How do you know that coaching works?  I often ask this question in the beginning of my coaching class. Many shining eyes put up their hands and quote the latest research on how coaching boosts the performance, motivation, or confidence of struggling employees, confused youth, or frustrated executives. Based on their answers I can almost guess what their day job is: ROI, increased employee engagement, happier children and healthier families: the rather revealing list goes on. 

Have you ever had good news to share with the world and no one seemed to care as much as you did? Once, when I received an offer from a prestigious university to create and deliver a coaching diploma program and I successfully completed it after a few stressful months of changes in direction, I told a friend my news. I was proud to share my completion news with her as she had supported me throughout the uncertainty. She acknowledged the victory. “That’s great news!” she said, and then she changed the subject. I was left feeling a disconnect and, frankly, a bit hurt.

The story goes: a prominent thinker, perhaps William James or Bertrand Russell, delivered a lecture on the nature of the solar system. In response, an elderly woman proposed an alternate theory, that the world is flat, sitting on a turtle, and it is turtles all the way down. Her wacky notion has a kernel of wisdom for leaders in healthcare today.

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Are you ready for a technology upgrade? Many of your coaching clients have already upgraded. They’re already using productivity and biometric apps and devices. This first in a series of three articles looks at ways to repurpose these tools across all phases of a coaching process and for a wide range of coaching goals. The second article will cover People Analytics and its potential impact on coaching; the third explores future scenarios such as ‘coach-bots’ interacting with leaders who may or may not work with a human coach.

What are you planning to do differently in 2017? Some of us welcome this calendar-prompted pause to reflect; others of us find this question daunting, or even a nuisance. Our clients are being asked to set goals for the new year, so coaching conversations may naturally turn to this topic right now.

Here’s my simple, authentic, energizing solution:  Tap your unrealized strengths.

Does it surprise you how many ideas and beliefs that were once universally held to be the case are now seen as wrong? Very well educated people used to believe, for example, that the earth was at the center of the universe and that ulcers are caused by stress. Folk-lore genuinely committed us to believe in elves and hobgoblins and that it was possible to change the weather by right thinking or behaviour.

Lifestyle Medicine Basics for Coaches

Our last child left for college recently. A bedroom that was once kid space will soon be transformed into office, guest, and closet space.  In the meantime, I can’t find anything, everything is a mess, and I am constantly sifting through what to throw out and what to bring in, questions I can’t readily answer because, well, I have never been here before.

This was my fourth Institute of Coaching Conference in Boston. And it was great to be back; such high caliber speakers. I find these events energizing. They remind me how important our work is as coaches. I left stimulated, and with plenty to think about.