitators, why don’t you apply? So she put me in touch with the person I interviewed, during that interview, the woman said, ah this is great. You’ve got a perfect background, your background as a lawyer, your background doing this leadership and management development, and you’ve been coaching too. That’s great because we’ve got another project where we need coaches. And I said, excuse me, she said, well yeah you’ve been doing coaching as part of the program. I said, I don’t know if I have or haven’t. This was I think 2001. And coaching had not been on, it wasn’t on my radar, and in Eastern Europe and Russia in those countries. It wasn’t on the radar so much then either. So she said, well yeah this is what coaching is. And she herself was a credential coach. So she started explaining it and she said, and we have a training program ourselves to train and some of our assessments and methodologies and such and we would certainly put you through that. But she said you’ve already got the skills and the experience doing it.

So, I immediately went home after this interview researching what is coaching and so, of course, International Coach, at that time it was called International Coach Federation is now International Coaching Federation. Anyway, ICF came up and I thought you know when I was practicing law I had to go to law school, you know, as a doctorate in law had to pass the bar exam, et cetera. I’m not just going to hang a shingle out and say I’m a coach without a lot more training than the short training they were going to give me. So I started researching credentialing programs, those that were credited by ICF. And finally found one that was a good fit and that launched my career. But it was an accident. I mean it was just, I didn’t go seeking it as a profession and there weren’t that many programs out there at that time either, the early 2000s.

If you think about it, our profession has mushroomed in the last 20 years. The niches that are available now are just oh and the sky’s the limit, it’s marvel. In fact, in some ways, it’s probably daunting. I think if I were to start that search now, I’d begin like in overwhelm. Anyway, so that it fell in my lap. Yeah. And it was something that sparked a passion in me that I wasn’t sure was there. And I’ve heard other people who, various people say that most of us who are in coaching probably have been doing this kind of thing most of our lives, you know, you look back you were the one that your friends came to, wasn’t just for advice, but just kind of be the sounding board and you know, the one who sort of provoked some, some deeper thinking in them. And I think that’s true for most of us, we had that stream.

Lyssa deHart

Yeah, several questions that really sort of bubbled to the surface is you’re talking one of, one of them has to do with really this sense of the value of credentialing and the fact that you didn’t want to just get a credential from anybody, but actually went out and looked for a place to get a credential and you mentioned your JD and then, you know, your bar accreditation or your, you passed your bar exam. You know, so you’re legally a lawyer, what I mean. And I think you bring up a really interesting idea to which is there that the coaching industry has just exponentially blown up. Right? And so people do have so many choices and in some ways when you had 10 choices it was easier than when you have 1, 000 different choices. But really, I mean, what would you say to a new um coach who feels the very much like what you were saying at the end, you know, all my friends come to me, I’ve been doing, this is just who I am, this is the water I swim in, this is just my nature to be coach-like. I don’t really need it coaching certification because I already do this just naturally. um given your background and sort of what you brought up, what would you say to someone along that line?

Meg Mann

I would say build on that passion, build on the love you have for those kinds of conversations and be open to learning more. One of the things again that I, I love about this profession is that you meet, I think I’m trying to think if I’ve ever met a coach who wasn’t a life learner. And I can’t, nobody comes to mind. It’s, you’re just immersed in life learning and we, we embark on this path. So I would just invite them to say be open to all the learning that you can, you can have, and cherish every bit of it because it’s ongoing. I don’t think it ever stops. Um that’s, that’s a, and for the most part, the people you’re with are, as I say, their life learners, and their positive and passionate about it and I contrast the very first I ICF conference I went to versus all the bar association and I was, I was a trial attorney for 15 years. I went a lot to American Trial Lawyers Association meetings and things in the contrast is just so great. Um I wish I had captured pictures of those two.

Lyssa deHart

I almost had the visuals of this sort of stiff, everybody’s very professional, everybody wants to be smarter than each other. And then I, I’ve experienced, you know, everybody just having a good time and trying to be present in the moment with each other.

Meg Mann

Yes, and just in general, just a baseline level of happiness, right? You know, lawyers kind of complain. So getting back to your thing about that, I think the place to start is coming in and saying, what can I learn, to be the sponge, what can I learn, how can I continue to up my game too? Fine, fine-tune and expand, not only my toolbox, but deepen my own personal journey because that’s the other difference about coaching and the path to credentialing um and more training is it’s really such a gift because for really, yes, it’s nice that we’re having these conversations with our clients and helping them, but at the end of the day, it’s so much about our own personal journey. It really is.

