If I were you and I was thinking about getting someone to coach me through some relationship challenges and help me improve my communication skills, here are some questions I would want to have answered …
Question 1: Who are you and how did you get started?
My name is Paul Sterling, and I am a Remarkably Right-On Relationship Coach.
I didn’t start out to be a relationship coach. In fact, I started out about as far away from that as possible.
My first real job was as a commercial fisherman and sea captain in Alaska, where I survived 18 years right out of Deadliest Catch. My crew survived too. But my 16-year marriage did not. I had conquered the wild seas, but I had not yet conquered the treacherous waters within me. Like most men, I had never how to communicate openly and honestly about my feelings and needs, or how to resolve conflicts with kindness and compassion.
Yes, that is really one of the boats I was Captain
of while commercial fishing in Alaska
I did not have the right relationship tools in my tackle box. In fact, I went through one divorce and three broken engagements before I learned the secrets I now share.
I’m sad to say that I made almost every relationship mistakepossible along the way.
Part of the reason I’m telling you this is so you can see the power of the tools and techniques that I share. If they can work on me, a guy with a multitude of relationship disasters, they can work with almost anybody.
I was once told that every master started out as a disaster. And I can find the truth in that.
Question 2: How did you go from being a commercial fisherman in Alaska to being a Remarkably Right-on Relationship Coach who teaches courageous and compassionate communication all around the world?
Living courageously has been the driving force in my life. Nothing makes me feel more alive than kayaking down class 4 rapids in the Rocky Mountains, barreling down a mountain on my bike in Vermont, or hang gliding off a cliff near Boulder CO. Some might call me a man’s man. I have always sought out the experiences that exercised my courage muscles in the face of fear.
Still, looking back, I’d have to say that my most courageous excursions came from facing my fears and becoming… ahhhh“VULNERABLE”. That meant learning how to talk about my feelings and needs… and how to listen to hers. Without this skill, I kept destroying my relationships and getting in the way of the thing I wanted most in the world … passion, connection, and love.
I did not have this breakthrough overnight or all by myself. I have been blessed with some extraordinary teachers along the way … here are just a few:
My first deep dive into my inner terrain came many years ago when Robert Kiyosaki, author of Rich Dad Poor Dad,came to Alaska to teach his course on personal development and self-growth. I must say I was pretty resistant to the idea of spending a whole weekend at a workshop.
But I’m glad I did; it was game changer.
Robert awakened a hunger in me for learning and personal growth. He also planted the seed that if I didn’t like the way my life was headed, I could actually change. That was new to me.
Those two powerful days launched me on a zealous quest to understand what made me and others tick. The same way I loved watching animals in the wild as a child, I now began to watch the wildness of human interaction. Sometimes the wild animals made more sense.
This is me with Robert Kiyosaki in Australia… Damn I look young there.
I became a passionate student of human behavior and how to shift it.
I began traveling to train with some of the best teachers in the world of personal growth and life mastery.
After Kiyosaki came Anthony Robbins, another powerhouse, and somebody who’s wisdom and passion still motivates me today. I ended up working for him, and he even brought me back years later to teach his inner circle about quality, productivity, and leadership.
I still remember how humbling it was to have Tony introduce me from the front of the room, as I had done for him while staffing at his Unlimited Power Weekend workshops.
Tony helped me understand human behavior—how we’re driven by our needs, and the power of our beliefs.
The wisdom Tony taught me years ago is part of the foundation of what I use every day to create radical transformation in people’s relationships.
I’m incredibly grateful for the impact Tony had on my life. But I still had a lot of growing to do, and several more mentors to meet, who would shape me and my work.
Next up, was Marshall Thurber, founder of Money and You. Marshall is a brilliant businessman, futurist, and mentee of R. Buckminster Fuller andfamed systems theorist Dr. W. Edwards Deming.
I can’t even begin to tell you all the ways that Marshall impacted my life, and for that I’m forever grateful.
One of the core principles he taught me was how to make the invisible, visible: how to stop chasing symptoms and actually discover what is causing a problem, so you can create a long-term, lasting solution.
This is a very useful skill. It helps people get out of the shame-blame-guilt game, where everybody’s pointing fingers and laying blame, rather than moving toward solutions that work for all concerned.
