ICF Los Angeles Charter Chapter

New ICFLA Board of Directors Elected, Will Lead Renowned Chapter into Its 20th Year

January 12, 2022

Contact: Lauren Miura,
Director of Communications, ICFLA
lauren@laurenmiura.com 

LOS ANGELES, CA, January 12, 2022 – Carrie Williams has been named 2022 President of the International Coaching Federation Los Angeles Chapter (ICFLA)

New Board of Directors Elected, will Lead Renowned Chapter into its 20th Year

Carrie Williams has been named 2022 President of the International Coaching Federation Los Angeles Chapter (ICFLA). 

Williams is a Los Angeles-based certified professional coach, speaker and author. A former casting director who has worked for companies such as Saatchi & Saatchi, McCann Erickson, BBDO, Leo Burnett, Ogilvy & Mather, Coca-Cola, McDonald’s and Johnson & Johnson, Williams is the founder of RainShadow Coaching and a long-time member of the ICFLA volunteer Board of Directors. 

ICFLA was established on May 22, 2002, when 11 members held the first meeting at a Los Angeles fire station. Over the past 20 years, ICFLA has grown to be one of the most active ICF chapters in the world, with a membership of over 400 professional coaches who live all over the globe. 

“I’m excited to lead this dynamic and creative chapter into its third decade,” Williams said. “I believe that coaches are the unsung change-makers of the world. The last few years have taught us of the importance of living a life of purpose – where our actions align with our values and beliefs. As a society, we must become very clear about how we want to live and the impact we want to have. This will require embracing change and growth. Coaches are experts at enabling change and growth in individuals, businesses and communities.”

Williams succeeds ICFLA 2021 President John Volturo, who will continue to serve on the Board of Directors throughout 2022. Under Volturo’s leadership, ICFLA created a Diversity, Equity and Inclusion committee; re-imagined Chapter meetings to foster virtual connection during the pandemic; and launched an Emotional Intelligence Special Interest Group, among other accomplishments.  

About ICFLA

ICFLA is the Los Angeles Chapter of the International Coaching Federation, the world’s largest organization leading the global advancement of the coaching profession and fostering coaching’s role as an integral part of a thriving society. Our mission is to provide connection, education and resources to practicing and aspiring professional coaches, to help them enhance their professional skills and grow their practices.

As the acknowledged and award-winning ICF leader in virtual professional and educational offerings, ICFLA brings together coaches, experts, facilitators, and international thought leaders with world-class programming, including innovative, in-person and virtual forums. We organize and stage over 120 meetings, events, and learning opportunities each year. More than 40 percent of ICFLA members live outside of the Los Angeles region, across the country and around the world. 

Learn more at www.icfla.org


SHRM Magazine

How to Prepare Your Team for a New Boss

Help your staff transition smoothly when it’s time for you to move on. 

By Vanessa McGrady May 24, 2021

The time has come to tell your team goodbye: Perhaps you landed a promotion or a job at a new company, or maybe you’re retiring.

Whatever your reason for leaving, you’ll need an exit strategy to help your team stay productive and positive. By smoothing the transition for your staff and your replacement, you’ll also protect your legacy as a caring, competent leader. And who knows? You and your former team might meet again someday.

Here are key steps you can take to make the transition easier for everyone involved.

Maintain Focus

Stay engaged. First and foremost, maintain your own productivity, says Matt Erhard, a managing partner at Canadian recruiting company Summit Search Group.

“It can be easy to get distracted by your excitement and anxieties related to a new position,” but too often good managers do their worst work right after they decide to leave their current job, Erhard says.

Be flexible. Understand that your team’s needs and expectations will depend on the circumstances. If you’re moving to a different department within the same organization, for example, your former team members will probably expect you to be available to respond to their questions after the move. However, if you’re going to a new company or retiring, they’ll be less likely to seek you out and you may not have time to respond if they do.

Communication Is Key

Call a team meeting. Announce your impending departure to everyone at once. Keep the announcement positive, says Wendy Deacon, a former nonprofit executive based in Denver who now runs DestinationU, a personal consulting and strategic-planning business. 

“Keep the team focused on key priorities and what the next one or two steps are,” Deacon advises.

Update your files. Create or update files related to procedures, contacts, and contingencies. While team members may have plenty of institutional knowledge, you’ll want the incoming manager to have as much information as possible to keep the team moving forward.

