Mark Your Calendars: Upcoming Chapter Events and Workshops – March 2019

Connect with your colleagues or immerse yourself in professional development – The 2019 Board of Directors is kicking off the winter season with a packed calendar of events.

March 4th: Mid-Island Coaches Connect – Conversations with Coaches, Duncan BC 
Join ICF-VI Coaches’ Beth and Jenna at the networking event for Mid-Island coaches where we’ll explore understanding our moment-to-moment experience to promote presence and gratitude.

March 12th: ICF-Vancouver Island Presents: South Island Coaches Meet-Up, Victoria, BC 
Join your fellow ICF Vancouver Island Chapter members (and non-members) at the Bard and Banker in Downtown Victoria for an informal coaches meet up. Connect in robust, meaningful conversations about coaching.

March 16th: Pro-D Workshop – Resilience for Coaches: Building Your Capacity, Victoria, BC 
Join Beth and Sarah in this experiential half-day session in Victoria, BC, which offers an opportunity to learn and ‘play’ with seven interrelated components of resilience to support building personal resilience at work, capacity to adapt to change and uncertainty, and maintain personal wellbeing.

March 18th:  Pro-D Webinar – Cross Canada Coaching Series – Part 5 0f 5 – Coaching Presence 
The fifth session in the Cross Canada pilot project* created by ICF chapters Vancouver Island, Calgary, Edmonton, Toronto and Quebec features Quebec’s own Dr. James Gavin MCC discussing the competency of Coaching Presence. Deepen your learning and understanding of this ICF Core Competency during this interactive and engaging webinar.

Be sure to visit the ICF – Vancouver Island Chapter’s Events Calendar for more upcoming opportunities to connect and advance your professional development.

Stay tuned for exciting news about the Chapter’s plans for International Coaching Week (April 29th to May 5th).

Evidence-Informed Habit Change

Coaches, as well as other professionals such as nurses, dieticians and fitness trainers are concerned with changing unhealthy (or unresourceful) habits into healthy ones. Medical literature is full of studies about habit change, also known as behaviour change. Behaviour change interventions come in many disguises including motivational interviewing, client-centred approaches, tailored advice, health coaching and so on. Knowing that the terminology can vary is key to unlocking the literature. Coaching approaches are being aimed at everything from increasing physical activity, stopping smoking, healthier eating and even dental flossing.

In the 1950s plastic surgeon Maxwell Maltz observed surgical patients becoming accustomed to a change in their body (e.g. an amputation) starting at around 21 days post-op. This has been widely quoted as the minimum time it takes to change a habit. We now know that most habits take more time, stamina, strategy and motivation to transform.

Phillippa Lally and her colleagues have investigated the psychology of habit formation. They have found that it can take longer to change a habit than you might have thought. Ninety-six people attempted to change an eating, drinking or behaviour habit found that it could take anywhere from 18 days to 254 days to do so! In a 2012 article published in the British Journal of General Practice Gardner and colleagues propose 10 weeks (66 days) as a realistic time frame for behaviour change.

Ryan Rhodes, presenting his research at the recent Canadian Cancer Society volunteer summit, has found evidence that a physical activity habit can be formed in 6 weeks to 3 months if the new behaviour is repeated at least 4 times per week (the study is awaiting publication). De Bruijn, Rhodes and van Osch have observed that, of course, the positive intention to do exercise does not guarantee successfully engaging in exercise – that’s where habit strength and action planning – the what, where, when, and how – come in. High levels of action planning and habit strength act both independently and together as a catalyst to build stronger motivation to exercise.

Noting that habit strength increased for simple actions (e.g. drinking water) more so than for elaborate routines (e.g. a fitness regimen), Gardner and colleagues champion the ‘small changes’ approach. Evidence from a weight loss study bears this up – the intervention group (given simple advice and a self-monitoring checklist) lost 2kg compared to the wait-listed control group which lost 0.4kg at 8 weeks. Future studies might consider a more realistic control scenario (how about giving them conflicting, constantly changing advice?).

Besides repetition, duration, planning and simplicity, are there any other critical aspects of habits? Gardner and Lally (2013) assessed the level of intrinsic motivation of 192 adults in relation to habit strength and their past behaviour. Self-determined regulation (high motivation) drove stronger habits, independently of past behaviour, than lower motivation. This supports the golden vision of coaches – highly motivated people breaking free of their past to build healthy habits for the present and future.

