Ep #165: What Every Coach Space Needs

This episode talks about the rooms and spaces we are seeking as coaches, and those that we want to create.

We explore the nuances of inclusivity, safety and transparency and non-judgmental, non-hierarchical spaces where coaches can grow the most. Consider this a conversation starter and a guide for what to look for in the coaching communities you want to be in.

This is what humanity is. This is what our experience on earth is all about.


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What You’ll Learn:
  • There’s no final destination for being in rooms that are constantly striving to grow
  • Why it’s important for a coach to understand that we are all nuanced human beings that can’t be put in a box
  • How to spot a coach who ignores inclusivity, or says “it’s just your thinking”
  • The more non-hierarchical a coaching space is, the more trust there is
  • Non-hierarchical coaching means no one is more enlightened or powerful than any other person in the room

Listen to the Full Episode:

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Full Episode Transcript:

You are listening to episode 165 of The Confident Coaches Podcast, the one where you know what to look for in a coach. Let’s talk about it. 

Welcome to the Confident Coaches Podcast, a place for creating the self-confidence you need to do your best work as a life coach. If you want to bring more boldness, more resilience, and more joy to your work, this is the place for you. I’m. Amy Latta, let’s dive in.

Oh, I’m so excited to have you here. It’s the first episode of 2023. Do you feel it? Do you feel it in the air? I know, is it really cold probably? So, in full disclosure, I am recording this week’s ahead, because I’m taking the last two weeks of the year off.

So, I have no idea what’s going on in your world on January 3rd, but since it’s the middle of December, it’s totally fine. This is the fun part about doing a podcast. All I know is I can feel it. We’ve had a rough couple of years. Like the world has had a rough couple of years. It’s been a wonderful time to be a life coach because we have the very tools that can help ourselves through something that all of humanity is going through.

And I really think 2023 is a year that can truly be a catalyst. First of all, there’s a huge shift happening in the coaching industry. We’ve been talking about it here on the podcast. I’ve been talking about it on my social media. Do you see it. Do you feel it? It’s almost like you can, you can kind of taste it.

It’s palpable, and for sure it’s a dismantling of the patriarchal supremacist, suppressive, oppressive foundations that a lot of this industry, this purportedly inspiring growth-minded industry has been founded on. There’s a whole bunch of nuance in there, and we have been calling this in. I have a couple of episodes already calling out shady business practices.

Last week was about how not to get duped by a coach. We’re really calling truth to the gaslighting and the neo-abusive, practically abusive tactics that are very prevalent while also fighting for this industry’s beauty and revelations because we do love it so much and we can see it so much that in the calling out there is also a celebration that’s happening right now that we can reject conventional rules of business that suppress who we are and our inner fabulousness, while also relying on basic principles of business strategy to guide you.

That it’s not just a shitting on everything and “hey, choose me,” or an ignoring of what’s not working and only focusing on the positive. This is humanity. This is what it looks like to live. It’s the messy middle. Two things can be true at the same time, and I’m not sure in my two previous episodes that on this topic that I made that obvious and I made that clear, so I’m making it clear now.

There’s a couple things before we dive in, there are four or five things that I really believe every coaching community, whether you choose to be in mine or not, should have as foundational. But before we get into that, like this is that transition from we can call out the crap and also elevate the beauty.

It is not one thing or the other. And I think this is where even we as life coaches who understand, we have to be able to feel conflicting things at the same time that our growth is in cognitive dissonance and learning how to believe two conflicting things at the same time is how you are going to grow.

And yet we will forget about everything we know about how our brain works and be like, “oh, I heard you don’t like so-and-so anymore. That must mean you don’t like all of these other things.” And it’s like, “wait a minute. Hi. We are all nuanced human beings, and you can’t put us all in a box.” So, I haven’t gotten really any feedback on the last episode that I did, because again, I am recording this week’s in advance, but as soon as I recorded last week’s episode, I realized that I had left some key pieces out.

So last week’s episode was about how not to get duped by a coach, how not to end up in a coach’s space where you realize, “holy shit, how did I end up in this room?” And I was really calling out a lot of skeevy business practices and shady stuff, and I think I did, but I want to make sure, one of the reasons that I can highlight it and call truth to that crap so easily is because I was in those spaces.

I’m guilty of a lot of those things that I’m calling out. I certainly never purposely duped anyone, but I can’t say that no one else ever felt duped.

You know, I can’t say that anybody said, “You lied. This isn’t what I thought I was getting when I signed up.” They didn’t say those things to me, but that doesn’t mean that they didn’t think them for sure.

They saw the rooms that I was in and the dog packs I was running with. I’ve certainly led with income claims. I’ve certainly put a spotlight on the money and the money only perpetuating the very idea that the only thing that matters in this industry, and the only thing that matters in this world is unfettered capitalism, which actually is so oppressive to so many communities in this world, including our neighbors down the street, sometimes including us.

