Patrick Goonan is a veteran business professional with more than 25 years of experience in a variety of roles including leadership. He was employed by several Fortune 100 companies including Merck, Xerox and Oracle. He was also served as a Director of Education at PeopleSoft when it was one of the largest and best run training organizations in the world.
As an undergraduate student, Pat attended a Jesuit University and majored in biological research with a minor in philosophy. He also took a variety of theology classes and became keenly interested in comparative religion. This has been a lifelong passion along with meditation, which Patrick began practicing at the age of 16. Shortly after undergraduate school, Pat pursued an advanced science degree because of his interest in research.
In 1988 Pat was chosen to attend the Xerox International Center for Management Development. Since that time, he has held a variety of positions in the biotechnology, pharmaceutical and software industries. During his tenure in Silicon Valley he became increasingly interested in organizational culture and psychology. He also continued reading aboutgeneral psychology, philosophy and the world’s religions and was interested in how the principles of these traditions could be applied in a modern context across cultures.
Pat initially pursued a science education because of his curiosity to understand the world at the deepest possible level. However, despite many years of science education, he realized that many questions can’t be completely understood from within a scientific framework. In fact, this approach often led to more questions and paradoxes. Indeed, matter itself is difficult to comprehend even though it has been a 100 years since the advent of quantum physics!
If you consider some everyday phenomenon such as a thought, love or consciousness, all three of these examples can not be examined directly by the senses or extensions of the senses. Therefore, they are not good objects for scientific inquiry. However, the three phenomena given as examples above are fundamental to understanding ourselves and leading a happy life.
In addition, our two greaestt scientific theories, relativity and quantum mechanics don’t provide a unified and comprehensive explanation of even the outside world. In reality, matter and the outside world are difficult to pin down and other personally important things like meaning, fulfillment and loving connection seem to almost completely elude scientific inquiry. However, few people would disagree that thoughts, love and consciousness are just as real as the earth’s crust.
At this point in his life, Pat looked to epistemology or theories of knowledge to fill in the gaps. This branch of philosophy looks at the different ways one can know something. It includes the scientific method, but also considers other pathways to knowledge that can’t be explained in terms of mathematics or even put into words.
Much earlier in a philosophy of science class, Pat had the insight that science tends to make the error of confusing their models with the reality they are trying to explain. Further, it became clear to him that you can’t untangle human consciousness or the effect of an observer on the outcome of an experiment at the quantum level. In other words, it appeared that one domain of reality can’t be reduced to another. In other words, each required a separate epistemology.
At the same time, Pat was excited by the parallels between diverse disciplines and how a multidisciplinary approach might yield further insights into the nature of reality and the modern predicament of existential angst. During this period, he became more interested in chaos and systems theory as well as the metaphysics of Buddhism and sought a way to bring all of his knowledge together.
As a next step, Pat attended Coaches Training Institute and completed his studies in 2003. The Co-Active Coaching model spawned by Coaches Training Institute is highly respected and widely used in business and personal settings. He chose this specific path because it provided a flexible framework that acknowledges the wisdom of the client and the importance of co-creating a relationship for deep inquiry. It also stressed nonverbal ways of knowing and honoring the clients inner world as much as the outside physical world.
The Co-Active Coaching model was congruent with the practices of loving-kindness that Pat studied in Buddhism while incorporating the best insights from modern psychology. It approached problems from the perspective of curiosity and openness and emphasized cultivating self love. It was also effective when applied in a variety of environments and was adopted by IBM and other well-known companies as a best practice method. In short, it was a good fit for Pat given his previous experience and desire to do deep work with others.
Later, Pat went on to earn a Master of Arts degree in Integral Psychology at John F. Kennedy University. He chose this path because it built on all that came before it and because it studied the human psyche in the broadest possible context. The original meaning of psyche is ‘soul’ and this perspective included not only the latest scientific discoveries, but also the social systems individuals participate in as well as the experiential insights of the world’s wisdom traditions.
Pat’s broad background and diverse experience gives him a unique perspective in terms of generating creating options to resolve complex real world problems within groups and organizations and in working with individuals. He has also experienced the challenges of life, serious illness and several near death experiences. He often says he has had his deepest insights in the back of an ambulance and as a result embodied much of what he learned as opposed to possessing mere academic understanding.
Currently, Patrick is most interested in applying his knowledge to building company cultures that are prepared to meet the demands of the modern business environment while maximizing the personal potential and happiness of each individual. He is also available to assist you in your personal life including helping with career transitions and achieving work/life balance.
In general, Pat takes an open-minded eclectic approach to working with organizations and individuals. As a business professional he is interested in the fastest path to the goal and measurable results that serve the interests of all stakeholders, which means everyone. To this end, he utilizes techniques and methods from classical approaches to cutting edge thinking such as the Integral model. You can read more about his approach under the services and philosophy tabs.