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Navigating Polarities: Coaching Through Complexity with Kelly Lewis | Heal The Divide Podinar

June 7, 2021

“The missing link for me was the heart. When we’re taking polarities from a conceptual, mind space and integrating them the heart has to engage too.” -Kelly Lewis


Many of us have never heard of the concept of polarities and at the same time, are impacted by them on a day-to-day basis. In this podinar, Alison Whitmire, President Learning in Action, welcomes special guest, Kelly Lewis to explore what polarities are and how we can help our clients to navigate them to expand what’s possible in their lives and work.

Kelly Lewis, PCC is a principal and founder of Andiron, a leadership development firm committed to providing the space and tools for transformation. For more than 15 years, Kelly has been using polarities as a lens to help leaders and organizations navigate some of their most complex challenges. She is particularly curious about the roles identity and vulnerability play in helping people be successful in the midst of paradoxical tensions.

Kelly works from a principle that leadership is a way of being, not just something we do. She is known by her clients as a coach that “finds the just right place between support and challenge” as well as a “thought partner who leverages her mastery of polarities coupled with her experience as a Fortune 500 executive to understand the context”.


What Is a Polarity?

Polarities are interdependent, yet often seemingly contradictory states that need to coexist over time for success. They are foundational to the decisions we make and the actions we take. We experience polarities every day and in every facet of our lives and yet many of us are not aware they exist. Here are some examples of polarities that we may experience: “focus on the short term, focus on the long term”, “activity/rest”, or “take care of self, take care of other”. A polarity that the pandemic has brought up for many people is “pay attention to local, pay attention to global”. In a leadership context, we might come across polarities such as “lead with confidence, lead with humility” or “support/challenge”.

Polarities often feel like tensions and they invite us to practice “both/and” thinking. They show up within ourselves, in relationships, in teams, in organizations, and in societies — and they scale any level of the system. In isolation, each side of the polarity often seems logical, and then when they appear together, it may seem completely absurd to our minds that they coexist, yet they do. When we can help clients name and explore their polarities, it can help illuminate the “either/or” decisions they need to make leading to more informed and better decisions.


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How to Use Disruption to Find Your Growth Edge with Charlene Li | Heal The Divide Podinar

May 25, 2021

“Change that’s worth doing is going to be hard, theres not going to be an easy way to do it.” – Charlene Li


What does it mean to be disruptive? And instead of avoiding disruption, what if we can use it to find new growth opportunities? In this session, Alison Whitmire, President of Learning in Action, is joined by Charlene Li to explore what disruption is, why it’s important for leaders to be willing to be disruptive, and how coaches can encourage their clients to be more disruptive in their leadership roles.

Charlene Li is the author of six books, including the New York Times bestseller, Open Leadership: How Social Technology Can Transform the Way You Lead, and the co-author of the critically acclaimed, Groundswell: Winning in a World Transformed by Social Technologies. Her latest book is the best seller The Disruption Mindset: Why Some Organizations Transform While Others Fail. Charlene is the founder of Altimeter Group, an analyst firm that was acquired in 2015 by Profit. She is a graduate of Harvard College and Harvard Business School. Charlene has also been named by Fast Company as one of the most creative people in business and an expert on digital transformation.


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The Neuroscience of Effective Coaching with Richard Boyatzis | Heal The Divide Podinar

April 14, 2021

“Our ability to sustain getting someone else excited and open to new ideas or possibilities starts with us.” -Richard Boyatzis


How can we mitigate the impact of stress in our daily lives? What does it mean to coach with compassion and how does it serve our clients in their desire for change? In this session, Richard Boyatzis joins Alison Whitmire, President of Learning in Action, and leads us through examples of how true, evidence-based coaching with compassion is key to development and more resonant relationships.


Richard Boyatzis is a Distinguished University Professor at Case Western Reserve University in the departments of Organizational Behavior, Psychology, Cognitive Science, and the HR Horvitz Chair in Family Business. Since 1967, he has used his Intentional Change Theory (ICT) to study how people and organizations engage in sustainable, desired change.


Richard is the author of more than 200 articles and nine books on leadership, emotional intelligence, competency development, coaching, neuroscience, and management education. His books include the international bestseller, Primal Leadership: Unleashing the Power of Emotional Intelligence written with Daniel Goleman and Annie McKee and his most recent book, Helping People Change: Coaching with Compassion for Lifelong Learning and Growth written with Melvin Smith and Ellen Van Oosten.


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What Now? A Plan for Redefining, Recreating, and Reenergizing Your Work, Your Life, You! | Heal The Divide Podinar

April 8, 2021


“There’s an opportunity for us, instead of judging the past or the present, to look forward to the future and say, ‘This is my chance for reinvention. It’s a global chance for reinvention. We’re all in this together, what do I want to do?’” —Joey Coleman


The pandemic has caused major disruption in our world — economically, socially, and personally. How do we move forward from where we are right now? How can we look at where we are and make the conscious choice to recreate our lives and our work in new ways? In this session, Alison Whitmire, President of Learning in Action is joined by special guest Joey Coleman, for a conversation about how we can refine, recreate, and reenergize our work, our lives, and ourselves.


For almost 20 years, Joey Coleman has helped organizations retain their best customers and turn them into raving fans through his entertaining and actionable keynotes, workshops and consulting projects. Joey is an award-winning speaker at both national and international conferences competing against New York Times bestselling authors, business leaders, internet sensations, and celebrities. He’s also the author of a number two Wall Street Journal bestseller, Never Lose a Customer Again.


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Calling Forth Greatness: Who I am Being, Empowers My Coaching | Heal The Divide Podinar

March 16, 2021

“The key to living the life that you love and doing the work that you love is living true to the essence of who you are.” – Fran Fisher


What does it mean to call forth our greatness and live from our essence? And why is it important, particularly as a coach? In this session, Alison Whitmire, President of Learning In Action, is joined by master certified coach, Fran Fisher to explore what it means to call forth your greatness.

Fran Fisher is a visionary leader, international speaker, and published author. She is recognized internationally as a pioneer in the field of coaching and specializes in mentoring experienced coaches for their PCC and MCC accreditations. Fran founded one of the first coaching schools to be accredited by the International Coaching Federation and currently serves as a founding executive board member. Her vision is a world where everyone is enjoying a rich and fulfilling life, living true to their essence, and a life purpose and values. Fran believes the world needs us to be true to ourselves and that coaching is the contribution we make for this transformation in our world.

Our Essence: The Key to Calling Forth Our Greatness

Our greatness is synonymous with the essence of who we are. Calling forth this deeper place within ourselves involves asking three questions that humanity has been asking since the dawn of consciousness: Who am I? What is my purpose? How do I live my purpose? The essence of who we are is about tuning into the true, pure nature of ourselves instead of our developed or habituated personalities. It encompasses our core values, our core strengths, our empowering beliefs, and our true authentic vision for the world. It also includes who we want to be being in the world, our life purpose, and our life mission.

Author and speaker Deepak Chopra offers that our essence is the unified field of all possibilities, of pure being, pure awareness, and pure consciousness. The more we live from this field of pure being, the more our doing expresses it. Our being leads to our doing, so when we know who we are at our core essence, we create a point of power that we can live from and draw on. To put it in Fran’s words: “The key to living a life that you love and doing work that you love is living true to the essence of who you are.”

The deeper qualities of our essence are within each one of us — they are part of our consciousness and they are all true. We get to choose who we want to be, call forth those qualities and give them attention in ways that empower us.


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