Coaching Helps You Tell Your Story

Crafting a personal tile is a fun way to express your story and future goals. A great exercise to help focus your life and career coaching, the tile itself can be made from cardboard, paper, fabric, or any two-sided material.  Get creative!

Getting Starting with Side 1 of Your Personal Tile

The first introspective step in this exercise is to craft your personal narrative. To complete Side 1, you’ll need to decide what words define and describe your personal story, from your origins to you current journey.

Begin at the top of your tile and write your name, birthplace, and favorite food.

Then, write the numbers 1 through 6 down the left side of the tile, under your name.  This portion of the tile will be used for your Six-Word Introduction.

Channel Your Inner-Hemmingway

You may have heard the legend that Ernest Hemmingway was once asked to write a novel in six words. His reply was “For sale, baby shoes, never worn.” With those six words, Hemmingway conveyed a sad tale of love and loss.

The first step in your Personal Tile exercise is to craft six words that describe your personal story. The words can be fun and cheeky, or serious and heartfelt. The most important aspect is to describe yourself.  Here are some examples:

  • Love drama. Just not my own.
  • Legacies are the people you touched.
  • Without work, what would I do?
  • Laboring more at love than anything.
  • I knew nothing, I felt everything.
  • I’m happiest when I’m outside.
  • My small stories have big plots.

You can find these examples and more at the Six-Word Memoir archive.

Plotting Your Goals with Side 2 of Your Personal Tile

Every Vista Global discovery coaching session explores 6 key themes. Building on the work done in your initial coaching session, use the tile to write out your reflections on each theme.


Draw 2 concentric circles on your tile. Then draw a line to dissect the inner circle into 2 halves. Then, draw 4 lines to create four sections of the outer circle.

  1. Values: The values that I confirmed in the discovery coaching session
  2. Strengths: My Top 5 strengths
  3. Contribute: What do I commit to contributing to the process?
  4. Learn: What do I want to learn as we move through my journey?
  5. How do I work: How do I work well? What allows me to do my best work?
  6. Leave With: At the end of my coaching sessions, what do I want to leave with?

Participants of Vista Leadership Academy kick-off their journey with this Personal Tile exercise in addition to a robust curriculum for goal setting. If you’re interested in learning more about the Academy or about Vista Global’s coaching services, contact Mary today!

The Impact of Our Cultural Identity as Professional Coaches

It’s not surprising that the results of the 2016 International Coach Federation NPO-NGO Community of Practice survey found cultural competency was a high priority area of interest.

What is cultural competency?

Culture is an abstract concept that can be hard for us to define. Therefore, there is no one set definition for cultural competency. The seminal work of Georgetown University Social Scientists Cross et al in 1989 offered a definition of cultural competence that is still in use today:

Cultural competence is a set of congruent behaviors, attitudes, and policies that come together in a system, agency or among professionals and enable that system, agency or those professions to work effectively in cross-cultural situations.

Culture is a set of shared understandings, thoughts, actions, customs, values and so on. Competence is used to imply a capacity to function effectively with others who may not share the same culture. While you may not use cardamom in your family’s traditional recipes, you understand and respect that other people do.

How many spices can you name?

Why does it matter?

Our local communities are becoming more diverse and globally connected through technology and demographic changes. Organizations are “internationalizing” – employees are geographically dispersed, from different countries, and different cultures. The workplace requires individuals to be aware of different cultures, to interact with people from different cultures, and to interpret new cultures as they are encountered.

By 2050, the United States will consist of a majority minority population.  This means that today’s minority groups, as defined by the U.S. Census Bureau as those of any race other than non-Hispanic, single-race whites, who currently account for only a third of the U.S.’s current population, are expected to increase to 54% of the U.S. population within a generation. As the U.S.’s cultural diversity increases, so will the need for our cultural competence.

These changing workforce and societal demographics are revolutionizing the learning demands for leaders today.

What’s the impact for coaching?

As professional coaches, a critical component of success is that we acknowledge the impact of our cultural identity as well as the cultural identity of our client.

Cultural competence is essential for success. With these changing cultural and demographic trends, how do coaches need to be culturally competent to support today’s leaders? How do we understand our cultural identity as coaches and how does that influence the way we support our clients in designing actions?

Where to start?

Begin by examining your individual cultural identity. By understanding your own cultural identity through self-reflection you are more prepared for the cross-cultural learning process. For example, if your cultural identity is American then you are more likely to place a high value on time as a concept and as a commodity.  Americans do battle with time.  We talk about saving time and beating the clock. Whereas other cultures have a more relaxed view of time.

Professor Geert Hofstede conducted one of the most comprehensive studies of how values in the workplace are influenced by culture.  He identified six dimensions of culture and has plotted the relative comparison of 76 different countries. You can select two countries and compare the dimensions of power, individualism, long-term orientation, etc.

Want to improve your cultural competence?

