Category Archives: Friends & Family

Career Crossroads

Read all of my Seattle Times columns. How do you walk away from something you’ve spent your entire life preparing for? A beloved coaching client is a professional musician. He’s played since he was 3 years old, studied music in college, worked in orchestras his entire adult life. He has $80,000 worth of instruments in his music room. Several years ...

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 ...

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 ...

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. ...

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 ...

Garbage Happiness

I’m going to be that crazy old lady picking up garbage off the street. Middle school these days requires five volunteer hours per year to graduate – which doesn’t sound voluntary but whatever.  My 7th-grade son decided to fulfill the requirement by picking up garbage in the neighborhood. This was bliss for me. I get to go on a dog ...

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, ...

My Daring Greatly

An old friend asked me what I thought of Brene Brown’s book Daring Greatly. I stumbled, trying to be insightful, and then gave my copy to someone who needed it. This is what I should have said. Her book has given me a new vocabulary.  It has given me a linguistic shortcut that describes what is happening when I dare ...

Upper International

My husband took me down Upper International (a double black diamond, I’ll have you know) on the last day of the ski season this year. This is important (to me) because my season started on a green circle run as I tried to remember how to ski after 25-some years. My mid-season included a Traverse of Shame after I got ...

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 ...

I’ll Show You

The Colman Pool swim test loomed large all winter. If you’re a little kid, you can’t go down the slide or the diving board unless you pass the swim test. And it’s a long way. You have to swim the crawl stroke all the way across the pool and back, without stopping. My 7-year-old daughter Z really wanted to go ...

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 ...

Chicken Brain

We have a new chicken. It’s complicated being the new chicken. We had a flock of five happy chickens until a raccoon came for a visit one evening. I arrived just in time to see my favorite brown hen, a smart, spry girl, disappear over the back fence in a raccoon’s mouth. I guess she wasn’t smart or spry enough. ...