The Journey to #SHRM18: An Interview with Julie Cohen



Our journey to the 2018 Annual SHRM Conference and Exposition moves forward in an exciting way; an interview with another inspiring and influential business leader! As HR professionals, we often perform work in varying and diverse areas. Perhaps our most essential responsibility is to provide our people with opportunities for growth and success, and performance coaching is one of the most effective ways we can personally deliver value for others. Performance coaching can truly lead to transformative growth on both personal and professional levels. I can personally attest to the power of coaching, as my own personal and professional journey has benefited from the kindness and generosity of those that have taken the time to coach me. With this in mind, I knew I couldn’t miss an opportunity to interview a speaker that will be speaking on this important topic in Chicago, which is key to our own continued growth as HR professionals and business leaders.

Julie Cohen, PCC, Work. Life. Leader. CEO and Executive Coach, is a nationally recognized authority on leadership development, work-life balance and career management. She is the author of Your Work. Your Life…Your Way: 7 Keys to Work-Life Balance, a contributor to The Huffington Post and Working Mother, and a columnist with The Philadelphia Business Journal. I could not be more excited to get an early start and attend Julie’s upcoming session in Chicago, Coaching for Change: A Model for You and Your Talent, taking place Monday, June 18th at 7:00 AM to 8:15 AM. Here’s a quick preview of Julie’s session, courtesy of the SHRM 18 website:

Coaching is the most powerful tool for professional and personal growth and development. Effective coaching facilitates self-awareness that leads to meaningful and relevant change. Many organizations provide coaching to select talent through internal and/or external coaches, yet most, including HR professionals, do not benefit directly from this. You will learn and practice a simple, effective and practical model to guide yourself and others through successful change.

I also have some awesome news for you; you don’t have to wait until Chicago to experience Julie’s wisdom and insights! I’m so grateful that Julie shared her time and talent with all of us by answering a few questions, which you can read below:

Can you describe how your coaching strategies lead to transformative growth on both the personal and professional levels?

Coaching can facilitate transformative growth, as well as incremental growth and tactical goal accomplishment. For sustained and meaningful results, I support my clients and participants in my leadership development programs to first, expand their self-awareness, including greater clarity on their core values. With this self-awareness as a foundation, then growth and change can begin. Self-awareness alone, though, does not make things happen.

Through a process of assessing priorities, strengths, work-life preferences and desired impact, clients determine what success and satisfaction look like. This leads to goals and outcomes identification. With the desired goals/outcomes clear, coach and client work together to determine what is needed to achieve defined results. This involves examining behaviors and beliefs that support and impede success, and creating a supportive framework for the client to experiment with new ways of thinking, acting and accomplishing.

My goal is to teach a repeatable process that my clients, anyone, can continually use to observe and adapt behaviors that lead to greater success, satisfaction and impact.

HR professionals often perform work in varying and diverse areas. How essential do you see coaching in the daily work of an HR professional?

I believe coaching is the most effective tool for supporting professional development, success, engagement, leadership effectiveness and overall satisfaction. With these results, HR professionals armed with coaching skills can support their talent in all phases of their professional and leadership growth, as well as create a workplace culture that people want to be a part of. This can enhance retention and engagement, and also aid in recruitment…all wins for HR and every organization that cares about their talent.

In your book Your Work, Your Life... Your Way: 7 Keys to Work-Life Balance, one of the ways you describe a value is "a quality that makes you who you are." How do you approach aligning one's values with their own style of leadership?

Clarity on one’s values, and then acting upon those values is a cornerstone of leadership. When our actions reflect our values, it makes difficult decisions easier, messages clearer and accomplishment inspirational. For both work-life balance and leadership success, I would advise looking for commonalities between individual and organizational values and determining how to take action that exhibits those values.

Can you tell us about the link between self-awareness and great leadership?

lf-awareness can support great leadership, but self-awareness alone does very little. Self-awareness requires an inward examination. Sometimes called navel-gazing, this requires a downward focus (looking at your belly button!) Looking down does not move you forward and does not usher leadership. A great leader takes self-awareness and looks outward and forward; using one’s strengths and values to support the people around them to accomplish at their best. A great leader understands challenges, her own, her team, her organization’s, and finds resources to overcome those challenges. Self-awareness with strategic thinking, credibility, strong relationships, ethical behavior and competence are building blocks for great leadership.

If you could identify one key takeaway from your upcoming session for attendees, what would it be? (Feel free to choose more than one!)

The big takeaways from the workshop are:

  1. Understanding and practicing the 7-step Work. Life. Leader. Model for Successful Change. This is the core of coaching, and it can be used to help others make changes or for yourself! I teach this process to my clients, so they can replicate what happens in our coaching sessions after our work finishes.
  1. Learning and practicing two coaching skills that, when used, increase self-awareness, enhance understanding, build relationships and support getting unstuck.

There’s more too! Lots packed into 75 minutes.

Tell us how we can keep in touch with you on social media!





Endless gratitude to Julie for sharing her time and insights with all of us. Feel free to grab a seat next to me bright and early in Chicago for Julie’s session! See you there!

Originally posted on the Create: Life and Leadership by Design blog.



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