Executive Coaching & Consulting

It seems like everyone is or has a coach these days. There are good coaches out there, but in this burgeoning and unregulated field, it’s crucial for leaders to be discriminating in seeking this kind of help, and to think honestly about the effort they are willing to give to their own self-development.

If this catches your interest, read more about what we think about leadership coaching and our qualifications below.

Surface & Depth Approaches

Fern & Purple RockThe guidance of a good coach can help a leader analyze and solve problems, articulate worthwhile and achievable goals, assess personal and organizational strengths and weaknesses, develop action and time management plans, and more. This is gratifying work and usually brings some immediate gains. But people—and organizations—are complicated.

Significant change and development almost always involves encountering emotional and thought patterns that cannot be overcome by positive intention alone. This is where coaching that is limited by a superficial understanding of human development and organizational systems can be ineffective at best, and harmful at worst.

In cycles of growth exciting breakthroughs are commonly followed by new barriers that surface. These can be experienced as internal blocks; or difficulties with relationships, organizational or other cultural milieus, or external circumstances. The gift and the paradox is that such unexpected challenges contain the very sources of energy and information that need to be integrated to get to the next level of awareness and functioning. Working through these challenges, which often have at their core projected “shadow” aspects of the self, requires courage, endurance and patience.

A coach who understands these dynamics and territories, and who can provide honest guidance from a place of genuine personal regard can be extremely helpful to the leader sincerely committed to sustainable growth and change.  This type of transformative leadership development has enormous power to impact organizations and what they achieve.

Stephanie Lahar’s current work with leadership coaching has deep roots. She has an educational background in Jungian psychology, taught counseling psychology at the college level and worked professionally as a counselor early in her career. (An interesting note is that a tool commonly used to understand personality styles in workplaces, the Myers-Briggs Type Inventory or MBTI, is based in Jungian psychology). She has also been a long-time student and teacher of Bowen family systems work.

Her advice to leaders is grounded in substantive management and governance experience from own past work as a college dean and program administrator, as well as in board and civic roles. She is a long-time student and teacher of leadership models and organizational systems. Stephanie applies her encompassing interests, knowledge and experience to help leaders face challenges to their own values and goals, define the various accountabilities they hold to their organization’s employees and stakeholders, and to embody in their communications and their actions the fullest realization of their role and purpose.

We can also recommend trusted partners who have the expertise to provide great leadership coaching.  It’s important to pay attention to the right match and chemistry in choosing a coach/consultant.