EP 60: Executive Coaching to Move Forward with Bobbie Sue Wolk

Executive Coaching to Move Forward

Bobbie Sue Wolk is the first International Coaching Federation (ICF) Certified Coach in Alaska and has coached clients on every continent except Antarctica! Also a certified executive coach, business consultant, author, and entrepreneur, Bobbie Sue joins the show today to share her approach to working with executives to maximize their potential. Listen in as she dives into how she helps people, both personally and professionally, and provides them with the knowledge to create an excellent coaching culture.

What You’ll Learn In Today’s Episode

  • How to create an environment where your staff feels empowered to make their own decisions. (4:00)
  • What the good model is and how to use this in your business. (6:20)
  • How to ensure each member of your staff’s strengths shine. (13:20)

Actionable Takeaway for HR Professionals:

  • Don’t take for granted the power you have to change someone’s day. (17:15)

Actionable Takeaway for Executives:

  • Ponder what a coaching culture might look like for your organization and ask open-ended questions. (14:50)

Ideas Worth Sharing

“Allow your employees to think for themselves.” - Bobbie Sue Wolk Click To Tweet

Resources In Today’s Episode

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Click Here for Audio Transcript

Traci Scherck: Welcome to talent optimization today we are chatting about how we create a coaching culture inside of our organizations.

Traci Scherck: And, as many of you know i’ve been on a journey to get my coaching certification over the last year and have come across some of the most amazing individuals that have.

Traci Scherck: Really implemented coaching cultures inside of organizations coached executives etc and i’m thrilled to have a guest with us on the show today and Bobby Sue and Bobby Sue is an executive coach and also has her own coaching practice at rosewood so Bobby Sue Walter welcome to the show.

Bobbie Sue Wolk: Well, thank you so much Tracy very good to be here with you.

Traci Scherck: Absolutely, and so i’m just super curious What was your journey to coaching and you know what was that journey to coaching and why is coaching so important inside of organizations.

Bobbie Sue Wolk: Well, that is a great question and around about way, maybe like your journey, but I really started off as an accountant working with organizations as a consultant, because I had my own accounting business.

Bobbie Sue Wolk: And there was lots of organizations that I just knew, their culture was a bad wrong I didn’t know what I didn’t know how to define it I didn’t do it didn’t feel very comfortable there.

Bobbie Sue Wolk: And just as my interest in business grew Like you, I found college of executive coaching 15 years ago and went through the program and just loved it.

Bobbie Sue Wolk: Which kind of shifted my point of view, so now you work with college of executive coaching how I met you and and my business has grown to I get to work with organizations all over the world, which is sort of blows my mind and I love it and then it’s really I think the.

Bobbie Sue Wolk: coaching culture really under it’s really talking about emotional intelligence in the workplace really about conversation.

Bobbie Sue Wolk: And it’s really about for leaders asking and not telling I remember Peter drucker many years ago, is that the leader of the future will ask and not tell so it’s really allowing your people, your employees to.

Bobbie Sue Wolk: For them to think for themselves it’s a coaching culture, it helps build the critical thinking skills of the employees by when, for example when employee comes to you hey boss, how do you do such and such.

Bobbie Sue Wolk: Instead of just telling them responding with what do you think you’ve worked here while what would your thoughts be.

Bobbie Sue Wolk: And it may not be perfect, but now you have an engaged employee someone who realizes that being appreciated and they’re being asked and they’re starting to learn to be more engaged so it’s really a win, win for all the way around.

Traci Scherck: Absolutely, and you know as I hear you talk about this, I have this kind of like little voice in my head of some of our listeners going.

Traci Scherck: yeah but there’s not always time for that so like when is the place for that, and when is the place, not for that, because there is something beautiful about timing.

Bobbie Sue Wolk: Absolutely, and I hope nobody realized and i’m not asking anyone to do that all the time i’m a coach you’re a coach we do that in coaching.

Bobbie Sue Wolk: However, when you have the time to spend a little extra time with your employees challenging them helping them use the things they’ve learned, but without.

Bobbie Sue Wolk: out a doubt leadership has to make quick decisions there’s a time when a democratic process will not work there’s a time when you have to tell you cannot ask.

Bobbie Sue Wolk: And it, but I think it’s for our leaders to have all those tools available to them, and so they know when they have the time when they can help build up their employees by really.

