Why the Hands-On Coaching Skills I Learned at FMCA are ‘Good for Business’ | Student Spotlight: Donovan Maycock

Knowledge vs. skills.
Theory vs. practice.
Learned vs. applied.

In health coaching, these things go hand-in-hand; you need both to be effective. But not every coach training program teaches you to talk the talk and walk the walk. If you can’t get through to your clients, you’re missing your opportunity to make an impact. You’re preaching nutrition information at them, rather than resonating with them.

Meeting your client where they are is essential, and that’s why hands-on coaching skills are an important part of FMCA’s curriculum. Our students learn how to leave their personal agenda behind and focus on the client—to take the coach approach, not the expert approach. And for Donovan Maycock of FMCA’s February 2017 class, this shift from expert to coach has had a concrete impact on his business in the form of practice growth and greater engagement from clients.

As the cofounder of the Perfect Solutions Nutrition Program, Donovan was well-versed in the “Functional Medicine mindset” even before he came to FMCA. Established in 2008, his practice has focused on using real food, balanced nutrition, stress management, and limitless motivation to help clients get results. “I felt like I was changing lives,” he reflects. Having started his professional journey in finance, Donovan shifted to health and wellness and found that he finally felt fulfilled in his career. “It’s amazing to know that you can shape and save someone’s life through nutrition.”

Donovan learned about FMCA through a doctor colleague who had had a positive experience with IFM’s practitioner trainings. Knowing Donovan’s work with whole food and nutrition, the doctor thought he’d be a natural in Functional Medicine coaching. On this recommendation, Donovan enrolled at FMCA, despite having already developed a solid nutrition coaching skill set. As soon as the program began, he realized that he could supplement his substantial knowledge with Functional Medicine and positive psychology techniques to better engage with clients.

“I didn’t really know what to expect from FMCA,” he remembers, “but once we started, it became evident that this is a world-class program. The webinars were well done, the format made it easy to track my progress, and the content was relevant, engaging, and fascinating to me.”

During his time at FMCA, Donovan learned to incorporate the coach approach into his characteristically bold, even tough style. “FMCA effectively moved me from the expert approach into a ‘hybrid’: I still push my clients, but now I listen more and encourage them in a compassionate yet firm and motivating manner.” With the help of his new coaching skills, he’s better able to partner with clients to overcome their barriers and take ownership of their actions. That makes him a better coach.

“Now I’m even more effective in my practice. Many clients who I would have lost because I didn’t know how to reach them before—now I have tools to keep them engaged. And that is a huge success.”

As a recent graduate, Donovan is excited about using his new knowledge and skills to continue to change lives. His practice is already growing, and he’s in the process of building a pre-diabetes program that he and his team expect will garner national attention. And as a new member of FMCA’s Alumni Program, he’s looking forward to further professional development in our supportive and engaged community of like-minded alumni.

We asked Donovan what words of advice he has for people considering enrolling in FMCA’s next class. “I thought I was an amazing coach already—and then I started this program and realized there is so much more to learn. FMCA is well worth the time and the investment.” We know Donovan will continue to take on new challenges and change lives, and we’re honored to have been a part of his learning journey. You can learn more about Donovan Maycock at his website, DonovanApproved.com.



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