I have been working with Mara as a career and leadership coach for several months now, and I cannot recommend her enough to those looking to find guidance, insight, creative solutions, and accountability. Mara has impacted my life so greatly through many recent changes including a career change, major life change and a major move. She has helped me to clearly define my own values and goals and to create a plan to align my life with those values and goals. I am currently in one of the most productive and successful seasons of my life, and I can say without a doubt that working with Mara consistently is directly related to my recent success.
Visit the Benefits of Coaching page to read more about the experience Mara's clients have when working with her.
Mara's passion for helping others be the best they can be is exuberant. In my current position, I have been fortunate enough to be involved in several of Mara's coaching trainings as well as participate in her EQ training. I learned so much about how my emotional wellness plays a significant role in my day to day life as well as in my career. If you are looking to figure out where you are in life, where you want to go or if you just need to bounce ideas off of someone, I highly recommend speaking with Mara.
Coaching changed everything from work tasks, relationships and goals, to personal relationships and goals. Coaching shifted my perception of control. It challenged me to take control and ownership of my development and gave me tools to do so.
I learned many things from Mara Connolly before she left and I would like to share with you guys some of the techniques I use everyday (That I learned from her) to get more organized and on top of things (especially around times like midterms/finals!)
1. Intention. You have to have the intention of success. Everything you do has a reason behind it. There’s no use trying if you dont have a goal to look towards or the means of wanting that goal. Intention means: a concept considered as the product of attention directed to an object of knowledge, or a determination to act a certain way. This step is far more important than things like time management or stress relief because it’s the reason your doing this in the first place and it shows others around you why your striving and working so hard to do it. So with every class, even as far to every assignment: What is your intention? What do you want out of your class, what do you want to learn or convey through your current art piece? Sit down and write out a goal and intention for every class and assignment you get. This step guides you towards the other step easier.
2. Time management. This step could be a post all on its own but I will summarize the steps I take to get towards my goals better. Every Sunday I write down a schedule for myself and I block out time slots with: classes, meetings, meals, workouts, and allotted times for each of my projects and due dates for that week. It gets really busy but it helps me stick to deadlines and get things done. There’s a chart that’s a part of Franklin Coveys time management system that breaks things down to importance and what you need to do or want to do. You don’t need to get on Facebook every hour, emailing a bunch of people takes up more time that you think, and tumblr/blogs (HUGE time waster!! I would know :(…) So its good to stick yourself to a set schedule and let yourself work on a still life for 2 hours, then move on to another project for a few more hours. Don’t forget with every schedule give yourself some down time, an hour to catch up on your blogs, emails, maybe go out to dinner with a friend. This step is honestly the hardest one for me, but it’s helped me gain that extra hour in the day to get more stuff done.
3. Go to the learning center. I went there last semester with all intentions of blowing this place off afterwards, how could another student help me? really? Well I was SO WRONG. I got so much input with my paper it was crazy. Cat helped me see all these mistakes in my writing and move some paragraphs around on my paper so it made more sense. I got an A on that paper, and I now see the light, Now I have a cute robot on my desk too! These guys are a free resource to you and I would suggest giving yourself an hour in your schedule a few days before any paper is due and talk to them.
4. Teachers. Many people complain about their teachers and say things like “Well he just ignores me,” "She doesn't understand what I’m trying to convey,” really, the list goes on. But one of the most important things to you succeeding in any class is constant communication with your teachers. Ask them what extra work you could be doing to grasp their class better. Sit with them after a bad assignment and talk over what could be fixed (sometimes the teacher will let you resubmit for a better grade!) The teachers at RMCAD really do care and they don’t know they are doing anything wrong unless you tell them! Complaining to your friends doesn't fix the problem, but going to the source and non accusingly talking to them can clear up OCEANS and give you more opportunities to improve and shine.
In the time I worked with Mara, I observed the huge impact she had on affecting a positive shift in culture. She was never afraid to be honest, give honest feedback and pushback when necessary. She did a great deal to help create a safe environment and encouraged and challenged people to speak up in an environment ruled by fear and intimidation. I learned a great deal from her in the short time that we worked together. I truly benefited from my interaction with her.
Receiving coaching was extremely helpful in increasing my confidence and thus effectiveness in my role. Mara was insightful and created a very "safe" atmosphere. She was encouraging when appropriate and always honest. She challenged me to really be honest with myself and face things that I needed to face that were really becoming a detriment to me and my abilities. Our organization is extremely fortunate to have found her and hired her on. She made a huge, positive impact on all of those with whom she interacted. Her honesty and integrity were refreshing. She constantly challenged others to be truly honest with their employees and themselves and encouraged them to act with integrity. She is a real asset to the company.
Coaching with Mara changed everything for me, from work tasks, work interactions, and professional goals, to personal relationships and personal goals. Through coaching I have deepened my understanding of my strengths. I have been able to practice and be creative in using my strengths and my natural leadership style to accomplish goals at work and at home that I never thought possible.
Coaching is empowering. Life is a product of choice and I have the responsibility of choice. The old way wasn't a choice; anxiety just happened and the thought of responsibility led to futility.
Mara was born to teach, coach and mentor. She is an inspirational leader, one that invests in her people enabling genuine relationship building and trust. Mara is gifted with the creativity to produce curriculum that is not only educational but also engaging. As District Manager I found Mara to consistently work collaboratively initiating the programs that would provide the most impact while remaining within budget. Mara is highly organized, efficient, dedicated and determined. Mara would be an asset to any team, and any organization would be lucky to have her.
Mara's coaching is sharp, insightful and to the point. She provides a great balance of compassion and rock solid accountability. She is not afraid to tell the hard truths tempered with the clients best interest at heart. If you’re serious about moving forward in your life or career, then Mara is the coach for you.