Coaching Reports

Sign up for our newsletter which announces our free Coaching Report, published 10 times annually.  Each Coaching Report features a recent research article and how you can apply the latest research to your coaching practice along with book recommendations.

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July-August 2022 Coaching Report

Creatively Infused Conversations

“One good conversation can shift the direction of change forever.” -Linda Lam, author

Change is changing

Moving from the heat of summer into the liminal space of early autumn and all of the chaos that transition brings, the struggle of change is real, no matter how many times we’ve experienced it.

At times, change is welcome, refreshing and even fought for. But there are also times when change feels like tripping mid-stride during a relaxing walk. Somehow, it jars us out of our comfort zone into the reality that...

June 2022 Coaching Report

This month many cultures will celebrate the June Solstice – the summer solstice in the Northern Hemisphere and the winter solstice in the Southern Hemisphere. Around the world, the solstice served as an ancient anchor for farming, indicating when it was time to plant and harvest crops. Today it still signifies shifts in nature, change and new beginnings.  

As we shift gears this month, it may be the perfect time to welcome play and creativity into your life and coaching practice. IOC programming offers plenty of resources for adding fun, creativity, and lightness to your...

May 2022 Coaching Report

This month in the northern hemisphere we see the signs of spring everywhere--abundant greenery, blooming flowers, warming sunshine—as the cold weather recedes. In a word, spring is a time of re-birth.

Yet, as the southern hemisphere enters fall and winter, we are reminded that nature —and we are part of nature—works in cycles not a straight line upward trajectory. So with nature’s circularity in mind, this month we delve into an important yet less visible issue of diversity and inclusion that organization’s face in today’s post-pandemic period, especially in light of the “...

April 2022 Coaching Report

This month we honor the one-year anniversary of the passing of the much-cited and treasured well-being scientist, Ed Diener. You may want to listen to the wonderful interview with his son, Robert Biswas Diener, hosted by IOC Founder Carol Kauffman at our 2021 conference. They will be back together for an IOC LinkedIn Live soon – stay tuned.

In our IOC research dose this month, we are featuring one of Ed Deiner’s...

March 2022 Coaching Report

In the words of W.E.B. DuBois, “Believe in life! Always human beings will progress to greater, broader, and fuller life.” As we enter the month of March, so many of us are struck with a whirlwind of emotions – a deep sorrow for those affected by the turn of events in Ukraine, a sense of relief as the peak of the pandemic begins to wind down, a wave of fear for the uncertainty that lies before us, and a hope that the work we do for change will make a difference. To believe in life means to trust its process, to celebrate its wins, and to live fully. It also means acknowledging the whole of...

February 2022 Coaching Report

In the words of Potter Stewart (Former Associate Justice, Supreme Court of the United States), "Ethics is knowing the difference between what you have the right to do and what is right to do."

It's oft said that trust takes a lifetime to build, but can disappear in an instant, which is why it's so important not to leave it to chance, assume it will be freely given or be passive about securing it. Ethics form the foundation for trust. A coach’s personal code of ethics is the cornerstone of the coach and client relationship. Clear boundaries around what is and isn't acceptable...

January 2022 Coaching Report

We entered 2021 hopeful, but cautious, ready to emerge from the pandemic and its devastating impact. Yet our best-laid plans went astray. New variants and surges emerged; restrictions were reinstated, and organizations continue to face new waves of disruption. The value of coaches as partners in navigating these rough waters has only grown.

The pandemic itself has mutated into an opportunity for renewal and reinvention: the "great resignation" is well underway because the pandemic has brought home the fragility — and brevity — of life. Without a sense of purpose, meaning and value...

December 2021 Coaching Report

As we enter the final month of the year, we may find ourselves gathering with colleagues, friends, and family to celebrate the year’s end and the holiday season.

Gathering or, more specifically, entering more fully into connection with others, is an underlying theme this month at the Institute. Our webinars, LinkedIn Live, and book club events address topics of self-actualization, decision making, and impact. At face value, these topics may seem individualistic – after all, they are issues that are hidden from view, buried deep inside the separate and independent self. Believing...

