What if education taught you how to design and live life?
How to know yourself?
How to talk to friends, family and loved ones?
How to take risks and end bad habits?
What if education helped you feel proud of your life everyday?
We think it’s time.
The Handel Group Education Division is on a mission to enhance traditional models of education by offering instruction on how to live life powerfully and effectively. We believe education should teach people how to deal with the important areas of life, including relationships, time management, or simply; how to be happy. We believe it is extremely valuable to allow students to learn these crucial life skills in an academic setting, where they are already hard at work learning and creating their futures.
Our revolutionary work deals with universal personal issues and gives students the opportunity to "design their lives", rather than just "letting life happen" to them. With a focus on developing Personal Integrity®, honesty and communication, our methodology allows people to create and lead lives of which they can be proud.
The Handel Group
The Handel Group is a renowned international corporate consulting and private coaching company, founded by coaching pioneers Lauren Zander and Beth Weissenberger. We specialize in helping clients take focused and powerful action in every area of life and accomplish this through our Private Coaching, Corporate Organizational Consulting and Education Divisions.
Looking to follow through on her ambitious goal to improve the academic model by offering instruction on universal life skills, in 2006, Lauren Zander created a course called Living an Extraordinary Life (now called Designing Your Life). Based on a methodology she had developed over the previous decade, the course was described as providing "an exciting, eye-opening, and thoroughly useful inquiry into what it takes to live an extraordinary life" and was offered during the IAP, or Independent Activities Period, at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. During the 2006-2007 academic year, Lauren led more than sixty students through a bold exploration of their own lives. Participants included under-graduates, graduate students, post-docs, alumni and MIT staff. In feedback about the course, many students described it as one of the most valuable courses they had ever taken.
To understand the impact of the Designing Your Life at MIT on participants the Handel Group commissioned program evaluator, Dr. Donna Baptiste, to summarize participants' experiences in DYL and their perspectives on the extent to which the course actually helps them to make meaningful self- improvements. Nearly all participants seemed enthusiastic about the course and nearly all said that they would recommend it to others. Some participants noted that Designing Your Life might be especially helpful for new undergraduates at MIT to help them to develop a template for making academic as well as personal improvements. The majority of participants also wanted to interact with Designing Your Life materials and systems (e.g., instructors) in the future. Read the full independent evaluation.
Past And Current Courses
In January 2011, Designing Your Life began its sixth year with over 50 students registered for the IAP course. HG Education Division President, Gabriella Jordan, who collaborated with Lauren in developing the course, now leads the class. Similar courses have also been offered to the Sloan Fellows at the MIT Sloan School of Management, Residents of the Edgerton House at MIT, Middlebury College, Scripps Research Institute, Fordham Business School, Rutgers Business School in a course called Love and Money, and New York University.
In the fall of 2009, The Handel Group teamed up with neuro-scientist Professor Wendy Suzuki to teach a program at New York University entitled Empowering Women in Science. This program supports nascent scientists in designing their careers and lives. We integrated the principles of Designing Your Life with exposure to women scientists across a variety of fields, giving students an expanded sense of personal and professional opportunities in the vast world of science. The success of this course was followed by three other Empowering Women in Science programs at NYU, including one for graduate students and post docs and one for science faculty members.
Drawing on our experience coaching women scientists in Designing Your Life, the Handel Group is also leading a new series called Empowering Young Scientists at Stanford University. In addition, the Handel Group has led Empowering Women in Science workshops at Wesleyan University and at the University of Arizona in a workshop called Developing the Leader Within (for women science faculty).
The Handel Group has also offered elective sessions in the Stanford's Graduate School of Business' (GSB) Executive Program for Social Entrepreneurs and the Executive Program for Non Profit Leaders exposing the social sector executives to the principles of integrity and life design. Gabriella has been a guest speaker in the school's MBA elective Women in Entrepreneurship taught by Professor Deborah Gruenfeld. Building on these collaborations, Gabriella worked closely with Lauren and Professor Jim Phills to develop and teach an innovative new MBA course Leading Your Life, integrating the Handel Method® with principles of strategic leadership. Watch the Living an Extraordinary Life video to hear more of what students and professors say about this course and its value in their lives.
In addition to universities, we’ve recently expanded our programming to include younger students – the teen and tween set – ages 9 through 18. We’ve led workshops in the Redding Connecticut public school system (for 7th graders) and at Public School 6 in Manhattan (for 2nd, 3rd and 5th graders). We offer one-on-one life coaching services for teens and tweens outside of school and around the country. We also offer weekend workshops called the Tween and Teen Design Your Life Weekend. Looking forward, we will be bringing our programming to schools and community centers nationwide, as well as introducing content on the Internet.
In 2011, the Handel Group began a pilot program in secondary education, bringing the Handel Method®’s leadership principles to the principals of Palm Beach County, Florida. In addition, the Handel Group has begun to lead programs at Columbia University as well.
For inquiries about our programs for educational institutions please contact: Gabriella Jordan, 917-670-8782
For inquiries about our teen/tween programming, please contact: Will Craig, 646-250-6549