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My Clients Say...

  • Lifelong Lessons

    What I have learned with Sherri is not a short-term fix for a current set of issues. My learning has been deep and will last a lifetime. I really looked forward to meeting with Sherri – it was fun, interesting, and expansive.
    - Andrew Hamel, Vice President, Amazon

  • Transformational

    Sherri gave me feedback that was right on target as I was transitioning from individual contributor to leading a team.  Sherri is genuinely interested in doing what is best for her clients.  Her coaching was extremely valuable and in some cases transformational!
    - Peter Rizk, Senior Director, Technical Marketing & Solutions Architecture, Infoblox

  • Consistently Rated 'Outstanding'

    As good as she is at design, she is even better at presenting. Employees consistently rate her courses as outstanding.  I would not put together a training portfolio without one or two offerings from Sherri.
    - Terry Dyckman, Former Vice President Human Resources, Blue Coat Systems

  • Expert in Her Field

    Sherri is an expert in the field. Her deep content knowledge, direct communication, and strong ability to synthesize contribute to her success as a trainer and a coach.
    - Chantal Laurie-Below, Executive Coach, Teach For America

  • Unique Talent

    Sherri’s team building sessions and decision-making workshops at my previous company helped me form a strong team under the most challenging conditions. Sherri has a unique talent for capturing the essence of a group's dynamics and coming up with solutions to resolve issues.
    - Erik Möllerstedt, Technical Program Manager, Waymo

  • Relevant, Credible and Highly Engaging

    Sherri is an exceptional curriculum designer because she takes the time to understand the specific requirements of the project and then applies her real world experiences to ensure that the course is relevant, credible and highly engaging.
    - Terry Dyckman, Former Vice President Human Resources, Blue Coat Systems

  • Extremely Valuable Coach

    In addition to being a bright spot in my day, Sherri has been extremely valuable to me as a management coach.  She is exceptionally good at finding simple, straightforward actions I can take to make quick improvements in several areas.
    - Russ Reynolds, Senior Director, Firmware, Micron Technology

  • A Trusted Partner

    I am fortunate to have had the benefit of Sherri as a coach. She is a trusted partner who will not shy away from delivering a difficult message that will result in positive change. And she frames issues in a manner that is both personal and useful. Work with her, if you can.
    - Bennett Yang, Senior Staffing Manager, A9.com

Sherri's Blog

I'd like to praise him, but...

Written by Sherri Rose
05 Feb 2014

I spoke with a manager recently about one her direct reports – a new hire who needs to make major improvements in his writing.  She described it this way:

“Jon just started in his new job a few months ago.  I’ve been really disappointed in his writing.  He needs to improve his ability to write persuasive, clear documents that make a strong business case.  We’ve discussed this goal, and he agrees.  Recently I’ve noticed that while his documents are still wordy and mostly unfocused, he’s getting better at writing the summary sections.  I’d like to praise him for that, but I’m concerned it will take his focus off the need for change since over all his writing is still not great.  Should I give him some positive feedback for this small improvement?”

While I understand the concern about diluting the importance of achieving the overall goal, my unequivocal answer was YES.  Praise for the small wins, the little improvements along the path.

Studies have found that if managers look for tasks at which an employee excels and respond with specific, timely praise, the employee will be energized.  If excellent performance is reinforced, it’s likely that the person’s work in related areas will improve.  

This “spill over effect” will help accomplish the bigger goal.  And the impact of praise is amplified if the individual is new to the job or task.

So while it's important to continue discussing the larger goal and where improvements are needed, don’t allow the need for long-term change to obscure short-term achievements.  And watch the enthusiasm spill over!

 

Beginner's Mind

Written by Sherri Rose
06 Jan 2014

Over past three years, I have rarely posted a blog without having my daughter read it first.  She often points out places where my ideas aren’t clear or where I need additional details – things that seemed obvious to me but weren't to another reader.

She’s very smart and a very good writer, but there’s more going on here.  She’s been working for 7 years; I’ve been working for many times that.  She still has “beginner's mind,” and I don’t.

There is no doubt that wisdom and experience are powerful, but they must be sparked and enlivened by fresh perspectives.  Otherwise, we can get stuck in our beliefs and our ways of doing things well beyond their “use by” date.

In the New Year, ask yourself if you are willing to expose your hard-earned beliefs and patterns to scrutiny. If you are:
- Who in your life can provide a different perspective?
- Who can ask you questions that create new thinking?

Beyond this, are you willing to try something completely new, something in which you have little or no experience?  Are you willing to risk failing or looking foolish for the upside reward of learning, growing, and, as research has shown, happiness?

As Shunryu Suzuki said in ZEN MIND, BEGINNER'S MIND,  "In the beginner's mind there are many possibilities, in the expert's mind there are few."  Wishing you a New Year filled with possibilities!

 

You Want to Do WHAT? A Development Dilemma

Written by Sherri Rose
18 Jun 2013

I work with a manager who believes wholeheartedly in developing her people. She regularly talks with them about their careers and their short- and long-term goals.  She provides on-the-job opportunities for them to grow and learn. She’s got a very loyal and happy bunch of employees, but recently she hit a snag. A Software Engineer said he wanted to be a manager. She was surprised for two reasons.  First, he’d never mentioned this before, and second, she honestly didn’t think he’d be great manager or enjoy it. She wondered how to handle this skill and aspiration mismatch.

Here are some options we came up with.

•    Ask him why he wants to be a manager. What’s his motivation? If it’s money or advancement, is there another path for these?

•    Explain the strengths he’ll need and the responsibilities of a manager. Ask him to talk about where he’s demonstrated these strengths and if he’s really interested in these types of responsibilities. Tell him honestly that she hasn’t seen him demonstrate the strengths and suggest that she get informal feedback from people he thinks might have seen it.

•    Offer to have him coach a new hire to see how he likes the development side of management.

•    Let him shadow her (when it's appropriate) so he can more fully experience the role.

The manager agreed to try a few of these and then reassess the situation. Above all she wanted to be sure her direct report felt heard, taken seriously, and given the chance to try – all of which is at the heart of successful employee development!

 

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