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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