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Life coach Tom Scally takes clients on a ‘bridge’ to a better tomorrow

Tom Scally. Photo by Phil Hall

Visitors to Tom Scally’s LinkedIn page might be intrigued by the introductory comment in his profile: “You have 2 choices for growth: trial and error or training and coaching.” Scally, the creator of the Wilton-based life coaching consultancy The Bridge, tried the trial-and-error approach and discovered it didn’t work.

“I know also that prior to being my own mentor, I gave everything a go for 30 or 45 days and would then fall back to the old ways of doing things,” he recalled. “In 2010, I was working for a company in Wilton and I was asked to go to a three-day seminar on energy anatomy. At that time I was burned out on seminars. I went to every Tony Robbins seminar, read every self-help book and I didn’t really want to go to this. But I had just started working and I was like, ‘OK, I’ll go.’ ”

The seminar in question was conducted by Del Pe, a motivational speaker and author. Scally was intrigued by Pe’s distinctive mix of “Eastern philosophy incorporated with Western practicality,” and he also recognized why his previous attempts at self-help resulted in trial and error instead of trial and success.

“I had worked at GE in sales and I was trying to find new ways to motivate myself,” Scally continued. “I realized that we needed more of a systematic approach to build sustainable results.”

Scally initially applied Pe’s principles within the company that sent him to that serendipitous seminar, and the results were promising enough that in 2016 he launched his own life coaching firm, The Bridge, to bring this approach to corporate and individual audiences. Scally has discovered many people who are eager for the proverbial bigger and better, but clueless on how to bring it about.

“A lot of people want to initiate a change, but they have no idea where they are starting from,” he said. “They are truly in the dugout or at home plate — they think they’re standing on second or third base. If you don’t have 20-20 vision on where you are starting from, then you are just going back to that old way of doing and thinking.”

One curious thing he discovered was that some people who talked about wanting change were sending contradictory signals on whether they genuinely wanted it.

“They are kind of happy with the status quo and think it is good enough where they are,” he observed. “For them, things are OK — it’s good, but not great. But there is so much more for them to bust through that plateau.”

Scally insisted that for his approach to work, his subjects need to engage in an introspective dialogue. “There is nothing better than self-discovery,” he continued. “And you have to be open to new terminologies, new concepts and a new way of looking at things. Sometimes, willpower just isn’t enough.”

Scally’s clients range from professionals in their mid-20s to newly retired seniors trying to navigate their post-career lives. Some clients require multiple sessions of coaching, but Scally recalled one client who achieved results in record speed.

“I’ve worked with someone for only an hour,” he said. “He was working for a marketing company and got promoted and he was surrounded by his peers and the owners of the business. Everybody was scrambling to be heard and to be right — it was a big battle of the egos and there was also a lot of telling their bosses what they wanted to hear. We just did one exercise — he called me back and said it took the pressure off him.”

Scally also emphasized that a failure to address professional problems could create new mishaps in one’s personal world.

“That stuff leaks into your home life,” he stated. “You need a balance. You can’t look at your life in separate compartments. If you look at it as a whole, you don’t go back to repairing an area of your life. The employers today have to recognize that — in this instance, this was getting to this particular gentleman. It was affecting his home life. He was complaining all of the time with a victim mind-set.”

The Bridge focuses on a client base in Connecticut, New York and New Jersey. Scally admitted he was eager to take his work to a wider audience that can absorb his insight on transitioning to a better tomorrow.

“I do a training of 3.5 hours plus a 90-minute follow-up (and) the cost is $600 per employee with a maximum of 10 employees,” Scally said.

For his one-on-one training, pricing varies per the individual’s need.

“If they shine the light on themselves instead of their environment, they’d recognize there are some things they can do to improve their lives,” he said of his potential audience. “No matter how difficult your life seems at the moment, it gets better by improving yourself. You don’t have to jump into the deep end to make a change — make some adjustments. Small, subtle adjustments turn out to be big ones over time.”

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