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Founder of The Institute for Integrative Intelligence – Elevating Human Potential Through the Art & Science of Masterful Coaching,
Laurel Elders, MCC, Coach, Trainer, and Author shares her story and explains why leading practitioners to create a professional, successful, and reputable coaching career is important.
Introducing Wellness Universe World-Changer Laurel Elders!
The Wellness Universe (TWU): How do you define yourself?
Laurel Elders (LE) I am a deep-hearted truth seeker. I’ve been researching the “truth” since the age of 15. The truth of life and humanity has always illuminated my path in all I do. The work I do now is deeply philosophical and invites people to stretch and expand inward to outward.
For fun, I enjoy being a mother of four grown children and a grandmother. I love writing new about philosophies and am the author of Eating With Heart and Integrative Intelligence. For hobbies, I love creating mosaics, nature hikes, kayaking, and rock climbing!
TWU: What do you do?
LE: I own and operate the Institute for Integrative Intelligence. In addition, I coach female leaders. I train, certify, and mentor coaches at the Institute. All of the work I do is through the lens of Integrative Intelligence, our trademark approach to coaching.
In the mornings, I spend my time in prayer, contemplation, yoga, qigong, and writing.
TWU: What led you to do this work?
LE: I have always felt a deep calling to help. I grew up seeing so much suffering in the world and wanted to help people live empowered, fulfilled, and happy. I registered at college to become a therapist. I assumed this was the only way to help people. In the course of these studies, I signed up for coaching certification. I thought I was learning counseling skills and could start counseling while I earned my therapy license.
I was BLOWN away by how unique and kind of radical the coaching approach was. It was nothing like I thought. I fell head over heels in love with coaching and switched my degree path to include coaching, I never looked back.
TWU: What will you be teaching our audience and why should they care?
LE: I’ll be teaching professionals how to: 1) identify what area of their professional approach can be elevated just by adding coaching skills and 2) how to add a simple coaching process to what they are already doing. This will help engage the client’s ownership over the results.
In my early twenties, as a personal trainer, I noticed a pattern. I could create a workout and meal plan for someone, me included, and as soon as it got hard, old emotional patterns would take over, and momentum would be lost. I thought I just needed to be more compelling and write a more descriptive plan. What I was missing were the coaching skills not taught in personal training school.
Coaching is a process, a skillset, and an approach that invites the client or patient, to reach their own answers and inner wisdom. This process is so empowering! When someone has an internal ah-ha moment that was generated from their own self-discovery (not someone providing an answer(, an internal shift happens. There is also ownership over the answer they came to. If someone provides an answer, there is no ownership over someone else’s answers. This internal shift into ownership leads to a lasting change that is sustainable.
TWU: Have you taught this before?
LE: Yes! I taught Mind-Bocy Medicine and Coaching Skills at a college for Traditional Chinese Medicine and loved teaching these classes. The emphasis was on coaching patients instead of counseling them.
Why? Coaching engages the emotional side of the brain that is connected to taking action and elevating ownership over their own health. Counseling engages the logical side of the brain, which leads to more cognitive processing, but may not be the most helpful approach if the patient needs to be an active participant in their healing and health. Even counselors benefit from adopting a coach-like approach in their therapy practice.
TWU: Is there anything else you would like to share with us?
LE: Thank you. I hope the innovative processes I teach are empowering to the Wellness community here!
Connect with Laurel on The Wellness Universe.
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Healing. Here. Now. Mindfulness, Trauma, and Recovery is a course for self-care and healing brought to you in partnership with Elizabeth Kipp, Founder of Elizabeth Kipp Stress Management, LLC and Wellness Universe Trauma Expert Leader exclusively for Wellness for All programming.
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