We bring neuroscience and coaching together.
Launching February 2022
The Neuroscience Coaching Network (NCN) is an online professional training program and global community.
- Created for new and experienced coaches with a genuine interest in the application of brain science to their practice.
- Designed to encourage conversations and collaboration between the coaching and neuroscience communities.
- Facilitated by neuroscientist Dr Sarah McKay DPhil and coaching psychologist Dr Mary Collins PhD.
Introducing the Neuroscience Coaching Network
Our purpose is for the development of neuroscience-informed coaching tools & practice through education, collaboration & community.
Here's the premise on which the NCN was built:
- Coaching is designed to help people uncover their internal drive to change and develop the skills and behaviours that improve competence, confidence, and performance.
- Neuroscience offers a compelling lens through which to view the human mind, thoughts, feelings and behaviours, and interest in this fast-paced and compelling science is intense.
- We believe there's enormous potential for translation of brain science research to coaching practice. However, neuroscience rarely provides neatly pre-packed tools and techniques, and enthusiasm for 'using neuroscience' in often outpaces individual practioner's scientific literacy.
- Thus, attention needs to turn towards the training of coaches in how to understand, integrate and communicate neuroscience research to ensure the continuation of evidence-based coaching practice.
- Rather than a 'bridge to far' between the disciplines, we see a golden opportunity to build reciprocal connections. The NCN provides neuroscientists and coaches a place to meet, to learn from each other, and to share meaningful conversations.
The NCN welcomes professional coaches who:
- Share our passion for juicy conversation and appreciate the value of human connection, community and laughter (even if, for now, it is via Zoom!),
- Are life-long learners dedicated to personal and professional development no matter which stage they're at in their coaching career,
- Get excited by the intellectual challenges and opportunities of learning about neuroscience and from the scientists themselves,
- Embrace human-centred values, including empathy, compassion, vulnerability and authenticity,
- Care deeply about the potential of coaching to help people become better versions of themselves.
We believe neuroscience and coaching are powerful tools for human change.
1. Building self-awareness
- Awareness of the neuroscience & coaching landscapes.
- Who you are is how you coach.
- Translating research into coaching practice.
- The social brain.
- The neurobiology of trust, rapport & empathy.
- Coaching presence as a symphony of strengths
3. Coaching journey
- The neurobiology of goal-setting & motivation.
- Coaching for change.
- Asking the right questions.
4. Staying on track
- The neurobiology of habits, emotion regulation.
- How to build a resilient brain.
- Coaching needs, capabilities & strengths.
5. Sharing neuroscience
- The art and science of neuroscience communication.
- Considering the mind vs brain. Facts vs feelings.
- Using storytelling to communicate science.
6. The next 100 days
- Invited speaker series.
- 100-day triad coaching with peers.
- Student presentations.
How is the NCN training delivered?
During the first 5 weeks of training (Feb-March 2022), coaches will complete an online course exploring neuroscience and its practical application to coaching.
- Each online module (Me, We, Where, How, Now) consists of short pre-recorded video lectures, reading, and a reflective practice activity.
- Each week the class will gather together with Drs McKay and Collins via Zoom to reflect on the weekly module and participate in small group discussion. (For times of calls, see FAQ below).
- Upon completion of the 5-week program, students will commence a 100-day coaching challenge with a triad of NCN peers to deepen knowledge and practice.
- An invited speaker's series will run concurrently to the 100-day challenge. Speakers include neuroscientists, coaches and psychologists invited to present their work, teach skill-development workshops, and take part in Q&A.
- Upon completion of the 100-day challenge, coaches are invited to present a short talk a topic of their choice relevant to neuroscience-informed coaching practice (May 2022).
- Upon successful completion, students are issued with a certificate of professional development equivalent to 40 hours of CCE (ICF accredited).
b. About Dr Sarah McKay
I'm a neuroscientist and science communicator.
I grew up in New Zealand, and received my doctorate in neuroscience from Oxford University, and I like to sum up my doctoral thesis with the words, ‘Nature, Nurture or Neuroplasticity’. After completing five years of postdoctoral research in brain plasticity and spinal injury research I hung up my lab coat to pursue a career in science communications.
Nowadays, I'm the director of Think Brain which offers a suite of professional development training programs in applied neuroscience and brain health. I've been teaching brain science to coaches and other helping professionals since The Neuroscience Academy opened doors in 2015.
I'm the author of The Women's Brain Book. The neuroscience of health, hormones and happiness , and have contributed chapters on neuroscience and coaching to Positive Psychology Coaching in the Workplace and Positive Psychology Coaching in Practice.
In 2019, I hosted an episode of ABC’s flagship science show Catalyst exploring brain health, bio-hacking and longevity. You can watch the documentary here.
I live in Australia on Sydney’s Northern Beaches with my Irish husband, needy cocker spaniel and two surfer dudes, where can be found sailing, snorkelling or ocean swimming.
c. About Dr Mary Collins
I'm a chartered psychologist and professional executive coach with 15 years experience in organisation development and talent management.
I graduated from the Professional Doctorate Programme in Dublin City University in 2010. My thesis considered psychological contract theory in relation to engagement and retention strategies for high potential graduates ('Generation Y') in the professional services.
In 2019, I was delighted to receive a Kingstown College 'Coaching Hero Award' presented by the Minister of State for Education in recognition of my contribution to the field of coaching.
I'm a qualified coach assessor for the Association for Coaching (AC), council member of the Irish Institute of Training and Development, and mentor for the Aurora Women in Higher Education Programme. I'm also a graduate member of the Psychological Society of Ireland (PSI) and committee member of the Coaching Psychology Special Interest Group.
My first book, Recruiting Talented Professionals was published by Chartered Accountants Ireland in 2021. I'm published widely including chapter contributions to the books including Managing Professionals and Other Smart People, and Leadership in Healthcare.
I live in Dublin, Ireland with my husband, two gorgeous children and very cuddly dachshund.
© 2020 DR SARAH MCKAY