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The Empathic Leader, LLC ~ Understanding Emotion to Achieve Success

Executive Coaching

Understanding Emotion to Achieve Success

Coaching is a partnership built on trust, collaboration, and respect. As an executive coach, my role is to partner with clients to achieve success through a sophisticated understanding of their internal and external emotional, relational, and cultural landscapes. 

Coaching Philosophy

Whether you are a CEO, a small business owner, or an educational leader, understanding your own emotional landscape in relationship to others will position you for more effective and successful leadership. My expertise in executive coaching, systems theory, attachment theory, and interpersonal neuroscience inform my work as an executive coach and leadership consultant. The majority of books on leadership and management focus on the thoughts and behaviors of the leader with little attention paid to her internal emotional landscape or the quality of her relationships. As someone who is trained in systems theory, I have always been skeptical of approaches to change that emphasize the individual without an appreciation for the context in which she is embedded. Effective leaders are those who have insight regarding their own emotions, thoughts, and behaviors but who also have a sophisticated understanding of the individual, relational, and cultural dynamics of their organization. My approach to coaching will take all of these issues into account to help you become a more empathic, and therefore more effective, leader.



Types of Coaching

Developmental Coaching

Developmental coaching focuses on helping high potential employees gain the perspective and skills they need to accelerate their advancement to higher levels of leadership. This type of coaching can also help individuals make decisions about competing career options.

Transitional Coaching

For leaders moving into a new organization or a new business unit of their current organization, the first ninety days are critical. New leaders are often brought into an organization with the expectation that they will be a change agent. They feel enormous pressure to make a significant impact and to do so quickly. However, change agents are often seen as a threat by peers and direct reports, and their efforts may be undermined if they do not also attend to developing an understanding of the organizational culture. Through transitional coaching, leaders are guided to focus on early wins that communicate respect for the organizational culture while at the same time increasing the likelihood of long term success.

Performance Coaching

Performance coaching helps clients get their careers back on track with a focus on leadership issues that are related to shortfalls in performance. 


The Coaching Process

Coaching engagements are initiated in one of two ways: (1) An individual client hires me to help her reach career and leadership goals; and (2) An organization hires me to work with one of their employees to help her improve performance, develop her leadership potential, or transition into a new role. Although the process varies in each of these situations, it typically consists of five phases as described below.

Entry & Contracting

Entry and contracting includes initial interviews with HR, managers, and the client to gather information about the organization as well as the coaching issues. If all parties are in agreement to proceed with the coaching engagement, I will draw up a contract containing information about payment, length of the contract, expected frequency and location of coaching sessions, and other policies and procedures.


The assessment phase includes interviews with the client's manager/supervisor, direct reports, and several peers. Assessment may also include the use of a formal 360 degree assessment instrument.

Goal Setting and Action Planning

Based on the information gathered during the assessment phase, two or three coaching goals are identified, and a preliminary action plan is created. The supervisor and employee must both agree on the goals and the plan of action to achieve them.


During this phase of coaching, the client and the coach generally meet on a monthly basis to discuss progress toward her goals. These meetings also include discussions around specific strategies for addressing upcoming events related to the accomplishment of the client’s goals. The coach also provides updates and gathers feedback from the supervisor on a monthly basis. (Note: Coaching sessions are typically more frequent for transitional coaching.)

Closing and Follow-Up

As the end date of the coaching contract draws near, the coach assesses with the employee and supervisor how they feel about what has been accomplished during the coaching engagement. If they feel positive about progress made and do not wish to continue the coaching contract, a closing session will be scheduled during which the goals are reviewed and the steps taken to achieve them as well as potential stumbling blocks the employee may face in the future. A summary of the coaching engagement is provided to the employee and HR . The coach will follow up with HR three months after the closing of the coaching contract to find out how well the employee is maintaining goal progress. If, at the end of the coaching contract, the supervisor and employee feels there remains work to do, the contract may be extended.