Lyssa deHart

I really also see that MCC journey as the sort of, the journey of the person, because to become an MCC, you’re learning to let go of all that expertise that you show up with, which is a kind of a deconstruction so that you can be fully partnered with another person, right? And it’s quite an interesting experience.

Meg Mann

I’m sorry, go ahead.

Lyssa deHart

No, you go on.

Meg Mann

We can do this all day. Um I just wanted to build on what you said that, that you’re right, you let go of things. And yet at the same time, I find sort of building on this, this analogy of the toolbox, you’re using the tools perhaps in different ways, you’re grasping them in a different way, you know, it feels different, it may look different and some you do let go of you say, well, that model just I’m not going to work here in this in this conversation. Um so it’s, it’s a different thing and that’s probably what mastery is in many of the arts and sciences, isn’t it?

Lyssa deHart

I think, I think it’s that willingness to let go and be curious and not know, not know the answer and I don’t mean, you know, I really appreciate your bringing that more out in the open. I don’t mean that you let go of everything that, you know, and you show up as sort of a, you know, a blank slate with your clients. But you use what, you know, to inform your curiosity, but it’s asking questions that you don’t know the answer to versus leading your clients to a particular outcome. Um And so yeah, I really, I really appreciate that. I know when you and I were chatting before, um one of the things that I’m just so impressed with is the level of diversity that you’ve worked with, because you’ve worked across the globe so much, and I’m really interested in sort of, your experience of how coaching works with diverse perspectives or with diverse cultures, like what have you learned as you’ve gone through your, your adventure in and having that opportunity of working with so many different people from so many different places?

Meg Mann

Yeah, it’s a great question. I I will say that um coach, the coach training works so well for me to become a better facilitator because as a facilitator in leadership, we are pulling from, from the participants we’re drawing on their strengths, we’re leveraging their expertise and their wisdom, which is really what master MCC level or masterful coaching is about. You don’t have to be an MCC to do it, please let’s make that clear.

Lyssa deHart

You can be an ACC and do it, exactly or not even have coaching, right?

Meg Mann

I’ve had some people in training programs and they’re there at the get-go and I’m almost like just stay there snapshot. Anyway, anyway, but it’s building on what you, what you mentioned a moment ago is this idea of coming with the curiosity, coming with an openness and coming with what we do know as coaches is that there is some wisdom in there and that wisdom of that person can be leveraged and do that. The wisdom and the other person can be drawn out to build on that or two to see where all of these things are. So what served me well with this broader thing of diversity and um and dealing with people from so many different cultures and then you get the levels of languages on top of that. Coming with that, exactly what you talked about, that we learn and stress so much in the MCC journey, curiosity, be willing to not know, just be in that sense of openness and say, hey, I’ll give you an example.

I was for the first time, I was on a program in Singapore and I was coaching, doing one-on-one with one of the leaders who was uh mainland, he was from mainland, mainland China but had spent quite a few years in the US. Was educated in the US. So but I asked, it just didn’t one of those questions so what do you think? And he sat back for a moment and he said may I share something with you but of cultural differences. So please do, and he said we Chinese don’t like to be asked ah what do you think?

And I think this guy had been trained as a medical doctor by the way. So very analytical. I’m very analytical you know I’m a clear off the chart preference of T. and MBTI. So it’s, it’s my default question, you know what do you think? But he said it really puts us on the spot to say because then we’re under the pressure that we have to know all of the answers. And that’s not my intention, right, my intention is, so what’s bubbling up for you kind of question. But his cultural lens was that question would put people off and I looked at him and I said thank you so much for that gift of sharing with me a tiny little thing. So I said so what would be an appropriate question? And he said you can ask me how I feel about it. And I went, oh it’s gonna be hard. I said I am trained as a lawyer, don’t ask me to say that F. word. It was, I had a coach trainer who said that all the time. I struggle with that F. word. And we had a wonderful laugh about that and I said I don’t want to take up your coaching session with you coaching me but boy.

