Executive Coach, Facilitator
Michael Mellen is an executive and organizational coach, facilitator, and speaker with a focus on leadership development and transition within organizations.
He brings an ability to find sparks in just about everyone and loves to help others do the same. Whether speaking one-on-one, to small groups or to groups of thousands Michael aims to connect with and understand the people with whom he is interacting. His desire to bring emotional intelligence to analytical business is paired with his work to bring analysis and logic to organizations driven by heart-centered concerns.
He focuses on developing resonant leaders, finding clarity in chaos, and working with individuals and organizations around transition. He is especially interested in working with individuals who feel they have plateaued within business or organizational work and are looking to move to the next level, entrepreneurs who have gotten far on skill and nerve and are now looking to become resonant leaders who can transforms teams or organizations, and individuals striving to find an authentic voice in career and life. His clients range from independent entrepreneurs and organizational executives to summer camp directors and synagogue boards. He works with teams and individuals in for-profit and not-for-profit settings.
Michael’s coaching may include a 360° review, Immunity to Change Mapping, MBTI®, Clifton Strengthsfinder®, FIRO-B®, PMAI®, and the Strong Interest Inventory®. His work is informed by Emotional Intelligence Theory, Systems Theory, the Gestalt Cycle of Experience, and the Theory of Intentional Change. With these and other tools, Michael works with clients to explore beliefs, habits, and patterns, along with concrete ways in which to move from stuck to unstuck, from dissonance to resonance, and from chaos to clarity.
Prior to founding his coaching company, Michael worked as a rabbi, innovation consultant and coach in congregational and organizational settings. Coaching has always been part of Michael’s work, whether as a congregational rabbi or in training and facilitating roles. Michael served as director of the North American Federation of Temple Youth (NFTY), overseeing over fifty staff and programs engaging approximately 12,000 teens. He has mentored and coached emerging leaders and seasoned professionals.
Michael received his B.A. from University of Michigan and rabbinic ordination from Hebrew Union College. He completed the Teleos Coach Development Program and the CoachU Core Essentials Coach Training. He is certified by the International Coach Federation (ICF) as an Associate Certified Coach (ACC). In addition, he is a Prepare/Enrich Facilitator and Trainer with Life Innovations, Inc.; he studied Clinical Pastoral Education (CPE) through HUC-JIR and Jewish Hospital, Cincinnati; he is a Graduate of the Institute for Jewish Spirituality, New York, NY; he is certified in Myers-Briggs Type Indicator® (MBTI®); and has completed training as a facilitator in Immunity-to-Change™. Michael continues to develop his skills, including regular coaching supervision. He is based in New York City.
The Science Behind Our Practice
Our work is grounded in established methodologies and models of human and organizational behavior, including, but not limited to the following:
The competencies of emotional intelligence (self-awareness, self-management, social awareness and relationship management) account for an individual’s ability to understand their own and others’ emotions and use that information to guide decision-making and action. Research has shown that leaders who master the competencies of emotional intelligence have a distinct advantage.
Positivity & Resilience
The incredible developments in neuroscience research over the last several decades have enabled a greater understanding of how practices that promote positivity and resilience—both individually and organizationally—have a significant and lasting impact on our capacity for creative thinking, productivity, efficiency, empathy, focus and more.
Developed by Richard Boyatzis, the Intentional Change Model underpins successful leadership development programs by supporting an individual or group in intentionally moving through five stages of change that close the gap between a current “real” self and a clearly articulated “ideal” self.
Appreciative Inquiry, developed by David Cooper Rider, is a strengths-based model of analysis, decision-making and strategic change that clarifies the assets and motivations that are an organization’s strengths in order to build or rebuild an organization based on what is working rather than trying to fix what doesn’t.
Resistance and Cycle of Change
People are at their most creative in their resistance. The Gestalt cycle of change maps the critical stages of change that all members of a group must experience in order to optimize success and minimize resistance. Disruption of the cycle manifests in very specific levels of resistance that can be effectively mitigated through intentional responses.
Mindfulness is the awareness that one develops through paying attention to the present moment through your five senses without judgment. In addition to relieving stress and building resilience, even a simple mindfulness practice can significantly expand your range of options in any given moment. Incorporating mindfulness into any process of change or development supports an individual or group by rewiring the brain for more intentional responses and behaviors.
Dynamic Inquiry, developed by Annie McKee and the Teleos Leadership Institute, is a method of discovery that uncovers an organization’s emotional reality–what people care about, what is working well, and what’s getting in the way. The purpose of the inquiry is twofold: 1) to identify underlying issues related to culture and leadership that are helping or hindering implementation of a strategy; and 2) to build ownership and commitment to the mission, vision, strategy, ideal culture and leadership framework among key stakeholders.