Score With Scott M. King: A Diabetes And Life Coach

Scott M. King

| Jul 30, 2012

We are delighted to announce that Scott Millay King, cofounder and former editor-in-chief of Diabetes Health, is coming back to the magazine as a regular columnist.  You might remember his popular column, “My Own Injection,” in which he wrote heart-warming stories about the challenges of being a diabetic dad.  When he began the column 21 years ago, he was the only blogger giving a voice to type 1 diabetes. Many of today’s online bloggers got their start by writing for Scott and Diabetes Health (formerly Diabetes Interview).  Scott gave a stage to many voices, knowing that our readers want to hear different perspectives on how people manage their diabetes.

You will not be surprised to learn that Scott continues to work with people with diabetes by coaching them to achieve their goals. I sat down with him last week to catch up on his new profession as a life coach.

Nadia: What have you been up to since leaving Diabetes Health four years ago?

Scott: I went back to school, and I took a host job in a restaurant just for fun. Then last year I became a certified transformational life coach.  I created a new career for myself—I love it!  This might be new to you, but the Harvard Business Review reports that life coaching is a growing $1 billion-a-year industry.  Businesses have been hiring coaches for about 20 years because the return on investment, according to Matrix Global, is a whopping 529 percent.  Now individuals are seeking the benefits of having a personal life coach.

I help my clients achieve any goal they desire. I work with people who want to make big changes or achieve big results, such as starting a business, getting a job, entering into a relationship, or finding their life purpose. I help them create an action plan and stay super-focused so that they make the changes and achieve the results that they want, faster than ever before.  

Nadia: What exactly is a life coach?

Scott: Do you have someone in your life who knows knows the status of all your projects?  Have you ever had someone sit down with you and take the time to understand all your ambitions and goals?  Do you have someone who really understands your unique challenges and offers meaningful support?  This is what's it's like having a life coach.  Your coach knows the different threads of your life—which makes achieving your goals that much easier.  

Most people have experience with coaching through athletics.  Your sports coach would give you feedback so that you could better dunk that basketball or clear that hurdle on the track.  Think about this—all professional athletes have a coach. How else would they get the feedback they need to be successful?  Your coach knows what your talents and goals are and will help you achieve those goals. It's about receiving honest feedback to surmount your challenges.

We are all like athletes—it may not be a hurdle on the track that we need to jump over, but a hurdle in our career or a hurdle in our love life.  Is it too high, or too challenging?  Do you give up?  No!  You hire a coach, just like an athlete does. The athlete has a coach who watches her every move to see what her body is doing as she jumps.  That is what a life coach does.  Your life coach helps you identify your hurdles and then works with you to develop the best strategy for going over them.  People are finding the benefits of coaching with regard to everything from solving writer’s block to finding a life partner and managing their health.

Nadia: What is the difference between a life coach, a professional coach, and a transformational coach?

Scott: What sets coaches apart is their training and experience. “Life coach” is the biggest umbrella term and covers all non-sports coaching.  “Professional coach” usually refers to coaching for business professionals, but this overlaps with personal and performance coaching as well.

It is important to find a coach with whom you feel a connection. Most coaches, including me, offer a free 30-minute session so that prospective clients can '”try out” their coaching. If you don't feel a connection, then move on.  But if you feel that the coach “gets” you and your challenges and goals, then definitely hire him or her.

Nadia: Tell me about your training.

Scott: I am trained to be a transformational coach. I help my clients identify new ways to think about their challenges that automatically transform their behavior into something more productive.  I provide a different perspective, which allows my clients to see new solutions.  This is where the transformation happens, the “ah-ha” moment that feels so wonderful.

I attended the Quantum Coaching Academy, a rigorous coaching school that required 240 hours of classroom and homework plus 124 hours of supervised student coaching to become certified.

Nadia: What topics do you coach about?

Scott: The main topics for which clients desire coaching are money, career, and prosperity; love and relationships; health, wellness, and diabetes; and finding a life purpose.

My clients have found success in all these areas. Starting a business or finding a love interest—I've had many clients who achieved these aims.  One man, who was single and wanted to get back into dating, found that our time together helped him reduce his anxiety. He went on to meet someone and have a very successful dating experience.  

My diabetes coaching is not medical because I am not a medical professional. No medical advice is given. I serve more as a ombudsman and advocate. How good are you at advocating for yourself and your health? Are you communicating well with your doctor and other healthcare professionals?  Are they aware of your goals?  Do you take the lead role in your healthcare team?  How might you address your unique limitations?  Do you see your diabetes as a gift or a burden?  Have you found the blessing of diabetes in your life?  I have seen, in myself and many others, that diabetes can lead to wonderful and positive experiences.  

As your coach, I advocate for your best outcomes—feeling your best. Together we find out what’s possible for you, where you see making improvements, and what goals you wish to accomplish.  

