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Thinking Lab Coaching with Lin Zinser

Lin ZinserA Note from Jean Moroney

Some of you know that I’ve been working to make the Thinking Lab scalable. One of my goals is to have Thinking Lab coaches available—specially trained coaches who can help you apply the ideas to your life. I am excited to have Lin Zinser available on the team to do just this. You may have heard our freebie call together, The Logical Way to Maintain Your Benevolence.

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*If you have coached with Lin in the past and just want a follow-up session or sessions, email us for details on how to do this.

Lin has been a member of the Thinking Lab since it started in 2008. She and I have had extensive conversations over the years. I have seen her take in every idea that I have offered and make it her own. To date, Lin has coached more than 60 members of the Thinking Lab.

If you want to know more about Lin, her bio is on the About Lin Zinser page.

Testimonials from Lin’s coaching clients

My biggest surprise is how consistently valuable Lin’s coaching has been despite how much my goals, my ambitions, and my situation has changed over the last year and a half. I came into coaching with a very specific goal to change my role in the family business. Once I accomplished that, I realized that as large and overwhelming as that change seemed, it was just the tip of the iceberg in a much larger quest for my own independence. Lin’s coaching has been extremely helpful through all phases of this journey.

–Ryan Sawatzky, Software Engineer, Highlands Ranch, CO

Lin is a warm and empathetic listener. She comes across as a fellow pilgrim on a journey together to apply rational principles to our every day living. This is unlike a previous life coach’s consultation structure, which was like a teacher/student structure without the warmth Lin provides.

Lin’s feedback and suggestions have helped me be more comfortable with myself and feel more optimistic going forward.

–Gordon Dickerson, M.D., (Retired), Medford, OR

Each session with Lin has yielded at least one significant new insight, such as “serial initiatives” when I had a lot going on, or the benefit of defining a goal for my return to work. The prep-work (pre-coaching session emails) can also be surprisingly helpful as a mechanism for gathering my thoughts and revealing new insights for further discussion.

–Amy Deese, Engineer, Mims, FL

Lin has the ability to listen to me calmly, intelligently, with great respect. She helps me appreciate myself more, think more clearly, be able to deal with my conflicts in everyday life, grow and be happier. My advice to anyone considering having consults with Lin—DO IT!

–Wallace Harding, Artist, Cornwall Bridge, CT

Terms of coaching consults

The cost of the consults is $100 each monthly. Or, if you want two/month, you get a 10% discount: it’s only $180/month instead of $200. This is in addition to the Thinking Lab regular membership.

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Here are the nitty gritty details about how it will work:

  • Recurring Payments When you sign up, you start monthly recurring payments. After meeting the 3-month minimum, you can stop these at any time. The cost of the consults is in addition to regular Thinking Lab membership.
  • Scheduling: You will be sent a link to a scheduler to schedule your first consult. Susi Sheridan, the Thinking Lab Assistant, will work with you to get the times on the calendar if there is any problem.
  • Rescheduling & Cancellation policy: Use it or lose it: Each consult must be held during the calendar month; it does not roll over. Consults can be rescheduled with 24 hours notice. If a consult is scheduled or rescheduled prior to the 15th of the month, we guarantee to find a mutually agreeable time. After the 15th, it may not be possible to reschedule.
  • Topics due to Lin midnight the night before: To give Lin a chance to prepare, you need to send an email explaining what you want to talk about by midnight Eastern time the night before. If you do not send it, Lin may request a rescheduling.
  • No refund on consults once held. However, if you are dissatisfied with the consult program, I (Jean) will meet with you to discuss the appropriate remedy, and/or to cancel future payments/consults.

Lin says:

“I’m a fan of the Thinking Lab, not just because Jean has the best methods, but because she analyzes the methods and figures out how and why they work. This makes them so much more valuable. She has helped me clear up many confusions and misunderstandings in my own thinking. I’m excited to offer that kind of support for other ambitious members of the Thinking Lab who want to use Jean’s ideas, insights and techniques, tools and tips to be happy and productive.”

Sign up for Coaching with Lin

Have you already coached with Lin and want just a few sessions to follow up? Lin offers three options to past coaching clients in the Thinking Lab:

  • One session ad hoc $150
  • Three sessions within 6 months $375 package price
  • Or you can restart regular 1/month sessions ($100/month) with a 3-month minimum.

Email Susi Sheridan at for the payment links.

Not sure? Sign up for a free 20-minute introductory call with Lin. Please email Lin directly at or select the Free 20-minute consult on this page:

Free 20-minute consult with Lin

Have questions? Just ask. Or they may be answered in Lin’s bio, or the transcript of the interview I did with her, which I include below, after another letter from a satisfied customer.


Jean M.

