The neuroscience lens of coaching with Coach Quinn / by Mandy Wintink


This was a planned discussion about the role of neuroscience in coaching between myself and my friend and colleague Quinn Simpson. Quinn is a coach who works primarily within education. We cover a lot of topics including creativity, neuroplasticity, change and capacity for change, stress, decision-making, intuition, empathy, how to be present with others, and how to self-reflect on our own biases as a coach. We end with a look at how neuroscience can provide tolerance and compassion for others.

Who would be interested in this: 

  • Coaches, either in training or who have been working professionally as a coach for some time.
  • Anyone who is just interested in applied neuroscience, and by that I mean people who want to know about principles of neuroscience and how they can be applied to personal development, life skills, emotional intelligence, decision making, and that whole consortium of topics. 

Reflective Questions

  • Ask, don’t tell.
  • What is the quality of your thoughts?
  • Mandy said her job as a coach is to inspire action-oriented thinking and awareness. What do you think your job is?
  • What are you using your brain for? Are you using it to ruminate over to-do lists or are you leveraging your natural capacity for growth?
  • Do you have any “sunk thoughts” (i.e., like sunk costs)?
  • How much change is good and bad? What is your change capacity right now?
  • How will you change your brain today?
  • What’s the value of providing time for reflection, to find their own lens?
  • Quinn asked "What is it about humans neurologically, makes us want to give advice?” What is it about YOU that makes you want to give advice instead of just let answers come from within?
  • When you believe someone has the answers, your questions are going to be different. Can you think of examples?
  • How do you use emotions in your decisions-making process?
  • What does the coach need to do to most effectively manage and to reduce the impact of themselves on the coaching? What can the actually do to fully be with that person and not in their own head? 
  • Does Neuroscience provide you with tolerance and compassion for others?
  • Does neuroplasticity allow you to encourage change, in yourself or others?