This Is Your Brain On Coaching: The Neuroscience Of The ICF Coaching Competencies

When I first began my training with Ann Betz PCC and BeAboveLeadership in their Neuroscience, Consciousness & Transformation Coaching program during 2015, I was excited to have new information and tools to share with my clients. As a professional coach, I can now include information that allows them to have a greater understanding of their own ‘internal operating system’ and make more informed choices about their work and life than ever before.

Additionally, as a lifelong ‘synthesizer’ of information, I recognized that the science behind how our brain functions also explains the purpose behind each of the 11 International Coach Federation (ICF) Core Coaching Competencies - light bulbs were going off in my head one after the other! Not only that, it explains why each skill is important as a catalyst for achieving sustainable behavioral changes, not only for our clients, but for ourselves as well.

That’s why I approached Ann with my vision to combine our coach training backgrounds and correlate her neuroscience knowledge with my expertise in the ICF competencies - and I must say it’s been a privilege to work with her. After a 9-month gestation period and uncountable hours spent in research, writing, editing, double-checking, collaborating, and co-creation, we’re delighted to announce that our e-Book has been birthed: THIS IS YOUR BRAIN ON COACHING: The Neuroscience of the ICF Coaching Competencies.

We debuted our work during a plenary session at the ICF Midwest Conference on Saturday June 25th, having designed it primarily as a desk reference for coaches, and it was appreciatively and enthusiastically received. Actually, we believe it will be a useful resource for anyone partnering with others in personal or professional development. Now you’re among the first to have access to what we hope will be a valuable tool for your practice - and life.

At last we coaches have a way to describe coaching that is grounded in solid research - I’ve been waiting for it for 20 years and am honored to have been one of the visionaries to birth this resource! My intent with this work is to elevate our coaching profession from being labeled as ‘soft’, or ‘woo-woo’ - as it sometimes is - to consistently being recognized as a credible process for activating lasting and transformative change.

Here’s what participants in the 2016 ICF Midwest Conference plenary session said they learned about neuroscience & coaching, and how they can now describe it to others:

  • “Coaching is an opportunity to create client awareness of their unique brain power and how to engage it optimally to achieve goals & aspirations.”
  • “Coaching opens the brain to learning and forming new neural pathways.”
  • “The last 10 years of emerging neuroscience supports the core principles that leaders in the coaching industry have studied and observed empirically.”
  • “Neuroscience based coaching gives many entrances into cognitive processes. Soft skills are important and key to optimizing hard skills – based on various physical locations and biochemical transmitters.”
  • “Coaching + Neuroscience = Driving with GPS * How Neuroscience supports Coaching: 1. Leverages how the client works naturally to achieve goals 2. It helps explain many of the things we have experienced but did not have words to express. 3. Provides words to explain emotions.”
  • “Neuroscience supports coaching by: 1. Giving a reason for change 2. Legitimizes the process 3. Creates a reason for lasting change 4. Explains with our logical/scientific mind why coaching works.”

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