Jean Moroney

Dear Lin,

I came into coaching because I wanted to find ways to enjoy life more, even though I was working long hours and we were still on/off locked down. Now, over a year later, I am still benefiting. I just looked out in my backyard and noticed the badminton net, which I set up again this summer. I played last night with a friend, we even used the ‘light up’ birdies as it started to become dusk. Good fun!

And then I went to get something from my office. You know how UNBELIEVABLY easily my personal office got organized after we started coaching. I’d been trying to do that for years!

They are just a couple GREAT direct results from our coaching. There are more of course, but I just thought of these, and wanted to say thank you! They both make my life happier and more meaningful. And so importantly too, they make me feel that I can determine more of my own life and happiness. That’s BIG.


Karen MacBeath

Toronto, Ontario

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Interview with Lin Zinser about Thinking Lab coaching

Lin Zinser has been coaching Thinking Lab members since spring of 2020. The program has been very successful. I interviewed her about how it’s going.

                -Jean Moroney

Why do Thinking Lab members seek out coaching with you? 

Many different reasons. Some want assistance on choosing a new career. Others want to eliminate (or at least minimize) procrastination or perfectionism in their daily lives. Some struggle with persistent negative thoughts about themselves. Others have motivation issues they can’t seem to solve on their own.

Some simply come to get a routine established or to learn a thinking skill that you, Jean, have identified, such as overcoming resistance or instituting a new initiative in work or in some personal area.

Ha ha! You’re focusing on the practical issues they want help with. But I’ve heard from them. They work with you because they have gotten to know you and trust you, as I have. I think your benevolence toward your clients is a big part of it. 

Well, that’s easy. I have so much respect and admiration for each client. I feel proud and privileged to work with them.

The members of the Thinking Lab are ambitious and genuinely motivated to achieve their goals, even if sometimes they are unclear on a particular one.

And of course, I’ve seen firsthand that many thinking problems are common among us. So when they come with “problem thoughts,” I know those are “normal” thoughts. They are held by good people who have errors in their thinking, and they can be remedied with the tools in the Thinking Lab. You showed me that.

Yes, and it is so gratifying to have seen you take the ideas and run with them. One of my top pleasures is to hear that something I figured out the hard way is making someone else’s life a bit easier. I’m sure you feel that way, too.

You’ve been having a lot of success in just a few months. Can you tell us a bit about the progress you’ve seen?

I would say that in almost every session, the clients see progress. It might be more clarity about their values. Or it might be more clarity on what went right or what went wrong. Sometimes it’s a new tip or technique.

But one way or another, they get a more objective appraisal of their circumstances, their achievements, and their disappointments, and they can turn around and use that information to achieve their goals more effectively.

Ultimately, that’s where all the progress comes from. I’m just a catalyst. It is the client who makes the breakthroughs, the client who identifies what’s going on in his own mind, and the client who changes his thinking to get a different result.

What’s exciting as a coach is how much I can speed that process up. I can ask the questions and suggest a new direction when they’re stuck. Sometimes I can see that they have misidentified the problem and haven’t gone to the root cause of it. I can draw that out so they can see that for themselves.

Diagnosing thinking problems is easier as an objective third party. I know what it’s like to solve these problems from the inside out. It’s harder, because your own mistaken premises can act a bit like blinders. Now as a coach, not only do I have a more extensive knowledge of the tools available in the Thinking Lab, but I am not personally caught up in the details of the clients’ issues. That makes it much easier to see what tool or concept is relevant.

The biggest surprise I’ve had is seeing how fast some of these techniques can work. This is especially true with the twice-monthly coaching clients. Jean, when I suggest using one of your techniques, whether it is Thinking On Paper or something else, those in the twice-monthly coaching sessions invariably do enough of the work in two weeks to find that they have a new level of self-awareness. This is true even if the exercise wasn’t quite successful or they didn’t finish it completely. And I get with them soon enough that they are not discouraged. We can then tweak the exercise if needed and repeat to gain the skill or move to the next step.

That process is slower in the monthly sessions because of the longer time interval between sessions. What I’m doing to help with that is I suggest several steps the clients might take throughout the month. However, the lack of objective feedback and accountability after step 1 or 2 makes it easier for clients to get distracted during this process. They could ask for help, but most of them don’t — until we meet again four weeks later.

Several clients switched from monthly to twice-monthly sessions, and they agree, they are now making progress much more quickly.

This is all great, but you’re not bragging enough about the details! I’ve been hearing from your clients. What about the ones who have declared victory? What about the ones who have gotten more out of their Thinking Lab membership?

Yes, there have been some great success stories. I can’t share anything confidential, but I’ll just describe a couple of cases. One person came in with a social challenge she’d been dealing with for years, and after two months of coaching, she declared a success! And told me she wanted to move on to the next goal. Another client has dealt with ups and downs for a long time, and was able to use our coaching to manage the downs better. Another client was stuck at the beginning of coaching, and then just jumped into action as a result of our calls. It’s really been exciting to see all the progress they are making.

