Since 1977, I have been leading seminars, teleseminars, and other types of presentations on topics that relate to dialogue and change. Some of the presentations and programs I have delivered relate to cultural adjustment, communication in different settings, collaboration and team-building skills in different types of organizations, and family education. I use a conversational and coaching style and help those present to turn theory into new and often surprising possibilities.
I believe that learning and change are a lifelong cooperative process and encourage clients, students, and professionals to be inquisitive, to be creative, to be authentic and open to possibilities for newness in others, in organizations and in themselves. I have been a speaker for many national and international events and have consulted with different types of organizations.
Businesses and Organizations
I bring my expertise in organizational behavior, collaboration and language systems to help leaders in business and other organizational settings be better prepared for the demands of the 21st century. I help leaders develop a high level of trust that is based on skillful leadership, clear goals, realistic assessment of effective and ineffective processes, effective communication through dialogue, practical change systems, clear values, and good problem solving skills. I enable leaders to find effective ways to lead change efforts and to empower people and teams to sustain change.
I focus on developing people's capacity to communicate well, interact collaboratively instead of aggressively, and be able to develop common goals and plans that take into consideration different viewpoints in a way that is respectful and effective, where the flow of creative thinking is facilitated and where nobody feels a loser, but all gain some benefit. I use a very practical "hands-on" training style customized to the particular organization with which I'm working. Practice is achieved through real life situations, case enactments, coaching, videotaping (when available), and peer interaction.
Coaching, Consulting and Support
I have served as consultant to small businesses, universities, administrators, health clinics and hospitals, and non-profit organizations, regarding team building, change, culture, communication, and conflict resolution. I have also conducted trainings and workshops for different types of organizations regarding organizational behavior, change processes, and cultural adjustment.
I have coaching programs for leaders of change, as well as for organizations and teams in transition due to mergers or expansions. I also provide especial programs for trainers regarding best educational practices for adult education, support for cultural adjustment, and ethical issues. I provide continuing education classes for mental health and other professionals on similar issues.
The word coach comes from the french “coche” and originally referred to a “horse-drawn carriage, usually closed.” Collaboration comes from the latin “collaborare” and means to work together. Hence, the basic meaning of collaborative coaching could be seen as coach and client working together to go from where a person is to where he or she wants to be. It is a shared process to envision what they can become and to chart a course to reach their established objectives.
In my Doctoral Dissertation, I define collaborative coaching in the following way: “Coaching is a relationship in which the coach and the client become dialogical partners in a systematic process of mutual inquiry, discovery, learning, and interpretation that fosters the emergence of new meanings, new learning, new possibilities, and personal growth for the client.” (Gonzalez, 2004, p. 21)
My framework for collaborative coaching is grounded in the human potential movement, and theories of adult development, systems, dialogue, collaborative coaching, transformative learning, leadership development, organizational behavior, and change theories (Anderson, 1997; Barrentine, 1993; Bartunek, 1993; Bateson, 1972; Freire, 1970; Hargrove, 2000; Ismel, 2000; Kotter, 1996, 2002; Mezirow, 1997; Mezirow, 2000; Whitworth et al., 1998 among others). As a result, in my collaborative approach to coaching I walk alongside my clients facilitating reflection, meaning making, and dialogue in a process that recognizes and encourages client’s talents, creativity, and success both in their personal and professional life.
I work with trainers, HR professionals, business and educational leaders, administrators, non-profit and religious leaders, lawyers, mental health practitioners, coaches, and other professional leaders of change. I help them achieve astonishing results and create unique pathways to effective and lasting change. They also become more successful in their personal and professional lives, eliminate burnout, and learning to balance their energy.
I organized, initiated and for 11 years directed the services of the Counseling and Guidance Center at Montemorelos University, in Mexico. The center was opened in 1988 with few services. New programs and services were added over the years. Some of the programs I created and supervised were:
How to Study,
I worked there with individuals, couples, family and group counseling and therapy with students, employees and people from the community. I also trained and supervised peer counseling programs in the dormitories with the participation of seniors in the Psychology program and supervised counselors in training.Individual, Marital and Family Therapy
I’m licensed in Texas (License # 5143 -inactive at the moment) and Delaware (License # FT0000013), as a Marriage and Family Therapist. I'm also a Clinical Fellow of the American Association of Marriage and Family Therapists. I have been trained in systems thinking, Communication Language Systems, Cognitive-Behavioral therapies, Brief therapies, Narrative therapies, Trauma, and Collaboration. I have also worked with abuse issues. I have experience working with military couples and families.
For more than 25 years I have worked with adolescents, youth, adults, couples and families from a collaborative language systems framework which enables me to adapt my interventions to the needs of my clients. I always see possibilities and inspire hope at the same time that people feel empowered to see issues in a more positive framework that enables them to change and grow.
From 1978 to the present I have taught both at the Undergraduate and Graduate level in the areas of Business, Psychology, Family Life and Music. Some of the classes I have taught at the University level are: Organizational Development; Creativity, Critical Thinking, and Change; Organizational Behavior; General Psychology; Life Span Development; Adult Development; Psychology of Women; Child Development; Adolescent Development; Family Counseling; Educational Psychology; Psychology of the Exceptional Child; The Professional Demands of Teaching; Family Resource Management; Family Counseling; Seminar on Marriage and Family Problems; Parenting Education; Family Dynamics; Marriage and the Family; Psychology of Character Development; and Interpersonal Relationships.
I offer programs, seminars and training for special interest groups. They include subjects such as Communication, How to Have Better Interpersonal Relations, How to Control Negative Emotions, Problem Solving, Conflict Resolution, Stress reduction, Time Management, Goal Setting, How to Live a Balanced Life, Spirituality and Resilience, Friendship, Courtship, Preparation for Marriage, Marriage, Parenthood, Personality Development, Character Development, How to Study, Divorce Prevention, and others. You can see a more comprehensive list of available Seminars under that tab.
Family Life Education LeadershipThroughout the years I have made many contributions to family life education through programs, writings, training, research and presentations. I have a strong conviction that prevention programs are the best form of education. This is probably one of the areas that I enjoy the most.
Training for Family Life Educators and Mental Health Professionals.
Since 1980, I have been holding training seminars for family educators and mental health professionals. I have given training for Marriage Enrichment (weekends and other modalities), premarital education, Parenting, Character Development, Communication and Conflict Resolution, culture and ethical issues, and education on courtship and marriage for youth. The training has a special emphasis on how to integrate ethical principles in the postmodern world. I have presented training seminars in many countries and states including Colombia, Venezuela, Panama, Costa Rica, Mexico, Trinidad, Puerto Rico, Cuba, Dominican Republic, Brazil, Argentina, Peru, and, in the United States, in California, Texas, New Jersey, New York, Florida, Massachusetts, Illinois, Indiana, Michigan and others.
For mental health professionals and family educators I presently provide specialized trainings, workshops, and programs on ethical issues in the context of culture, the impact of culture of origin, migration, and acculturation on family dynamics, and collaborative change processes. I also offer a variety of continuing education tele-classes and independent study courses for busy professionals.