How I Work

I help international development professionals chart a course toward high-impact careers that they love.  If any of the situations described in the Is This You? page resonate with you, please read on to learn more about the benefits my clients report from working with me, my approach to coaching, how it works, what I bring to the coaching process, and how to proceed if you’re interested in the possibility of coaching with me.

Expected Benefits

One of the great things about coaching is that it is tailored and customized to your particular situation, circumstance, and interests.  YOU are the one setting the agenda.  So of course, the benefits of coaching will depend on what you are trying to accomplish.

Coaching clients who work with me, and take committed action based on the plans we generate together in our coaching sessions, report the following kinds of benefits:

  • “I feel more in control of my job, my time, and my life.  What a relief!  I am clear about what my strengths are, and I’ve been able to delegate tasks to others.”
  • “I am enjoying my job so much more now.  I feel so lucky to get to do what I do, have an impact, AND get paid for it.”
  • “I feel like I’ve gotten my life back. I now have time for the things that are important to me, both at work and in my personal life.  My family and friends are thrilled – and so am I.”
  • “I’ve found my own style of managing staff that feels comfortable to me, and gets great results. It’s exciting to see what my staff have achieved under my leadership.”
  • “I am now working in my dream job – and I didn’t even know what that “dream job” was when we started coaching.  I got crystal clear on the type of role I wanted and the kind of organization and environment I wanted to be in.  This clarity, plus the job search plan we developed together, boosted my confidence, certainty, and chances of success in a very competitive job market.”
  • “I finally feel free. I was able to weed through the various factors, emotions, and history to make a clear decision about whether to stay in my current job.  I feel great about the decision – I am not staying, or leaving, for the wrong reasons.”

My Approach to Coaching

I see coaching as an interactive, collaborative process that helps an individual perform better and achieve extraordinary results.

Coaching is a partnership. As the coach, I bring the process, the outsider’s perspective, the coaching skills and frameworks.  The one being coached (“client”) takes responsibility and accountability for reflection, planning, and taking actions that will make his or her goals a reality.  (In other words, the client does a lot of heavy lifting!)

Coaching is a confidential professional relationship between the client and the coach that is built on trust and on the coach’s commitment to the client’s success.  As an “external” coach (not employed in the same organization as my clients) I relish my third-party, objective role — my only stake is in their success.

Coaching is not about fixing what’s broken or wrong; it builds on what works well.  People who seek out coaches are typically successful, accomplished people who want to create a breakthrough in some area of their career, work, or life.

When I coach someone, I:

  • Ask powerful questions,
  • Listen more than speak,
  • Reflect back what I am hearing from you (and sometimes what I am not hearing),
  • Provide a sounding board,
  • Challenge your assumptions, when needed,
  • Elicit solutions from you, and
  • Help you put together concrete action steps that you can take to bring about the changes you would like to see in your work, career, and life.

Then I hold you accountable for actually doing the things you committed to doing.  That accountability is incredibly powerful – I have experienced this firsthand (yes, I have a coach myself).

As a certified coach through the International Coach Federation (ICF), I adhere to the ICF Code of Ethics.  That includes, among other things, a strict commitment to confidentiality in my work with coaching clients.

According to my clients, I am extremely approachable and easy to work with.  Humor and warmth are a part of my coaching sessions.  My style is supportive and empathetic.  Yet I do not hesitate to challenge my clients when they need it, provide honest feedback on what I’m hearing and observing, and hold them accountable for the actions and results they’ve committed to accomplishing.  Don’t worry – I do this in a way that is not confrontational or directive.

How Does It Work?

One-on-one coaching sessions typically last one hour.  They take place via Skype or phone (or in person, in the case of Manila-based clients).  New clients typically contract to work with me for a 3-month initial period, although this may vary based on your situation and needs.

For more information on one-on-one pricing and packages, please contact me at shana (at) developmentcrossroads (dot) com.

Group coaching takes place in a group of 6 to 12 participants who come together around a common issue or question.  I guide the group through a series of discussion questions, reflection exercises, and assessment tools to help each person uncover their own insights and next actions.  All of the discussions take place on a confidential basis.  Group coaching may be in person (face to face) or via webinar, allowing participants to take part from anywhere in the world.  The group coaching program I currently offer is on the topic of “What’s Next?”  Please click here for more information.

What I Bring to the Coaching Process

I bring to the coaching process a unique blend of experiences, skills, and perspectives which I have found make me a terrific match with international development professionals:

  • Coaching skills and experience. I’ve been coaching formally for more than four years, and hold an Associate Certified Coach credential through the International Coach Federation.  A seasoned coach, I have worked with a variety of clients, the majority of whom are international development professionals.
  • Familiarity with international development field and organizations. Since I consult to international development organizations, I have been exposed to multi-lateral development banks, bilateral donors, international non-profit organizations, and private sector consultancies focused on the international development space.  In addition to my exposure to theories of international development in graduate school at the Harvard Kennedy School, I am familiar with the various players in international development, and the dynamics of working in these organizations.
  • International and cross-cultural experience. Having been based in Asia for the past 7+ years, I have worked in multi-national and multi-cultural environments.  I have coached clients from a variety of countries (Asia, Europe, Australia, North America).  In 2010 alone, I designed and facilitated workshops for participants from 25 countries.
  • Expertise in change management, organizational development, facilitation, and personal development. The tools and expertise I bring to organization consulting – in change management, organizational development, facilitation, strategic planning – are also relevant to coaching.  In addition, I am a lifelong learner of personal development approaches.
  • Organizational savvy and entrepreneurial know-how. I have thrived as an employee in corporate settings, and have provided advised organization development guidance to corporate clients.  Yet as a self-employed coach and consultant, I also understand what it takes to strike out on your own.

If you’re curious to learn more about me, please head over to the About Shana page.

Interested in the Possibility of Coaching with Me?

If you’re interested in exploring more about possibly hiring me as your coach, I offer a free 20-minute consult via Skype to hear more about your situation, and see if we might be a good fit.  To schedule a consult call, please email me at shana (at) developmentcrossroads (dot) com