7 Leadership Challenges that Executive Coaches Address Head-on:

Leadership is about influence, and positive, productive communication.  Leaders are called to think in a forward direction, recognizing possibilities for innovation and new levels of purposeful progress.  They are team builders.  They are propellers of energy, engagement, and solutions.  

And leaders are human.  Their behaviors can go out of alignment and get in the way of creativity, connection, and accomplishment.  

Executive coaches support leaders in stepping forward to their vision, and managing the course of direction for their organization or company.

 7 Key leadership challenges that executive coaches support clients in addressing are:  

  1. Leaning away from stale or less than effective strategies to Embrace innovation.
  2. Spending less time in frustration to Manage engagement and energy to stay in flow.
  3. Depending less on tactical communications to Expand their communication style to build more positive and potential-filled relationships. 
  4. Reacting less from old habitual patterns to Respond more from authenticity and other strengths. 
  5. Asking fewer questions from the intention to give advice to Strengthen their capacity to hear what is being said. 
  6. Spending less time “on the fence” of indecision to Build a leadership framework to support solid decision-making.  
  7. Presenting less from pattern extremes to Step further into the power of authentic Leadership Presence.


Trish Pratt,  Executive and Career Development Coach — Greater Boston area

5 Tips in 5 Parts – Transforming Leadership Disagreements into Leadership Alignment – Part 5

~ what to do when your leadership team clashes more than it agrees ~ 

This 5-part February series is about aligned leadership. If you are the leader of an organization, the manager of a team, or part of a team that can spend too much time struggling to find agreement, I’m confident you will find at least two take-aways for helping your team stay aligned and attain their highest-level success. This is Part 5 of the series.

Are continuous leadership disagreements stalling your company’s success? When “varied perspectives” become continually disagreeing perspectives, the success of your organization or company can suffer the consequences. Delayed decisions, meetings that take too much time, and discussions that focus more on problems than solutions, are sometimes only the top layer of what’s not working.

There are numerous possible recurrent issues, such as a major conflict regarding the organization itself to an increase in a team member’s personal stress-level. When team conflicts consistently arise, your ability to get a clear sense of the cause or problem is a first step in addressing it.

Part 5

Unsettled time in the company or organization  Times of transition can add a layer of tension and uncertainty. It’s not uncommon for underlying concerns regarding impact of possible changes on the organizational structure, staffing needs (especially a possible down-sizing), etc. to cause a deeper, sometimes more subtle tension in a team. This tension can translate to less agreement, less creativity, and less enthusiasm in your meetings.

Moving forward  A time of transition is a great reminder for the need for grounded leadership.  Generally speaking, these times require more frequent communication, clearer communication, and more checking in with team members regarding their concerns sooner rather than later.

Keeping your organization’s mission, purpose, and values, front and center in meetings, is one of the most powerful supports from which to lead your team.  A shift in direction, organizational structure or other aspects of your company or organization, signals the need to check in with the framework of your strategic plan to re-clarify, re-state, and so re-align your team.

And lastly, from “How to Overcome Your Fear of Change at Work” a reminder from Forbes contributors David Sturt and Todd Nordstrom, to share important details, deadlines and objectives with your team and leave the door open for their questions and concerns as they arise. Reducing tension and stress supports greater openness and trust at meetings, which allows people to engage more fully in their work and bring their highest level of productivity.

This is part 5 of a 5-part series. Click here Part 1, Part 2, Part 3, Part 4 to read from the beginning. If you don’t already follow my blog, sign up now (in the right-hand column) to receive email notifications of future posts. I appreciate your readership and welcome your thoughts and comments!


What Women Leaders Offer Businesses

Thank you to @BostonGlobe @BostonGlobeMag for last week’s Globe Magazine issue, “Women & Power.”  The articles, interviews and personal quotes provide a behind-the-work perspective of these women leaders and the wisdom and advice that inspired them along their way.  Hearing from women executives about what they have learned and how they address the challenges of managing a family and personal life while thriving in their careers, offers inspiration and also very real advice.

In a larger context, the article reminds us that the world is not only ready for more women leaders, the time is ripe for torch bearers leading the way to different, more expanded version of what it means to lead.

This expanded concept of leadership addresses more human needs, such as the need for:

  • greater emotional intelligence and self-awareness,
  • appreciation and respect,
  • inspiration and support of individual growth and work engagement,
  • support of a work environment and schedule needs in ways that build trust, foster loyalty, and spark innovation.


