The Business of Meetings – Episode 191 – How to Build a Thoughtfully Fit Culture with Darcy Luoma
We are delighted to have Darcy Luoma joining us today!
Darcy is the author of the book Thoughtfully Fit. She has spent many years as a coach, training teams and organizations to work better and achieve thoughtful fitness in all their professional endeavors.
Today’s discussion is based on Darcy’s extensive research, coupled with her practical experience. She joins us to shed light on the principles and strategies that form the foundation of becoming thoughtfully fit within a business setting.
Darcy Luoma, CPCC, CSP, MCC, BCC, ORSCC, MSOD is the CEO of Darcy Luoma Coaching & Consulting, a company that specializes in creating high-performing people and teams. She’s a sought-after coach and consultant who has worked in forty-eight industries, with more than five hundred organizations, impacting tens of thousands of leaders and employees. Darcy is the author of Thoughtfully Fit: Your Training Plan for Life & Business Success, published by Harper Horizon.
Darcy has been coaching since 2004. She is one of America’s most highly credentialed coaches, having earned the prestigious Master Certified Coach certification from the International Coach Federation, a distinction held by less than 4% of coaches in the world. In 2012, the University of Wisconsin–Madison sought out Darcy to design its rigorous nine-month Certified Professional Coach training program. She has served variously as the program’s director, lead instructor, and director of training and quality assurance since its inception.
Before Darcy founded her business in 2013, she served as the director of U.S. Senator Herb Kohl’s office for twelve years, did national advance work for the White House, worked for two presidential campaigns, and served as a trusted senior advisor to a governor.
Darcy has a Master of Science in Organization Development from Pepperdine University. She received the distinguished Certified Speaking Professional™ award from the National Speakers Association, the largest speaker association in the world. She has spoken at more than five hundred events, in front of audiences ranging from five to five thousand.
For the last twenty-five years, she has been an avid triathlete and Ironman. She uses her grit and determination in both her athletic and professional endeavors. Along with her favorite job being a mom of two energetic teenage daughters, Darcy enjoys adventure travel, yin yoga, kickboxing, spicy chai lattes, and afternoon naps.
Darcy’s professional path initially led her into government and politics, working for a U.S. Senator for over a decade. However, in 2012, the senator she worked for retired without seeking to be re-elected. Then, a pivotal question from her coach changed her life and encouraged her to envision a future without regrets, and Darcy made a bold leap into entrepreneurship. With the support of her then-husband, who took on the role of a full-time stay-at-home dad, she launched her own business in early 2013, defying the odds of small business failure. Then, in March 2016, her life took an unexpected turn when her husband was arrested for a serious crime. Darcy found herself navigating a tumultuous legal system, undergoing a divorce, and suddenly becoming a single mother with sole custody. Amidst all the chaos, she embarked on a journey of healing and recovery, later writing a book about her experiences. She subsequently learned that everyone has traumatic experiences and has challenges and hurdles to overcome in life.
Overcoming Challenges with the Thoughtfully Fit Model
After Darcy’s husband was arrested, she had to test her concept of being thoughtfully fit. She emphasizes the importance of pausing, thinking, and then acting when faced with challenges and encourages people to have faith that things will be okay, even when it seems impossible. She highlights the significance of training and practices to develop thoughtfully fit responses and actions when confronted with adversity.
A Practical Technique to Help with Pausing
Darcy believes that it is essential to practice Thoughtfully Fit skills to be able to respond effectively to challenges. However, it is often hard to pause, especially when we witness an injustice or feel conflicted about our values. Darcy explains that everyone has different default responses, like pausing, thinking, or acting when facing challenges. She points out that our strengths can become weaknesses when taken to the extreme. She shares a practical technique called the Pause Pinch for those who struggle with pausing. It involves squeezing a reflexology point to reduce tension and calm the nerves.
Navigating Conflict in Teams
Most successful teams have healthy conflicts, so it is essential to create a psychologically safe environment where teams can navigate their conflicts, disagree with one another, and voice their opinions respectfully. Darcy highlights the significance of articulating and planning for a psychologically safe culture within a team. Encouraging open dialogue, respecting differing perspectives, and addressing the aftermath of decisions contribute to building a harmonious and productive team culture.
A team leader must consider the opinions of team members, make decisions, and ask what is required for team members to support those decisions. Darcy emphasizes the importance of addressing concerns immediately to prevent post-meeting discussions and triangulation. She explains that leaders should lead, follow, or get out of the way when responding to situations and team dynamics.
Handling Toxic Team Members
Darcy stresses the importance of maintaining a healthy team environment and preventing the spread of toxic behavior. Managing toxic team members who resist change or cooperation despite coaching and conversations can be challenging. If all attempts to address their toxicity have failed, the best action is to part ways with the toxic individual because allowing their behavior to persist could negatively impact the morale and culture of the rest of the team.
Maintaining Work-Life Balance and Prioritizing Self-Care
Darcy maintains her sanity and a work-life balance as a business owner and mother by setting boundaries, minimizing extensive travel, and prioritizing her workouts. She explains that her commitment to regular exercise contributes to her overall well-being. She discovered the strategy of delegating tasks and recognizing her unique abilities to improve her work-life balance and productivity, allowing her to focus on things that only she can do as the CEO and Founder of her business.
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Thoughtfully Fit: Your Training Plan for Life & Business Success, by Darcy Luoma