My experience, training, and approach
My experience in product leadership allows me to relate to my clients and understand their challenges, while my training in coaching and psychology informs my approach to facilitating change.
My professional background
Over the last 15 years, I have worked in different tech companies worldwide. I started my career as a UX designer, then transitioned to product management, and then product leadership. Over these years, I worked at major B2C and B2B companies in Russia, the Netherlands, and the United States. Most recently, I was a Director of Product at ServiceNow.
My leadership journey was not painless. It took a lot of introspection and reflection to find my way of leading and build authentic relationships with my employees. This experience motivated my focus as a coach: I want to help other leaders go from overwhelmed to empowered.
My approach to coaching is rooted in my training in coaching and psychology and almost a decade of my personal therapy. I hold certifications from the International Coaching Federation (PCC) and Co-Active Training Institute (CPCC). In addition, I am continuing my education in psychology at ASU.
My approach to coaching
I facilitate change by helping the client hear and understand themselves. Sounds simple, right?
Clients usually come to coaching for something practical: e.g., to build their executive presence. However, a sustainable path to any practical tactical change lies through a deeper transformation (e.g., gaining confidence, overcoming impostor syndrome, etc.). This type of transformation happens through a completely new relationship that the client experiences in coaching.
In this relationship, I don't play the role of an expert. My role is to help the client explore their own thinking and feelings about the problem and the desired state. I do this by listening, with a deep desire to understand and adopt the client's frame of reference and without any opinion on what they should do. And it turns out that if we do just that — explore things as they are, without any judgment — the client starts to see a path forward and initiates change.
As one of my fellow coaches once said, "My job is to let my clients sit in their dirty diapers until they finally decide to change themselves." Indeed, when you look at your own dirty diaper long enough and without looking away, you eventually decide to change it.
This brings me to another important point: real change requires time, and attempts to speed it up are counterproductive. Yes, you can change your diapers on day one of coaching. But in this case, you will likely end up in another dirty one next week. Hence, I rarely recommend any exercises or assign homework: a client is smart enough to know what to do with a dirty diaper once they get sick of sitting in it.