Skip to content

Coaching

Abstract blue and red shapes with a yellow sun

I work with high-performing, thoughtful people to help them get clear on what matters most—and then knock it out of the park.

From honing leadership skills to optimizing their calendar, we tackle everything in the way of doing their best work.

Who do you work with?

I offer leadership coaching and support to people who are in leadership roles. Some are running small companies, others are line managers at huge companies, but this usually means someone with at least one layer of direct reports.

It also includes solo entrepreneurs, and individual contributors at senior, staff, or principal levels, as those are also leadership roles with profound influence on the team and company.

Often people come to coaching in crisis or transition, but that is not necessary. Maybe you've hit a plateau, are feeling antsy, are not sure how to get a new skill or change a bad habit, want to get to the next level faster, or just have a sense that something in your work life could be better. 

How does this work?

All coaching engagements are custom-designed to match the sort of support you want, and start with a minimum three-month package. Generally we'll talk for an hour weekly to shift into the coaching mindset and define your biggest, most pressing goal or challenge.

After the initial phase we usually shift to talking every other week, to give you ample time to put session topics into practice. The package includes hand-picked readings, challenges, and next actions between sessions so you get the most out of the time.

Why work a quarter at a time?

A quarter is long enough to make measurable progress on a meaningful goal, but not so long that you get overwhelmed or think you have all the time in the world. I've found it's the best cadence for lasting change.

What is coaching like?

Coaching is not advice, training, or mentorship. It's a combination of reflection, perspective, accountability, and a sounding board, with a firm grounding in the big picture.

After the goal-definition period, people generally come to each session in one of these modes:

  1. Things are muddy and you need clarity. We look at the situation from many different perspectives until things come into focus. Christina says "one of the most valuable things about coaching is getting perspective and clarity outside your day to day."
  2. You know what you want, but getting there is non-trivial. We'll game plan for how to handle an upcoming conversation or emergent challenge. Or we'll define what "done" looks like and make a concrete plan to move forward on even the squishiest of goals. People report a surge of excitement when their goals become tangible. Aliya said "This is great, I really like having a plan! Makes me more excited about doing these goals. It's helpful to have it be so actionable."
  3. You just need space to stop and think. You're probably the only one in your role. Your manager is too busy, or you are the big boss. You can't vent or brainstorm certain things with direct reports. Having a regular time where you can be honest and get your bearings reduces your stress and helps you show up better for your team.

What's your approach?

I'm in your corner. This means I'll cheer for you. I'll recognize your wins and strengths. It also means I'll hold you accountable to doing the hard things that scare you a little. And I'll say the difficult truths out loud that others may be too uncomfortable to tell you.

My approach is woo-free and pragmatic. My background is in physics, psychology, and programming, so I tend to think in systems, experiments, and hypotheses. I use behavioral psychology to be realistic about how brains actually work to help you take action, even on the squishiest of goals. I have a toolkit of different frameworks and lenses to help you get unstuck faster.

Note that this doesn't mean we won't talk about feelings! Many of us, especially those who identify as the logical, rational types, are used to dismissing them. But feelings are your brain trying very hard to tell you useful information. And they guide your behavior whether you listen to them or not.

It's critical to be able to identify feelings, especially for leaders. The truth is, ignoring your feelings makes you erratic, unpredictable, and difficult to work with—hurting your leadership and your team.

What could I do instead of working with a coach?

You could set aside time every week to reflect, set goals, and ask yourself the right questions. Most people try this with good intentions, but find that the time gets pushed aside to support their teams or other "things that come up." Signing up for coaching is like pre-committing time to your own development—it keeps it at the top of your priority list.

"It really helps to know that I can't slack on me. I used to say 'on Monday I'll spend 30 minutes on this' and then something would come up, so I'd push it to Wednesday. And then push it to Friday. And then the following week. And then the tab would be open on my computer for two months. Because it was about ME, not my reports, it didn't ever feel like a priority. Now I take the time and make it happen before each of our meetings." —Ginell

You could read a book. It's a great wonder of our age that for $20 you can get an expert's knowledge on a topic condensed down into something that takes only a few hours to read. There's tons of great info in books. But the info only matters if you apply it. How often have you taken notes from a book, talk, or workshop with the best of intentions—and then they sit on your desk, forgotten, week after week? It's hard to know where to start and very difficult to follow through.

You could ask your manager for support. If you're getting coaching from them, great! The catch is that they are writing your next performance review, so it can be difficult to be honest with them—and honesty is crucial to real change. My clients also report that conversations with managers are framed by your current title (which limits their imagination about your potential) and limited by you both being within the same company. Sometimes getting outside perspective really shakes things loose.

You could talk to peers. This is really helpful for getting camaraderie and advice. It generally doesn't help you better understand what you're thinking, and they're not going to meet with you weekly to help you apply it. Plus if you're the type of person who likes to be helpful, you may find yourself giving more help than you get!

All of these activities are worth doing and provide value. They are all tools to bring to bear on your work and growth.

If they are helping you achieve your goals, keep doing them.

If you are stuck or want to move faster, consider adding a coach to your toolkit.

I'm ready to take the next step. Where do I start?

If we aren't already connected, you can contact me to set up a first call. It's no fee, no pressure, just us talking about your situation and exploring if this style of coaching is the right tool for you.