Coaching is a unique type of conversation that supports you in becoming unstuck and re-inspired. The point is not to eliminate missteps, resistance, false starts, and delays, but to work with them skillfully and see them as expected visitors on any creative journey.
As the writer Anne Lamott says in her book Bird by Bird, "The only way I can get anything written at all is to write really, really, shitty first drafts." Here's Neil Gershenfeld, named one of the 40 modern-day Leonardos by the Museum of Science and Industry: "Everything I've ever worked on has failed. But in failing, something better happened."
I’ve created a unique coaching model that blends Zen Buddhist reflective practices with traditional ICF (International Coaching Federation) methods. Sessions are 30 minutes long and include a brief guided meditation. I often assign readings and reflective writing exercises between sessions.
About me: I'm an authorized Zen teacher, ICF-trained coach, educator, and writer, and have worked extensively in academia and the nonprofit sector as an organizational developer. My books include Meaningful Grading: a Guide for Faculty in the Arts, and No Better Place: a New Zen Primer. I've published fiction, poetry, and nonfiction in assorted literary and academic journals.
The very nature of innovation is to act as if you're on to something, as if it's going to work, as if you have a right to be here. Along the way, you can discover what doesn't work on your way to finding out what does. —Seth Godin, author & entrepreneur
“I have so much gratitude and deep appreciation for the coaching sessions I have with Hoag. His presence inspires trust in me and I feel that he cares. During our sessions he is an attentive listener and asks thoughtful questions; beyond our sessions he shares resources that I find useful and provides accountability check-ins. He helps me think more expansively."
—Electra Eleftheriadou, PhD, Educational Consultant, and Equity and Inclusion Facilitator
"As a writer, I cannot recommend Hoag highly enough. His coaching style allows for growth, space, and structure. What an effective structure. Having been coached by Hoag for over a year, he consistently helps me think through educational, personal, and professional writing projects. His deep understanding of meditation and mindfulness practice creates an atmosphere of steady confidence and calm. Thanks, Hoag!"
—Brenda Lovegrove Lepisto, PsyD, LP, FACH, co-author of Smith's Patient-Centered Interviewing: An Evidence-Based Method
"I reached out to Hoag during a crossroads in my career. He helped me think through my possible paths forward and ultimately led me through the process of making a big decision, which proved to be the right one. Hoag asks powerful questions and was especially skilled in helping me think through the job application process, job interview questions, and first steps after starting a new position. I can't recommend him enough."
—Mark Pleiss, author of the short story collection April Warnings, & Director, Simpson College Teaching and Learning Center
"I decided to work with Hoag after being an avid follower of his newsletter, Zen Sun Weekly. His writing, brimming with wisdom of Zen philosophy, resonated with me so much that I knew I wanted to work with him specifically. The space that Hoag held for me during our sessions allowed me to open to exciting new ideas for my business and my life. There is a clarity he brings to his work that I believe can benefit anyone looking to make meaningful changes."
—Jonathan Mathew, Health Coach & Mindfulness Teacher, Recenter Health