Webinar: Fallback in Coaching

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WEBINAR overview
To remain a clear, non-judgemental mirror for our clients is often our biggest challenge as coaches. This webinar explores the phenomenon of fallback in coaching, what triggers it in us and how to access the wisdom within when coaching gets tough. Enroll to watch the webinar recording.
  • Facilitators: Dr. Valerie Livesay, Dr. Alis Anagnostakis

What will we learn

Fallback is a phenomenon with a big impact in adult development. It describes the moments individuals unintentionally regress towards less mature ways of making sense and being.

Without an awareness of fallback, it is easy for coaches to be triggered by challenging client behaviours and become less able to hold a non-judgemental space in the service of the client. In this webinar, leading expert on Fallback, Dr. Valerie Livesay, together with veteran coach and coach trainer, Dr. Alis Anagnostakis, join forces to illuminate the phenomenon of fallback in coaching and offer coaches a map to spot and turn their fallback moments into precious developmental opportunities, in the service of themselves and their clients.

What is fallback and what triggers it?

We explore the mechanisms and triggers of fallback

Fallback - key to coaching

Why is an understanding of fallback a key skill for coaches? How to spot your own fallback characters in coaching. How to turn fallback moments into developmental lessons.

Applications into coaching

How to use the understanding of your own fallback as a coach to enhance the impact you can create for clients.
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Other courses and webinars

If you are keen to explore further, below is our catalogue of courses in English. For courses in other languages, click 'categories'.


Dr. Valerie Livesay

Adult development researcher, Founder Ghost Light Leadership

For more than a decade, Valerie has been thinking about and inquiring into what I believe to be one of the most intriguing phenomena in vertical development: Fallback. Fallback happens when we unintentionally revert to a smaller, less complex, less capable form of mind. It describes all those moments when, despite our best intentions, we show up at our worst, despite the maturity we know we are capable of under the best conditions.

Following a career in higher education in both administration and faculty roles, Valerie’s present endeavors seek to extend the concepts and experiences that she studies, teaches, and writes about outside of the halls of academia, to the lives of all people trying to navigate the tricky business of showing up in alignment with their intentions in the many contexts of their world.
As Chief Illuminator at Ghost Light Leadership, Valerie accompanies individuals through their discovery of self using the analogy of theater to set the stage for their historical and unfolding story. She serves as documentarian, bringing to light the lesser known, lesser loved, and occasionally forgotten roles and scenes that make up one’s full ensemble and storyline. Through her writing, speaking, coaching, and workshop offerings, Valerie invites the many characters that comprise the full ensemble of one’s self to dance together in order to better meet their intentions. We will chat quite a bit about the characters making up our complex identities and you will have the opportunity to explore some of your own.
Valerie is the author of Leaving the Ghost Light Burning: Illuminating Fallback in Embrace of the Fullness of You in which she reveals both the despair and ecstasy that accompany a knowing of the fullness of one’s self through the stories of four individuals and their experiences of fallback. This longitudinal study (which was actually never intended to be a longitudinal study) allows the reader to find the fullness of themselves in the journey of development and the experience of being human.
Valerie earned her bachelor’s degree from Indiana University. She holds a master’s degree in Nonprofit Leadership and Management and a Ph.D. in Leadership Studies from the University of San Diego. Valerie lives in San Diego, California with her two cats, husband, and two children, with the latter three serving simultaneously as the most frequent protagonists of and audience to her experiences of fallback and the greatest source of her desire to do better.

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Dr. Alis Anagnostakis

Alis is the founder of the Vertical Development Institute and a Research Fellow at the University of the Sunshine Coast. She is a leadership development facilitator, executive coach, and researcher with over 15 years of experience working with senior leaders and top teams across multiple industries, sectors and countries. 

She has dedicated her professional pursuits to supporting the development of leaders towards later stages of vertical development. Such mature leaders have been shown to thrive in midst of disruption, operate with more wisdom, build adaptive cultures and better balance the inherent polarities of profit, people, and sustainability within their businesses and beyond. 

Alis is certified by the International Coaching Federation at the PCC level, with over 3500 hours of coaching practice. She has trained leaders as professional coaches for over 7 years, with over 250 alumni graduating from her ICF accredited programs. These leaders went on to create communities of practice inside their own organisations and beyond, bridging across industries and sectors and creating ripple effects of positive change.

Alis has a Master's degree in Positive Leadership and Strategy from IE University Spain and a PhD from USC Australia, where she studied leaders’ transformation and the developmental impact of leadership programs in one of the most prestigious executive programs in Australia and NZ. 

As a researcher-practitioner, her main interest is in studying leaders at later (post-conventional) stages of development, given the global need for mental complexity at the highest levels of leadership and the dearth of existing research focusing on these mature (and still relatively rare) stages of adult development. 

Alis’ highest hope is to continue to walk the fine line between rigorous research and the practice of leadership development. She aspires to creatively cross-pollinate between these two spheres of knowledge and help bring vertical development into the mainstream of organisational learning.