Every coach is influenced to some extent by their professional track and life story. My unique approach to working with clients is rooted in two foundational aspects of my journey: creativity and curiosity.

I graduated summa cum laude from the University of Cincinnati’s acclaimed College of Design, Architecture, Art, and Planning in 1979. I completed my final internship in New York City, won several design competitions, and carried the flag for my college on commencement day — a privilege reserved for the student with the highest grade point average. These external accolades were in direct opposition to the internal truth I was suppressing — an inconvenient, yet persistent intuition that I was designed to be something other than a designer.

I managed to ignore my truth long enough to land a coveted job in the world of fashion. One of my projects, serendipitously, involved the design and delivery of a “Dress for Success” seminar. That experience lit a fire for training and development that continues to provide light and heat to my professional life. Until that day, I did not know it was possible to be in love with your work.

Early in my transition, my art and design training seemed irrelevant to my new goals. Over the years, and certainly in my coaching work, I’ve realized how crucial that training has been to my success. To be trained as a “creative” is to be trained as a keen observer – an essential skill for coaching.

I bring that creative observation to my curious learner orientation. I am perpetually fascinated by the human condition. I want to know what factors combine to make each person tick – and the conditions that must be present for them to evolve, grow, thrive. I’ve yet to become bored listening to clients tell their stories, grasp for words to describe their struggles, and sometimes talk in circles before landing on the perfect solution to a problem or a glimpse of their preferred future.

Creativity and curiosity, enhanced by my extensive experience in organization development, has enabled me to see systems and identify patterns at both the individual and group level. I love to help people make those connections for themselves and visualize their story in a more holistic way. My clients are frequently stunned that I can remember anecdotes and stories they’ve told me months or even years earlier, often laced with insights that they themselves don’t recall. I believe that my recall is heightened because of my ability to see ideas in pictures, and to link those images in a meaningful way to illuminate and enhance their development.

In my work, I frequently access learnings from my coaching alma mater, The Hudson Institute in Santa Barbara. I weave in concepts gleaned from my studies of C. G. Jung’s work, and offer insights to a client’s needs and strengths provided by the Birkman Method® assessment tool. How do these three schools of thought influence me?

The Hudson Institute of Santa Barbara developed and teaches a holistic approach to change and adult development. Work in one area of a person’s life is informed by, and impacts, every other aspect of that life. I have little interest in coaching a person on developing a skill or getting a new job, if their intent is to narrowly focus without considering the bigger picture.

I deeply resonate with Carl Jung’s perspective on the process of individuation, which is about awakening and growing in awareness (especially at mid-life) that one is not one’s role or the system in which one lives. How to make meaning from the misery of life’s unexpected, disorienting, and yet necessary transitions is a sweet spot for me.

The Birkman Method is my assessment tool of choice because it respects the complexity of the human being. Rather than labeling or boxing people in neat categories, it expands and enriches one’s view of self and others. My own Birkman profile will tell you that I am wired for a helping profession, a conceptual thinker, highly empathic, set very high standards for myself, and am unusually comfortable with ambiguity.

I work with people who are willing to make their own journey more challenging and authentic by asking big questions. If this sounds like therapy, I can assure you that it is not. I am a devoted fan of therapy, which provides support in unpacking, unraveling, and examining the past with clients. As a coach, I help my clients gain clarity about their present situation and explore future scenarios. I help them see where they are stuck, shift their internal resistance, and accelerate to their goals. Capitalizing on the power of change, I coach clients to create and engage in a more joyful, meaningful life.

Now that you know more about my story, my philosophy, and my perspective, click here to learn about my individual and team coaching, speaking and workshops, and other offerings.