Category Archives: Professional coaching

Decision Fatigue

Read all of my Seattle Times columns. “I need to work on work/life balance,” said a coaching client, stretched thin between a big job and family commitments. “I am so overwhelmed.” “How many decisions do you make every day?” I asked her. She looked at me blankly, unable to begin to quantify an answer. “What if we strategize about how ...

Prepping for Cocktail Parties

Read all of my Seattle Times columns. Having a good story changes everything. I’ve been working with a lovely coaching client for a couple of months. She’s a senior professional working on a job search and, ancillarily, on confidence and presence. She’s been through the wringer this year, both personally and professionally, and was a little shaky when she first ...

Money and Ambition

Read all of my Seattle Times columns. “How ambitious are you?” I asked. That’s one of my favorite coaching topics. Talking about a client’s ambition exposes a potential Catch-22 of social expectation and censure. On the one hand, it can seem somehow unseemly (for women, particularly) to be ambitious. At the same time, there is all kinds of pressure to ...

Double Black Diamond

Read all of my Seattle Times columns. I often tell my coaching clients to stop thinking. “Thinking is all bad,” I say. “You’ll just think about why it won’t work.” This comes up with clients working on a career transition. Clients who are dreaming about doing something new. Maybe something risky. I often tell these clients a ski story that ...

The Salary Negotiation Game

Read all of my Seattle Times columns. In my coaching practice, I see experienced, seasoned professionals fall apart when they negotiate their salary. It’s like they’re afraid of losing a game of poker. I try to make the negotiations less about playing a cutthroat game, and more about developing a business case. “Ack! I have a phone screen,” a new ...

Managing the Micromanager

Read all of my Seattle Times columns. “My CEO is micromanaging me,” a beloved client told me. She’s a vice president at a local start up. “He’s constantly in my business. I’ll wake up in the morning with half a dozen emails from him.” “What are you doing about it?” I asked her. “I tell him that he has to ...

Spiderwoman

Read all of my Seattle Times columns. Sometimes I feel like Spiderwoman when I walk in the city. Leaving work one afternoon, I saw a woman catch a heel on a curb and sprawl down the sidewalk. Spiderwoman ran to her, helped her up, brushed her off, picked up her cracked phone. We shared a shaky laugh. Spiderwoman didn’t want ...

There’s Always a Way

Read all of my Seattle Times columns. Our general contractor took my breath away. And not just because he’s adorable. We were trying to figure out how to fit a window seat under the eaves without removing too much of my house’s framing and upsetting the structural engineer and city inspectors. “There’s always a way,” he said. “Wait, what did ...

Memory Palacing

Read all of my Seattle Times columns. “How’s the ‘First Dreadful’ coming along?” I asked a beloved career-coaching client. He squirmed uncomfortably. The First Dreadful is one of five networking questions I work on with clients who are trying to make a career transition. The Dreadfuls are the questions you are, well, dreading: the basic questions you know you’re going to stumble ...

Networking in Middle School

Read all of my Seattle Times columns. “Try not to get shot at school today,” I tell my kids every morning as they get on the school bus. “We’ll try, Mom,” they say. They don’t roll their eyes. We’re whistling past the graveyard. That’s how I regulate the terror I feel every single morning when my children leave for school. ...

This Year’s Word

Read all of my Seattle Times columns. “I choose a single word every year,” a beloved coaching client told me. “Like a guiding principle for the year.” I looked at her in surprise. “I do that, too,” I said. (Apparently, lots of people do this.) “What’s your word this year?” “Connect,” she said. “I want to focus this year on connecting with ...

The Quaver

Read all of my Seattle Times columns. A beloved coaching client told me she is nervous and awkward talking in groups. She hates presenting. She’s a senior manager at a large corporation. She’s ambitious and wants to move up in her organization. She has many years of presenting ahead of her. She needs to figure this out. “I was working ...

Not Qualified. Really?

Read all of my Seattle Times columns. A beloved client was considering a move. She had seen a VP role she was interested in. “But I’m not qualified,” this senior director said. “I haven’t done ________,” and she named some technical skill. So I told her a story. I had a client — a director at a large health-care organization ...

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 ...

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, ...