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Coaching for Breakthrough Success: Proven Techniques for Making Impossible Dreams Possible


A powerful new coaching method from Chicken Soup for the Soul co-creator Jack Canfield!

“At the heart of a great coach is a firm belief that each player is a uniquely valuable individual with distinct giftedness and potential for greatness.”

That’s the premise behind this brilliant empowering guide from Jack Canfield, coauthor of the 125 million-copy-selling Chicken Soup for the Soul series, and legendary ...

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Coaching for Breakthrough Success: Proven Techniques for Making Impossible Dreams Possible: Proven Techniques for Making the Impossible Dreams Possible

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A powerful new coaching method from Chicken Soup for the Soul co-creator Jack Canfield!

“At the heart of a great coach is a firm belief that each player is a uniquely valuable individual with distinct giftedness and potential for greatness.”

That’s the premise behind this brilliant empowering guide from Jack Canfield, coauthor of the 125 million-copy-selling Chicken Soup for the Soul series, and legendary global leadership development guru and CEO Dr. Peter Chee.

Combining time-tested principles of exemplary coaches with the latest disruptive techniques used by the world’s top performing leaders, this step-by-step playbook shows you how to nurture—in yourself and others—the three essential requirements of coaching excellence:

1. HEART: The Coaching Principles (TCP) unveils the secret to life impacting values, beliefs, and philosophies that permeate all aspects of great coaching.

2. MIND: The Situational Coaching Model (SCM) unleashes the genius of a coach to apply the right combination of crucial paradigms in any given coaching challenge.

3. ENERGY: The Achievers Coaching Techniques (ACT) equips you with proven methods that enable you to deliver breakthrough results in coaching.

Coaching for Breakthrough Success is packed with stirring personal stories, life changing case studies, crucial coaching conversations, exemplary coaching questions, and ready-touse tools that equip you to achieve professional mastery in coaching.

This practical manual guides you through the top 30 principles every coach needs to succeed. You’ll learn the six paradigms of Situational Coaching, the ultimate power of Achievers Coaching Techniques, and the tried-and-true secret to making impossible dreams possible.

All you need to lead your team to victory is heart, mind, energy—and Coaching for Breakthrough


Praise for Coaching for Breakthrough Success

"Canfield and Chee have crafted the standard for anyone wanting to be an effective coach. Their actionable and timeless wisdom shows up through principles, questions, quotes, cases, and tools that will enable any aspiring coach to achieve their aspirations. Anyone being coached should make sure that their coach knows and follows these standards." — Dave Ulrich, Professor, Ross School of Management, University of Michigan, Author of Leadership Sustainability

"After years of working as an executive coach, I slowly came to the realization that knowing the answers to the tough questions wasn't as important as knowing the right questions to ask in the first place. This book provides just such resources. Read it and enter the pantheon of great coaches!" — Kerry Patterson, four-time New York Times bestselling author of Crucial Conversations

"Coaching for Breakthrough Success masterfully shares extremely powerful questions, the heart of professional coaching approaches. The Situational Coaching Model combined with the wonderfully long, and comprehensive list in many chapters will dramatically inform your coaching and empower your clients. This is a 'must have' for any professional coach who wants to take their clients to new heights of understanding and transform their effectiveness. Extremely well done!" — Thomas G. Crane, author of The heart of Coaching-Using Transformational Coaching to Create a High Performance Coaching Culture

"Coaching for Breakthrough Success is the most exciting and innovative book on the art of coaching to come along in years. Using their Six Paradigms of Situational Coaching, Canfield and Chee show step by step how anyone, anywhere can assist others in improving performance, and achieving personal satisfaction in life." — Robert B. Tucker, innovation expert and author of Innovation is Everybody's Business

"This powerful, practical book gives you the tools and strategies you need to be an excellent business and executive coach, to help your clients in every area, and to build your coaching business profitably." — Brian Tracy, author of over 58 books in 38 languages

