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Coaching for Community Wellness

By: Patrick Williams, EdD, MCC, BCC

It has long been my dream to have the power and benefits of coaching conversations reach beyond the individual business leaders or professionals we generally coach. That is why I created Coaching The Global Village in 2005, to bring empowering conversations to citizens of a community, whether a remote village in Africa or a community organization in the heart of a city.

There are many ways that professional coaches can be purposeful in impacting community development and social changes either in their own community where they live, or in global organizations they are connected to.

  1. For the individuals you coach, ask if there is someway that can be part of community wellness? Can they be a volunteer, create some activity; increase awareness of needed services or outreach?
  2. For companies you coach (large or small) how can they be part of a social engagement in the community where they are located? Many corporations do social programs locally and globally. What if the efforts were part of community wellbeing for residents, and for the whole of the community?
  3. How could the coaching community, with the ICF and other coaching communities, co-create ways that coaching can be more visible as part of encouraging wellness initiatives?

Community Wellness Initiatives In my community of Flagler County Florida, we just received a grant from the State Farm Youth Advisory Board, who donates over 4 million dollars annually. Coaching the Global Village was chosen for its program of School Wellness as one of 62 recipients out of 850 applications! The purpose of a school wide wellness program:

  • Decrease student stress levels
  • Provide strategies for students to develop resiliency, self-esteem, positive mental and emotional health, etc.
  • To prevent mental health challenges from developing into serious issues
  • To promote an outlook focused on learning and growing instead of the pressure to produce results
  • To create a new culture in the school focused around optimism and happiness

All of this will culminate in a Community event called the Health and Happiness Fair in April 2016 planned by youth, presented by youth, and created by youth, with the help of our local coaches for student teams and teachers.

Global Wellness: From the Individual, to the community, and the planet I would like to submit a challenge…. that all wellness initiatives have a larger vision of wellness beyond the individual or company to the global community…. how each of us (you) play a part of igniting a new movement of wellbeing and optimal living spreading worldwide and fanning the embers of community wellness. This could bring a sense of living optimally and help bring the same to communities where opportunities are less and resources are challenged. It is my belief that with enough energy given to this ideal, a real movement could begin that would pick up momentum across the globe.

Today on the news, we hear too much about divisiveness, distrust, despair, desperation, destruction, and disdain. The news does not focus on good and healthy. We need to make it news. We need to bring it forward as a choice for better living, and we need to work together to have small acts from one evolve into large acts for many.

I have previously written about the need for Global Warming…the relational kind, not the glacial kind. So here is my challenge: What can you do with your clients, with their contacts, with their companies, or with their community engagements, to create some ways to create wellness opportunities?

My bigger vision is one of needing the concept of wellness to be one of optimal living for individuals, families, organizations, communities, and our global family. This concept goes beyond ideas for assisting with health, exercise, diet, relationships, etc. It is for transpersonal and social wellness, sorely needed today. My vision focuses on bringing the power of coaching conversations for leadership and community development and hopefully transformation due to grassroots conversations for change and empowerment.

I believe that the coach approach can be taught to communities and groups as a tool for them to use in bettering themselves and their community. I want you to ask yourself how can you assist in a small way thank can maybe lead to a HUGE Impact in global wellness. Think Global/Act Local. Start the dialogue with those you know, think outside the box, do something radical…involve others who might be ready to pay it forward and be part of a wellness movement…for youth, families, communities, states, countries and the globe! Other might ask How? And Why? I ask Why Not? And let’s just see what happens.

Dr. Patrick Williams is the Founder and Director of Training of The Institute for Life Coach Training and brings with him a wide variety of training in psychology and professional experiences, as well as training as a Coach. His personal approach is eclectic, drawn from his graduate education, life experiences and other professional training.