Season 1 | episode 8

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!

So happy to have Cathy Mott MCC on the Coaching Studio

the Coaching Studio Guest

It’s with great pleasure that I welcome Cathy Mott, MCC to the Coaching Studio


  • 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 the Interview with Cathy here:

Lyssa deHart

Hello, Lyssa here, I’m your host on this episode of the Coaching Studio. It is my pleasure to welcome Cathy Mott. She is an MCC with the International Coaching Federation and author, executive coach, keynote speaker, facilitator, and trainer who has worked closely with senior leaders for more than 25 years. Social and emotional intelligence coaching is her primary focus.

Cathy has distinguished herself by her ability to create safe places for her clients to explore and to find their identity as leaders as they walk through the four quadrants of emotional intelligence. Not only has Cathy coached hundreds of C suite executives but she also has trained thousands on a national and international level.

Cathy was the host of coaching, oh I’m sorry Cathy was the host of Coffee with Cathy on cable tv and she’s been featured on CUTV News talk radio, as well as, in CEO Magazine. Recently she wrote a book, Just Listen: Great Things Happen in Silence, which is an emotional intelligence workbook that engages the reader and guides them through their journey. Cathy’s ultimate passion is found in empowering her clients to create a life of authentic leadership. Cathy comes to you from Michigan where she lives with the love of her life for the last 38 years, surrounded by her beautiful family, which includes 8 grandchildren and her dad who’s made it to 90.

Cathy, I also want to really quickly read a really lovely review that I got of your book online. The review reads, “there’s nothing more valuable than knowing yourself and living by your truth and Kathy helps you work through that process with vulnerability and strength combined. This book slash workbook has been one of the most important tools on my journey of self-discovery and each time I go through it I learn more and more. What a beautiful tribute to your book and welcome to the show. Thank you so much for being here.

Cathy Mott Thank you, I’m excited to be here. Thank you for having me, Lyssa.
Lyssa deHart You’re so, so welcome. So my first question to you really has to do with how you ended up in coaching. It sounds just like you are doing a lot of leadership development. But what brought you into coaching?
Cathy Mott

Uh great question. So prior to coaching, I was in healthcare um for 13 years, I was in a culture change. So the organization I worked with was leading a huge culture change initiative, Healthcare organization, and we decided that we wanted to shift from providing patient service to providing a patient experience, which means how do you engage the patient mentally, physically, spiritually, and emotionally to create a personalized experience.

So through the course of this change management, I would go on to train 3500, over 3500 associates over the course of eight years on how to create this experience. It was a three-day training program called The Personal Connected Journey where we pulled them off-site for three days and we engage them mentally, physically, spiritually, and emotionally. During the course of this training, we recognized that the managers and the leadership team needed to be coached on how to receive their associates back into the work environment and how to be great leaders.

So the organization began using me as a coach and so a couple of years went by and finally, they said, hey, we’re going to send you to school for coaching. Um, so that you can become certified through the International Coaching Federation. So I indeed went to school for coaching. Absolutely loved it, loved, uh, it’s just, it ignites my soul and spirit. I love to coach. Um, and so they began to fly me around the country, coaching their executives.

And then I got a new boss who said no more coaching and so yeah, and coaching is like breathing to me. So I made a decision to leave the organization and start my own coaching practice and I’ve been doing it for eight years and I absolutely love it.

Lyssa deHart You know, one of the things that I really hear, I have, like there are several questions coming up because I think there’s a really interesting intersection between service and experience. And as you were talking about shifting from a service mindset to an experience mindset, I’m, I almost want to go there and just sort of ask from a coaching perspective what for you is the difference between a service mindset and an experience mindset?
Cathy Mott

Mm. Service mindset is, you know, I know some coaching organizations, large coaching organizations who will just coach with the same methodology for each and every person. Creating the experience for me is it’s very personal to each individual. So what makes that individual unique? What makes them tick? You know, what is it about them?

Like I always say I’m the life in leadership coach that specializes in introducing people to themselves. So because each individual is unique, each coaching engagement will be unique. I don’t feel like I provide a service. I feel like I create an experience for each and every client, it’s much deeper than a service.

