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Steve Mitten's Life And Business Coaching Notes - Fall 2006

(Fall colors out my window.)

Dear Friends,

I hope the fall season finds you happy, healthy and in good contact with all the people and activities that bring joy and meaning into your life.

There is quite a lot of content in this edition of the newsletter.  I hope you find something that helps you, and keeps you growing.

All the best,



1) The Emerging Science Behind Optimal Growth. 

2) Marketing: The Rule of Threes. 

3) Mass Extinction - The Ultimate Environmental Wake-up Call.

4) New Free Business Development Resources For Coaches. 

1) The Growing Science Behind Optimal Growth.  

Much of coaching has evolved from the intuitive adaptation of past best practices from a wide range of disciplines.  There is great value in such a heritage as modern coaching has demonstrated high levels of client satisfaction and return on investment.  

And, when you can integrate your best intuitive practices with a solid core of what science has demonstrated actually makes people learn and grow optimally, I believe you have a much more powerful approach. 

In the last few years there has been an outpouring of great research that supports and augments current coaching best practices. While not meant to be an exhaustive report, here are some of the key findings that impact coaches and anyone else interested in the optimal growth and development of individuals.

  • The Impact of Stress - Dr. Richard Boyatiz of Case Western University has demonstrated that people exposed to everyday stress cannot learn or grow optimally. In fact all it takes is conditions where; what you are working on is important to you, the outcome is uncertain, and you feel your performance is being evaluated (who is this not true for?) to trigger the sympathetic nerve system. This stress response; reduces your ability to access intuition, think strategically, lowers your people skills and essentially makes learning and growing impossible. Therefore, if you want to grow, coach, parent, manage, or change people's behavior, you need to first help them move out of a state of stress. 

  • The Power of Inspiration - Work done by Dr. Gregg Jacobs at Harvard shows that (among many other physical activities) connecting to an inspiring, optimistic future vision can turn off the stress response, and thus prepare an individual to better learn and grow. Having a vision of a most desired outcome has also been shown to positively effect the outcome of any change initiative.  

  • Building on Strengths - Work by Dr. Martin Seligman at U of Pennsylvania has shown that working with your natural talents or signature strengths can materially enhance your level of psychological well being, and thus better engage and motivate us. (This is in sharp contrast to the traditional practice of focusing on shoring up an individual's weaknesses.) 

  • Focus and Frequency - Dr. Jeffery Schwartz at UCLA has shown that the intensity and frequency of focus on a new behavior speeds its adoption. 

  • Support and Relationship - Drs. Lewis, Amini and Lannon at UCSF have written extensively about the power of relationship to revise our view of who we are, and what is possible for us. Change happens best in relationship with others.   

This is just a sample of some of the great research that can better support and direct those interested in growth, change and the achievement of better results. I find it interesting that all this science reinforces much of what has evolved into modern coaching; the regular calls (ongoing relationship and support), learning more about balance (managing stress), exploring values and designing the most fulfilling outcome (finding inspiration and building on strengths).  

"Tell me, what is it you plan to do with your one wild and precious life?" 
- Mary Oliver

2) Marketing - Rule of Threes.

There is an old rule of thumb in the marketing of services called the Rule Of Threes. It is often overlooked and yet can help you enormously.  The rule essentially states:  

  • You should have 3- key selling points about your service that sets you apart from every other solution provider.  These branding or positioning points should align deeply with your essence, and help you stand out and answer your ideal client's questions, "Why pick you?" or "Why are you the best solution for my problem?" 
  • You should have 3 marketing channels to get your message out to your ideal clients that are a great fit for your strengths and passions. (Say networking, writing and web marketing. Don't just use one channel.)
  • You should seek at least 3 exposures of your message to your ideal clients. (They need to hear from you a multitude of times before they notice you, yet alone hire you.)

If you are not in alignment with the Rule of Threes in your marketing, I encourage you to spend some time ensuring you are. Your subsequent marketing will be much more effective.