November 2021 Coaching Report

November in the U.S. is a time for gratitude and reflection as we count our blessings for weathering (hopefully) the worst of the pandemic, and give thanks for the incredible science and workforce who brought us effective vaccines and treatments for Covid-19.

We are also incredibly grateful for the wonderful support team at the IOC, McLean Hospital, and Harvard Medical School who made it possible for us to successfully hold our first virtual coaching conference with over 750 registrants!

We may still be basking in the post-conference glow, but we are not resting on our...

October 2021 Coaching Report

If you look closely at the Institute of Coaching (IOC) logo you will notice a bridge. The IOC was created to be a bridge - connecting good science to coaching practice, and connecting like-minded coaches who enjoy, appreciate, and apply science in their coaching.

Last week we were all reminded of the potential of bridging science to coaching during our 2021 Coaching in Leadership & Healthcare Conference. The presenters came from a wide array of fields. We traveled from the practices of anthropology to high quality motivation to the science of foresight and psychological safety...

August-September 2021 Coaching Report

Meet our Extraordinary Conference Speakers on September 23, 24, 25

We invite all coaches, and everyone interested in coaching, to join our...

July 2021 Coaching Report

If you are a member of the IOC, you know that we have many resources, discussion groups, webinars, and events each month. We have many ways for coaches to access scientifically validated learning opportunities.

Yet, here at IOC, we do not feel that any of these resources are our greatest assets. Our greatest asset is our people. The team that helps create this content, the members that support and contribute, the thought leaders that partner with us, and the community that holds up our mission.

This is why we are so excited to announce that our team has grown and we are...

June 2021 Coaching Report

Coaching falls under the umbrella of helping careers. Coaches assist their clients in broadening their worldview, developing self-confidence and inner peace, caring for their well-being, and increasing their potential for generative action. Ultimately, we hold the aspiration that our client will mature and grow into someone capable of making a difference in their community and, possibly, the world.

When we consider the 'greater good,' we tend to think of altruism, charity, and service. There is widespread agreement that the 'greater good' applies to any kind of service or activity...

May 2021 Coaching Report

While there are diverse coaching modalities and specialties, what binds all coaches together is our heartfelt desire to help people develop, grow, and live better lives. Our conference speakers often comment on how our audience of coaches is more open-hearted and welcoming than other audiences.

This deep desire to help drives coaches to seek out the most effective methods from art and science, and to continually improve coaching skills. This month, our webinars center around the impact that coaching has on those we serve.

In our...

April 2021 Coaching Report

In the northern hemisphere, spring is melting snow and growing leaf and flower buds. A sense of new life is palpable. In years past, human lives followed seasonal patterns closely. Winter was a time for going inside - a time for rest and reflection. British author Katherine May writes about this in her book, Wintering. Wintering is a time in life when we stop and embrace the quiet stillness and soothe our minds and hearts.

It seems that we are coming out of a very long...

March 2021 Coaching Report

The Many Parts of Ourselves

Many of us as children were given the advice “just be yourself”. This advice was well-intentioned but somewhat misleading. Since the self is multi-faceted and constantly evolving.

We all have different parts of ourselves. Different versions that are constantly shifting as a result of our environment or our needs. There are parts of ourselves we would like to diminish and parts that we would like to bring to the forefront....

February 2021 Coaching Report

A Habit of Trust

We know trust is crucial in establishing deep connectivity within countries, companies, and teams that function well. Additionally, trust feels good: it increases our sense of well being.

But trust isn't just about "feeling good", it creates a competitive advantage. We know that companies with higher employee engagement on average have a 22% increase in profitability. Countries with citizens who are considered more trustworthy perform better in the...

December-January 2021 Coaching Report

As we start a new year we naturally turn to pondering our goals. 2021 goals seem even more significant considering the global crises presented by 2020. As we look a hopeful new date: January 1, 2021,  we may be filled with ideas for new directions, aspirations, and resolutions.

Resolutions, what we call goals the rest of the year, can however generate internal conflict and imbalance. We want to strive for something better, yet at the same time it is vital to our mental health to be content, and to enjoy and harvest what we have already created. We then find ourselves...

