I was and am an imperfect leader. I knew I wanted and needed teams to follow me in my corporate roles. I also knew I had stress behaviors that didn't always serve me as a leader. I knew I needed to use my strengths and address my blind spots. I focused on becoming more intentional in how I showed up for my team, which has made a difference.
Where do your imperfections as a leader challenge you? My Imperfection Gremlins infographic covers six of the most common challenges.
I spent 25+ years coaching individuals and leaders around managing careers, leading people, and solving problems. My time in HR and organizational leadership exposed me to best practices, different leadership styles, and gave me the opportunity to develop and implement people strategies focused on improving business performance.
My StandOut profile (Advisor/ Creator) perfectly describes where I find passion in my work: advising leaders on their journey and co-creating solutions for themselves, their teams, and their workplaces.
My HR and coaching certifications have given me the background to best support you.
- GPHR, SPHR, SHRM-SCP
- International Coaching Federation (ICF) - Associate Certified Coach (ACC)
- Certified Practitioner for the AIIR Consulting Team Effectiveness Survey
Hogan Assessment Certifed
- Certified Practitioner for the Global Leadership Assessment (GL360)
“Melissa added immediate impact to our organization by applying her deep expertise while taking the time to understand the unique needs of our organization. She established quick credibility amongst my colleagues and became a true extension of our team. I’d recommend Melissa to any organization as they contemplate large organizational opportunities.” - Vice-President, HR in the healthcare industry
“I engaged Melissa to run a 3 hour coaching workshop for my team. Melissa took time to understand my goals, the people involved, their roles and worked with me on developing a customized approach. She then ran an engaging session entirely online with a group of 20 that was intended to get people to openly discuss challenges, identify ways of improving collaboration, and celebrate accomplishments. While the team was initially skeptical about investing three hours of their busy day into this activity, they left the meeting energized and with a greater degree of understanding how their individual contributions enable team performance." - Senior Leader, Tech Industry
"As executive director of a small non-profit, I was seeking an experienced human resources professional to consult on our organization’s policies and procedures. What I found in meeting regularly with Melissa was so much more. Our regular conversations have helped me rethink teambuilding and staff development within our organization, and her insightful questions, resources, and coaching have strengthened my leadership skills." - Non-Profit Executive Director
Melissa was engaged to conduct a talent and culture review for a medium-sized (< 50 people) global non-profit. She worked with leadership to develop a project approach, led the review process using a number of engagement techniques including surveys, focus group discussions, and 1:1 interviews, and analyzed the findings for leadership consideration. At the end of the project, she facilitated a Board-level workshop to develop recommendations for how to evolve the NPO’s talent and culture strategy.
One of Melissa’s key strengths for this project was her ability to quickly take the pulse of the organization and adapt an approach that was appropriate to how the team had previously operated while respecting the mood of the team. In a matter of weeks, she emerged as a trusted advisor to NPO leadership on how to handle individual and group dynamics. Her insights into how to engage the Board were particularly helpful as we sought to bring the Board more directly into the conversation about how talent and culture strategy affect the future of the NPO." - Global Non-Profit Board Member
“We partnered with Melissa to create an HR Business Partner training program for our global HR team. Melissa delivered a robust, customized training program and captured all our initiatives for our growing team. Melissa incorporated best HR practices with open discussions, and the team really enjoyed the program.
I have seen so much improvement in my team's confidence. As well, Operations management has noticed that the HR team is more engaged and presents themselves better when dealing with conflict.
We are looking forward to partnering with Melissa on additional training needs in the future!” – Annie Grillo, Vice President of Global Human Resources, Fair Trade Outsourcing
"Melissa Carson has been an invaluable resource for me and for our team. We are a small nonprofit with a tiny but dedicated staff, and the pandemic has made evident a number of challenges we face in trying to become the strongest organization we can be (and it has presented new ones as well, of course).
Melissa has helped me think through how our team can evolve and improve, has helped me adapt our policies and practices as situations have changed, and, importantly, has helped me be a stronger leader so as to ensure that the team is functioning together. She is a strategist, a coach, and a thought partner to me as executive director, a position in which the difficulties are usually lonely ones. I am so glad to be able to work with her!"
—Carin Berkowitz, Executive Director, New Jersey Council for the Humanities
"I had always wanted to start engaging in an Executive Coaching program. However, I always had a reason to pull back. Whether it be timing, not the right fit, or "I just don't need it right now" I always had the likely excuse. Through working with Melissa I learned how to discover "my best self" for my high performing team. She helped me understand what I was doing for me vs what I could be doing to become the best version of what our team could be. Especially during a tough year like 2020, I felt that my time with Melissa helped me identify when I was stuck, helped me quickly find ways that works for me to get unstuck, and finally helped me navigate tough industry/ organizational pressures to become the version of me that I would be proud of as a leader.I highly recommend Melissa as a coach and really believe in her approach to take your teams, organizations, and careers to the next level!" - HO
"What I love the most about my sessions with Melissa is how she motivates me to be a better self, to feel this energy that I need to empower and support others. From the first session I felt this confidence that I was missing that Yes, I can! I can lead my team and I can coach the leaders in my organizations so they can support and lead people in their teams. Melissa is a wonderful coach who always has the best questions to unleash your true potential. She helped me make the transition into thinking more deeply about a role I already had when my style and methods were impacted sometime too much by my experience as an individual contributor. Melissa challenged me to develop new ways of leading people. She engaged with me to discuss my business in depth and guided me to a point where I was more comfortable and able to think about how to share my thoughts and strategies with my peers, my leaders, and my employees." - OI
"Coaching sessions with Melissa have been some of my favorite work mornings! The session was with another colleague. Melissa created space to be authentic and has helped me find ways to be a better version of myself both professionally and personally. She helped build an unexpected warm relationship with my colleague, which was an added bonus. Melissa is your person if you are seeking to make improvements in your professional life!" - SA
“Melissa’s coaching has been very helpful in guiding me to establish my brand and to articulate my unique value proposition to leadership. ” - NM
"I had the pleasure to participate in coaching sessions with Melissa and one other team member. We joke that the sessions are almost like therapy! She was amazing at asking questions that trigger us to think on a deeper level and challenge ourselves. She guided the conversations to not give us solutions but help us identify action plans to achieve our desired solution. It has been a really eye opening and fulfilling experience that has helped me grow and also become a better manager and team member." - RS
"You have been extremely helpful. The techniques which you provided me with have been extremely useful. Your ability to help me turn the mirror on myself and truly understand some of the reasons I have been successful/unsuccessful, feel insecure/secure and a multitude of other issues has proven invaluable. I have found that meeting with you to discuss my career aspirations and approach has changed the way in which I comport myself and approach my business life... Thank-you!" - JB
When naming my company, I wanted to be able to associate a symbol with what I wanted people to remember. A bridge signifies going somewhere different so this resonated. Crim Dell bridge at the College of William and Mary, my alma mater, seemed to be a perfect representation.