Gateways to Conversation

In this episode of Stepping In, Adam Klein speaks with Professional Coaching Course graduate Kelly McGannon, who works in Washington, D.C., coaching and teaching mindfulness to US government leaders.

In this episode, she talks with Adam about how today’s political and cultural climate offers opportunities to have new conversations with each other and ourselves.

Here are some of the topics covered in the Stepping In podcast episode Gateways to Real Conversation:

  • Learn how political and cultural events offer opportunities for deepening conversations with neighbors, coworkers, and oneself.
  • Discover how self-awareness and grounding techniques acknowledge and manage emotions like fear, anxiety, and hope.
  • How courageous conversations require openness and curiosity rather than judgment or emotional reactivity.
  • The lost art of genuine conversation is being reclaimed, starting with introspection and self-awareness.
  • Developing mindfulness practices, like loving-kindness meditation, fosters softening and deeper connections in individuals.
  • Using practices of self-reflection and mindfulness supports navigating divisive social media and engaging in meaningful conversations.
  • Creating internal dialogue involves paying attention to bodily sensations and questioning internal narratives.
  • Being vulnerable and authentic in conversations can foster genuine connection and understanding.
  • How to trust bodily sensations as cues to enable deeper engagement and connection with others.


By deepening interactions with neighbors, coworkers, and themselves and using current events as catalysts for meaningful dialogue, we can aspire to reduce polarization and fear in political discussions, focusing on grounding ourselves and serving the public.

Resources mentioned in this episode:
The Fisher King: Figure from Arthurian legend associated with a wounded king whose lands have become barren. The king symbolizes a kingdom in decline until the king is healed.

On Being: A podcast with Krista Tippett featuring wide-ranging conversations with guests.

About Kelly McGannon
Kelly McGannon is a sought-after executive leadership coach with deep expertise in strategy, culture change, self-awareness, and energy management. Her clients include change agents worldwide at work on some of today’s most challenging problems. When not working with individuals, Kelly teaches workshops on stress management, mindfulness/meditation, critical thinking, and strategy.

About Adam Klein
Adam is dedicated to creating a more just, sustainable, creative, and loving world. Before joining New Ventures West, he helped create a first-in-class business solution to combat global slavery and relaunch a San Francisco Bay Area center for integral spiritual formation.

Adam has a Master’s degree in Engineering from Santa Clara University. Some time ago he entered the world of Ironman triathlons and ultra-running as a means to further understand the importance of the body and the deep, integral nature of being human.

Adam focuses on integrating NVW’s purpose and bringing it to fruition. He oversees strategy, tech, and the flow of various internal work streams, as well as supporting graduates and ensuring ICF compliance.

He regularly leads the Professional Coaching Course, hosts our orientation events in San Francisco, is the creator and host of the NVW podcast Stepping In, and has his own business coaching leaders and individuals.

About the Stepping In
Stepping In is a podcast of bold inquiry into life’s biggest challenges with one of the world’s oldest and most distinguished coaching schools, New Ventures West.

In a spirit of curiosity, compassion, and honesty, we delve into how Integral Coaching can address some of the most pressing issues we face as individuals, communities, and stewards of our planet.

In the Stepping In Podcast, we explore what it takes to develop the sensitivity and capacity required to live and thrive in an increasingly complex world.

About New Ventures West
From its humble beginnings to one of the top accredited coaching schools in the world, New Ventures West pioneered one of the deepest, most transformative forms of human development available for coaches, leaders, and anyone looking to bring people alive in possibility.

Further Exploration
New Ventures West:
Getting Started with Integral Coaching:…
Free and paid Integral Coaching events:

00:00 Introduction and emotional awareness management
02:39 Openness and curiosity
04:21 Reclaiming genuine conversations
05:32 Reduced polarization
09:32 Softening and connection
11:24 Humanizing interactions
13:36 Self-reflection and curiosity
17:12 Conscious consumption
17:12 Community building
20:37 Self-reflection and curiosity.

Walk on the Wild Side by Lou Reed used with permission
License 1504673862 Date 4/30/24
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