Frequently Asked Questions

Executive Coaching

The process begins with a complimentary Introductory Call. During this call, we determine if the coach and the client are a good fit. If we are a fit, we then determine a regular coaching time, complete the contract, and set up payment terms.

Contact us to schedule your Intro Call.

Typically, we coach clients via telephone about once a week (or once every other week) for 55 minutes. Clients have a recurring appointment that generally falls on the same day and time each week.

The day prior to each session you will send in a Pre-Call form that outlines your goal progress. After each session you will send in a Post-Call form that tracks the status of the action items you assigned yourself during your session. Between sessions, we offer support through light email, text, and phone.

You can also request in-person sessions, which take place near our office in Redmond, or at the Columbia Tower Club in downtown Seattle.

We ask our clients to make a commitment to a minimum of ten (10) coaching sessions. While coaching can prove very effective in producing short-term change, it’s not meant to be a “quick fix” or a short-term relationship. Any new behaviors and strategies we help clients put into practice today may take at least three to six months to produce any results. The learning that takes place creates results that continue for one to three years.

Many successful entrepreneurs and professionals find that coaching is the key to unlocking excellent performance, learning, achievement, and enjoyment. On average, our clients complete 10 to 20 coaching sessions, with many going much longer or choosing to work with us on a continuing basis.

The results depend on you. In working together, you can count on us to be professional, genuine, and present as we work with you to make changes. Your outcomes will depend on many things, including the effort you put forth and your ability to be coached.

What does it mean to have an ability to be coached? You have to be open to trying new things, be vulnerable with your coach, have a willingness to be guided and take action, and have the desire to look at things through a new lens.

Coaching can provide many benefits:

  • You will avoid many of the mistakes professionals and business owners make.
  • You will accomplish more than you would on your own.
  • You will achieve your goals more quickly.
  • You will have a collaboration partner who doesn’t share in your profits.
  • You will gain clarity, which will help you create a targeted action plan.
  • Coaching helps you identify opportunities. Your coach can help you see an opportunity you may have passed up.
  • You will have a clear vision. We have you start with the end in mind. With a vision you are much more likely to succeed than someone who doesn’t know where they’re going.
  • You get an unbiased partner. Your spouse or business partner is invested in the outcome of your future. Because of their own fears they may advise you away from your dreams.

People from all walks of life find coaching useful. We work with a variety of professionals who are looking to clarify what’s next, grow to the next level, or want to change gears completely. We often work with individuals who need career coaching. Our 30+ years of experience working in staffing and executive search gives us a unique view into what works and doesn’t work in a job search. We are highly skilled at helping our clients navigate around career hurdles, climb ladders, communicate more effectively, and plan for their first 90 days in a new job.

We also work with very successful executives who want to become better leaders. Whether it’s motivating their staff, thinking strategically, or introducing a new product/service line, our clients love working with us to accomplish their goals.

This is your business and your career. The responsibility for success rests with you. We will guide you, provide resources, encourage action, and act as your accountability partner. But, ultimately, it is up to you to do the work.

A consultant is usually an expert in a specific industry who will give you answers to all your questions, and may even implement strategies and programs for you.

A coach will ask probing questions to bring out your unique abilities, help you create a vision and plan for the future, and will stay with you while you implement changes. A coach holds you accountable for what you say you’ll do, gives you a push to do more than you would do on your own, and helps you overcome limiting beliefs that are holding you back from success.

A therapist focuses on the past and delves into emotional and relationship issues that require specialized training.

A coach also has specialized training, but that training is intended to help clients focus on the future and move beyond feeling “stuck.” A coach is your accountability partner in success and can help you discover your passion, values, and strengths.

Clients can purchase single sessions, or purchase a package of 10 sessions at a discount. If your coaching package is paid for up front, you receive a 10% discount. Otherwise, payment is split into thirds, with the first payment due prior to the first session, and the final payment due prior to the final session. Individual sessions are paid up front with no discount. We prefer payment by check, but we also offer payment via PayPal.

We love our returning clients. Our relationship is already solid and we have a shorthand that allows us to delve deep in record time. Returning clients receive discounted single sessions and an extra session when purchasing a 10 session package. You will be added to our mailing list and receive our latest news and invitations to workshops.

Yes, it’s very important! Coaching has grown in popularity in recent years, which has led to many people with little to no formal training calling themselves coaches.

Make sure your coach is either certified by the International Coach Federation (ICF) or is working towards certification. The ICF is an independent organization that certifies coaches. The ICF is to coaching what the American Medical Association (AMA) is to the medical profession.

The ICF provides three levels of certification for the coaching profession: Associate Certified Coach (ACC), Professional Certified Coach (PCC), and Master Certified Coach (MCC). Each level has specific requirements, including accredited training hours, client coaching hours, letters of recommendation from accredited coaches, and an oral exam.

As you interview potential coaches, ask if they are a member of the ICF. If so, they have consented to a strict code of ethics and confidentiality that prevents them from divulging your company’s secrets. In fact, an ICF-certified coach should never identify a client without their permission.

You can go to coachfederation.org to verify whether a coach is certified. Also make sure your potential coach has received coach-specific training from an ICF-accredited coach training school.

We enjoy working with people who are up to something big for themselves and others. They have already experienced success in their life and want to take their game to a new level. We especially enjoy working with women who want more out of their career.

We always discuss expectations with our clients up front. If things are not going well, we communicate about the issues and allow our clients the time to make the necessary changes to remedy the issues.

