Category Archives: Professional coaching

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 ...

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 ...

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 ...

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., ...

Networking Primer IV: Gone Fishing

(I met with Lance as part of a Seattle Times “Career Makeover” series and wrote the following summary of our conversation for the journalist writing the story.) I told Lance to go on a fishing trip. A successful composer, he’s ready to do something else after 15 years of writing music professionally. Something a little more family friendly. After all, ...

Career Transition as a Garden Party

This is the story I wrote up for the journalist writing the Career Makeover series for The Seattle Times. As a former journalist, I couldn’t just send her notes, I had to write the story, too! At 54, Mike has had a successfully solid career in supply chain management. For three decades, he’s been the guy that figures out how ...

Networking Primer II

What do you tell a job seeker doing everything right — and still not finding work? I met with Tricia as part of a Seattle Times Career Makeover project and wrote the following summary of our conversation for the journalist writing the story. Tricia and I met at a drafty coffee shop in Columbia City. She presents as a very well-put-together, ...

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 ...