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  • Bettina Clark

Creative Dialogue - a tool for Coaching and Self-Mastery


Bettina Clark, December 2012



According to McGonagill (2002), there are three influences that inform a coach’s core practice: a) the coach’s #vision, b) the coach’s frames for #understanding human #behavior and c) the coach’s personal profile.


Animated by Mihaly Csíkszentmihályi‘s book “CREATIVITY, Flow and the Psychology of Discovery and Invention”(1996), I started my journey to a new career six years ago, just when I hit 50. My vision is to explore and define a purpose that allows me to give back, inspire others and be in service of humanity. In his book M.C. writes: ”According to the developmental psychologist Erik Erikson, the defining task of a person’s middle years is to achieve generativity. This involves being able to pass on both one’s genes and one’s memes. The first refers to children, the second to leaving one’s ideas, values, knowledge, and skills to the next generation… A meaningful old age … serves the need for that integrated heritage which gives indispensable perspective on the life cycle.”


The combination of holistic transformative work with #creative #communication became central on my journey and is now starting to frame my coaching style. “Creativity is any act, that allows us to transform with motivation. A forward movement. An inspiring movement. #Emotions are no longer a dwelling point but rather a catalyst for change.”(Csíkszentmihályi, ibid). Adding mindful and co-creative #dialogue then allows for new pathways and authentic expression of individuals or systems at large.


I also resonate strongly with Csíkszentmihályi’s seminal work, #Flow: The Psychology of Optimal Experience (2013), in which he outlines the theory that people are happiest when they are in a state of FLOW — a state of concentration or complete absorption with the activity at hand and the situation. It is a state in which people are so involved in an activity that nothing else seems to matter (Wikipedia).


Flow - a state I aspire to work from as coach.


My personal profile is a mix of experiences in the field of design, communication science, advertising and PR, holistic healing practices and now coaching; while moving around the world, being exposed to many different cultures and having an interesting active network of international colleagues, acquaintances and great friends.

Years of inner work with various methods were focus of the previous period in my life, which lets me now walk my talk in awareness and mindfulness practices more confidently. In addition to my StrengthFinder 2.0 assessment illuminated for me innate traits and abilities, condensed in the following headings: Activator, Individualization, Strategic, Learner and Connectedness.


The Emotions and Behaviors at Work (EBW) development report points out that in most areas I scored in the middle and that there is great potential to grow. “Being willing to lead can enhance your credibility and reputation and it gives you an opportunity to put your ideas across”, stood out for me.


In writing this article it dawns on me that choosing to study at UBC and learning to coach others to lead, is essentially a yearning to step into leadership myself again. And maybe in a different way then I knew before. I have spent the past two decades adapting to new environments while participating in various local projects, and then having to let go of those projects that started to be successful; just because of our constant moves. I have now found an opportunity to master an internationally recognized profession that I can apply while contributing to a bigger picture: anytime, anywhere in this world and become a leader in my own rights.

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