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Author Sarah Kirton
Sarah Kirton
Updated on Oct 16th, 2023
Fact checked by Emma Vince

Intentional Coaching 2023: Transformative  Coaching Experiences

Frances McIntosh is a seasoned leadership coach with a background in dietetics. She holds a PCC credential from the International Coaching Federation, is a certified Dare to Lead™ Facilitator and a certified Daring Way™ Facilitator - a curriculum, based on the work of Brené Brown. Complementing her coaching expertise, Frances is a registered dietitian and sports nutritionist finishing a master's degree from the University of Madrid. She brings a wealth of experience to her coaching practice and was previously a member of the Forbes Coaches Council.

Frances is deeply passionate about optimizing emotional intelligence and well-being for leaders across diverse industries. She firmly believes that peak performance is closely tied to one's overall sense of well-being. To learn more about Frances McIntosh and her coaching approach, DeliveryRank has the details you need.

Frances, your coaching journey began with a background in dietetics and evolved into leadership coaching. What inspired this transition, and how has your dietetics background shaped your coaching approach, particularly in the realm of health and wellness?

My journey into coaching took an unexpected turn during our time living in Louisiana on temporary visas. My initial plan was to pursue a dietetics degree, hoping it would lead to a permanent visa status. However, the immigration process turned out to be more challenging than expected, requiring a company to sponsor me, cover immigration fees, and compete with numerous American candidates for healthcare positions. With only a tight six-week window before my visa expiration, I decided to return to university just to maintain legal status and ensure my kids could complete their schooling.

Around this time, I was presented with an opportunity to purchase a bariatric nutrition business linked to a surgeon's office. This venture involved working with patients preparing for weight loss surgery and post-surgery care. Simultaneously, I was introduced to coaching through an acquaintance, Bryan Rhinehart, who shared a Harvard Business Review article about the value of women in male-dominated teams and expressed his intention to hire female coaches. At that point, I had no prior knowledge of coaching.

Curious about this concept, Bryan and I met for coffee, where he explained the essence of coaching and how he believed I had the potential to excel in this field. Despite the absence of concrete coaching contracts at that time, and considering my status as a single parent, Bryan generously offered to assist with my coach training fees and travel expenses.

I faced a critical decision: to either purchase an established bariatric nutrition business or embark on a coaching journey without guaranteed work. After careful consideration of the pros and cons, I followed my intuition and chose the coaching path. 

As fate would have it, shortly after I started my coach training, Bryan secured a significant coaching contract, and I was thrust into the deep end, co-facilitating workshops for top leaders and C-suite executives. Thankfully, I had the support of experienced coaches on the team, which eased my transition into this entirely new realm, albeit one with a steep learning curve.

I've discovered that coaching brings unique advantages to nutrition and health coaching compared to traditional dietetics. In coaching, the approach involves asking clients questions, educating them about their health and nutrition, and ultimately empowering them to make their own choices. This dynamic differs significantly from simply telling clients what they should do. Coaching empowers clients, fosters motivation, and encourages them to make positive changes autonomously.

In your coaching experience, you've worked with a wide range of clients, including entrepreneurs, Fortune 500 companies, and government organizations. Could you highlight some common challenges or recurring themes you've come across while coaching leaders in these diverse fields? Additionally, how have you assisted them in overcoming these challenges?

Absolutely, let me break down some of the common challenges I've come across while coaching leaders, and I'll share the strategies I've used to help them address these issues.

Effective Communication: Communication can be a stumbling block for many leaders. They often struggle with conveying their vision, giving feedback, or even fostering collaboration. To tackle this, I've organized workshops, held feedback sessions, and encouraged them to actively listen. It's all about improving those communication skills.

Change Management: When it comes to change, leaders frequently encounter resistance within their organizations. What I've done is assist them in developing strategies for change management. This typically includes getting stakeholders on board, clearly explaining the benefits of the changes, and implementing them in well-planned phases.

Decision-Making: Decision-making can be a bit tricky, right? Leaders might get stuck in analysis paralysis or rush into decisions. To tackle this, I’ve coached them to establish structured decision-making processes. This involves things like analyzing data, considering different perspectives, and assessing potential risks before making a call.