"The ability to coach is the very essence of effective leaders. Engaging the heart and inspiring the mind will unlock the utmost potential of people in any organisation. This book puts it all together and provides proven techniques to achieve breakthrough performance. I believe it will have a profound impact on you as it has done for me and my organisation." — Thomas Soo, General Manager, Intel Technology

"Coaching is one of those terms that is thrown around on nearly a daily basis in modern management circles. But what does coaching mean? What should people do to make coaching effective? Why is coaching so valuable? These otherwise vague questions are insightfully answered in this outstanding book." — William J. Rothwell, Ph.D., SPHR, Professor, The Pennsylvania State University and Author of over 80 books

"Coaching for Breakthrough Success contains practical techniques to help you engage the hearts and minds of your people and inspire them to realize their fullest potential." — Christopher Goh Soon Keat, Director, Global Learning and Leadership Development, Agilent Technologies Singapore (International) Pte Ltd

"Coaching for Breakthrough Success has had a profound effect on me, as well as the people in my workplace. My team has told me that since studying Jack and Peter's book I have become a better listener, communicator and leader. The decisions we now make are our decisions, and my staff are taking more ownership of the work they do. My career development has come on leaps and bounds after I applied what I learned from this book." -Nick Jonsson, General Director, Sophie Paris

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780071804639
  • Publisher: McGraw-Hill Professional Publishing
  • Publication date: 6/14/2013
  • Edition number: 1
  • Pages: 240
  • Sales rank: 125,093
  • Product dimensions: 6.20 (w) x 9.10 (h) x 1.20 (d)

Meet the Author

Jack Canfield is known as America’s #1 Success Coach. He is the author or coauthor of more than 200 books including the 125 million-copy-selling Chicken Soup for the Soul series with Mark Victor Hansen, The Success Principles, Maximum Confidence, Tapping Into Ultimate Success, and The Power of Focus. He holds the Guinness World Record for the most books on the New York Times Best Seller List with 60 bestsellers and 11 books that went to number one.

Dr. Peter Chee is the president and CEO of ITD World with more than 26 years of experience in training and developing leaders from over 80 countries. He is the Chief Mentor Coach and master trainer of Jack Canfield and John Maxwell programs, the coinventor of the Situational Coaching Model (SCM), coauthor of The Twelve Disciplines of Leadership Excellence with Brian Tracy, and the coauthor of Becoming and Effective Mentoring Leader with Dr. William Rothwell.

With Angelina Cheong and Serely Alcaraz.


While Jack Canfield himself may not necessarily be a household name, it's very likely that you have heard of his famed Chicken Soup for the Soul series and nearly as likely that you have at least one of them sitting on your very own bookshelf! Having got his start as an inspirational speaker, Canfield's own story is nothing less than inspirational.

Jack Canfield had been traveling around delivering key note speeches and organizing workshops to help audiences build their self-esteem and maximize their potential when he had an in-flight brainstorm that changed his life. While flying home from a gig, Canfield realized that the very same advice he had been delivering during his in-person addresses could potentially form the basis of a book. Canfield used inspirational stories he'd gleaned over the years as the basis of his speeches, and he thought it would be a terrific idea to gather together 101 inspirational stories and anthologize them in a single volume. Upon returning home, Canfield approached friend and author Mark Victor Hansen about his concept. Hansen agreed it was a great idea, and the two men set about finding a publisher. Believe it or not, the mega-selling series was not an easy sell to publishers. "We were rejected by 123 publishers all told," Canfield told "The first time we went to New York, we visited with about a dozen publishers in a two day period with our agent, and nobody wanted it. They all said it was a stupid title, that nobody bought collections of short stories, that there was no edge -- no sex, no violence. Why would anyone read it?"

Canfield wisely practiced what he preached -- and persisted. Ultimately, he and Hansen sold the first Chicken Soup for the Soul book to a small press based in Deerfield Beach, Florida, called Health Communications. The rest, as they say, is history. There are currently 80 million copies of the Chicken Soup books in print, with subjects as varied as Chicken Soup For the Horse Lover's Soul and Chicken Soup For the Prisoner's Soul. Canfield and Hansen ranked as the top-selling authors of 1997 and are multiple New York Times bestsellers. Most important of all, the inspirational stories they have gathered in their many volumes have improved the lives of countless readers.

