WITH Susan Baroncini-Moe
A sunlit tree-lined street in a city with a wide sidewalk, elegant stone buildings on the right, and several people walking in the distance. Some cars are parked on the left side of the street, and there are bollards along the sidewalk. The ambiance feels like an ideal setting for executive coaching or development as a leader.
What is coaching?

Coaching is perhaps best understood in the context of its origins: sports. If you think about the role that a coach plays in the lives of his or her players, the coach helps the player to become better at their sport, guides the athlete to find ways of improving strength, speed, competency, courage, and to become more competitive. The right coach can take an athlete from “talented” to superstar.

So, too, does an executive coach help a client, guiding the client to become a more adept, exceptional leader, finding ways of improving emotional strength, courage, and helping the client to create the life s/he wants. The right coach can help you to manage fear, expand boundaries, develop new skills, and achieve the life you truly want. The goal for any coach should always be whatever is in your best interest.

How is coaching different from therapy?

Some coaches will tell you that coaching focuses on the future, while therapy focuses on the past. At BMEC, we disagree with this assessment. Susan Baroncini-Moe often delves into the past with her clients, because the present and the future are informed by the past. So the notion that coaching doesn’t delve into the past is, at least for our work, inaccurate.

The true distinction between coaching and therapy lies in who we treat, and we believe that there is a significant amount of overlap. Coaches are often reluctant to accept that there is overlap for reasons of liability, and therapists are often reluctant to accept the overlap because their training can be more rigorous than that of a coach (especially considering the low barrier to entry in coaching).

A coach should never attempt to work with mental illness, addiction, or unhealthy, toxic behavior, and should refer any client who exhibits these kinds of challenges to a qualified therapist.

However, both therapists and coaches deal with healthy, normal, well people who are simply coping with the challenges of daily life.

The modalities used by coaches and therapists may differ, but here, too, there is overlap, and this is why it’s critical that you hire a qualified coach who has (and continues to pursue) rigorous training.

Why do executives and leaders hire coaches?

Executives hire coaches for many reasons: to catapult their careers, to break free from 9-to-5 jobs and to create better, more fulfilling, richer lives. Professional coaching can drive sales and increase employee engagement, workplace satisfaction, creativity, and bottom-line results.

According to a Manchester Consulting Group study of Fortune 100 executives, the Economic Times reports “coaching resulted in a ROI of almost six times the program cost as well as a 77 percent improvement in relationships, 67 percent improvement in teamwork, 61 percent improvement in job satisfaction and 48 percent improvement in quality.” And a MatrixGlobal study of Fortune 500 telecommunications companies found that executive coaching resulted in a 529 percent ROI.

So…why do executives hire coaches? Because when you hire the right coach, coaching has a huge impact on performance in just about every aspect of your life.

But perhaps a more important question for you: Why do people hire us to coach them?

Executives and business owners hire us to tell them the truth, to push back, to be honest in a way that most people can’t or won’t be honest with them. Coaching is, at its heart, about seeking truth and about helping you to realize your full potential and your mission.

Your coach should be at least one person in your life who won’t always tell you what you want to hear. We’ll tell you what you need to hear. Sometimes it’s hard to hear the truth, and that’s why we take the time to listen and get to know you, and we’ll cushion the truth as much as we think you need it, using humor, kindness, and love.

As far as exactly what issues people hire us to help them with….

Some of our clients hire us to help them improve their soft skills and leadership strategies – to help them sort through why they just can’t get along with people – they’re great at what they do, but struggle to form bonds and engage effectively with others in the workplace. As such, their careers stall, they find that people don’t listen to them, despite their position, or they simply can’t get buy-in on projects they want to champion.

Some clients hire us to sort through why, despite great success, they suffer from “imposter syndrome,” a disconnect from one’s accomplishments, and the feeling that, at any moment, you could be discovered as a fraud, even if you’ve worked hard to get where you are.

Some business owner and entrepreneur clients hire us to help them cope with the “economic PTSD” from the Great Recession and the COVID economic challenges of 2020, where they consistently experience fear that the last contract they signed will be the last business that comes through the door – ever. And when talks of looming recession emerge, these clients hire us to help them navigate the choppy waters ahead so that they avoid making emotional, fear-driven decisions.

Some of our clients hire us to help them navigate the road to exit and succession planning – note that we do not get involved in the numbers or dealmaking. We focus our work strictly on helping you traverse the tricky, complex emotions and family dynamics of this kind of transition.

Some of our C-suite clients hire us because they sometimes need to vent. When you’re at the top, you shouldn’t let off steam and complain about anything to your team. And, if you know confidential information, you can’t be complaining to your friends and family.

Some of our clients hire us to draw on our corporate experience or entrepreneurial acumen and brainstorm with them, to help them come up with new ideas.  And some hire us to have a daily check-in every single day to stay on-track and accountable and in the right frame of mind to continuously make progress and move forward.