I coached with that “it’s just your thinking mentality,” because that’s how I was trained, because I didn’t understand intersectional feminism yet and how it was so desperately missing from the work that we do. How many times I perpetuated trauma as opposed to help somebody guide their way to getting out of their trauma and not because I’m a trauma informed, but because I didn’t have the knowledge to say, “oh, I see that it, it’s not just your thinking here. There’s other work at play here. There’s nuance here.”

I myself forgot about the nuance. I absolutely perpetuated unfettered capitalism, “money is the only reason that we do this.” Much of what I’m calling out, I either actively participated in or quietly sat by without saying anything. And honestly, that one is the one that hurts me the most. I felt it. I knew it when I saw it, and I turned away or I stayed quiet. That was me most of my life in case you’re wondering.

Not speaking up. What I was doing in those spaces, those were the last vestiges of that good girl above all else, “These are enlightened people. These are elevated people. I must be wrong. I must be misunderstanding what’s at play here. Maybe they are right. Maybe these concerns that I have in the back of my head, maybe they aren’t important.”

This is literally how I lived my life most of my life before I ever met life coaching, me keeping quiet in rooms where I saw things not being okay. That right there is probably the hardest thing for me to own, but I do own it. I’m owning it here with you. I’m calling myself out. So, if I wasn’t clear, if I haven’t been clear in the two previous podcasts, calling out the crap we see in this industry, let me be clear now.

I own the company that I chose to keep. I own not speaking up or even trying to play along, and I am sorry. Like, I can look at things that I wrote like a year ago, or some of the stuff that’s still on my podcast or some of the stuff that’s still on my website. We’re, we’re going to be updating my website starting in January, and I just cringe.

It’s like, “Oh my God, that is there. I see it. Oh God, can I go back to that Amy and be like, honey, honey, honey, there’s another way.” That gut feeling that you’re ignoring, listen to it. And I think that’s part of this conversation, right? That I am still coming across things of like, “oh, I can still kind of feel that there,” because I’m viewing everything with the brand-new lens, right?

I’ve been slowly removing from my own coaching programs a lot of that, “it’s only your thinking,” a lot of that oppression, a lot of that suppression that has been built in the coaching industry that wasn’t being called out. I’ve been removing it myself, and I will continue to remove those things and this is kind of transitioning to what I’m sharing today, which is what should we be striving for?

It’s one thing to call it, but there’s the other side of that. What should we be striving for? What should we be looking for? What do I value that I diminished before? Here’s the interesting thing, I valued these things this entire time. They were just taking a backseat, or I didn’t really understand how I was pushing these values down.

I did not see where I was being hypocritical. I did not see where I was ignoring my good. And I am telling you, there is nothing quite like talking yourself out of speaking up because you think “I see it, I hear it. I know this isn’t okay, but maybe, maybe, maybe I am the one that’s wrong?” That’s the hardest thing for me.

But have I mentioned in the past few episodes, I don’t know, six to nine months, that maybe your girl found a bit of herself, right?

So, here’s what I am seeking in the spaces that I want to be in and the spaces I want to create. Use this as a guide for what to look for in the coaching communities you want to be in.

Now, yours might be a little bit different. You might put some values that maybe I haven’t included. I think this is, again, like all these topics, I think it’s a great conversation starter. All of this to say there is no finite place. There is always growth. I have no doubt that in another year or two we will uncover more layers that we have been ignoring and we will stop ignoring those.

There’s no final destination here and for sure, as I love being in rooms that are progressive and constantly striving to grow. And that means as soon as we publish something, it might be outdated, and that’s okay because we’re going to keep evolving. This is what humanity is. This is what our experience on earth is all about.

So, I’ve got five on my list right now. These are the values and the importance that I look for in a coach and what I want to offer them to you.

So, the first thing that is super important to me about the rooms I want to create and the rooms I want to be in, is that they are non-hierarchical, which is a very hard word for me to say.

So, hierarchy. Basically, my word is no better than your word, and my job is as your coach is to not overrule your thinking. And being aware of when you are seeking my approval, or when I am seeking the approval of coaches. So many of these rooms are set up that way. So many times, these rooms are set up that way, where we as the coach think we know better than our own client, and that is not the job as coaches that’s leading the client.

And this has been a huge shift in my coaching. I know a lot of clients have noticed that before we would do Models and we’d be like, “okay, so here’s this option here and here’s this option here. And obviously this other one is the better.”

So, what do I mean by non-hierarchical, is I no longer say, obviously this one is the better choice. Instead of, you have this one or you have this one, and obviously this one’s better. So, let’s start working. Let’s start thinking this way. It’s just, we’ve come up with two things. What do you want to do with this information now?