Vista Global Coaching & Consulting also provides custom trainings and workshops on cultural competence. Or if you’re looking for an opportunity to explore cross-cultural leadership, check out the Vista Leadership Academy.  Currently accepting applications until June 1, 2016,  Vista Leadership Academy is the only cross-cultural, multi-generational leadership development experience that combines a virtual classroom model with a transformative leadership journey in Oaxaca, Mexico. Learn more about the Academy’s Program…

Introducing Vista Leadership Academy


A Journey for Leaders Seeking Change

Vista Leadership Academy is a unique cross-cultural, multi-generational leadership development experience that combines a virtual classroom model with a transformative learning journey in Oaxaca, Mexico.

The Academy is dedicated to gathering community-minded professionals from across the Americas. Academy participants will develop the leadership skills required to spur innovation and impact our global community.

Why Oaxaca?

A special place in my heart, Oaxaca will serve as the background for the Academy because it offers vibrancy and restoration. Oaxaca is the perfect location for leaders traveling from across the Americas.

Calling all Compañeros

I’m excited to share this latest initiative with fans of Vista Global Coaching & Consulting. The Academy weaves together my passion and life’s purpose of leadership development, international travel and coaching.

We are offering a peek at the learning journey with the Vista Global Leadership Retreat to Oaxaca, November 11-15, 2015. Learn more about the fall retreat and register today!

Or if you can’t join the retreat, add your name to the Academy’s mailing list for updates and check out the Vista Leadership Academy website.

What Can Coaching Do for You?

The International Coaching Federation defines coaching as partnering in a thought-provoking and creative process that inspires you to maximize your personal and professional potential. Coaching can help you:

  • Discover, clarify, and align with what you want to achieve
  • Encourage your self-discovery
  • Guide you in generating solutions and strategies
  • Hold you responsible for achieving your goals

Improve your outlook on work and life, while improving your leadership skills and unlocking your potential.


Vista Global can help you expand your horizons with customized coaching. Using the industry’s leading assessment tools and a field-tested coaching process for optimal results.  Find the coaching package that is right for you!






Learn more about Mary’s coaching process and approach. Get started and contact Mary today for your introductory assessment.

What’s the difference between coaching, counseling and consulting?

Consider the “riding a bike” metaphor to understand the differences between coaching, consulting and counseling.


In Coaching you might hear: “You (the client) get on the bike and I will walk along side of you until you can do it.”

In Counseling you might hear: “What has your past experience been with bikes, how does that affect you now?

In Consulting you might hear: “I (the consultant) will get on the bike and then write procedures on how to do it.”

Is coaching or consulting right for you? Read more about Vista Global’s coaching and consulting services and contact Mary for your complimentary introductory sample session today!


How Coaching Shifts “Me to We”

Recently I attended the Global Co-Active Summit in Napa, CA. Being in a space with 650 coaches for nearly three full days is a powerful experience in itself.  To add to that, talking about what we individually and collectively do to shift the world from “Me to We” was mind-bending at times.

We learned a lot from each other, a lot about ourselves and shared how the work that we do with individuals collectively makes the world a better place.


I have always recognized that coaching is a powerful vehicle for leadership development but have not been able to articulate this transformation in a way that felt adequate or comprehensive. I would say, “Coaching helps individuals reach their full potential so they can contribute their greatest gifts in meaningful ways.”  That didn’t quite cut it.

So when Karen and Henry Kimsey-House unveiled a new paradigm of leadership, it finally felt like I had some language to express the power of coaching.  This new paradigm confirms what I always say when working with coaching clients and nonprofit leaders.  “Everyone is a Leader”. It is a matter of identifying and reaching that untapped potential.

This new Co-Active® Dimensional Leadership™ (CDL) model demonstrates how “Everyone is a Leader” in 5 dimensions.


Leader from Within:  It has to start with “you”, your core set of values and purpose in the world. We strive to always lead from within, aligning with our values, living authentically on purpose, with integrity. When a leader is not living in alignment with his/her values, energy that could be directed toward creating a better world is wasted.

Leader from Behind: This is the predominant dimension that coaches embody. In this dimension, your intention is to develop the leadership skills and competencies of others.  This dimension is also seen in mentoring.

Leader from Beside: This happens in true partnerships.  When you are in this dimension the focus is on how you form an alliance with your co-leader to make sure that you share a common intention.  This is the experience of mutuality, flowing with others.

Leader from the Front:  This is the dimension which traditionally is identified as “leader”. The person most visible, whose voice is heard, who stands front and center. However in this model, leader from the front has a collaborative element.  Leader from this dimension provides vision and inspires others to take action to move toward that vision.

Leader from the Whole:  This dimension was the hardest for me to grasp and I am still internalizing its meaning. This concept goes beyond vision, purpose and focuses on the BIG PICTURE, the meta-view, the energy, spirit and other elements that are in the space. It is tuning into the intuition, what else is present? Like a tuning fork, there are vibrations to tap into and fold into our awareness as leaders.

After hearing about this Co-Active Dimensional Leadership Model, we were placed in groups and had a task of a treasure hunt throughout the two days.  Through this team focused activity, ten of us moved around the dimensions of the model at different moments.  We learned from each other how each dimension presented itself.  We saw the dimensions in each other and ourselves. It was a powerful action learning experience.  Each of us learned about our natural tendencies and where we needed to stretch as leaders.

So what dimensions are natural for you? Where do you need to stretch to reach your full potential?