This year, expect to see Canfield's name gracing the covers of such titles as Chicken Soup For the Scrapbooker's Soul, Chicken Soup For the Mother and Son Soul, and Chicken Soup For the African American Woman's Soul. He and Hansen have also launched the all-new "Healthy Living" series and 8 titles in that series have already been released this year. There is also the fascinating You've GOT to Read This Book!, in which Canfield compiles personal accounts by 55 people each discussing a book that has changed his or her life. The most compelling of these may be the story of young entrepreneur Farrah Gray, who read Deepak Chopra's The Seven Spiritual Laws of Success at the age of 11 and made his first million dollars at the age of 14!

With no sign of slowing down, Canfield continues to be an inspiration to millions, who fortunately refused to give up when it seemed as though he would never even get his first book published. "Mark and I are big believers in perseverance," he said. "If you have a vision and a life purpose, and you believe in it, then you do not let external events tell you what is so. You follow your internal guidance and follow your bliss, as Joseph Campbell used to say."

Good To Know

Canfield is the founder of two California based self-esteem programs, "Self-Esteem Seminars" in Santa Barbara and "The Foundation For Self Esteem" in Culver City.

Writing the first Chicken Soup book was a lot more daunting than Canfield expected. After the first three years of research, he and Mark Victor Hansen had only compiled 68 stories -- 33 tales shy of their goal of 101 stories.

Along with co-writing dozens of full-length books, Canfield also publishes a free biweekly newsletter called Success Strategies.

Some fun and fascinating outtakes from our interview with Canfield:

"My inspiration for writing comes from my passion for teaching others how to live more effective lives. I started out as a history teacher in an all-black inner city high school in Chicago, graduated to a teacher trainer, then psychotherapist, then trainer of therapists, then large group transformational trainer and then a writer and keynote speaker. All along the way, my desire was to make a difference, to help people live more fulfilling lives. That is what I still do today. Most people don't know this but I was not a good writer in college. I got a C in composition. Nobody would have ever believed I would grow up to be a bestselling author."

"I play guitar, and I am learning to play the piano. I love movies and some TV shows. My favorites are Six Feet Under, Grey's Anatomy, House and Lost. I love to play Scrabble, poker and backgammon with my in-laws, nieces and nephews. We really get into it. I love to travel. I have been to 25 countries and try to add two or three new ones every year."

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    1. Hometown:
      Santa Barbara, California
    1. Date of Birth:
      August 19, 1944
    2. Place of Birth:
      Fort Worth, Texas
    1. Education:
      B.A. in History, Harvard University, 1966; M.A.T. Program, University of Chicago, 1968; M.Ed., U. of Massachusetts, 1973
    2. Website:

Read an Excerpt

Coaching for Breakthrough Success

Proven Techniques for Making Impossible Dreams Possible

By Jack Canfield, PETER CHEE

McGraw-Hill Education

Copyright © 2013 Self Esteem Seminars, Inc. and Peter Chee Lean Hock
All rights reserved.
ISBN: 978-0-07-180463-9



PRINCIPLE 1 Believe in Human Potential for Greatness

Man was designed for accomplishment, engineered for success, and endowed with the seeds of greatness. —Zig Ziglar

At the heart of a great coach is a firm belief that each person is a uniquely valuable individual with distinct gifts and potential for greatness. A coach knows how to appreciate what is special in others and believes that every person is created to be magnificent in their own way.

Leadership guru John C. Maxwell asserts that talent is never enough. "Belief lifts your talent. Your talent will not be lifted to the highest level unless you also have belief." There are four main ways in which believing in human potential for greatness can be a talent lifter.

• Lift your talent to coach by believing in people's potential for greatness.

• Lift the talent of the people you coach by believing in their potential for greatness.

• Lift your talent by believing in your own potential as a great coach.

• Lift the talent of the people you coach when they believe in your potential as a great coach.