I don’t know better than you, and even though I have these programs, Free to Paid Coach, which coaches used to go from free coach to paid coach and gets you to making $5,000 in less than six months. And then, I had this other program Path to 100k, which takes you from that point to grow to 100k.

It’d be so much easier to go the A, B, C formula, and you have to follow this formula. I could do that, but that presumes that I know better than you.

Now some people do fit into a formula very well, and I certainly will be the bumper rails in a bowling lane to make sure you’re not veering off too far.

But a non-hierarchical room means, my genius in my gut does not trump your genius in your gut. And I’m going to pay attention, stop seeking my approval. You don’t need my approval. Let, let me coach you to have your own approval. Let me coach you to trust your own ideas.

And that leads me to the second super critical value that I think is so important in my coaching spaces and the spaces I want to be in is, non-judgmental.

Because you might choose something I wouldn’t. You might think something I wouldn’t, you might get caught up in a line of thinking, I just never would worry about. Like I just wouldn’t occur to me to be worried about the thing that you’re worried about. And how many times I had coaches say, “I just would never think that.”

And I’d be like, “well, I would, and I am. So, it appears we’re at a crossroads. What are we going to do about it? Coach don’t just tell me to stop thinking it. Help me here.” Right?

So, we can’t judge, we don’t want to be judging. I will never be a coach that judges you. Now, there is a caveat to this. If we have coached on the same thing over and over and over, and we’ve coached it through six different doorways or three different doorways or whatever, I might say, “we’ve reached that point where it’s time to stop believing this thought just because it’s there,” which is a very fancy way of saying it’s time to stop thinking that.

Because as long as we keep coaching on the same thing over and over again, we’re ignoring all the other doorways we could be coaching through, but there’s still not a judgment there that you’re still believing thoughts just because they’re there, because that is the human condition.

This is what we all do. There are thoughts I still insist on continuing to believe that are not helpful to me, and it’s so much easier to be kind to myself and to love the humanity that is me when I’m not judging it and I don’t feel like my coach is judging me. So non-hierarchical, my thinking is no better than yours and non-judgmental.

You have the right to think differently. My job as your coach is to show you your thinking so that you can move forward in however fits best for where you are.

And that leads me to inclusive, intersectional. There’s a couple of words that we can use here, but essentially that means we all have a space at this table that I am taking into account factors that may not affect me, which might lead you to make choices that I wouldn’t make, which might lead you to choose thoughts, I wouldn’t think, because we’re honoring what’s in your circumstance line might look very different than what’s in my circumstance line.

And it’s super easy for me to tell you to not worry about how much money you’re making and just focus on serving as many people as you possibly can, but that’s because I built my life coaching business with another income earner in the house, and you may not have that. I never had to worry whether or not there was going to be a roof over my head.

I didn’t need the income from my coaching business to feed my children. You might need that inclusivity. Intersectionality allows for those. I can’t possibly understand what it feels like to be a black woman in a room full of white people. I can’t possibly understand that. I can imagine, but I will never experience that.

I can use my experience being an only woman in the room, an only non-English speaker in a room, but I will never understand. Your C line may be different than my C line, and it’s very important to work with a coach who allows for that, who doesn’t ignore these factors or say it’s just your thinking. Of course. It’s just your thinking.

And also, I know I always felt that whenever I was peer coaching or working with somebody who didn’t have kids, and they were just like, “well, I can’t think of an example right now. Shoot. I know I have one where I was just like, have you ever been around children? I mean, the coaching you’re giving me is making me think you’ve never even existed in the same space as children are.” Right? Only to find out they haven’t, they had not had kids at that point. They did not know how hard, how devastatingly exhausted and how sick you could be for nine straight months while you’re pregnant.

I knew that. I’ve been on that other end too. I went through a whole list in last week’s podcast where I laid out, where I absolutely know where all my privilege is.

This is going to make it sound like I don’t love my kids … one thing that could be a privilege in getting a business up and running, is not having children to worry about, and that leads to transparency.

Now transparency doesn’t mean, “Hey guys, here’s the hot messiness that I am, all the dang time,” but it’s owning up to where I have been incorrect, where I have been wrong, and apologizing for that.

Being transparent about how this coaching room is going to operate.

Being transparent about what I’m really selling you and what I’m really guaranteeing you or not guaranteeing.

Being very transparent about where I am still in my own journey.

Being transparent around the things that I am still working through and how I’m working through those things.

Being transparent in this podcast episode of totally owning up to like, “oh, I see it. These are things I did myself.” There’s so much trust to be built when we are transparent.

When you have a coach who’s being transparent with you, you know that you can trust that what you see is what you get. That they are the real deal.

