The Grand's December Coaching Spotlight: Karen Zelnick

December 1, 2022

Learn more about Karen's coaching approach and register for our upcoming workshop!

💬 What is your approach as a coach to help people get where they want to go, especially if they are unsure of the steps to get there?

Karen Zelnick

Meet The Coach 👋 : My favorite thing in the entire world is helping people, connecting them with people or resources to assist them on their journey. In my work in venture capital, I focus on strengthening our community of portfolio founders and providing them with the resources they need to scale their startups. Most importantly, I try to find as many ways as possible to connect them with each other. There’s unparalleled magic that comes from receiving support from people in the trenches with you. I experienced it first-hand when I participated in The Grand in the summer of 2020. As a coach, I love watching that magic recur each session and using my passion for connections to guide participants as they become more confident in their skills and potential.

The uncertainty of not knowing how to get where you want to go can be frustrating and lonely. Especially because it’s often already a lot of work to figure out the “where.” 🧐

I think the most important thing I can do as a coach is help the person realize they have a more secure footing than they might recognize at present. 👣 And that they don’t have to know how to get from point A to point B, they just need to know how to get to point A.1, then A.2, and so on until they arrive at B.

It’s about doing the next right thing. ✨

To do this, I like to employ the GROW model (developed by Sir John Whitmore and others, 1980s): 📈

  • Goal: Establish what they want to accomplish right now. 💪🏽 Not an entire project or for the next year, but today. Even as finite as the particular conversation we’re having.
  • Reality: As with all Grand settings, we focus on open and honest questions rooted in what, when, where, and who, because they focus on specific facts and details, which make the conversation real and constructive. 🙋🏻‍♀️🙋🏾‍♂️ I avoid why questions; they prompt people to explore reasons and motivations rather than facts. This can carry overtones of judgment or trigger attempts at self-justification. Asking people to slow down and focus on open and honest inquiry allows them to lose themselves in contemplation - and then a light comes on and their inner teacher is illuminated. 💡 They can engage with the problem with a fresh perspective.
  • Options: It’s easy to feel stuck between options or like you have no options. ❓ As a coach, it’s my job to help people think more broadly and deeply. A great prompt is one we use in the Grand’s signature coaching offering, Clarity Council: “If you had a magic wand, what would you do?” 🪄
  • Will: Finishing the process by asking “What will you do?” and “On a scale of one to 10 how likely is it that you will do this?” is an important wrap-up to ensure progress between sessions is made. 🏔

We would love to see you at our December workshop event — Leader as Coach.

We know that many people are looking to level up their leadership skills — whether you’re new to managing people or an experienced leader, there is value to learning how to adopt a coaching mindset! Join us for an online, interactive workshop on fixing versus coaching and tools that you can implement to practice coaching in your own career and life. Our workshop will be hosted by our Grand Coach, Stephanie Movahhed on Thursday, Dec 8th at 12pm - 1pm PT.