Meet Coach Shelley: 5 Pieces of Wisdom from a WCS Health Coach
We are so lucky to have a health coaching team that is not only composed entirely of Registered Dietitians, but also includes inspiring, kindhearted experts like Shelley Lewis.
We caught up with her this month to hear more about how she approaches her conversations with participants. Here are five takeaways from our conversation.
1. Keep it light.
Shelley is an expert in her field who uses evidence-based methods to help employees make sustainable behavior change. She’s also a compassionate source of support, and she explained that “keeping it light” helps participants feel comfortable during their coaching calls.
Shelley begins each coaching call by asking the participant how they are doing, and finding ways to connect on a personal level. That sets the tone for the rest of the call, so they can go on to have a productive, supportive, and honest conversation.
2. Help participants leave the session feeling better than they entered.
Health coaching helps people make long-term, sustainable behavior changes. But Shelley explained that coaching sessions can also have a short-term impact. Although many participants are nervous or resistant when they begin a coaching call, the practical advice she offers helps participants see the value in the call, and being a kind listener helps them feel supported and ready to continue (or start!) their wellness journey.
3. Accountability makes a difference.
Shelley offered a key insight: health coaching is so effective in part because it provides accountability. “It really helps participants to know that they’ll be hearing from someone in a month,” she explained.
Coaches become that person to check in with consistently. A coaching appointment on the calendar is a great reminder of the wellbeing goals an employee is working towards.
4. Kindness is key.
Our health coaching program is built on a 360 degree approach to wellness. That means taking care of a person’s mental and emotional health in addition to physical wellness. Our health coaches build positive relationships with employees and Shelley shared that kindness is a non-negotiable part of her approach.
“I try to be very open and non-judgmental,” Shelley said. “Participants notice that, and realize that’s the difference between coaching and just being told what to do.”
5. Success can be a number—or a feeling.
When we asked Shelley for some recent success stories, she gave two very different examples.
One was a participant who had lowered their A1C from the 10-11 range down to 7.2. Another was someone who said they ate a meal and didn’t feel guilty.
Again, our coaches are not just trained to help participants meet measurable health outcomes. They’re also experts at guiding participants towards overall wellbeing. Whether it’s managing diabetes, losing weight, getting better sleep, or just learning how to set and achieve a goal, Shelley and the rest of our health coaches bring expertise and empathy.