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Jeff Finley

How I Coach: Jeff Finley

Jeff Finley is an artist, designer, and coach who is using his own experiences with deep behavior change to help others on the same path. His experiences with depression lead him to take stock of his habits and opened a door to deep work in mindfulness meditation and journaling. He now focuses on personal development “with a mystical flavor”. He coaches clients in meditation, journaling, overcoming procrastination, and other habits that provide a platform for growth and success.

What does “being coachable” mean to you?

Being coachable means having a genuine desire to learn and take action. Someone who is coachable shares openly, is responsive, and listens to feedback. A coachable person is actually self-motivated, and the coach brings that out in them. In contrast, an uncoachable person is someone who is short, vague, unresponsive and unmotivated to change. They are looking for a babysitter or manager and expect the coach to do all the work.

What qualities do you see in clients who are most successful?

The clients who have success with me get out of it what they put in. They share their personal stories and they have a strong desire for change. They recognize they need help in getting to that next level and they are humble enough to ask for help. The clients who are most successful check-in to the habit regularly, they provide good descriptions on their check-ins, they ask questions in the community, they give their own answers, and they make progress every day toward their goals. They use the coach as a friend or guide—or actually, a witness, to their transformation. They feel great knowing someone else is watching and paying attention to them, and this drives them to keep going. They ask a lot of good questions and have a high level of self awareness.

Sometimes people self-sabotage their success. What advice do you have for someone who’s having trouble with that?

Self sabotage comes in many forms. One is not knowing what you really want. They often are doing what they think they should and are working on things that aren’t really interesting to them but feel they have to in some way. Try to discern what is a socially conditioned desire and what is a genuine heartfelt desire. Socially conditioned desires are the ones where you feel a sort of negative pressure to fit in, conform, or achieve in order to be happy. Genuine desire is where you feel curious, enthusiastic, experimental, interested and expansive when you think about it. Another is trying to do too many things at once. Just pick one thing to focus on and take baby steps to make regular progress. It is not a race, it’s all about slow and steady progress each day.

According to our metrics, you are one of our most successful coaches. What is your strategy?

My strategy is to come from my heart. To listen to each and every client and offer thoughtful responses. I don’t like being the only person on the dance floor, so I love to teach and coach people to come out there with me. I have learned to set the coaching expectations up front about my response time and when to check in with me. I feel I’m a good listener, but I also am not afraid to tell someone if they are misguided. I won’t hold back if I feel I have knowledge or experience in a certain area that I feel they can gain from. Each client actually helps ME learn more about myself and helps me integrate all that I’ve learned. It gives me a chance to build a deep connection with another human being. And I think clients can sense that and appreciate it.

If there were three suggestions you could make to someone just starting out as a coach, what would they be?

Don’t be afraid to be yourself. Don’t try to “act like a coach”, if you know what I mean. The more you can admit your mistakes and be vulnerable, the more your client will open up to you and trust you. Also, do videos and show the real you if you can. And remember, you already are an expert to clients because you’ve done something they are looking to do! Even if you aren’t the greatest at it and don’t have a TED talk, an Amazon best-seller, or viral YouTube channel—you are still in a position to change someone’s life for the better.

What’s your favorite thing about being a coach?

My favorite thing about being a coach having a deep connection with a client. To be vulnerable myself and to experience a relationship that goes beyond surface level goals and habits. I get as much out of the experience as a client does. Clients teach me stuff every day and they inspire me. They help me gain clarity and teach me to become a better writer and communicator. I get to express love on a daily basis, and that’s an amazing opportunity.

Ready to get out of your own way? Hire Jeff as your personal coach today. Use promo code CDMBLOG to get your first week of 1-on-1 coaching free! (Click “Learn More” on the habit you’d like coaching for, and be sure to look under the “Hire Coach Jeff” button on the goal detail page for a link to enter your promo code.)