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Professional Development Day

  • 2 Nov 2018
  • 8:30 AM - 12:30 PM
  • The Inn at Villanova University, 601 County Line Road, Villanova, PA 19087

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ICF Philadelphia Professional Development Day

Featuring Presentations by Margaret Cary, MD, MBA, MPH, PCC and Ann Deaton, PhD, PCC

November 2, 2018

8:30 AM - 12:30 PM

The Inn at Villanova University

Attendees are eligible for 3 Core Competency CCEUs

(continental breakfast included)

When Either/Or Won’t Do: Engaging the Power of Both/And Thinking for Sustainable Coaching Impact

Presented by Ann V. Deaton, PhD, PCC


What’s more important—to have a sense of meaning in your work, or to have financial security?

When working on a project, is it better to spend your time planning, or executing?

Should you take care of yourself, or take care of others?

Who’s a better team member-one who supports and appreciates what others do well, or one who challenges others to do better?

Where should you focus your time and energy—on your work or on your family?

Tunnel vision: that tendency to fixate on one option, and the accompanying sense of constraint and frustration. The pull of competing commitments goes by many names: polarity, paradox, dilemma, wicked problem, tension. Regardless of what we call them, our coaching clients all experience them---choosing between a rich home life and a successful career; wondering whether to accept the reality of what is, or strive for the dream of what could be; being a confident leader or a humble one; and so on. Successful people and high performance organizations have developed a wisdom about navigating these tensions, a natural capacity to embrace Both. They have mastered the ability to “... hold two opposing ideas in mind at the same time, and still retain the ability to function” (F. Scott Fitzgerald).

The evidence is clear: individuals and organizations who manage polarities well outperform those who don't, both in the short term and especially in the long term. In contrast, those who don’t learn how to navigate paradox endure more than their fair share of suffering, including poor decisions, groupthink, inferior results, frustration, and unhealthy conflict.

A primary responsibility we have as coaches is to grow clients’ awareness in order to expand what they see, and their options for taking effective action. When clients show up feeling stuck in the mire of Either/Or dilemmas, coaches do them a disservice when we fail to help clients consider the possibility, and often the necessity, of Both/And solutions. Without this option, our coaching clients can cycle through the same challenges over and over again. The client who finds herself choosing Work over Family today often regrets this choice later. The answer isn’t to choose Family instead, but rather to create solutions that enable a fluid movement between the two, taking action to get the best of both.

In this experiential session on using Both/And thinking in coaching, participants will have the opportunity to identify several polarities that show up for them as coaches, and those that their clients are bringing to coaching sessions. Attendees will learn the clarifying structure of a Polarity Map, and have the opportunity to work as teams to create and to navigate through several maps together. You’ll walk away with:

  • a framework for seeing your own, and your clients’, most complex challenges;
  • an experience of learning in community;
  • a sense of mastery over a concept that you’ll discover you’ve been benefitting from all your life;
  • a book that enables a deeper dive, with several chapters demonstrating a coach working with a team to navigate polarities for sustainable results.

With your new awareness, you’ll find yourself having more Both/And conversations in the place of conflict, and being able to consciously access Both/And thinking in your life and in your coaching for sustainable results.

About the Speaker

Ann is a leadership and team coach, and a polarity master. She coaches individuals and teams who are experiencing significant challenge and growth. Ann’s strengths are in creating rich and open conversations that expand perspectives, and then holding clients accountable to take action to realize their goals. In addition to coaching individual clients and teams, Ann facilitates leadership and coaching skills development courses for corporate, government and university clients. She is the author of two books: VUCA Tools for a VUCA World: Developing Leaders and Teams for Sustainable Results and Being Coached: Group and Team Coaching from the Inside.


Dancing with Dinosaurs: Coaching as Improv

Presented by Margaret Cary, MD, MBA, MPH, PCC


The medical profession is fraught with bureaucracy – specific structures, hierarchies, and rules that seem big, rigid and unmoving, like a dinosaur. Here are my three rules in working in bureaucracies:
  1. Recognize I can’t force the giant, heavy dinosaurs to move. After all, when dinosaurs move, they do it slowly and on their own terms. 
  2. Work within the empty spaces around and below the dinosaurs. 
  3. View dinosaur legs as boundary lines, like on a tennis court. The boundary lines exist as reminders. They don’t have to be completely constraining.
At the conclusion of this activity, participants will be able to:
  1. Define andragogy and describe its relevance to coaching
  2. List two popular topics in coaching for healthcare professionals
  3. Apply coaching presence through improv to Workshop effectiveness

About the Speaker

Margaret Cary is an executive coach and learning facilitator who loves what she does. She brings the coaching approach to her clients - speak less and ask more. Her specialty is working with healthcare leaders, both established and new. Her clients include Georgetown University School of Medicine, Mayo Clinic, University of Massachusetts Medical School, Bon Secours Health System, University of California, Harvard, Omada Health, Dubai Medical College, and Brumos Automotive.

Maggi cofounded A Whole New Doctor, a program to provide executive coaches to medical students. She created the Community of Champions, the national physician leadership development initiative at the Veterans Health Administration, grooming physicians for their roles in the $186 billion organization.

Her research for Telemedicine and Telehealth: Principles, Policies, Performance and Pitfalls led her to realize it’s all about the people, the relationships and asking questions.

When she’s not reading, facilitating or coaching you can find her kayaking, hiking in the Rockies, traveling to obscure locations, or puttering around in her garden.

©International Coach Federation - Philadelphia Chapter, 2018


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