Valerie S. Libby, J.D., A.C.C.
Executive/Leadership Coach - Life Coach
My Path to Coaching
I am a certified coach with more than 15 years experience working with executives, managers, professionals, small business owners and individuals around work, interpersonal/relationship and life issues.
I started my professional career as a special educator at the elementary school level, later teaching at the graduate school level. I also worked in small to medium sized businesses in management and marketing. At 30, as a single mother, I went to graduate school, earning my law degree from Boston College Law School. I first worked as a judicial clerk and then in private practice for many years. I’ve been a business owner, having owned and operated a legal practice for 5 years. I have been working as an independent coach and consultant since 2000.
Perspective and Approach to Coaching
I am in a somewhat unique position, able to draw from a very varied educational and work background. I have a breadth of experiences and knowledge, bringing a richness and depth to my practice. I understand well, having lived them, the pressures of positions at high levels of the corporate world. I also understand the pressures of small business owners and individuals who are attempting to make their lives better with fewer resources and support. I have worked with leaders and others in the medical and legal professions, insurance industry, film industry, small businesses and start-ups. I have also worked with individuals who are attempting to create a life more in alignment with their dreams, values, priorities and capabilities.
I work from an optimistic stance, believing in everyone’s potential to stretch, grow and change in order to achieve their goals. With my clients, I aim to be a: provocateur; thought-partner; support person; cheerleader; celebrator of successes; co-examiner of misses; and safe place for honest communication and accountability. I help clients to see themselves, their situations, and their opportunities for growth and change more clearly; working with them to create a sustainable plan to meet their needs/goals.
Underlying all my work is my integrity, compassion and humor. Integrity is my most valuable offering. This includes confidentiality, honesty, directness and respect, all the basis of developing a relationship of trust.
My compassion stems from my professional and personal lives being rich with challenges (both difficult and small), as well as many successes and my share of failures (things that did not go exactly as hoped or planned). I know what it is like to work in a pressure-cooker environment with good financial rewards, as well as how it is to work hard for much smaller wages, struggling to make ends meet. I have endured and thrived despite personal and health crises. I have enjoyed great professional and personal successes, overcoming many challenges along the way. I have a soft heart and can meet the client where he/she is. And, I am committed to facilitating others’ personal and professional growth, with great compassion for their life experience, whatever that may be.
Humor is key. Life is often complex and perplexing. However, I believe when we can step outside ourselves and our current situations long enough to see ourselves and/or things outside ourselves from a different perspective, we can find humor at ourselves, the situations we often find ourselves in or how we got there. My experience, personally and with clients, is that laughter helps to shift consciousness; it loosens the hold we may have on our notion of how things are or how they ought to be, giving way to more creative strategies and solutions. Humor also relieves stress, which allows us to connect more with our authentic selves. I attempt to bring humor, when appropriate, into the coaching process for the purpose of positive change.