3) Mass Extinction - The Ultimate Environmental Wake-up Call.

I believe at the heart of what we do as coaches is raise awareness and evolve consciousness. Clients come to us with many agendas, and we are trained to honor them. Along the way we help our clients look deeper into who they really are, and what is most important to them, to ensure their agenda will be truly fulfilling. 

It’s in the exploration of who the individual is - what makes their blood flow warmer, what they are called to do in the world – that we help them reconnect to what is truly important to them.  This process raises awareness, evolves consciousness and returns them to a powerful place of presence and choice.  

I believe any evolution of consciousness shifts the individual on a continuum from a lower level (typified by greater focus on self-interest, win-lose games, reaction, fear based) to a higher level (of greater interconnectedness, more win-win games, purpose based action that is inspiration fueled).    

It has been suggested (Wright, Seligman, Von Neumann, Morgenstern, etc.) that all organisms, including humans, are evolving towards higher levels of consciousness, power and kindness.  (There appears to be a evolutionary advantage for organisms to collaborate and play more win-win games.)  

This is a very hopeful message succinctly presented in the last chapter of Seligman’s book Authentic Happiness. Given enough time, it appears we will collectively evolve past our wasteful, warring, and selfish ways, to a much healthier future. 

The problem is, our power to negatively impact our environment has grown to a level, where many serious scientists are now discussing the climatic tipping point we might reach in the next few decades that could lead to mass extinction. 

As professionals that work with individuals, businesses, organizations to make changes and raise consciousness, I believe we need to be aware of this urgency. 

To that end I have written an article summarizing some of the latest science on climate change at

Wherever you are on this issue, I encourage you to get more informed and involved. (And pass this information along.)

"Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world. 
Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has."
- Margaret Mead

4) Business Development - New Free Resources For Coaches.

I recently added a few more free resources to my site. In addition to lots of articles to help coaches, you can now find two recordings. 

Finding A Profitable Niche You Love

This is one of my most requested talks, because it takes coaches through a step by step process of finding their "sweet spot" or "calling". (That place where your greatest gifts meet your ideal client group's greatest needs - where clients start to come to you and marketing is much easier.)

The Future Of Coaching

Is coaching a fad? How big is the market for coaching? Why do so many coaches struggle? What are the biggest challenges professional coaching faces? What can we do about it? These are some of the many questions I address in this keynote delivered at the GTA Coaches fall conference.

In my answers, I draw on the wonderful experience of my years volunteering at the ICF where I had the privilege of talking to thousands of coaches, and hundreds of trainers, researchers, academics, legislators and clients, from all over the world.

Both recordings can be accessed at 

(Designed and Delivered by a Master Coach.)

All the Fall 06 programs are currently full.  However I am beginning to collect a list of people interested in the next set of programs that will start either later this year, or early 07.  If you are interested, please send me an email, and I will reserve you a spot.  

Here are the two most popular programs:


This program was designed to provide affordable and convenient mentoring for coaches who have been in business a few years and find themselves plateaued out making between 30 and 70K.

It is focused on providing the support, information and accountability to help them to a much more enjoyable and rewarding place in their business and life.

The program combines a monthly 1 to 1 call with me, a monthly group call, and weekly accountability calls with a small group.  (Each of the previous programs filled quickly. Everyone has enjoyed the deeper work this program allows. We spend a lot of time on the "being", which is where all the major breakthroughs occur.) 

You can read all about the program at:  .


"Whoever you are, no matter how lonely,
the world offers itself to your imagination,
calls to you like the wild geese, harsh and exciting -
over and over announcing your place
in the family of things." 
- Mary Oliver


The 2006, Revised and Expanded Edition of 
Marketing Essentials For Coaches is available for review and download at:
Check out this Industry Best Seller that has helped thousands of coaches build their practices. 


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Life Coach and Business Development Specialist Steve Mitten B.ApSc, CPCC, MCC helps individuals, professionals and leaders find their niche, be their best and make an impact.

Visit Steve at


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