Lotus_Flower, career coach, life coach

"Sue is the best! Her insightful questions and analysis have been immensely helpful and enlightening. I was admittedly skeptical at first, but the practical exercises and structure of the conversations helped me clarify my goals and made the individual steps significantly more manageable. I am so grateful to Sue, and would strongly recommend working with her to anyone ready to take it to the next level."

Director of Operations
Video Game Company

"I recommend Sue for any executive director, whether facing a particularly difficult time or just seeking to balance the many aspects and intricacies that come with the role. With Sue's background, experience and sensitivity, I found her perspectives, skills and strategies to be exactly what I needed to navigate the sometimes turbulent waters of my role as a nonprofit executive director."

Barrie Hathaway, Executive Director
The Stride Center, formerly Street Tech

"Sue is warm, she's comfortable with herself, she puts you at ease, she has a keen mind, but this is all just a bonus.

Sue Schleifer gets to the heart of the matter. She is a Big Picture person. Not only does she have a wonderful intellect, which I relied on for help with writing copy and other concrete decisions, but she invited my to look at my whole life and evaluate what was working and what could be improved.

Because of Sue, I now have a consistent meditation practice - something I tired, and failed at many times before. Because of Sue, I regularly ask my heart and my gut if something feels right to do, whereas previously, I'd spin around and around in my mind seeking answers that can be obvious if you breathe a little and just check in with yourself. I cannot thank her enough for the work we did together."

Musician

CoachingThe Coaching ProcessFAQs

Frequently Asked Questions

Just what is coaching?

Life Coaching, Executive Coaching and Career Coaching all have as their basis a relationship between a coach and a client that helps the client to develop as a person in the areas of his/her life where s/he would like to make changes and grow.

A tennis coach helps a tennis player to improve his or her game. This may include working on focus, concentration, what the game means to her as well as smaller details such as how she holds the racket, footwork and her swing. In coaching, I too help people with the larger questions as well as more specific issues. We will work on many levels including the physical body, language and communication, how the mind contributes to our feeling states and actions, how you relate to others, and more. My training as an Integral Coach, influences my interest in working with the whole person.

How long will the coaching last?

In general, coaching will continue for at least three months; six months is an optimal period. This is the minimum amount of time necessary to make lasting changes and build practices that will become a part of your life. Often coaching continues for up to a year.

Do you work in person or on the telephone?

We may meet either in person or on the telephone, depending upon your desires and location.

I live in Lafayette, Louisiana as of June 2010. I work with clients around the country via telephone, Skype, and in person.

Why has coaching gotten so popular?

Coaching has become popular because it is a powerful way to grow and make positive changes. People respond to having a caring, insightful person being fully present with them on a regular basis to help them build a more fulfilling life.

Is coaching just another fad?

I don't think so. People have had sports and music coaches for a very long time because it has helped them to improve their game or achieve greater satisfaction and success with their talents. Many of these same principles apply to people who would like to be more successful in their personal and professional lives. As life becomes more complicated and changes accelerate, it is helpful to have a life coach to help us navigate through our choices and maintain a sense of focus and peace.

Some of my career coaching clients are seeking more meaningful work or work that is a better fit with their interests, skills, strengths and passion. I help them to figure out what they would like to be doing, and then we work on strategies to find satisfying work or start their own business.

Will coaching help me at home as well as at work (or vice versa)?

Yes. For example, if we are working together on your communication skills at work, the very same ideas and practices will be effective at home. In fact, we will often work on the same practices in both arenas of your life as they reinforce each other. As an Integral Coach, I will work with you on many areas of your life.

Will I have to do anything between sessions?

Yes. Just as in learning a musical instrument, the more you practice the better you get. It will be important to spend time between sessions working on the practices that we mutually decide on. However, you must be realistic about how much will fit in your life. The idea is not to create more stress by adding more to do. The practices will be activities that reduce your stress once fully incorporated into your life.

What are your qualifications?

I am a Certified Integral Coach through New Ventures West, and I have an M.A. degree in Counseling Psychology. I have also attained the PCC (Professional Certified Coach) credential from the International Coach Federation.

I have worked in most sectors of the economy – business, education, nonprofit organizations and government in the fields of performing arts, travel, training and organizational development, career planning, academic advising, marketing and communications, and public relations. I bring to my work as a coach the skills and knowledge from having been a vice president, manager, executive director, leader, and supervisor. I listen well to both verbal and nonverbal communication from my clients and ask insightful questions to help move them in positive directions.

Currently, in addition to my individual clients, I coach executives participating in the Louisiana State University Executive Education Program. I also provide coaching and consulting services to non-profit organizations in Central Louisiana through the Rapides Foundation's Community Development Works, Non Profit Works and Execbuilders programs.

What is the difference between coaching and counseling/therapy?

There are similarities in coaching and counseling in that in both the coach/therapist needs to be an excellent listener and ask insightful questions. The differences are that in general, in therapy, the focus is on a problem that needs to be solved or understood, often stemming from the past. In coaching, we take a more positive outlook and primarily focus on the present and future. We work to build knowledge and skills that will help you to confront life’s constant changes and challenges and to handle them with grace.

Do you have a coaching specialty?

Yes and no. I am pleased to work with anyone who has a desire for coaching and who seems like a good match with my style of working and personality. We will mutually decide that in our initial meeting. I especially enjoy and am skilled at working with Executive Directors of non-profit organizations and business owners. I am effective working with adults in transition, creative people, and professionals who are feeling overwhelmed with all of their responsibilities and life's choices. I also enjoy working with individuals who would like to incorporate mindfulness practices into their lives.

Why are you a coach?

I decided to pursue a career in coaching after Tom Hale, the President and Founder of Backroads, the active travel company where I worked as a Vice President for nine years, suggested that I look into coaching. He thought I was well suited to be a coach. I conducted extensive research including reading, taking seminars, talking with other coaches before I received training and a credential as an Integral Coach through New Ventures West and the International Coach Federation.

With an M.A. in Counseling Psychology, I developed listening skills and the ability to ask perceptive questions which I have used in my work and in my personal relationships. I enjoy helping others to learn about themselves and build skills so that they may be more effective in their personal and professional lives and feel a sense of focus and peace.

I am totally committed to the work and excited to offer my knowledge and skills as a coach. Coaching brings together all of my past experience and knowledge so that I may be of service to others.

Do you teach workshops or give talks?

Yes. Please refer to the Workshops and Resources section of my website. I am available to speak to groups and lead workshops on coaching topics and about Leadership, Creativity, Effective Communication, and Mindfulness, among other topics.

Is coaching confidential?

Yes. Our coaching sessions and what we discuss is confidential.