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2017 March Coaching Report

“We know that coaching is effective in creating space for change and now through neuroscience research we can develop tools that align with how our brains function — such that we can make quantum leaps in coaching outcomes,” says Carlos Davidovich, MD, executive coach and expert on the relationship of neuroscience to coaching.  Dr. Davidovich led one of the most popular tracks at our annual conference last fall.

Our theme this month is the...

2017 February Coaching Report

This month we’re focused on leadership assessment.  Tom Peters, a famous management consultant and author, once said, “If you’re not confused, you’re not paying attention.”  Was he talking about leadership assessment?  No, but he could have been.  A definition of assessment from our own website, ‘the systematic gathering of data regarding areas of human functioning,’ simply and broadly captures the basic idea. In practice, however, this definition belies the breadth and complexity of the process in which multiple variables – the coach’...

2017 January Coaching Report

The Coaching Two-Step: From Subject to Object to Transformation

Our first digital Master Class, when we launched the Institute of Coaching membership program in 2011, was on subject-object theory. The interviews and content were based on the intellectual heavy-lifting completed over decades by Harvard professor and adult development psychologist, Bob Kegan, later in collaboration with Lisa Lahey at Harvard...

2016 December Coaching Report

As we move to the end of what has been a tumultuous year in so many parts of the world, and transition to 2017, we have an opportunity to take stock. Indeed, one of the greatest gifts we can give ourselves and, by extension, our clients is to turn inwards and ask important questions about our role and our effectiveness. These might include:

  • How do our own emotional skills impact our ability to understand our clients’ emotions?
  • How does our bias toward solutions and goals hinder important exploration?
  • Are we extending the same level of self-compassion and
  • ...
2016 November Coaching Report

At our 2015 Annual Coaching Conference, one of the Research Sessions ended with a video of a huge flock of birds hypnotically flowing up and down and in all directions, in unimaginable synchronicity.  Not one bird was out of synch, not one stood out from the group.  This flight video was shown at the conclusion of Sean O’Connor’s presentation, as a metaphor for the “Ripple Effect” – how coaching individuals resonates through a group or organization.  The presentation was based on a study that Sean O’Connor and Michael Cavanagh had carried out the previous year, partly...

2016 October Coaching Report

This month we focus on Innovation. Wikipedia defines innovation simply as a "new idea, device, or method." However, innovation is often also viewed as the application of better solutions that meet new requirements, unarticulated needs, or existing market needs. This is accomplished through more-effective products, processes, services, technologies, or business models.

How do we help foster innovation? We look at it from three perspectives: Amy Edmonson from Harvard Business School; Tim Brown, CEO of IDEO, the company often described as one of the...

2016 September Coaching Report

“Autumn is a second spring when every leaf is a flower.” ― Albert Camus

I always feel a twinge of melancholy in the waning days of summer, as we wave good-bye to long summer days and get in gear for the busy fall season. On the other hand, “back-to-school” time brings an exhilarating shift in energy as the temps cool down and clients gear up to meet end-of-year goals.  Fall is a particularly exciting time for us at the IOC, as we host our biggest event of the year — the annual coaching conference sponsored by Harvard Medical School.  This year the range of thought...

2016 July/August Coaching Report

Are you burned out?

Last month HBR featured a blog: Don’t Get Surprised by Burnout. The author, passionate and appreciative of his work, awakened to realize that chronic overwork, even when it’s a pleasure, can become too much of a good thing. It took him five weeks of staying at a hotel in Singapore to realize that it overlooked a beach. The remedy he prescribes is more downtime with no goals or to-dos; time to be, to be alive, to experience rather than act, and accept whatever that feels like. ...

2016 June Coaching Report

Greetings Institute of Coaching Members and Friends,

Nearly 20 years ago to this day, I had an experience that changed my life. I'd just returned home to South Africa after a two-year around-the-world backpacking trip and was invited to a 'meet the parents' dinner at my new boyfriend's house.

Over dinner, the discussion turned to a newly released book – Dan Goleman’s Emotional Intelligence. The conversation was fascinating, and in that moment, I decided that this topic - emotions and their impact on life, wellbeing, and work, would become my career focus. 

Fast...

2016 May Coaching Report

Crossing town from one coaching gig to another, I recently had an opportunity to reflect (Manhattan bus traffic provided a bit of down time) on the amazing diversity of today’s leadership landscape.  Women leaders, leaders of color, multi-cultural leaders and, of course, millennials appear in the C-suite in ever greater numbers.  It is an exciting time to be an executive coach—one in which the very definition of what it means to be a “leader” is transforming before our eyes.

Our theme for this month’s coaching report centers around these issues of “leader identity...

2016 April Coaching Report

Whether working in the areas of health, education, or executive coaching, we are committed to enhancing people’s wellbeing.   In the work context, wellbeing is very much tied to whether people find their work engaging and fulfilling. Yet, at what point might engagement shift into its opposite - burnout - as external pressure and expectations increase?  What if supports are not adequate to sustain well-being under high demands?  The resources we highlight this month explore these relationships between well-being, work engagement, social relationships - and where coaches...

