Score with Scott King— Diabetes and Life Coach

July 20, 2012 Posted by admin

(reposted here from

Scott Millay King, co founder and former Editor-in-Chief of Diabetes Health magazine is coming back as a regular columnist. You might remember his popular column, “My Own Injection,” where he wrote heart warming stories about the challenges of being a diabetic dad. He was the first blogger that gave a voice to type 1 diabetes 21 years ago. Many online bloggers today got started by writing for Scott and Diabetes Health magazine (formerly named Diabetes Interview). Scott gave a stage to many voices knowing that our readers would want to read different perspectives on how other people manage their diabetes.

You will not be surprised to know that Scott continues to wok with people with diabetes by coaching them to achieve their goals. He is not a healthcare professional and does not give any medical advice. I sat down with him last week to catch up on his new profession as a life coach.

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

A Scott- I went back to school, and 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! I now help my clients achieve any goal they desire. 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, as the return on investment is a whopping 529% according to Matrix Global. Now individuals are seeking out the benefits of having their own life coach.

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.

Q: Nadia -What’s a Life Coach?

A Scott- Do you have someone in your life that knows knows the status of all your projects? Have you ever had someone sit down with you to 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 you could better dunk that basketball or or jump over hurdles 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 will know what your talents are, what your goals are, and will help you achieve those goals. It’s about receiving honest feedback to mount your challenges.

We are all like athletes—it may not be a hurdle on the track 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. This is what a life coach does. Your life coach helps you identify the hurdles, and then works with you developing the best strategy for going over them.

Q Nadia – How does an individual benefit from life coaching?

A Scott- Just like the professional athlete, any person wanting to achieve a certain outcome benefits from having a coach. Individuals are finding the benefits of coaching with everything from solving writers-block, to finding a life partner and managing their health.

Q Nadia- What is the difference between ‘Life Coach,’ ‘Professional Coach’ and ‘Transformational Coach?’

A 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 these overlap with Personal and Performance Coaching as well.

It is important to find a coach where you feel a connection. Most coaches, including me, offer a free 30 minute succession so prospective clients can ‘try out’ their coaching. If you don’t feel a connection, then move on. But if you feel this person ‘gets’ you and your challenge and the goals you want, hire them!

Nadia: Tell me about your training?

I am trained to be a Transformational Coach—I help my clients identify a new way to think about something that automatically transforms their behavior into something more productive. Einstein famously said we can not solve a problem at the same level that created it. We need to view it from another perspective to see 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 which required 240 hours of classroom and home work, plus 124 hours of supervised student coaching before I became certified.

Nadia: What topics do you coach on?

The main coaching topics clients desire are:
1-Money, career, prosperity
2-Love and relationships
3-Health, wellness, and diabetes
4-Finding one’s 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, wanted to get back into dating, and found our time together helped him reduce his anxiety. He went on to meet someone and had a very successful dating experience.

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

As your coach I would advocate for you 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 was not the issue we worked 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 double take with that number. Being at peace with one’s diabetes is important for achieving success in the other areas of life—money, relationship and health.

Q Nadia- how does life coaching work?

Scott- Your life coach helps you stay organized and focused to figure out what their goals are and what the best way is to accomplish them. They help you plan and keep track of your progress and keep you motivated. They also hold you accountable to do what you say you are going to do. I often start off providing some assessments to find out where my client is at.

A good beginning is with the ‘Wheel of Life.’ This assesses all the important areas of your life, and we talk about them individually. 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 on a scale of 1 – 10, with 1 being dissatisfied, and 10 being fully actualized and happy in that area. We all have our areas with the lowest scores. From my the client gets to decide which area to start working on, usually the one that is the most important for you to change.

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 scored health a 2 on the scale from 1-10.

Your coach might ask you “tell me what is not working for you in health,” and “what is working for you?” From here you and your coach start to unpeel the layers to find the path that leads to a better relationship with your health.

Q Nadia-give us another example of your work success

One woman I coached I’ll call Mary (not her real name). In her 50’s, Mary was out of work, had lost her drivers license, had no car, and hated the run-down apartment she lived in. 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 the wall, where she would write down tasks she wanted to do. Through using 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 on the area of career. She was out of work and had no idea where to begin her job search. We started by talking about her past jobs, where I asked her to tell me “what did you enjoy most about that job?” I took notes and we got a good picture of what she liked to do. The next week she was so happy! Mary told me that the process of remembering what she liked had somehow transformed her into someone with hope and passion for finding work she enjoyed. She now could visualize it happening. Mary decided she wanted to volunteer doing the kind of work she enjoyed—and she promptly found that position. This also gave her valued work experience and a reference for her resume!

Mary also wanted to reconnect with friends from her past, and made steps to do this. Well that’s when there was a big surprise: one of these long lost friends knew of a job opening which was the exact kind of job Mary wanted! She got hired there soon after. 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—that just talking about the job you love can actually bring that job closer, like what happened for Mary.

Through taking small steps each week and then reviewing the outcomes, Mary made huge changes in her life. She got her drivers 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!

One young man (I’ll call Brian) came to me because he wanted to find his life’s purpose. He felt if he could learn his purpose his life would have more meaning and passion, and it would be easier for him to make decisions knowing the big destination for his life. We did a series of assessments together and I queried him about times in his life where 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 other goals too in areas of physical fitness and career advancement. He found 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, a promotion at work, and then confidence, passion and a zest for living showed up in his life as well.

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

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

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