So anyway, I was just it was that openness that you talk about, that willingness to be vulnerable. That showing up and saying, hey, I may get this wrong, but you know, work with me here. And the other thing that I’m, one of the things I do is I’m really passionate about um where we put our energy and managing our own energy budget. So one of the other things I’ve learned is to go into every interaction where I’ve got mixed cultures and even if it’s an American who was raised similarly to myself. Mhm. I’m going to go in not with this, I’m gonna go in with this part of me.

Lyssa deHart

And I just really want people listening hear you putting your hands around your head and I believe you were the walking head at one point also. That image really stuck with me, I think that’s where a lot of us stay. We have so many assumptions that come out of our little walking head that I’m hearing, you’re really inviting yourself to be curious about. And even more importantly, inviting your client to direct you and empowering your client to voice what their needs are. And the idea that your bias towards thinking somebody else probably has a bias towards feeling using that language and maybe even just the neutralization of the language so that people can have anything show up that’s appropriate for them,

Meg Mann

Right. So where I am now, you know after so many years of this learning journey is set an intention to connect heart to heart, set a connection to at the end of the day, I’m interacting with human beings and they’re interacting with me as a human being. And start from there and be open, be vulnerable, be willing. The other thing I’ve learned, which was very different, well, I shouldn’t say that it wasn’t very different than when I practiced law as a trial lawyer actually, it’s just using it in a different way. Um, but I have also learned that the less I say the better. So I can uh cut it down to like, you know, of question, a question of powerful question maybe.

Lyssa deHart

And I think that’s so key also because, you know, I to talk to students and this idea of powerful questioning or evocative questions or provocative questions. You know, they seem so big and complicated. Like they’ve really got to be complex in order to be really evocative and they’re really just confusing that they’re that way. Like the more simple, the cleaner, the more concise, the more the client gets to create their own meaning. And I, and I love that you bring that up, which I think really speaks to the cultural competence that you’re talking about also because you’re not taking to your point, you and I might have both. We didn’t, but let’s just say we both grew up in I don’t know, Arkansas or someplace right or Florida or Texas or wherever California it doesn’t and we might have even grown up in the same family and it doesn’t even mean that we’re going to have every single thing be the same way of thinking, feeling and experiencing the world.

Meg Mann

Yeah. And I think that actually that’s a gift is something I’ve brought into my mentoring and training over the years as well. It’s been interesting because I was actually involved in an ACTP program here in Portugal and I was one of the examiners and there of course speaking Portuguese. And so it’s interesting because I was not Portuguese, Portugal’s Portuguese is not my native language, but the client would be talking and say to the coach, you know what I mean? And the coach would go yeah.

And because it was not said in my native language, it, I heard it in a different way and I observed it in a different way and the coach automatically said yes and I reflected back on how many times in my own language the client may have said so you know what I mean? And I say yes, I know what that word means in my framework, my definition, my lexicon. Do I really know what the client means by it? So that was a huge lightbulb for me of going and I would call the Portuguese coaches is out and I’d say before you go, you know then when we’re doing skills practice, I’d call a time out, hang on a minute. Do you really know what the client means by that? And they said well yeah, she said such and such. I said I know you know the word, right, do you understand you, do you fully get?

Lyssa deHart

The importance of this for that client?

Meg Mann

Are You paying attention to the energy? What are the shifts in energy or the passion with which she said that word? Or how it contradicts what she just said five minutes earlier? Or that you know, are you picking up on the nuanced things? And it’s so easy for us to like you said, we can be from exactly the same place, have exactly the same background but what you mean by word does not necessarily mean or phrase or a metaphor. And so that again was one of those I thought, wow this is a powerful teaching moment for me. I should say a learning moment to monitor that and again stay in that place of absolute curiosity. And I got to where I was, the client said that to me, well you know what I mean? It’s this such and such, you know, you know, how you know how these kinds of things go. And I said well I may know from my own experience, I don’t know that I’m that I know from yours. What’s important about that for you? Or what does that phrase signify for you? You know, I turn it back. And so there have been some real blessings of working back to your original question about diversity. I’ve learned and grown so much in my own coaching skills, in my facilitation skills, by having some of those humbling moments or, those experiences.