2016 March Coaching Report

“Then I sit at my workstation to document and bill for our encounter, perched at the edge of my seat, on the verge of despair.”

The Doctor’s New Dilemma. Suzanne Koven, M.D., Massachusetts General Hospital. New England Journal of Medicine, February 18, 2016.

This quote on despair is the last line of Dr. Koven’s article. An unintentional victim of well-intentioned healthcare reforms is the relationship between a patient and his/her healthcare provider. What was easy and natural for physicians...

2016 February Coaching Report

Evidence Based Marketing:  

Understanding coaching research empowers you to engage in what I think of Evidence Based Marketing. What you know and can articulate on the impact of coaching gives you a competitive advantage.  It allows you to describe the impact of coaching with a deep authority.

Coaching studies unpack not only what coaching can accomplish, but also provide a look into what components of coaching make a difference.  Read this month’s article -- the Power of Coaching -- with this in mind. Our goal is to help support you in the...

2016 January Coaching Report

"A pessimist sees the difficulty in every opportunity; an optimist sees the opportunity in every difficulty." – Winston Churchill

In mid-December, I had the good fortune of starting a new job with the Institute of Coaching (IOC) as the Director of Operations and Marketing.  That change for the IOC and me -- and the convergence of the New Year -- provide a great launch-point for a few themes that have been on my mind as a coach and IOC Director; opportunity and self-care.

Opportunity.  Coaching’s time has come.  As a coach and past C-...

2015 November Coaching Report

"No problem can be solved from the same level of consciousness that created it” Albert Einstein

Just back from Barcelona, where the IOC co-hosted our first ever European Leadership Forum with the IESE business school in Spain. I had the honor of listening to four CEO’s share their biggest leadership challenges and relate how coaching has, at crucial moments, “woken them up” to see problems, even seeming disasters, in entirely new ways.  It was a wonderful event — bringing C-suite leaders from across Europe into dialogue with leadership coaches from all over the world. ...

2015 October Coaching Report

We are still under the thought-provoking impressions of our 8th Annual Coaching in Leadership and Healthcare Conference organized by the Institute of Coaching, McLean Hospital, and Harvard Medical School.  It took place just 2 weeks ago, and as many of you who have attended it through the years would probably agree, the inspiration, reflections on the excellent talks and workshops, conversations with old and new colleagues, are still echoing through our day.  

In addition to the key note talks and workshops, we are proud of the expanded research program that was available...

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2015 September Coaching Report

“Be the change you wish to see in the world,” are the wise words from Mahatma Gandhi that are the core of what we offer this month. For many of us September feels like the beginning of the new year, a time for thinking of what we will accomplish. But even more importantly, who we will be.

Much of the power of coaching comes from who we are, our alignment with our values and vision in the every day. Each day, do you take a moment to think of this – of how you will live this day being true to your purpose on this planet?  Mostly I forget, but when I do, the day feels different,...

2015 July/August Coaching Report

A few years ago I sat with Richard Boyatzis in his office at Case Western. Richard presented at our 2011 and 2012 conferences; our members can access the video of his terrific 2011 presentation. We discussed how coaches might approach the topic of neuroscience and coaching. Richard’s wisdom has endured:

Neuroscience discoveries are flooding in and yet our understanding of how the brain works is in its infancy. For example, the main scanning tools that show brain activity do not distinguish between pathways of up-regulation and down-regulation. The state of neuroscientific tools and...

2015 June Coaching Report

This month’s Coaching Report centers on potential applications of Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (ACT) to coaching. ACT is grounded in deep theory and science and is complemented by pragmatic tools. Key foci of ACT are the willingness to help clients embrace their full selves (including their more difficult emotions and experiences) and to take valued actions toward cherished goals.

This nexus of science and practice in ACT echoes the mission of Institute. We were founded in 2009 through a two million dollar gift from the Harnisch Foundation with the mandate to cultivate the...

2015 May Coaching Report

How appropriate that our research and book offerings for this month are focused on “curiosity”.  With Spring in the air, and tulips in bloom, our natural sense of aliveness, desire for newness, and energy for exploration, naturally re-emerge after the dormancy of winter. I notice that many of my clients consider changes to their roles or their careers this time of year.  Just as students are gearing up to graduate and embark on the next adventure in life, we are all, always, in transition. Our commitment to helping others grow and expand into possibility is what coaching is all...

2015 January Coaching Report

We are pleased to start off 2015 focused on the evolving field of neuroscience and harnessing the power of your own brain.

If you are still searching for new behaviors or practices for the new year, you may wish to consider meditation. Contemplative practice has gone on for thousands of years and study after study shows the powerful benefits of meditation on human health and wellbeing. What`s particularly interesting in the selected article below, Neuroscience Reveals the Secrets of Meditation`s Benefits: Mind of the Meditator, is that researchers explore 3 varieties of...