And then there’s a person who was working on his central purpose. In the course of our discussion, we realized there was a gap in the materials on the Thinking Lab site, so you created the class on Goal-Setting 101, and I’m helping you put together a new self-study course on that topic.

Yes, I am very appreciative of that. The material on the Thinking Lab site has grown topsy-turvy over 13 years, and you are helping me to fill in the gaps.

You’re also going to be working with me on Launch 2021. How do you feel about that?

I’m excited about the program! I’m choosing my own goal, so I can work through it alongside everyone else. It will be a new challenge to run some of the group-coaching sessions, and I think doing the program with everyone will help me know what people are facing. I also suspect that some people in the program will want to add on one-on-one coaching.

That’s a great segue. Could you explain how a coaching session works? 

It’s not complicated! The clients send an email the night before each session outlining what they want to work on. Usually that email is just a short paragraph or two describing a concern or a “stuck” issue they want to resolve. Some send a page or more of their Thinking on Paper.

In the coaching session, I ask them to flesh out the situation in more detail. My goal is to get objectivity on it. I endeavor to ask the questions that bring up aspects that they are not already looking at. Often I’m using some tactic I learned from you, Jean, so I also explain what we’re doing and where they can find more materials in the Thinking Lab.

Then we may do an exercise within the session. I often suggest that clients try a different technique or a slight tweak to the one that they have been using to get better results.

I always give them homework — not because they’re accountable to me, but because I want to support them between sessions. This also really helps me see what the problems are. If they do the homework and it “works,” great! We move on. If it doesn’t “work,” we figure out why. If they didn’t do the homework, we figure out why, and maybe do some more work in that session to help them along. Sometimes they need to complain and get empathy, and I give them an empathy bath, straight from the Thinking Lab. I am tracking their progress, and they know I will help them however the homework goes. I also encourage them to write me between sessions if they get stuck or something comes up. Most don’t, but some do, and I try to answer within 12-24 hours.

Yes, that’s why you’re a better coach than I was! I have always left it to my clients to do the work between sessions, and then come to me with the next issue. Honestly, that didn’t work with everyone. You’re having a higher success rate than I had, which makes me so glad we took you on as a coach for the Thinking Lab. 

What do you recommend Thinking Lab members do if they are considering coaching with you?

First of all, I’d be happy to give a member a free 20-minute consultation. They can sign up here:

It’s important that we have some kind of rapport, and we can figure that out in the free consult. But even in that session, I want them to come to the session with an issue, big or small, so they can see how we can work together on their issues. In those free 20-minute sessions, I try to identify the root cause and offer a first step for them to work on so that even if they choose not to continue as a paying client, neither their time nor mine is mis-spent. I get the opportunity to look fresh at a new issue and help a potential client, and they walk away with more objectivity and a possible first step toward a solution.

And then, the only thing I’d say is, commit for three months. Issues that can be solved easily by oneself in an hour or two are not good ones for my coaching. Those can often be answered by you, Jean, in one of your Thinking Lab classes, Q&A sessions, or by one of your many self-help courses.

It really only makes sense if there’s a big goal involved or a problem that seems elusive or troublesome. Maybe it’s one of the issues identified at the beginning of this interview, or someone may have a number of small pesky issues that seem to be connected, but the member can’t quite see the connection or resolution.

I think a member should try it out on a goal or on issues that they expect would be worth a three-month investment. Something may come up and they need to cut it short. Or, as many do, members may find so much value they want an ongoing relationship. But I’d say a three-month commitment is the attitude to have in order to begin.

Thanks, Lin! If Thinking Lab members would like to sign up for consults with Lin, they are $100 (one/month) or $180 (two/month) on top of the Thinking Lab membership. You can read more above or register here.

Sign up for Coaching with Lin
*If you have coached with Lin in the past and just want a follow-up session or sessions, email us for details on how to do this.

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Next Class

The Work of Happiness #6:
How to Break Out of a Funk
Tuesday, June 25, 2024
3:00 p.m. – 4:00 p.m. Eastern, plus 15 minute Q&A
(12:00 noon Pacific, 1:00 p.m. Mountain, 2:00 p.m. Central)

In this class, you will learn a basic tactic to manage your motivation, especially when you are temporarily in the depths of negativity. We will discuss:

  • What causes a funk (Hint: it’s not the circumstances)
  • Why happy people need to deal with occasional funks
  • Your indirect control over your passion–for good or ill

We will discuss this in conjunction with an in-class exercise.
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Thinking Lab members receive call-in information for these classes. Click here to join the Thinking Lab.

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