Center for Coaching Certification

Coaching a Dysfunctional Team

by Rachel Coucoulas  

Rachel Coucoulas

Rachel Coucoulas

Many of us have worked within a team environment and I am guessing that at some point you experienced some sort of dysfunction within the team or group.  When this happened to me, I was unaware of how coaching serves to make such an impactful difference with an entire branch office.

There are a number of dysfunctional traits and I highlight those found within the team I was working with and discuss the positive coaching process that brought us to a more collaborative team.  In general, the team functioned independently and what I wanted was something like this: three circles coming together for a common good:

What was I to do?  Start Coaching.

As we went through the process for each member of the team, I started to see a change in the way they were acting towards one another.  As we talked through what worked well, individuals started supporting and identifying all the positive things.  When we then asked what to change, it was about identifying how the other teammates could have helped.  They were actually offering their assistance and knowledge to each other.  They were realizing the importance of every member of the team.

What I learned through this exercise and am so happy to share with you is: when employees take ownership, they are empowered.  When they are clearly held accountable to responsibilities and goals, they feel accomplished.  When people are empowered and feel accomplished, they are successful.

Read my chapter in Coaching Perspectives VIII to learn more about Coaching a Dysfunctional Team.

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Trauma Coaching: A New Perspective

by Melissa Tyler Todd 

Melissa Tyler Todd

Melissa Tyler Todd

In the last few decades, the scope of how individuals deal with challenges in their lives has been changing.  Traditionally, individuals sought a mental health counselor to work through trauma that was causing distress.  Often, this was helpful in the interim.  At the same time, with too much frequency, they found themselves back in the same predicament.  Often individuals learn to cope, and at the same time coping falls short of experiencing life to the fullest.

Trauma coaching empowers the individual with a knowledge base and provides the individual with workable skills that give them an opportunity to learn to experience life again.  Trauma coaching provides the support for individuals to venture out and learn to trust their surroundings and the people in it.  Also, trauma coaching provides simple and realistic strategies to help individuals deal with ongoing issues that might come up.  Individuals are empowered to feel safe and secure embarking on a new path and learning to live and enjoy life after trauma.

The desire is to again achieve the state of emotional safety that was felt before the trauma occurred.

Thankfully, current research has shown that effects of the traumas can be worked through.  It has been noted in several research studies that the trauma can be a precursor to the opportunity for people to experience increased confidence, deeper levels of love and intimacy, and a strong sense of purpose and meaning.  It is now known that traumatic experiences only define a person or their future if it is allowed; instead trauma can create an opportunity to thrive.

In the mid-1990s, Richard G. Tedeschi and Lawrence G. Calhoun, two well-known psychologists at University of North Carolina, coined the term post-traumatic growth.

Credentialed coaches must demonstrate the ability to focus on the client showing individual attention and respect for them and their current position, ask powerful coaching questions, actively listen, develop trust and intimacy, and co-create the coaching relationship. 

Read my chapter in Coaching Perspectives VIII to learn more about Trauma Coaching.

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The Culturally Competent Coach

by Wilhelmina Parker 

Wilhelmina Parker

Wilhelmina Parker

My name is Wilhelmina Parker and I thank you for  reading my blog.  I am a lifelong learner  and certified coach who believes in living life with GRIT where “GRIT” stands for:



Reading Intelligently

Innovating  Wisely

Teaching  Integrity

I invite you to check out my chapter in the book Coaching Perspectives VIII, The Culturally  Competent Coach.  Explore applying cultural humility in the practice of coaching in a variety of environments: public, private, and non-profit sectors.  You will enjoy practical  aspects of how my own life lessons led me to the journey of utilizing an equity and inclusion lens in the life work of coaching.

I was born and raised in Ghana, West Africa until I turned 20.  As an ebony-skinned, privileged young woman growing up in Africa, I learned about fairness, equality, integrity, and success as a reward for putting in the work.  My father did that, with great success, and he died an incredibly powerful example of an African Pioneer.  He came from poverty and rose to great heights.

In my chapter, you will see how I choose to courageously use my strengths and talents to intelligently challenge sacred cows so that I may powerfully empower self and others, embrace allies who speak shared truth, and participate as a part of a wakened humanity who may together discover pathways that empower us, our networks, our relationships, and our sphere of influence.

This chapter in Coaching Perspectives VIII will be useful in providing helpful tips for managers and supervisors, internal Human Resources practitioners, and/or for the lay reader interested in learning more about leading humbly from the heart in healing focused dialogue.

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Coaching Entrepreneurs for Branding

By Lisa Foster  

Lisa Foster

Lisa Foster

When I first started out to form my own company, I soon discovered how powerful and central the brand was for guiding how I wanted my company to show up in the world.  If my company were a person, the brand was the face.  If my company were a rocket, the brand defined the mission of the journey.  If my company were an animal, the brand defined the instincts and characteristics of the beast.

