Yes, you read the title correctly. The five of us employ an executive coach and we love her. Who is she and what does she do?
Her name is Nancy Raulston and she is the founder of perspective2. What she does is facilitate human capital and executive team development in ways that we aren’t qualified to do. No, this isn’t “sit on the couch and tell me about your mother,” rather she has taken the time to get to know each of us and has been a tremendous asset in helping us explore our strengths and weaknesses as a team and as individuals.
We decided to use her when Ryan and I moved to Colorado two years ago to help start Foundry Group. While we had all worked together for 6 years then, we had never worked in the same office and we thought that a good 360 degree management review would be a helpful exercise.
She interviewed each us, folks in the industry and our staff about us and came up with a detailed analysis of each of us including how we fit together as a team. Which of us likes detail? Which one of loathes the small stuff? Which one of us doesn’t like to be the first to speak in a meeting? It wasn’t that anything was so surprising in that it changed our opinions of one another, rather when it was clear who was more and less comfortable with certain things. And with this knowledge we were able to help and encourage each of us to be better-rounded.
Since then, we’ve invited Nancy back on a regular basis to help monitor and tune our development. For a guy from Michigan who is generally leery about similar professions, I’ve become more and more impressed the more that we work with Nancy. I can confidently say that each of us has explored areas that we once shied away from and in so have become an even better functioning team. I think it is important to note that we didn’t have an “issue” that was the catalyst for working with Nancy, rather we thought we’d give it a shot while everything was great and see what the value proposition was. We’ve been very happy. I’d encourage anyone to give her a try.