Director of Coaching

Interview with Wendy Bruce, Change Lab®’s Director of Coaching

By: Esther Yoo

Q: What inspired you to begin coaching? What was your trajectory?

A: “I’ve been managing others for many years but I never had any support, coaching, or training since I learned a lot of my rules about managing others by making mistakes. So what engaged me in coaching was that I have spent, at that point, coaching more than 20 years in human resources, working with managers who had challenges with their employees, so I found ways of educating the managers and coaching them to help them deal with their issues. Coaching was more a matter of how I would want to be treated and working from there.

Q: Many people have mentioned how you have transformed them (and their business), what do you believe is most important when helping someone get to that place?

A: “I think that heads of organizations or managers who are struggling with their day-to-day lives don’t have the experience or visual knowledge of how different it can be. When we connect, they say, “Oh you understand what my issues are!”. I tell them what makes a difference and what I would do differently. It comes from a place of personal experience and when I connect with clients, it’s on the level of “been there, done that, made that mistake,” so I find a high level of engagement with managers who think that nobody else understands what they’re going through.”

Q: What inspired you to use methods like mBraining and co-active coaching? Do you often notice one works better than the others?

A: “They are both very different. The way I became connected with co-active coaching was that I took six months off of work for medical reasons. When I got back to my company, I met a woman that they had hired in my absence, and every meeting we had together, I was just totally impressed with how she was able to bring out what was important for them, and how she could minimize conflict. I went to her after a week or two and said, “How do you do what you do?,” and she told me that she was a trained coach. So within two weeks I was signed up on her coaching

organization’s platform. There, I went through hours and hours of training and learned that I had been coaching people forever, even though I did not know what I was doing. So, what I acquired was a whole new set of tools to make that more effective.

Q: What do you believe is the most significant thing you have learned as you continue to grow and meet new people?

A: “The most significant thing that I’ve learned is how much people value being heard. What I mean by that is, we listen to learn and we grow from that knowledge. It is not about saying this is right, this is wrong, this is good, this is bad, it’s about listening to that person.”

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