Helping Nonprofit Leaders Transform Conflict

Leadership Coach and Mediator

Example that love and empathy will save the day

“Elly’s genuineness in accepting all of my troubles, detail by detail, is felt. But the true wonder of being a collaborator with Elly goes straight to her core beliefs: she is an example that love and empathy will always save the day. Her radical and almost defiant insistence on love and empathy as a healing strategy are not only found in her words, but in the extra efforts and acts of kindness that she has made in our collaborations together. I would recommend her to anybody with enthusiasm and excitement for what lies ahead.”

Conor Jensen

Website Manager, Texas Bar Books, Austin

Balancing Group and Individual Needs

“I have found Elly to be objective, supportive, skilled in balancing group and individual needs, and able to maintain focus on reaching fair and reasonable outcomes for participants.”

Kathleen Tice

Nursing Director, Integral Care, Austin

What is Coaching?

Coaching is a creative partnership. We work together to help you discover and embody the best version of yourself. We explore your basic assumptions, values and needs. We delve into your obstacles for self-agency. And we build support, assignments and exercises to incorporate your learning in daily life. Coaching empowers you to make decisions and take actions in alignment with your values and aspirations.

Results of Working with Me

  • Build a culture of listening and inquiry
  • Model trust and openness, enabling constructive feedback
  • Make requests with Santa claus energy and hear demands as requests for support
  • Transform emotional slavery into emotional liberation
  • Stop the overwhelm and putting out fires, and start feeling satisfied and at peace
  • Inspire others to fulfill their purpose and contribution
  • Clarify and embody your vision and values, deepening your sense of purpose and meaning

Principles of Coaching

  • Coaching is collaborative: you are the expert on your experience and vision, I am your guide
  • You are resourceful, creative and whole: you have all the answers you need and I bring the presence and questions to help you discover them
  • We start with creating acceptance and emotional safety, so you can look into obstacles, limiting beliefs, and underlying assumptions
  • We learn from failure, so we can live in alignment with our purpose and make better choices
  • Feelings are essential messengers of beautiful, precious, human needs

Benefits from coaching:

  • Why Nathan had the courage to change the standard practice of open-door policy so that he finally had the time to focus on strategic planning

  • How Peter could leave the office before 6:00 pm, have a sense of accomplishment and satisfaction, and be more present with his wife and two young children

  • Why Jacob overcame his fear of conflict so that he could leave a job he didn’t like and find a new career

  • How accepting her own needs transformed her tendency to pleasing and helped her value what she wanted
  • Why Rose realized the importance of her own goals and dreams and as a result picked up her painting again

How We Work Together

First, we talk

We start with an honest chat to understand your vision, values and goals. We explore your challenges, opportunities and needs. We discover your inner resources and the support that works for you.

Then, we learn

Together, we design a service that best meets our needs. We create something worth our time and money.

Lastly, we lead

We constantly work together to nurture our values, hold onto our vision, and reflect on our actions. We learn from obstacles and areas of growth. We celebrate that we are becoming the leader we both want to be.

“No, thanks I am an expert at conflict resolution.” (Then, please let me know which mistake is missing!)


“Will you be supercritical of my work or leadership skills, telling me how I should improve myself?”

Sofia, Director Services for a Housing Nonprofit in Austin, had that same fear. She was nervous that she was going to feel like everything she was doing was wrong or that she just could be so much better than she was.

But as soon as we started working she loved it. She told me that it ended up being so much more than she would have ever thought that it could be.

The coaching relationship really gave her some benefits that she would not have imagined. It allowed her to look at the work that she was doing and look at the direction that she was going professionally through a little bit of a clearer lens.

It helped her to discern some things in a better way and then really think about how to move ahead. What kinds of things she wanted to change on her team and in her department, what kind of things she wanted to change as far as relationships go with other co-workers or her supervisor or people that she supervises, and then be able to make changes to get them to be what I wanted them to be.

She and I worked on structuring team meetings or team training and developing a little bit of a framework for how her team sees case management and what they’re doing on that side. How they would describe it to themselves, how they would describe it to funders. As a result, she got two grants that she applied for, even though she was honest about the limits of the contribution they could make.

1. Is Coaching Just a Feel-Good Experience?

Nope, it is not. My clients work hard to deepen their awareness of the beliefs, assumptions, values, and goals that run their lives. They have the guts and endurance to hold the creative tension that arises from knowing how different your reality is from your dreams, and make a plan to get closer to their dreams. They are willing to hold themselves accountable and learn what stopped them from taking action, what inspired them, and how they can adjust their plan.

2. How do I distinguish a good from a bad coach?

There are no good coaches or bad coaches. There are coaches who help you get closer to your dreams, and coaches who don’t.

Coaching is a partnership between two people who are resourceful, creative, and whole. Since the coach and the client work together to help the client become the leader they want to be, the relationship is the vehicle for change. So, a good coach is a coach with whom you build a relationship of trust, integrity, understanding, and support.

So how do you find a coach that is a good match for you? These are some steps you can take:

  • Ask around. Did anyone ever work with a coach? What was their experience?
  • Schedule a discovery session, so you can experience the interaction, and check if you trust that working with them would help you.
  • Do you like their listening skills, their questions, their suggestions, their openness to your feedback? If you don’t in this session, you won’t in the rest.
  • What are their credentials and experience?
  • Read their testimonials: who wrote them, do you resonate with them?
3. How is Coaching Different from Empathy?

Every coach relies on their listening skills. We listen to what’s being said, what’s not being said, the tone of voice, facial expressions, sighs, pauses, gestures. Without judgment or evaluation, just an unconditional acceptance of our client’s experience. With this understanding, we can help you delve into your aspirations, values, dreams, goals, and obstacles.

So far the similarity.

The difference is that coaching takes it a step further by exploring who you want to be, what you want to do, and what you hope to have. It is very intentional, with a constant focus on the journey as the destination. The coach uses powerful questions, metaphors, exercises, and inquiry to help you deepen your awareness of motives and obstacles, your self-limiting beliefs, and inner critic. With that deepened awareness, you can make better choices to be the leader you want to be.