However, in a few limited situations we’ve had to discontinue the coaching relationship with a client, usually because of specific behaviors that tend to block progress:

  • Repeatedly not calling in at the scheduled time, or missing the session without prior notice.
  • Repeatedly not being prepared for the appointment.
  • A pattern of rescheduling appointments without 24 hours notice.
  • Not taking responsibility for their actions.
  • Repeatedly not doing homework they assign to themselves.

In some cases, clients turn out to need a level of emotional or relationship counseling that requires a licensed therapist, rather than a coach.

We do not talk about our clients. As members of the International Coach Federation (ICF), we maintain strict confidentiality in dealing with your business and personal information.

Executive Search

The process begins with a complimentary Introductory Call. During this call, we determine if we and your firm are a good fit. If it’s a fit, we will then find a good time to meet in person, complete the contract, and set up payment terms.

Contact us to schedule your Intro Call.

When hiring for C-Level and upper management positions, it’s helpful to have an impartial third party come in to assess your needs and make recommendations. Here are some common reasons to hire an executive search team:

  • Do you need to conduct a sensitive, confidential search?
  • Are you looking for a unique individual who has traits that are hard to find?
  • Have you searched on your own, or hired a contingent firm, but still haven’t had success?
  • Are you up to your gills running your business or department and simply don’t have the time to take on an intensive candidate search?
  • Do you lack experience with hiring and you don’t know where to start? Or, are you just not that great at hiring people?

Regardless of the reason that brought you to us, we will assess your requirements and find the right person to fill the position.

We begin with an in-depth discovery meeting between you and our search professionals. During this meeting, we learn about your business, culture, vision, and how the role fits in with your team(s).

After assimilating all of the pertinent information from the discovery meeting, we create a list of the top five quantifiable attributes that every candidate must have before we present them to you. We call this the 5 Criteria. Once we have the 5 Criteria, we can begin our research and candidate generation in earnest and zero in on candidates that are right for you and your company.

We thoroughly interview viable candidates and present you with in-depth assessments and recommendations. We also provide you with regular reporting and updates on our progress, typically on a weekly basis (or more frequently, if needed).

In the interview phase, we manage candidates closely and stay in regular contact with you and the candidates. We debrief with you after candidate interviews until we find the perfect fit.

Once you decide to extend an offer to a candidate, we will consult with you to determine the best possible offer for that candidate. We are skilled at offer negotiation: 95 percent of the time we are able to secure a successful offer acceptance.

Searches take an average of 60 days, with the clock starting once we have the approved list of 5 Criteria.

See How Does the Search Process Work for more details on the 5 Criteria.

We are a retained search firm. Payment is based on a percentage of the base salary of the position. Half of the payment is due upon signing our contract, a quarter is due upon the submittal of three qualified candidates based on the 5 Criteria, and the final quarter is due upon hiring of a candidate.

Our guarantee looks a little different from what you’re used to seeing.

  • Our thorough discovery process at the beginning of the search is something you’ve never experienced before. We look beyond the typical qualifications listed in a job description to see the subtle nuances of office culture, hiring manager, and staff personalities, as well as the ecosystem details. (For example, the job may report to the CFO, but there’s a dotted line to the CEO. Can the new hire tactfully navigate that relationship?)
  • Depending on the level of the position, we offer coaching opportunities to the new hire during their first 90 days, which is included in the original payment for the search. The first 90 days are crucial to the long-term success of any new hire. We pride ourselves on our ability to find the perfect person for the job. We work on searches until the role is filled (for a time period not to exceed nine months).

Here are the basic differences:

When you retain a search firm, you pay an up-front, guaranteed fee and give the search firm exclusive access to your job listing. By receiving payment up front, the recruiter is obligated to work on your opening and make it a priority. Another advantage to retained search is that the candidates receive consistent company branding and job information because there is one recruiting firm working on the position. You also know your candidates will be treated professionally.

When you work with a contingent firm, you pay after you successfully hire one of their candidates. You can have multiple companies working on the same search, but there is no guarantee that the contingent firm will help you fill your position. Typically, contingent firms’ searches take longer because there is no advantage for them to work on your search unless it’s a slam dunk for them to fill. Your company branding will be inconsistent due to the number of people working on the search. Sometimes, multiple recruiters reach out to candidates about the same job, which can cause confusion.

Ken Sundheim of Forbes wrote a great article comparing retained & contingent firms.

We hire C-Level, Executive, and Senior Management level positions in the technology, financial services, security, manufacturing, legal, life sciences, and consulting/marketing industries. We specialize in filling engineering, marketing, sales, operations, and human resources roles.

Note that we are not limited to these industries or roles. Please don’t hesitate to contact us if you’d like to discuss a role you need to fill that is not listed here.

We’ve worked with companies in technology, manufacturing, consulting, marketing, telecommunications, legal, life sciences, and financial services. We also work with government agencies, non-profits, and women-owned businesses.

Yes, we love working with startups! We love the energy and chutzpah behind great ideas. We find that it works best if startup companies wait to engage with us until they have stable funding and a solid business plan, and have exhausted their “friends and family” candidate networks.

We enjoy working with companies who are up to something big and want to make their mark on the world.

Do any of these questions strike a chord?

  • Have a problem you’re solving or something you’re striving for? Sign us up.
  • Looking for a key executive? Let’s dig in.
  • Did a key player leave and you need to fill their vacancy ASAP? We are here for you.

All we ask is that you make time to truly engage with us, provide us with the information we need to find the best possible candidates, are reasonable in your requests, and are financially responsible.

For more details on our perfect client, see How We Work with Clients.

We love our returning clients. Our relationship is already solid and we have a shorthand that allows us to delve deep in record time. This translates into a quicker fill rate!