Bobbie Sue Wolk: coaching them and asking them and helping them through the process of discovering how to reach their goals, how to.

Bobbie Sue Wolk: figure out the issues solve the problems on their own as as opposed to always having to go to the boss, and ask.

Traci Scherck: mm hmm absolutely and that also is something that when you do that, it creates an environment where you know one person isn’t just the bottleneck, we have something in our organization and we’ve implemented the so many other organizations as well.

Traci Scherck: which we call the question list right which is any question you have before you go directly to your manager your supervisor, or whoever, that is put it on the question list, but then you have to answer the question.

Traci Scherck: That you asked before it goes to the supervisor or whatnot that then becomes quite honestly, the faqs for any other employee.

Traci Scherck: So any employee can go look at the question list if they have a question to see if it’s there already.

Traci Scherck: And we use that in our orientation we use that in our training, it becomes a part of our SOPs, but it also allows as a supervisor leader.

Traci Scherck: us to see the thought process of the employees and what their thought processes, the best part about it is more than half the time their ideas are better than what mine would have ever bet.

Bobbie Sue Wolk: You i’m sure you are being humble, but you make me think back when, as a kid like asking my mom what the definition of a word was and to go look it up in a dictionary and you’re like no, you know just give me the information I bought one thing that might be fun Tracy is to.

Bobbie Sue Wolk: Teach your listeners the good model.

Bobbie Sue Wolk: Well, yes college of executive coaching.

Traci Scherck: Okay fantastic.

Bobbie Sue Wolk: Okay, so for all you listeners and Tracy and I have learned coaching the same way, and of course this is just a model created by Jeff our box.

Bobbie Sue Wolk: And, like all models it doesn’t work perfectly for every single coaching, but it really does kind of provide the avenue, because I think most of us it’s really easy to give on a jump in and give advice.

Bobbie Sue Wolk: So, for example, it’s called the good model and the good stands for goal option obstacle and do.

Bobbie Sue Wolk: And how it plays out.

Bobbie Sue Wolk: Is imagine your employee comes to you with a goal in mind, or a question in mind, or something that they want to do that is their goal.

Bobbie Sue Wolk: And instead of just giving them the answer just ask what are your opportunities, what are your options second row.

Bobbie Sue Wolk: And and don’t don’t stop there, like and what else, what else help kind of excavate what’s in them the knowledge that’s in them.

Bobbie Sue Wolk: And then move on to the next what’s going to get in the way what’s the obstacle why won’t you follow through.

Bobbie Sue Wolk: Because one of the reasons we don’t reach our goals is we don’t adequately look at what might get in the way because something always gets in the way it could be an obstacle, it could be a distraction, but something.

Bobbie Sue Wolk: Always sort of hinders it and by talking about it with our employees or with our clients whatever when that happens they’re more likely to to find their way around the problem.

Bobbie Sue Wolk: And then, what are you going to do with all this knowledge, what are you going to do differently or what are you going to do, and so that is just a basic coaching model that your listeners can begin using right away.

Traci Scherck: yeah absolutely and what I love so much about that model is those options that you come up with you know, there can be so many of them and, and I know we didn’t prep for this, but do we want to do we want to do a quick example.

Traci Scherck: Of this model is.

Bobbie Sue Wolk: You want to be the coach or the client.

Traci Scherck: And I can be the client now, I just have to come up with something fun right.


Traci Scherck: yeah so so something fun may be, you know we are launching our.

Traci Scherck: group program for HR professionals is our group coaching program it’s a three month program and with that our goal is that a new one launches every month, and that we have 12 new clients in that so that’s our goal.

Bobbie Sue Wolk: is to set this this so, then let me make sure I have this right, the goal is to set up this program that’s going to begin every month and adding a new employees into it monthly Is that correct.

Traci Scherck: yep so so 12 HR professionals every month that are in this group coaching Program.

Bobbie Sue Wolk: that’s fantastic, why is this goal meaningful to you.

Traci Scherck: So the reason why the school so incredibly meaningful to me is as an HR professional I you know, had this kind of.

Traci Scherck: I had a coach others, but I didn’t know what coaching was, I never had experienced with coaching was.

Traci Scherck: And yet i’m talking and coaching with employees all day long, but without experiencing what coaching really is it’s really difficult to be that key person for employees inside your organization.

