meet glenda

Meet Glenda

The Coach

glenda-bio-picMeet Glenda the Coach

The key beliefs and principles below give you a window into me as a coach and my coaching style.

1. Professional coach training and certification are important to the coaching profession and most of all to clients.

As a person who worked in administration at the University of Michigan for more than 25 years, I believe in training and credentials.

With a membership of more than 20,000 and growing fast, the International Coach Federation (ICF) is the main player in bringing professionalism to coaching. The work of the ICF is grounded in a set of core coaching competencies, ethical guidelines, and continuing education. Within that context, it also reviews and approves coach-training programs. My ICF certification as an Associate Certified Coach (ACC) lets my clients know that the services I provide are grounded in knowledge, experience, and professional standards.

2. Your one-of-a-kind set of talents, strengths, and gifts to yourself, to your life, and to other people is your greatest asset – one that deserves your careful attention and nurturing.

3. At the core, you are creative, resourceful, and whole.

When people tell me how good it must feel, as a coach, to give other people advice, sometimes I set them straight but at other times I just smile. As I see it, very few of us really want advice–or at least not much of it and only in certain circumstances. In answer to the reflective questions I ask my clients to answer before each coaching session, sometimes my clients sometimes say that I am one of their greatest resources. While it feels good to be acknowledged, I always disagree. They are actually their own greatest resource. My much smaller role is to help them tap into that marvelous resource.

4. Even though you, as the client, set the agenda for your coaching sessions, an important part of my job to also keep you in touch with the big picture — to make sure you keep your eyes on the prize.

During the beginning of our work together, you set short-term, mid-term, and long-term goals and objectives. Over time and because, as Alan Watts said, change is who we are, you will almost certainly adjust those goals. So even though session by session, you decide on a particular agenda for the session, I regularly keep you in touch with your larger, inspirational goals.

toolbox5. If you’re like most people, to live a state of wellbeing you need to have and use a set of tools to manage your thoughts, your beliefs, and your emotional states.

Based on my experience in life and with my clients, I believe most of us think unhelpful, unhealthy thoughts. We allow these thoughts, some of which morph into hurtful beliefs, to taint our lives and how we feel. Through my coaching, my clients regularly become more aware of their unhelpful thoughts, create more space around them (vs. trying to get rid of them, which falls into “don’t think of a white bear” territory) and then take value-based actions.

I call this the Inner Toolkit. In life it’s “always something” (e.g., problems, bad moods, obstacles, or difficult relationships). Because of this, I believe almost everyone needs to consciously collect, create, and use a set of tools to manage hurtful thoughts, beliefs, and emotions. I’m continuously developing short written pieces that describe such tools. At times, I invite my clients to my clients during our sessions or for them to use on their own. Sometimes during sessions, I invite my clients to actively create their own exercises or techniques, which are the most powerful tools of all.

6. Too often in life we lose sight of what’s truly important to us and also to our greatest gifts.

If you’re like most people, your busy schedule and the many demands on your time and attention all too often bury the dreams and personal passions that are still alive within you, like damped down coals just waiting to be fanned and brought to life again.

climbing7. When it comes to going through big life transitions or making big changes in our lives, most of us could use some help.

Plus, the kind of help we need is the respectful kind of help coaching provides. Some people are born the focus, drive, and discipline they need to go after their important goals. Other people have worked hard to become more this way, which is not easy. Many of us, though (including me), need help. Back in 2002, when I hired my first coach, I wasn’t sure what I was getting into or whether it would “work.” But I’ve learned from experience that investing in a personal coach is one of the best and smartest things I can do for myself and my quality of life.

9. Coaching is an investment in you.

The fees you pay for coaching are not just about the time you spend in coaching sessions. It’s also about committing firmly to make bold, positive changes in who you are, in the thoughts and beliefs that influence you, in the actions you take, and in the life you live.

10. The purpose of coaching is to give you two important results.

(1) You ramp up how much you’re moving forward toward your overarching life passions and your goals. (I that our goals are constantly shifting, if only in small ways, because they’re like icebergs, with a lot going on under the surface – conscious or unconscious. I believe we’re poorly served by the notion that we need to feel like acting before we act. Ultimately, we need to get to work. This is one of my greatest responsibilities as a coach—to help you move into action and to make it routine, a ritual, a practice.
(2) You become more aware of your inner workings and how they add to or detract from your sense of wellbeing, and you learn ways to positively influence your thinking and your feelings in support of what’s truly important to you.



The Person

Glenda PIctured Rocks HikeMeet Glenda the Person

In addition to telling you some things about me as a coach, I’ll introduce myself to you as a person. Here I’ll turn the tables on myself and answer for you some of the questions I ask my clients when we first get started in our work together.

Briefly describe a time or situation when you were at your best and why.

That would have to be going through labor and giving birth (in 1979 and 1983). Why was I at my best? I was determined and strong but also flexible and yielding. I was thoroughly prepared. I was focused in a laser-like way. I was mindful and present throughout. My priorities were completely clear—the health and wellbeing of my baby. I reframed and embraced discomfort as progress and unfolding. I saw in a whole new way just how lucky I am to be married to the man who has been my partner and best friend since 1977. And in the moments my and my husband’s babies were born, I experienced some of the greatest joy on earth.

