As an emerging leader in a department that had recently undergone significant change, I needed to figure out how to tap into root causes quickly and effectively. In working with Jenna, I learned how to strategically attack pressing issues and tasks in the least draining way possible. I discovered that some of my energy drain was because I was flexing outside my comfort zone and personal work style. During my coaching sessions with Jenna, I would identify tangible tactics that I could try immediately. It kept me engaged and excited to report back in the next session what I learned from trying out new tactics. I’ve now learned how to identify tasks and situations that are more challenging for me and I’m able to find alternative approaches to succeed with ease. I also have a much better understanding of how I respond in certain situations and have become more effective in less time because of the coaching I’ve done with Jenna.
Jenna’s coaching approach is the perfect blend between active listening with compassion and direct feedback when you need to hear it the most. I have many colleagues who have worked with Jenna, all with very different work styles, and they’ve all had similar success with their coaching sessions. If you are hesitant at all to open yourself up to coaching, Jenna is the perfect coach for you. She has a unique way of making even the hardest conversations comfortable.
DARRELL W – Inorganic Chemistry Expert
Over the course of my career it’s been challenging for me to get my peers or upper management to listen and “buy in” to my ideas. I was frustrated not having the influence I really wanted to have to help move NSF’s mission forward and wondered if I had hit the ceiling of my career potential. Participating in NSF’s leadership development program and working with Jenna one-on-one helped me recognize development opportunities that really needed to be addressed before I was able to accomplish my goals.
Without a doubt, the most helpful part of the leadership program was the coaching I received from Jenna. I’ve always been pretty self-aware so recognizing where I needed to improve was actually the easy part. For instance, my direct communication approach may come off as abrasive. And holding others to my high standards isn’t always realistic – and sometimes not required. While I’ll admit that I didn’t see a need to change before, Jenna was instrumental in helping me see the benefits from adjusting my style to connect with others in a way that builds trust. Jenna helped me learn how to communicate powerfully by taking into consideration what the other person needs and how to create an open dialogue for them to share their ideas. Our coaching conversations not only provided me different ways to get the results I was looking for, it gave me the motivation to experiment with other communication approaches. Trying different approaches took me out of my comfort zone but I discovered their effectiveness and so they have become extremely valuable tools that I continue to rely on.
Since working with Jenna and completing the leadership program, I have been able to work more effectively with others inside and outside of my department. I’ve gained more respect from my direct reports, peers and senior management. I’ve also noticed more people seeking me out for advice and feedback. This allows me an opportunity for greater impact and influence. As a result, opportunities for me that weren’t there before have opened up. And previously challenging tasks, such as building an extended professional network, come more naturally now. After working with Jenna and completing the leadership program, I can see my career picking up momentum and I see no limits.