Our work is bespoke: we tailor our work to every individual client and his or her needs. So we’ll structure our work together in a way that makes sense for you, and we’ll work on the issues that will get you to your goals.

Is coaching confidential?
When you sign on as one of our clients, the contract we sign contains a confidentiality clause that protects both you and your coach. Coaching is confidential. The only times when confidentiality may be waived is if your coach believes you are going to commit a crime, harm yourself, or harm someone else, or if we are compelled to reveal details by subpoena or law.
How do I find the right executive coach?
The best way to hire a coach is to conduct your research and find a few coaches you think you might like. Ask around and see who you know who’s worked with a coach and found it rewarding. Referrals are often the best way to find a coach, but there are many different ways to arrive at the right coach for you.
Once you’ve found a coach you think you might like, then have a conversation and allow yourself to be coached by them to get a sense of whether it’s a good fit. The right coach for you will be able to build rapport with you, so you feel comfortable and can trust the coach, even in the first meeting.
How do I know if you're the right coach for me?
You don’t. We won’t know if we’re a good fit – and that means we both have to feel it’s a good fit in order for us to work together – unless we have a conversation. As long as you’ve read through the Coaching pages and know what I ask for from my clients, you can schedule a time for us to talk.
Why do you hold most coaching sessions on the phone?

Note from Susan:

“I’ve coached on the phone since I began coaching nearly 20 years ago. Coaching on the phone offers some surprising advantages. First, it’s extremely flexible. I travel frequently, and coaching by phone means my clients experience no disruptions in continuity of service when I’m away from my home office.

Second, eliminating the visual sense means that you can experience coaching in a judgment vacuum. You can’t see my face and try to interpret my expressions, projecting any of your own fears onto how I react (or don’t).

Third, you would probably be surprised by how much I can glean from just a few words on the phone. After over a decade and a half of listening, my ear is highly attuned to subtle shifts in your paralanguage (pace, pitch, tone, brightness, timber, quality), so I can gather an enormous amount of data from a phone call.

Having said all of that, in some cases, I will make an exception. For example, all 360 debriefs take place via Zoom call so that. we can review your reports together. And, if you require a coach who works in person or via video, we have a spectacular cadre of coaches on-staff who can accommodate your needs.”

How many coaches work with BMEC?

Our primary coach is our founder, Susan Baroncini-Moe, but we also have a cadre of 11 exceptional executive coaches. These professionals are required to meet the most rigorous of standards before working with our clients.

Does anyone at BMEC conduct in-person training or speaking engagements?
Susan Baroncini-Moe with long, light brown hair and glasses speaks at a podium during a leadership training session. She is wearing a black top and holds a piece of paper in one hand while gesturing with the other. The background appears to be an indoor space with a projection screen.From time to time, Susan Baroncini-Moe does accept speaking engagements, and she frequently conduct trainings and workshops for organizations, in person and in webinar format.

Susan’s first speaking engagements were in graduate school, when she taught courses in sociology. When you’re speaking to college students, it’s important to find ways to get them engaged and involved in the material. Thus, Susan’s speaking and training style is educational, interactive, and engaging.

Time is a precious commodity, so when someone leaves a presentation or workshop that Susan has led, it’s important to her that they feel like their experience was well worth their time in attending. So she strives to ensure that everyone walks away feeling not just, “That was entertaining,” or “That was interesting,” but, “That was life-changing.”

If you’d like to talk about your event, retreat, workshop, or group, please contact me and let’s have a conversation.

I worked with Susan on a Women in Leadership Positions professional development event for Susan prepared an excellent topic about “Claiming Your Achievements” that highlighted blindspots and challenges unique to women that can hold you back from advancing your career. I appreciated her pace and style of leading this discussion, she has both executive presence and an infectious energy that shows her passion for her work. Highly recommend her as a professional development speaker!

– Kristin Lancaster-Weiss, MBA, MSIS, ScrumMaster, Amazon

Susan was a was an amazing speaker at our Business Women Connect meeting.  She was very professional but extremely also very down to earth.  She did a fantastic job relating to the audience and providing very valuable input.  Susan also was very prepared for the event so the transition was very smooth.  I previously had not worked with Susan, or even met her in person prior to our event.  But when she left I felt like we had been friend forever.  She is a tremendous asset to any organization and I would highly recommend her.

– Chris Lynch

Susan Baroncini-Moe was outstanding when she spoke at the Indiana Small Business Fair. The event was focused on individuals starting or operating a small business. Her presentation was directly what the target audience needed to hear and extremely impactful. The crowd was engaged, taking notes and asking questions. By far one of the best presenters and presentations of the event!

–Johnnie Fiari

We invited Susan to our business networking meeting for her to do a presentation. All our members were so impressed with her presentation that we all signed up for an appointment with her. Susan is very engaging, lively, and extremely informative.

– Claire Ty


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