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Patricia Hirsch | Coaching Conversations

21 November 2007 Host Spotlight

by: Barbara DeMarco-Barrett

Coaching Conversations with Patricia Hirsch airs on alternating Wednesdays at 8 am Pacific Time. For past shows please visit the Coaching Conversations Podcast Archive.

Barbara DeMarco-Barrett: How long as “Coaching Conversations with Patricia Hirsch” been on the air?

Patricia Hirsch: My first show was October 6, 2006

BDB: How did the show come about?

PH: One of the DJs at KUCI was a client of mine and suggested I offer a coaching show

BDB: Talk about the format of your show.

PH: Every other week, I interview coaches from around the world to share the definition of coaching for them, what they offer clients as a coach, and what a client would benefit from hiring a coach. I’ve also had a couple of clients on sharing what they have received from coaching.

BDB: People of all sorts have coaches these days, don’t they?

PH: There are a variety of coaches serving many people in the world; to name a few general categories of coaching, there are corporate coaches, small business coaches, personal/life coaches, and career transition coaches.

BDB: How’d you get into coaching?

PH: In the 1980s and early 1990s, I was an Intensive Care Registered Nurse. It was when I worked with elderly people in their 70s and 80s that I heard many “should have, could have, would have” conversations. Often facing death, people examined their lives thinking back on what could have transpired if only they had taken action. They also looked back at relationships that went awry, even in their own families, and the opportunity to complete them was now lost.

I moved into Medical Information Systems in the early 90’s and began to notice what was missing in corporations. Employees just didn’t want to be there; they weren’t fulfilled or satisfied with their lives. Managers were baffled at how to inspire their employees; mini-wars abounded and efficiency was lacking.

In my university studies, communication had been a fascinating focus of education for me and I began to meld what people were “speaking” and what people were “listening,” such that they were getting the results that they were getting, with what was possible in breaking up ineffective and inefficient cycles of learning. With further education, I have learned to support people in first observing and then breaking up “automatic ways-of-being” that lead to the same results they’ve been getting, no matter how they changed their “actions.” I became intensely interested in ontological coaching which supports the whole human being from the domains of 1) linguistics, 2) emotions and moods, and 3) body dispositions; onto-/being and -ology/to study; I work with my clients to study who they be in their life that they are getting the results that they are getting.

Having moved into management over time, I wasn’t living a life of joy so therefore began a business on the side where I took my clients off-shore cruising to coach them to go after their dreams and concurrently, trained them how to operate 40-50 ft sailboats. I went from part-time to full-time and offered my first coaching business for five years. Knowing I needed to know more about managing a business, and now being armed with the ability to coach, I re-entered the corporate world in management and began my M.B.A. studies. I was also armed with the ability to coach on a whole new level and notice the impact on employees. Having gained my M.B.A., and over time my certification and then my credentials as a Master Certified Coach, through the International Coach Federation, I moved to Orange County, and opened my second coaching business, Design Your Life Coaching, and I’m going into my sixth year.

BDB: Do you ever see yourself doing your show weekly?

PH: Yes and my desire is to be out “there” in the world with people who are looking to shift their way-of-being such that they are living lives they love. I would absolutely be interested in a weekly show where my listeners were able to call in on a regular basis and ask for coaching from my coach interviewees via the phone. Although in coaching people focus on the inquiries that coaches offer to them, with considerations for FCC regulations and KUCI not having control over what is said on the air this is a concern. Meanwhile, I will be out “there” with clients more so than on the air.

BDB: Do you have a favorite guest?

PH: My favorite guests are those who keep learning; who keep expanding their ability to be with their clients such that their clients have breakthroughs in their lives such that they are living a life they love; do you see that is my passion? So much of the world is focused on “what’s wrong with me, what’s wrong with you, what’s wrong with it” and very little on “what’s possible” that I live a life I love. My favorite guest is a coach who is on their path to certification and/or credentialing signifying to me that they are passionate in offering the absolute best coaching that they are capable of offering.

BDB: What do you listen to, on the radio?

PH: Why KUCI of course! KUCI offers such a wide variety of wonderful people interested in providing a forum for music and true thinking/thought to show up in the world. On the music side, I love to listen to jazz, the blues, fun loving music, and rock as I know it. As far as public affairs shows, I enjoy thoughtful shows focused on “what’s next” or “what’s possible” us and our world given we are always moving in new territory. What I mean is that we have not “lived into” the way our world will be from now looking forward and therefore that territory is unknown.

Yes, we can learn from our past however and although it’s not “the” truth, what’s important is that we don’t forget that it is our past and not our present, or future. This brings to mind a favorite quote of mine; “the past is past, never to return; the future is yet to be, only the present can be called our own.” Unfortunately, I don’t know the author however the message has been important to me for almost 30 or so years. So the radio talk shows I like to listen to are those who look from the perspective of what Albert Einstein stated, “We can’t solve problems by using the same kind of thinking we used when we created them.”

BDB: And tell me what you do during down time?

PH: My downtime includes sailing a 43-foot sailboat which I have docked in Long Beach, SCUBA diving and I now have 219 dives which include last June when I dived with sharks in Fiji. I love to travel, even on a shoestring budget. Why, on a shoestring, you might ask? When I do so, I am able to commune with peoples around the world that I might not be able to meet otherwise. One of my favorite trips was a 6-month trip after I graduated from college, around Europe via Eurail and a Youth Hostel pass. From the UK where I visited England, Wales, and Ireland down through France, Spain, Italy and off to Greece where I worked in olive orchards and cucumber packing plants, I was able to learn the challenges and experience an iota of what it might be to live as they live. How much I take for granted, or blind to my own blindness, becomes apparent to me very quickly.

BDB: Favorite books? What are you reading right now?

PH: Sad but true that I’ve waited so long, I’ve just begun Emotional Intelligence by Daniel Goleman. Intriguing too! I’ve just finished A Whole New Mind: Why Right-Brainers will Rule the World by Daniel H. Pink and this was an absolute delight. One of my favorite studies is Spiral Dynamics by Don Beck and Christopher Cowan, which is a fascinating theory on hidden codes that shape human nature, create global diversities and drive evolutionary change. The Tree of Knowledge: The Biological Roots of Human Understanding by Humberto R. Maturana and Francisco J. Varela, both Ph.D.’s, write about “knowing how we know.” It’s a new view of cognition that has important social and ethical implications for as they assert, the only world we humans can have is the one we create together through the actions of our coexistence. I can go on… fun, fun, fun books for me are mystery adventures which I love to get lost in. Yes, back in the old days I was a Nancy Drew hero!

BDB: Anything I didn’t ask but should have?

PH: What my vision is, I guess, and that is “who I am is the possibility that all peoples transform their lives such that they live lives they love.” My mission, or how I will get to my vision, is grounded in who I am as a coach.

Thanks! Thank you for the opportunity, Barbara.

— November 21, 2007


Barbara DeMarco-Barrett is host of “Writers on Writing,” which airs Thursdays at 5 p.m PT. She’s also author of “Pen on Fire” (Harcourt, 2004). Learn more at www.penonfire.org.