Our first group of coaches were recruited from successful Coach.me users. John Keizer was one of those people and is now also one of our most successful coaches. John tells it best: “I was so happy at how I built my meditation habit that I wanted to share my experience with as much people as possible. Coach.me is the perfect platform for this. Meditation helped me beat procrastination as it reduced the blocking stress to write academic text when I was at the end of my undergraduate studies and beginning of my graduate work in Cultural Economics and Cultural Entrepreneurship. But it also makes me a better person—gave me the patience to see things for what they are. For example: I don’t take it personally any more when people snap at me. I accept it and I know that it’s more likely that they blame themselves.”
We wanted to learn more about John’s approach to coaching and what makes him so popular with clients who want to develop their own meditation practice.
What does “being coachable” mean to you?
If you want to learn something new, feedback is paramount. You don’t learn to meditate by reading about it, but you will by doing it and by sharing your progress with your coach. The better I get to know my clients, the better I can coach them. I ask questions with a purpose: I want my clients to think about their practices so they get insights on their own. So it’s important that my clients answer them. In general: be a good responder to my texts. The more you share, the more I can help you.
What qualities do you see in clients who are most successful?
The clients who check in are the most successful. That’s the magic of the Coach.me app. Seeing progress makes you want to meditate more. Furthermore, having a clear and attainable goal is very beneficial for building up a robust habit. Finally, I would say that my clients who have a growth mindset and accept slow incremental change are making the best progress.
Sometimes people self-sabotage their success. What advice do you have for someone who’s having trouble with that?
In the past months of coaching, I’ve never encountered such a situation. But I can imagine people sabotage their success. In that case, I would point to the underlying cause. Many people are so used to failure that it’s a completely alien feeling to be successful. It helps to just observe yourself non-judgmentally—like in meditation.
You can also sabotage your success because you feel that what you are doing is not good enough. Perfectionists—I am one myself—tend to set the bar too high. I’ve learned to count my blessings to counter this. Since we are talking about meditation, we could look at the length of a meditation session. A saboteur would skip a meditation session if he could not sit for a minimum of 20 minutes. I teach my clients to be consistent, even if it’s just a minute or two. It’s about building a habit and not about winning a meditation match.
According to our metrics, you are one of our most successful coaches. What is your strategy?
I want to develop a “do it now” mindset with my clients. So my coaching is action-based. I try to start small and build up according to the feedback they give me. Everything I write to them is custom; I don’t send any canned messages. And I check in every day with my clients of course. I hold people accountable for their progress and that’s what accountability is all about!
Building a positive connection between coach and coachee is very important to me as well. I always try to find something positive in the failures of clients. Also I listen to various podcasts—the Tim Ferris Show, London Real, The Model Health Show, The Art of Charm, The One You Feed to name a few. I pass the practical knowledge from these on to my clients when suitable. I devour many books and blog posts as well on the subject and I recently started to curate meditation content on the web as well.
If there were three suggestions you could make to someone just starting out as a coach, what would they be?
- Check in everyday.
- Be patient
- Do some research about your client and find their other interests. Surprise them with a happy message about their favourite sports team or movie.
What’s your favorite thing about being a Coach.me coach?
It’s very rewarding to read the sincere cheerful messages from my clients feeling happier and performing better. That’s what’s it all about!
Ready to get accountable and develop a strong meditation habit? Hire John as your personal coach today. Use promo code CDMBLOG to get your first week of coaching free! (Be sure to look under the “Hire Coach John” button on that page for a link to enter your promo code.)