In short, I discovered that the brand is the central articulation of who I am as a company and what I am striving to do every day at work.  Being able to convey exactly who you want to be, either as a company or as professional, is clarifying and empowering.  When you define your brand for yourself or your company, you can inspire your customers and your employees to align with your vision.

Coaching is an ideal setting for the branding process.  The originator of the idea has the best sense of what the company will strive to be in the world.  It requires self-reflection and creative thinking to define the kind of company you want to be and how you carve out a unique personality that will attract the customers you want so you achieve your goals.

If your client has a business idea, or if you are looking to brand yourself as a coach, read my chapterin the book Coaching Perspectives VIII,  Coaching Entrepreneurs for Brand Elements. It will give you a step by step process for asking the right questions and distilling the creative free-flow into a clear articulation of the five elements essential for branding. Follow the steps and you will find your most powerful expression of how you will show up in the professional world.

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Equipping Managers to Lead

By Dr. Shelley Young Thompkins  

Dr. Shelley Young Thompkins

Dr. Shelley Young Thompkins

Over the life of my career, I have witnessed people being promoted to the role of leader because they excelled in their roles as individual contributors.  It is the case of a top sales person being promoted to Sales Manager or best clinician who has amazing bed side manners being named Nurse Manager or Team Lead.  It seems natural that these individual contributors make great leaders – after all, they have excelled in their roles.  While the best workers may or may not make the best leaders, organizations continue to promote employees in this fashion.  As an individual contributor, they excelled; as a leader they may struggle.

I believe these individual contributors can make great leaders, with grooming.  Often these contributors have a proven track record as individuals; too often they lack the basic soft skills and relational skills to be effective as leaders.  The great news is that for most, these skills can be obtained by processing through four foundational steps:

  1. Individual Assessments
  2. Training
  3. Mentoring
  4. One-on-one Coaching

Being a successful leader means being able to influence change by sharing the vision with employees, engaging employees to be in alignment with that vision, and empowering them to do their part to execute on the vision.  Additionally, the leader’s attitude and behavior can significantly influence whether an employee remains with an organization.

I invite you to read my full chapter, Equipping Managers to Lead in the new book, Coaching Perspectives VIII, to learn more about how to transform great individual contributors into

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Success and Magic of Executive Coaching

By Wayne L. Anderson  

Wayne L. Anderson

Wayne L. Anderson

What do executives think about?  How do executives perceive success?  How does that relate to coaching the executive?  These are some of the questions addressed in the chapter on Success and Magic of Executive Coaching in Coaching Perspectives VIII.  These are often questions that plague coaches who attempt to coach executives so this insight empowers upgrading your success.

It is fairly well understood that success looks different to each of us.  What about executives?  What different perception do executives have of success?  What common definition do they aspire to for success?  What is the foundation upon which to build a successful coaching program for the individual executive?

It turns out there are a number of factors that executives think about that helps to form their perception of success.  These factors are both internal and external. By internal I mean inside their organizations verses external or outside their organizations.

Executives also think a lot about winning.  They think about winning in both the internal and external environments.  Internally, they think about the company growth, department growth, staffing objectives, and of course, financial growth.  Externally they think about the economy, labor force availability, technological changes, and legal issues.  This is a cornucopia of topics to which must be added the executive’s personal development that they also think about.  This may make the best of coaches feel as though they want to know magic in order to successfully coach the executive.

The real magic is when coach has a process for helping the executive to develop in the specific areas so that they win.  In addition, the magic is the impact on the executive, their organization, sometimes their industry, and the people with whom they interact.  It really is amazing.

I cover, in great detail, the process a coach can follow in the Success and Magic of Executive Coaching chapter of the book, Coaching Perspectives VIII.  Get it and watch the magic happen!

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Project Managers Coach

By Ruth Pearce  

Ruth Pearce

Ruth Pearce

One of the key things expected of a project manager is to build and execute a plan.  For many project managers, this is a daunting task, and often new project managers believe that they and they alone must construct the plan that everyone else will follow.  The result is a plan that others don’t or won’t buy into and that is hard if not impossible to execute successfully.

With coaching skills, project managers and their teams enjoy a whole different experience, as the project manager builds trust, gathers information through effective communication, and develops a plan alongside other team members.  The result becomes a plan that team members co-own and to which they feel connected.

Coaching skills are helpful when a new project manager first joins a team – especially if that team has already formed its working norms and created team bonds.  Through coaching, the project manager has an easier entrée into the team and builds connection and trust more quickly.

In the chapter, Project Managers Coach, I explore the benefits of coaching skills with a coaching client who is facing some challenges at work and in achieving a balance between work and home-life that feels good.  Idris, the project manager, discovers that coaching skills make his life and his team-members lives easier, more productive, and more satisfying.

Given that we manage our own lives and jobs, note that we are ALL project managers in one way or another.  Daily life is a series of projects and the more we can engage our team or family members through presence, listening, and trust the easier our projects – and our lives – become.

