You’ve got questions. I’ve got answers.

Do you want to work together or think you might want to work together? The best way to see if working together is right for you—and me—is to schedule time to chat with me. But first! …please read through the program details to make sure that I’m the right person to help you get to where you want to go.

 
 

Working together

I’ve never worked with an executive coach before - how does this work?
My approach is simple. Together, we establish goals and metrics for success, then develop a plan to get you where you want to go. Then we make things happen. No assessments, no values exercises, no rigmarole—just experiential, experimental, and organic progress toward your goals.

We meet twice monthly for 6 months to start via Zoom, phone, or in my office in Brooklyn, NY. In between sessions, I’m yours when you need me via email, text, or phone.

I wish it was more complicated. But it really is that simple.

Who do you work with?
My clients:

  • Are trailblazers. But you’ll never call yourself that. It’s OK. I know what you are.
    Maybe you’re the first person like you in a newly created role in your org. Or you’re in the process of creating or evolving an entirely new role, team, or discipline. You’re in uncharted territory. It’s scary. And exciting. Let’s get you back on track so that you get to where you want to go.

  • Need extra support (psst…this is totally normal).
    You’re so awesome at what you do that you probably have a wonderful boss who trusts you to do all the things. But they’re too busy to help or have a different area of expertise and can’t help. Or maybe you’re the boss. Let’s get you the support you need so you can thrive, not just survive.

  • Don’t fit traditional models of leadership in tech.
    Whether you’re you’re a woman, LGBTQ, a non-technical leader in a tech org, a techie working in a non-tech org…or just don’t look, act, or think like those around you, simply showing up is not enough. You have to work extra hard to be seen, taken seriously, and make things happen. You’ve got this. And I can help.

What kinds of things can you help me do?
Goals look different for everyone. They can be squishy. And they can be laser-focused. Either way, I make you make sure that they’re measurable. Because that’s how you know you’re making progress and feel the difference as you grow with me. At the highest level, you will work with me to:

  • Find and evolve your unique, powerful leadership presence, voice, and style.
    Show up how you want—not how others expect you—to show up.

  • Work better with humans. There. I said it.
    Influence, inspire, and move people to action so that you can bring others along on your journey.

  • Mitigate burnout.
    Learn how to build energy for what matters so that you can better focus on and prioritize the right things and clear out the rest.

  • Effectively navigate the transition from individual contributor to leader.
    Whether you made the transition aeons ago or recently, owning your identity as a leader while embracing your expertise in your craft might feel daunting. Luckily, you can apply most things that made you an expert craftsperson towards being an effective leader. I’ll show you how.

  • Unlock your superpowers.
    Whatever is holding you back…there-in lie your superpowers. You micromanage? Hate details? Are too loud? Don’t use your words enough? Learn how to harness your shortcomings and make them work for you. It’s much easier than fighting them. And more effective, too. I promise.

I want to change jobs or careers. Can you help me do that?
No. I help you stay at and kick ass at the job that you already have. If you’re on the fence, that’s fine. Many of my clients are when they first come to me. In fact, many people who work in tech are. It’s totally normal. And yes, I can help.

If you’re unhappy with what your current role looks like and have the capacity to rethink your current role at your company or organization, I can help you do that as well.

Or if you have the support to move into or create a new role at your company or organization, I’m yours.

But if you want to leave your job or do something new, I’m not the best coach for you.

What does a typical engagement look like?
While no two engagements look the same, expect it to follow this general arc:

Month 1: Set the stage

  • Get clear on your story—who you are, where you came from, what makes you tick, etc.

  • Map your mission—make sure you’re clear on where you’re going.

  • Identify your Kryptonite—that way we know what to work on or avoid.

  • …all while starting to experiment in small doses.

Months 2-3: Head out on your journey

  • Run lots of experiments to collecting data and make sure you’re on the right track.

  • Start seeing real, tangible results.

  • Adjust your course as you learn.

Months 4-6: Episodes IV, V, and VI

  • Continue on your journey. Make stuff happen. Reflect. Adjust. Calibrate. Go, go, go.

  • Start owning your mission, superpowers, superfriends, all of it.

  • Think about and plan for the future and where you’re going long-term.

You work with or know my colleagues—is what we do confidential?
Yes! Everything we do together is 100% confidential. I am ethically bound to not share anything you say with me with anyone—colleagues, your manager, HR—anyone. I can’t even tell anyone that we work together without your permission. You can share what we talk about with others, but I can not.