Several of my clients have diabetes, but diabetes is not usually the issue that we work on specifically. These clients are happy that I understand diabetes—as I have thrived on insulin injections myself for 38 years now.  (Wow—even I do a double-take with that number!)  Being at peace with one’s diabetes is important for achieving success in the other areas of life, such as money, relationships, and health.

Nadia: How does life coaching work?

Scott: Your life coach helps you stay organized and focused on figuring out what your goals are and what is the best way to accomplish them. He helps you plan and keep track of your progress and keeps you motivated. He also holds you accountable for doing what you say you are going to do. 

I often start off by providing some assessments to find out where my client is. A good beginning is the “Wheel of Life,” which assesses all the important areas of life. The major areas we look at are money, career, relationships, romance, purpose, fun, health, diabetes, and home.

Your coach will review these areas with you by asking you to rate your satisfaction in each area on a scale of one to ten, with one being dissatisfied and ten being fully actualized and happy.  We all have our areas with low scores. You decide which area to start working on.  

For example, let’s say you pick health. Currently, the goals you have around health are not being met, and you’re frustrated.  Not surprising, in the initial “Wheel of Life” assessment, you give health a score of two. Your coach might ask you, “Tell me what is not working for you in health, and what is working for you?” From there, you and your coach start to unpeel the layers to find the path that leads to a better relationship with your health.

Nadia: Give us an example of a successful coaching experience that you’ve had.

Scott: I coached a woman I’ll call Mary (not her real name). In her fifties, Mary was out of work, had lost her driver’s license, had no car, and hated her run-down apartment.  She cried a lot.  During our first phone session (most of my clients talk to me once a week on the telephone), Mary wondered out loud if there was any hope.  We went around the Wheel of Life and mapped out where she really wanted to be.  We also spent time assessing Mary's special talents and her learning style.  For example, Mary is a visual person. She found it easy to stay organized by having a white board on her wall upon which she would write down tasks that she wanted to do. Through the use of an assessment quiz, we determined Mary's personality style and her love language. These became extremely helpful for Mary: Knowing herself better made everything she was doing that much easier.

Mary wanted to start by working on the area of her career. She was out of work and had no idea where to begin her job search.  We started by talking about her past jobs, and I asked her, “What did you enjoy most about each job?”  I took notes, and we got a good picture of what she liked to do. The next week she was so happy! She told me that the process of remembering what she liked had somehow transformed her into someone with hope and a passion for finding work that she enjoyed.  She could visualize it happening.  Mary decided that she wanted to volunteer doing the kind of work she enjoyed—and she promptly found that position. This gave her valued work experience and a reference for her resume.

Mary also wanted to reconnect with friends from her past and took steps to do this. That’s when there was a big surprise: One of these long-lost friends knew of a job opening for exactly the kind of work that Mary wanted!  She was hired soon afterward. It's not surprising that the job we had visualized for Mary in our coaching sessions was made manifest in real life.  Sometimes this can happen instantly!

Some of the benefits of coaching don’t seem logical at all—for instance, the notion that just talking about the job you love can actually bring that job closer, as happened for Mary.

Through taking small steps each week and then reviewing the outcomes, Mary made huge changes in her life. She got her driver’s license back, bought the exact car she wanted at the price she could afford, and then found a wonderful new place to live.  Mary thanked me sincerely, but in truth, she did it all herself!

Another client, a young man I’ll call Brian, came to me because he wanted to find his life’s purpose.  He felt that if he could learn his purpose and his life’s destination, his life would have more meaning and passion and it would be easier for him to make decisions. We did a series of assessments together, and I queried him about times in his life when he felt the most creative and passionate. It didn’t take long for Brian to report that he loved being a writer.

Besides finding his life’s purpose, Brian achieved goals in the areas of physical fitness and career advancement.  He found the confidence to talk to his boss, and he fulfilled his commitment to go to the gym regularly. It was almost like getting a makeover!  He got a more fit and muscular body and a promotion at work, and confidence, passion, and a zest for living showed up in his life as well.

Nadia: Scott, we are all looking forward to having you as a columnist.  Welcome back to where you began in 1990.

Scott: Thank you Nadia.  I am looking forward to writing for the diabetes community again. 

If you’re ready to start making progress toward your goals by having a life coach, give Scott King a call at 707-277-1222 or contact him at scotty48@gmail.com. Scott offers a free 30-minute session to potential clients who want to see if there is a fit. You can also sign up for his free blog at www.DiabetesSuccessCoaching.com.

SIDE BAR to ARTICLE:

Another client, Dara Mayers, had this to say:

“Scotty King is an excellent coach who has helped me to turn nebulous goals into actual realities. He provides tireless, warm, practical, and emotional support for all of my dreams and is giving beyond all expectations. He's helped me in developing a clear long-term vision and motivated me to take the small steps along the way. I highly recommend him as a mentor, an advisor, and a trusted and compassionate coach and partner.”

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Categories: Diabetes, Diabetes Health, Diabetes Health Magazine, Life Coach, Lifestyle Coaching, My Own Injection, Scott M. King, Therapy, Type 1 Issues


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