Seattle Times Column: Dreadful Questions

Helping clients identify and prepare for Dreadful Questions is pretty foundational to my coaching practice. It’s pretty simple, but it gets in front of all kinds of confidence issues, career limiting habits, Impostor Syndrome — I could keep going. Having a good story prepared helps you short cut around those issues. I decided to write this column in the first ...

Seattle Times Column: The Back-to-School Dilemma

My lovely editor asked me if I could write a column about a client who decided to go back to school mid-career: The going-back-to-school dilemma. I had lots of stories to choose from, but this client stands out in my mind. She completely transformed her career in about a year. She rewrote her career. So cool. Seattle Times, January 29, ...

Seattle Times Column: The Sidewalk

This column for the Seattle Times is about an experiment I’ve been running on myself after I read an article about manslamming a couple of years ago: How you walk on a sidewalk hints at your executive presence. Very fun to write, although I kept polarizing, made-up words like “manslamming” out of my column.  Seattle Times, January 22, 2018

Seattle Times Column: Old Men

I wish every time I sat down to write was this easy. I treated myself to a beautiful 12 oz. nonfat mocha, opened my laptop in my favorite cafe, and this story just happened. (January 15 column in The Seattle Times: Uncertain of your next step? Talk to your future self) I like this story because it shows how easy ...

Seattle Times Column: The Car Keys

I’ve been meaning to write this story for a couple of years. Appropriate that this story is the topic for my first weekly column for The Seattle Times: Transformation is sometimes about the small things (like car keys). I’m always interested in how small changes can cascade through a client’s personal and professional life. The trick, for the coach (or ...

Credibility

Who am I and how do I have the credibility to coach senior executives in industries I know nothing about? I put that question on a Powerpoint slide in front of a large group at Microsoft. I figured this question was on their minds. I like to get in front of difficult questions. In my coaching, I call them Dreadfuls ...

The Peppermint Mocha

“What’s the peppermint mocha?” I recently asked a beloved client. He was describing workplace conflict and hostility. He looked at me blankly. So I told him a story. “I was at my kid’s Frisbee game,” I explained. “It was cold. Raining. Early.” The coach came over and asked me how I feel about peppermint mochas. I told the coach I ...

Handshakes and First Impressions

(The following is the script I prepared for an on-air interview on the KING5 New Day show. I guessed what questions the host would ask me (in bold) and wrote out — and memorized! — my answers.  Although I appear to be talking extemporaneously and confidently on the video, this script reads like a transcript.) Why is a handshake important? How ...

Don’t Drop the Baby!

Sometimes my coaching clients tell me they need to improve their confidence. I tell them not to drop the baby on TV. My office phone rang recently and I found myself talking to a producer for the KING 5 New Day talk show. He invited me to come on the show as an expert for National Handshake Day. In two ...

Garbage Happiness

I’m going to be that crazy old lady picking up garbage off the street. Middle school these days requires five volunteer hours per year to graduate – which doesn’t sound voluntary but whatever.  My 7th-grade son decided to fulfill the requirement by picking up garbage in the neighborhood. This was bliss for me. I get to go on a dog ...

The Rabbit Hutch

Making that career transition is like finding a rabbit hutch. I was recently talking with my lovely neighbor. She had a friend over, a nice person I’ve met once or twice over the years. As the three of us were talking, I happened to mention the bunny drama unfolding in my backyard: I had just rescued a very small baby ...

The Bikini Mistake

This is a story about a mistake. That wasn’t. But it took a while to figure that out. At business school some 15 years ago, I competed in a business case competition. My idea was a woman’s swimsuit that didn’t reveal your crotch or the particular shape of your ass.  A swimsuit you could wear on a boat, for example, ...

The Terror of Conferences

I admit it. I was filled with dread. I so regretted registering. I could have had a lovely, quiet day at my office. Instead, I was driving to Bellevue, to the Meydenbauer Center, during rush hour, for at least eight hours of keynote talks, training tracks, networking breaks, and other horrors. I’m fiercely introverted. It’s getting fiercer as I get ...

Stepping Stones

(I met with Heather as part of a Seattle Times “Career Makeover” series and wrote the following summary of our conversation for the journalist writing the story.) Heather was feeling dated. She was sitting in my office, a Seattle Times Career Makeover subject, and worrying about the eight-year gap in her resume – a gap filled with raising kids, earning her B.A., ...

My Daring Greatly

An old friend asked me what I thought of Brene Brown’s book Daring Greatly. I stumbled, trying to be insightful, and then gave my copy to someone who needed it. This is what I should have said. Her book has given me a new vocabulary.  It has given me a linguistic shortcut that describes what is happening when I dare ...