At age 21, I was shattered to learn that I had only one functioning kidney and needed to undergo an emergency left nephrectomy. This was difficult because I had recently immigrated to Canada from the Caribbean island of Dominica, a lush beautiful island where daily sunshine and showers mingled with the crash of waves on the rocks from almost any point on the island, and a slow laid back atmosphere allowed for a close-knit community. I was now alone in Canada, pursuing an undergraduate degree and again facing health challenges without my social network.
After an eight-hour surgery, and months of recuperating, I developed primary hyperalgesia, where the pain of the incision worsen. For over a decade I suffered intense pain that threatened to cripple me emotionally and mentally. The trips to the pain clinic proved futile and I knew that I had to come up with a way to save myself or I was going to be hard to live with. The pain changed my personality from a happy outgoing person to someone who was irritable and unwell. It took years of wellness mindset mapping before I learned to function without pain killers.
During that struggle, I underwent a massive mindset shift and a keener understanding of how to live life well despite the pain and frequent bouts of illnesses. I started finding ways to improve how well I was in other dimensions of life besides the physical. I learned wellness principles that disciplined my mind and sustained me during difficult bouts of illness.
It was during this time I announced to my husband that I was going to start my consulting practice to teach what I knew as a conflict resolution specialist. I started by offering conflict resolution and mediation, workshops, and education sessions to groups and organizations.
It so happened that a client had a heart attack in my office during a difficult mediation session early in my practice. Thankfully, he survived.
This was a life changing event for me. It propelled me to do deep reflections and led to me creating the Pre-mediation coaching framework, still being taught today. It became my first book, called: The Pre-mediation Concept.
Soon after, I made the decision to further my education and grow my consulting practice to help people transition from difficult conflicts, challenges, and changes to find well-being. I rebranded my business as Interpersonal Wellness Services Inc. and started the journey.
My clients were very encouraging and this gave me encouragement to unveil my signature work, the Wellness Improvement System® (WIS) model. This nine-dimensional model teaches us how to enhance the everyday aspects of our lives to improve our social vibrations and well-being of ourselves and that of those in our network.
As my clients learned how to apply the WIS® model they provided me with valuable feedback on how it was helping them adopt a wellness mindset. This gave me the impetus to create the WIS®Assessment tool and to start teaching the concept to other professionals. They also revealed the innovative ways they were using the model, allowing me to gain so much insight and understanding that WIS was truly universal.
As I fully adopted the WIS® Method into my coaching practice it was illuminating. My clients started having faster and more transformative mindset shifts moving past toxic conflicts to adopt a wellness mindset.
Because I had been teaching at the university and college levels for several years; the teacher in me could not resist teaching what I was learning about this coaching model to others. I was amazed when the professionals in my first coach training class asked me when I was offering the next course. I asked if they could repeat the question.
This led to my creation of the Wellness Competency Mindset Teaching™ and Coach certification program in 2008. Our certification became an Approved International Coach Federation (ICF) program that has since certified coaches and facilitators globally. Many go on to teach and coach the WIS® system.
As I continued my consulting practice with organizations as a respectful workplace officer and anti-harassment specialist, I started adding more of my wellness mindset strategies to the conflicts that I was encountering. As I looked at the state of leadership in our world, it became apparent that the leaders could benefit from the wellness mindset concept to reduce and even prevent most of what was presented as conflicts.
This is when I created the WIS® Relational Leadership (RL) training program, a blend of coaching wellness and leadership strategies. Today, RL is the top requested program from leaders in government, private sector, post-secondary institutions, and not-for-profit. Many have told me that this is the most fulfilling and transformational training they have taken in their career, as it equips them with tools, they can immediately apply to address what’s currently happening at work any day of the week.
In my desire to reach a broader network, I later created the Global Workplace Wellness Summit as a place where organizations, leaders, and employees can learn to employ the universal elements of WIS®. I started working on coach velocity in 2017, as a different project. I am glad that Coach Velocity is now home to the WIS Method coaching.
Today, my team and I support organizations to psychological safety by promoting mental and emotional wellness, by helping them develop strategies to reduce the stress, pain, and hurt from difficult work relationships.
I live with my husband in Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada where the sun is always shining. We have two adult children whom we are very proud of.
I hope you find the atmosphere at Coach Velocity School of Coaching to be a welcoming and supportive environment to reach your own goals. Learn more about Joyce Odidison here