Coach Interview Series: Wendy Frado

by Brandon

Wendy Frado

Certified EFT Practitioner and Certified Life Coach

Our main objective here at the National Coach Academy is to enable aspiring coaches to reach their full professional potential. One of the most effective ways to educate students about the world of coaching is by offering them a window into the world of real, practicing coaches and showing them all the different ways coaches make a difference in the lives of their clients.

We hope today’s interview adds another insightful glimpse into the dynamic world of coaching.

Today we are interviewing Wendy Frado. Wendy is a Certified EFT Practitioner and Certified Life Coach based in Los Angeles, California.

NCA: Can you describe your coaching practice and the kinds of clients you typically work with?

Wendy: My clients and I start by taking a look at where they are versus where they’d like to be. We’ll chart a strategy for how they might get there, and then we’ll walk through that process together dealing with any impediments that come up, sometimes even changing the goal as new realizations come to the fore. Within that frame, I use mostly EFT, otherwise known as Emotional Freedom Techniques, as a tool to deal with the issues that may arise. I personally have found EFT to be an incredible transformational tool.

Sometimes people find me because they are looking for someone who works with EFT. Sometimes they’re more interested in the strategic life coaching aspect of my work that provides structure for what they’re trying to do. It’s a little bit of both.

NCA: In working with your clients, what would you say is the most rewarding part of that process and on the flip side of that, what is the most challenging aspect of the work that you do?

Wendy: The most rewarding thing is seeing people get results, sometimes even within one session. I’m sure that anyone who has done any coaching at all will resonate with that. It’s when someone has an amazing realization or a transformational moment when you’re working together. It’s so exciting. That’s why we do it. It’s really exciting and gratifying to be able to help someone get to a new level in their experience, reach their goals, and get to more of the life they want to be living.

I’ve found coaching to be such a wonderful combination of a lot of different things that I like to do that even when there are moments where you’re running up against some sort of obstacle, and the person you’re working with might be frustrated, or they might be afraid to move forward, or whatever the impediment might be—I still find that exciting because that’s the work. That’s what we’re there for—to help them find a way forward. I love that.

I love looking at that impediment together and saying, “Okay, where is this coming from? What would you have to do to move past this and how can we chart the way forward? How can we deal with the parts of you that might not be on board yet?”

The only thing that can be challenging in beginning a relationship with a client is making sure that you are the right person to help that client. That’s where challenges tend to show up. Make sure that you do the work up front to be sure that you’re on the same page. Be sure that person wants what you have to offer and that what they’re presenting to you is the kind of challenge that you want to be solving.

It’s also such a creative moment when someone comes up against something that is difficult and it seems like a total block. They’ll say “I just don’t see a way past this.” Part of our job is to help that client fire up their natural, innate creativity. Most of us have the capacity to find solutions, but we will tend to get stuck by old patterns, old thinking, and old habits. I love helping the person find their way back to their own creativity and their own willingness to sit in a place of hope and possibility, even when they don’t immediately see the path. To me, being in that space and helping someone to be in that space long enough—sometimes that’s just seconds—but long enough to allow new ideas to arise, that’s incredibly fun and exciting.

It’s about looking at your strengths and what you enjoy doing to find the kind of coach that you would like to be. You don’t have to be all things to all people. It’s really important to follow what makes you excited because what brings you excitement and energy is what will help your clients get the best results.

NCA: Can you think of a mentor or a coach in your own career who was the most vital to your success and in what ways did this mentor help you thrive in your career?

Wendy: I’ve had so many people who have been important to my learning process. I feel like I’ve taken away such important things from everybody who has crossed my path as a teacher. 

Sometimes it’s friends who mention something that helps me to see a certain problem that a client has in a new way, because that person shares that problem and shares a perspective that helps me to understand it. It’s sometimes an actual teacher who has helped me walk through the required training for one of my certifications. There have been people who have taught classes I’ve attended who have just been amazing and so generous with their knowledge and decades of experience. Mentors and teachers are everywhere. It hasn’t been a singular experience for me. 

NCA: One of the most common challenges new coaches face is self-doubt. Some coaches call it Imposter Syndrome, where early on they feel somehow inadequate to take on the role of coach. What is one piece of advice that you would give to somebody who is in the beginning stage of their coaching career and dealing with these doubts in their mind?

Wendy: Self-doubt is such a common human experience, and I’m not sure that it ever 100% goes away for anyone who’s being really honest with themselves. As human beings, we’re always continuing to learn. Even after years of practicing, you will come up with moments where you go, “Oh my gosh. I’ve never experienced this before.” You can have a moment of panic where you think, “I don’t know what to do for this client,” but that doesn’t mean that you’re not qualified. It means you’re human. No one in this age of information can have all of the answers and that is thoroughly okay. Confidence can come with practice. If you stay calm and keep breathing, you and the client can work together to come up with a way forward.

It’s also good to remind yourself that there are all different kinds of coaches. There are coaches who coach because they have done something and they can then teach other people how to do it. There are coaches who have educated themselves in a certain field, and therefore they can teach and coach others because they have a broad understanding of that field. There are people who have just cobbled together a lot of life experiences, so they have a certain amount of aptitude plus experience that makes them a good coach.

It’s about looking at your strengths and what you enjoy doing to find the kind of coach that you would like to be. You don’t have to be all things to all people. It’s really important to follow what makes you excited because what brings you excitement and energy is what will help your clients get the best results. It becomes this wonderful circle where everybody is having a great time and everyone’s getting results and everyone is being left with more energy rather than less at the end of the coaching process. That’s really what you want.

If you’re going to find a niche, it should be something that you really enjoy and feel called to do. It should leave you feeling proud and excited on a daily basis. If you don’t know what that is, that’s when you might want to experiment with different things. 

I actually came to coaching in this way because I found EFT for myself. When I found how helpful and amazingly transformative it was for me, I went, “Oh my gosh. I have to do this. I just want to bring this to other people.” That passion is what brought me to coaching in the first place.

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