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Examining the Roots of Executive Coaching & Coaching to “Reawaken Our Humanity”

Episode #1099: In this episode of the Arete Coach Podcast, Dr. Vikki Brock, a Master Certified Coach (MCC), Consultant, and Mentor who received her executive MBA and PhD in Coaching and Human Development discusses what the early days of coaching looked like and insights from her book, The Sourcebook of Coaching History, a comprehensive review of the historical roots of coaching. Vikki offers great insight and wisdom into the roots and history of coaching and shares some of the many great experiences she has had watching the coaching industry grow and develop to where it is today.



About Dr. Vikki Brock, MCC

Dr. Vikki Brock is a Master Certified Coach, Consultant, Mentor, Founder of VB Coaching, and author of The Sourcebook of Coaching History, a comprehensive review of the historical roots of coaching and the influence of pioneers from related fields. Using her executive MBA and Ph.D. in Coaching and Human Development, Vikki adopted a multifaceted approach to leadership and individual development. Through her coaching methods, Vikki has used wisdom, experience, and research-based processes to move leaders to higher stages of personal awareness and effectiveness. Vikki promoted her client’s authentic strengths-based journey to success by taking “their leadership and their life to the next level” in a challenging yet non-judgemental way.


On background, Vikki has been closely involved with the International Coaching Federation (ICF) since its creation in 1996 and was one of the first coaches to receive a Master Certified Coach (MCC) accreditation from the ICF in 1998. Vikki was also on faculty of the University of Texas at Dallas Coaching Certificate program where she taught several coaching training schools in both the United States and internationally. She also contributed numerous articles to coaching publications and regularly spoke internationally on coaching.


Dr. Vikki Brock has made a great impact on the coaching profession and her work continues to inspire coaches today.


Key highlights


Vikki’s early days in coaching and teleclass

Timestamp 09:12


Much like today’s Zoom coaching sessions, early in her coaching career, Vikki taught coaching classes in what was called a teleclass. Vikki explains that this was a form of coach training that was done “over the telephone. You could not see anybody,” but you were given the materials you needed for each lesson. In her classes, she gave people assignments and paired them with partners who would work together outside of class. She explains that “a lot of the classwork was experiential where people would practice coaching someone in a live situation.”


Coaching to “reawaken our humanity”

Timestamp 19:19


When asked about her desire to stay conflict-free, Vikki shares her belief that coaching “has an opportunity to reawaken our humanity.” She gained this perspective when talking to a group of coaches in Hong Kong in 2016. Since then, this perspective of coaching has become the “forefront of who” Vikki is. She sees coaching as an “opportunity to usher in the next stage of human evolution.”


The roots of coaching

Timestamp 31:05


When writing her book, The Sourcebook of Coaching History, Vikki interviewed 170 people. During this process, she discovered that “philosophy is the underpinning of everything.” She also discovered the impact that psychology has had on coaching as well. Vikki states that “coaching has all these at its foundation because the first coaches came from other fields because coaching didn’t exist.” Severin comments on how the coaching industry has been created from other fields branching out and how the roots of coaching originate from the arts as opposed to the sciences.


Start of the International Coaching Federation (ICF)

Timestamp 40:16


Vikki was involved in the beginnings of the ICF, International Coaching Federation. She shares that the ICF was “created by Thomas Leonard in 1995 as an alumni group for the people who’d graduated from CoachU” who wanted to “still learn and stay in connection.” Vikki was member #60 of the ICF. She shares that “at the same time, there was a professional personal coaches association from the Coaching Training Institute” started by Laura Whitworth and Henry Kimsey-House. Eventually, both of these groups merged under the name of the ICF. Soon the ICF became a “strong entity” and “got bigger and bigger.”


Living your legacy

Timestamp 51:03


Vikki has a variety of personal mantras and rules that guide her decisions in life. The first is the importance of having an “active legacy” and living “your legacy every day.” To do this, Vikki makes choices that are based on her beliefs and values. The second is the “golden rule: do unto others, but it’s as I would like them to do unto me.” She also discusses the importance of being honest.


Three levels of listening

Timestamp 52:32


One of the valuable findings Vikki discovered when writing her book, was that active listening originates from acting. Vikki explains that there are “three levels of listening.” First, “you listen because you’re an actor. You’re in the person you’re supposed to be.” Second, “you listen between you and the first people on the stage.” Third, you listen to “the audience.” Vikki also shares insight into how humanistic psychology has influenced coaching and with the “wellness approach, coaching would never have existed.” She relates these findings to the importance of having “heart” in one’s coaching practice.


Download the transcript

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