What five things do you love most about yourself?

  • I’m authentic–what you see is what you get. [The Tallulah Bankhead quote next to my yearbook photo when I graduated from high school still applies, “Nobody can be exactly like me. Sometimes even I have trouble doing it.”
  • My good sense of humor and a hearty, let-loose laugh. [My father used to scold me and my brother close in age to me, “Stop all that guffawing!” Which only made us laugh all the harder.]
  • I’m a life-long learner. [How many books do I own? You don’t want to know. My husband doesn’t want to know, either.]
  • I love people. [When I was a kid, I asked my Dad why everyone liked him. He thought about it and said, “Probably because I like them.”]
  • I love life. [Our voicemail message ends with, “Isn’t life grand?!”]

What compliments from other people have made your heart sing?
“You make work fun.”
“I love your energy.”
“When you laugh, it makes me laugh.”

Glenda Atop Camels Hump

What do you value most in life?
Family, good friends, good health (lots of exercise and eating well), being outdoors (we hike, bike, cross country ski, snow shoe, kayak, and camp), and wilderness vacations. We’ve taken guided kayaking trips departing from Vancouver Island, and Seward, Alaska. In 2009, we took the trip of a lifetime–a 15-day white water rafting trip through Grand Canyon. I’m a flower and vegetable gardener, a writer (poetry and memoir), a quilter, and a knitter. I also sing and take voice lessons. Six years ago, I joined a women’s barbershop chorus, joyfully adding almost 60 “singing sisters” to my extended family.

What’s the short version of your life story?
I’m proud to call myself a native Vermonter, so when we moved into family student housing at the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor in the summer of 1985 for my husband to begin his Master’s degree in architecture, we saw it as a two-year rest stop between three years in Iowa and moving back to Vermont. Somehow that rest stop turned into more than 30 years. With good jobs, kids thriving, and living in one of country’s finest college towns, it made sense to stay put. Although we had plans to move back to Vermont after we “retired,” since both of our daughters have decided to come home to Ann Arbor and settle here, one of them with her husband and our precious grandchild, we’re here to stay.

Glenda Vermont Sidewalk SF



Glenda’s Credentials


  • B.A., Johnson State College, Johnson, Vermont (English)
  • M.S., University of Oregon (Counseling)

Coaching training and credentials

  • Certified as an Associate Certified Coach by the International Coach Federation (ICF)
  • Exceeded the minimum training that the ICF requires for certification, including foundations of coaching, intensive individual coaching skills, supervision (including direct supervision by a Master Certified Coach), and ethics and risk management.
  • Benefitted greatly from fourteen sessions (ten hours) of mentor coaching from a Professional Certified Coach.
  • Completed two programs in group coaching

Professional positions held during employment at the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, Michigan (1985-2011)

  • Assistant Vice Provost for Academic and Faculty Affairs, Office of the Provost and Executive Vice President for Academic Affairs (2002-2011)
  • Assistant to the Dean, Rackham Graduate School (1996-2002)
  • Coordinator of Academic Programs and Services, later promoted to Assistant Associate Provost, Office of the Provost and Executive Vice President for Academic Affairs (1988-1996)
  • Research Associate, central faculty governance office (1986-1988)
  • Benefits Assistant, Benefits Office (1985-1986)

Professional work prior to 1985

  • Program counselor providing career and financial aid counseling to minority and low-income high school students, college students, and adults in the community–in programs funded through the federal TRIO project (at Johnson State College in Vermont and at Iowa State University)
  • Coordinator of a mediation program in a non-profit organization in Ames, Iowa, where I trained and supervised the work of volunteer mediators

Presentations/workshops given

  • Embrace Your Leadership
  • Leadership Values: Your Personal Goldmine
  • A Sunday Night Look At Leadership
  • The Secret [by Rhonda Byrne] Revisited
  • The Promotion: A Blessing or a Curse?
  • Peer Coaching for Graduate Students (P.S. You Can Do This!)
  • SuPEERior Coaching For Leadership: How to Help Each Other Become More Effective Leaders
  • A Blueprint for Improving Your Emotional Intelligence (co-presenter)
  • Why Graduate School is Like an Old Hair Dye Slogan: Only You Can Know For Sure
  • Securing Your Future: Going to Graduate or Professional School
  • Negotiating to Get What You Want (co-presenter)
  • Introduction to Focus Groups and Role Play
  • Applying Quality Principles in the Workplace (co-presenter)

Professional development (a sample of workshops and classes completed)

  • The Art of Optimism
  • Trust is Everything: Become the Leader Others Will Follow
  • Energize Your Workplace Through High-Quality Connections
  • The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People
  • Difficult Conversations
  • Crucial Conversations (two-day program)
  • Facilitator Skills (week-long program)
  • Team Leader Instructor (week-long program, certification received)
  • Strengthsfinder
  • Using the Myers-Briggs Type Inventory
  • Appreciative Inquiry
  • Jobcrafting
  • Proposal Writing
  • Dispute Resolution (National Center for Dispute Settlement)
  • Principles of Total Quality Management Institute (week-long program)