Impostor Syndrome

Impostor Syndrome is a common theme in my office. There’s no “cure,” but there’s no reason for it to hold you back. Here’s my Seattle Times column: The painfully funny thing about impostor syndrome. The Seattle Times, March 5, 2018 “I’m worried that I’m no good without my team,” a senior director told me. She was transitioning to a new role ...

The Potential Baby

Read all my Seattle Times columns “Are you using birth control?” I asked a beloved coaching client, a junior executive on the East Coast. There was a shocked silence on the other end of the phone line. After a pause, she allowed that she is on the pill. She had two offers on the table: a VP role leading a ...

Managing Your Manager

Read all my Seattle Times columns A beloved coaching client didn’t get promoted. He missed it by one vote. Unfortunately, it was his skip’s (his “skip level” — his boss’s boss) vote. “How do your other clients manage upwards?” he asked me, describing a pattern of cool and unhelpful relationships with his executive management over the course of his career. ...

Pebbles

“I’m stuck” is a pretty typical place to start a coaching session. People hate their jobs and their careers when they feel stuck and trapped. The first step to getting unstuck is to, well, take a step.  This is from my Seattle Times column: When you hate your job, but don’t know what to do next The Seattle Times, February 12, ...

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 person ...

The Back-to-School Dilemma

My lovely editor at The Seattle Times 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 ...

The Sidewalk

This column for the Seattle Times is about an experiment I’ve been running after I read an article about manslamming a couple of years ago: How you walk on a sidewalk hints at your executive presence. January 22, 2018, The Seattle Times My coaching clients sometimes want to talk about increasing their executive presence. “How do you walk down the sidewalk?” I ask. ...

Talking to Old Men

This is my 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 a useful question can be. A friend, spouse, sibling, parent, or passing skier can ask: “Best case and with a little luck, you’ll be an old man/woman someday. What does he/she want ...

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 ...