I believe that we change the world as we change ourselves, and that our best chance for creating the world in which we want to live requires us to live our lives fully, openly, and honestly. My approach to coaching and consulting is all about helping you be the change you wish to see, whether in the world, in your workplace, in your family, or in yourself.
I am a sociologist. Sociology is a discipline that focuses on the connections between people and the world around them. From my perspective, there is no better discipline to help people figure out what’s keeping them from achieving their goals. I like to talk about this in terms of structure, agency, and interaction.
- Agency is your individual power in the world. You need agency to achieve your goals. But agency is often complicated by structure and interaction.
- Structure is all the stuff around you that either limits or enhances your power. Once we understand it we can find ways to work around it, change it or put it to use for us.
- Interaction is exactly what it sounds like, but sociology helps us see the patterns in interactions and gives us insights about how to change them.
I am not a psychologist or a therapist. My approach is not one that focuses on exploring and healing past trauma, though if you need coaching to help you stick with a therapeutic program I can certainly do that.
I have coached individuals through difficult life-changing events as varied as the taking on of new leadership positions and the ending of marriages. I have coached people through managing conflicts on boards where they serve and in households where they live. I’ve coached people through coming out as trans* at work and in shaping the presentations of their newly-revealed selves.
Each circumstance required sensitivity to the individual’s needs, a nonjudgemental approach, and an ability to think creatively about strategies that would work in each situation. Whether working with individuals or organizations, I always respect your individual autonomy while taking into consideration the integrity of relationships and groups that matter to you and your work. No matter what, the process is not about me. It is always about you.
I earned my Ph.D. in Sociology from Brandeis University in 1999. In 2000 I started teaching at Nassau Community College, where I am an Associate Professor of Sociology. My work with students has been an enormous pleasure, and a great training ground. I have learned a thousand ways to communicate ideas as I’ve interacted with thousands of students who want to understand. I’ve also learned a lot about the everyday experiences of all kinds of people. I bring all of that with me when I work with you.
In 2009 I joined Woodhull Sexual Freedom Alliance as Senior Strategist, where I continue to consult regularly with the Executive Director to help design projects, create messaging campaigns and prioritize resource use. This work has allowed me develop strategies that can help you, whether your organization is a small nonprofit with a big mission, or whether you represent a large and complex organization.
From 2009 through 2012 I was an elected officer in the Nassau Community College Federation of Teachers, a 600+ member local union representing a wide range of faculty and staff at the college. In that position I was trained in strategic planning, messaging, negotiation, and leadership development, and have used those skills in settings that range from problem-solving meetings with individual members to negotiation meetings around complex contract issues.
From conflict resolution to managing transitions, from the deeply personal to ambitiously professional to the intensely political, I can help you act with intention, strategy to achieve your goals. Let’s get started!