And if you notice, all these kind of feed into one another, the more transparent I am, the more non-hierarchical the room is because there’s that trust. That there is no person in this room that is any more elevated, any more enlightened, any more powerful than any other person in the room.

There is no power dynamic at play in these spaces that have these qualities, and that creates the last thing that I’m going to add … safety.

I am safe in the space that I create to say, “Hey guys, I messed up guys. I fucked up. Here I am owning it. I own it completely and here’s what I’m doing.” I’m not beating the shit out of myself and I’m also being transparent with you and I’m showing you how I am moving forward and that you can give me that feedback.

Just last week I had a client, and it was one of the things that I’ve already mentioned in this podcast where I was like, “we’re just not going to coach on this topic anymore because we’ve coached on it for five straight months.”

And she reached out to me, and she said, “I didn’t feel seen when you said that.” And I said, “you know what? I can understand. I can understand. Also, let’s try a different phrasing. What would happen if we didn’t coach on this anymore? What else might we be able to coach on if you couldn’t ask for coaching on this topic that we have coached on for five months?

That opened up a doorway. But she felt the safety, because I am transparent, because I am non-judgmental, because I am inclusive, because I am non-hierarchical, she felt the safety to be able to reach out and say, “this coaching you gave me, I didn’t feel seen,” and that safety that I could, that I felt with her.

Do you see this? That when we are in rooms where the coach sets up this room, it benefits the coach as much as it benefits the client and the students. I think even that, I’m really thinking about the language that we use. It’s coach and client. Do I really want to call my clients students anymore?

Because I learned as much from you all as you learned from me, and I’ve really been thinking about how people use words like posse and tribe and clutch and blah, blah, and you know, cohort and class. I’ve been leaning on the word band.

Everybody plays a key instrument. Everybody plays a key role. And when we are all in sync, we make beautiful music together. Is that incredibly cheesy? For sure.

But there’s no judgment in this band. We don’t have a dominant lead singer that the bassist totally hates. There’s transparency, there’s inclusiveness, there’s safety, and it benefits all of us. And it’s congruent and there’s no power dynamic, and there’s no one person looking up to somebody else going, “oh, they know better than me.”

That there’s not that star student in the room who’s signing five clients for your every one, and you think that they’re better than you. It benefits everybody. Keep these things in mind. Inclusivity, safety, transparency. Non-judgmental. Non-hierarchical. These are spaces where I believe coaches can grow the most.

These are spaces that benefit both the coach and the client. These are spaces that will allow for so much more growth than for them to not be there.

I’d love to hear your feedback on this for sure. And before I get to that, I do want to call out a mentor of mine. A lot of this work that has happened this past year, because last October of 2021, I signed up for the advanced certification in feminist coaching.

Our class started in March. So, when a lot of people are like, what happened to you in the spring? And I’m like, A lot happened to me in the spring , one of which I got new lens thanks to ACFC.

So, you know, from October to March I was aware of the work we were going to be doing, and I started looking and I started paying more attention to what was going on.

And I just started to notice some things. But it wasn’t until March when we got started where I suddenly was like, oh, those lenses changed so much. It opened up my brain so much. And I really want to give credit to the ACFC program for helping me to see what kind of space I want to create and what kind of space I want to be in because I really do believe it does elevate so much.

So that, shout out to my mentor Kara Lowentheil, who is the creator of and was my certifying mentor for ACFC, and I would love to hear what’s coming up for you. What do you want to see in your coaching? What do you look for in a coach? And I think most importantly, how do you want to show up for your clients?

And like every week when you see this podcast, hit social media, share it in your stories. Tag me at @iamamylatta and share what you needed to hear today. Let your people know how this work is changing you. Let them know what you value and what’s most important to you and why they should be in your space. I can’t wait to hear.

I can’t wait to have these conversations with you. I’m so excited to see what you create in the world, and I’ll talk to you next week.

Coach, it’s time to sign your first free client, your first paid client, your next client, and to learn how to do it consistently and having a hell of a lot of fun along the way. This is exactly what you’re going to do in Free to Paid Coach. It’s the only program giving you step-by-step what to do to become a paid coach and step-by-step how to handle the roller coaster emotions that come with doing what you need to do to become a paid coach.

If you know you can’t not do this life coaching thing, but believing that you can do it, handling rejection and remembering how to do all of those things shuts you down, the Free to Paid Coach Community is waiting for you. Find everything that you’re looking for inside. It’s only $1,000. Payments are available, and then you’re in forever.

Visit www.amylatta.com/ftpc to join us right now. See you inside. Let’s get paid, coach.

Thanks so much for listening to The Confident Coaches Podcast. I invite you to learn more. Come visit me at amylatta.com and until next week, let’s go do epic stuff.


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