• October 01, 2021 11:03 AM | Scott Krawitz

    As we move through life, there are times when we must make a judgement call. Often with little information, a lack of precedence and a whole lot at risk, we are tasked with making a decision that will best serve others. We have seen local, state and federal leaders struggle with these judgement calls since the start of the Covid-19 Pandemic. They had to decide if there was a proper timing for reopening businesses. If they did, what precautions must the employees and customers take? Should they re-open schools? What actions and requirements would best serve to protect students as well as the families they go home to? Of course, with all big decisions and judgement calls we make, some will be pleased with our actions while some will protest and reject them.

    When we look at this from the perspective of coaching a client who needs to make a judgment call, we can channel the ICF Competencies of Active Listening, Powerful Questions and Creating Awareness. 

    One way of strengthening our judgement and decision-making skills, whether it is for ourselves or for asking a client questions to discover their next steps, is to reflect on yesterday, today and tomorrow. Within each area are specific steps for reflecting on how we’ve handled things in the past, how to get centered and do it today and how to think about what you learned that you can apply tomorrow. All the questions below can be asked of yourself or turned into questions you would ask a client.


    A great place to start is to examine your own patterns for making decisions. You can ask these questions to start seeing patterns and where you or your client may want to shift them.A picture containing person, indoor, posing Description automatically generated

    • Do I assess the data and risk? 

    • Do I make unilateral decisions, or do I seek input from others? 

    • How have my judgement calls worked or not worked in the past?

    • Looking back, what did I learn from making the best judgement calls I could make under the circumstance?


    As you consider the action you want to take, consider if there are certain biases or assumptions you may have about the situation. Is there a way you think things SHOULD be, versus an openness to accepting things as they are?

    Just as in coaching when we slow down and pay attention to our clients, how can you slow down and listen to others?  Can we pay special attention to words being said, words that are unsaid, body language and tone?A picture containing text, measuring stick Description automatically generated

    As you forecast how your decision will be executed and how it will impact others, also consider the importance of this decision, what it stands for and how it can impact the greater good, as difficult as it may be.

    • How will this affect others? 

    • What will I be standing for if I take this action?

    • What ethics may suffer if I do not take this action? 

    • Might this action contribute to the greater good?


    With every judgement call you make, regardless of outcome, take time to review your learnings.

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    Ask yourself:

    • What did I learn?

    • What went well?

    • What could I have been done differently to improve this situation in the future? 

    • Might this have led to growth, as part of a larger process, that I’m yet able to see? 

    • Can this lead to continuous improvement where I Plan, Do, Check, Act? (PDCA)

    Here is to your good health, good judgement, and success.

    Shahrzad Sherry Nooravi, PsyD, MCC

    President, ICF San Diego

  • September 03, 2021 6:00 AM | Scott Krawitz

    “Everything can be taken from a man but one thing: the last of the human freedoms—to choose one’s attitude in any given set of circumstances, to choose one’s own way.” Viktor Emil Frankl

    In life when things are going well and we are accomplishing all that is important to us, we feel mentally and emotionally healthy, hopeful and optimistic. What about the times when we are in transition or things are out of our hands? This is when we can feel like we lack control over our circumstances or that we lack hope.

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    One definition of hope is a feeling of optimism or a desire that something will happen. What happens when we are running low on hope and leaning toward pessimism and the sinking feeling that what we want will not materialize? 

    A recent study found that having hope is generally associated with agency thinking. Agency thinking is defined as the motivation to pursue goals and the belief in one’s ability to achieve them.

    How do we empower our clients to find their agency thus helping them tap into hope?

    The ICF Competency of Listens Actively (which focuses on what the client is and is not saying to fully understand what is being communicated in the context of the client systems and to support client self-expression) can help you detect where the client does have meaning and hope. 

    Viktor Frankl (1905-1997) was an Austrian psychiatrist and psychotherapist who developed the psychological approach known as logotherapy, which found that the primary motivation of an individual is the search for meaning in life. In 1942 Frankl and his family were sent to concentration camps. As he experienced and observed the abuse of fellow inmates in his years in the Auschwitz and Dachau concentration camps (from 1942 to 1945) Frankl theorized that inmates who had some meaning in their lives were more likely to survive. The meaning that he believed help him survive was that he envisioned writing a book about his experience and talking to large crowds about finding meaning in their lives. Man’s Search for Meaning was produced in nine days and went on to sell millions of copies in dozens of languages.

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    The potential questions below may aid in getting to the core of what gives meaning to the client.

    • Tell me about a time when you found hope in a difficult situation.

    • What does it feel like to be hopeful?

    • What activities make you feel optimistic?

