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Steve Mitten's Life And Business Coaching Notes - October  2007

The last rose of summer glows with life in the Mitten garden.


"Let us be grateful to people who make us happy; 
they are the charming gardeners who make our souls blossom."

- Proust


Dear Friends,

If I have not been as regular a correspondent lately, it is not because I haven't been thinking about you. Rather, in these days of information overload, I simply want to be deeply respectful of your time and thus did not feel compelled to write until I had something I thought you would be interested in.

Hopefully, there is something here that you will find interesting and valuable. 




1) Gratitude - Nature's Miracle Therapy

2) Rapport - The Main Ingredient In Relationship Magic

3) Program Info - Rethinking My Offerings.

4) See you at the ICF Conference?

1) Gratitude - Nature's Miracle Therapy

I have been thinking a lot about gratitude lately. As some of you might know, my wife and I recently shipped our third and last daughter off to university. Once we worked our way through the first wave of grieving - at this sudden end to our intensive parenting era - we began to busy ourselves with many of those non-urgent tasks that have been stacking up over the years. One such task was converting our old family VHS videos into digital form, before they faded away into eternity. 

Well, looking through hours of family videos was probably not the brightest activity for anyone who is already feeling the loss of day to day contact with their children.  Nevertheless, as I sort through all the footage of vacations, birthdays, first bike rides, school concerts, family gatherings, summers on the beach, etc. I find myself overwhelmed with gratitude.

Looking back over the years through the lens of the videos, I can remember all the life and business challenges that I was struggling with, or losing sleep on, at any particular time. Now, years later I am struck by how all those worldly concerns have shrivelled in significance to the enduring power of the small acts of everyday love and joy that were going on all around me. It is in retrospect that I truly grasp the magnitude of all I have had to be grateful for over the years. 

The sages of the world's wisdom traditions have long known the power of gratitude to melt and open the human heart.  Modern psychology can now document the exact physiological processes that release the oxytocyn and vasopressin that a deep experience of gratitude injects into our blood stream. Gratitude can slow our heartbeat and respiration, take us out of the stress state and reconnect us to our deepest feelings, wisdom and intuition. Gratitude can open our hearts to give and receive more love. If a pharmaceutical company came up with a pill that delivered the same benefits, it would be more successful than Viagra. 

The healing tonic of a  daily dose of gratitude can be evoked by simply taking a few moments each day to come up with 5 new things you are grateful for. For example, bring to mind someone you love. Take time to  picture their face and feel the affection and gratitude you have for them. After lingering in those feelings for at least 30 seconds, go on and picture the next thing you are grateful for.

As simple as this sounds the impact on your life of such a simple practice can be profound.

"Let us rise up and be thankful, for if we didn't learn a lot today, at least we learned a little, and if we didn't learn a little, at least we didn't get sick, and if we got sick, at least we didn't die; 
so, let us all be thankful."

- The Buddha

2) Rapport - The Main Ingredient in Relationship Magic

The ability to establish rapport is a critical factor for the success of any relationships. Whether you are a parent, a partner, a manager, a leader, a coach or a business person, your ability to establish a state of rapport with the important people in your life can greatly enhance your ability to communicate and get things done. 

In common terms, the state of rapport is experienced in those moments when we feel heard and seen fully by another human being, and slip into a natural state of deep connection. When rapport is present much more effective and smoother communication is possible, resulting in greater understanding, learning and joy.   

The main elements of rapport are now well understood.  Harvard Psychologist Robert Rosenthal summarizes the key elements as:

Shared Attention - When two people pay full attention to each other, (as long-separated, very good friends might at an unexpected meeting) a genuine intensity of interest arises and both parties "feel" like they are being truly experienced.  When this deep sense of "being listened to" is present, a natural sense of "shared feeling" or empathy emerges.

A Sense Of Positivity - The second necessary ingredient for rapport exists when we feel we are held in warm regard by the other. Through a variety of non-verbal clues we humans are extraordinarily adept at discerning the emotional state of another. Millennia of natural selection around the evolutionary campfires equipped us to instantaneously interpret body language to determine if someone wanted to mate with us, or eat us. These unconscious skills survive in us today; and so we need to feel safe and valued to fully open up and communicate. 

Syncrony - In his book Social Intelligence Daniel Goleman speaks about syncrony - the natural physical harmonization that can develop between individuals - as follows; "People in rapport are animated, freely expressing their emotions. Their spontaneous, immediate responsiveness has the look of a closely choreographed dance.....the more two people naturally make coupled moves - simultaneous, at a similar tempo, or otherwise coordinated - the greater their positive feelings." This natural "coming into sync" through our voice, breathing, timing and body language - creates a natural sense of emotional resonance. (And contrary to many self-help sales gurus, this sort of connection cannot be faked.)

If relationships are at the heart of much of your success and happiness, and rapport is at the heart of great relationship, I invite you to explore some of these skills with those important people in your life.

The most effective way to achieve right relations with any living thing is to look for the best in it, and then help that best into the fullest expression.

- Allen J. Boone


3) Program Info - Rethinking My Program Offerings To Coaches


When I first started in coaching, I was painfully aware of the lack of practical business information available to support coaches building their practices.  Coaching was such a new service, and so many good coaches were struggling to make a decent living at their calling, I felt compelled to do something. 


So over the years, I have always devoted a portion of my practice to provide coaches with the practical business information they need to succeed.  This has meant doing lots of free talks, writing lots of articles and several books, and running a variety of affordable programs.  


Now in my eleventh year of coaching, I still see too many good coaches struggling to fill their practice. Yet each year there is more and more marketing information out there informing coaches on the basic business practices. Still too many coaches are struggling.


I have concluded that the biggest impediment facing most coaches is no longer the lack of good marketing information. Rather what keeps most coaches back is confidence, self-esteem, limiting habits and perspectives that keep them from actually applying the widely available business information


Short and simple, people need to grow past their current limitation. I have found that in regards to coaches actually making a significant breakthrough, the credo is "go deep, or go home".  Business know-how alone doesn't work. You do need the business information, but you also have to deal with the underlying emotional and spiritual factors that keep coaches playing small. 


" have found that in regards to coaches actually making a significant breakthrough, 
the credo is "go deep, or go home."



Thus, moving forward, I have decided to continue to update and add to my library of articles and books addressing some of the most common business challenges facing coaches. However, in the limited time I have to work with coaches, my main focus in my program offerings will be directed towards programs that embody the art, science and soul of actually growing, implementing and otherwise making the changes necessary to apply the knowledge coaches need to succeed.


I have been refining this approach for two years now in my 6 - Figure Practice Mentor Program. I am very happy with the results I see when you couple really good marketing information, with the 1 to 1 support needed to grow. 


If you are not getting the results you want in your practice, I invite you to check out my 6 - Figure Practice Mentor Program.  I expect to be starting a new session in the next few months.


What Else Do You Need? 


From time to time I get requests to run programs focussing on helping coaches expand their current activities in a variety of areas.  If you have an interest in a program focusing on any particular area (executive or leadership coaching, creating passive income, coaching entrepreneurs, etc.) please let me know. If there is enough interest I will see what I can put together.


4) See You At The ICF Conference?


If you happen to be attending the 2007 ICF Conference in Long Beach, please come and join the Wisdom Circle I am leading on "THE MONEY CONVERSATION".  We will be exploring all the aspects, perspectives, alternatives and best practices relating to the challenge of establishing win-win fees with your clients.


All the best,






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Life Coach and Business Development Specialist Steve Mitten B.ApSc, CPCC, MCC draws on the art, science and soul of making transformational change, to help individuals, professionals and leaders find their niche, be their best and make an impact.

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