 

Logistics

How long is each session?
50 minutes. That way, you’ll get to your next meeting on time with a little buffer to keep you sane. But if you ever need more than that for any reason, let me know.

How frequently do we meet?
Twice per month. Sessions don’t carry over month to month, but this hasn’t been an issue for anyone yet…even my super-traveling, crazy-busy clients find time to meet with me.

How long is a typical coaching engagement?
I’ve found that 6 months is the sweet spot for creating real, lasting change in behaviors that will actually stick. At 3 months, you’r just getting going. By 6, you’re cooking with gas.

Can I work with you for longer than 6 months?
Absolutely. Many of my clients work with me for longer than 6 months and some have been with me for years. At the end of our first 6 months, we can choose to end the engagement or start a new one.

How does scheduling work?
You book time with me using Calendly. I post my calendar at least 2 months in advance so that you can plan ahead if you want to, but most of my clients grab spots a month or a few weeks in advance. I’m typically available to meet with you during work hours (in the UK and across North America, that is…my ET business hours sadly don’t work long-term for Asia, Australia, or New Zealand).

How much work will I do in between sessions? I’m busy!
Your “homework” is something that you co-design with me so that it seamlessly integrates into your workday and life. It’s optional. And it’s usually stuff that you wanted to do anyway, but felt stuck on. As a result it a) doesn’t feel like work, b) doesn’t take any extra time on your part, and c) gets you fast and powerful results.

Can my sponsor (manager or HR) participate in our engagement?
Sure. If that’s something you want, just let me know when we first chat.

HR only lets us work with “real” coaches…are you a real coach?
Yes. I’m fully certified through the International Coaching Federation and very HR-friendly.

 

Cost

How much does this cost?
Coaching engagements start at $5800 for a typical 6 month engagement. Most of my clients have work cover the cost of coaching as a pre-existing benefit, by special request, as a business expense, or through a professional development budget. But you can also pay out of pocket, if you prefer. I let clients pay via credit card and split payments up monthly to make it easier for all involved.

Work can pay for this? How do make that happen?
Ask your manager. A lot of tech companies are starting to see the value of investing in developing the next generation of leaders so that they are as effective (and happy) as possible. This is especially the case for underrepresented leaders who companies want to empower and want to keep. Many people are afraid to ask for a coach and surprised when the request is approved. It can’t hurt to ask.

If you’d like help navigating or making the case for coaching with your boss, organization, or HR, just let me know—I’m happy to help.

Results

You mention some lofty goals above. What are more specific goals I can reach?
Ok, ok, here are some examples of more specific goals my clients often have:

  • Feel more confident as a leader.

  • Find my voice as a leader.

  • Overcome my imposter syndrome.

  • Own my role as a leader (after spending years as an individual contributor).

  • Manage difficult people, personalities, and teams at work.

  • Get clear on what my role and purpose is in my organization or company.

  • Create a comprehensive strategic vision and plan for myself, my team, my org.

  • Redesign my role within my org or company.

  • Get on a path towards getting promoted, a raise, bonus, etc.

  • Identify and fill in leadership and management skills gaps…so that I feel more confident.

  • Figure out how best to grow and scale my team or organization.

  • Do a great job while not losing my mind.

  • Doing a great job while balancing kids and non-work stuff.

How about skills? What skills can you help me learn?
In addition to reaching big picture goals, my clients work on a lot of more focused skills while working with me. I’m sure there are more, but here are the skills I’ve seen come up in every one of my engagements that you will master as well:

  • Managing down, up, and across

  • Managing like a coach

  • Having difficult conversations

  • Managing Slack in the workplace…no joke. And yes, this is unique to working in tech.

  • Giving and receiving feedback

  • Change management

  • Overcoming systemic and inter-personal resistance (especially to change)

  • Asking for what you want (first you have to know what you want…I help you with that, too).

  • Saying NO. This is one of my favorites. And it will be one of yours, too.

  • Emotional intelligence

  • Storytelling

  • Public speaking

  • Facilitation

  • Negotiation

Don’t take my word for it.

Donna has been vital in helping me articulate my goals, focus on what I need to achieve them, and work through any obstacles.
— Linda Romano, Director of Digital Communications, St. John's University, New York, NY