Why do the emerging leaders within international development need coaching?
I will never forget sitting down with a senior international development professional early in my career. I excitedly shared that I landed a job on a business development team – a position I thought would be a perfect fit for my entrepreneurial mindset, where I could help design massive international development programs to deliver incredible impact in the most vulnerable parts of the world. Instead of being met with enthusiasm, my role model said
“Wow. I’ll be really impressed if you make it more than two years. We basically just burn through our new business team every couple of years. That’s not a sustainable career path, so keep your eye out for when to move.”
Can you imagine setting someone up to believe they would fail like that?
The thing is – she wasn’t wrong.
I MADE IT FOUR YEARS
By the end, I was an anxious, depressed shell of myself. I couldn’t sleep at night, I was constantly angry, and I was so defensive I couldn’t manage the most basic technical competencies that I knew like the back of my hand. It’s no wonder that I wasn’t getting the advancement opportunities I was seeking.
It took another failed business development role and a few solid years of freelancing to realize an interesting truth: I still love the work.
All of those things that inspired me starting out – the design thinking, the problem solving, the potential for impact – were still keeping me motivated and inspired.
I just didn’t have the support I needed to feel confident and set up for success.
Over those early years of consulting for various international development agencies, I started to rebuild. With the support of an amazing team of mentors, therapists, and coaches, I realized that – in order to succeed – I had to let go of what was holding me back. That meant letting go of the traditional view of what success looks like in international development (hello white male neo-colonial chiefs of party). I needed to learn how success and the most authentic version of myself could co-exist. I had to start defining what was important to me.
WITH COACHING, I SHAPED MY OWN STORY OF SUCCESS
I found greater confidence to tackle all the other business development and management skills – negotiation, managing up and across, navigating difficult conversations. All those attributes that once felt so incredibly out of reach.
As a result, I was able to build the career I wanted, doing the work that I love. I was able to create the boundaries I needed to protect what was most important to me. And I was able to deliver the thing that mattered most to my clients: high quality proposals and proposal services that delivered wins and the long term impact that they wanted to have in the world.
At the same time, I continued to see my own struggles reflected in the faces of the new business coordinators and managers I was working in partnership with.
Seeing them suffer struck a chord in me and made me rethink what international development professionals really need to have careers that they see as successful.
I saw these entry- and mid-level professionals – mostly women and many people of color – struggle with how they could navigate challenging conversations, manage competing priorities, and deal with the demanding expectation placed on their shoulders by ambitious development targets set down by senior leaders.
NOW I AM HERE TO HELP
As a professional coach, trained by the CoachDiversity Institute, I have the skills to get to the deepest issues that prevent us all from reaching our professional development goals. With my own history, I'm uniquely positioned to help you navigate the intersection of technical competencies, management skills, and emotional intelligence to build the career you want.
How does coaching work?
In order to create the future you want, we start with defining what you want to achieve and what improvements need to be made if you want to reach and exceed your long-term goals. We'll get into your motivation and why this goal is important to you, explore your core values, and conduct a leadership growth assessment.
Then, I ask powerful questions to guide you while you try different approaches and test out new ways of thinking about old problems. Our goal in working together should be to find out what works for you - not what worked for me.
Coaching relies on asking questions and observation. This allows me to facilitate inquiry, allowing you the opportunity to address specific or individual issues. The goal is to give you the perspective and action plans that will continually support you in your personal or career growth long after our work together is complete.
This whole process is held within an environment designed to prioritize trust, safety, and confidentiality, in alignment with the ICF Code of Ethics.
Although my lived experiences as a white, queer, cis woman may limit my perspective, my training as a professional diversity coach give me the tools to approach issues of diversity, equity, and inclusion in a way that can truly create change.
I am ready to be your partner in change.
Now I have just one question for you:
What do you need to move forward?
How long does the coaching relationship last?
My coaching plans are based on the data that the coaching relationship should extend for at least six 45-minute long sessions. Evidence has shown that six sessions is the minimum we likely need to create real impact and transformation.
That's why I recommend that all my clients purchase my 120-day intensive package. That's six sessions you can use over the course of six months.
For clients looking for longer-term support or dealing with a more extensive challenge in the workplace, I recommend the long-term support package, which includes 12 sessions you can use over the course of thirteen months.
Still have questions?
That's totally fine. We live in a world where coaching is still new to most people. Doing your due diligence is important.
Whether you have questions about how to secure funding for coaching, or just want to see if we're a good fit, please set up a coaching consultation and we can talk through everything together.