Sharing such information is especially important for knowledgeable workers. 

“People organize their thoughts and files in different ways,” Erhard says. “Typing up a couple of pages explaining where you are in current projects and how to continue them can go a long way toward smoothing the transition, especially if you won’t get an opportunity to work with the person replacing you.”

Reassure staff. How you leave is as important as what you leave behind, says Carrie Williams, an executive leadership coach and owner of Los Angeles-based RainShadow Coaching.

“The best thing that a manager can do is reassure the team before they leave because whenever there’s any transition in a team, individuals get insecure about their status, and that can affect the transition overall,” she says. “Helping the team get really clear on their values and priorities so that they can express them very clearly and coherently to the new management is incredibly important. It’s kind of like a team ‘understanding their why.’ ”

Provide transition time. If possible, alert your team of your departure a month in advance. 

“Focus on the projects you have, wrapping up the ones you can and deciding who will take over ongoing work,” Erhard says. “Approaching your current work in this way can help you feel like you’re preparing for your new job without neglecting your current team.”

Recommend a replacement. If you are allowed to weigh in on your replacement, consider someone who may not be the team’s star player but who has tremendous management potential. According to Gallup’s The State of the American Manager: Analytics and Advice for Leaders report, 82 percent of companies make the wrong choice in selecting a manager, mostly because they promote high-performing individual contributors who are great at their current jobs but lack the people and problem-solving skills to be a good manager.

“The good news is that sufficient management talent exists in every company,” according to the report. “It’s often hiding in plain sight. … Specific tools such as talent audits and talent assessments offer a systematic and scientific method for finding those employees who have the natural talent to be great managers.”

Transfer of Knowledge

Brief the incoming manager. Find several hours (or even a full workday, if possible) to sit down with the new manager who will be supervising your former team, Erhard says. Cover items such as pending deadlines, policies and processes. Make sure the individual has a list of people in other departments who work with your team so he or she can keep projects moving when you’re gone. And share any past challenges or obstacles you’ve encountered and how you resolved them.

Also, brief the incoming manager on the team’s, and each individual member’s, strengths, and weaknesses.

Williams suggests creating a detailed document on how the team works that includes any assessments, behavioral tests or performance reviews that could be helpful. “All of that is valuable information for the new manager coming in,” she says, “and it will speed up the process of transition. It takes some of the hiccups out.”

But be sure the new manager has the opportunity to form her own opinions, too, Williams notes, because she could have a different experience with team members. Or her approach might be different, which could give her new insights into people’s personalities and the team dynamics.

Show empathy. Remember that the employees you leave behind are probably worried about what changes your departure will bring. Be sensitive to the mood in the room. 

“When a new manager comes in, the biggest fear is that they’re going to have different goals or standards than the past manager,” Williams says. “And that’s fine. But everyone needs to be reassured that they’re still working for the same overall goal as a team.”

Vanessa McGrady is a freelance writer based in Glendale, Calif.

Illustration by Marc Rosenthal for HR Magazine.

Stepping into a New Role

When you start a new position, you’ll want to refrain from making any major changes until you understand the group dynamics. 

Here are some ways to put your best foot forward:

Start with values. Gather as much information as possible before you meet your staff, says Carrie Williams, an executive leadership coach and owner of RainShadow Coaching. Learn the team members’ roles, strengths, and weaknesses. Most importantly, understand the team’s philosophies and goals, which are not necessarily the same as what can be found in the overarching company mission. 

“It’s the team’s way of operating and their values and beliefs that they hold dear,” Williams says. “This is how the team wants to show up for each other, what they expect from each other and what they’re going to hold each other accountable to.”

Understand the new dynamic. Team development has a specific trajectory. When there’s a major change, the team must recalibrate. 

“Any time you mix up the team, you’re impacting what stage they’re at in their team-building model,” Williams says. A good leader understands this dynamic and will offer grace during the transition period, she adds.

Build trust. Even if team members are enthusiastic about your arrival, they’ll need time to learn how you work. Strive to establish psychological safety to build trust with team members, Williams says. As your new team works through the transition, assume everyone has the best intentions. —V.M.


SHRM Magazine

How to Help Your Team When You Transition to a New Job

By Vanessa McGrady February 9, 2021

The time has come to tell your team goodbye: You got a promotion or a job at a new company, or maybe you're retiring.

