I’m Alanna. I’m a coach and a career consultant. I am also a mom and a Senior TED Fellow. (Yep, I gave a TED talk. Four, actually. Two of them are on the web; two million people have now seen me talk about dementia. More than twenty million people saw my COVID talk.) I’ve been working in international education and development for the last 20 years (I’ve lived in eight countries), and I have been coaching since 2012. Right now I’m doing both – I do some international development consulting, and I also have a coaching practice.
These two areas of work inform each other in surprising ways. Working with with the poorest people in the world teaches you a lot about human resilience. And it gives you a deep perspective on life’s challenges. I bring that learning to my coaching practice. At the same time, partnering deeply with a coaching client gives me insight into exactly what drives individual people to change their lives, and that insight is vital to international development work.
Coaching is a partnership between coach and client, intended to help the client find their own clarity. Coaches listen deeply, ask powerful questions, and support clients in finding their own truth. Topics that often come up in coaching include tapping into creativity, finding happiness, navigating career changes, and achieving work-life integration. Coaching is a tool with a lot of applications, though. It can be useful for any topic that a client would like to examine in more detail.
My special focus is on helping people find their bravery. That may mean being brave enough to speak up at work, go back to school, or ask for help. Sometimes, it’s being brave enough to admit that you really do know what you’re doing and everyone else should get out of the way.
Career consulting is different. Consulting isn’t about helping people find their own truth – it’s about sharing what I have learned, and helping people figure out their careers. I’ve been working in international development for a long time. For NGOs, international donors, private companies and as a freelance consultant. I’ve lived in eight different countries – right now I am in Sri Lanka. I’ve figured some stuff out, and now I can help other people get their careers started or unstuck.
Some people want coaching. Some want consulting. Some want a mixture of both – a whole lot of people want to talk to me about being brave enough to be better at their international development jobs. Usually, I can help. And if I think I can’t, I’ll say so. I’ll refer you to someone better suited or I’ll tell you that you’re doing just fine already.
Here’s a recent client comment: “Alanna’s direct yet humane approach comforted me. Her knowledge helped me understand my behavior. Her concrete advice helped me develop actionable steps towards managing my emotions and becoming more assertive.”
Want to get started? Schedule here!