Dr. Zeina Ghossoub, An Empowerment Icon
Dr. Zeina, what inspired you to embark on your journey in coaching? And what are the main traits one must possess to become a coach?
Being a dietitian for 10 years and feeling that I was failing in helping my patients change their behavior towards their relationship with food, started my coaching journey. The moment I discovered the coaching world and what it does and what it means, I fell in love with it, and I still do by the day. The main traits are the readiness to face one’s demons & weaknesses and to develop the needed self-awareness and confidence to just walk the talk.
What are the difficulties & challenges one must prepare to face when entering the coaching field? How did you overcome these challenges?
If you think you can become a coach in 60 hours, you can forget about it. This is a journey that doesn’t stop, and it needs a lot of ripening before it comes to fruition. This is a vocation that requires a lot of self-work, practice, and dedicated time to develop yourself. The main challenges are time management between family and work and, sometimes, finances.
What does it take for someone to acquire an ICF Accreditation? Can you explain the importance of accreditation in this field specifically?
Since coaching is not formally or centrally regulated, the ICF Credential provides coaches with immediate recognition as coaching professionals who have undergone a combination of accredited training, coaching hours, assessment & compliance with standards of practice. Credential holders are part of a self-regulating group of elite coaches who provide accountability to clients and the coaching profession as a whole. They pursue and complete rigorous education and practice requirements that provide unquestionable legitimacy of their commitment to excellence in coaching.
What is the importance of raising awareness on the impact of coaching in societies? In what ways can coaching benefit our educational systems and impact future generations?
Coaches have always played an important role in our society, and they can serve as our role models and mentors. The title “coach” is one that you hear quite often, but it shouldn’t be taken lightly. Those who wear it understand the amazing – yet terrifying – responsibility that comes with it. In 2012, coaching was the second-fastest growing industry in the U.S., one of the many signs that the industry continues to expand and impact businesses and societies alike, to this day.
Professional coaching brings many wonderful benefits to our educational system and future generations, such as fresh perspectives on personal challenges, enhanced decision-making skills, greater interpersonal effectiveness, and increased confidence. But the list does not end here; those who undertake to coach can also expect significant improvement in productivity, satisfaction with life & work, and the attainment of relevant goals.
What milestones has ICF Lebanon reached throughout the years of your presidency? On the other hand, what milestones have you reached throughout the years of your presidency at ICF?
I have been the founding member of ICF Lebanon and, before that, the Lebanese Coach Association since 2010. ICF Lebanon is now on the map internationally and has solid ties with the community of coaches globally. We are a recognized force, and we have grown from a chapter to a chartered chapter. Today, there are 80 members of us, 40 percent of which are now accredited with ACC, PCC, and MCC. What this translates to, is that our coaches are being sought out internationally & regionally, and are recognized for their authenticity and their high credentials.
The milestones I have reached with being the president of ICF Lebanon are, in fact, just personal. I am very proud of the community that has grown from 20 to 80 accredited coaches, and of the infrastructure that we built, allowing us to keep shining. My heart overflows with joy knowing that I contributed to making this happen for the Lebanese Chapter.
You are the founder of “Ghalletna”, a local Lebanese NGO aimed at feeding families in need. What do you aspire to achieve through your engagement in the humanitarian field? And what contributions do you believe you can provide further to the field?
There is great satisfaction in giving – unconditionally – without expecting anything in return, and no one and nothing can take it away from you. My NGO started on this principle, to give back from my blessings, and I am very grateful to my friends and families who joined me in this mission. We created a network and connected to other groups of Human Resources professionals trying to provide jobs for families in need – which is a key factor in helping them lead decent lives – and another network that provides them with the needed medication.
At the moment, we are creating a link between Lebanon and the USA that will open doors to students with high potential to complete their studies so they can provide for their families and achieve their goals.
You are the Owner and Founder of Vie Saine, a Life & Wellness Coaching Center that is based in Beirut, Lebanon. Can you tell us about the main practices and the wellness programs that you provide? What change would you like to make in people’s lives through these programs?
The main practice of Vie Saine is to approach a human being from a body-mind-soul perspective. We help our clients and patients to learn about their food intake, their body, and how it reacts to exercise and a shift in behavior. We approach all individuals through a coaching model of self-awareness and help them stay true to themselves and their growth. All the programs are geared toward bettering the individual’s health, body, and mind.
Let’s talk about Mental Health and its impact on societies. In your opinion, have people become more aware of the importance of taking care of their mental health throughout the years? And what has been your role in raising awareness over this matter in particular?
The percentage of people experiencing certain types of mental health disorders has risen significantly over the past decade, and because of that, we are witnessing a global mental health crisis, especially after the pandemic. Personally, as a Ph.D. Holder in Human Behavior and Counseling, I helped my clients manage emotions, challenge negative thinking patterns, improve relationship skills, and reduce stress and anxiety, all of which bolster mental health issues. I also discussed the latter in public through TV and Radio interviews, in addition to some conferences that I organized to highlight this topic more and more.
What has your role been in empowering women in your respective field? And what added value do you believe more women inclusion can bring to the table in all industries?
As a Teacher, a Coach for over 20 years, and a mentor, I have been able to empower my students, and I was truly thrilled to see the majority of them bloom and achieve their goals. I can also proudly state that by being the president of the LCA (Lebanese Coaching Association) at the beginning, I took it at heart to make that very ground-breaking transition for Lebanese coaches, to become part of the ICF (International Coaching Federation), and we were able to make it happen, along with our board members. This has subsequently opened and still is opening windows to connect to a wide network of professional coaches around the world. However, as the majority of ICF members are women, we do aim and hope to have more men joining in.
As for women’s inclusion, what can I say? Even though there is still much more to do, this is a continuous job, a lifetime mission that needs to be passed on from a generation to another. I just shout out to the Business world out there to make its assessments based on competencies and to never be afraid of placing women in managerial and leading positions. I would say: give it a try and watch the magic happen. It is never about being a “Man” or a “Woman”. It is all about being “Passionate” about what you do no matter how simple or complex it is.
How has motherhood impacted your journey in both Coaching and Leadership?
Patience, more patience, add some listening to it, season it with some superhuman multitasking skills and a dash of mindfulness. That is the recipe of motherhood.
Coaching was the tool for all the above and it shaped me as a mother in a very positive way and that, in turn, sheathed my leadership skills. So, coaching is the key.
Can you tell us about your recent appointment as the Global President of Executive-Women? In what ways do you believe this global business platform and its network will complement your many years of expertise?
The beauty & uniqueness of this platform is that it is GLOBAL. It speaks one common language no matter the ethnicity, background, culture, or citizenship. Executive women’s motto is EMBRACING EMPOWERMENT, which resembles my vision in life. I believe that this platform will help me as well as other women to express my deep passions, showcase and develop my expertise, and promote my businesses & services while reaching out to an exquisitely sophisticated audience that shares the same aspirations.
What’s next for Dr. Zeina Ghossoub?
I have a lot of plans, I am working on a platform called ZGworld.com where everyone will have access to my world, everything I do, and all my businesses.
My main focus currently is developing my VSVS coaching school, which offers a physician Performance Coaching Course that is designed to help people in the healthcare industry and outside it to become an Associate Certified Coach (ACC) and whose primary target population are physicians and other allied healthcare professionals.
Recently, I finished my MC degree and I am working as well on writing my 5th book.
To know more about Dr. Zeina Ghossoub, click here.