Lyssa deHart Yeah. And I love, as you’re talking about that, you know, the image that’s really showing up for me is I think there are a lot of coaches who think there’s a, I don’t know a formula or the checklist of questions you need to ask and it becomes very rote or cookie cutter. But what I’m really hearing from you is the diving deep into the knowing of the individual human being that is sitting right in front of you.
Cathy Mott

Yes, absolutely. And you know, in the world of coaching, we do typically what we do is when you work with larger organizations, they’ll do a chemistry call. And when I first started coaching, you know, I thought this chemistry call was all about my credentials and what I do. And it took me some years to really understand that a chemistry call is just that, it’s about the chemistry between you and this potential client. And so now I show up at the chemistry calls and I’m just me and I’m here to meet and engage with this individual and allow the chemistry to flow.

And either I will be the right coach for this individual or I won’t. And it doesn’t mean that I’m not a good coach. It just means that they needed a different chemistry and so being in that space to be open enough to know that you are good enough as you are and allow that chemistry to flow and not so much being in my head about all the credentials that I have, but who I am as an individual.

Lyssa deHart Well, and that really leads into this MCC journey. I mean, I think for a lot of coaches this is, this sort of like gray area, it’s very fuzzy for people, but I think that that presence that you’re communicating about that sense of yourself and being really comfortable with who you are, this is a chemistry session, let’s even see if we like each other and we have good chemistry before we decided to work together. What, what has, what has your experience been, as you have moved through ACC to PCC to MCC on your coaching journey? What have you discovered for yourself, about yourself?
Cathy Mott

Maybe for me that was the biggest surprise about coaching is, you know, you think you’re getting into coaching so that you can help other people, but before you can help other people, it’s so about getting to know yourself and being able to help yourself.

I think that’s what I love about coaching the most in the whole. So the training program I attended, it was called the Transformation of Coaching Program and that’s what it was like for me. Because before I went for official training, a lot of the coaching I used to do was telling people what to do. And once you really learn um the ICF standard of coaching and the principles of coaching and you stick to um the cadence of coaching and those markers for ICF.

Coaching becomes this beautiful environment, where it’s all about putting myself as the coach aside and really focusing on that individual in front of me. Helping them find their natural gifts and talents so that they can create a path that they want to create and helping them build the confidence that they need to travel that path. But I couldn’t do that unless I had done that for myself during the training and all of the work that it took to become a ACC, PCC, MCC.

And for each level of success that I’ve had in coaching, I had to get to know myself that much more, or even take a deeper dive into myself. And I feel like that MCC level of coaching, is a level of selflessness that I hadn’t had before. Because, you know, at the PCC level you’re still thinking, am I doing this right? Did I get this right? And at the MCC level, I feel like none of that even matters. It’s me and that coachee.

Lyssa deHart Yeah. And I think, you know, you said this selflessness and I think that it is that space of being helpful, I’m going to come in and help you. There’s a, there’s, an assumption that you need me to tell you what to do, right? Like, I’m going to help you get to your solution versus this willingness to sit in the space and create that sacred space where you can sit with another human being and be curious on their behalf. And that, you know, I’m not sure you’re experiencing about this, but I know for myself that that letting go was such a big part of it. And I’m hearing that in what you’re saying, also this meeting, like, it’s not about me helping you anymore. Now, it’s about me actually sitting and holding the space so that you can discover yourself.
Cathy Mott

Absolutely, absolutely. I think what’s so interesting is during my MCC training, I would repeatedly hear, “Coach the who not the what,” “Coach the who not the what, ” wasn’t the first time that I’ve heard that throughout my time in training, um but I really begin to understand what it meant. And so I can remember years ago, you know, sitting in a coaching session and the coachee would say something and I’m in my head saying that happened to me, but it’s not about me, how come I can’t tell them, it would be so good to tell them the story they would benefit.

And now, you know, when I’m coaching someone, I’m so just looking for the who. Like I hear the, what, what they’re telling me, but I’m looking for the who. And it’s not even about me, like looking for the who. And I think, you know, even outside of the coaching space, when I interact with people, I’m always looking for who they are and I believe that my life is richer.

I have richer relationships, relationships it’s more rewarding. I just absolutely love it because I feel like everyone wants to be seen, heard, and valued. And when I approach people and interact with people, I’m looking for their value. I’m looking to see them. I’m listening to them and that’s a way of life for me, not just in the coaching.