Lyssa deHart

This internal AHAs. And I think that’s the gift of being a coach is the same thing with our clients. Our clients have an epiphany about something of we’re able to hold that space and we get the benefit of the epiphany because then we can like hold it into our own experience and be like, where might this be showing up in my world? Also, right? It isn’t an “I’m an expert” and your some sort of neophyte who needs a lot of caretaking, but rather I have as much to learn from you as you have to learn from me. And it’s a shared experience. I love that though. I really love that sense of and I think this is really at the heart of a lot of diversity um conversations and cultural competency as a coach is this recognition that we make assumptions all the time, and that we really have to acknowledge our assumptions and be curious instead. And recognize the easy places because to your point, how many times have each of us had somebody say, you know what I mean? And we go, yeah, I know what you mean. And I remember having a coaching session and the client said, you know what I mean? And I don’t know where this came from. It was in the moment, but I said, I’m not sure it matters if I know what you mean. Do you know what you mean? Right?

Meg Mann

Great response, great response. It’s not about my understanding, it’s about your understanding. Absolutely. Absolutely.

Lyssa deHart

And, and I think it’s that letting go of our ideas about what things mean so that we can really have the client be the meaning maker. It’s just beautiful, you know?

Meg Mann

Yeah, and recognizing that we can fall into these patterns and it gives us this beautiful opportunity, as you say, to be on a journey of challenging our assumptions, looking at our beliefs from sort of a 360 or kind of go, wow, what was that about? You know?

Lyssa deHart

It’s almost like the blind men and the elephant, right? Like, but it’s your turn walking around the elephant versus assuming this is the only side that there is.

Meg Mann

Yeah, yeah.

Lyssa deHart

That’s wonderful. That’s just but I think it is, I mean, I think it is one of the things that’s so important as people, especially if people do decide they want to become a professional coach, that they understand that this is part of the journey is the Mhm the inside journey that we take as a human being also to be curious with ourselves about those assumptions and automatic, you know, automatic, whatever’s that we come up with.

Meg Mann

Well, and and and even teaching for those of us who have done training, training programs or facilitated programs for leaders to give them, um give them the coaching skills. That alone, that putting aside some of the assumptions, challenging some of these things, um exploring more with their team members, all of that is so helpful. And I’m reminded of talking with some of the early pioneers of our profession and they said, you know, we had no idea that was going to become this great profession. What we wanted to do was shift the way we converse with each other, you know, start shifting mindsets. And I love the fact that coaching has become ubiquitous, it’s in other professions, because again, if we’re, not everybody has to be a professional coach to come at conversations with this more open mind and curiosity and come as a learner.

Lyssa deHart

Well, and you work in organizations a lot with a lot of leaders, I mean, what opens up for leaders when they come to, not as a coach, but with a coaching mindset or coaching curiosity, perspective or perspective of inquiry, like how does that shift trust and safety on the team, how does that change and shift, you know, buy-in that, your stakeholders, your team members, your customers, like how does that shift everything when a leader can bring this forward? What do you notice?

Meg Mann

Well, I think that first, first of all is not even, not even first, I don’t know which comes first the chicken or the egg. But one of the things that I think deepens the trust is the willingness to be vulnerable and I don’t know how familiar you are with The Trusted Advisor book. Um, it’s been around now for probably 20 years and in that book, um, Meisner Green, I always forget the third author. I’m so sorry that we put it into the yeah, it’s called The Trusted Advisor and in that and in that, um, and in that book they’d have this, they’ve broken down trust by an equation, all right. And so the equation of that, uh, it’s fascinating to look at us to disaggregate what trust really is and what they have is trust made up of credibility.

So you’ve got the credentials, you’ve got the expertise and experience. Reliability, you do what you say, you’re gonna do, you show up on time you deliver all of those things. And then in that numerator, there’s the idea of intimacy what they call intimacy. So this connection, this human to human connection which includes that willingness to be vulnerable. Those are in the numerator, all of that is divided by self-focus. So there is the premise of, that is if I reduce myself focus, it’s not about me and I increase my intimacy, reliability, and credibility, I’m going to deepen the trust and we use that a lot in our leadership programs. It’s just so powerful and again, giving the leader’s permission to set aside ego, giving them permission to deepen a relationship and connect human to human is really huge because most of them have credibility.

Most of them are reliable but where they struggle is in that intimacy space and taking it off their own agenda because they’re under pressure as well. Right? And once they begin to do that and work with it and they realize, hey, I’m getting, I’m getting far better results and I’m getting them faster and I’m getting a more motivated team, then it fosters even more of that willingness to be open and vulnerable and explore. So that intimacy piece on that is a great way to approach with leaders and it opens up to much of what we talk about and do as coaches, creating that trust-based relationship. Yeah, yeah, so it’s, it’s a powerful thing, long answer to your short question.