Outstanding concerns include best practices when reporting behaviour change research – is what the researchers did completely clear to the reader? Often the intervention, the presumed driver of behaviour change being studied, is a ‘black box’ that is not adequately described. It might be a cornucopia of different things – an assessment, an information booklet, coaching sessions, reminders, phone calls, text messages, group sessions, etc. How long was the intervention? And what was the setting? These factors will impact how effective the change is and how permanent it is.

If the intervention was effective, to what should that be attributed – which component was the key driver (or was it due to all components)? Perhaps it was the smiling volunteer who conducted the assessment at the beginning! This question is often impossible to answer as it involves untangling the different components of the interventions. Coaches are welcoming and hospitable – can we also put a value on each question or tool we use?

Who benefits from what sorts of interventions? Tailoring is increasingly important in many areas of health research where historically an intervention was replicated across many people. Individual characteristics are now important. It is a core value of coaching to be both client-centred and tailor our approach to establish and maintain rapport. Mainstream health is starting to take note.

Given the steady flow of coaching-related articles being delivered by PubMed to my inbox (10 to 20 per week, though not all relevant), it is clear that coaching is an important theme in behaviour change and health research. It is unclear though whether this research impacts the approach used by non-health coaches. I’m curious, what is the role of behaviour change research in your coaching practice?


Danielle Worster


Danielle Worster, BA, MLIS, Erickson graduate

Danielle is a life coach working with individuals seeking to navigate change and build healthy habits. Danielle has previously worked with scientists and clinicians to find, appraise and communicate health evidence in Canada and the UK. To look into coaching with Danielle, visit her website Active Ingredient Coaching.


Vancouver Island Coaches Association

Supportive Community

Vancouver Island Coaches AssociationA supportive community can be critical to help you through the stress of tough times, whether you’ve had a bad day at work or a year filled with loss or illness. Since your family, friends, and colleagues are such an important part of your life, it’s never too soon to cultivate these important relationships.

People who surround themselves with support not only reach their goals quicker and with more gusto but they also experience more fulfillment while having fun getting there.

A perfect way to support each other in the coaching community is our September Coaches Café – Share Your Favourite Coaching Resources on Tuesday, September 9th. We hope you will be joining us. Even if you don’t have a resource to share come learn about what other coaches are using in their practices. Always lots of sharing, laughter and support!

Register Here

Don’t be shy to bring your favourite resource or tool. The more we help and support each other the more we gain help and support ourselves. You never know if what you are using with your coaching clients could have a major impact on someone else or their client.

To start us off, one of our Chapter Members, Anneli Driessen shared the following website that she though may be of interest to our membership: Thank you Anneli.

In the spirit of sharing – If you find this website useful, we would love to hear your comments below.

“Three keys to more abundant living: caring about others, daring for others, sharing with others.” William Arthur Ward

This year we have been focusing on the larger community of coaching. We have travelled to Saltspring Island to play, share and support our Gulf Island members and colleagues. In November we will be travelling up island to play, share and support our members who can’t always travel to Victoria to attend our events. These pockets of communities help to make ICF Vancouver Island Coaching Association what it is. A sharing, caring, supportive community of coaches. Thank you for being part of this journey and for supporting myself and our Leadership Team along the way.

On that note, I invite you to join me in welcoming our two newest members to our Leadership Team. Lily Seto is stepping in as Vice President and will be taking over my role as President next year. Maria Lironi has stepped in as our Director of Events so you will be hearing more from her very shortly. We are thrilled to be working with the curious, creative minds of Lily and Maria and are looking forward to what unfolds next.

Here’s to caring and sharing with a wonderful community of coaches!

Three Reasons for Coaches to use Assessments to Forward Your Client’s Action

There are thousands of assessments on the market that coaches could utilize in their practice of coaching. Part of a coach’s role is to determine if an assessment would be useful and determine best fit for their client in helping that client gain awareness and forward their learning and growth.

What are the reasons a coach would consider using an assessment and how would it benefit the client?

