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The Science of Effective Coaching


Great coaches move us. They move us through a basic human process—our emotions. Effective coaches are literally in tune with others around them, establishing a deep emotional connection with others called resonance. They nurture these resonant relationships through mindfulness, hope, compassion, and playfulness. The combined effect of vision-based coaching and resonant client relationships results in dramatically more effective coaching experiences.

Most coaches are too focused on problems and specific remedial goals, losing their effectiveness over time. The cumulative effect of a preoccupation with problems and measurement, along with the damage from chronic stress, activates neural networks useful in problem solving but suppresses neural networks needed for openness to new ideas, people, and moral concerns. To be effective and sustainable in coaching, a person must develop facility with both major neural networks, as well as techniques to reverse the effects of stress and revive themselves, neurologically, hormonally, and emotionally. These renewal experiences help coaches become more open, cognitively, perceptually, and emotionally.  As a result, coaches become better at motivating others to learn, develop, and innovate.

Based on decades of his own and colleagues’ research into emotional intelligence (EI) competencies and coaching, including dozens of longitudinal studies and hormonal and neuroimaging studies, Professor Richard Boyatzis will lead the audience through examples of what effective coaching feels like, as well as understanding the neural processes that foster or inhibit it.   

Learning Objectives:

Participants will be able to:

  1. Describe a process for developing sustainable improvement on EI and resonant relationships, as well as the central role of compassion in them.

  2. Define and describe the psycho-physiological role of the Positive Emotional Attractor and the Negative Emotional.

  3. Describe how coaching with compassion is effective in helping people change in sustainable ways and coaching for compliance is not; describe why compassion is crucial to the sustainability of the leader (i.e., the coach) as well.

  4. Describe the neural activations involved in these two forms of coaching and why one prepares a person to consider change and learning and the other does not.

  5. Describe techniques in how to coach others to develop EI, resonant leadership, and to sustainably change.

CE Credits: 1.5

The Society of Consulting Psychology (SCP, Division 13) is approved by the American Psychological Association to sponsor continuing education for psychologists. The Society of Consulting Psychology maintains responsibility for this program and its content.

Target Audience: The content will be relevant for coaches at an intermediate level of skill.


Richard Boyatzis, Ph.D.



Dr. Richard E. Boyatzis, PhD.

Richard E. Boyatzis is Distinguished University Professor of Case Western Reserve University, Professor in the Departments of Organizational Behavior, Psychology, and Cognitive Science, HR Horvitz Professor of Family Business, and Adjunct Professor in People/Organizations at ESADE. He earned his BS in Aeronautics and Astronautics from MIT, and a MS and Ph.D. in Social Psychology from Harvard University. Using his Intentional Change Theory (ICT), he studies sustained, desired change at all levels of human endeavor from individuals, teams, organizations, communities and countries. He was ranked #9 Most Influential International Thinker by HR Magazine in 2012 and 2014. He is the author of more than 200 articles on leadership, competencies, emotional intelligence, competency development, coaching, neuroscience and management education. His Coursera MOOC, Inspiring Leadership Through Emotional Intelligence has over 780,000 enrolled from 215 countries. His 9 books include: The Competent Manager; the international best-seller, Primal Leadership with Daniel Goleman and Annie McKee; and Resonant Leadership, with Annie McKee, and Helping People Change: Coaching with Compassion or Lifelong Learning and Growth with Melvin Smith and Ellen Van Oosten. He is a Fellow of the Association of Psychological Science and the Society of Industrial and Organizational Psychology.

Continuing Education

1.5 CE
Production Date:


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Price: $60.00