Lyssa deHart

You know but it’s wonderful because I think, I mean in such a brilliant resource and how we are thinking about again, how does our knowledge inform our curiosity with our clients so that they have the capacity to have this awareness that shows up for them where they’re really good here, they’re really good here, but here’s a place this place between them and the other person that maybe there’s something to work on. What is one of the biggest misconceptions about coaching that you see?

Meg Mann

Um probably that were advisers, I think that uh despite the fact that coaching has really um been spread out through a lot of organizations around the globe, I still think there’s a sense of, well the two things one is you’re just, I’m just gonna go talk to the coach and I’m gonna tell me what, you know, give me gems of wisdom or you know, help me with my to-do list by telling me what to do. Um which we know is not the case.

Um they don’t realize how much they’re going to be involved in the journey and I think, I think there’s also some reluctance on some people’s part of, you know, because coaching was used for the longest time in performance coaching, so it’s sort of, what did I do wrong or you know, how am I being judged by the organization and one more, one more standard by which I’m going to be evaluated. Um That’s kind of what I see, I don’t know what’s been your experience?

Lyssa deHart

I mean, I really, I agree with you, I think this idea that this is gonna be like a trusted advisor or a mentor that’s going to tell me what to do. And I see it as the biggest sort of the seduction of expertise, right? Where because it comes to us and is like I would love to have your thoughts on X issue and the coaches can’t help themselves because they’ve got some. And so like how do we step out of that seduction? And how do we also you know, a lot of times and I don’t, I’d be really curious how you handle this also but for me I just sort of giggle when people ask me my opinion. Not that I’m not willing to share my opinion at times, but I think it’s I’ll often say something to the effect of, let’s have a thorough conversation about this first, and if there’s any gaping holes I promise you I’ll share with you something that I might have noticed that you didn’t land on. I’ll be honest with you, Meg, I think out of like most of my conversations that I don’t have like hard numbers on this, but I’m feeling like about 90% of them never need my opinion. Right? Right? Yeah.

Meg Mann

Yeah. As as much as our egos would for it not to be so it’s true.

Lyssa deHart

It’s probably higher like 99.999% of them don’t need my opinion, which doesn’t mean I don’t share perspectives or share um you know an insight, or a, you know an intuitive hit that I might be getting. But I don’t do it with very much attachment either. Right? So I think there’s that also. Well let’s throw this in the space and see what shows up, but not necessarily do I need to tell you what to do.

Meg Mann

I think that’s the hard, that’s the hard part, was the hardest part for me because I came from a profession where my clients did buy a piece of my brain, right? I mean that’s what I got paid for. Um So in my coach training, I always had a, I’m a visual person, so I would imagine before I go into coaching thing, I’m unplugging, I gotta unplug the problem solver part of my brain because it’s not serving well here. And that was, that was a huge challenge for me. Yeah, I mean I was paid to be an advisor. So that was an even bigger challenge. So how, so there are a couple of things that happened. One was I resisted the temptation and so like you say kind of humor, I have a same saying, you know, I love to tell people what to do. Ask my husband. He’ll tell you I love to tell people what to do. Um but I’m not sure how useful that will be for you. And so let’s hear from you first and you know, like you said, if I have something that hasn’t been said, I may throw it out as an offer and what’s happened over the years is so humbling. What the client comes up with from their own resources and their own knowledge bank is far greater. I’ve been blown away sometimes I’ll be like, wow, a couple of times I’ll say, wow, that is really good, can I take that on board, totally stealing it. That’s brilliant. And so enough of those happened, it didn’t take much, two or three of those happening, you kind of go, oh wow, this is humbling because what I would have offered pales in comparison what they came up with. So that was number one, number two is as you say that it’s this, it’s coming up with a fun way of saying, yeah, I got lots of stuff. I love to give advice, but let’s hear, let’s hear from you first and we’ll see if you know, or I’ll tell people look, I’ll give you, I’ll give you lots of things to do. But how well do you respond when people…

Lyssa deHart

Tell you what to do about things in your life.

