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What to Do If Your Coaching Client is Lying to You? (Liz Scully)

  • Episode #5

Episode summary: It can be extremely challenging and difficult if you, as a coach, suspect that your coaching client is lying. But it turns out, there are nuances to lying; not all lies are detrimental and they can even sometimes serve as self-protection. Wait, what? Isn’t a lie a lie? The answer, it turns out, isn’t so simple. Today’s conversation is all about how to tell when your coaching client is lying, how to handle the situation – and whether the lie is even worth addressing.

In this episode, Melinda Cohan, our host and senior coach, has an eye-opening and lively conversation with Liz Scully, the founder of Rethink Central, an organization that provides business strategies for entrepreneurs. They talk about what can motivate a client to lie and some common signs of lying, including micro-expressions that we have no control over. They also explain the difference between big untruths and so-called white lies. The session also addresses some compelling reasons not to challenge a client’s lie or a story they tell themselves.

In this episode we discuss:

  • How an animator became an expert in lie detection. 
  • The role of microexpressions in lie detection. 
  • The difference between big untruths and the so-called social lies. 
  • What are the signs of lying?
  • What to do when your client seems to lie. 
  • Reasons to not challenge a client’s lie or a story that they tell themselves.

Because we all think that we’re kind of a closed perfect circuit. And, obviously, we’re not. We’re leaking information all the time.” 

Liz Scully

Guest Bio: Liz Scully spent 20 years working on big Hollywood films – she’s won an Emmy and her work is multi-Oscar nominated. Now, she’s a business strategist and a Mastermind coach and KNOWS business can be ridiculously fun as well as highly effective.

She’s Irish, nomadic and as confused as everyone else why she has an English accent.

Resources or websites mentioned in this episode:


  • Guest – Liz Scully
  • Host – Melinda Cohan
  • Producer – Cynthia Lamb 
  • Executive producer – Danny Iny
  • Writer – Michi Lantz, Melinda Cohan and Cynthia Lamb
  • Assembled by – Geoff Govertsen
  • Audio Post Supervisor: Evan Miles, Christopher Martin
  • Audio Post Production by Post Office Sound
  • Music soundscape: Chad Michael Snavely

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Music and SFX credits: 


Just Between Coaches

This show is like Oprah’s couch, where conversations cut straight to the heart of the topic, but... it’s only for coaches! Melinda Cohan of the Coaches Console explores the tough questions coaches face on a regular basis. With a new guest host each episode, Melinda provides tactical advice and strategies to address issues like “How do I deal with price resistance?” and “Should I fire my client?”