A Starting point and a structure

An assessment helps identify the current state – it establishes a baseline. The coaching relationship is a journey and the client in on a journey of learning, self-discovery and growth. An assessment can identify some starting points and provide the coach with something to structure the coaching conversation towards learning and action. With the coach, the client can establish a road map for their growth and for setting actions.

Self-awareness and emotional intelligence

Clients come to coaching with some goals and a desire to make changes that will support them in achieving those goals. An assessment can provide information that supports the client in examining how she operates. It is an opportunity for self-reflection and the door to self-awareness.

Central to growth and change is the ability to see how you operate in the world and in relationship with others, and the ability to see yourself as others experience you. This is the key to developing emotional intelligence.

Measuring success

Using an assessment to identify the current state provides a baseline from which to measure growth. The client has an objective set of data that can show where growth has occurred and where further attention and actions are needed, especially if the coach uses an assessment to re-assess after the coaching relationship has progressed over a period of time.

Once a coach has determined

that using an assessment will be of benefit for the client, the next question the coach would consider is:

  • Which is the best assessment for the client?

A few examples of assessments:

Myers Briggs (MBTI)
DiSC Profile
Barrett Personal Values Assessment (PVA) – It’s free
Barrett Leadership Values Development Report
EQ in Action

Strengths Deployment Inventory
Leadership Practices Inventory (360)
StandOut Assessment
Strong Interest Inventory
Barrett Cultural Transformation Tools (CTT)
The Leadership Circle

And there are thousands more…..

Finally, the coach would ask:

  • What is the best way to use an assessment throughout the coaching relationship?

For answers to these questions, tune in to VI Coaches’ upcoming webinar on Tuesday, October 8th when Yvonne Mann will lead a discussion on choosing assessments and how to use assessments to lead your client to action. Click here for details and registration.

Coaching Tools: 10 Fresh Ways To Use The Wheel of Life in Your Coaching Practice


Click image for larger view



By Emma-Louise Elsey

Sometimes I think we coaches get so used to seeing “The Wheel of Life” that we forget it’s still new for most of our clients. Not only that, but the “Wheel of Life” may just be the most powerful and flexible coaching exercise in our coaching toolbox! So, as it’s one of my favourite tools I’m excited to share some new ideas below for how you can use “The Wheel of Life” in your coaching practices.

Here are 10 Fresh Ways for Using the Wheel of Life in Your Coaching Practice:

  1. The Wheel of Progress. When used on a regular basis The Wheel of Life is a great tool to measure progress. Use it monthly or quarterly with your clients, as both a check-in to see how they’re currently doing AND as a way for them to see how they’ve improved and grown. Improved scores demonstrate concrete value from coaching and create tangible progression. It’s like looking back over an old journal and seeing how far you’ve come!
  2. The Wheel of Stress (or Wheel of Frustration). Start with a blank wheel and ask your clients to list the top 8 areas that stress or frustrate them most. Then ask them to score each area out of 10 as to how much each area adds to the stress in their life. Then review and coach them around the scores. Tip: Ask, which area frustrates or stresses them out the most? Are there any surprises? How could they lower their scores? What actions could they take to lower their frustration or stress?
  3. The Wheel of Happiness, Fun or even Joy! Does your client need help to create more happiness, fun or joy in their life? Well, ask them to identify 8 areas or things that are

    fun or make them excited or happy. There are different ways to score this – you could ask them to score how satisfied they are with each area, or how MUCH each area excites them, or how much they WANT to ‘do’ or feel drawn to each area. Then ask your client for an action or commitment for each segment. Tip: Ask how could they bring more of each area into their lives? Help them find multiple wins – where one action raises their score across a number of areas.