As a coach, you gain increased motivation when you are able to see the champion in each person you coach. When you have strong faith and belief in the potential of the people you coach, it lifts their talent and inspires them to accomplish more. When you believe in your own potential as a great coach, you lift your own talent and motivation to coach. When the people whom you coach believe in your potential, it will lift their talent and motivation to be coached.

The net positive effect in believing in one's human potential for greatness is multiplied when it permeates the relationship between the coach and client. Coaching is an unconditionally supportive relationship, and as you coach you want to offer full acceptance and an unbiased belief in the person you are coaching regardless of his or her present performance.

It has been said that belief is more than a thought that a person possesses; it is a thought that possesses the person. A belief in the unlimited human potential for greatness is a habit of the mind in which confidence becomes a virtue to be embraced. In order to be a highly effective coach, you need to make believing in people, yourself, and your mission one of your top priorities. If you want good results, you have to perform good actions. If you want to perform good actions, you must have good expectations. To have good expectations you must first believe your goals are achievable.

The globally acclaimed author of Fully Human, Fully Alive: A New Life through a New Vision, John Powell, estimates that an average person taps only 10 percent of his potential, sees only 10 percent of the beauty that is all around him, hears only 10 percent of its music and poetry, smells only 10 percent of its fragrance, and tastes only 10 percent of the deliciousness of being alive. Since most people neither see nor seize the untapped opportunity that constantly surrounds them, there is a vast potential waiting to be unleashed.

You know that people are always capable of much better results than those they are currently getting. This might include better physical fitness, higher job performance, more loving relationships, and so on. As a coach, you will encounter situations where people do not succeed or don't measure up to expectations in the face of huge commitments. During such times, your belief in their potential for greatness is even more important; that belief needs to remain steadfast.

Even at a time when someone is going through great difficulties at work or at home, as a coach you must still be able to see the goodness in them and bring it to the surface. This is easier said than done, but believing in people no matter what must be a conscious choice, a decision you make, and a habit you inculcate with constant practice even when it's challenging. If, as a coach, you covertly believe that your client is not able to succeed in achieving his or her goals, if you feel that she or he is not capable enough, this can undermine your entire coaching process.

If you are coaching someone to become an effective presenter and have seen the person performing poorly, you may have formed a belief that this person is unlikely to become an effective speaker. When this happens, your ability to coach the person will be flawed. When you are pessimistic regarding the outcome, this will undermine your coaching conversations. Your negative expectations could subconsciously affect their confidence and lessen the likelihood of success. This does not mean that if someone sets an unrealistic goal that you should not explore ways to make changes to the goal or work on a different goal. But it does mean you should maintain a positive view of the outcome of your coaching.

Sun Tzu wrote in The Art of War that when troops prepare for battle, if they lose the fight within their own minds even before the battle begins, their chances of winning are diminished by up to 50 percent. He emphasizes the profound effect that belief has on the ability to win. The certain belief in the great potential that lies within all people, releases the power that drives a successful coaching practice.


David was a general manager of a multinational shipping company based in Long Beach, California, and formerly a captain in the armed forces. His father fought in World War II and while raising his kids had followed a strict military regimen. David was well known in his company as a very tough, no-nonsense boss. His employees feared him since he was good at finding people's faults, though he also fixed them. His command-and-control style meant that employees were not expected to act proactively and creatively in the face of escalating environmental changes. Employee morale was low, and business was declining rapidly. David had to face this crisis on his own without the support of his employees. The prolonged high stress affected David to the point that he had to undergo heart surgery.

One of our professional coaches worked with David. It was very difficult initially, and for the most part his staff believed that he could not and would not change. The coach had confidence in David's greatness and believed that he was capable of notable achievements. When David knew that the coach was fully present for him and would champion his cause without being judgmental, he began to speak what was in his heart. When David fully articulated the tremendous pain in his life and his coach listened empathically, it was as if a massive weight was lifted from his shoulders. David became aware that his leadership approach was not bearing fruit. The awareness and acceptance of how his approach was limiting his achievements became the eureka moment that fueled his transformation. It gave David the motivation to invent his new approach to leadership, which he called "Participative-Appreciative Leadership."