    • Tell me of a time you activated your agency? 

    • What was the situation? 
    • How did you feel in your body? 
    • What did you do to stand up for yourself or what you believed?
    • How might you apply that power you tapped into for your current situation?

    Deep listening involves presence to notice when there is more to what the client is communicating. It is paying attention to the client’s emotions, energy shifts, non-verbal cues or other behaviors. This is possible to do virtually if you slow down and observe the client. You can also integrates the client’s words, tone of voice and body language. 

    His work resonates deeply with me and for many coaches, I’m sure. Below are some activities that can help clients relax, reflect and tap into what is meaningful to them. When we find meaning, we can find hope.

    1. Gratitude – Write five things you are grateful for every day. This rewires your brain to scan the environment to look for the positive

    2. Movement – Get healthy movement whether it is a 15-minute walk or a gym workout

    3. Support – Speak with friends, family and colleagues who will gently support you. A friend who is a coach is a bonus 

    4. Dream – Though you may have hit roadblocks and it is feeling difficult to make progress toward your goal, take time to dream about what it will be like. Download images and make a digital or physical vision board

    5. Self-love – In our efforts to care for others (our family and teams) we can neglect ourselves. Taking “me time” to exercise, get a massage, read or meet up with a friend are ways to recharge and gain hope and momentum. Remember that when you feel good, you are able to show up as your best self

    6. Past successes – Make a list of your past successes. What makes you proud in the areas of family, career, personal goals, community, hobbies, etc.?

    7. Mindfulness – Find activities that help you relax and feel centered from reading, walking, playing sports, cooking, gardening or other activities that allow you to be in flow

    In the words of Viktor Frankl, “When we are no longer able to change a situation, we are challenged to change ourselves.”

    Here’s to tapping into hope and optimism for yourself and your clients. 

    Shahrzad Sherry Nooravi, PsyD, MCC

    President, ICF San Diego

  • August 06, 2021 6:00 AM | Scott Krawitz

    “We can endure much more than we think we can.” Frida Kahlo.

    As we are enjoying the summer months and the much needed respite from masks, we have much to look forward to. The Tokyo Olympics are giving us an opportunity to appreciate the mastery of athletes from around the world as well as five new Olympic sports including baseball/softball, karate, skateboarding, sports climbing and surfing.  Many children will be going back to school this month and many companies are welcoming teams back in varying capacities. There may also be  much transition ahead. 

    The U.S. is experiencing a fourth wave of Covid-19. It is possible that control measures such as indoor masks and social distancing may be reinstated in the weeks and months ahead as the more contagious Delta variant spreads. After nearly a year and a half of taking these measures, the last couple of months have felt so liberating for most of us as we slowly resumed life as we knew it. This included eating in restaurants indoors, talking to people at a normal distance without masks, seeing family and going to the gym. I personally have felt so free and grateful. A part of me warns to not get too comfortable. As much as there were silver linings to the last year and a half (less commuting, more time with family, investing in fitness, learning how to connect and be productive using technology), there were many challenges. As I thought about the possibility of increased precautions, I wondered where we could seek inspiration, wisdom and hope. 

    Frida Kahlo came to mind. Considered one of Mexico's greatest artists, Frida Kahlo endured unbelievable physical, mental, and emotional pain in her life from suffering from polio, to having an accident that cost her her entire health, she persevered and continued creating art and supporting political movements that she deemed important for her country.

    I wonder from what well of power she sourced her energy, her fire and her drive. When clients share amazing achievements they’ve accomplished, I ask them how they did it. Using the ICF Competency of Evokes Awareness we can facilitate client insight and learning by using tools and techniques such as powerful questioning, silence, metaphor or analogy. 

    Perhaps for ourselves and others, as we possibly face continued challenges in the remainder of the year, we can ask questions to ourselves and our clients that can connect us to our core power, our resilience and a vision that can help us move forward despite difficult circumstances. 

    • What inner resources helped you thrive during the lockdowns that occurred in 2020-2021? 
    • What wisdom did you gain during this time?
    • What would you do if it happened again?
    • What do you know now that you did not know then?
    • How would you advise your colleagues and friends to thrive during times of transition?
    • What activities help you recharge and gain your footing?
    • If there were a symbol or metaphor for the best ways you showed up, what would it be?
    • What thinking helped you be agile?

    Here’s to your good health and ability to thrive in all circumstances. 

    Shahrzad Sherry Nooravi, PsyD, MCC

    President, ICF San Diego

  • July 02, 2021 6:00 AM | Scott Krawitz


    The act of declaring is a powerful one that empowers us to say what we want. It also sets into motion actions and mindsets to get there. The Declaration of Independence was the first formal statement by the founders of the United States in asserting their right to choose their own government.

