Coach FEATURE: Meet Dr. Mickey Parsons, MCC, BCC

Dr Mickey ParsonsWe continue to meet our fellow coaches, get inspired and build coach community with these "Meet the Coach" features! This month we meet Executive Coach Dr. Mickey Parsons, MCC, BCC  from Atlanta, USA. 

Read on to learn more about Dr. Parsons...

About Dr. Mickey Parsons

From: Atlanta, USA.

Business name: The Workplace Coach, LLC

Describe your coaching business in one sentence: I am an executive coach who provides strategy, structure and solutions that equip leaders and their organizations for success.

Meet Dr. Parsons:

The founder of The Workplace Coach, LLC, I began coaching in March of 1999. Since then, I have partnered with more than 2,000 executives and leaders. In 2011, I became an Assistant Professor of Coaching Psychology and co-created a Master's of Science program in Coaching Psychology, expanding my passion for coaching to include supporting others in obtaining high-quality coach education and mentoring. My vision for coaching is that it no longer be an emerging, "buyer beware" field, but a fully legitimate profession dominated by highly experienced, competent and ethical credentialed coaches.

QUESTION 1: What one book should every coach read - and why?

There are so many options - Co-Active Coaching, Positive Psychology Coaching, Mindful Coaching, CBT and Appreciative Coaching. The one that every coach should read is Vikki Brock's "Sourcebook of Coaching History". It's important for coaches to understand our historical roots so we can know and share our collective narrative, and this book provides a foundation that allows us to honor our past, while creating our dynamic, mainstream future.

QUESTION 2: Which website do you visit the most?

I visit LinkedIn and ICF websites constantly - LinkedIn to network, connect with clients and influencers and do research when preparing for meetings or presentations, and ICF to review coaching-related research, policy, ethics and credentialing issues.

QUESTION 3: Whom do you admire most?

I admire so many of our ground-breaking early coaches, including Thomas Leonard, Laura Whitworth, Sir John Whitmore, and Marianne Williamson. I would single out Anthony (Tony) Grant as one of my most-admired. Tony is Director of Coaching Psychology at the University of Sydney. He has probably contributed more research to the field of coaching than any other individual internationally (according to Google Scholar, his work has been cited nearly 8,000 times. And he has made powerful contributions in the areas of evidence-based coaching, organizational coaching and coach education.

QUESTION 4: What's your vision for your life? Where do you see yourself in 5 years?

I absolutely love coaching - coaching executives, leaders, business owners and professionals to be their best selves. I also love teaching coaching and training and mentoring coaches. If I won the Lotto tomorrow I would show up to work the following day. My vision for my life is that I'm still coaching clients and growing coaches at age 90, not because I will need to, but because my affection for this awesome work continues to expand. Five years from now, I hope that I will have coached 3,000 leaders and mentored another 100 coaches.

QUESTION 5: What is your "big project" at the moment?

We are in the midst of launching, a Continuing Coach Education (CCE) program that prepares coaches for certification (ACC, PCC, MCC and/or CCE), including via a 12-week Master Class that provides trained coaches with a core competency refresher in preparation for PCC, MCC (and BCC) examinations. I'm also working with a marketing professor pal to launch mastermind groups for coaches who wish to grow a more sustainable business. Nothing breaks my heart more than talking with amazing coaches who do not have a clear handle on how to develop their coaching businesses.

QUESTION 6: What has been your favourite coaching moment so far?

Over the years a few clients have told me they wanted to become coaches themselves because of how positively their work and lives were impacted by their own experience as coaching clients. Now they wanted to provide that same level of support to others! This happened most recently with a client whom I've coached for more than 6 years. She moved from being an Attorney/Human Resources Executive to family business partner and is now exploring becoming a coach in her own right. I see this as a tremendous testament to the power of coaching.

QUESTION 7: What are your Top 3 favourite coaching tools and/or resources?

I use a variety of assessments in my coaching. My favorites are TTI DISC, VIA or StrengthFinder 2.0 and Values Clarification exercises. Helping a client understand their behavioral style, strengths and values provides a powerful foundation for decision-making, self-evaluation and personal evolution.

QUESTION 8: What do you love most about being a coach?

I've always been interested in business, people and psychology. The two threads that have been woven throughout my career are business development and people development. When I had my first conversation with Thomas Leonard in early 1999, I knew immediately that this thing called "coaching" was an opportunity to combine both. I have a passion for developing, inspiring and helping people and I find it especially rewarding to do that in a business context.

QUESTION 9: Tell us a secret about you...

I'm pretty much of an open book, so no big secrets here. But you might be surprised to learn that I was a band geek in high school (I was a drum major and I played trumpet!), an experience that taught me a lot about working as a team and being comfortable at the front of the room. These days I'm a little bit of a car nut. And, I believe that a day of gardening is best topped off with a glass of good wine (red, please! And maybe two glasses if it's Stag's Leap Petite Sirah or an Italian Amarone!!) with family and friends by the pool, and my annual getaway to Pass-a-Grille/St Pete's Beach is non-negotiable.

QUESTION 10: If you could change one thing in our world, what would it be? And how would you go about it?

There's a disturbing quote by Blare Warren that goes something like "people will do anything for those who encourage their dreams, justify their failures, allay their fears, confirm their suspicions and help them throw rocks at their enemies." My wish is for a one-world community where we all focus more on the positive side of dreaming and dream fulfillment. That's what coaches help our clients to do every day. I believe this helps reduce the sense of discord and disconnection that drives so much negativity in today's society.

Dr Mickey Parsons

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