Dr Mark Sirkin

Keynote: Neuro-Narrative Re-Mapping: An Integrated Approach to Coaching Theory and Practice

Dr Mark Sirkin

Historically coaching traces its origins back to the domains of education, training, counseling, and psychotherapy, with even deeper roots in humanism and psychoanalysis. Thanks in part to the past 100 years of scientific psychological research, there are now many mini-domains within psychology upon which a theory of coaching can be based. This presentation will suggest an approach to coaching theory that integrates multiple areas within the science of psychology, with the goal of developing an encompassing approach to coaching in terms of theory and practice. The talk will focus on three domains: neuroscience, motivation, and narrative. In the past 20 years, our knowledge of the brain and nervous system has exploded; the focus on neuroscience provides a firm, scientific basis for coaching. The next level, motivation, may also be comprised of several components. Whether focusing on emotions, and emotional intelligence, a hierarchy of needs, or social motives, this level helps us understand how and why people succeed or fail. Last, but not least, the study of narratives helps us understand how people give their goals and objectives meaning, and how impacting self-narratives is essential to good coaching. As important as each domain is by itself, it is their interaction that helps coaches give substance and meaning to their work, allowing them to innovate and add value in ways based firmly in the science of psychology.


Dr Mark Sirkin graduated Magna Cum Laude with honors from Boston University with majors in Psychology and Philosophy. He received his Master’s degree and Ph.D. in clinical psychology in 1986 from the University of Connecticut. Over the years, he has done post-doctoral training in family therapy and group therapy. In 1990, he began post-doctoral training in Organizational Development and Consulting at the W. A. White Institute. With a background in family therapy and organizational consulting, working with family businesses was a natural next step once he had his post-doctoral certificate.

He has worked for several large consulting firms throughout his career including RHR International, Hay Group (now part of Korn Ferry), and Hildebrandt (now owned by Thomson Reuters). He was also CEO of a human capital consultancy which was eventually sold to BNA, now part of Bloomberg LLP. Currently, he manages his own consultancy, Sirkin Advisors, a management consulting firm specializing in executive development, coaching, and organizational change (www.SirkinAdvisors.com ).

Mark is married with three adult children and he lives with his wife in White Plains, NY. He has written numerous articles and two books, The Secret Life of Corporations: Understanding the True Nature of Business (2004, soon to be republished in a second edition) and Regain Your Balance: At Work, with Family, in Life (2016). He has taught at the graduate level at the University of Rochester, CUNY, NYU, Yeshiva University, and most recently as Associate Professor, Director of the Mental Health Training Program, Chair of the Counseling Department, and Associate Dean of the School of Social and Behavioral Sciences at Mercy College in New York. He is currently the President of the Society of Consulting Psychology, Division 13 of the American Psychological Association.

Email: mark@sirkinadvisors.com

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