Sang J. Lee
MBTI® Type: ENTJ. Innovative; Organized; Connector.
Favorite Book: PACHINKO, Min Jin Lee (my sister!)
CERTIFICATIONS + coursework
- Certified Master Coach, Behavioral Coaching Institute (BCI)
- Executive Coaching, New York University
- Myers-Briggs Type Indicator® (MBTI®) Assessment
WHY DID YOU BECOME A COACH?
Many years ago, I agreed to become a pro bono client of a friend who was in pursuit of her advanced coaching certification. While I was happy to “help” my friend, I thought coaching was something that I didn’t really “need” as I self-identified as a professional who was already pretty ambitious, organized and skilled with executing complicated tasks. I didn’t appreciate that coaching is actually ideal for individuals who are achievement-oriented and who will fly farther and faster with the benefit of a clear road map! As a direct result of that coaching experience, I became more focused and calmer in the face of challenge and adversity. I achieved a level of professional and personal happiness that I could not have anticipated. I studied the science of coaching and pursued my own certification because I wanted to share the power of self-directed experience and support my clients, friends and family in the same ways that I had been supported by my first coach. Today, when people in my life ask me how I appear to get “so much done all the time,” I tell them, “I have a coach.”
IS THERE A PARTICULAR LENS THROUGH WHICH YOU APPROACH YOUR COACHING?
I believe that there is tremendous benefit – for anyone and everyone – to being and staying in motion, and I work hard to keep my clients engaged in a dynamic experience. I ask, “What will it take for this client to feel excited, eager and animated about this goal that he/she has shared with me? What will it take for this person to get in motion, to stay in motion, to enjoy the motion?" Much of my coaching is about culling for a true understanding of the client’s motivations in order to support him/her as they work toward their goals.
WHAT DO YOU SEE AS THE KEY BENEFITS THAT COACHING PROVIDES?
I believe emphatically that coaching is about helping clients get to a place of “yes,” and this can be particularly challenging for attorneys who are conditioned – in many respects, and on behalf of their clients – to come from a place of “no” or “yes, but no…". Neuroscience tells us that change is much harder than we think. In other words, change requires more than a decision to alter behavior. Change requires ongoing attention and a significant expenditure (and commitment) of will. When we routinely engage in behavior patterns that have particular outcomes, it is incredibly difficult to shift behavior to bring about a different outcome. The key benefit of coaching is the provision of full-on, engaged support for someone who is embarking on the difficult task of change.
WHAT MAKES YOU A SUCCESSFUL COACH?
My professional and personal tagline is “Own the Awkward” and I strive to inhabit (and advocate for) this posture daily. I am unyielding in my conviction that each of my clients deserves and should enjoy a full and vibrant life. This often (um, always) requires courage and emotional honesty. Universally, summoning up courage and truth is hard. I "own the awkward" of that reality with my clients and support them as they discover that with patience, persistence and practice, they can have everything they want.