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Last month I highlighted three leadership lessons I learned from my granddaughter:

· Be curious and be a sponge – Nora sees everything with fresh and unbiased eyes.

· Building on what you know – Nora has a beautiful ability to build on what she knows and applies it to other applications

· Focused attention and willingness to move on – The young mind can find joy in climbing in empty cabinets, a small pot or playing with various stuffed animals.

My most recent lessons are her problem-solving abilities and ability to make connections.

I am amazed at how a two-year old mind can solve problems so quickly. Her grandma was struggling to open a package and immediately Nora repeatedly cried out a couple of words that we could not understand and took off for my office. Her announcement was so determined, that I followed to investigate. She had gone to my office and pointed out the tool to help Grandma – “Bompa’s scissors, Bompa’s scissors, Bompa’s scissors”. We were stunned how quickly she found a solution, knew where the proper tool was and displayed the confidence to show how she can help.

When I work with Leaders as their coach, I work with my clients in each of these areas:

· Through the combination of deep listening and asking powerful questions I have helped my clients solve their problems by helping them explore what possibilities exist for them. I strongly believe that all of us have the answers inside of us if we explore them with a coach and look at them with the eyes of a two-year old.

· There have been many times that finding the proper tool can help us overcome the opportunity in front of use. My coach training has provided me with several approaches like a perspective wheel, change model or values identification. I explore with my clients searching for multiple perspectives to cut into the ‘package’ and find the gift inside.

· Another gift I bring as a coach is to be a partner with my clients to find the confidence within themselves. My granddaughter was so confident that she had the solution and was going to find it. I believe that my clients have the answers within themselves and that I can help them discover it.

The second lesson learned from my granddaughter is the ability to make connections to similar things. She has her favorite ‘baby bear’ who had torn a seam. We were talking about getting it back together again, and she asked if it was like Woody. (For those unfamiliar to Toy Story, Woody had to have his arm re-connected). My jaw dropped when I realized her ability to find those relationships to other things. I love to use metaphors like this in my coaching practice.

Metaphors can help my clients step outside of themselves to describe what they are seeing and experiencing. This helps the client look at things from a new perspective. As an example, if someone is hesitant to change, we can use the metaphor of a canoe. I will ask if they are in the canoe and what is the water like? Are they still standing on the dock with one foot and what is preventing them from pushing off? Or who is in the canoe with you and supporting you as you navigate the water. Or like with ‘baby bear’, where can you ask for help and support.

I have been coaching people within an organization to support developing leaders. I am now building my own coaching business and have openings to take on new clients. I start with short introductory meeting to explain my coaching approach and ensure alignment. My first formal session with my clients is to identify values (past), explore a tool called the life map (present), and set an intention of what is important to you (future). A typical coaching package is six additional sessions to work along that path for future change. If you want to explore this together and learn more about leadership lessons from my granddaughter then send me an email at or visit my website Home ( I look forward to hearing from you and exploring possibilities.


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