  4. Going Deeper. Use the wheel to drill down into a single wheel segment and help your clients understand their lives and issues more deeply. Take one of the segments and then using a blank wheel ask them to write out a further 8 areas that make up that segment for them. Eg. a ‘Finance’ wheel could include saving for a house, budgeting, focusing on buying needs and not wants, saving for a rainy day, paying off debts, getting a pay-rise etc. Tip: This is great homework – to identify areas to bring to the session and work on.
  5. The “Skills and Knowledge Gap” Wheel. What are the Top 8 skills and knowledge gaps your client has that get in the way of that job, promotion or new career? Ask your client to identify their gaps and then score out of 10 where they are on the road to filling this gap. Then identify action steps for each ‘gap’. Tip: It helps to clarify whether each gap is a skill or knowledge gap. AND it’s also important to do a ‘sanity check’ that the gap is 1) fillable and 2) that it’s a skill they are able or want to fill!
  6. The Wheel of Compassion. There aren’t many of us who couldn’t do with more self-compassion. Ask your client to list 8 areas where they could be more kind or compassionate with themselves. Get them to score HOW compassionate they are currently – and to identify an action for the top 3 areas that need kindness or compassion most. Tip: Try this one on yourself – you may be surprised – where do YOU need to be kinder with yourself?
  7. Set MORE Meaningful Goals. The Wheel of Life is a great way to help a client who is struggling to identify goals. Low scores point to areas where a goal could be identified to raise their score. And high scores suggest areas where a goal could really give your clients a boost. When we work on where we’re already doing well – this spins off into other areas in our lives and lifts them too. Tip: This is a great exercise for business and career/executive coaches to ease clients into thinking about their personal lives – which of course will benefit their careers and businesses in the long run.
  8. The Wheel of Priorities. Ask your client to label their Top 8 priorities – across work, home, relationships – basically their priorities in life overall. Next ask them to review their wheel and identify their Top 3 priorities. Then, get them to score their satisfaction out of 10 for all the areas. You can use this approach to look at a specific area of life like their career or finances, or you could even use this exercise to prioritise their goals! Tip: Ask them how does their score for the Top 3 priorities compare to the lower priorities? Do they have their priorities ‘straight’ or do they need to shift their focus? What actions could they take?
  9. The Wheel of Sales (or Wheel of Marketing). A wheel can also be used to help identify actions rather than identify and score ‘areas’ to work on. So, take a blank wheel and ask your clients to identify sales or marketing actions to complete in the next month (or key actions to complete in the coming year). Tip: You could also pre-fill some of the wheel for them so a Marketing Wheel might include social media, networking, advertising, workshops, a newsletter and a Sales Wheel might include clarifying a sales process or funnel, writing a script for complimentary sessions, calling enquiries back, learning more about Sales. You might even like to try this one for your coaching practice…
  10. General Action Planning. The visual wheel format is also great to make action planning more fun and a great way to BREAK DOWN bigger actions into smaller more manageable chunks. So, using a blank wheel, write the goal or required outcome at the top of the page. Then ask your client to write out the next 8 actions or chunks of work that make up their goal. Tip: If you get them to put a date against each action – they can then use the segments to shade and record the % complete for each area!

Final Tip: And whatever you’ve used the wheel for I like to ask this question when complete, “So, if this wheel represented your life/relationship/career/marketing strategy, is it a bumpy ride?”

I hope this has given you some new ideas for using The Wheel of Life in your coaching practice. Why not give one a try – it’s wheely good!

And remember – we’d also love to hear how you use The Wheel of Life – just add a comment below.

Contributing member: Emma-Louise Elsey
Emma-Louise is a professional life coach and founder of The Coaching Tools Sign-up at to receive 549 Powerful Coaching Questions FREE by email.



**Please credit the author with any use of or excerpt from this article in any form.

Share Your “Go-To” Workshop Activities – Here Are Two to Get You Started

Submitted by Delaney Tosh & Tracy McMicking

At our Coaches Café events this year, we have featured either activities to stimulate thoughtful conversation or presented tools for your coaching toolkits. We can tell that this is valued by the continuing conversations and by the requests we receive to share more workshop activity and coaching tool ideas.

So, here is a blog article that we invite you to participate in. To kick-start this dialogue, we feature two activities that could be used in group workshop settings. Please join the dialogue on this blog using the comments section and share your “go-to” workshop activities that have served you well.

Going forward we will feature your shared workshop activities ideas in upcoming eNews editions and we’ll gather the comments together into one big resource to make available to our members on our website as a download.

Team Building Activity: Your Land – Guided Visualization Exercise

Objective: To have each member of the team form a visualization of their land for the purpose of understanding themselves, their values and their challenges on a deeper level. Each member shares what their land is like and what they learned so that others can gain a greater understanding of them and begin to create common ground.