Project Managers Coach

Project Managers Coach

Find out more in Coaching Perspectives VIII, Project Managers Coach.

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Tools, Techniques, Questions, and Dialogue

Cathy Liska

Cathy Liska


By Cathy Liska

For many new coaches, figuring out how to use different tools and processes is of great interest.  What is often the challenge we all face as coaches is truly co-creating the coaching relationship with the client.  Once we work with the client on what they want to accomplish, the next challenge is keeping them in the driver’s seat for exploring, using tools, and moving forward.  Ultimately, the multitude of tools and techniques for coaching are intended for the benefit of the client.  Gaining a sense of how this works through exposure to coaching conversations is a helpful starting point.

A few thoughts: coaching involves the doing – most expect that – and it also involves the being.  The being refers to how an individual thinks, feels, is aware, learns, develops and applies insights, and more.  If the coaching is only about the doing, the results are short term.  If the coaching is only about the being, the application may be missed.  The balance or blend of the two is determined by the client.

In the chapter on Tools, Techniques, Questions, and Dialogue, a client created by blending several clients moves through building confidence, a job search, and related life changes.  Options for moving forward are considered and the client empowered to choose their direction.  Sample dialogue and questions give a peek into the use of tools and coaching processes. It is intended to build on what is covered in coach training.

Coaching Perspectives VIII includes insights from many coaches who have completed their coaching certification – visit this blog for more chapter previews and visit Coaching  Perspectives VIII on for the book.

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Book Review of Coaching Perspectives VIII

This book, the newest addition to Coaching Perspectives, provides insights on how to approach different circumstances in life and when coaching. The awareness, techniques, and processes empower individuals in their own journey plus coaches who are supporting clients.

Coaching Perspectives

Coaching Perspectives





Summary – The chapters of the book include:

  • Tools, Techniques, Questions, and Dialogue by Cathy Liska
  • Project Managers Coach by Ruth Pearce
  • Success and Magic of Executive Coaching by Wayne L. Anderson
  • Equipping Managers to Lead by DR. Shelley Young Thompkins
  • Coaching Entrepreneurs for Branding Elements by Lisa Foster
  • The Culturally Competent Coach by Wilhelmina Parker
  • Trauma Coaching: A New Perspective by Melissa Tyler Todd
  • Coaching a Dysfunctional Team by Rachel Coucoulas
  • An Authenticity Guide for the New Coach by Necie Black
  • True Change at 180 Degrees by Kristen Hess-Winters
  • Perfectly Poised to Prosper by Renee Hutcherson Lucier
  • The Way We Speak Matters by Chārutā AhMaiua

The Good:

Each chapter is a stand-alone read with insight that draws on a wealth of expertise and experience from Certified Professional and Master Coaches.

As evidenced by the power of the information as well as the bios of the contributing authors, the expertise provides tremendous value and the steps are immediately usable.

The Bad:

The style of each author is different so be prepared to move through different styles of covering the information.


A fabulous read for individuals wanting to move forward, and for new or experiences coaches seeking additional tools and insights.

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Reestablishing a Career After Addiction Treatment

Author: Rufus

Sometimes people ask, “Can anyone be a coach?” Or “What experience is required?”

The answers, as with so many answers in life, are “it depends.”  Specifically:If someone has the capacity and desire to learn coaching, yes, they can be a coach. The experience someone has often influences the type of coaching they do and who engages them as a client.

In this guest blog, coaching is one opportunity for people reentering the work world.

Reestablishing a Career After Addiction Treatment

Reestablishing a Career

Drug or alcohol addiction is rough and can have a severely negative impact.  In addition to tearing apart the fabric of family, an addiction can wreak havoc on your career. Most of us have living expenses to cover, which means getting back to work after treatment.  Keep reading for a few quick tips on resumes and interviewing for a job, plus an alternative: entrepreneurship as a professional coach.

Mind the Resume Gap

One of the first things your potential employer may notice is a gap in your employment history. There are multiple ways to fill or explain the gap.  First, consider doing side gigs during your recovery.  This can be anything from teaching musical lessons to people in rehab, writing, taking classes, or working as a pet sitter.  Plan ahead and be creative.  The Balance Careers also suggests changing your resume format or omitting specific dates – how effective this is varies based on your career field.

Ace the Interview

When it comes to your job interview, confidence is key.  Be prepared to answer the most common questions likely to come up based on your industry.  You will also want to have a list of your own questions for the employer.  This will prove to future employers you are ready and willing to learn about their company and culture.  Zety, formerly Uptowork, has multiple resources relating to job interviews that can help you be as prepared as possible.

Consider Being an Entrepreneur

Instead of traditional employment, consider completing coach training and offering your services on a freelance basis.  A great niche area may be working with others in recovery.  As a certified professional coach, you will empower your clients to generate solutions and strategies that will advance their career and goals.  As someone who has traveled the road of addiction to recovery, you have developed strengths.  Coaching certification and your strengths are an opportunity to create a career you love.

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