Do you offer health coaching at your worksite? Health coaching can be such a powerful tool to help employees progress towards their goals.
Some employers mistake having health professionals telling people what to eat, how to exercise or giving biometric results as coaching. And there’s nothing wrong with having those pieces but health coaches are expert facilitators of mindset and behavior change.
To learn more about the expertise of coaching, I today’s guest is Margaret Moore, AKA Coach Meg. In 2000, Meg founded Wellcoaches Corporation, in strategic partnership with the American College of Sports Medicine. They’ve trained more than 10,000 health professionals as health and wellness coaches in 49 countries.
In this interview, we discuss what she was doing before the formation of Wellcoaches, the coaching model they use at wellcoaches, why an employer should invest in coaching and what they should consider.
We start talking about Meg’s life being a biotech executive before Wellcoaches. Her and her husband, Paul, (a patent lawyer) came up with the idea when she’s on vacation. This was in 2000, before 1:1 coaching was done on the internet. Meg had a dream to build this whole new profession and launched the School of Coaching in 2002.
She describes it as:
A 17 year journey from alone at her desk with a blank sheet of paper to 10,000 trained health professionals in an Industry with a national credential.
Her first business model was offering to employers but to do that she needed to get outside capital. Funding dried up so she built a school of coaching.
Although she trains health and wellness coaches they may coach in other areas, such as stress. Meg does an amazing job at defining the difference between expert educator and coach.
Here are some descriptors she uses to describe coaches:
- facilitator of lasting change (addressing mindset and behavior)
- providing a dose of education but tailoring the conversation to what the client needs
- not about leading the client to certain areas
- co-creater of ideas
When asked what coaching model she uses, she says Wellcoaches is “promiscuous with theories”. By that she means they use many different behavior change theories within their one protocol.
Meg reviews what kind of outcomes coaching can bring. She mentions a dozen published studies that show improvements in many health measures. An employer should invest in health coaching to increase employee retention/loyalty, help employees’ brains work better and healthcare costs (long term).
Employers have to create a culture that fosters well-being and it starts at the top. Employees shouldn’t be pushed to visit a coach. From a coaches standpoint, employees aren’t engaged when employers are incenting the action.
A great coaching program can get resistance if they are forced.
Meg tells us about her book “Organize Your Emotions, Optimize Your Life” and leaves us with her words of wisdom.
Her tangible tip for health and wellness professionals. Health and wellness is not the end that they want. It’s envisioning who you want to become and how health and wellness can enable that vision. Health becomes the means to get what you want.
Margaret Moore is a 17-year veteran of the biotechnology industry in the US, UK, Canada, France. In 2000, Margaret founded Wellcoaches Corporation, in strategic partnership with the American College of Sports Medicine, which has trained more than 10,000 health professionals as health and wellness coaches in 49 countries.
Margaret is co-founder and co-director of the Institute of Coaching at McLean Hospital, a Harvard Medical School affiliate, and co-director of the annual Coaching in Leadership & Healthcare conference offered by Harvard Medical School. Margaret teaches a Science of Coaching Psychology program at Harvard University Extension School. She co-founded and co-leads the National Consortium for Credentialing Health & Wellness Coaches, and led the formation of a strategic partnership with the National Board of Medical Examiners to deliver national standards and certification for health and wellness coaches. Margaret co-authored the ACSM-endorsed Coaching Psychology Manual published by Wolters Kluwer (2009, 2015), and two Harvard Health books: Organize Your Mind, Organize Your Life (Harlequin, 2012), and Organize Your Emotions, Optimize Your Life (William Morrow, 2016).