empathetic, collaborative, probing, accepting, persistent,
I love coaching: I love the idea of coaching,
the concepts behind it, the results it produces, and I love doing it.
And, because of my own chronic illness experience, which I'll say more
about below, I've found coaching people with chronic illnesses to be
As I think back, I’ve been coaching or on the
path to it most of my adult life. In a recent email a
friend told me about the benefit he got from a series of conversations
we had more than 20 years ago. He wrote:
“Thanks so much, Tom, for all
your help as I struggled through my relationship problems. You showed a
rare talent by helping me get down to the real issues, provided some
creative potential solutions, and were good at getting me to follow
through taking the actions I committed to.”
Much more important to me than
my friend’s testimonial is knowing that before we talked he
had never even dated, but not too long afterward he met, dated, and,
two years later, married his partner for life.
Another phase in my pre-coaching past
occurred a few years later, where in some multi-session workshops I
attended, the participants were asked to call and support each other in
doing the workshop homework.
After observing how much more I
accomplished (and how much better I felt) with that kind of support, I
sought to develop those kinds of relationships with some of my friends.
In the years since I took those workshops I found
out about coaching, and realized that what we group members were doing,
and what my friends and I were doing, was coaching each other.
Seven years ago, to help me make faster
progress with the major relationship, career, and money challenges I
was facing, I hired a coach. It was one of the best things I’ve
ever done for myself and I made more progress in my
relationships, my work, and in achieving my life goals than I had dared
For one of the biggest challenges in
my life, however, I didn’t have the support or benefit of a coach.
Fifteen years ago I was diagnosed with Crohn’s disease, a severe,
chronic inflammation of the digestive tract. For the next three years
regaining my health became my most important goal, one in which I
became extremely proactive. For example, when I wasn’t able to find a
competent gastroenterologist I was comfortable with, I mailed a
self-addressed letter to the 38 of them who were within 25 miles,
describing the kind of doctor I was seeking. Only a few doctors responded,
but one of those who did was just what I was looking for.
After three years, and a combination
of standard and alternative medical treatments, my disease went into
remission. And I decided, after 25 years in high tech engineering and
management, that I could make a much bigger contribution in
life by using my coaching experience and skills to
work with and help others who are suffering from and
challenged by chronic illnesses. They wouldn’t have to “go it alone” as
I have a BS in Engineering
and an MA in Management. Besides my formal education
and my lifelong interest in and study of coaching, I am a member of
the Central Coast Coaches Association
and a charter member of the International Association of Coaches.
When not coaching I enjoy traveling,
but always look forward to returning to my new hometown of Santa
Barbara, California. There I run on the beach with my dog, Addie,
enjoy the theater and movies, sing in my church choir, and
look for ways to keep improving my coaching skills so my clients get
better and quicker results.
My favorite quote...
“Goal-oriented striving, any experience of mastery,
any outside acknowledgment of competence, a well-tuned sense of humor,
any experience of joy, and the constant striving toward an inner state
of tranquility are the aids that help overcome the displacement and
depression of chronic physical illness.” by JoAnn LeMaistre
I work with people with chronic
illnesses to help them rediscover their dreams and live extraordinary
lives. I invite you to contact me.
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