November 2020 Coaching Report

As emotions are generated deep in the brain, the emotional experience feels personal. Emotions are like an endlessly changing stream of internal music on the lone voyage of the self.

Yet, without other people the brain would not be able to generate the emotions that we claim so adamantly as our own. In her book How Emotions are Made, Lisa Feldman Barrett...

October 2020 Coaching Report

Coping with Pandemic Fatigue

As we near the end of 2020, normalcy remains elusive. After so many months of instability, many are feeling the strain of the pandemic. Recently, this has been addressed as ‘Pandemic Fatigue.’ Much of the hope and unity that allowed us to overcome the early challenges this year have given way to emotional exhaustion.

With constantly shifting challenges, the science of emotions offers genuine hope – several paths through a tough...

September 2020 Coaching Report

The Hero’s or Heroine’s Journey

“What we call the beginning is often the end. And to make an end is to make a beginning. The end is where we start from.” —T.S. Eliot

We all have a story that we tell ourselves, about our selves. In coaching, we call this a personal narrative: a story integral to well-being and motivation. Right now many of us find ourselves with an interrupted narrative. Perhaps we are not able to pursue the goals we set or find ourselves working in a way that we previously never imagined, which may leave us feeling a bit lost and...

July-August 2020 Coaching Report

A Fierce Time

This year the intense summer weather (for us in the northern hemisphere) is accompanied by a fierce intensity of emotions for everyone as we navigate:

  • Grief - Over 750,000 COVID-19 deaths around the world leaving millions of people grieving the sudden losses of loved ones without the social support so vital to grieving well
  • Trust - A massive shaking and rattling of trust in leaders, communities, and workplaces at a time when global interdependence is profound
  • Bias & racism - Awakened pain of people of color who are
  • ...
June 2020 Coaching Report

Looking for Light in a Dark Tunnel

While we find ourselves past the acute phase of the COVID-19 crisis, many of us are not yet on higher ground. A new HBR article aptly titled: If you feel like you’re regressing, you’re not alone, describes the state of dampened morale. It can feel like the tunnel doesn’t yet have an end, let alone a visible light.

In the midst of this darkness, recent events have reminded us of the intense pain caused by institutionalized racism and...

Creating Resilient Communities During a Quarantine

We are living in a time in which we are rethinking much of what we take for granted in our daily lives. The pandemic has sparked contradictory emotions, created uncertainty about the future and changed our ways of interacting with others. The measures of distancing which have been implemented to protect health in many countries worldwide, have dramatically altered our social interactions. In stressful and uncertain situations, people react intensely physiologically and psychologically. Most often we hear about the “fight or flight” response, but some of the pioneering work in health...

April 2020 Coaching Report

It is hard to know where to begin a message in the midst of this unprecedented crisis — one that is touching us all and will leave us forever changed. That said — it is also a time for getting “comfortable” with uncertainty, and paradox. One paradox, which comes immediately to mind as I write this: now is a time to hunker down, stay safe, follow health experts precautions and simultaneously, not isolate.

I have been privileged to connect virtually in the past week with a number of our Fellows from around the world — and we have been brainstorming ways to navigate the disruption,...

February - March 2020 Coaching Report

A Tribute to Anthony Grant

This month we pay a deep, heartfelt tribute to a founding father of our field of coaching science, who personifies the mission of the Institute of Coaching of bridging the best science to coaching practice. On February 3, the world lost Anthony Grant, Professor of Coaching Psychology at the University of Sydney and tireless contributor to the Institute of Coaching.

His pioneering research helped establish the foundation of coaching...

December - January 2020 Coaching Report

The Coaching Question to Launch the New Decade

As you consider how you and your clients can make the most of the decade ahead, you know better than to default to the old standby resolutions: get into better shape, be more organized, etc. Yet, how does one make resolutions to strive toward what really matters? Asking powerful questions is at the core of effective coaching. “Who do you want to be?” is among the more powerful ones.

