Coaching Thoughts

Ready to find your tempo? Want to play a new tune? Anything is possible.  The following elements are key to my philosophy of coaching.


We typically come to coaching with a felt sense that there is something missing, something wrong, something to be discovered or something we are trying to create. Sometimes we really do know what we want, but other times, we just think we know. The coach creates the space for the unfolding of wants, goals and desires by being open, inviting, warm, non-judgmental, curious, and kind. As a coach, I must really be invested in you, and I must embrace your unique path and support you in its unfolding. I must be able to accept when your path is difficult for you, and see more of your potential than you do! You need to know that I really get who you are, and that I take a stand for your greatness! We create this space through powerful listening, questioning, and acknowledgement.

By creating a powerful space of trust, the unfolding of your success is possible. You can find your rhythm, your inner drummer, your tempo!

As a coach, I need to be in sync with you.  The rhythms of my inquiry need to weave with yours, and I must intuitively navigate the inquiry to help you create your masterpiece.  When we are in sync it is beautiful. When we are not, we both know it. I need to be able to get us back on track by owning what is happening.


The Tempo Coaching process implements the following principles of self-leadership in all aspects of it’s coaching model. Each principle has within it, a set of tools and exercises to aid in growth and development.

  • The Power of Commitment
  • The Power of  Thought
  • The Power of Presence
  • The Power of Intention
  • The Power of Language
  • The Power of Action
  • The Power of Integrity
  • The Power of Love


I believe that anything is possible. I am here to help you push the envelope–to stretch you, albeit with kindness and compassion. One of my favorite sayings is, “What would you do if you knew you could not fail?”  The future is unknown, and our possibilities are greater when we step into the world where we are only limited by our imagination.  A skilled coach knows when to help you to be expansive in your thinking, and when to support you in focusing. If I am a skilled coach, I know how to help you powerfully expand your world.

The following phrases capture the tools and ideas involved in creating a vision:

  • Imagine
  • Stretch out
  • Identify the details
  • Stand in your possibilities
  • Involve the senses
  • Inside or outside the box. 3 dimensional.
  • Swing Out
  • Your ideal day
  • What is true and false, and how do we know?

Imagine yourself at the finish line. It’s graduation day. The deal was struck. The concert was a success! You are exhilarated! How did you get there? What did you go through?  Let me guess–you set a goal, and it all worked out–just like that!

Probably not–and that’s because getting where you want to go is a lot more than just setting goals. The goals you set are the beginning of an opportunity to engage with your habits and your commitments.

There is an abundance of research on goals and goal-setting. My job as a coach is to help you set the right kinds of goals, and to support you in staying on track. Many of us know and use SMART (specific, measurable, attainable, realistic, and timely) goals, but there are many more tools involved in goal-setting. The real work of evolving happens when we come up against the goals we say we want to achieve by failing to take action. In coaching, we create a space for this to be a place of growth and development.

Steady Beat Behaviors  ™

The Tempo Coaching process involves identifying your Steady Beat Behaviors. These are the essential behaviors that support you in reaching your goal–the behaviors that keep you in sync with what you say you are committed to. When you start the coaching process, you may or may not know what Steady Beat Behaviors are required to help you meet your goal. Or, you might very well know what the behaviors are, but be unable to enact them in everyday life.  For many of us, our inability to enact steady beat behaviors is a place of real vulnerability, and, ultimately, a place where we can gain real power in our lives.


Gaining power in our lives involves increasing self-awareness, and uncovering what is hidden from our view. Here we can discover our faulty assumptions, our limiting beliefs, and the narratives that drive us.

How many of you make gravy with hot potato water? I know, an odd question in the middle of my coaching philosophy.  But, I ask it just as the start of an anecdote. My mother uses the hot potato water to make gravy for the Thanksgiving meal.  I  assumed that this was part of her secret gravy recipe, and that she did it because it would add flavor.  When making gravy, I always used the super secret hot potato water.  And, I would share my mother’s secret with others!   “You have to use the hot potato water when making gravy,” I would say with real exuberance!

One day I actually asked her about the special hot  potato water, and guess what? She only used it because it was already hot, and it would produce the meal a few minutes faster.  It was not part of her secret recipe. In fact, she sometimes wondered if it would be better to use fresh tap water.

We all have a hot potato water story, and it is a story outside of our awareness. It drives something we do. The potato water story is like the clock ticking in the background.  It’s always there at Thanksgiving, but you just can’t hear it. If I am a skilled coach, I can help you find your potato water story!  When you discover your story, your limiting beliefs and assumptions are revealed, and the landscape shifts.

There are a number of tools we can use to find your hot potato water story. Here is a list of just a few of them:

  • Contemplation
  • Reflection
  • Meditation
  • 360 Feedback
  • Daily Focus
  • Self-Observation
  • Mindfulness
  • Engaged Dialogue
  • Somatic Awareness
  • Intuition
  • Storytelling


I believe human beings are capable of much more change than we ever believed was possible. The new neuroscience demonstrates that neuroplasticity isn’t just something for kids, but something that is a quality of adult brains as well.  So, the intractable challenge isn’t really intractable, and the unbreakable habit can actually be broken. We can skillfully use new scientific findings to create new brain maps.  I really, truly believe that we can apply neuro-scientific principles to change our lives. Think about it–if people can generate computer commands with their thoughts (read NPR article here), what else are thoughts capable of generating?

The Harmony Compass ™

Another tool used in the Tempo Coaching process is the Harmony Compass. The Harmony Compass helps us fine-tune the elements of our plan. Through a series of activities, we look at internal and external alignment to insure that your inner world and outer world are truly in harmony. We often discover why a plan is not working when we explore the following aspects of internal and external alignment.

Internal Alignment

  • Beliefs
  • Mind-Body States
  • Feelings
  • Intentions
  • Thoughts
  • Values
  • Attitudes

 External Alignment

  • Your Stuff
  • Your Choices
  • Your Relationships
  • Your Social Supports
  • Your Allies
  • Your Saboteurs
  • Your Physical Space
  • Your Resources
  • Your Action

As always, a coaching philosophy evolves. New learning enriches and expands. Expansion is one of the greatest aspects of life.