Whatever your reason for leaving, you'll need a solid exit strategy to keep your team on track, working and positive. With such a strategy, you'll also be protecting your legacy as a caring, competent leader—and you never know who you'll meet again along your career journey.

"The most important thing is to maintain your own productivity," said Matt Erhard, a managing partner of Summit Search Group, a Canadian recruiting firm. "It can be easy to get distracted by your excitement and anxieties related to a new position, but too often I've seen good [managers] give their worst work right after" deciding to leave their current job.

There are several steps you can take to ensure a smooth transition for your team and your replacement. Different dynamics will be in play depending on the circumstances. If you're staying within the organization and moving to a different department, your former employees may have higher expectations of you to help with information requests and decisions than if you are leaving the company altogether.

Communication Is Key

The first thing to do is call a team meeting to tell employees about your impeding departure—without sounding negative, said Wendy Deacon, a Denver-based former nonprofit executive who now runs DestinationU, a personal consulting and strategic-planning business. "Keep the team focused on key priorities and what the next one or two steps are," she said.

You may have plenty of institutional memory on your team, but it's always critical to keep an active file of procedures, contacts and contingencies. "This is especially important for knowledge workers. People organize their thoughts and files in different ways. Typing up a couple of pages explaining where you are in current projects and how to continue them can go a long way toward smoothing the transition, especially if you won't get an opportunity to work with the person replacing you," Erhard said.

Carrie Williams, an executive leadership coach and owner of Los Angeles-based RainShadow Coaching, said that how you leave is as important as what you leave behind. "The best thing that a manager can do is reassure the team before they leave, because whenever there's any transition in a team, individuals get insecure about their status, and that can affect the transition overall," she said. "Helping the team get really clear on their values and priorities so that they can express them very clearly and coherently to the new management is incredibly important. It's kind of like a team 'understanding their why.' "

Maybe you have the luxury of a long lead time, or perhaps you're scrambling to tie up all the loose ends but giving your team a month's notice is ideal. "Focus on the projects you have, wrapping up the ones you can, and deciding who will take over ongoing work. Approaching your current work in this way can help you feel like you're preparing for your new job without neglecting your current team," Erhard said.

If it's up to you to recommend your replacement or promote someone from your team, understand that there's probably somebody you may not have considered—someone who is not the team's star player—who has tremendous management potential. Gallup report The State of the American Manager: Analytics and Advice for Leaders says that 82 percent of companies make the wrong choice in selecting a manager, mostly because they promote a high-performing individual contributor who may be great at doing the current job, but who lacks the qualities of a good manager. "The good news is that sufficient management talent exists in every company. It's often hiding in plain sight. … Specific tools such as talent audits and talent assessments offer a systematic and scientific method for finding those employees who have the natural talent to be great managers," according to the report.

Passing the Torch

Erhard said that it's critical to find several hours (or even a full workday, if possible) to sit down with the person who is taking over. You'll want to cover the official business, as well as more nuanced information about problems you've encountered, team weaknesses and strengths, and other quirks your replacement might not be able to anticipate. 

Williams suggested creating a detailed document on how the team works that includes any assessments, behavioral tests or performance reviews that could be helpful. But let the new managers form their own opinions. "All of that is valuable information for the new manager coming in, and it will speed up the process of transition. It takes some of the hiccups out."

Finally, remember that the employees you leave behind may be worried about what your departure will bring. Be sensitive to the mood in the room. "When a new manager comes in, the biggest fear is that they're going to have different goals or standards than the past manager," Williams said. "And that's fine. But everyone needs to be reassured that they're still working for the same overall goal as a team."

Vanessa McGrady is a freelance writer based in Glendale, Calif.


AdWeek - ThinkLA Workshop

For Those Who Were Laid Off or Struggling, ThinkLA May Have the Online Event for You

By Doug Zanger on Jan. 8, 2021

 

Oh, where to begin? We could write some pithy start to a short article that touches on “unprecedented” times, the pandemic … blah, blah, blah. Then, you know, Washington D.C.

Honestly, we’re not trying to make light of anything. It’s a heavy time, and it’s easy to be overwhelmed, especially with so much unpredictability.

The good folks at ThinkLA may have something that can help. On Wednesday, Jan. 13, from noon to 1:15 Pacific Time, they are presenting an informative and interactive online session, “Mindset for Moving On: Shifting Perspective in Crisis from Surviving to Thriving.”

