The Value of Building a Supportive Community

  • Posted on: 27 July 2020
  • By: Leonard Shostak

It has been about six months since I started taking classes towards becoming a coach; and about three months since I began working with people on identifying and moving towards greater happiness and understanding. And, while it’s been an exciting time in the personal, professional, and civic aspects of my life, it hasn’t been easy or simple. But, as I’ve witnessed in my own life—and the lives of family, friends, and clients—being motivated really helps. It really, really helps.

What motivates you?

During this time, many other things have transpired about which I’ve also had to be aware—because of their significant impact on my life. Covid-19 and all the ways it’s impacting my family and my clients. Black Lives Matter (BLM) and the changes I’m hoping it brings. A country in constitutional crisis. The blurring of what’s fact and what’s fiction in the media. Each one monumental in its own right. Even thinking about them can keep us hiding under the covers; but I’m choosing to live the best life I can—and helping people discover how to do the same.


What keeps you awake at night—or hiding under the covers—and what have you done towards living the best life you can?

What’s ironic is that, by becoming a coach, I find I’m in a much better position, mentally; and have a much greater understanding of what everyone else—including my clients—are going through. The tremendous value of continuing one’s self-improvement *with intention* has become much clearer to me. Think about what your intentions might be while reading a few of my intentions in action:

As a lifelong learner, the pandemic has given me ample time to take online classes—and “ample time” is new for me! In the past, I took classes in business and technology; but now, my chosen topics include life and happiness coaching, as well as support tools and techniques that will improve my ability to help clients.

If you’ve had more time since the pandemic began, what have you done with it? What would you like to do with that time going forward?

Participating actively in the coaching community.

Two of the coaching programs I’ve completed have online discussion groups. Joining them has definitely proven the value of community to me. While they’re both supportive of each individual, the members have very different political and life views—and so I’m also learning how to carefully navigate those relationships. Notwithstanding our different interpretations of scientific fact, we are in total agreement on being: dedicated to helping clients live happier and more fulfilled lives; and being mutually supportive, including by sharing good feedback and advice.

Continuing to work on my own happiness and fulfillment.

All in all, I’m in a good place—physically and emotionally—to work on my own issues and to learn how other coaches work with their clients on a range of matters, as well as on their own issues. My fellow coaches are from very diverse cultures all around the world; and, in these challenging times, their perspectives are keeping me in touch with reality. Because I’m benefiting from the positive (and “constructive”) feedback loop, from people all over the world with different opinions and values, I plan to stay involved in these groups—even after we’re back to in-person meetings and events.

What changes have you experienced since the pandemic began? Which of those do you foresee going back to how they were? Which do you foresee keeping in their new format?