Melinda Cohan was using her 'coaching' skills long before the term came into vogue. She has seen first-hand that the direct results of coaching are nothing short of the full achievement of one's natural gifts and talents, resulting in a positive impact in the world. To this end, her mission is to inspire others who are following a path of spiritual consciousness, and encourage other women to bring their unique talents to the world. But it all started in a rather unexpected fashion...
It's All In The Questions…
"Initially," recalls Melinda, "I was helping my interior design clients gain clarity around the central purpose of their being in an environment. That meant identifying the goals and objectives that motivated their daily activities. To be really good at design, you have to do a lot more than just coordinate nice colors and textures."
Passionate about creating spaces that both looked good and inspired their inhabitants, Melinda set herself apart from other designers with an obsessive approach to insuring that her clients experienced real and tangible results when they worked in the environments she created.
"Designing someone's work environment," she says, "was actually a physical excuse to ask a lot of very personal and thought provoking questions."
It was the responses from her clients that fascinated her, reports Melinda, "Sometimes for the vision they revealed about a person, but usually for the starling lack of clarity with which some people went through their lives."
Designing, By Any Other Name
Before long, she was spending less time designing office interiors than in helping people and businesses discover why they were doing their work in the first place.
"Suddenly I realized I was having these really rich conversations with clients about being authentic, and walking through the fears and challenges of creating and running a business with integrity and spirit. Soon I was getting praise from my clients, and some of it had absolutely nothing to do with my interior design work."
It wasn't long before she applied some of the same introspection to her own professional situation and realized the real purpose behind her interaction with clients.
"Essentially," she reflects with a smile, "an interior designer was guiding these people on the path to accomplishing their dreams and goals, and I was having an absolute blast doing it! Now when was the last time someone hired a designer for that reason?"
Training With The Best
Discovering that the growing coaching field applied a somewhat more organized approach to what she was already doing, it quickly became apparent that Melinda was already involved in her life's work, simply under the wrong job description.
"I had been designing the space people worked in so that they could function at their 100% best," reflects Melinda. "Soon I was helping people design their lives, so it didn't matter what space they showed up in!"
Just as driven to excel as she had always been, Melinda sought out and studied under the top coaches in the world and methodically began soaking up all the knowledge they had to offer.
"I learned from James Arthur Ray (of the hit movie "The Secret") the importance of our God-given imagination and active visualization techniques, and discovered from my work with Jean-Pierre LeBlanc the power that gender synergy has on relationships and communication, by bringing into harmony the feminine and masculine energies that we all possess."
In addition Melinda studied under Michael Port (of "Book Yourself Solid" fame), and worked with Dr. Lise Janelle to understand how at the core of every woman is a desire for a sense of self-worth from within that can never be satisfied through external validation from anyone or anything. Her work with Lance Secretan revealed the importance of the CASTLE principles and of "Higher Ground Leadership".
Ultimately this immersion in coaching circles resulted in a life-long bond with Kate Steinbacher with whom she operates The Coaching Advantage. Together they also co-founded The Coaches Console system, to actively bring the benefits of coaching to a broader world audience. Her coaching practice serves high achieving women, and individual coaches as they grow their own practice.
"In a way," Melinda says thoughtfully, "I'm still an interior designer. But now I work with the insides of my clients' minds and hearts, instead of the four walls they inhabit. It's the most rewarding 'work' I could ever hope to find, and I wouldn't have it any other way."
Melinda Cohan successfully filled her coaching practice in less than 6 months, and applied the client management techniques she developed to co-found The Coaches Console system, now serving hundreds of coaches in 17 countries around the world. She works directly with professional coaches as they launch or grow their own practice, and continues to provide one-to-one coaching for high achieving women. To discover if she might be a great coach for you, please e-mail Melinda to arrange a time to talk.
- Graduate of James Madison University
- Core Competencies with Coach University
- Coaching Modules with CTI (Coach Training Institute)
- 2 year Mentor Coach Program through The Alchemy Network
- Leadership Summit with Lance Secretan
- Member of International Coach Federation and Coachville
- On board of PWR (Professional Women's Network)
- Founder of ExtraOrdinary Women's Gathering
- Member of Roanoke Ski Club