    A declaration is impactful. When you choose to declare something you are stating to yourself and to the world that you aim to achieve something new that is important to you. A declaration can get your mind and your intent clarified and focused on the changes needed in your life right now to manifest whatever you desire. 

    In mid-June 1776, a five-person committee including Thomas JeffersonJohn Adams and Benjamin Franklin was tasked with drafting a formal statement of the colonies’ intentions. The Congress formally adopted the Declaration of Independence—written largely by Jefferson—in Philadelphia on July 4, a date now celebrated as the birth of American independence.

    Over the years, this singular pronouncement has paved the way for increasingly progressive declarations.  Since 1865, Juneteenth has been commemorating the declaration of African American freedom and is now an official holiday, celebrating education and achievement in the community.  Beginning in 1970, Pride Month declares the rights of the LGBT+ to be open about their sexual orientation without fear of persecution. 

    Declarations can be helpful to remind you of what you want to achieve, give you energy as you work toward your goals and empower you to be resilient as you work through challenges. Following are examples of declarations clients have made:

    • I will have dinner with my family every night as the rule and not the exception

    • My voice matters and I will share it in our management meetings

    • I will stand up for inclusion and make sure all the voices are heard in our staff meetings

    • I will stop checking emails after 7 p.m. and will set this tone with my team

    As coaches, we can ask questions that enable clients to declare something they want. In reference to the ICF Core Competencies, this would contribute to Evokes Awareness, which is defined as facilitates client insight and learning by using tools and techniques such as powerful questioning, silence, metaphor or analogy. When you challenge the client as a way to evoke awareness or insightyou can ask questions about the client, such as their way of thinking, values, needs, wants and beliefs. 

    When the client feels strongly about something, exploring declarations can be a way to help the client explore beyond current thinking

    If a client has a lot of energy around a new action or way of thinking, you can invite the client to generate ideas about how they can move forward and what they are willing or able to do and a declaration may be a part of that. 

    In the months ahead, think about which areas of your life deservedeclarations. Would you like to be more resilient (I will stay centered in the midst of our usual chaos),have more self-care (I will become a great tennis player and will prioritize it in my life), family time (I will walk with my spouse every other day) or health conscious (I will have dessert once a week).

    May you all be in good health and may you make and realize the declarations that are of utmost importance to you!

    Shahrzad Sherry Nooravi, PsyD, MCC

    President, ICF San Diego

  • June 07, 2021 11:37 AM | Anonymous

    This a sponsored job posting.

    Pacific College of Health and Science is seeking a dynamic individual for the position of adjunct faculty in the Health and Human Performance program at our San Diego /Online Campus.

    Our current opening is for the following course:

    Course description:
    In this Interpersonal Skills course, students hone their coach-client communication and interpersonal skills. Students research personality types and traits and consider the role of empathy, intuition, compassion and body language in the coaching relationship. Students learn how to assess clients’ natural strengths and potential areas for development for the purpose of supporting their peak performance goals.

    We are seeking a faculty member with exceptional communication skills who has a passion for teaching, and whose enthusiasm for the subject matter will be an inspiration to our students. The successful candidate will be expected to demonstrate deep knowledge in coaching and interpersonal skills. Experience in synchronous and asynchronous teaching and online learning is required.

    Job Summary: The successful candidate serves as a subject matter expert within their assigned discipline. Experience with personality assessments and ICF competencies is a must.

    Minimum/Required Qualifications: 

    • International Coaching Federation (ICF) certification
    • Master’s degree or equivalent
    • Terminal degree required for graduate courses, with at least 18 credit hours required in the field of study delivered. 
    • Professional experience in coaching in diverse populations (at least 3-5 years).
    • Experience teaching in asynchronous and synchronous online environments

    Desired Qualifications: 

    • Master’s degree in psychology or equivalent
    • PhD in psychology or equivalent
    • Extensive experience in university level online asynchronous and synchronous teaching preferred (2-5 years). 
    • Experience with Zoom, Moodle, Share-point or other learning management platforms (preferred)  
    • An extensive teaching resume coupled with a student-centered teaching philosophy
    • Prior student course evaluations in psychology or coaching
    • Familiarity with instructional technology

    Application deadline: June 11th, 2021. To apply, please send a detailed cover letter describing qualifications and resume/CV, to John Murphy at and

    Pacific College of Health and Science is one of the oldest and largest accredited institutions training professionals in integrative medicine, more particularly in Chinese medicine, acupuncture, holistic nursing, massage therapy, human performance, public health education, and herbal medicine, including medical cannabis. Founded in 1986, Pacific College is home to beautiful campuses and busy clinics in New York, San Diego, and Chicago and a rapidly growing online division. Pacific College features an esteemed faculty of over 200 professors from around the globe, which conduct ongoing research and educate approximately 2000 students every year.

