25 Years Experience

Elena Deutsch

Coach Message

As a coach and facilitator, I bring compassionate honesty to all of my engagements. Whether it is facilitating a team coaching session, or individual leadership development, you get my full attention focused both on your words and what goes unsaid. I bring over 25 years of experience facilitating conversations with a serious yet light touch, in order to help clients identify goals and achieve specific outcomes. In each engagement, I recommend tools and resources for my client’s unique needs. Clients benefit from the supportive and honest relationship we create and achieve outcomes such as greater awareness, balance and confidence in their work and in lives.

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Leadership development: I help new and female leaders promoted from within, grow their confidence and capacity. Individuals, pairs & teams: Since so many organizations today rely on high functioning teams, one of my distinctive offering is “blended coaching”. This work includes clarifying team objectives, strengthening individual capacity and overcoming conflicted relationships. Tools include individual coaching, pairs or dyads and whole team sessions. The outcome is optimized team work that maximize strengths and exceed goals. Assessments such as MBTI or HBDI support both team and individual work.

Facilitation: Custom designed on- or off-sites to meet your specific goals and objectives, including team building and strategic planning. Developing a strong and supportive relationship with Human Resources leaders is a priority. When coaching a number of people within an organization, I become becoming a supportive and strategic advisor to HR and the organization as a whole.

Career transition is a focused coaching specialty. In 4-6 sessions, I take clients through the EASE process: Elements, Appealing possibilities, Study and Engage. In this framework, clients identify the elements most important to them, including what skills, interests and values they want in their career. After identifying appealing possibilities, they conduct research and and engaging in an action plan to carry them forward. I’ve had breakthrough successes in using this process with clients ranging from corporate lawyers, to seasoned professionals seeking an “encore” career.

Career Coaching

Build Your Skills

Be the best at what you do

  • Leadership skills
  • Communications
  • What it takes to get promoted
  • Managing large teams
  • First time manager
  • Presentation skills
  • How to run a meeting

She completed her training in Coaching at New York University in 2009 and has coached leaders at the Museum of Modern Art, U.S. Fund for UNICEF, Health and Hospitals Corporation, White & Case, and more.

Elena has facilitated team sessions for clients such as The New York Times, Deutsche Bank, Barclays, and the New York State Department of Health. In her work at CAI Global, a local and international capacity building organization, she managed and delivered large training projects focused on organizational change. In her leadership position at the American Cancer Society (ACS) Elena appeared frequently in the media on Good Day New York, Inside City Hall and Hardball with Chris Matthews. 

Elena Deutsch is a Partner in WildFire Strategies with fellow coach and facilitator Steve Salee. She received her Masters in Public Health at the University of North Carolina - Chapel Hill and her undergraduate degree at the University of Michigan. She sits on the Board of Friends of PS 187 and chairs the School Leadership Team at PS/IS 187, located in Washington Heights around the corner from where she lives with her family.

Case Study 1: Leadership/Executive Coaching with Integrated Team Sessions: For a client at a major NYC cultural institution, a long time employee got promoted to head her department and was struggling in her new leadership role. I was brought in to help Rebecca (pseudonym) develop her ability to manage a large department with strong personalities and divas. Rebecca would run and hide in her office when people would act inappropriately – either by disrespecting her leadership, going to HR without letting her know, or coming and going at their own whim. HR was frustrated by having to deal with the fallout from Rebecca’s lack of leadership, and brought me in.

After meeting with HR to hear about their needs, I met with Rebecca to hear what she hoped to accomplish in coaching and assess fit. After agreeing we could work together we met with her supervisor to get on the same page regarding process and goals of the engagement. With Rebecca I did MBTI (Myers-Briggs Type Indicator) Step II. The goal of using assessments is to provide insights into innate personality preferences, and strengths. This can help a client develop awareness about how they respond in certain situations, and identify blind spots – or places they act out of habit that aren’t serving them well. Assessments often are an eye opener for clients and provide a foundation of understanding that we build upon. In the Myers-Briggs assessment, we discovered Rebecca’s preference for Introversion. Or in MBTI speak, she is an “I” that combined with her preference for thinking things through in a logical, methodical way “S” or “Sensing” makes it hard for her to think on her feet and respond immediately, especially in difficult situations.

“Oh,” she said when I shared the results of her MBTI with her, “that is why I go into my office, shut the door and write out what I want to say before saying anything. I go over it a few times, carefully composing my words.” Through our work she intentionally paid attention to her preferences, and cultivated new habits – like keeping her office door open, and circulating around the department and saying hi to people, giving time to stop and chat and listen to concerns. She still needs to write things down before a difficult conversation, but she is HAVING the conversations now…not just sending an email, or not doing anything. She is addressing issues, perhaps not immediately, but in a timely manner and with confidence since she has taken some time to prepare. In this engagement,

I also facilitated a team session – to have Rebecca meet with her three senior managers, to clarify roles and responsibilities. Her managers had been passing the buck to Rebecca on staff and other issues. In the team session we clarified responsibilities as managers and provide a forum for the team to come up with structures to support each other. With all that out on the table and in the open, it is easier for them to call each other on letting things slide with staff, and supporting each other to problem solve and implement solutions.

The combined individual coaching, plus the team work, supported Rebecca in assuming her place of leadership with both authority and approach-ability. In a final session with her and her supervisor, Rebecca’s manager, Suzanne, said she has seen tremendous growth in Rebecca - handling difficult personalities with more strength and assurance. She sees Rebecca communicating more confidently with her peers, her direct reports and the people above her.

Rebecca herself is thrilled. She still would like to be the kind of person who can think off the top of her head and lay it out there immediately, but she is acknowledging who she is. “I do it. I don’t do it immediately, but I go into my office, and I write down what I want to say. I may wait until the next day and sleep on it, let it sink in, but then I will call that person into my office and talk about whatever the issue is. It’s not easy for me, but that is okay. Each time it gets a little easier, and I am so proud that I am doing it and no longer cowering in my office.”

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Reviews


Professional and caring.

Career Transiton Client

"Working with you made me accountable for my own future. I wasn't just talking to friends or co-workers over lunch about what I was thinking about doing; I chose to pay out of pocket to sit down with you for an hour at a stretch to really dive into what I wanted to do and HOW I would go about doing it. That second part was key: I needed someone to make me accountable for e-mails I would send, meetings I would have, and research I would do. Committing to working with you was the first real step I took in figuring out my career path, and it was from those initial contacts that we talked about that I eventually found a new job that I'm excited about. I should also add that you were a pleasure to talk to -- professional, caring, probing, and insightful. I felt that you immediately understood where I was coming from, what I was capable of, and where my interests lay. You were methodical in your questioning but never seemed clinical, and I felt you were rooting for me. It was nice to know I had you on my side."

Valued resource.

Marci Alboher, VP, Encore.org

"I've known Elena in a wide variety of contexts -- first as a friend-of-a-friend I adopted for my own and later as a colleague working in similar fields. And I've enjoyed and admired her every step of the way. Elena was a mentor and valued resource for me when I moved into the nonprofit sector. And her perspective and counsel is spot-on for individuals or organizations working to become the best versions of themselves. I recommend her often and hope to find new opportunities to continue to do that."