Category Archives: Life Coaching

The Destruction of Ruminating

Read all of my Seattle Times columns. A beloved coaching client didn’t get the job she had worked so hard for. “I’m a failure,” she emailed me. “I am lost.” I checked in with her a week later and heard the same notes of sorrow and anguish and anger. “I’ll get over it soon, I promise,” she told me. “It’s ...

Sleep as a Career Strategy

Read all of my Seattle Times columns. “I am so burned out,” my coaching client told me, her head in her hands. “I am so unmotivated. I’m really struggling to juggle my work and my family.” “Tell me about your sleep,” I answered. I recently read “Why We Sleep: Unlocking the Power of Sleep and Dreams,” by Matthew Walker, Ph.D., ...

The Dirty Dishes

Read all of my Seattle Times columns. Sometimes a simple question can change your life. Or at least your dirty dishes. As a coach, I’m interested in how questions can reframe a problem. When I teach my clients how to coach others in their life — to ask those good questions — I often tell an allegorical story about my ...

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 ...

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 ...

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 ...

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, ...

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 ...