    After 30+ years, the College underwent a rebranding and name change transition in 2020, designed to accommodate the rapid expansion of program offerings and student population.

    We offer the opportunity to work with a dynamic team of professionals. We are committed to creating a diverse community of faculty, staff, and students.

    Pacific College of Health and Science is an Equal Opportunity Employer. Applicants are considered on the basis of their qualifications for the position without regard to race, color, religion, sex, sexual orientation, national origin, citizenship, age, marital status, disability, veteran's status, or any other personal trait protected by federal, state or local law.

  • June 04, 2021 6:00 AM | Scott Krawitz
    • Dear ICF Members, Visitors and Friends,

      As we launch into summer, there is much we have to be grateful for. One thing that astounds me is the miracle that we have vaccines available to us within one year of the pandemic.

      A topic that has been on my mind is identity, voice and agency based on something that happened June 1, 2020. I was in a group coaching community and our facilitator Kathryn checked in with us on what client cases we wanted to discuss and if there was anything around business development we wanted to process.

      I had something else on my mind. After watching protests following the death of George Floyd on May 25, much of the country was aghast about watching the slow death of a human being at the hands of law enforcement, despite pleas by bystanders for the officer to remove his knee from his neck. The response was visceral as Americans, in all 50 states flooded the streets to protest police brutality, discrimination and racial injustice. In the middle of a pandemic, millions of people came out to share their voices. I was impressed by their courage and worried for their safety as perhaps many others were. Perhaps it stems from humans being hardwired for community and empathy.

      I’ve always admired the act of protest and this was no exception. “The most important thing I believe we can talk about is the voice and the awakening we are having in this country.” Kathryn agreed and shared a caveat. “Let us remember that we are all looking at this through the lens of being privileged white women.” I was momentarily dumbstruck. She held the silence. My heart was pounding in my chest and I noticed my breath getting shallow. They were not aware of my identity. I took a few breaths and broke the silence.

      “Hey guys, I have something to share. I’m not white. I’m a first generation American and my parents were immigrants to this country. I know discrimination. And….my name is not even Sherry. My real name is Shahrzad. Perhaps that’s why you may not be aware of my ethnicity.”

      She gave space, which is a blessing and an art in coaching. Silence, silence, silence.

      “I changed my name in fourth grade, not because of the bullies who would chant, ‘Iranian, Iranian’ to shame me for my cultural background, but because of my teacher. One day, she decided that she wanted to find out what each students’ ethnicity was. Dreading my turn and wanting to prevent any more bullying, I said I was French. I then went to the restroom. When I returned, my friend Tatiana whispered to me, “When you were gone, she told the whole class, ‘yea right she’s French, she’s not French.”

      I recall feeling flushed, hot and angry. On my walk home, I deconstructed the situation and decided to make a plan. Upon entering the house while mom made me a snack, I shared that I had something to tell her. “Mom, from now on, I don’t want to go by Shahrzad, I don’t want to go by Sha Sha (a rather fun nickname), I would like to go by Sherry.” Although she had always encouraged pride in our ethnicity and having voice, she got it. “OK, got it Sherry,” and gave me a hug.

      That executive decision by my 10-year-old self may have prevented less discrimination along the road but at the same time, on June 1, I realized that it hid my identity and voice.

      How can I promote diversity, equity and inclusion if who I am is hidden? One June 1, 2020, I made a declaration, “I’m Shahrzad and I’m going to incorporate my true name and identity into my life.”

      Sharing this story was not easy for me and yet I feel it is important to share because it was a result of excellent coaching.

      The questions I ask you all are:

    • How do we create space for transformation in individual and group coaching?
    • Where might you have an identity to claim or reclaim and a voice to share?
    • Where might you be holding back on something that can help you be more fully self-expressed?
    • How can we all use our identity and voices for the greater good?

  • May 01, 2021 10:00 AM | Scott Krawitz

    Dear ICF San Diego Members,

    As coaches, our superpower lies in serving our clients to tap into their deepest potential. We have the opportunity to not only empower clients to perform and excel in their careers, but also to achieve success holistically in the areas of family, health and community. This month, we celebrate our clients as well as celebrate the inner work we must achieve to be our best selves and excellent coaches. As coaches, we have the responsibility to keep growing and being lifelong learners with a beginner’s mindset, in the benefit of our clients.

