• Steve Mann

What is Diabetes Coaching?

To put it delicately, because I am if anything gentle, today's health care system sucks. Why you ask? I'll tell ya...

  1. Its ridiculously expensive

  2. Financial disparity drives care disparity

  3. The system is designed around acute care

  4. Not oriented toward long-term wellness and self-care

And this is a major problem. People want to be well! We want to be our own best doctor, be in control of our own health - to feel better and live better.

And that my friends is the essence of coaching.

Diabetes Coaching puts the client at the center of the wellness experience - not by being an expert or giving advice (although there is some of that) - but by being a collaborator, a partner to help the client. So if it's some sort of relationship, then what are you, the client focused on?

  • Self-awareness and self-knowledge of the coaching object and of the whole person

  • Increased self-responsibility

  • New knowledge and skills

  • Sustainable changes in behavior

  • And many of the things associated with the above - increased life satisfaction, happiness and well-being with a greater sense of self and self-esteem.

Ok, but I haven't really discussed the in's and out's of coaching. A Diabetes Health Coach is responsible for helping the client to:

  • Discover and clarify what they want to achieve - in this case, "does my client want to focus on any one of four categories such as: better diabetes management, emotional or relationship issues or health team management? Or any number of permutations of sub-issues within those categories.

Expert coaching also includes:

  • Helping the client to become open and excellent in self-discovery of issues and solutions

  • Elicit, tease, and collaborate on client-generated solutions to their diabetes journey

  • And finally, we hold the client responsible for the action plan we jointly develop. We do this by helping them own their action plan

This is a great time to be a diabetes coach (not just because I'm now a coach) but because being in control of one's own health is dominant cultural trend (how many of you are gym rats and if you're not, why aren't you?). We yearn to be in the driver seat... but we don't have to yearn. We've always had the power to manage our own health but we abdicated that responsibility and right to "experts."

There is a time and a place for experts. But a wellness journey is not one of them.

Given the crazy, F'd up world we live in today, more than ever, we need a whole person approach to diabetes health. This integrative approach truly matters - high blood sugars can induce fatigue and stress. Stress can induce poor diabetes control and people with diabetes are 2 to 3 times more likely to suffer from depression. Loneliness contributes to a lack of interest and self-care and so blood sugars rise. This is not a virtuous circle but a vicious one that can only be broken by the individual-coach partnership of diabetes coaching.

Now, I think I'm pretty good marketeer. I like it. It's fun. Its motivating to build something. But it's not a passion. This is my passion. And I'm passionate about helping others who are about to walk in my shoes. I don't want them to do that. I want them to walk in their own shoes.

If you want to discuss your goals and challenges in managing diabetes, I'd love to listen.


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