Lyssa deHart Yeah, and I mean as I’m hearing you talk, I think it is a way of life, that to your point, is extrapolated out to everybody that we know. That in all of our really important, our important relationships, not just the client’s important relationships.
Cathy Mott Absolutely even my grandchildren. So they range in age 4-15. And I can remember the 10-year-old, Noah is his name, when he was four years old, he was sitting in my lap and he said “Grammy I’m happy. ” And as a coach instead of saying, oh I’m happy, you’re happy. I said, what does that feel like? Like what’s happiness like for you? And he says, “Grammy, it’s like a doughnut. ” So…
Lyssa deHart I’m with him, just so we’re clear.
Cathy Mott Just to have that deeper level of communication with a four-year-old, a three-year-old, you know, I communicate differently because of the training I received as a coach. And it deepens relationships that I have and I love it.
Lyssa deHart You know, and the other thing that I’m, that it does is it deepens that, Noah’s ability and capacity to even recognize what the emotion it feels like, and experience it more fully, right?
Cathy Mott Absolutely.
Lyssa deHart And I have to say like, I absolutely love that you’re not telling him like that’s good or whatever. Like there’s no judgment about the happiness, it’s just what does it feel like to experience that? I love that open question. And especially I just wondered how our world would be different if more of us were given a coach-like parenting style so that we could learn about ourselves as we’re growing up?
Cathy Mott Absolutely. I agree. I agree. You know this, you know what’s so interesting, you know, in all of the thousands of people that I have trained on emotional intelligence or different personal, personality assessments. They always say I wish I had known about this when I was younger. And I typically will ask, well, what age would you like to have known? And they always say as a teenager, like they would love to know about emotional intelligence or their personality style, what drives their priorities throughout the day. And typically in leadership development training, I’m with individuals who are in their later forties or fifties, sometimes in their sixties and they’re just getting this information.
Lyssa deHart Yeah. And how would that have changed all the relationships in their life up to 40, 50 or 60?
Cathy Mott Right, and even the choices that they made, a lot of them said they would have, you know, chosen a different major in college, they would have studied something different, they just would have made different choices.
Lyssa deHart

And I absolutely, I absolutely believe that. I think that sense of self-awareness, I think it’s such a funny dichotomy in our culture and I speak our culture as an American, kind of American Western culture, is this dichotomy between how we kind of think a lot about what we’re thinking about, but we don’t really do the deep work of self-awareness, and emotional regulation.

And part of the reason is because, we don’t even, well and Noah is a great example of a boy who’s getting this modeling of it’s okay to have an emotion. And also to wonder what that emotion is about. In our culture, so many people, men, and women, or wherever you fall on the spectrum, don’t get that sort of support to even be curious about what they’re experiencing.

Cathy Mott

I agree. Yeah, I agree. And you know I, in the work that I do, I feel like and I’m open to be wrong about this, but a lot of times when I interact with people, I feel like people are disconnected from themselves. They will talk a lot about other people or about other things and really struggle to talk about who they are or how they feel.

And so, again, I go back to that desire to introduce people to themselves. You know, I’ll ask people, how would you describe the relationship you have with yourself? And for some individuals for most, that’s a foreign thought. They’ll say, well, what do you mean? Or I have to think about that. And so it’s the whole love your neighbor as you love yourself. If I am not a friend of myself, that limits the kind of friend that I can be in other relationships.

Lyssa deHart You know, this totally resonates with me. I have often said, look, you’re going, you’re born with yourself, you’re going to leave this experience with yourself. Your longest relationship is with you, right? Like if you don’t know yourself what a missed opportunity for the one person who can A. Actually, read your mind and B. Will never leave you.
Cathy Mott Right. Right. And I also think too, um if we, I don’t know who we are as an individual, or we have friends with ourselves, we haven’t discovered our natural gifts and talents. How much of yourself can you really bring to any relationship? It’s so limited. And so that whole quest to get to know yourself, is so that you can become a better version or the best version of yourself and bring all of that to a relationship. Yeah. And that makes it beautiful.
Lyssa deHart Yeah. It’s really the journey of a lifetime also, you know, this exploration. And I am an an agreement with you to this this journey is so important and very few of us come with a handbook. Um and our parents didn’t get the handbook either. So they did the best that they could. And yet having a coach in this particular regard, having a coach who can really be a partner with you for that deeper exploration to your point. What if I’m choosing careers or degrees or directions in my life are partners in my life that aren’t even like they’re going to, they’re going to be useful because I’m going to end up learning something, but I can bypass some really difficult learning if I were to do the exploration first.
Cathy Mott

Absolutely, absolutely. And I’ll go back to when I left my job in corporate America, I had a coach and I’m not sure I would have made that decision without one because I was afraid, you know. I’ll never forget the conversation I had with my coach and I kept saying, you know, have this boss and you know, she called corporate office and said no more coaching and I love coaching. And I said, I don’t want to be the kind of person that hangs around an organization and just complains about her boss.