Meg Mann

How motivated is that going to make you and you know after you had a, you built the trust and they kind of go, a lot of my leaders are take charge direct people, right? And most of them do not like to be told what to do. So and I said, you know, you’re gonna be motivated if I tell you? Probably not, so challenge them a bit. I think the second piece you mentioned, what was another tough one for me was letting go, not being attached to outcome even if they come up with it. So wanting them to succeed in it and you know, it’s like uh to get attached to to to what’s going to happen with it regardless of whether it’s even my solution, right? Um but get attached to the whole situation, that was another learning of they need to go through their journey just like I, my learning journey has not been a cakewalk all these years either. They need to learn and experience. So the first is unplugging the problem solver. The second is to have a couple of things in your toolbox that are um fun and light and sincere ways of inviting the wisdom from the client to emerge and then really understand how important it is to not be latching on to some kind of outcome regardless of who proposes it. Just let it unfold, see what’s going to emerge, see what’s there. Um Yeah, those are those are three more wisdom tidbits that we learn along the journey.

Lyssa deHart

Yeah. And I’m really thinking also about just as I’m listening, that attachment that we get to the outcome even if it’s not our outcome, right? Even if it’s the client is completely a choice and it’s their outcome they’re moving towards. You know, how do we then as coaches take care of ourselves so that our stuff doesn’t lay on top of their stuff, right? Like how do we keep that embellishment clean? And um how do you like take care of yourself as a coach so that you can show up with that more open, curious, neutral, non-attached perspective?

Meg Mann

Yeah, and I’ll ask you the same question because I’d love to learn from you as well. I mentioned earlier that the idea of setting an intention before. Um, so I think that’s, that’s, that’s key for me, is to recognize them coming in human to human. I do, I’m big on the energy because I mentioned earlier, so I do a series of um, energy exercises that really get me, doesn’t take but a few minutes but get me grounded and in that space of feeling open and at flow and if there’s even a part of it that I’m sort of shaking off any of my stuff, you know, just like, like clearing all of that, you do figure eights, which is really great to clear any energy that’s been there from earlier meetings or anything else that you’re bringing in to the space. So consciously taking the time to clear energies and come in and I can almost tap into my, my little the kid at Christmas type of energy of, can’t wait to see what emerges. Now, I need, the danger of that is, you know, I come in all yea and my client may be having, maybe over here. So, you know, modulating it a bit, but coming in with that anticipation of an excitement of what’s going to emerge, that curiosity. Um, and I don’t know how much I did of that as a kid, but I certainly want to tap into it now as an adult. So those are just, those are just a few of the strategies that, and I think that takes, I think it takes some time to realize that, that what we’re doing when we show up as coaches is not about performance.

Lyssa deHart

Right, it’s about that presence.

Meg Mann

It’s about just let me be fully present and there are times in a session where they’ll say something and I will go off and I’ll say, I’m sorry that triggered something. Let me, let me, let me bring it back to you. Um, I’ll just say, or I’ll mess up something and all to go. Back, stop, take two.

Lyssa deHart

Don’t answer that question. What I really meant to ask was.

Meg Mann

Exactly. Exactly.

Lyssa deHart

Yeah. Let me bring that transparency piece also again.

Meg Mann

Yeah, rewind the tape, go back.

Lyssa deHart

And, I really love this intentionality because I think that I think it’s core to everything, right, is the intentionality that we bring to it and that sense of wanting to show up in an open, curious manner.

Meg Mann

Absolutely.

Lyssa deHart

I tend to do laughter yoga is my way of getting, you know, I really like laughter yoga quite a bit. So I’ll just ha ha ha ha, you know, I make myself laugh until I’m like, and then, and then it just clears all that out of like any tension just cleared out of my system and then I’m just ready to be real with the person, you know?

Meg Mann

Well, there’s one quote I’d like to share with, with you and your, your listeners and viewers is comes from the book by Dr. Jill Bolte Taylor called My Stroke of Insight. You’re probably familiar, you’re nodding. So you’re familiar with her and her Ted Talks and that book is just brilliant. There was a line in that book when I read it that just jumped out at me. And it was about her talking about her experience in the hospital and not being able to recognize and distinguished energies of people. Not even her own mother. I mean she couldn’t, she couldn’t distinguish that it was her mother. But what she could distinguish was the energy that her mother brought. Warm and caring and nurturing. And so the phrase, the sentence that she has is: Each of us is responsible for the energy we bring into a room. And like I said, that just jumped off the page for me. And I went, holy cow. Wow. Wow.