Hosted by Carrie Williams—who specializes in leadership coaching and team development in the creative and entertainment fields—the focus is on mindset and how it can take you from survival to thriving. The context is the relative shitstorm we’re all in.

“In the last 11 months of the pandemic, every aspect of our lives has required re-evaluation and readjustment,” said Williams. “We are in a forced transition where everything is uncertain and overwhelming.”

The workshop seeks to:

  • Explore the current crisis and identify the personal impacts resulting from it.
  • Identify the story we have created about the situation and learn how to retell it.
  • Shift from a fixed mindset to a growth mindset.
  • Focus on developing an abundance attitude.
  • Discover the opportunities hidden in the current situation.

Williams’ style is highly interactive and leans on the wisdom of attendees to share knowledge. Additionally, she uses evidence-based techniques ranging from cognitive and behavioral to neuroscience to help people envision and create the world they want to live in.

“My hope is to create a world, or at least a workshop, where people feel safe, empowered, hopeful for the future, and confident in their next steps,” said Williams.


Santa Barbara Independent - Workin’ It - Our Annual Jobs Issue

By Camie Barnwell | Photographs by Paul Wellman
Published May 22, 2019

For this year’s Workin’ It special issue on the Santa Barbara job market, we challenged veteran journalist
Camie Barnwell to find the pulse of what’s beating in the region’s employment world. 

She found educators reassessing whether college makes sense anymore, a construction industry hungry for workers to staff its high-paying jobs, and offices concerned about the health of their workers.

Plus, we asked our readers to tell us about why they love their jobs, and we are publishing many of the most inspirational and interesting responses in this report.

Fighting Workplace Stress

How Companies Can Keep Employees Healthy and Happy

Carrie Williams, Leadership Coach

In health-obsessed Santa Barbara, long gone are the days of the two-martini lunch and chain-smoke sessions that were once considered a great way to connect with coworkers and burn off stress.

We’ve exchanged that lunch-hour imbibing for kombucha on tap. We’ve swapped cigarette breaks for group wellness walks around the block. We’ve instituted employee councils intended to boost morale and create a sense of belonging. We hold to strict ergonomic guidelines and mandate sensitivity trainings to increase our emotional intelligence. We offer enlightening workplace experiences that were unfathomable even five years ago: an app that reminds you to do yoga at your desk and meditation sessions to help release the stress of the day.

Man oh man, with all these good vibes around us, you’d think workin’ 9 to 5 would be a piece of cake. But as it turns out, research shows that workplace stress is on the rise. 

Certified leadership coach Carrie Williams, who recently spoke this month in Santa Barbara about managing stress and setting goals, sheds light on why we’re still stressed out and what we can do about it.

What are the greatest causes of workplace stress?
In a study by the American Psychological Association, 60 percent of people cite work as a major source of stress. That’s a lot. They attribute it to a lack of work/life balance, heavy workload, transitions in the workplace that are out of the employee’s control (like hirings and firings), the selling or merging of the company. Those are major stressors. Another stress cited as the most common is personality or management conflict. The manager micromanages, or they don’t give you enough detail, or they don’t give you enough detail that is best perceived by you.

With all the emphasis on workplace wellness, why are people more stressed than ever?
We work more hours now, and most families rely on double incomes, so there are household tasks on top of work. The average debt has gone up drastically, and the overall mental load is higher for the modern-day employee than it was 50 years ago. Even when companies offer stress-reducing opportunities, they’re not paying you to meditate. That’s the other problem. Culturally, as a nation, we praise hard work; we praise sacrifice. It’s almost a badge of pride when somebody goes to work and says, “I worked until midnight last night.” Until we shift that culture, and praise working efficiently instead of just working hard and long, that’s not going to change.

How do we avoid burning out?
There are different types of personal stress: mental, physical, and workplace. For mental stress like anxiety, I suggest speaking to a mental-health professional or working with a coach. For physical stress, you need to look at self-care, like sleep, nutrition, and exercise. For workplace stress, you can look at prioritization, time management, automation, delegating, and creating boundaries between work and home. It’s about aligning your goals with your core values and beliefs. Even if life is stressful, if your life is purposeful, you feel less stress.

How can companies create a healthy work environment?
Offering yoga and meditation is great. I’m a firm believer of mindfulness practice, focusing on the moment, not worrying about the task or the future. Companies can host workshops that will teach employees stress-coping mechanisms. That’s the next stage because it’s often a challenge to show how reducing stress in the workforce increases the bottom line. 