Intentional Change Theory in a Nutshell

As a coach you are probably asking this question already, – but did you know about a...

November 2019 Coaching Report

Photo by Irina Todorova; Duke Gardens, North Carolina

Connecting emotions, embodiment and stories in coaching

At the Institute we started the month of November still under the impressions of the Annual Conference on Coaching in Leadership and Healthcare organized by the Institute of Coaching and Harvard Medical School, which took place on October 18th and 19th 2019. We are continuing our conversations with old and new friends who attended and are reflecting on the fulfilling interactions and new ideas that were shared.

As I...

October 2019 Coaching Report

Coaching with Science in Mind

In our member survey in summer 2018 (thank you again!) we appreciated your vigorous interest in more resources that translate research into coaching practice. You inspired us to launch a new format called a research dose late 2018 - twice a month delivered to your inbox....

Thinking BIG

As we kick into high gear this fall and look forward to our annual gathering of coaches from around the world at the IOC-HMS coaching conference on October 18, I find myself reflecting back on last year’s conference and how impactful it was. One of the highlights for me was moderating for Alexander Caillet and his colleagues at Corentus, as they led an engaging track on team coaching — a hot and growing area.  This...

Diversity in Coaching


Verb: cause to feel or show inclination or prejudice for or against someone or something.

We all need to be biased in some way — we need shortcuts to distill all the information around us to make quick decisions. But we need to be aware of how we do or do not actually process information. Think of an encounter with someone who is quite like you — when there are gaps in what they tell you, you fill them in with your own experience. Therefore, you continue to feel connected, or even notice there are gaps that you’re filling in with assumptions based on...

June 2019 Coaching Report

In the past decade coaching research has focused on studying effectiveness, as well as the mechanisms through which the coaching effectiveness is realized. These endeavors have significantly expanded our knowledge of the contexts in which coaching works, how it works and what aspects of the coaching process contribute to its effectiveness. More recently, we are witnessing new directions and sensitivities in coaching research such as: sustainability of the impact,...

May 2019 Coaching Report

What do IOC thought leaders say about coaching cultures?​

A coaching culture...

“a culture of truth and courage because a coaching mindset is necessary to ensure honest communications that avoid alienating and discouraging people.” (Riddle, 2018)

“when conversations expand thinking and doing capacity of each person.” (...

April 2019 Coaching Report

Trends in coaching:  Inside? Outside? Upside!

Lately we hear a lot about how technology is disrupting the coaching profession. With the emergence of just-in-time coaching apps that work like Uber-for-coaching, one might get the impression that the days of face-to-face, long term coaching engagements are well-nigh over. Yet on the flip side, we also see a huge rise in the investment organizations are making to scale coaching programs: training internal coaches, utilizing team coaching, and offering external coaches to a...

March 2019 Coaching Report

Successful Coaches Are Science-Focused Marketers

What is “Science-Focused Marketing” for coaches? 

First, we learn about coaching science — theories and research supporting coaching techniques and positive outcomes. Second, we apply coaching science to improve skills and outcomes. Then we can engage in science-focused marketing by effectively explaining coaching science to prospective clients.

I’m still surprised at how effective science-focused marketing can be. Just this week, when pitching a coaching...

February 2019 Coaching Report

February is a busy month at the Institute of Coaching. We are excited to be working on new ideas, and to share information about some of these activities with you. We invite all of you from every part of the world, to take part. And hope you are all doing well despite the dramatic environmental extremes we have been having in many parts of the globe. Temperatures dropped to -40 C in the central United States and then jumped 50 degrees C in the span of a couple of days; while record heat waves engulf Australia. Such dynamics are becoming more common, and remind us to reflect on attitudes...

January 2019 Coaching Report
If you want to go far together, get a team coach

Humans have organized in groups and teams to accomplish common goals for a very long time. Organizations, as teams of teams, depend upon high quality collaboration and teamwork for organizational success. To quote Patrick Lencioni: teamwork remains the ultimate competitive advantage, both because it is so powerful and rare. 

Ruth Wageman and collaborators studied 120 leadership teams (...

