Shadow Coaching methodology

Human Potential


Decoding AQ with Ross Thornley Feat. Donna Karlin

Show Notes

Donna is CEO, Founder at "No Ceiling, Just Sky™ Institute. She is a Global Speaker, TED Fellows Coach, Author & Organizational Accelerator.

Starting her career as a Coach to Long Term Care Patients & Families of Terminally Ill Cancer Kids in the 80's and 90's.  

Donna is the creator of the Shadow Coaching methodology and has taught it around the world.  

Ross and Donna talk about rare conditions, experimental surgery, dealing with patients, paralysis, coaching, studying, fear, hidden potential, what is possible - not impossible, sacrifice, medical science, adaptability, tough moments, hidden potential, hidden talents, emotions, games,  support, imagination, reframing and improv. The pair also discuss psychology, reflection, different perspectives, future selves, reacting to responding, the exchange, society, change,  profound ideas, changing the world, how people think, helping people shine, connecting with audiences, laughter, visualising, be yourself, unique contributions and AI.


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  • 00:31 Donna's introduction
  • 01:09 Donna's son's surgeon impacting her career
  • 07:11 Donna's early mindset towards experimental surgery
  • 11:41 The timescale of the surgery
  • 16:16 Shadow Coaching methodology
  • 27:28 Self observation
  • 34:20 How the TED environment shaped Donna
  • 39:14 How Donna has evolved
  • 46:11 Advice for approaching things that haven't worked and preparation
  • 50:18 The last time Donna did something for the first time

Full Podcast Transcript