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Tag | interview

Q&A With Executive Coach Nancy Wallis

Jan 30th, 2014Comments Off on Q&A With Executive Coach Nancy Wallis
The distinguished academic and hands-on mentor shares the secrets to great coaching

We sat down with Dr. Nancy C. Wallis, a Brainard Strategy coach with a lifelong history of interweaving academic pursuits with practical leadership intelligence for organizations.

Dr. Wallis has designed leadership development and organizational theory courses for several business schools and has supervised doctoral dissertations contributing to the leadership literature. She is currently a professor at Pitzer College, Pepperdine University Graziadio School of Business and Management, and Danube University.

BRAINARD STRATEGY: First of all, how do you define coaching?
DR. NANCY C. WALLIS: Leadership coaching includes fostering a trusting relationship between two professionals that allows for deep dialogue around important facets of leadership. It is the co-creation of a learning space, which can support exploring shadow areas, as-yet unexplored perspectives, and growth opportunities to support leadership transformation. In a nutshell, leadership coaching is working with another executive to discover new methods to be one’s best in ways that allow others’ to be their best.

BRAINARD: What makes a coach successful?
DR. WALLIS:  coach is successful when the leader she is coaching gains increased self-awareness, develops increased capacity to understand complex situations, and act effectively in them. Success inspires a continuing leadership learning process, such that future transformation is likely. We discuss that the most effective leaders develop the discipline of continuous learning, practicing and remaining dedicated to one’s own leadership development, no matter one’s role or circumstances.

BRAINARD: What is your personal coaching style?
DR. WALLIS: It is important to build a trusting relationship early in the coaching process which is, in effect, a holding environment that we co-create. This allows for an individually tailored combination of supports, challenges and stability necessary for the exploration of assessment data in combination with personal history and experiences such that deep learning and growth can occur.

BRAINARD: What sets Brainard coaches apart from others?
DR. WALLIS: It is important to build a trusting relationship early in the coaching process, which is, in effect, a holding environment that we co-create. I strive for an individually tailored combination of supports, challenges, and stability necessary for the exploration of assessment data. Deep learning and growth are tied to personal history, experiences, and new knowledge.

BRAINARD: What do you do best?
DR. WALLIS: I enjoy building engaging relationships in which clients can expand their leadership capacity and competence in ways that uniquely address their personal and professional contexts. I particularly enjoy coaching engagements with leaders who have a deep learning orientation and are seeking to expand their repertoire of meaning making and action taking to reflect more complex ways of understanding their organization and current global influences.
BRAINARD: What kind of clients do you work with best?
DR. WALLIS: My commitment to clients who are seeking lasting transformation in their leadership impact is to bring state of the art leadership concepts, models and developmental supports and to integrate these within their unique developmental journey. I work best with clients who are curious about and committed to their leadership development, to increasing the health and effectiveness of their organization, and who are committed to guiding their organizations forward as we together address vital and emerging issues related to organizational health and social and ecological sustainability.