Participants will need paper and pen to make notes during short breaks during the visualization so they can capture important aspects of their land for later.

The facilitator guides the group to close their eyes and begin to visualize arriving at their land.

Guide the individuals to notice the following: how they arrive (by what mode of transport), how they are greeted or not, what the smell is like, the geography and terrain, what the temperature and weather is like.

Have them make their way from their point of arrival to the central town or city and notice what it is like, taking in the atmosphere, how people are moving around, what the pace is like. Ask them to begin to notice how people are getting along and what the politics are, the policies and the principles that guide the way their land functions.

They walk around their land visiting a variety of areas, like their home, the streets or trails and a market place noticing what it is like, why they like it and why it works so well.

Take a short break after visiting each area for the purpose of making notes.

They also imagine that there is an area in their land that they don’t want to visit and they describe what it is like and why they don’t want to go there.

Then have each member of the group share briefly what their land was like, what stood out for them and what insights the exercise revealed about what is important for them in a well functioning environment.

After each member shared what they wanted to about their land each other member of the team offered what they learned about that person in a positive way and the new insights they had about the person’s ability to contribute.

The facilitator can then open a discussion of what positive outcomes were gained that supports them becoming a more cohesive team.

Workshop or Team Building Activity: “What I Like About Your Idea is…AND…”

Technically this is an ideation exercise – for helping groups create creative ideas. However, it is great for helping teams learn to plan more co–creatively and helps train team members how to avoid the ‘shutting down’ behaviours that can make meetings or planning frustrating. I received the idea for this activity from Vince Gowmon of Remembering to Play and have been using it very successfully since.

You can also use this exercise as a fun workshop opener. It provides a fun way to stimulate creative thinking. In this case you would tailor the de-brief questions towards the purpose of your workshop.

Recommended Group Size: Best with groups under 20 people. However, you could split up larger groups into smaller groups.
Total run time: 10 to 20 minutes depending on size of team and whether you proceed with part 2.

Objective & Instructions:

Put the phrase up for all to see: “What I Like About Your Idea is…AND…”

Provide group with something to plan, something neutral and fun – such as a circus, or a new way of presenting the Academy Awards event.

The goal is to ideate only — not to resolve or plan logistics.

How to Begin:
First person shares an idea. For example, “so, we’re going to host a circus, here is an idea – we could have it at the beach”.
Second person says, “What I like about your idea is…(and say something you like)…AND…(give your idea)”.
Third person continues, “what I like about your idea is…AND…”
Note: it can be suggested that ideas build off of the previous ideas, but it is not wholly necessary.

It is important not to evaluate the idea – just present what you like about it …AND…then add an idea to the previous person’s idea.

Let the activity go around the team enough times so that each person has at least four opportunities to participate – about 5 minutes.


  • What did you notice as you did this activity?
  • When did the team loosen up and come alive?
  • What was the sense of connection? When was this most noticeable?
  • What did you notice when an idea didn’t resonate? What was that like for you?
  • How did you keep the flow of the connection going when you didn’t resonate with an idea? How did that impact the activity overall, impact the team?
  • What skills did you have to call on?
  • What was it like to always look for something positive to acknowledge?
  • When was it hard to be creative? When easy?
  • What kind of adjustments did you personally need to make for the group to be successful with the activity?

Key learning points:

  1. Awareness – of others and of what is possible when you are truly building your awareness of the other and the shared purpose.
  2. Connection
  3. Learning what moves the play forward – this is a new tool to use in team meetings and planning sessions.
  4. Listening – you can’t share what you like about an idea if you are not listening; you can’t look for shared interest towards shaping a common goal when you are not listening.

Part 2:

You either stop here having captured and summarized the key learning points, or you can run through this exercise again, but this time in the context of their work, using a real work example.


  • What did you notice?
  • What was different this time?
  • What were you trusting from the group? From yourself?
  • Where do you notice you stop listening?
  • What do you think is possible if, as a team, you bring the energy and skills you used in this activity into your day to day planning? How would coming to the plan be different?

Key Point to sum up: The purpose of this exercise is to bring your own awareness to how/when you support the connection and energy and flow of the team and how/when you shut it down.


Now, using the comments section…please share with us your favourite workshop activities and when and how you use them. Or, share with us other ways you might use the two activities above.