Conflict Resolution: Dealing with conflicts and managing team dynamics is a common challenge. Leaders really benefit from conflict resolution training. This includes developing techniques to facilitate constructive conversations and creating an atmosphere where open communication is encouraged.

Time Management: Juggling multiple responsibilities and priorities can be quite overwhelming. So, I've helped leaders with time management strategies. Things like setting priorities, delegating tasks, and using productivity tools can make a big difference.

Leadership Development: As leaders climb the career ladder, they often need support to further develop their leadership skills. This means creating personalized development plans, setting up mentoring relationships, and providing opportunities for skill-building.

Adapting to Change: In today's fast-paced world, staying flexible and adapting to change is crucial. I've guided leaders in embracing a growth mindset, staying up-to-date with industry trends, and encouraging innovation within their organizations.

Stress and Burnout: High-pressure roles can lead to stress and burnout. To combat this, I've focused on stress management techniques, promoted work-life balance, and created a supportive environment for both leaders and their teams.

Building High-Performing Teams: Building and nurturing motivated and productive teams is another key area. We've done team-building exercises, set up feedback mechanisms, and worked on instilling a sense of purpose within the team.

Inclusivity and Diversity: In today's workplace, promoting diversity and inclusion is essential. I've assisted leaders in this area by encouraging inclusive hiring practices, providing bias awareness training, and fostering an inclusive culture.

In a nutshell, my coaching approach is all about tailoring it to each leader's specific needs and their unique context. This involves a mix of one-on-one coaching, workshops, assessments, and ongoing support to help them develop the skills and strategies they need to excel in their roles and drive positive change within their organizations.

How do you assist individuals and organizations in incorporating health and wellness practices into their daily routines as part of your coaching practice? Additionally, could you explain the significance of this integration in the context of leadership development?

Incorporating health and wellness practices into daily routines is a fundamental aspect of my coaching practice. I believe that taking care of our physical and mental well-being is essential for personal growth and leadership development.

To assist individuals and organizations in this endeavor, I follow a holistic approach. I start by conducting assessments to understand the specific needs and goals of my clients. Then I work with them to create customized strategies which align with their lifestyle and preferences.

For individuals, this might involve setting realistic fitness and nutrition goals, developing mindfulness practices, or establishing a consistent sleep schedule. In organizations, I often facilitate workshops or training sessions to raise awareness about the importance of health and wellness and provide practical tools for implementation.

Now, let's talk about why this integration is crucial for leadership development. Leaders are often responsible for making important decisions, managing teams, and handling high-pressure situations. When they prioritize their well-being, they are better equipped to handle these challenges effectively.

Here are a few reasons why integrating health and wellness practices into leadership development is significant:

1. Increased Resilience: A healthy lifestyle helps individuals build physical and mental resilience, enabling them to bounce back from setbacks and handle stress more effectively.

2. Enhanced Focus and Productivity: Good nutrition, exercise, and adequate sleep contribute to improved cognitive function and increased productivity, which are essential for effective leadership.

3. Better Emotional Intelligence: Wellness practices can enhance emotional intelligence, helping leaders better understand and connect with their team members, which is crucial for effective leadership.

4. Role Modeling: Leaders who prioritize their health set a positive example for their teams, encouraging a culture of well-being within the organization.

5. Longevity: Leaders who take care of their health are more likely to have sustained energy and longevity in their roles, allowing them to make a lasting impact.

In summary, integrating health and wellness practices into daily routines is essential for personal growth and leadership development. It not only benefits individuals by enhancing their well-being but also has a positive ripple effect on their teams and organizations as a whole.

You are a Certified Dare to Lead™ Facilitator and a Certified Daring Way™ Facilitator. How do these programs contribute to your coaching philosophy, and how have they impacted your clients' journeys in becoming the best versions of themselves, both personally and professionally?

These programs have played a pivotal role in shaping and enhancing my coaching philosophy and style. From a health standpoint, the content encourages individuals to reflect upon and comprehend the motivations behind their behaviors. Which could include issues like eating disorders, disordered eating, and struggles with consistency. These principles exert a profound impact on my clients' personal and professional growth, empowering them to evolve into more authentic, efficient, and contented individuals and leaders.

If you would like to find out more about Frances McIntosh, visit    https://www.intentional-coaching.com/

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