Lyssa deHart

I absolutely resonate with that. I absolutely resonate with that. Because I think that that is that intentionality. Right? It’s an energetic thing. I mean it comes through physically how we show up whether we’re, and to your point energetically if I want to just show up really real and present with another person. If they’re low energy, I can match that. It doesn’t mean I have to feel bad. But I can I can modulate myself to be where my client is. And on the other hand, I don’t, I also have to have my own base level of energetic health. Right? And so that we’re sort of intentional about our energetic signature as I like to call it.

Meg Mann

Yeah. And even just the question or repeating that phrase or asking yourself, what’s the energy I’m bringing into this room? And, and we’re blessed as coaches to have the training and our competencies that talk about coaching mindset and coaching presence. You know, just reminding ourselves, I’m there just to hold this space. That’s it. I’m here to just hold this amazing sacred space for this client to explore, we’re like explorers and discoverers on a treasure hunt. Let’s see what’s there. If that’s the energy I bring, then that’s the atmosphere, that because that’s what people pick up on, before they pick up on our body language and what we say or the tone of voice or the content. They’re going to pick up that vibration in that energy. So for me that is absolutely critical. And if and if it’s not there, take a moment, get yourself composed, go to the restroom, like I say, clear some energy. Get yourself. Sigh, yeah. In that space, um that’s and we teach that for leaders as well, I just think it’s a real powerful tool for just about anybody.

Lyssa deHart

Yeah, it changes the narrative on every conversation you’re ever going to have if you have intentionality about the energy you want to bring into it. I just, I mean, that’s beautiful and so on that note, I’m, you know, I’m curious what are you up to in the world right now that you’d like to share with folks?

Meg Mann

Oh gosh, I am in transition actually, so it’s kind of an exciting time. I’m granting myself the freedom to be in summer school and be open and a learner to some new things because I have closed out after more than a decade, I’ve closed out my MCC mentoring and my advanced coach mastery programs. I made that decision and I’m lovingly um passing and referring people onto some of my dear colleagues who continue to do that work. Um that was a big thing for me and due to the global situation of pandemics, a lot of the leadership facilitation of course just sort of stopped. So it gave me this open calendar for the summer to be exploring what’s next. So I’m continuing with coach supervision, I’ve got some coaches that I am coaching and I always love coaching coaches, but I’m just exploring seeing what’s gonna come up what’s going to bubble up um for me to create uh and embark on the next part of the journey.

Lyssa deHart

Yeah, I can see that kid at Christmas, I can see that kid at Christmas.

Meg Mann

Yeah, it feels kind of weird though because I’m for years, I’m always like, do do do we talked about the walking, walking, talking head of doing. And it’s now like, let me just let me take it a little easier. And so I’ve had to set my intention of, I’m in summer school, let’s let’s pretend we’re in summer school and do some play and a little bit of reading and studying and see what comes up for the fall semester.

Lyssa deHart

That’s wonderful.

Meg Mann

It’s exciting.

Lyssa deHart

Those transitions are always exciting times. So, thank you so much for being here today.

Meg Mann

Thank you, Lyssa, yeah, it’s been my pleasure. And uh, well, I still didn’t get all your advice though, so, and suggestions and brilliance.

Lyssa deHart

Well, you’ll just have to listen to the podcast because I’m sure they’re sprinkled throughout.

Meg Mann

Next time, next time we’ll reverse that and I’ll be interviewing.

Lyssa deHart

There we go.

Meg Mann

Sounds good.

Lyssa deHart

Thank you so much for today. I really appreciate it.

Meg Mann

It’s been wonderful. You take good care, we’ll talk soon.

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Lyssa deHart, LICSW, MCC

Lyssa deHart, LICSW, MCC

Host

Lyssa deHart ditched her therapy practice to become a Leadership Confidence Coach. Along the way she discovered a passion for professional coaching and wanted to find ways to share that passion with the world. Come join her in discovering and meeting some of the most amazing professional coaches on the planet. Her goal is to inspire coaches. Lyssa is the author of StoryJacking: Change Your Dialogue, Transform Your Life. She is an ICF PCC Assessor, Certified Mentor Coach, and budding Coach SuperVisor. Lyssa uses her understanding of the ICF Core Competencies, combined with her knowledge of Neuroscience, to work with people to become extraordinary professional coaches. Let's Go!

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