Coaching Resistance:

Counterintuitive Coaching Tools, Techniques and Tips to Ease Meaningful Change

Clients often come to coaching excited, hopeful, and ready to move toward their goals. The coach uses ICF competencies to inquire about the desired future and resilient past. Awareness is evoked and client-generated action is taken.

Somewhere along this journey, roadblocks typically appear for the client—time constraints, limited resources, lack of support, and more can derail progress. One important roadblock to be aware of is the client’s own resistance.

Being familiar and comfortable with resistance, and how to coach through it, without attachment, is one of the most important tools we can possess as a coach.

The Challenge

Encountering resistance in a coaching engagement is NORMAL. The real questions become:

  • How do you, as coach, respond to the resistance?
  • How comfortable (or uncomfortable) are you with it?
  • How do you explore resistance (or not)?
  • How do you respond when a client gets reactive or defensive or offended or reticent as resistance is explored?

You will be equipped to:


ICF Approval: This 12-hour program is approved by the International Coaching Federation for 11 hours of Core Competency CCEs and 1 hour of Resource Development CCEs.

Program Details

Program outline

Meet for 4 consecutive weeks for 2-hour group webinar sessions with 4 additional hours of asynchronous activity, for a total of 12 hours of learning.

Weekly topics include:

  • ICF Focus: Competencies #1, #2, and #5. Counterintuitive perspectives on resistance … identify your own concerns about resistance … understand how rigidity begets more resistance … and more.
  • ICF Focus: Competencies #3 and #4 … Six questions/observations to comfortably co-create agreements around exploring resistance … relating from I/THOU (versus I/IT) … reciprocity cues … and more.
  • ICF Focus: Competencies #6 and #7 … Learn how “content-less” language reduces resistance … FBI hostage negotiation techniques and resistance … permission phrases … and more.
  • ICF Focus: Competencies #7 and #8 … Cognitive dissonance, and the way out … perceived threats that keep people from changing their minds … brain-friendly approach to experimenting with new thinking … and more.

why the academies

Neuroscience: We’ve been training coaches for 20+ years, and we’ve spent the better part of our last 10 years gobbling up the latest research on neuroscience. Translating neuroscience findings into easy-to-implement coaching techniques is our passion. When you marry coaching techniques with mind-body biology, you have a much better chance of supporting your clients to make lasting change (they’ll thank you for it)!

Mission: We’re on a mission to “Change Minds, For Good” (starting with our own)! We believe respectful relationships and authentic conversations are the incubator for insight, action, and lasting change. We believe that every brain is wired for growth and capable of choosing well. We stand for growing our individual and collective capacity to feel good, think good, encounter good, and create good. If this resonates with you, you’re in the right place.

More on the brain: Our certification programs are intentionally structured to extend over several months’ time. That’s because new skills cannot be mastered in a weekend format (have you ever come back to your office after being at a great conference, only to forget half of what you’ve learned or be too busy to implement the other half?) Nor can coaching be mastered entirely by embarking on self-directed study or reading books (much the same as taking a course on music appreciation does not equip one to play Beethoven’s Moonlight Sonata).

To learn effectively, the brain needs good “P.R.”—Positivity and Routinization:

  • We make learning fun (you’ll remember more),
  • We pride ourselves on creating psychologically safe learning environments (you’ll feel confident to take more risks), and
  • We create opportunities to practice coaching over time (you’ll build “muscle memory” that lasts).


We “meet” from the comfort of home/office via webinar for 4 weeks, for 2 hours each time. The remaining learning time is via our online learning environment where you’ll interact with fellow classmates to deepen your learning (see “Outside of Class” paragraph below). Total credit hours approved by the ICF are 12.

The beauty of the consecutive weekly program allows you the time and framework to assimilate, practice and execute the new systems, strategies, and communication styles learned. It also allows you to connect with your instructors and cluster-mates.

Outside of Class: How much time will you spend in addition to class-time hours? You will spend at least 1 hour each week completing follow up work from the previous class.

See our calendar or contact Brittany HERE for upcoming dates and times.

If you wish to create a private cohort, the program sessions will be scheduled at a mutually convenient time.


Open Cluster Format: A group of experienced coaches; pricing and registration details please click HERE.

Private Cohort: pricing and registration details please contact Brittany Macdonald HERE or at 559.547.8202.

Note: Contact Brittany at (559) 547-8202 or HERE for more information and additional pricing options if you are registering two or more participants.

Our Program Policy and procedures

Pre-Enrollment Requirements

This program is appropriate for coaches who have completed a minimum of 45 hours of ICF-approved coach training.


We use Zoom technology for all of our classes.  We highly recommend that you have access to a laptop or computer in order to download files and to download the Zoom app and test it 48 hours prior to your first class.

Final Requirements

Attendance: Attend all four of the live class sessions

Vimify: At the conclusion of the program, participants will be required to finish Vimify (online classroom) tasks with an 80% or more within 10 days of the conclusion of the live classes.  Your classroom tasks will include one hour of buddy coaching after each week of class along with short daily tasks each week for a total of 1.5 hours of tasks per week.  If the 80% is not met, the coach will not be issued a Certificate of Completion for the course.

Buddy Coaching: All coaches are required to complete four hours of buddy coaching throughout the program which will be assigned every week.  It is recommended that you practice the coaching techniques with clients after week one of class so that you can bring questions and wins to subsequent week’s classes.

Withdrawal Policy

Should you need to withdraw, the following options are available:

Transfer Option: Should you want to retake the course with a starting date within 12 months of the original starting date (subject to space availability) – a $350 administrative fee applies and an additional charge equal to the difference in price if the program has increased in investment.

Withdrawal Option: Receive a full refund less a $350 administrative fee if withdrawing at least 48 hours before class begins.  Receive a 50% refund if withdrawing after that time and before class 2 (note that if you choose to pay via payment plan, your second payment will be drawn and your final two will be canceled).  Upon notifying us of withdrawal, we ask you to delete any program materials you may have downloaded. No refund available after class 2.