Traci Scherck: And so it’s powerful to me because I want to give other HR professionals that experience of being coached in a way that furthers their personal and professional development, but also for their organization because it’s amazing.

Bobbie Sue Wolk: And let me ask one more question about your goal, what will be different for you or your organization wants you to keep this call.

Traci Scherck: yeah So what will be different for us in our organization is that we will be able to not only serve clients in a consulting model but also really serving them in that coaching model.

Traci Scherck: Because so often we have clients that we’ve been serving and consulting that really don’t need that consulting anymore what they really need is the coaching so it allows us to continue that journey with them to further their development.

Bobbie Sue Wolk: That is exciting So what are your opportunities that you have to create this goal to make it happen to make it come alive.

Traci Scherck: yeah, so I think that there’s a number of opportunities and in, and of course i’m going to jump to an obstacle first right.

Traci Scherck: The biggest obstacle is the time just to put that out and say okay.

Traci Scherck: here’s what we’re going to do it and then marketing it in a way that really gets it in front of individuals and excited about it.

Bobbie Sue Wolk: So what are some options that you can get that information in front of people, so they get excited about it.

Traci Scherck: And the podcasts are doing right now it’s just totally you know.


Traci Scherck: um you know, and then the other is just that outreach and asking and that’s something that I haven’t yet done either.

Bobbie Sue Wolk: let’s see anything else let’s dig a little deeper what else might be in there.

Traci Scherck: um so I can send emails or email system, I can do outreach I can talk about it in the speaking programs that I have coming up.

Bobbie Sue Wolk: Anything else can pick up.

Traci Scherck: And I could reach out to the individuals that i’ve already coached in the HR community and ask them if they want to rejoin this session or who else they would recommend that they feel that this would be a good fit for.

Bobbie Sue Wolk: I love that you started off with one the podcast and now you have about five different options have no more time, I would just keep at that.

Bobbie Sue Wolk: So we drain everything inside of us and you have a list of things you can do, and he did list one obstacle and but is there anything else other than time.

Traci Scherck: um I think the other obstacle that’s coming up for me is I already have laid out here’s exactly what this looks like in a three month program so like the programmatic aspects of it are all laid out um.

Traci Scherck: But yet it’s going hey is this going to be the right thing for each person that’s inside of it, and I think that that’s.

Traci Scherck: This is where I get caught between coaching and consulting right because consulting really is everything’s laid out and coaching is your coachee is really lead that and and that’s I think something that sometimes I think we all get hung up on as we’re coaching.

Bobbie Sue Wolk: So what can you do to make sure you are meeting the needs of the people in the Program.

Traci Scherck: Oh we’ve got the questionnaires to begin with, we follow up after every session and ask them what they needed and what they want more of the next time, and I think it’s just following what’s been laid out for them.

Bobbie Sue Wolk: And what are you going to be, what are you going to do when.

Bobbie Sue Wolk: A sale happens.

Traci Scherck: So what i’m going to do is in our show notes after the end of this episode, we will have the.

Traci Scherck: There will be a link for how to sign up for that coaching that will be starting and we will start the first one in March.

Traci Scherck: So that will be in the show notes and then also I will go back and look at the draft emails that i’ve you know started and finalize that to send out to those folks that we’ve worked with in the past and that are on our list.

Bobbie Sue Wolk: Well, thank you, that is an example of the good model clearly you had they’re going you pretty much had all of this in place.

Bobbie Sue Wolk: By hope your listeners can see interested in practice use it on somebody use it on themselves just thinking going through that process of helping people come up with the ideas and the solutions and the motivation, as you were talking about it, your energy roads.

Bobbie Sue Wolk: Not excited listening to you just talked about it, but that is really exciting.

Traci Scherck: Absolutely, and for our listeners to you know, one of the things I really want you to think about is what is coaching right, so we just gave you a really great example of a coaching conversation.

Traci Scherck: And it’s very different than a consulting conversation, which is really telling right are leading.

Bobbie Sue Wolk: Well, I think i’m Tracy you have so much expertise in this world may ask you, what is your definition of a coach coaching culture, because you live breathe this world’s.

Traci Scherck: More yeah oh absolutely so you know our definition of a coaching culture and I don’t have this written out anywhere so.

Traci Scherck: You know, but that coaching culture is really about leading individuals in the way that they need to be led so that they’re fulfilled in their work.

