The following interview was recorded specifically for this website.
You are a primary teacher of this work – how does that surprise you?
What surprises me most is the fit of both coaching in general for me, and in particular, of this method of coaching, and the powerful way it serves both our students and the clients they serve. A little history. I came at first to see Doug and to learn about the Presence-Based Coaching work through a friend’s recommendation. I was checking out coaching as a potential career change. When I stepped onto the Bend of Ivy property for the first time, something in my heart felt deeply touched; in fact, tears came. This was very curious to me!
When I heard Doug teach in that first retreat, I knew he would be a teacher for me. His presence and perspectives on coaching were enlivening. I am a deep diver, and have learned and embodied the Presence-Based work. I felt its alignment with my own values and purpose, and a growing love of the power of coaching from this multi-level approach.
It has been extremely fulfilling to teach this work, and to be a part of shaping its evolution into the powerful and robust coaching program it is today. I have grown tremendously as a person, a coach, and teacher through this work, and through my association and eventual partnership with Doug.
What do you enjoy most about coaching?
I enjoy my role as support for an individual’s growth – no matter what context they are in. I see a variety of coaching topics brought into coaching, and I tend to take an underlying developmental approach in my seeing of the person, their challenges, and their strengths and capacities. In teaching the PBC retreats, I most love watching the development of students into skilled coaches over time. The folks that are attracted to this type of coaching are amazing learners and are dedicated to their own and other’s development.
You were a therapist before a coach – what’s different?
I have found coaching to produce better results for people who are basically functional in their lives, but are at a transition of some kind or are feeling challenged by the demands of their work life or leadership. Working in the present moment and looking forward, coupled with ongoing fieldwork and practices, really support change. And the addition of working in and through the body (somatics) creates sustainable change.
What are some lessons learned from your experience growing up at in flea market environment?
Some lessons: a 30 year family business doesn’t necessarily mean a smooth succession transition to the next generation! When I took over the helm of the business, I needed space and time to create my own leadership style that eventually helped the business turn around and brought a diverse work team together to serve our multiple stakeholders. I felt a tremendous responsibility with the business being situated in the middle of a large urban city and encompassing many acres of property. The nature of the business being a 7 day a week operation was also challenging. A main learning was a keen understanding of why humans have such a hard time getting along! I also learned that at heart, we all want the same things: to make a dignified living, to love and care for our families, and to make a contribution that makes things a little bit better for others.
What’s your leadership experience?
I have been asked to lead in many different settings and circumstances in my life – I seem to attract those opportunities, and others appear to trust my abilities as a leader. Besides leading the family business, my experience ranges from being the captain of our high school softball team, to years of leadership in non-profit board work, to owning a coffee store (pre-Starbucks days!) and now, the leadership I offer to the Presence-Based Coaching business and work.
Describe your interest in the body and somatic work?
As I look back, I can see the somatics thread of interest running through my life. I seem to have picked body centered therapists, relationship teachers and spiritual teachings along the way. There is a resonance of working in and through the body that I have always felt. And, I have been on my own personal journey through body-centered approaches to working with physiological and psychological armoring and barriers that have limited my own expression in the world.
How does the spiritual path inform your work with others?
My own interest and experience in the realm of inner work has created shifts in my understanding of myself, and have shaped who I take myself to be. I understand that I am a work in progress, and am always in the process of evolving and becoming more of who I truly am. I find the Diamond Approach and other spiritual work I’ve done has offered me a ground from which to hold my own and other’s journeys, and has helped me to cultivate my own presence, resilience and choice.
What do you love about the presence-based work?
I love how Presence-Based Coaching is informed by many streams: mindfulness, somatics, neuroscience, adult development, experiential learning, awareness practices, leadership theory, cultivation of presence, among others. This blend creates a powerful technology for supporting others to change in the way they feel called to explore. We have taken the best of many skillful technologies and created a very powerful change structure and support.
What do you love about working with Doug? What do you not love so much?
Doug is a master (in my humble opinion) at blending and synthesizing these multiple streams of knowledge into a useful and practical methodology of coaching. He creates coaching tools that are easy to understand and to implement. What do I not love so much? Doug is a very generative person, and seems to be always a little further down the trail that I am. This means I am usually running to keep up with his latest thoughts, perspectives and theories! Sometimes, I find myself out of breath, and also grateful for all that he brings, which keeps our work fresh and interesting!
What do you see happening down the road?
I wish I knew! And, I feel this work is something that brings tremendous value to our students and to leaders. Doug and I complement each other in both implicit and explicit ways. I couldn’t have predicted any of this when I arrived at Bend of Ivy many years ago and felt so touched! And, I know the Presence-Based work will continue to evolve and develop. We have a global community of practitioners, which continues to grow, and these coaches continue to develop and serve. I am very grateful!