From “Women & Power” 

What advice has had the biggest impact on your success over the years? From Maryrose Sylvester, President and CEO, Current, Powered by GE…

VISION   “A number of years ago, a GE leader told me to “find the open door.”  Our business was going through a very challenging time, and his point was that I needed to change my lens and start viewing the struggle as an opportunity….  There’s always an open door; a leader’s job is to find it and guide others through it.”

What words or mission statement do you live by in the workplace?  From Maureen Franco, CEO of Cambridge BioMarketing…

EMOTIONAL INTELLIGENCE   “My mantra is all about people — success comes down to who you work for, who you work with, and who you hire.  I have never regretted spending extra time to vet a candidate, mentor a rising star, or even closely evaluate the people who were hiring me.  It is crucial that those you work alongside challenge you to think more creatively and strategically.”


How does having more women in positions of power benefit a company?  From Mindy Berman, Managing Director, Investor Group Services…

OPENNESS   “It ensures that a company benefits from diversity of thought and perspective, which research shows results in better decision making.  Women make up a large percentage of the workforce, so having women in power ensures that the leadership can best represent female employees, clients, and customers.”



Trish Pratt,  Certified Executive and Career Development Coach — Greater Boston area

The Power of DISC and Your Career Success: Part 5 of a 5-part series

Career Executive Coaching DISC Logo

In parts 1 through 4 of this series we discussed DISC and how it can bolster career success. We looked at the strengths of each DISC dimension and some of the coaching challenges that can show up with each.

As you read through the brief descriptions, did you recognize a dimension that describes you in your work? Perhaps you saw your strengths in one, clear dimension, such as a D, I, S, or C. And maybe your strengths are best described by two or even three dimensions together? A combination of dimensions is not unusual and a DISC report is based on the measure of each dimension as it contributes to your career success. Along with providing you with specific information regarding where you fall in the DISC model, a DISC report can also provide you with the fifteen most common patterns.

What’s your biggest take-away?

From a Career Development coach’s perspective the most important information here is that the DISC can help you expand your career success in the following key areas:

  • Understanding of behavioral strengths and challenges
  • Description of your ideal work environment and what motivates you in your work
  • Ways to increase your effectiveness at work
  • Understanding of motivating and demotivating factors
  • Strategies for expanding your communication approach
  • Strategies for expanding your management style
  • Ways to increase your sales success

What clients say…

Typically sounds like “I’m amazed that the 24 simple questions captured me so accurately!” Or “How great to see my strengths and challenges listed so clearly!”
If you’re interested in learning more about how DISC might be the perfect support to your career, consider taking this assessment for yourself. It takes no more than 10 minutes to complete and you will have your report within 1 to 2 business days. Mention this post and receive a 10% discount on an expanded DISC PPSS report.

Not quite ready? View a sample report by sending an email via https://trishpratt.com/contact-4/
with “sample DISC” in the content line.


Trish Pratt, Executive and Career Development Coach — Greater Boston Area

The Power of DISC and Your Career Success: Part 4 of a 5-part series

Career Coach DISC C Executive

Moving on to the fourth dimension of the DiSC, let’s look at the “C”.

Conscientiousness, Quality, Details and Standards – these are hallmark strengths of a high “C” dimension. Where the “I” and “S” dimensions include the ability to sense or “see” the big picture of a situation. “C” qualities are about discerning and details.

Having a co-worker or staff member with a strong “C” dimension, means working with someone who will notice the standards and mind the details. If you’re an individual with high “C” traits, you look to manage your work and career from lower risk strategies and prefer environments that reflect high-quality results.  As with the first three dimensions we discussed, the “C” dimension also has its strengths and challenges.

Some Coaching challenges for the high “C” dimension are:

  • Need for higher standards – frustration with management’s or team’s lack of work/project standards and quality, and/or lack of planning.
  • Unstable environment – frustration with organization’s changing goals, lack of focus or plan.
  • Lack of time – to accomplish quality work; feeling pressured to accomplish too much in too short of time.
  • Communication difficulties – regarding above, or complaints from others who feel criticized or micro-managed.
  • Frustrating feedback — Complaints from management or team regarding productivity and/or slow decision-making.
  • Work/Life balance challenges – too much work, too little support, struggles with delegating.

If you relate to any of these challenges, notice how your “C” strengths support your work, and yet also go out of balance from time to time. The “C” dimension brings a set of great leadership qualities that are often seen in financial executives, accountants, engineers, attorneys, and others. Consider a DiSC assessment to help you leverage your “C” and expand your career leadership potential!

