A Model of Hope and Emotional Engagement

Posted on November 6th, 2017 by John Hackett

The unexpected coach as a model of hope and emotional engagement...

I had been thinking of a blog regarding recent Gallup and Kappan studies of businesses and schools which cite a reported lack of hope and emotional engagement in both settings affecting productivity and how coaching skills would be a benefit to many leaders for over a week.

The horrific event in Las Vegas coupled with Irma and Harvey and the devastation of Puerto Rico have challenged me to reconsider these concepts with a broader view. We are facing a time when there is physical loss and also a loss of hope and an emotional detachment in reaction to the devastation and suffering.

My prayers and thoughts are with those who have suffered and lost everything - homes, jobs, loved ones and more.

I think of the interviews I have been watching and I began to realize that I was seeing the same issues I was planning to write about only on a much larger scale.

Hope And Emotional Engagement

People affected are searching for physical relief and seeking hope and emotional engagement. Material support remains a dire necessity in all these areas. My prayer is that all needed materials flow to those in such horrible situations.

There is an another rescue effort required here to provide support needs beyond physical resources that are also vital.


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People need a caring connection to provide relief by giving hope and emotional engagement. This requires that we listen to our hearts and heads and be present to those who are suffering from these events - victims and rescuers alike, coaches and counselors of all types to provide hope and emotional engagement.

While I was listening to the radio, I heard of a church ministry providing a great example of how to provide services and support.

LCC K-9 Comfort Dogs with Lutheran Church Charities is providing coaches to support victims in all affected areas.

They aren’t human coaches they are dogs, comfort dogs.

They are specially trained dogs who provide hope and emotional engagement by being present to those in need. They provide a nonjudgmental caring presence to help victims build a belief that hope and emotional engagement are possible.

These dogs wear a cover that says “Pet Me.“ These dogs are not talking, they just listen. They provide no supplies or finances, only unconditional love and presence allowing the person the respect and dignity often lost in these situations to process and plan. These comfort dogs are providing the hope and emotional engagement that there will be a better day.

It is a great example of principle-based coaching. We all can learn a lot from these four-legged model coaches. I wonder what the world would look like if we all treated each other on this model?


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About the Author

John Hackett, Ed.D is an accomplished and experienced coach, trainer, and leader in a variety of nonprofit and direct sales settings. He has 45 years of professional experience serving as professor, licensed counselor, and high school administrator, as well as a university administrator. John is a DSWA Certified Trainer and can be reached at john@dswa.org.