University News

Coaching Alumni Profiles: Ralph Plaskett

by Whitney Hopler, Communications Manager

Participating in the Leadership Coaching for Organizational Well-Being (LCOWB) program has helped Plaskett Institute founder Ralph Plaskett discover and fulfill his life’s purpose, he shared. “In part, as a result of this program, I’m fulfilling what I believe my life’s purpose is. I am happier, more fulfilled, at peace and engaged in a community of coaches who all seek to better each other and the clients they serve. I now own my own professional coaching and consultation practice where I focus on topics of personal and organizational transformation, purpose recognition, and transitional periods of life.”

Plaskett, who also hosts the MindCulture Podcast and is the author of Deepening Growth: Powerful Lessons to Cultivate Your Personal Transformation, looked into our coaching program after a friend recommended it. “I was immediately attracted to the description of well-being, positive psychology, etc.,” he recalled. “I’ve always had a passion to help others achieve their greatest ambitions. Helping them gain clarity and get unstuck has always been fulfilling regardless of the subject. When I realized that there was an actual profession with specific skills that draws on positive psychology and its attributes, I finally found what I’d longed to do as a career.”

Plaskett’s time in the coaching cohort was, “a transformative learning experience that brought to light aspects of me that I wasn’t even aware of,” he said. “Not only did I learn the skills necessary to be a fantastic coach, but I also gained a deeper understanding of myself, and what I wanted to commit my life’s work to – human transformation. The way that the cohort is designed certainly facilitated this. Between the small groups, learning labs, safe space, and open, transparent, and supportive faculty and cohort members, it was a perfect recipe for powerful learning that extends beyond information gathering.”

Learning about leadership from a well-being perspective is an important responsibility, said Plaskett. “Through organizations, leaders emerge who are charged with providing direction, setting the tone of the organization (which has a direct effect on its culture), and provide encouragement and motivation to the employees/volunteers of the organization to extend beyond their reach to achieve feats of success on behalf of the organization. This is a huge responsibility that weighs heavily on a leader. … Given this huge responsibility and the history of leadership that focused on the sacrifice of the leader and those who they lead, I saw an immediate attraction to learning more about leadership from a well-being perspective. As a leader in my own right, I knew that there had to be a better way to lead from a more holistic perspective that would be of service to myself and those I lead – to truly treat people as people instead of expendable resources to accomplish an objective.”

Since graduating from the program, Plaskett said, he often uses the key concepts he learned there to be successful both professionally and personally. “Two things come to mind as I reflect on my cohort experience that I use daily since the program,” he shared. “The first is possessing and calling to the forefront a greater sense of awareness. Awareness of my surroundings, of my physical/somatic responses during conversations, awareness of my desires and goals and how they have an effect on my family, and awareness of the things I once took for granted such as the beauty of nature, even a small potted plant. This greater sense of awareness has had a profound effect on how I show up in my relationships, on the job, and certainly for my clients. I am better in all of those areas because I notice things that I had not given much thought before. The second is my well-being and well-being practices. My ‘go-to’ practice that I use multiple times a day and certainly in situations where I am anxious or nervous is deep, controlled breathing. This allows for me to center and not mentally lean too far in a direction that would not benefit in the moment. I’ve also begun practicing a moving meditation, Tai Chi, and I am going to the gym more. All of this was stimulated by the well-being practices that were foundational throughout the program with the understanding that if I am going to hold space for others and make an impact, I have to be strong, mentally, physically, and emotionally.”

Plaskett encourages others to participate in an upcoming coaching cohort. “Take a leap of faith. I can just about guarantee that when you attend this program, it will have a lasting, positive effect on your life, both professionally and personally. It will be more than you expected.”

Connect with Plaskett through his website or by emailing

Apply to join the next cohort here