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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

Take a Fresh Perspective

Written by Sherri Rose
22 May 2013

I’m always curious about what experiences have the most impact on leaders – which ones teach them lessons they use for a lifetime.  Recently I asked a VP of Sales this question.  He didn’t hesitate for a moment.  Here’s the story he told me:

When he started with his current company, they gave him a territory to manage that was off the beaten path – one that was small and nowhere near headquarters or a major metropolitan area.  It was his first management position, and he was excited.  It was his chance to jump in and try all the things he’d learned.  Top of his list?  Motivating people based on their needs, not his.  Being available to listen to their concerns and their ideas.  Delegating as much as possible, but keeping in mind their skills and interests.  

It was hard work, but it turned out well.  By the end of the first year, his territory was among the top 5 in the company.

At that point the CEO took him aside and congratulated him.  Then she added, “Frankly, I’m astonished at your success.”

He was more than a little concerned.  “I hope it wasn’t because you didn’t think I had it in me.”

“No,” she replied.  “Nothing personal.  But that territory?  It was the dumping ground for sales people who’d failed elsewhere.”

He was shocked.  But here’s the lesson he took away.  No one told him they were failures so he didn’t treat them that way.  And they rose to the occasion.  

After sharing this story, he told me “From that point on, I’ve tried to avoid listening to other people’s opinions about my folks.  I assume the best, and then I watch the results. I admit it’s not easy doing this, but I certainly try!  My motto:  Take a fresh perspective.  And I encourage those around me to do it too.  For me, it’s the path to success!”

 

The Blame Pie

Written by Sherri Rose
22 Apr 2013

My best friend is a wealth of aphorisms – those pithy, perfect phrases that say it all.  One of her favorites?  “We each need to take our piece of the blame pie.”

In my field, we refer to this as acknowledging your contribution – or part – in a conflict, and, in doing so, moving toward resolution.

The power of this acknowledgement came up recently with a manager I work with.  She could not get one of her colleagues, Jim, to collect relevant data on a project in a timely manner.  She had shown, described, and explained the rationale for what she needed – over and over with no change!  She was getting angry.

I asked her, “So, what’s your contribution to this impasse?” 

“Nothing.  He just isn’t listening to me!”

When I asked again, she admitted that maybe, in her increasing frustration, she’d stopped listening too and hadn’t asked what was at the root of Jim’s problem.

In this case, as in so many others, once the manager acknowledged her part – pushing her solution without any give and take – and asked what she could do differently, Jim relaxed and shared his real problem.  He understood and agreed with what was needed. However, he was having difficulty getting some of the required data from his own boss.  He was stymied by how to influence him, and, quite frankly, he didn’t want to admit his failure so he stalled for time.  Once this was out in the open, Jim and the manager were able to work together to figure out a solution to the data bottleneck.

Blame shuts down communication.  Acknowledging your part in a conflict re-establishes the connection.  In my experience, it is one of the most powerful things you can do to move toward resolution.

 

Coaching Made Easier

Written by Sherri Rose
05 Mar 2013

Recently I was re-reading a chapter of Ram Charan’s “Leadership Pipeline,” and I found this description of coaching:

In a very real sense, coaching is the hands-on art of caring

Around the same time, I came across a study on coaching done a few years back by a well-respected consulting firm.  They reported these statistics:

91% of managers either like or love to coach BUT only 43% of employees say they receive an adequate amount of coaching

One implication of this is that more managers say they enjoy coaching than actually do it.  I’m sure there are many reasons for this, but one jumps out at me.  Maybe managers really do like coaching, but think that "doing it right" takes more time than they have to spend so they don't do it often enough.

But what if we did just think about coaching as caring? No more.  No less.  Would this change that 43%?

Take a moment and think about how you express caring to the people in your life.  When you care you:
- Listen attentively
- Ask questions with genuine curiosity about what they like and dislike and what’s working and what’s not working in their life.
- Focus totally on them when they need you
- Look out for things they might enjoy and share them
- Watch them in action and tell them what you appreciate
- Seek to understand why something has gone wrong and what would make it better.

I’m sure each of you can add your own ideas to this list.  I encourage you to do this and then put these ideas into action.  In doing so, you'll help increase that percentage of employees who feel they get enough coaching.  And more importantly, you'll build a stronger bond between you, your employees, and the organization.

 

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