2014 November / December Coaching Report

This month our webinar, research update and book reviews are about the darker side of leadership and a reverse focus look at Positive Psychology. Our webinar looks at issues in coaching noxious leaders from both sides of the desk. Why can one person’s toxic boss be another’s inspiration? What are the challenges when the leader is blind to his or her impact?

We then introduce you to The Upside of the Darkside the new book by Todd Kashdan and Robert Biswas-Diener. These positive psychologists unpack how to harness our negative emotions to be more effective, and...

2014 October Coaching Report

One of the most thrilling opportunities I've had over two decades of leadership coaching occurred when I was asked to coach a group of principals, assistant principals and teachers at a non-profit charter high school (grades 9-12) in New York City. The leadership challenge of providing high quality education to adolescents in an environment of extreme demographic, socio-economic and cultural diversity--on mostly a shoestring budget--was unlike anything I'd experienced in corporate America. These high school jobs were grueling -- yet incredibly rewarding, as was the privilege I felt in...

2014 September Coaching Report

Having met many wonderful coaches at the Harvard Medical School conference (this year's event is next week -- be sure to join us!) and other IOC events, I know I am not alone in having found myself with clients who have experienced a wide range of mental health challenges -- substance abuse, depression, anxiety, ADHD, etc.  We only need think of the recent tragic loss of comedic genius Robin Williams to remind us how debilitating these issues can be, and how crucial it is that coaches be able to navigate the mental health landscape.

No matter your background, becoming an...

2014 July/August Coaching Report

At our 2013 conference, Barbara Fredrickson encouraged coaches to “make love all day long.” She didn’t mean what first crossed your mind – she is redefining love as the micro-moments where two people connect with another, like in coaching. Our brain activation and behavioral patterns sync up, like a mind meld. This perspective offers a different way to consider the impact of coaching presence.

When we share positive emotions with another person, not only do both brains perform better in the moment, but also physical health improves over time. Research finds that due to activation...

2014 June Coaching Report

Today’s workplace is complex and rapidly changing. More than ever before, this kind of environment has created a need for resilient, agile and innovative leaders. But the amount of data, and diversity and interdependence of this information can bring with it utter cognitive overwhelm, and real physical and psychological costs. Research shows that this overload makes it difficult to stay organized, set priorities or manage time. It can increase black and white thinking, transactional relationships and creates low and constant levels of anxiety and guilt....

2014 May Coaching Report

Everyone talks about the VUCA world – Volatile, Uncertain, Complex, Ambiguous. How do you lead in the 21st century with its rapid, unpredictable changes. The age of command and control has shifted to the age of collaboration and cultivation. But how do we help leaders successfully operate in this new era? One way corporations are addressing this challenge is by having leaders learning coaching skills. By asking powerful questions and using simple coach models their repertoire of leadership styles can expand. The combination of being active but non-directive is an alternate pathway to...

2014 April Coaching Report

I had the pleasure a few months ago of interviewing psychologist Steven Rollnick who co-founded the field of Motivational Interviewing (MI) with Bill Miller in the late 1980s, spawned from having “horrific experiences” in the addiction treatment field. The MI model has evolved considerably over 25 years leading to the 3rd edition of their book reviewed this month for ICPA members. The interview recording and transcript are also available to ICPA members. Here are some highlights:

  1. MI is broadening its scope from behavior change to any conversation about any
  2. ...
2014 March Coaching Report

This month we feature a new “meta analysis” research study that explores the impact of coaching on behavior change. “Meta” here refers to the review of a group of research studies on coaching outcomes that provides statistical analysis from a 10,000-foot perspective (article summary below). As evidencebased practitioners, we know this is the kind of research that supports high-end marketing. When an important client asks if coaching works, we can describe this study; it’s part of the body of evidence that provides a clear and resounding— yes! You may search using "ROI" in the topic section...

2014 February Coaching Report

This month our member Master Class focuses on “coaching the addicted mind.” 58% of adults report being addicted to our smartphones (68% of ages 25-34!), and many workplaces are a sea of distracted, multitasking, addicted (email/texting, sugar, or work) minds. There is no small need for new coaching techniques, including coaching ourselves. How do you know if you are distracted or addicted to technology?

  • Have to respond immediately
  • Are not paying attention to other people
  • Feel restless when you are away from your inbox or phone
  • ...
2014 January Coaching Report

Greetings and Happy 2014!  Our research article this month, as well as our MasterClass and Teleclass, are all designed to help you answer that perennial question: how do we coach teams for optimal performance? 

I happened to see the renowned Alan Gilbert conduct the New York Philharmonic recently and I couldn't help but wonder:  how would a world class symphony sound without a conductor? Surely good, as the musicians are all professionals, but superb? Sublime? It struck me that despite doing what appears to be very little, the conductor's presence is crucial to...