Arbinger Choice in Coaching Mastery Program

“How would you like to never again be offended?”

The Choice in Coaching is a mastery level training program for coaches and other helping professionals that literally teaches how not to be offended!

Based on the Arbinger philosophy and principles, this program helps participants experience what it means to shift your way of being, and how much more powerful and lasting that is than modifying behavior. Instead of focusing on coaching skills, we focus on “how to be with people” skills, which improves participants own relationships on their way to knowing how to help clients improve relationships and solve problems in sustainable ways.  I count it an honor to be a co-facilitator with Nancy Smyth in this program, which transforms lives.

  • This 15 week teleclass has in-between work at the level of a graduate school course including practice coaching every week.
  • This intense program, offering 25 CEUs for ICF certification, consistently delivers MORE than people expect. Read the Program Overview here.

starRead Ensnared or Free: The Choice 

Falling in Love with Arbinger

Here’s My Story:

I had been a coach for over ten years. I believed in coaching – had felt its positive impact in my life and my clients’ lives. Only one thing bothered me. There was an almost obsessive focus on Me Me Me. My goals, my success. I yearned for more “WEness,” a focus on how to contribute more, be a responsible world citizen, count success by having a positive impact on others.

You can imagine my delight, then, when one of the workshops offered at the ICF Global Conference in 2007 was a panel called “From Me to We.” One of the panelists was Jon Benfer, who taught a master class for coaches using the Arbinger philosophy. I’d never heard of the Arbinger Institute, but I ordered the two books written by Arbinger (Leadership and Self-Deception and The Anatomy of Peace) before I left the conference.

When I got home, I devoured both books. I was riveted. This material, philosophical, psychological, spiritual in its implication, takes simple ideas and shows how they could bring peace – to a person, a couple, a work place, a country. It challenges many nearly universally accepted ideas. Here’s an example – change behavior and your thinking will change. Arbinger says modifying behavior brings only temporary change. Lasting change requires a shift in our heart.

Hungry for more, I enrolled in the 8 week teleclass Anatomy of Peace, led by Nancy Smyth. It was a remarkable experience that helped me see how blind I really was to myself and my impact on others. In the last session, Nancy asked, “How would you like to never again be offended?” I thought – That sounds good. She went on to recommend enrolling in the 15-week teleclass, the Choice in Coaching. I did it. This training changed my life. It helped me improve relationships with family, friends and clients. My coaching began to provide clients tools and space to create lasting change. My dear husband, Hal, was in a physical and mental decline at the time I took this program. Living the Arbinger principles supported me to care for him through very difficult times, continuing to love him and see his heart grow sweeter and sweeter until his death.

In 2008 Nancy called me and asked if I’d like to be trained to co-lead the Choice in Coaching. Jon was transitioning to other things. The training was in-depth, hard, and more rewarding than anything I’ve ever studied. Since 2010 Nancy and I have co-facilitated the program. It is the most rewarding work I’ve ever done!

If my story intrigues you, read the books; take the AOP teleclass (inquire at Read the program overview or contact cic “at” Come join us in the Choice in Coaching.

Here are graduate comments:

When Choice in Coaching graduates were asked what they would tell coaches considering taking this course, they had this to say about the program:

  • This is a game changer. Worth every minute of time and effort. This program really teaches the tools needed to create change for yourself and others.
  • Nancy and Sharon are the best teachers I have ever met.
  • You will learn the core Arbinger Principles deeply and it will have a profound impact on your life and the lives of the people you coach.
  • I had a good understanding of Arbinger Philosophy and tools before I started. I feel like it is part of my DNA now instead of a tool to use.
  • I would say it was the best decision I have made for myself in a long while and the work I did on me has led to beautiful insights and changes in my heart and my life. I feel more connected to my clients and myself. I can listen better. I have a quiver of tools to work with. Arbinger became the glue that put it all together.


ICF Midwest Regional Conference, Ensnared of Free: The Choice, with Nancy Smyth and Sharon Eakes, June 20, 2014, Cleveland, OH