Kate Hand Case Study

Kate Hand


Kate received her Tiny Habits Certification in 2018. With over 20 years of experience working with a variety of organizations, she helps her clients solve performance issues with practical solutions through formal and informal coaching. Her Tiny Habits specialty is helping leaders reduce their “mental load” to become more effective in their personal and professional worlds.

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My name is Kate Hand. I'm a leadership development facilitator and coach based in Toronto, and I work with a variety of clients. So, I have, local not-for-profit, academic, and corporate clients in Toronto where I deliver leadership programs. I incorporate a lot of habit content into those programs. So we'll talk about the fog behavior model around the mental load of leaders and how to really break things down into those starter steps.
I also do individual leadership coaching. And so from there it's much more around what the client would like to work on in terms of habits, and so we'll explore what are some habits that would help them write now and whatever they're facing. And then we'll look at either developing a tiny habit or we'll just talk about the approach.

I attended a workshop here in Toronto with a colleague who was facilitating it and had asked me to sit in on it. It was Michael Bungay Stanier, a big known name in Canada. He does talks, he has the book, The Coaching Habit, and he references some of BJ Fogg's work in that book. And so that was the first time that I heard about Tiny Habits and it just, it sparked an idea. I really have always liked to break things down into smaller steps and easier concepts. And so, I think he told the story of, you know, flossing one tooth and I was like, oh, that's interesting, I need to learn more about that. And so, at the time I did sign up for the 5-day program, and I had some success with it. And then it sort of percolated and sat there and probably a year later I came back to it again and I was like, oh yeah, that approach, I was really interested in that.

And so, at that point I looked into the certification program because as I said, I wanted to learn more about the research behind it and more about the methodology because I thought that there was going to be something in it that I could use in my learning design work. And so, then I signed up for the certification program.

So, I went through the certification program in 2018. And at the time BJ and Linda were running the program, and so we went through all of the learning and for me that was fascinating. What led me to Tiny Habits was wanting to understand the methodology in a more deeper sense, and I really was interested in the behavior science aspects of it. And so I loved digging in and learning more about that throughout the certification process. And actually going through the process is what led me to become a professional coach. And so I had not thought about coaching before Tiny Habits. And then after I went through the certification and started running workshops on Tiny Habits, I had people come up to me and ask me if I would do individual coaching with them. And of course I was doing the five day program and helping out with that. And so that's what got my interest into professional coaching, which I then went through and, and got an ICF certification there as well. So, it really led me on a different career path actually.

I was always looking for what are easy things and ways into content around behavior change. So, the subject was very close to my heart, which is why I kind of leapt right into it when I learned about the Tiny Habit Methodology. And then once I started coaching people through the five day program, that's when I started really seeing the difference between my sort of facilitation approach and a true coaching approach and got interested in that. And as I say, I had people asking me to coach them one-on-one, and at that point I felt like I probably needed to learn a little bit more about some coaching models and approaches and get that development opportunity for myself. And, and so that's what led me into the actual certification from a coaching standpoint.

I’ve always been interested in behavior change and learning is change, right? And I've always worked in learning and development and it's very frustrating to be in a workshop and trying to share concepts and approaches and people are interested in them. And, you know, you sort of realize that, well, a one and done approach of just show up for a workshop and talk about some behavior practices and changes away from your workflow, away from your work context is not a very successful approach. So I had become more and more challenged by that understanding and, you know, in my work was being asked to design and deliver programs that I knew were problematic, that probably weren't going to really change. And in learning, we always talk about sustaining the learning, you know, and beyond the workshop, how can you embed the behaviors into day-to-day practices?

So, when I finally learned about Tiny Habits and then learned the methodology behind it, it was a huge light bulb for me. And I was so happy to have that understanding that I could then bring to my learning and development and design, so that I could embed those principles. Where I had a hunch, now I actually had some of the research from BJ Fogg's lab at Stanford. And, you know, some of that methodology that I had now learned about that I could apply into a learning and development space.

I do try to attend at least something once a month. So, whether it's BJ's office hours or dipping in to looking at a recording if I haven't been able to attend a session live. The recordings are really valuable to me just because I often have conflicts. And so, it's great to go back and to be able to pick some topics and listen to those. And I would say that early on when I had just finished the certification, having the community was extremely helpful to me to learn how others were using it in their work and in their businesses, to hear how they were helping clients. Certainly, when Clubhouse first started, I was active in the Tiny Habit rooms with other coaches from the community. And that was a lot of fun to be able to connect and especially during the pandemic, to connect with other coaches and do things online together, that really helped me.

I think the certification program is very practical. It allows you to do a deep dive into the Tiny Habits methodology and it really has a focus on how you can use it in your own business or work. And so, for that, it, I think it's very helpful and valuable in really helping you take that next step in your career. And I certainly benefit from that.

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