Chapter Meeting - March 2019: The Project Manager as Change Coach

Non-Members $25, Members $10, Volunteers $0.   No refunds will be provided for cancellations. 


A strategic tool for project managers:

Twenty years ago, coaching was for abrasive leaders. Ten years ago, the focus was developing high potential employees. Now, being coached is what sets someone apart. Coaches are increasing employee effectiveness, engagement, and productivity. A coaching culture creates success. We are already seeing the application of coaching in the agile world. And although some writers suggest that project management and coaching are an uneasy combination, developing coaching skills is a strategy that enhances our value as leaders and team-members.

In this presentation you will develop your basic coaching strategies, explore coaching theories and experience first-hand, in group and 1:1 coaching exercises, coaching as a strategic approach to influencing success. You will leave with practical tools to apply in your working environment!  


In her PMI Today address, PMI Board Chair, Caterina La Tona urges us to pursue our winning aspiration: “Empowering people to make ideas a reality”.

When we partner effectively with our stakeholders, we inspire them to maximize their potential and make change happen. This is what coaches do with clients every day.

  • The PMBOK Guide 6th edition highlights coaching as a way to “improve performance and achieve desired results”.
  • The PM Competence Development Framework, Third Edition recommends coaching to develop project managers, and “promoting a coaching culture” as a measurement of Portfolio Manager Competence.

Increasingly, organizations place a value on a coaching culture and expect their managers to model that culture.

The Challenge of Change

Taking an idea and making it a reality depends on our readiness to embrace change. Whether change is individual such as changing our lifestyle to improve health and zest, or a professional change to advance your career or the change is organizational, we experience changes throughout our lives. In our workplaces change is constant and accelerating. Projects mean change. Change disrupts, creates uncertainty and creates resistance.

And what studies are starting to show is that groups and individuals with coaches are more adaptable and accept and drive change more effectively. They are more engaged.

Engagement – how connected we are to project goals and how likely we are to go above and beyond at work – is critical to successful projects.  Without engagement, the effort to overcome natural stakeholder inertia and resistance will be missing.

Project managers are part of the process of creating engagement – survey results ( show that most project managers (90%) consider building engagement part of their role. Most (70%) say they want more skills to be effective in building that engagement. What will project managers offer to help stakeholders handle change deftly?

The Value of Coaching

The return on investment for coaching is more than 500% (Forbes).

Only 13% of the workforce is engaged (Gallup) – and that includes project managers and stakeholders charged with change!

In organizations with strong coaching cultures, 65% of employees are engaged (HCI/ICF) and yet most coaching is performed by managers who spend approximately 20% of their time performing a coaching function (HCI/ICF) and receive little training and that includes us!

Coaching as a strategy for effective project management

There are already similarities between project managers and coaches. Coaches focus on the future, and work with clients to identify goals and the steps to attain them. They partner with the client to create a plan, and then keep the client accountable. Sound familiar?

And coaches have additional skills. They learn to create trust and intimacy. They develop active listening skills to mine for a client’s beliefs and resources and use powerful questioning to challenge and expand thinking. These are skills most project managers want to have – who wouldn’t like to get to the bottom of that enigmatic smile from the project lead when discussing an upcoming milestone date? Or be able to engage a team during planning, or coax forth creative strategies to address issues and risks.

Organizations use coaching to develop leadership potential, improve communication skills, improve teamwork, develop more effective decision making, increase productivity, and to enhance the employee experience and sense of engagement. As project managers we can create that culture of coaching and build engagement by developing and applying coaching skills. It can happen in the moment without a formal coaching relationship, and given the benefits of coaching, project managers with coaching skills will enjoy better project outcomes.

Learning Objectives:

In this interactive presentation, attendees will explore basic theories of coaching, and will participate in both group and 1:1 coaching exercises, acting as coach and client in turn. At the end of the session, attendees will articulate the benefits of being and having a coach. They will leave with practical coaching strategies that they can apply immediately to their working environment.

Speaker:  Ruth Pearce ACC, JD, PMP






About the Speaker: 

Ruth Pearce is CEO of Project Motivator, an author and speaker, and a practicing project manager. Her 25 years’ experience is in a variety of industries including financial services, state government and non-profits. Ruth has spent her career learning and experimenting with engaging teams to make them happier and more productive and has published a book for project managers about team motivation.

She is an energetic and engaging speaker with a track record of bringing the new science of positive psychology to the world of project management. She believes that the role of the project manager is changing and becoming more pivotal as organizations become more and more project based. A big part of that change is that it is no longer someone else’s challenge to build engagement and motivation. Project managers have the chance to change employee experiences in the workplace and to build better organizations for the future.

Ruth is an ACC accredited coach with the ICF, and Certified Coach Trainer, Certified Strengthsfinder Coach (Gallup), Certified to administer EQ-I. She has held her PMP since 2007 and is also a PMI-ACP. She graduated Valedictorian from Concord Law School in 2012.

Her book, Be a Project Motivator: Unlock the Secret of Strengths-Based Project Management is available on Amazon and through her publisher, Berrett-Koehler. She is also a co-author of Coaching Perspectives VIII published by the Center for Coaching Certification.

"Ruth Pearce knows project management from the inside out. She knows the best project managers use their influence to engage their teams—and with that engagement comes motivation and commitment to the projects and to each other. Read Be a Project Motivator and watch your project teams thrive.” Ken Blanchard, coauthor of The New One Minute Manager® and Servant Leadership in Action.

Event Details

Event Date 03-21-2019 5:30 pm
Event End Date 03-21-2019 8:00 pm
Registration Start Date 12-30-2018 12:00 am
Registered 48
Available place 252
Cut off date 03-21-2019 8:00 pm
Individual Price Free
Speaker Ruth Pearce ACC, JD, PMP
Number Hours 1.50
Leadership PDU Hours 1.50
Location Sheraton Imperial RTP

Non-Members $25, Members $10, Volunteers $0.   No refunds will be provided for cancellations. 

Member Online - Early Bird Registration (until 4:00 pm two days prior to the meeting)  NO REFUND


Member Online - Late Registration (after 4:00 pm two days prior to the meeting)  

Non-Member Online - anytime  

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