December 2018 Coaching Report

Who do YOU choose to be?

As we approach the close of another tumultuous year - with devastating fires, floods, school shootings, political drama, re-emergent cold wars, economic gyrations — it feels fitting to step back for a moment, breathe, and perhaps reflect on a question for our times: who do you choose to be as a coach, as a human being, in these volatile times? I'm hoping that best-selling author, Margaret Wheatley, won't mind me borrowing this question from her powerful book: Who Do We Choose to Be? Facing Reality, Claiming Leadership, Restoring Sanity in A Turbulent...

November 2018 Coaching Report

The Big Power of Small Tweaks in Coaching

When life isn’t living up to our own or our client’s expectations, it’s often tempting to think in terms of dramatic changes. People fantasize about quitting their jobs and heading off to a mountain ashram. They are embarrassed by their junk food diet and muse about going vegan. They consider what it might be like to rebuild their identities in New York, Paris, or Tahiti. 

Usually these massive changes appear so daunting that our clients may do nothing, and remaining stuck and dissatisfied. In the instances where they do...

October 2018 Coaching Report

Fall Reflections

We have just come back from the energizing 2018 Annual Coaching in Leadership and Healthcare Conference, organized by Harvard Medical School in collaboration with the Institute of Coaching and McLean Hospital. Over two days, practitioners, academics and researchers shared their work and insights on coaching in different contexts, human development, organizational development, and inspired each other. Many of the sessions were recorded and resources will be available soon on the IOC website. In the...

September 2018 Coaching Report

2018 Coaching in Leadership and Healthcare Conference

We are delighted to share some  highlights for our upcoming 2018 Coaching in Leadership & Healthcare Conference. Please join us for two uplifting days in Boston Sept 28-29!
We have a wide range of world class speakers, including the scientific leader in burnout, Christina Maslach, four CEOs of major...
2018 July-August Coaching Report

What the Heck is Transformational Change?

We are counting down to September 28/29, looking toward our annual Coaching in Leadership & Healthcare conference which our IOC community counts on for a life-changing experience. The conference lives on throughout the year for IOC members as the “conference that never ends” with expanded discussion and rich resources on important coaching topics.  

This September Harvard Business School professor Ethan Bernstein presents...

2018 June Coaching Report

Coaching for Character

Thanks to the megaphone of social media and the onslaught of a 24-hour news cycle, the dark side of humanity seems all too often on display these days. Many of us, as coaches, find ourselves caught up in a collective gasp, asking:

  • Does integrity still matter?  
  • What does it mean to be authentic?
  • Can you coach for character?

It may feel quaint or outdated to talk about the importance of character...

2018 May Coaching Report

Our Readiness for Change


Or more apt here, when the client is ready the coach will appear. 
This ancient quote is also a reminder that most of us aren’t ready to change most of our behaviors at any given time.
What determines our readiness to change? Thanks to the eminent psychologist James Prochaska, his collaborators at the University of Rhode Island, and more than 1,000 studies that...
2018 April Coaching Report
  • What is the most courageous thing you’ve done in coaching?
  • Was it speaking a truth to someone in power?
  • Was it  caring enough to confront someone in a way he/she needed?
  • Was it showing up authentically to present and create an environment that was an ideal balance of compassion and confrontation to help your client grow?
  • Are you aware of what can
  • ...
IOC Coaching Report logo
2018 March Coaching Report
As coaches we frequently help our clients grapple with issues of competence versus challenge. Human beings have an inherent need for competence: the two-year-old who wants to tie his shoelaces 'by myself'; the client who wants to develop new skills as they relate to a career or health. But after a while, competence leads to complacency and, with its lack of growth, a risk of disengagement and poor well-being. At the same time, too much challenge – feeling thrown in at the deep end at work or taking on goals that are too lofty – can inhibit our ability to be creative, appropriately...
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2018 February Coaching Report

The diversity of coaching has grown with the maturity of scholarship and professional practice. Coaches in organizational, executive and health coaching are working from different frameworks and approaches to coaching. They are also developing diverse coaching relationships—related to gender, race and ethnicity, nationality, and cultural backgrounds. At the Institute of Coaching (IOC) we have expanded our mission to include ensuring availability of coaching to everyone who might benefit. We presented this shift at the 2017...