Old habits take time and discipline to change, so David's coach encouraged him to create a way to remind himself to stay with his new approach until the new habit became locked in. One of the many self-created support structures that proved effective for David was this: He instructed all his employees that every time he reverted to his old style of leadership, they were to say to him, "Yes, Captain!" He knew—or suspected—that when they did this he would laugh out loud at himself, interrupting his old military pattern.

As he constantly replaced his old pattern with the new one, he began to reap the rewards of what his coach believed he was capable of achieving. His belief in himself soared, and so did his performance.

Nine months into the coaching relationship, David had created a new work culture that increased staff satisfaction and performance. The change was so profound that he received the "Outstanding Leader of the Year" award from his head office. His wife expressed deep gratitude when she told the coach that David was now a changed man. In his acceptance speech David said, "I am eternally grateful to my coach for believing in me when no one else did. You are the wind beneath my wings. You lifted me up and that changed my life." When he paused to wipe away his tears, you could have heard a pin drop. The song "Wind Beneath My Wings" sung by Bette Midler played in the background, and David's coach and staff were moved to tears.

* * *

The mindset of a coach includes the belief that people are inherently good; they want to contribute, and they want to improve. The coach knows people make mistakes but that most people do not make those mistakes intentionally. Remember to take a stand for people's greatness and always start from a belief that people want to succeed in their goals and commitments. Everyone has talents and strengths, and the role of a coach is to bring these out and to help people to use their core genius purposefully. When they do, they will shine magnificently.

The more you believe in people's potential, the more reason they will give you to believe in them. Eventually you will wake up one morning realizing that you have also been transformed, and the way you look at people and life will never be the same.

Imagine when you are searching for that rainbow, faced with an apparently unassailable mountain range in your way, that there is a coach who truly supports you, wholeheartedly believes in you, and knows that you are capable of climbing over those mountains. You will be inspired to grow and become the best person you can be. Such an experience is tremendously uplifting and enriching. That is when you will embody the true spirit of a coach who firmly believes in human potential for greatness.

You must understand that seeing is believing, but also know that believing is seeing. —Denis Waitley

PRINCIPLE 2 Fulfillment Flows from Adding Value to Others

Where your talent and the needs of the world cross, your calling can be found. —Aristotle

Calling, Life Purpose, and Fulfillment

Great coaches realize that coaching is a calling, a clarion command to use your talent to serve something bigger than yourself for a greater good. Answering a calling keeps our life purpose from becoming selfish, while it addresses our deep desire to use our lives for something significant and worthwhile. Ultimate fulfillment and significance come from a lasting sense of joy and satisfaction, from fully living a life purpose centered on adding value to others. An important part of personal fulfillment is the sense that we are part of something bigger than ourselves, that our work makes a difference for others. As coaches, we know that the world is a better place because of what we have done.

How Coaching Adds Value to People

Coaches add value to people, in five ways. They help people to find satisfaction in (1) achieving goals, (2) overcoming problems, (3) learning and developing, (4) installing new beliefs and habits, and (5) experiencing fulfillment in their work and lives by uplifting others. As we saw in the earlier case study of David, the coaching process made a big difference for David and created lasting fulfillment for the coach. The strong feeling of fulfillment and gratitude that he received touched the coach so deeply that he would remember it for the rest of his life.

What People Appreciate and Remember Most

When world-renowned leadership author Richard Boyatzis asked people who had been the most valuable people to them in their careers, he found that about 80 percent of all people said that it was those who had helped them extend their dreams and reach for new positive experiences in their lives. On the other hand, those people who highlighted people's faults and made others feel small were not valued.

The Absence of Fulfillment

We all know people who pursue money, power, or pleasure as an ultimate end. They are never happy because they can never get enough, and they always want more and more for themselves. These things are temporary and fleeting, and even if their possessions make people feel good for a while, soon enough they run out; yet like an addiction, they keep yearning for more. There are many people in the world who seem to work very hard and achieve success, money, and fame—yet a true sense of lasting fulfillment is still largely absent from their lives because they have not dedicated themselves to serving a greater good. The positive emotions of true fulfillment tend to come most strongly as a result of hard work and sacrifice in the service of an end that is bigger than yourself.