Marshall Thurber and me. He has got done teaching a very transformational 4 day workshop
For years I successfully applied what I learned from these mentors, and I got really good at communicating in the business world. There were many more, you might even say I obsessed… BOB PROCTOR (you may have seen him featured inThe Secret).RICHARD BANDLER (co-creator of NLP). BYRON KATIE(creator of The WORD).
I was one the City of Albuquerque’s top consultants, and most of their department heads went through my trainings. I also consulted for private businesses. And then there was the time I was asked to use my communication skills as a U.S. delegate for the Soviet American Citizen’s Summit Peace Dialogue in Moscow.
Moscow in January – damn that was cold.
Question 3: So what got you into coaching?
Good question. I’m glad you asked. That turning point came by accident, over dinner on St. Patrick’s Day. Enter my next mentor…
With one of my life changing mentors,
the late Dr. Marshall Rosenberg
At a dinner my close friends told me all about the “nonviolent communication” work of Dr. Marshall Rosenberg.
By the time dinner was over I was hooked and knew that I had to learn everything I could about this man’s work.
I devoured everything I could glean from his books and tapes and eventually flew to Sweden to spend almost a month studying with him.
It was transformational. And I don’t say that lightly.
It was also painful. I got to see how my lack of communication skills in the area of relationships had caused so many of the painful conflicts, upsets, and misunderstandings.
I want to be clear here: When I discovered Dr. Rosenberg’s work I was no beginner in the area of communication. But his approach is something unique and very special, and it changed the way I look at communication entirely.
I was floored by the simplicity and effectiveness of this communication model to help me in all my relationships—intimate, business, and social.
Each of these profound teachers taught me finer and finer distinctions in human relationships. Now I have distilled all of the knowledge and experience I gained over the past two decades to create The Magic Relationship Method—a system that can help you to improve your relationships.
Question 4: But are you any good at this?
Having spent the past over 20 years working intimately with hundreds of couples on a daily basis and witnessing their transformations and miracles, I can confidently say yes.
What I am really good at is entering your world—and teaching your partner to enter your world—so that you feel heard, understood, and valued. Whether your relationship is in crisis, stuck in a relationship rut, or looking for the next level of bliss, I can give you the tools, the skills, and the distinctions to give you the relationship you want.
I have worked with a wide variety of couples from all sorts of backgrounds, ranging from rocket scientists (really, no kidding) to doctors to professors to marriage counselors to young couples just barely scraping by.
Beyond couples work, I’ve also taught and coached in a variety of other settings. When Naropa University wanted someone to teach their professors and staff the principles of nonviolent communication, they brought me to spend three long, intensive days teaching them a very powerful four-step communication method.
For almost eight years I successfully taught these communication principles to prison inmates. The reason I’m telling you that is because if they work in prison they will most likely work for you.
I’ve also been lucky enough to travel around the world teaching and coaching. From Colorado to California … from Alaska to Bali … from Hawaii to Hong Kong. I even invited to teach on a beautiful sailboat in Croatian Islands. And everywhere I’ve gone people have the same needs to be heard, understood, and valued.
I have been interviewed by numerous newspapers and radio talk shows around the US (including the Playboy Channel). In addition, I have made TV appearances both here in the USA and on Russian news programs and have written my own column on communication.
Perhaps most important, I am now happily in a relationship with the woman of my dreams. Even with a track record like mine, given the right tools, the miracle of love really is possible for all of us.
Question 5: Okay, I get it, you are good. But can you help me?
The truth is, I don’t know for sure.
I’m sure I’m good, but I’m not sure about your situation until we have had a talk and that is the next step.
I’ve helped lots of couples out of incredibly challenging situations and back into loving relationships. I’ve also helped other couples get divorced with dignity and compassion for each other.
But there are some people I can’t help, and I usually know that right after our first relationship breakthrough session together. The main reason for that is that they waited too long before reaching out. They had passed the point of no return.
Question 6: So what’s my next step?
You have read this far, so it’s pretty obvious you’re interested in creating some level of breakthrough in your relationship. To get started, first take five minutes to answer the seven questions on my “How’s Your Relationship Doing?” page.