Great Questions = Greater Lessons

Posted on September 2nd, 2022 by The DSWA

From the time I was a child, I loved to teach. Playing school was my favorite thing as a kid, and I always dreamed of being a teacher. But the course of my future changed after my junior year of high school, when at 16 I was given the chance to attend the Washington Workshops Foundation’s Media Workshop at UCLA. My parents put me on a plane and sent me off to Los Angeles unaccompanied. (I still can’t believe they did!) It was my first great life adventure. The workshop provided the opportunity for students from across the country to meet with leaders in print media, broadcast media, television and film for an inside look at the field of communications. We toured a newspaper. Sat face to face with actors and producers. Visited a television newsroom. I was hooked.

I headed off to The University of Mississippi a year later, where I majored in Broadcast Journalism. My mornings were spent in class, my afternoons at the college TV station where we diligently banged out scripts on carbon paper threaded into electric typewriters and eagerly awaited our professor’s feedback on that day’s stories and newscast. I became fascinated with what I call “storytelling with a purpose…” discovering the story behind the story. In my subsequent career as a television news anchor, producer, and investigative reporter for CBS, NBC and ABC, I was passionate about getting the real story… not simply the one we were assigned in the morning meeting. Years later, that desire to ask great questions without bias led me to DSWA Coach Excellence School.

I’d always been taught by my mom, a high school math teacher, that if you learn anything in life with the idea you might have to teach it to someone else… your brain will process it differently as you learn it. I brought that passion for learning and teaching to my direct selling business. I loved teaching clients about our products and teaching Consultants how to share them with their own clients. But what I discovered through DSWA Coach Excellence School was missing in my work was the coaching component. In my passion to teach, I realized I was merely “telling.” Coach School Levels 1, 2 and 3 taught me to return to my journalism skills of asking a great question with no expectation or bias in regard to the answer. In other words, respecting the story would reveal itself when questions asked from a genuine place of curiosity are the catalyst that allows the true story to unfold. And that’s what coaching is about. Being genuinely curious. Seeing people as whole and complete. And allowing our questions to lead them to their own answers, thus empowering them to unveil their unique story. Everyone loves a great teacher. But what’s more powerful is for students to play to their own strengths, versus trying to emulate those of someone they admire.

Almost immediately after recognizing the difference between teaching and coaching, and how to effectively combine both in my business, there was a shift. Customers and Consultants alike were responding to me differently. My work began to energize me versus exhaust me. Relationships were strengthened. Trust increased. Communication clarified. Instead of feeling smart, I found it was far more meaningful to support others in realizing their own intelligence. My journey has brought me full-circle and now I joyfully approach my business with renewed passion. Even better, through coaching I empower others to do the same.


Brittany Layton Mitchell is a wife, mother, coach, and 20-year direct sales veteran. Consistently recognized as a top achiever in her company, Brittany’s greatest passion is leaving a legacy by equipping others for success through coaching. Her leadership podcast provides a platform for people from all walks of life to share their success stories. Brittany believes great questions = greater lessons.


About the Author

This article was posted by the DSWA.