Corporate Career Builder Success Story – Private Coaching client, Director, major arts organization
“Before I started private coaching sessions with Michelle, my biggest challenge was learning how to prioritize the many demands on my time – from work and from family – and still find time to honour my own creative needs. I felt constant anxiety and like I was running out of energy to meet all these demands. My family and my team at work were depending on me to make positive changes, and I felt I couldn’t ever get off the merry-go-round.
I was so busy with so many high stakes programs that it was difficult for me to step back and figure out priorities. I sought out advice internally at work but didn’t find that I was getting the help I needed as these people were also close to the projects.
Michelle has a wonderful way to listen to specific problems, and pull out general processes and patterns of thinking or behavior that are idiosyncratic to me. By discussing these patterns and processes, I can see when I’m falling into the same reaction or response. In my management role at work, I now try to respond with intentionality rather than impulsiveness – weighing up my own list of priorities in my head before reacting. Michelle has also done a great job getting me to recognize my strengths and take time to acknowledge those and look at what led to key successes. She’s also helped me in my professional relationships to appreciate differences of opinion and not take situations so personally.
I have been impressed with Michelle’s wisdom and ability to see beyond detailed situations and capture broader themes that are incredibly helpful to recognize. I’ve always come away from our sessions having learned something and often think about our conversations and how to implement some of the suggestions she’s shared with me. I would recommend her to anyone who seeking out positive change in their lives. The investment is worth it as it affects not only me but all the people I engage with.
- Private Coaching client, Director, major arts organization
Entrepreneur Success Story – Anne van der Voort, Nutrition & Lifestyle Counseling
“Before I began working with Michelle, I was overwhelmed, frustrated and just spinning my wheels. It seemed like every day I was in a bigger hole – my ‘to do’ list kept growing longer yet I wasn’t really accomplishing anything. I had a business background and KNEW how to plan and prioritize; I just didn’t seem to have the discipline to stick with it.
I knew Michelle though our children’s school and turned to her for help . Almost immediately, there was a sense of relief. It was like being in a foreign city and finding a wonderful tour guide – all of a sudden I could relax and enjoy the sights, and began to dig myself out from the chaos and backlog.
Now, if something comes up with my business that I’m not sure about, I can put it on the back burner until my next coaching session. Instead of being preoccupied and distracted, I can be fully present with my husband and children, knowing that I’ll have the chance to talk over those concerns with someone I trust.
After spending a productive year and a half in private coaching with Michelle, she suggested I try the Momentum Coaching Circle. Initially I was hesitant after having only had her one-on-one attention, but I soon realized that Michelle had created the perfect atmosphere of support and encouragement. I hear helpful feedback from women who are similar to my clients. And I still get Michelle’s insights that challenge my perspectives and help me see things more clearly.
Thanks to Michelle, I am making strides in my business that I never would have gotten to on my own. I have a business plan, which has been invaluable in defining what I’m going to do and what I will say no to. Like any working mom, I get regular requests for my time. Now I have a guideline for making those choices.”
– Anne van der Voort, Nutrition & Lifestyle Counselor
“On-Ramper” Success Story: Dr. Helene Walisever, Clinical Psychologist
“I met Michelle when I noticed a listing in the Scarsdale Adult School for a ‘Bootcamp’ program for mothers thinking about returning to work. For a while I’d been feeling uneasy about what I was going to do next. I am a clinical psychologist with a doctorate degree, yet all my son could say when he was asked what I did was that my current volunteer position wasn’t ‘real’ work. Is this the role model I was being for my five kids? Is this what they were learning about me and what my work was worth?
I had been reading up on the topic of women returning to work, but I knew I needed to work with someone face-to-face if I wanted to actually get going. The group element of Michelle’s program was hugely inspirational to me. Meeting other women – my neighbors – who were going through this exact same thing and had similar feelings and insecurities, and finding out how they were dealing with it, was incredible.
As a group leader, Michelle was unbelievably perceptive about who we were as individuals, our insecurities, our saboteurs, and the thoughts that were holding us back. We all had a specific time on the ‘hot seat,’ but Michelle made it a very non-threatening, bonding experience.
Working with Michelle, I’ve been able to uncover the desires, dreams, wishes and needs that were really hibernating, and bring them to the surface.
Michelle really helped me reframe my whole conception of what I’ve been doing as a stay-at-home Mom these last few years. ‘You weren’t stuffing envelopes, Helene,’ she said, ‘You’ve been doing pro-bono professional work that other people would have paid you hundreds of dollars for.’ She helped me see that I have something really valuable to offer. I actually changed the outgoing message on my phone, which now starts with, ‘You’ve reached Dr. Helene Walisever…’ Thank you, Michelle, for giving me back that identity.”
– Dr. Helene Walisever, Clinical Psychologist and mom of five
Progressive Organization Success Story: Westchester Reform Temple
“Michelle co-chaired a committee at Westchester Reform Temple to create a women’s retreat and I was on the committee as the staff representative. The retreat idea actually came from her; it was her insights, perspective and initiative that created the groundswell and support for the idea, and then she co-chaired the process to make the dream come to life.
Right from the start, she had a clear vision of what this might be and what it might mean for the women in our community. She was a key person in guiding the process, both the practical details and the visioning.
There were huge challenges in the first year because we’d never done this before. From contacting the speakers, designing the program around the speaker topics, organizing all the details, doing the paperwork, even designing the registration form, Michelle really helped keep us on track.
Michelle had a way of helping us understand the program as a whole. In fact, to give us the big picture, in one meeting she literally drew some charts on the board that gave us a whole new way to see it, which was very helpful in planning.
Besides being extremely insightful and thoughtful, Michelle was also very prompt and organized – you could count on her to do what she said she’d do. For example, she helped us stay on target by providing outlines for our meetings.
For the women in our community, the retreat created a wonderful, positive sense of connection and warmth. Directly because of Michelle’s attention to detail, even though it was a large group, no one felt neglected. It was a great success and many, many people are returning for the upcoming retreat – as well as new people who heard how wonderful the program was last year.
In her work on our retreat planning committee, Michelle was willing to not just lead us, but be a learning participant in the process. She really immersed herself in multiple roles. I enjoyed working with her and I’ve come to really value what she brings to us.”
– Sorel Goldberg Loeb, Director of Education, Westchester Reform Temple