At the age of 28, Jessica was depressed and devastated. It had been a bed of roses when she was in school in Hong Kong. She won a national interschool speech contest, wrote award winning poems, was very popular and scored straight As. She was in a great school with supportive teachers, counselors, and schoolmates. When she was able to shine, she felt loved and appreciated by the people around her.

After completing her master of banking and finance degree in Sydney, Australia, she took a job as branch operations executive in a bank. Twenty-four months into this unfulfilling job, she was totally disillusioned about life. She hated her boss and secretly called him a sadist since he seemed to gain pleasure from making people suffer—just because he had gone through a lot of pain himself. At the slightest mistake he would trample on Jessica in front of others. He never seemed to leave the office, and his staff was not supposed to leave before him.

Jessica's parents had high expectations of her, but she felt no love from them when she could not achieve the success they wanted from her. Her boyfriend decided to leave her, sending a note saying that he could not live with a loser. Every night she cried herself to sleep in her lonely apartment.

A friend invited Jessica to a life-changing seminar by Anthony Robbins. During the seminar she raised her hand to say that she needed help and expressed the seriousness of her problems. "Before the end of the seminar," she says, "I was approached by a coach who said he was willing to work with me with no expectations or monetary reward; I decided to give it a try. Since my coach was a very busy person from Malaysia, we did two-hour sessions every two weeks using Skype. My coach knew that the pain in my life was unbearable. He did not talk much, so I did most of the talking. By the third session, I broke down in tears. After I had poured out all my suffering, I suddenly felt empty but much lighter. He then started to ask me about what I loved to do most and what I did well in school."

The coach gave Jessica a template to fill out each week over a period of 12 weeks. She was to write down what she did well and enjoyed doing at work. It was difficult at first but eventually she came to a realization that what she did well and loved to do at school and at work boiled down to similar things. "I loved to express myself in front of many people, socialize with like-minded people and develop and create new things that others could enjoy. My coach asked me how I could embrace my true strengths and passion and that became my revelation. Before that I had totally forgotten about my giftedness. Now I began to engage it."

With encouragement from her coach, Jessica had the courage to visualize what her life would be like if she used her gifts to the fullest. "He even asked if I wanted to create my own affirmation." She fashioned one that sounded like, "I am gratefully and masterfully presenting, creating, and relating with people." She recorded this with her special tune on her smartphone and programmed a reminder to play this six times a day.

"My turning point came when my coach asked me how I could change the circumstances that I was faced with. I thought about it for a whole week, and the answer came when I met the head of training in the bank during a training session. I spilled out my affirmation to him and asked if I could work with him. I was astounded when he called my boss, called my coach, and then called me to say yes."

Excerpted from Coaching for Breakthrough Success by Jack Canfield, PETER CHEE. Copyright © 2013 Self Esteem Seminars, Inc. and Peter Chee Lean Hock. Excerpted by permission of McGraw-Hill Education.
All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
Excerpts are provided by Dial-A-Book Inc. solely for the personal use of visitors to this web site.

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Table of Contents





1. The Coaching Spirit          

2. Relationship And Trust          

3. Asking Questions And Curiosity          

4. Listening And Intuition          

5. Feedback And Awareness          

6. Suggestions And Simplification          

7. Goals And Action Plans          

8. Accountability And Accomplishments          


9. The Six Paradigms Of Situational Coaching          


10. Taking Full Responsibility For Results          

11. Building Self-Esteem And Removing Roadblocks          

12. Clarifying Your Life Purpose And Vision          

13. Setting Effective Goals          

14. Visualizing And Affirming Desired Outcomes          

15. Planning For Action And Taking Massive Action          

16. Using Feedback, Learning, And Perseverance To Your Advantage          

17. Using The Law Of Attraction And Celebrating Success          

18. Making The Impossible Dream Possible          


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