Midcareer Pivot: From Nonprofit Executive to Leadership Coach

Get to know Lumia coach and instructor, Charisse M. Williams, and her classes teaching the five-step coaching process and mindfulness in coaching.

The Everything Life Coaching Podcast, featuring Lumia Coaching founders John Kim and Noelle Cordeaux, is a deep dive into the experience and business of being a life coach. Subscribe to get new episodes weekly!

Making A Midcareer Shift Into Coaching

Our faculty is the lifeblood of Lumia's coach training program, and in this podcast episode we’re inviting you to get to know instructor Charisse M. Williams.

Charisse M. Williams

Charisse is a leadership coach, facilitator and trainer who helps individuals and teams achieve their goals and thrive. Before becoming a full-time coach, she worked in social justice organizations for 25 years on human rights, education, racial equity, criminal and juvenile justice reform issues. She has taught and facilitated workshops and retreats in settings as diverse as board rooms, college campuses and juvenile detention centers. In 2015, her personal health and wellness journey led her to become a certified yoga teacher. She now approaches all of her work through a mindfulness lens. Charisse earned her JD from Northwestern University School of Law and BA from Cornell University.

Charisse’s coaching practice is at the intersection of leadership and wellbeing. She supports individuals navigating a leadership transition while maintaining work-life harmony. She is also available as a guest speaker around topics related to her book, The Joy of Thriving While Black. To learn more about her work, visit: www.charissemwilliams.com.

1. Three words to describe yourself

Entrepreneurial, Creative, Funny

2. Your superpower is:

My ability to connect with people quickly.

3. What are you most passionate about and why?

Ensuring that everything I do is aligned with my talents, skills, values, and purpose.

4. Area of coaching that interests you the most and why?

Executive coaching for new managers. Management requires a very complex set of skills that don't come naturally to most people. Folks often become managers with no training, support or preparation and it can be very stressful and lonely. New managers often feel the need to act like they have it all figured out to counter the imposter syndrome they might feel in the role. I've been there. Having the support of a coach was very critical to my management and leadership journeys.

I am very passionate about work/life balance and alignment. In the past, I have seen my self-worth as being too connected to my achievement at work. All that did was stress me out and burn me out. I learned that not only did I want to approach work differently, but I wanted to do different work, ie. coaching!

5. What got you into coaching and what do you love about coaching?

I had my first experience with a coach in 2008. I had completed the StrengthsFinder assessment, found it useful and hired a coach to do the assessment with my team at the nonprofit I was running. It was a game changer for me and my team and helped us maximize our collective strengths for greater effectiveness.

Fast forward four years and I was named President of an arts education organization in need of a turnaround. I hired a coach to help me navigate the transition and get aligned with my staff and board. My coach was very skilled and supportive. Along the way, I began using coaching techniques with my staff with great success and developed an interest in becoming a coach.

In 2018 I received my first coach training as a fellow at The Management Center (TMC) during which I coached nonprofit senior executives. I learned so much from the experience, and to this day, TMC is my go-to resource for management tools and best practices.

I received my yoga teacher certification in 2015 and began teaching classes, workshops and retreats. I have a regular personal yoga and meditation practice which greatly informs how I approach my work and how I show up in the world overall.

I love coaching because it allows me to show up to work every day as my complete self. Beginning my work as a full-time coach this year has been amazing. I feel like I am doing exactly what I am meant to be doing with my life. Coaching in these really challenging times has also had the added benefit of getting me out of my own head by focusing my energy and attention on the support of other people. It is so incredibly rewarding.

6. Your favorite thing about Lumia's life coach training program?

As soon as I came across Lumia, I knew that it was my tribe. I love the energy, the warmth and the love of this community. There is nothing pretentious about it at all, which is very different from many professional and academic spaces I have been in before. Lumia has the same energy of my yoga communities, which I love.

That said, Lumia instructors know their stuff! I came out of every single class as a student like, "Wow!" I really appreciated the rigor of the curriculum, all the science and the resources. I also love the diversity of backgrounds that people bring to the experience. I could really learn something from everyone.

I feel like Lumia goes above and beyond to build community very intentionally. From the FB group, to office hours and the annual conference. There is so much here to take advantage of, all for an extremely affordable, accessible price. Lumia really is a treasure and I would not trade my experience for anything in the world.

7. What's your #1 advice to someone who is interested in becoming a coach?

Trust yourself. Trust that whatever life experience brings you to coaching in addition to your training will be enough to help you become a great coach.

8. Where can people find you online?

charissemwilliams.com IG: @charisse_m_williams  LinkedIn: linkedin.com/in/charissemwilliams1

Want to Become A Coach?

One of our values at Lumia is that we dare to be different. Our life coaches like Charisse ignore the expectations society tries to impose on them, and seek to live from their own truth instead. If you are ready to step into your power and you’d like a partner in the process, come check out Lumia Life Coach Training. Grounded in science, our ICF accredited program features authentic instructors, a robust curriculum, and business instruction to prepare you for liftoff.

Lumia Coaching: Vibrant community. Evidence-based life coach training. Lifetime support.

[Free Guide] 6 Steps to Start Coaching Today

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