Because I feel like that’s counterproductive. You’re hearing that story over and over again. You become the victim. And so my coach asked me, she said, well what do you want to do? I said I just want to jump. And she said, well what if that verbiage is not serving you well, she said, what did you just lean into the discomfort of leaving? What would that be like? And I said, if I just lean into it then I still have some control, I can always pull back if I decided to. Mhm. And she said, okay, so what do you want to do with that? I said, I think I’m going to lean into the discomfort.

And when I ended that coaching session that day, I turned in my resignation. And I had been with that organization for 13 years. Still grateful to the organization because, you know, over the course of the 13 years I would say they invested over $100, 000 in my training. So I’m still grateful to the organization. But yeah, coaching is amazing. I still have a coach. Um yeah, I think it just, I don’t know, it opens the door or the window to your soul so that you can get to know yourself.

Lyssa deHart Yeah. And I really appreciate also hearing that you have a coach. I always am curious by the number of coaches that I meet who are like, I don’t have a coach or I don’t need a coach, which I think is the ultimate of ironies, right? Because it’s like, um wait a minute are you selling a coaching business? Yes. What is your thinking on that? I think people need coaches.
Cathy Mott Right, right, right
Lyssa deHart Hmm. Interesting.
Cathy Mott

I served on the International Coaching Federation Board of Directors for the Michigan Chapter and that was one of the first initiatives I introduced to the Board of Directors, that every coach should have a coach and even new coaches who were just starting out, maybe they could barter and trade with one another so that they could have that experience.

And another reason why I think it’s important for me to have a coach is, I always want to remember what it feels like to be on the other side of that powerful question. I want to continue to sit in the silence and let them discover. I also want to remember what it feels like when that powerful question causes pain. And I want that my coach to be patient with me, um I want to be in that space of no judgment. I want to be in that space of security. And so I want to remember what that feels like so that I can continue to create that for my clients.

Lyssa deHart That’s beautiful, and Cathy, I mean I think it says volumes about you also being on that continual learning journey of self-discovery. Because, I mean, I don’t know, the older I get, the more I have a sense of, I don’t know. Right, I’m okay in the ambiguity of not knowing things. And that includes even myself like there’s always some other facet to explore about who we are as human beings. And to a point you made earlier really, you know, evolving into the very best human being we can become.
Cathy Mott Yeah, I agree, I agree. I’m also privileged right now to be um to have a coach supervisor. So yeah, so that’s really cool. Like to be able to have someone else to supervise, if you will. Or take a birds-eye view of your coaching and what I learned about myself even after coming out of coaching sessions. So coach supervision has been a phenomenal gift as well.
Lyssa deHart You know? And now I’m rolling back to something you said even earlier, we’re in our heads sometimes. Like what’s the next question? What should I ask? Wait a minute. Is this? I would tell them this or maybe, right? Like we can get unhooked from some of these internal narratives that we had through coaching supervision. Because we don’t, we have somebody that can go, what’s the parallel process going on here for you?
Cathy Mott Right. Right. And sometimes I’m shocked.
Lyssa deHart What me? No way.
Cathy Mott Sometimes I’m shocked, but it has been so amazing. And I love, you know, the question my coach supervisor will ask near the end of our session, she’ll say, “Okay now that you’ve discovered this, how do you want to show up for this client the next time? ” I just absolutely love it. Yeah and it’s so empowering.
Lyssa deHart Yeah and it’s so rich, there’s so much richness in the exploration of what, when we love our client, when we are having a client that we’re like oh no they’re on my calendar noooo, like what’s that, what’s going on there? Like there’s places to be curious. I’m totally with you, I love coach supervision. I think it’s so important to growth and that process of becoming a better, a better human being, a better coach.
Cathy Mott It is.
Lyssa deHart What do you, I’m really curious what you think because you’ve been through this journey. Um what do you think other coaches um maybe have as a misconception or need to hear from you? I think maybe that’s the better question. What do you think other coaches need to hear from you?
Cathy Mott Um about coaching or?
Lyssa deHart Yeah, about coaching.
Cathy Mott Greatest misconception that coaches need to hear from me?
Lyssa deHart I’m not sure that’s the best question. Let me try that again. What do you think other coaches need to hear from you, simply that?
Cathy Mott

Okay. I think coaches can need to hear from me the importance, and I tell this to everyone, the importance of self-care. Especially if you’re a business owner, you’re running a business. Self-care is so important because as a coach you’re holding the space for other people’s discovery, you’re always pouring into other people.