IOC Coaching Report logo
2018 January Coaching Report

Thriving in Dizzying Change

“Today is the slowest rate of change we will ever experience.” Jonathan McDonald
“Change is changing.” Torben Rick

How’s that for delivering a kickstart to your amygdala (i.e. fear)? Even better, if you haven’t done so, read Tom Friedman’s book on the age of accelerations (Thank You for Being Late), our featured book this month, which chronicles four forces driving accelerating and changing change: technology, globalization, climate change, and population growth. All...

IOC Coaching Report logo
2017 December Coaching Report

On December 7th, Marshall Goldsmith shared his unique coaching model, Stakeholder Centered Coaching (SCC), in our public webinar, available here for those of you unable to attend.

In a nutshell, SCC is an ongoing spiral of 360 feedback. When a leader signs on he or she commits to picking 12-40 stakeholders who will give him or her “feed forward” on a monthly basis. Feed forward refers to offering suggestions for what the leader can do in the next month to move toward his or her goal(s).

First, the coach and...

IOC Coaching Report logo
2017 November Coaching Report

2017 Coaching in Healthcare and Leadership Conference  Recap

What do Dan Goleman, Marshall Goldsmith, Susan Cain, Margaret Wheately and Livingston Taylor have in common?  

  1. They were all part of our amazing keynote line-up at the 2017 IOC Coaching Conference.
  2. If you missed them, you can soon see them on our website conference pages. 

Over 600 people from every inhabited continent met for an amazing experience at our 10th anniversary conference, dedicated to our beloved advisor, friend and “Father of Coaching,” Sir John...

IOC Coaching Report logo
2017 October Coaching Report

Transformation in action

Transformation in action. That’s the phrase that always comes to mind during autumn – my favorite time of year. The leaves, with their explosion of color, vibrantly remind us of the cyclical nature of life. And this month the IOC gears up for our annual conference, one of the world’s largest gatherings of practitioners in the transformative profession of coaching. This year is particularly special as we celebrate our 10th anniversary, bringing together a smorgasbord of luminaries: Dan Goleman,...

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2017 September Coaching Report

Coaching: A Process of Change

Coaching is, at its core, a change process. Its focus is on helping people to change, to create change, and to adapt to change. As coaches then, we can benefit enormously from the scientific thinking on what enables or hinders our human capacity for change, including:

  • How people’s
  • ...
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2017 July Coaching Report

Coaching the Multiplicity of Mind

Notes Sydney Harris (American journalist and author), 90% of the world’s woe comes from people not knowing themselves, their abilities, their frailties, and even their real virtues. Most of us go almost all the way through life as complete strangers to ourselves – so how can we know anyone else? 

Institute of Coaching scholar Tatiana Bachkirova shared this quote in her December 2016 webinar titled:...

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2017 June Coaching Report

Mindfulness and Coaching

If you could have googled ‘mindfulness” more than three decades ago when I started meditating and studying mindfulness, you would have seen sparse search results mostly related to Buddhism and enlightenment. In 2017, it’s impossible to avoid the overloaded term or it’s cousin “mindful”. We now have mindful leadership, mindful coaching, mindful parenting, mindful driving, mindful eating, mindful...

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2017 May Coaching Report

Current developments in health and wellness coaching

Health coaching is experiencing a new surge period with growth in achievements, publications and integration into healthcare. Its role is increasing in healthcare as well as in employee wellness programs and community settings,...

2017 April Coaching Report

It’s important to understand HOW we work, as human beings and as coaches.

This month we look at the “how” of life. In our webinar with IOC co-founder, Susan David, she shares how we approach and process emotions is core to our development, performance and life satisfaction. Susan looks at what our relationship is with our emotions, and how to become emotionally agile. Her work not only makes us better coaches, but better people. We are delighted with her work and her generosity in sharing her approach with us.

Our Research You Want to Know section will...

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. 


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...