About Me
My consulting practice is designed to bring a variety of resources to nonprofits, including foundations.

Oak Park, IL 60304
alicecottingham (at) gmail.com

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The value of reflective conversation

One of the hardest parts of being a staff leader of a nonprofit is the challenge of finding good listeners with good questions at those times when the right thing to do next is far from clear.  Many executive directors believe they should not share those moments with those they supervise.  I disagree.  Assuming you have clear boundaries and aren't asking others to do your job for you, letting others in on what you're grappling with can be liberating and fruitful.  This doesn't mean you have to ask for the answers.  In fact, asking for a good ear and for reflection about what you've said often does the trick.  That it encourages learning throughout the organization is a very good thing.

Other good listeners?  Trusted colleagues, a performance coach, and my family social worker are all options I've used with happy results.

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