Coach FEATURE: Meet Katherine Spinney ACC, MSW, MT

Katherine Spinney HeadshotWe continue to meet our fellow coaches - and build our coach community with these articles! This month we meet Katherine Spinney, a Launchpad reader and active "Coaches Helping Coaches" Facebook Group Member. Katherine is a leadership coach for new and aspiring leaders and clearly has a passion for her work!

About Katherine Spinney ACC, MSW, MT:

From: Baltimore, Maryland, USA.

Business name: Katherine Spinney Coaching LLC

Describe your coaching business in one sentence: I help new and aspiring leaders identify, strengthen and maximize their skills, values and mindset to become the leaders they strive to be.

Meet Katherine:

QUESTION 1: What one book should every coach read - and why?

"How to Win Friends and Influence People" by Dale Carnegie is a classic for a reason. It is not only timeless in its wisdom on business but also in human relationships.

On the business end, "The E-Myth Revisited" by Michael Gerber provides great information on the different roles we play as business owners and how to effectively market our businesses rather than our services.

QUESTION 2: Which website do you visit the most?

Twitter. I follow so many inspirational, thought-provoking people and am continuously amazed at all of the available support and resources.

QUESTION 3: Whom do you admire most?

I don't think I have a specific person, but in general, I am inspired by people who have said, "This is the life I want, and I’m going to live it." It is really hard to create your own way, particularly if it goes against the grain, and I am in awe of people who do it anyway.

QUESTION 4: What's your vision for your life? Where do you see yourself in 5 years?

I am endlessly curious about life and the world. I plan to continue traveling and seeing as many places as I can. While doing so, I hope to grow my business to be able to serve as many young leaders as I can by providing the support they should be, but are not getting, at their jobs.

I hope my message of investing in people spreads far and wide, and I hope to inspire other people to live their best lives.

Personally, I hope everyday to be a better friend, daughter, sister, aunt, person and Christian.

QUESTION 5: What is your "Big Project" at the moment?

I work with young leaders across sectors but particularly in the non-profit space. My big project is working with non-profit leaders to shift the scarcity mindset to one of abundance and from a reactive approach to a proactive one.

The non-profit community has been conditioned to scrimp and save in ways that are harmful to their missions. They have also been taught to function by constantly putting out fires. I hope to spread the message that, by investing time and money in their staff - their most important assets - this will allow them to attract and retain high-quality talent which will benefit their organizations by saving both time and money. If not, the costly cycle of turnover will continue.

QUESTION 6: What has been your favourite coaching moment so far?

I've been working with a young leader who has been struggling with her team. She has been committed to becoming more effective but is often hindered by self-doubt. Before an important meeting with her team, we worked together to come up with a strong strategy and plan.

After the meeting, she shared that it went well beyond her expectations. She was absolutely ecstatic, and I was so happy for her to experience what it was like to feel confident and successful.  It is important to feel these moments, because, even though leading other people is really rewarding, it is really, really hard.

QUESTION 7: What are your Top 3 favourite coaching tools and/or resources?

I find great value in self-assessments and have created my own to cater to the specific roles of the leaders I work with. In my work with young leaders, I encourage them to use these tools a couple of times a year and to ask those they lead to join them.

Self-awareness is an admirable goal, but all of us have blind spots. Being open to honest feedback is the key to growth.

Outside of self-assessments, I find goal-setting tools particularly helpful in organizing the process. The most effective tools are those that help the client develop action steps, identify resources and other sources of support, clarify why the goal is important, connect the goal to a personal value and create a plan to overcome anticipated obstacles.

Finally, I like to use self-affirmations with my clients, many of whom are young women who are entirely too hard on themselves. Even with great success, they are all too quick to get to the but ________.

I try to encourage them to stop and recognize their successes through simple prompts, such as, "I’m so proud I did ________" or "I have grown so much at ________"

QUESTION 8: What do you love most about being a coach?

I love helping people access and recognize their gifts. Too many of us spend our energy beating ourselves up for what we perceive as shortcomings. I'm not sure why it's so hard for us to see all of the good.

QUESTION 9: Tell us a secret about you...

I try to be well-rounded and experience as much of this life as I can. My favorite all time concerts range from Cher to Metallica to Cypress Hill. I visit a new country every year, I've been in a rap video, I host trivia on the side, I've coached a men's basketball team, I've worked at least two jobs at a time almost my entire life.

There's so much to experience- I want to do it all!

QUESTION 10: If you could change one thing in our world, what would it be? And how would you go about it?

I wish people could understand their value and love themselves more. I think if people felt better about themselves, we would have a revolution.

I don't know if there is a way to change this on a large scale or if, like most things, it begins on an individual level. Letting those in our lives be who they are and loving them just as they are - that would be a really powerful place to start.

LEARN MORE about Katherine Spinney here:

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