Category Archives: Career coaching

The Old Man on the Bus

A favorite coaching client got blown off by his CEO. As the afternoon got later and later, my client watched the clock and seethed. He felt disrespected and unimportant. He was too busy being angry and anxious to get much else done that afternoon. “I tend to do that,” he told me. “I focus on the negative outcomes and it ...

A Room of My Own

Years ago, in one of my first coaching classes, a beloved Master Coach asked me to describe my future office where I would do meaningful work. I could see it clearly in my mind’s eye: an open window letting in a warm breeze, a green view of trees and grass, a hint of blue sea in the distance. This week, ...

The Leap

“I took a leap of faith this morning,” a favorite coaching client told me. I held my breath. “I took it,” he said. I started dancing around the living room. I’ve been working with this client for the past three months on a career transition. He’d been in corporate marketing for most of his career and wanted to move into ...

AND

A coaching client is moving to Myanmar. (Which is not what usually happens with my clients.) This client is an adventurer. If he’d been born in the 19th century, he’d have set off with Shackleton. If he’d been born in the 24th century, he’d be off colonizing new planets. Since he was born in the 20th century, he’s moving to the other ...

Wild Girl

“I’m tired of being good at camp,” my 7-year-old daughter said. That got my undivided attention. “What do you mean?” I asked her. We were driving to the kids’ first day of wilderness camp, one of a string of camps this summer. “I always stay by the counselor, do what they say,” she mumbled, looking out the window. “What if you ...

Networking Primer

I don’t know what they teach kids in college these days, but it sure isn’t the basic professional survival skill of networking. The Seattle Times selected Trevor, an out-of-work Millennial, as a “career makeover” candidate for a feature in the NWJobs section of the Sunday paper. And the Seattle Times selected me as a “networking expert” to coach him on ...

Foop Foop, Part 1

A favorite coaching client is playing small. She’s a top performer, professionally driven, highly capable – “But anybody could do what I do,” she says. This is a manager who gets top performance reviews, has a staff that would follow her anywhere, is widely respected and admired and liked – and who wants to play big. “What does that mean ...

Group Coaching

I offer group coaching to explore the question: How do you want your life to evolve by the end of December 2013? The content of the group coaching model follows my Heart’s Desires curriculum: We explore the pieces of your life that you want to pay attention to. You have changes you want to make, experiences you want to add, energy drains ...

The Art of Bragging

I like it when my coaching clients brag. In fact, I make them. As an athlete, I figure anything that tough has to be good for you. I recently asked a favorite client to brag. He squirmed in his chair. “Well, I think I’m okay at…” I jumped down his throat, the poor man. “That’s bragging?” I cried. “Try harder!” ...

Interview Hypocrite

I was coaching a client recently on prepping for an interview.  I asked him to practice his personal narrative, to answer the question, “So tell me about yourself and why you’re interested in this position.” I drifted for a moment as I listened to his answer. I recently interviewed for an executive coaching gig. And I paused and stumbled over ...

Do Not Disterb

On the first day of soccer practice, one of my little charges stubbornly sat on the sideline and wrote across her white Tshirt, with my sharpie: Do Not Disterb She’s seven years old, and I don’t mess with seven year olds who write Do Not Disterb across their fronts. I let her be. I’ve been thinking about the parallels between ...

Coach Sauron

I was describing my coaching practice at a party recently. “So you help your clients achieve work/life balance?” one of the guests asked. I was surprised at my vehemence. “No! Work/life balance is a myth, a set up for failure,” I said. “I help my clients focus on what’s important to them.” In a complex life of competing priorities, there ...

The Meeting

A favorite coaching client sat down and began talking about a meeting he was scheduled for later that afternoon. “It’s all executives at that meeting,” he said. “I guess they just need me there to actually do the work.” I went all coach-y on him. “Is there anyone else with your expertise in [xyz] at the meeting?” I asked. “No.” ...

Are You Ready Yet?

I have a favorite coaching client who talks me up to a friend of hers. My client thinks I could help him make some positive changes in his life. “I’m not ready yet,” her friend says. “Not yet.” I know I could help – I’m itching to help. But how do I help him, and others like him, over the ...

How Clients Graduate

A favorite coaching client “graduated” this month: she achieved the goals we set at the beginning of the coaching engagement. Her primary goal was to leave a job she hated. In a couple of weeks, she starts in a new role that she had said was “impossible” (and I quote) when we started five months ago. Along the way to ...