“Saybrook is what they say they are—humanistic. As a student, my teachers went the extra mile for me. Today, as a professor, it’s an honor to carry that tradition forward.”
Call it human instinct. Call it an intuitive ability to thrive. Coaching comes naturally to Saybrook professor Dr. Beth Haggett.
In addition to her graduate students at Saybrook, she trains internal coaches for large high-tech companies how to build more meaningful relationships with colleagues and customers. But it’s not always easy—especially on days when she finds herself walking into a room full of IT professionals with an agenda that includes teaching them “how to breathe.”
“It takes courage to not be scared that I might be rejected because they think it’s weird,” admits Dr. Haggett, relaying a story about a training session she was hired to co-teach with a high-profile tech executive. “I started out teaching that self-awareness requires tuning in to our breathing and noticing what’s going on with our body.”
Dr. Haggett’s Internal Coach Training course is a “best practices” in the customer support industry and is licensed by Help Desk Institute, the Consortium for Service Innovation, Novo Nordisk, and Dell Computers. But it broke the corporate mold and made the executive she was co-teaching with very uncomfortable at first.
“He said, ‘Seriously, are we going to do yoga too?’” recalls Dr. Haggett, a licensed clinical social worker who complemented her professional success with a Saybrook Ph.D. in Mind-Body Medicine in 2012. “By break time, everyone was gathered around me wanting to know more, and the co-teacher turned out to be a big fan as well!”
Whether it’s with her clients—who include Dell Computers, Autodesk, and Yahoo—or her students, Dr. Haggett says her mission is to give people the tools they need to thrive and cultivate healthy habits. She tries to lead by example, which starts with making sure she has her own life and family in balance.
“I always try to walk my talk. So if I’m tired, I need to make sure I get those self-care things in,” she explains. “I do want to make a difference on many levels, but I want to do it mindfully.”
In fact, a self-guided imagery experience while at a Saybrook residential conference led her to convince her husband to sell their home and move to a remote area of Utah, where she spends her down time riding her horse, meeting local ranchers, and nurturing her young grandchildren. From there, she runs her business and creates new, humanistic-based curriculum for Saybrook and major corporations—including a project with the Veteran’s Administration in Topeka, Kansas.
Being back at Saybrook as a professor brings her journey full-circle, a way for her to continue to feed her love of learning with a desire to nurture the next generation of humanistic practitioners.
“My own professors at Saybrook set the bar for me,” explains Dr. Haggett, who is also a personal and executive coach, speaker, organizational consultant, and aspiring author. “It’s important to step into that place of trust immediately, from the first class.”
Dr. Haggett says she is grateful to have found her niche in life, and to continue finding ways to incorporate mind-body medicine into her career.
“I felt like an outsider for a long time, but now people respect what I bring, and that’s very rewarding,” she says. “I feel like I’m part of a movement. Saybrook is teaching students what they need to know to help the world. There is so much going on in this growing field that I know together we will have a lasting impact.”