Dan Newby is one of the coaches that we found this month and we did a little interview with him. He impressed us with his understanding of emotions.
He started coaching back in 1999 and he is thankful for stumbling upon that path to this day. But his journey of investigating the secrets of emotions began when he was in a dark period of his life.
He was struggling with a couple of difficult emotions in his 30s and 40s but he was unable to recognize the exact emotions he was feeling at that moment. That led him to start investigating what they are, what they mean, and what they want to tell us.
His approach is emotions-centered and he helps his clients understand the real message behind each emotion. Here is what he said.
Meet Life Coach Dan Newby:
Name: Dan Newby
Pillar: The Heart
Who is this coach for: Anyone who wants to master their emotions and learn how to speak their language.
How they can help: Through a model he developed called “Emotions-Centered Coaching”.
First of all, how are you and your family doing in these Pandemic times?
Well, thank you.
How does the coronavirus pandemic affect your clients? Did it affect you at all?
I live in Spain, and when it became clear what was happening in Italy and that travel was going to be impossible as before, I shifted my courses to an online format.
I had done coaching for years by telephone or video call, so it was not such a big change for me.
I’ve found that it is still possible to create intimacy and connection virtually if one sets the context for them.
I would say there are advantages and disadvantages, but I wouldn’t consider the learning or coaching inferior to in-person experiences,
What are the biggest lessons that you learned in this pandemic?
The power uncertainty plays for many people.
At the beginning of the pandemic, I was working with a school system in the U.S.
We set up small group conversations to explore their emotions and how they might understand and leverage them.
Of course, fear and anxiety showed up but what surprised me was the frequency with which people said they were suffering or struggling due to uncertainty.
I realized that in the pre-coronavirus times when we felt uncertainty there was generally someone we could turn to who could reassure us or give a sense of grounding or certainty, a colleague, a boss, a friend, someone.
When coronavirus came along no one knew what to do.
There was no one we could turn to.
For many people this created enormous confusion, fear, guilt, or doubt.
I hadn’t realized the power uncertainty can have in our lives.
Tell us about you, your career, how you started with your coaching career?
I entered a coaching program in 1999 with the intention of strengthening my leadership skills but did not intend to pursue a career in coaching.
During the course and in the following year I realized that, although I enjoyed my leadership position, the part I enjoyed most was creating opportunities for others to grow and discover what they loved.
That led to me focus on coaching and stepping out of the organization to work independently.
It has been a lovely journey, full of twists and turns, and many moments of satisfaction.
I’m grateful I stumbled onto this path.
What was your biggest obstacle that you had to overcome in your life that made you who you are today?
In a word, my emotions.
In my late 30s and early 40s I lived some very dark years.
I was driven by emotions I did not understand or know how to handle.
I struggled to understand why life seemed so difficult and if it was possible to suffer less.
The emotion I was experiencing at that moment, I now understand as desperation.
Bit by bit I began to understand that what I was missing was emotional understanding or literacy.
I knew I had emotions but did not know how to distinguish them or how to navigate them.
That put me on the path I am still following today.
The Coaching Style:
How do you innovate with coaching your clients?
I was trained as an ontological coach and later led courses for six years.
Initially, I was taken by the power of addressing language, emotions, and somatics as a way of coaching.
It opened possibilities I had not imagined previously.
About ten years ago I moved deliberately to work with emotions whether in coaching, training, or writing.
My work now is based on the idea that every belief or choice we make is rooted in one or more emotions.
They are the core energy that either moves us forward or holds us back.
My work now is focused entirely on helping clients and coaches build their emotional range, understanding, and literacy.
What’s unique about your coaching approach?
The focus I put on my clients’ emotions.
We begin with a conversation or story, of course, but quickly move into the emotions that are generating their challenge.
The model I developed for this is called Emotions-Centered Coaching and I find it to be an extremely effective way of getting to the root of the client’s dissatisfaction and of shaping solutions with them.
What benefits do your clients get after working with you?
Emotions-Centered Coaching does two things at once:
1. It helps my clients understand their challenges differently but also helps them expand their vocabulary and understanding of emotions.
For instance, they learn to distinguish anger from other closely related emotions such as irritation, annoyance, frustration, or aggravation.
2. They also learn to reframe the meaning of certain emotions.
For instance, I would say that guilt does not mean “I did something wrong”.
My interpretation is that it means “I did something that was out of alignment with my values”. In other words, I did something that was wrong ‘to me’.
That often helps a coachee understand there is a gap between their values and behaviours that their guilt is pointing to the solution which is either to reconsider their values or change their behaviour.
Do you use any specific tools to be efficient with your clients?
I mentioned the Emotions-Centered Coaching model and also have four books on emotions and emotional literacy, as well as a set of emotions flashcards (Emoli) and an iPhone app (Emote: Master Your Emotions).
In addition, I teach courses on Emotions-Centered Coaching, Emotional Mastery, and Moving Beyond Imposter Syndrome.
If you had a super megaphone that, when you speak into, the whole world will hear your message, what would you say?
“Emotional literacy will make your life and the life of those around you immeasureably better!”
What is the greatest lesson you have learned in your life?
The power of dignity.
The root of the word dignity is Latin and means “worth”.
When we feel the emotion of dignity it means we know, without doubt, that we are of value.
Many people are plagued by doubt about their worth as human beings.
I experienced this for many years as well and the learning that helped me move out of self-doubt was strengthening dignity.
Your final thoughts?
As a result of the way we understand learning, most of us have focused on developing our intellect and the tools that support it such as linguistic literacy.
That is a wonderful thing, but in the process, we’ve overlooked the importance of emotions.
Turning your attention to learning about emotions as a life skill and tool will change your life for the better.
Emotions are at the root of every choice we make and every relationship we have whether with our dog, our boss, or the world around us.
Nothing you can learn intellectually replaces emotional learning and they are a dynamic pair when working together.
Where Can You Find Dan Newby?
If you liked this interview and you would love to master your own emotions, go to www.schoolofemotions.world and find out how Dan can help you do that.
If you would like to connect more personally with him, you can do that through LinkedIn or Facebook. It was an honor having this interview with him.