Neuroscience of Coaching

Executive coach Sharon Richmond joins Dr. Irena O’Brien to explore the fascinating concept of team flow—a state of peak performance from all members of a team, characterized by effortless work and the activation of alpha waves in the brain. Discover how micromanaging can obstruct team flow and damage workplace dynamics, while fostering a shared goal can create a thriving environment.

In each episode of Neuroscience of Coaching, host Dr. Irena O’Brien explains the science-based insights behind a particular concept and interviews a coach to discuss how these apply in the real world. Just as she does in her professional programs, Irena “un-complicates” neuroscience and teaches practical, evidence-based tools and strategies that listeners can use in their coaching practices. 

“[Executives are often] challenged by that fine line between coaching someone for development on a skill and micromanaging them, getting a little too far into telling them what to do as opposed to helping them think through what to do.”  — Sharon Richmond 

Guest Bio:

For more than 30 years, Sharon Richmond has partnered with C-level executives from mid-size and small, fast-growing companies who want to up-level their leadership and build companies they are proud of. Clients accelerate their leadership by embracing mindset and behavior changes, building self-awareness and self-management skills, and focusing on the three things all leaders must ensure: focus, energy and delivery.

Sharon’s purpose as an executive coach is to help leaders 10X their impact by leveraging the power afforded by their roles to build organizations that are forces for good, both economically and socially. She also advises CEOs on shaping organization culture and leading change.

Sharon has taught leadership at Stanford GSB, where she now helps leaders increase influence, manage conflict, and prepare to build high performing teams.

She’s also the host of the show To Lead Is Human, alongside Neuroscience of Coaching on the Mirasee FM podcast network.

To see a list of Sharon’s clients, please visit

Host Bio:

Dr. Irena O’Brien
teaches coaches and care professionals how to achieve better results for their clients through neuroscience.

She is the founder of Neuroscience School, which helps practitioners understand and apply insights from cutting-edge neuroscience research. She loves seeing her students gain confidence in their ability to evaluate neuroscience findings and use them successfully in their own practices. Her Certificate Program in Neuroscience is certified by the International Coaching Federation (ICF) for Continuing Coaching Education credit.

Dr. O’Brien has studied neuroscience for 25 years and holds a Ph.D. in the field from the Université du Quebec à Montréal (UQAM), where she did brain-imaging studies. She completed her postdoctoral fellowship at the Centre for Language, Mind, and Brain at McGill University.

Resources mentioned in this episode:

Dr. Irena O'Brien’s website: The Neuroscience School
Sharon’s website:
Sharon’s LinkedIn profile:

Team flow is good for employee and customer retention:

Harter, J. K., Schmidt, F. L., Asplund, J. W., Killham, E. A., & Agrawal, S. (2010). Causal Impact of Employee Work Perceptions on the Bottom Line of Organizations. Perspectives on Psychological Science, 5(4), 378-389.


Host: Dr. Irena O’Brien
Producer: Cynthia Lamb
Audio Editor: Marvin del Rosario
Executive Producer: Danny Iny
Music Soundscape: Chad Michael Snavely
Making our hosts sound great: Home Brew Audio

Music credits:

Track Title: Sneaker Smeaker
Artist: Avocado Junkie
Writer: Sander Kalmeijer

Track Title: Coo Coos
Artist: Dresden, The Flamingo
Writer: Matthew Wigton

Track Title: In This Light
Artist: Sounds Like Sander
Writer: Sander Kalmeijer

Special effects credits:

24990513_birds-chirping_by_promission used with permission of the author and under license by AudioJungle/Envato Market.

To catch the great episodes coming up on Neuroscience of Coaching, please follow us on Mirasee FM's YouTube channelor your favorite podcast player. And if you enjoyed the show, please leave us a comment or a starred review. It’s the best way to help us get these ideas to more people.

Episode transcript: Fostering Team Flow (Sharon Richmond).

Creators & Guests

Dr. Irena O’Brien
Cynthia Lamb
Marvin Del Rosario
Sharon Richmond

What is Neuroscience of Coaching?

In each episode, host Dr. Irena O’Brien explains the science-based insights behind a particular concept and interviews a coach to discuss how these apply in the real world. Irena “un-complicates” neuroscience and teaches practical evidence-based tools and strategies that listeners can use in their coaching practices.