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About Tom

Tom Robinson... encouraging, empathetic, collaborative, probing, accepting, persistent, compassionate, spiritual.

I love coaching: I love the idea of coaching, the concepts behind it, the results it produces, and I love doing it. And, because of my own chronic illness experience, which I'll say more about below, I've found coaching people with chronic illnesses to be especially rewarding.

As I think back, I’ve been coaching or on the path to it most of my adult life. In a recent email a friend told me about the benefit he got from a series of conversations we had more than 30 years ago. He wrote:

“Thanks so much, Tom, for all your help as I struggled through my relationship problems. You showed a rare talent by helping me get down to the real issues, provided some creative potential solutions, and were good at getting me to follow through taking the actions I committed to.”

Much more important to me than my friend’s testimonial is knowing that before we talked he had never even dated, but not too long afterward he met, dated, and, two years later, married his partner for life.

Another phase in my pre-coaching past occurred a few years later, where in some multi-session workshops I attended, the participants were asked to call and support each other in doing the workshop homework.

After observing how much more I accomplished (and how much better I felt) with that kind of support, I sought to develop those kinds of relationships with some of my friends. In the years since I took those workshops I found out about coaching, and realized that what we group members were doing, and what my friends and I were doing, was coaching each other.

Seven years ago, to help me make faster progress with the major relationship, career, and money challenges I was facing, I hired a coach. It was one of the best things I’ve ever done for myself and I made more progress in my relationships, my work, and in achieving my life goals than I had dared hope for.

For one of the biggest challenges in my life, however, I didn’t have the support or benefit of a coach. Fifteen years ago I was diagnosed with Crohn’s disease, a severe chronic inflammation of the digestive tract. For the next three years regaining my health became my most important goal, one in which I became extremely proactive. For example, when I wasn’t able to find a competent gastroenterologist I was comfortable with, I mailed a stamped, self-addressed letter to the 38 of them who were within 25 miles, describing the kind of doctor I was seeking. Only a few doctors responded, but one of those who did was just what I was looking for.

After three years, and a combination of standard and alternative medical treatments, my disease went into remission. And I decided, after 25 years in high tech engineering and management, that I could make a much bigger contribution in life by using my coaching experience and skills to work with and help others who are suffering from and challenged by chronic illnesses. They wouldn’t have to “go it alone” as I had.

I have a BS in Engineering and an MA in Management. Besides my formal education and my lifelong interest in and study of coaching, I am a member of the Central Coast Coaches Association and a charter member of the International Association of Coaches.

When not coaching I enjoy traveling, but always look forward to returning to my new hometown of Santa Barbara, California. There I run on the beach with my dog, Addie, enjoy the theater and movies, sing in my church choir, and look for ways to keep improving my coaching skills so my clients get better and quicker results.

My favorite quote...

“Goal-oriented striving, any experience of mastery, any outside acknowledgment of competence, a well-tuned sense of humor, any experience of joy, and the constant striving toward an inner state of tranquility are the aids that help overcome the displacement and depression of chronic physical illness.”       by JoAnn LeMaistre

I work with people with chronic illnesses to help them rediscover their dreams and live extraordinary lives. I invite you to contact me.

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