Amii Barnard-Bahn is Senior Vice President of Human Resources for River City Bank, the Sacramento region’s premier business bank. Amii joined River City in November; prior to that she provided executive coaching, human resources, and compliance consulting services for large corporate and small business clientele as Principal of Barnard-Bahn Consulting and Coaching. She talked about changes, what she looks for in a coach and realistic expectations from coaching:
Ingredients you need to make a successful change: Amii looks for two. “Go where you can make a strategic contribution and learn something new.” She recommends finding a role with one or two areas that will take you out of your comfort zone and keep your learning edge sharp. She adds, “As you advance in your career, it can become more challenging to find that job that keeps you intellectually engaged.” But, it’s out there.
The big question about coaching: “It’s important to do soul searching around what you’re looking for. Really think about ‘what’s motivating me to seek coaching.’” The big question, Amii asks, “What does ‘better’ look like for me right now?”
One coach doesn’t fit all: Amii will recommend different coaches depending on a client’s needs. Some coaches specialize in hard skill development (like core management skills); others are skilled at soft skill development and help clients correct “derailing behavior” such as a hair trigger temper, reacting poorly under stress or micro-managing.
Coaching isn’t a passive activity: “Effective coaching is a lot of work for both client and coach,” Amii says. In her opinion, clients need to dedicate a minimum of six months to the process. “We all have a built-in resistance to change, so for coaching to work, the client needs to be in a space where the pain of not doing something is greater than the benefit of maintaining the status quo.”