If your organization is ready to streamline their team effectiveness, contact Trish for more information on how a team DiSC Workshop can expand communication and elevate your team success!

The Power of DISC and Career Success: Part 3 of a 5-part series

As mentioned in Parts 1 and 2 of this series, the DiSC is a powerful executive and career development tool often used by both organizations and individuals to better understand communication and leadership styles.  Where are you in this 4-pronged model?  Do you have a direct “D” style as described in part 1? Do you bring a natural influence or “I” dimension to your career leadership?

Though humans are complex creatures who can’t be summed up in a few simple letters or descriptive words, the DISC can shine light on your natural style and support you in managing your style strengths in a way that bolsters career success.

Let’s look at the “S” dimension.

Sensing, Steady, Sincere, and Positive – are some hallmark strengths of individuals with a high “S” dimension.  These “S” qualities are about maintaining balance and keeping things going smoothly. If you’re an individual with a high “S” dimension, you likely prefer to manage your work and career with a steadiness or more methodical approach. You manage your team using a more supportive style wanting people around you to feel good.

Your communication style may be more reserved and thoughtful. People with a high “S” dimension are often found in industries such as Customer Service, Management, Coaching, Healthcare and Counseling.

Some common work challenges for individuals with a high S dimension are:

  • Difficulty managing priorities –conflicting projects or schedules, projects that lack structure or plan.
  • Communication challenges – difficulty voicing concerns or speaking the truth about what is not working.
  • Unrealistic work expectations – managing a boss or co-workers who seem to push or have a more intense or direct style.
  • Unstable environment – frustration with organization’s lack of focus, plan, or decision-making; frustration with changing guidelines or goals.
  • Feeling powerless or overlooked – not feeling heard or appreciated, feeling overlooked or undervalued.
  • Difficult decisions – unable to make decision; maybe lacking time or clarity needed for clear decisive leadership.

This 4-prong (D,I,S,C) model describes behavioral types in a simple, easy to use manner and is a powerful addition to many coaching programs.

To achieve your highest level work results, consider how you might utilize your DiSC strengths while also keeping them in optimal balance. The “S” dimension brings a set of great leadership qualities that are often seen in business partners, mediators, team leaders, managers, and others.

Consider a DiSC assessment to help you bring out the most effective “S” in you!  If you would like to know more about your DiSC Behavioral Style and how you can leverage your style to streamline your career or leadership success, contact Trish and mention this post for a 20% discount on a DiSC assessment.

Trish Pratt, Executive and Career Development Coach — Greater Boston area

High "D" Runner Coaching Client

The Power of DiSC and Career Success

Part 1 of a 5-part blog series.

Assessments can be helpful executive and career development tools, especially when combined with coaching. One powerful, easy to understand coaching assessment describes behavioral style and is called the DiSC. Though humans are complex creatures who can’t be summed up in a few simple letters or descriptive words, the DiSC can add high-level clarity to a client’s self-understanding and leadership strengths. Simply said, when looking to better understand yourself, your team, and your career, the DiSC is a powerful tool!

There are four DiSC Dimensions. Let’s look at the “D”.

Direct, Dominant, gets things Done — these are hallmark strengths for individuals with a high “D” dimension of behavior. “D-ness” is about using the most direct path to accomplish results, and speaking directly to the point – short and succinct. The “D” dimension is also about stepping into power and authority, and being energized by a perfect challenge.

On the flip side of these strengths, some common work challenges for individuals with a high “D” dimension are:

  • Impatience with slow progress — from your methodical team, staff member or boss; from project difficulties, or a micromanaging boss.
  • Frustration with easily offended co-workers – people you work with who may ask a lot of questions, need too much hand-holding, move too slowly, or are too indirect.
  • Irritation due to lack of acknowledgement – as in lack of job promotion, too little responsibility, or not enough freedom.
  • Boredom — from lack of challenge or clear work goals, to lack of career progress or clear direction.
  • Communication challenges — Others complaining that you don’t listen, that you yell or push too hard; that you expect too much.

If you relate to any of these challenges, you may notice how your “D” strengths support your work, and yet may go out of balance from time to time. If so, you may want to learn ways to temper your strengths while still leading from them.  After all, you are a person that gets things done!  The “D” dimension brings a set of great leadership qualities that are often seen in executives, managers, project leaders, entrepreneurs and others. Bring out the most effective “D” in you!

If you’d like to know more about your DiSC Behavioral Style and how to leverage it to streamline your career success… contact Trish and mention this post for a 20% discount on a DISC assessment.

Trish Pratt, Executive and Career Development Coach — Greater Boston area