Client Spotlight: Michele Richman
Michele Richman is the Chief People Officer for Lawline, a U.S. based company specialized in continuing education and online learning for attorneys. David Schnurman, her brother and the CEO of Lawline, experienced 1-1 coaching with Frame of Mind Coaching™ several years ago. Post-coaching, he was inspired to write and publish a book (The Fast Forward Mindset) about how getting coached with us changed his personal and professional outlook.
“Every time I would come to David with a work struggle, he used to recommend FOM Coaching™ and the concept of shifting my thinking,” says Michele. “We’ve been working together for 14 years now and it used to be a challenge, but we’re in a really good place now because of coaching.”
At the beginning of COVID, FOM Coaching™ offered a Group Coaching program to the public at large to help people adjust to the stressors of the pandemic. Michele was one of the participants. “I had so many anxieties at that time, and therapy wasn’t quite cutting it,” says Michele. “In the Group Coaching course, we would journal with each other throughout the month, then there was a monthly group coaching call. I was getting so much value out of it that I decided to sign up for 1-1 Coaching for a more personalized approach.”
Before coaching, Michele felt stuck professionally. While she does have a background in law, she was responsible for running the operations of the business and couldn’t see a way out of the day-to-day responsibilities. Then the pandemic struck, and she found herself needing to move everything out of the office, and with no team to support her. Meanwhile, her husband had left his legal job and their au pair had stopped working for them.
Since coaching, Michele is much happier in her job and has built a supportive team around her. Last summer she even hired an outsourced CFO to help with the financial business aspects she was struggling with, and is now looking to fill this role permanently. “Now I can focus on what I love and am passionate about—coaching my team and helping them grow,” she says.
“I’m happier than I’ve ever been professionally, which I attribute to the FOM Coaching™ process and how my coach, Chari Schwartz, taught me to communicate,” says Michele. “I learned to hone in on what I love. I had been focusing on what I didn’t want, not turning toward what I did want.”
Chari also helped Michele communicate more effectively with her brother. “I used to say that my brother and I had a work relationship and a personal relationship,” she says. “Chari helped me realize that it’s the same relationship regardless of the setting, and we need to show up authentically.” Now they’re able to share their points of view without judgement or backlash.
When Michele’s au pair left, Chari taught her how to give up control in regard to managing her household. “I always took care of everything in the household or directed the au pair,” she says. “Managing my husband didn’t work the same way. Chari helped me see what I still wanted to take care of, and what I could give up. Things don’t have to be done my way; it’ll all be fine.”
Michele learned that it’s not her job to solve her husband’s work situation, either, but rather to just love and support him. Their communication has also improved and he now feels empowered to figure things out himself and share updates with her. “He’s now working regularly in consulting and managing the household,” she says. “He’s happier than he’s ever been and the kids are happy to have him more involved.”
One of Michele’s most powerful experiences during coaching was “asking for the ‘no’.” Chari challenged Michele to go out and ask people for difficult things with the intention of them saying “no.” She ended up getting all “yes’s”—including the promotion from VP of Business Operations to Chief People Officer. “I learned to stop waiting for opportunities to come to me,” she says. “Things still scare me, like public speaking, but now I just say ‘yes’ and do it anyway. So far so good!”
After coaching, Michele participated in our FOM Methods and FOM Foundations programs in order to become Certified in the FOM Coaching™ Methodology. These programs gave her the opportunity to bring her coaching skills to her team. She even co-led a recent FOM Foundations program, which trains new coaches, with Chari. “I’ve been using the principles and methodology with the people I coach at work, and it has been so impactful,” she says. “They share things they wouldn’t have, and we can go from there. They’ve reported back that they’re happier, they have more confidence and their relationships are stronger.”