    Being Mindful of our The Danger of Assumptions

    Presently, more than ever, we need to be aware of and empathetic to what is happening in our world. In the midst of a global pandemic, we continue to see the need for diversity, equality and inclusion.  May 25 marks the one-year anniversary of George Floyd’s death. Following this painful event, Americans protested in all 50 states, followed by protests throughout Europe and beyond. The question is how can we, as coaches, support our clients by not making assumptions and empowering  them to share their voices, however it may look in their lives?  This great post from ICF Global entitled “How to Avoid Dangerous Assumptions in Coaching” shares nine strategies for how coaches can avoid making assumptions. 

    We wish you all well and look forward to seeing you soon.

    Shahrzad Sherry Nooravi, PsyD, MCC

    San Diego ICF Chapter President

  • April 05, 2021 8:33 AM | Yennie Rautenberg-Loya

    Dear ICF San Diego Members,

    Our Chapter is off to a great year with educational webinars, business development sessions and Networkshops throughout the year. 

    The robust schedule of events that our team is putting together is intended to bring to you opportunities to learn and practice ICF Core Competencies as well as other important topics for you to expand as a coach, whether you are an internal or external coach, or you use coaching skills as your leadership style.

    As a regular cadence, you can expect to have a tuition-free Networkshop session the first Tuesday of every month hosted by one of our Board Members. Each month, we will also have an educational training hosted by a guest speaker. Learn more about our April Networkshop here, and our educational session below. Also join us in our educational training on April 20, titled Creating Coaching Prosperity.

    Our Board is looking forward to International Coaching Week, which starts May 17, 2021. Get ready for the exciting events we will be hosting throughout the month!!

    We are currently seeking a Treasurer, Programming Director and Communications Director. Please contact us if this is of interest to you.

    We wish you all well and look forward to seeing you soon.


    Shahrzad Sherry Nooravi, PsyD, MCC 

    Chapter President, ICF San Diego

  • March 05, 2021 12:58 PM | Yennie Rautenberg-Loya

    Dear ICF  San Diego Members,

    March marks many occasions: It is one year that we have been living with the Covid-19 pandemic, the first day of Spring on March 20, the first day of the Iranian New Year (which is on the first day of Spring) and very importantly, it marks Women’s History Month and International Women's Day (IWD). 

    The year 2021 marks 100 years since the passing of the 19th Amendment, which gave women the right to vote.  You can learn more about this journey in the National Archives

    For those of you who are continuing your studies on African-American history following Black History Month in February, there are many podcasts and videos you can explore here.

    Learning about our history aids us in coaching in a way that honors and celebrates diversity, equity and inclusion. The more we understand where our clients have been and where they want to go, the more we can coach them from a place of empathy and respect. 

    This month, we continue providing fun networking and learning opportunities, relevant to the environment we are living in. We kicked off the month with the networkshop on the New ICF Core Competencies, which we hope was valuable to you. On March 9, we invite you to the webinar Time and Action Mastering! More details here.  

    We wish you all well and look forward to seeing you soon.


    Shahrzad Sherry Nooravi, PsyD, MCC 

    Chapter President

    ICF San Diego

  • February 05, 2021 9:20 AM | Yennie Rautenberg-Loya

    Dear ICF San Diego Members,

    We continue to face our new way of living as the pandemic continues. There is much hope as vaccines are being rolled out to our populations starting with healthcare workers and senior citizens. As difficult as things still are, we have also built many new skills that we did not have about a year ago this time. We manage work, clients and online learning using video technology. We've also gotten creative with how we have healthy movement and stay connected with our family and loved ones. As painful as the pandemic has been, there is much learning and new habits we will all likely take from it. 

    In terms of our ICF Chapter, the year ahead holds much promise. We are creating learning and connecting opportunities that will fill your calendars for the rest of the year. From learning webinars where you can gain CEU credits and expand your knowledge, to monthly Networkshops which will begin in March, our aim is to make ICF San Diego a place where you can grow, connect and feel at home.  

    Our February speaker is Dr. Damian Goldvarg. A past president for ICF Global and Master Certified Coach, Dr. Goldvarg will share best practices about The Coaching Mindset. You can register here.

    Last, if you are interested in getting involved with an engaged Board here at ICF San Diego, we have an opening for a board member or volunteer, who would help with programming. This role requires about 5-7 hours of time a month. The duties include connecting with speakers, scheduling, creating value for members and supporting our current Programming Director Wil Fisher.

    Thank you and I look forward to meeting you all in the months ahead.


    Shahrzad Sherry Nooravi, PsyD 

    Chapter President

    ICF San Diego

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