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Coaching and Wellness

Coaching and Wellness

In 2014, I attended the ICF Science of Coaching Conference in Atlanta, GA. While there, I had dinner with Margaret Moore, a presenter that I wished could have spoken for an entire day! Margaret, aka Coach Meg, founded Wellcoaches Corporation in 2000, the first School of Coaching for health professionals and now a global standard-bearer for professional coaches in healthcare and wellness. The Wellcoaches School of Coaching has trained more than 10,000 coaches in nearly 50 countries. Margaret is a 17-year veteran of the biotechnology industry in the US, UK, Canada, and France.

She keynotes how coaching impacts people from the neuroscience and behavior change perspective. As she puts it: "The big and brilliant human prefrontal cortex is struggling under terrible operation conditions: chronic deprivation of sleep and reflection time, a low-octane diet, nervous-system overload, and inadequate fuel sources (e.g., meaningful purpose, creative expression, physical movement and more heart-to-heart moments"). She notes that even teenagers are being diagnosed with early-heart disease and type 2 diabetes that is poised to wreak economic and social havoc in the next few decades."

Here is the upbeat news: She takes the stance that professional coaches can help people better engage in primary capacities and needs that is shown to be vital to human well-being.

The following is a peek into the world of wellness coaching and how coaching generates a sense of wellbeing and health.

There are several primary capacities that are important to wellbeing. We'll look at two:  

Curiosity. Todd Kashdan, Psychologist asserts that curiosity is a primary driver of human well-being. "When we experience curiosity, we are willing to leave the familiar and routine and take risks, even if we feel anxious and uncomfortable with the risks of new challenges. Instead of trying to control our world, we embrace uncertainty and see our lives as an enjoyable opportunity to discover, learn, and grow.

We have a primary need to explore, learn, and change, however, is often squashed by the demands of life. In our ever-changing world today, the ability to adapt, be agile, and never taking anything for granted is an important capacity."

Result of not being curious: Declining mental capacity, which leads to other serious mental and brain digressions. 

Coaching is all about curiosity! Helping clients to move beyond the familiar, thinking beyond the mental barriers to a greater confidence, motivation, and an overall "sense of well being."

Coaches ask powerful questions, the kind of questions that evoke exploration, insight, discovery, and action. Questions that create a focused state of mind because of the mental images they create, highly motivating the client to consider and explore the answers. This is curiosity at its finest! 

Relationships. Serving others, taking care of others, being compassionate and kind are important sources of human thriving. This leads to a sense of wellbeing and generates positive emotions, which creates moments of connection, calms the nervous system, and improves brain function.

Compassion for negative emotions is soothing because negative emotions need a warm, appreciative embrace to settle down to allow the person to move beyond the situation.  

Coaches extend compassion, paying attention to the images, metaphors and internal words and phrases that develop during the conversation. This serves as intuitive connection with the client–called empathic accuracy. Coaches empathically listen by getting inside another person's frame of reference, looking to see the world the way they see the world, understanding their paridigm, and understanding how he or she feels. 

Coaching is all about relationship. Coaches create supportive, safe environments for clients to discuss and talk about what is important to them–we validate what the person is experiencing and we don't judge the person. We listen with the left brain as well as the right. We listen, resonating with the clients' words, meaning, and tones.

Result of relationship: Trust, hope, perspective, empowerment. A authentic gift of compassion.

The influence of coaching is far beyond this brief article. Hopefully it has inspired you and generated gratitude for the coaching path you have followed or are considering.

As we move into 2017, it is my hope that your life is filled with the opportunity to make a difference in many lives by sharing the gift of coaching.

A mind stretched by a new idea or new understanding will never fully return to its original dimensions.  –William James


If you interested in pursing coaching or want more information on the coaching profession, please call the Center for Excellence office at 612.246.4787 or e-mail us at

Mary is a leadership consultant and coach. She works with ambitious business professionals who want to leverage their leadership.

As a business consultant, Mary works with organizations to establish a culture of synergistic teams, systems and processes for greater employee engagement, employee loyalty, and communication effectiveness. 

Mary is President and Cofounder of the Center for Coaching Excellence, a distinctive training organization that focuses on developing highly competent coaches through a mentor-training approach and a training model of coaching that easily transitions into professional and personal conversations. She continues to expanded coaching into diverse industries by developing customized coach training used in companies such as ExxonMobil, Chevron, and MJ Senior Housing.

To contact Mary, call: 612.246.4787

Does Work-Life Balance Even Exist?

Does Work-Life Balance Even Exist?

By James Beeman

There is no such thing as work-life balance for me. Maybe there is for you and that's great - more power to you. Here are a couple of thoughts on what I assume is a well meaning label for the internal tug of war that so many feel.

For most of the people close to me, work is a meaningful part of life and therefore this label could imply that when we're working we're not living. Which, according to Gallup, is pretty close to the truth, most Americans are disengaged from their work. This is hardly death, but doing something that drains life from your bones everyday may begin to feel like being hooked up to the machine that sucked the life out of everybody's favorite hero in the Princess Bride. Believe me, I've talked with people who need their own personal Miracle Max. I prefer to live when I work and to work with other non-zombies. Here's a tip - if work is draining you of life, get a new job - especially if you live in America.

Also, the term balance seems to imply what I think is a well-intended picture, but is an oversimplification of what really is going on. If you think about a balance in a mathematical sense there are two sides that again are separate from each other. I'll say it again, I don't think work and life need to be separated from each other like this.

But more to my point on balance, work-life balance could also imply that there are two things that need balanced in our short existence here on earth - work and life. Again, maybe your life is simpler than mine and if it is, cool, but there's a lot more going on for me than work and life. Here are a few: faith, friends, finances, fun, food, fatherhood, faith, health, marriage, personal development, and the list goes on. Yes, I ran out of Fs. Help me out here if you're creative like that.

So instead of balance, I submit to you the idea of integration or harmony as an idea closer to what is really going on.

For me, life is like a beautiful symphony that has so many sections and instruments in each section with a conductor who is attempting to guide each player towards creating something greater together than apart. A melody, harmony, and counterpoint built on motives, cadences, movements, and tonality. There are absolutely dissonances. There are absolutely clashes. And some resolve and some do not. Life is an emotional, sensory, and imaginative experience full of wonder, adventure, rhythms, and textures.

For me, work-life balance is too boring a description for what's actually at play. It's too mathematical and too limiting. It's too logical. There are so many more layers and nuances that the term balance simply doesn't cut the mustard for me.

Life is a beautiful symphony.

James works with job seekers, rising leaders, and executives who want less stress and more success. In his quest to help hundreds of clients, James earned a Master of Arts in Management & Leadership and multiple professional coaching and career certifications including the Certified Career Management Coach from Susan Whitcomb’s The Academies and the Professional Coach Certification from the International Coach Federation

James is a gifted trainer bringing his in-depth knowledge of coaching into the CCE coach training learning environment.

To check out his website site, Clear Career, click here.



 I couldn't be happier with the training. As a professional coach, I’m now involved in living my vision of being an agent for positive change in people's lives.

Alan Smith
CBMC Northland Area Associate Director