Luckily, there are studies coming out showing how expensive stress is in the workforce. The problem of stress in our professional lives is so pervasive that the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) declared stress a hazard of the workplace and estimates that stress causes American industry more than $300 billion per year. Some of that is money lost when someone calls in sick; some of it is productivity lost. People are less efficient and less productive when they’re stressed out. 


NW Sidebar

Stress in Life and the Law

April 16, 2019

Stress is ever present in modern-day society. Individuals worry about money, time, families, relationships, careers. Some stress is beneficial and positive: the stress of a new baby, the stress of a promotion, the stress of personal growth. But more and more, stress is passing a tipping point from short-term, motivating, and positive, to long-term, chronic, and detrimental.

Individuals who practice the law are habitual overachievers; sadly, they are also overachievers when it comes to stress. Data from the U.S. Department of Labor Bureau of Labor Statistics shows that the occupation of > “lawyer” ranks second in the top 10 most stressful jobs. The practice of law also ranked 11th for suicide rate in 2016, lawyers are more than three times as likely to be depressed as non-lawyers, and lawyers are twice as likely as the average citizen to become an alcoholic. According to the late Amiram Elwork, a Doctor of Clinical Psychology and author of Stress Management for Lawyers: How to Increase Personal & Professional Satisfaction in the Law, “Because law requires objective logical analysis and close attention to details, the legal profession attracts perfectionists. These are people who live by the rule: ‘If I don’t do a perfect job in every detail, I will fail.’”

As a group, lawyers are hard-working, high-performing, intelligent, super-stressed professionals who are often on the verge of burning out.

How Stress Works

When you feel fear, or perceive a threat, your central nervous system (CNS) takes control. The CNS oversees your “fight or flight” response, and in times of stress it commandeers your body to prepare for defense or for fleeing. Your adrenal glands are triggered to release adrenaline and cortisol. Your breathing rate and heart rate increase to distribute oxygen quickly and to move blood to your body’s core. Your liver begins to produce extra blood sugar to give you a boost of energy. Your muscles begin to tense so they can respond quickly to any physical threat, and to protect themselves from injury.

Once the threat has passed, your CNS should send out the “all clear” and your systems should return to normal; however, if it fails to stand down, or if it immediately “calls to arm” again because of another stressor or threat, the entire process begins again. This is when stress becomes chronic stress.

When Good Stress Goes Bad

Not all stress is harmful; in fact, for lawyers' stress likely helped you reach your current level of success. There was the stress of getting accepted to a top law school, the stress of competing with your graduating class, the stress of passing the bar exam, the stress of navigating your first years as a lawyer. In proper quantities and situations, stress can be an incredibly helpful motivator.

However, when you tip into unhealthy or chronic stress, it can begin to negatively affect your body, work, and overall happiness.

Long-term exposure to stress can lead to a plethora of physical ailments including but not limited to:

  • Headaches
  • Alopecia or permanent hair loss
  • Damage to short-term memory
  • Reduction in gray matter in the brain
  • Increase in seasonal allergy flare-ups
  • Increased blood pressure
  • Increased risk of stroke
  • Narrowing of the arteries in the heart increasing the risk of heart disease
  • Increased cholesterol levels
  • Increased inflammation
  • Acne
  • Gastritis
  • Slowing of the digestive process
  • Irritable colon
  • Heart burn
  • Weight gain
  • Increased risk of diabetes
  • Decreased fertility
  • Decreased sex drive
  • Tight muscles
  • Eczema
  • Psoriasis

It comes as no shock that stress also has a major impact on our output and productivity level at work, as well as our overall work satisfaction. A recent U.K. study determined that one in three work absences were due directly to stress and estimated that 2.5 out of three work absences were potentially caused by residual effects of stress. The Towers Watson Global Benefits survey of 22,347 employees concludes: “Employees suffering from high stress levels have lower engagement, are less productive, and have higher absentee levels than those not operating under excessive pressure.” The problem of stress in our professional lives is so pervasive that the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) declared stress a hazard of the workplace and estimates that stress causes American industry more than $300 billion per year.

The habits that helped get us to our current level of success create unsustainable levels of stress, which are wreaking havoc on our bodies, our work, and our happiness. To achieve further success, with less stress, requires a conscious change to daily practices and to law practices.