Traci Scherck: and meeting the business outcomes right and so that culture is this give take, that is, you know what we’re working together, but it truly is letting every single person’s strengths shine in a way that aligns with a job with a team.

Traci Scherck: With the organization and with that leader, because guess what we don’t have all the answers, nor should we and it’s really about utilizing an elevating every single person strength to meet with those business outcomes are and.

Bobbie Sue Wolk: I love that and for the listeners if you’re not quite sure how to do that I know in coaching well always will say dial up the curiosity.

Bobbie Sue Wolk: As you don’t have to know it, you don’t nobody’s expecting any listener leader to know everything by just automatically, but if you’re curious talk to your employees ask them what they would be helpful to them.

Bobbie Sue Wolk: What they might need to be a better employee, to be more engaged be curious and just be open to the the response to get into that when you asked us questions.

Traci Scherck: Absolutely, and so, as we start to kind of close out this amazing conversation Bobby Sue and thank you so much, and one of the questions that I have for you is what is the takeaway that you have for executives that have listened in today.

Bobbie Sue Wolk: The takeaway for them.

Bobbie Sue Wolk: yeah well i’m not a mind reader, but I can tell you what I hope.

I hope.

Bobbie Sue Wolk: That the executives listening in today that they just ponder a little bit about what a coaching culture would look like for their organization and there’s not a one size fits all I always heard one size fits all fits none.

Bobbie Sue Wolk: So this is a one conversation and there’s a there’s books out there, but to actually I challenge each person to.

Bobbie Sue Wolk: This coming day whenever you listen to this later today or tomorrow.

Bobbie Sue Wolk: Ask open ended questions don’t tell us be curious just just experiment, a little bit, and I promise you Oh, what a sidebar in here’s here’s a good start.

Bobbie Sue Wolk: Barbara fredrickson does work on positivity in the workplace and her research says, for any negative criticism or like telling your employee they did something wrong, you should give them three things they have done.

Bobbie Sue Wolk: Right and that’s not many people I know do that meaning i’m going to look around and find specific things my employees are doing, and not just a good job, but say like Tracy.

Bobbie Sue Wolk: You do this excellent podcast every week after week after week, I really appreciate it, thank you, and what happens is you are getting.

Bobbie Sue Wolk: This employee motivated they real basic they feel seen they know they’re hurting other appreciate it and it’s 321 it’s not there’s no room for criticism.

Bobbie Sue Wolk: And just for the sack the second side of this conversation at home it’s five to one, so all of us need to dial up looking for things.

Bobbie Sue Wolk: That are working, because our brain is wired to find what we look for so we’re only looking for problems, David Cooper writer says we’re having if we only find problems we have a problem organization.

Bobbie Sue Wolk: So I also challenged all the leaders to really look and discover for all the things that are working and make sure that you appreciate and acknowledge the things that are working.

Traci Scherck: Absolutely, and that was beautiful and I love, how you both brought in work and home right because guess what it is the same pot of soup what we.

Traci Scherck: Take home with us, we bring to work, and I think we’ve learned this so much in the last two years and, as we you know talk with our HR professionals that are listening and what’s one takeaway that you have for them.

Bobbie Sue Wolk: Oh.

Bobbie Sue Wolk: Oh, what I just a big takeaway keep doing the magic work you guys have such a tough job of dealing with emotions on all levels and I sometimes wonder will say who listens to you, but Tracy does.

Bobbie Sue Wolk: that’s why you that’s why they have you because you have.

Bobbie Sue Wolk: i’m not HR my backgrounds accounting.

Bobbie Sue Wolk: Is the power and influence you all have on the people around you.

Bobbie Sue Wolk: is not to be taken lightly lightly or taken for granted, you have the opportunity to make someone’s day every day.

Bobbie Sue Wolk: And even when it’s bad news, you can do it in a way that’s respectful unkind that people always have their dignity, about them and are always encouraged and you all have that opportunity to do that.

Traci Scherck: I love it I love it I love it so if you are interested in experiencing what coaching is, I hope that you will check out the coaching programs that we have an elevated talent consulting that are coming up and.

Traci Scherck: If you’re an executive that’s listening in and you’re looking for an executive coach I really hope that you take a look at Bobby Sue and the work that she does because she’s phenomenal.

Traci Scherck: So with That being said, thank you so much for joining us in this episode of talent optimization and I hope you all have a fantastic rest of your day.