Um and then as a business owner. So I’ll say like when I left corporate America and started my own business, you are every department, your marketing, advertising, your payroll. Um So I’ve since you know, moved on and have been able to hire people. But still, I think all coaches need to know how important self-care is. Because whether you’re operating from a full cup or an empty cup, you still have to show up for your clients.

Lyssa deHart Yeah.
Cathy Mott

And yeah, you still have to show up and the joy and satisfaction that I get from helping people discover themselves. Oh my goodness, if I could bottle it and sell it, I would. But I always want to feel that. And so I know what it feels like to be empty and give from an empty cup and that’s painful.

And so I think running a business and coaching and facilitating and training, that statement, there’s more happiness in giving than it is in receiving. That’s only if you have something to give. And there are certain things that I have not done in life because I want to have the joy of giving. Like I used to do hair, you know, um, for individuals for. And people would always say, why don’t you go into the hair business and get your license? And I would say no because I always want to enjoy it.

Sometimes I feel like if you do things too much then you know, the joy is no longer there. I never want to feel that way with coaching. So I consistently, fill myself up. I consistently, you know, every Friday is Cathy day and take that day off. I don’t live by a calendar. If I go get my nails done or go for a massage, they’ll have to be like a walk-in because I don’t want to live by a calendar. And then every year I take some kind of certification or some kind of schooling or education to pour in or fill my desire to learn and grow. I’m a lifetime learner.

So I just try to stay full mind, body, soul, and spirit. So I try to do things to completely replenish my cup on a daily basis. And then, then there’s that Friday’s Cathy day. So self-care would be it for me, that’s what I would tell coaches.

Lyssa deHart I love that in that visual. I mean, it is pretty empty drinking from an empty cup. It doesn’t nourish at all. And that nourishment is so important to our capacity to show up fully with another person.
Cathy Mott Yeah.
Lyssa deHart Cathy, thank you so much. Before we go, I’d really want to just sort of touch base with you. What are you up to now and you know, what would you like to share with the viewers?
Cathy Mott

Okay, so I’m excited because I am working with two really large healthcare organizations with my book. Shh… Just Listen: Great Things Happen in The Silence. And I am teaching um health care providers. So all of the individuals, their front line, the nurses who worked through the pandemic, using my book, I’m teaching them emotional intelligence. And then 30 days later we’re doing a book club meeting.

They get the book after the first meeting, and then 30 days later we’re doing a book club meeting to help them process all of the emotions that they may have experienced working through a pandemic. So I’m super excited. The first one um starts on Thursday. And hope to train hundreds in these two organizations.

I am also attending a school, it’s called Well Coaches to become a health and wellness coach as well. And to do some training and facilitation at a large organization around well coaching and coaching in general. So those are some of the things I’m up to this year.

Lyssa deHart Wonderful. Well, and I’ll be having a link to your website in the details below. And, and I mean, if somebody is in health care, I would absolutely encourage them to reach out to you about the programs. Maybe it’s a program that you could and they could do where they are.
Cathy Mott Absolutely. Absolutely, yeah, absolutely. I’m looking forward to it. It’s a great need. Um, I always tell people, um, I have a daughter who is a nurse who has worked through the pandemic and uh there were a couple of situations she experienced where she had to take time off of work because it was so emotionally and mentally challenging for her.
Lyssa deHart Yeah. Oh, gosh, well, thank you to your daughter because, I mean, I think the nurses and doctors and techs and all the people in, that have been supportive to, you know, hospitals since the early 2020 have just been heroes on so many different levels.
Cathy Mott I think so too.
Lyssa deHart Yeah, thank you, and thank you for the work that you’re doing to support them. I think that is so important also.
Cathy Mott My pleasure.
Lyssa deHart Thank you so much for being on the show today. I really appreciated getting the chance to know you better.
Cathy Mott This was amazing. Thank you, Lyssa.


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Lyssa deHart, LICSW, MCC

Lyssa deHart, LICSW, MCC


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 , and The Reflective Coach. Lyssa 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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