FAQs

Here are some of the most common questions I get about coaching, the process, and my services. Do you have a question that is not answered below? Don't hesitate to reach out.

What it executive coaching?

Executive coaching is a high-impact developmental partnership between coach and business leader (client), where both engage in a thought-provoking and creative process that inspires and challenges the client to maximize personal and professional potential. Executive coaches are often thought of as thought partners, accountability partners, advisors, sounding boards, advocates, and people who challenge you all at once.

Coaching is designed to facilitate the creation/development of professional and/or business goals – and to develop and carry out a strategy to achieve those goals. Executive coaching is standard for leaders today, and often noted as the key differentiator in elevating their career, their success, and their enjoyment in life – both personally and professionally.

What kind of coach are you?

I am an executive and leadership coach, trained in ontological coaching. This means that in coaching, my clients and I focus on how they are being, rather than only strategizing on what they are doing. Because I provide customized solutions for leaders and organizations, every coaching engagement is different and based around the needs of each client. While the specifics of the approach look different for each leader, my clients and I always focus on integrating their states of “being” and "doing.” When these two align, profound leaps in leadership become possible.

Who do you coach?

I coach high-achieving leaders, particularly those who are moving through transitions or taking on big challenges. I have coached leaders ranging from C-suite executives to mid-level management, from Fortune 500 companies to startups, and across highly diverse industries including technology, finance, biotech, media, e-commerce, healthcare, education, manufacturing, and non-profit.

The two factors that distinguish my most successful clients are commitment and fit. First, I work with clients who are committed to the coaching process and ready to do the work and make a change. Second, it is important to find the right fit between coach and client, which I believe is far more important than industry or title. You have to connect with the coach and their coaching style if you are going to work together successfully. If you are interested in working with me and are connecting with what you are reading, let’s have a chat.

Do you do in-person or virtual coaching?

I offer 1:1 individual and group coaching on the phone, over Zoom video calls, and in-person. We can co-create the type of coaching engagement that will work best for your needs.

That said, I exclusively work with clients virtually at the moment due to the COVID-19 pandemic. I encourage clients to try both phone and video coaching sessions to decide what works best for them. When we can safely make the shift back to in-person meetings, what I find works best is meeting in person for the kick-off and closing sessions, and working together virtually for the sessions in between.

What is the cost of coaching?

The cost of coaching varies based on several factors, including the type and length of coaching engagement you choose, your specific situation and goals, and whether your organization is sponsoring you or you are engaging with a coach on your own. I would be happy to discuss pricing and options with you when we connect. 

Do companies pay you for coaching or do clients?

Many organizations now recognize the value that external coaches bring to their key and emerging leaders, and are cognizant of the significant ROI that executive coaching experiences can have on teams and individuals. Because of this emerging trend, often organizations are happy to contribute to coaching by sponsoring those interested leaders – viewing it as both a benefit and an investment in their talent. I also work with clients who choose to invest in themselves, hiring me directly rather than contracting through their organization.

How should I choose a coach?

Coaching is a partnership, and like any partnership, you have to find the right partner for the endeavor to thrive. This means that the fit between coach and client is most important when you are searching for a coach. I recommend scheduling several discovery calls to get to know a variety of coaches and coaching styles, until you meet one with whom you really connect. If the content on my website resonates with you, I would love to meet you.

How does the coaching process work?

I provide customized solutions for leaders and organizations. While the specifics of the approach look different for each leader, my clients and I always focus on integrating their states of “being” and "doing” to maximize the impact coaching has on their leadership potential.  

I guide clients through a process of inquiry, feedback, assessments, and looking inward to discover not just what they do and have accomplished, but also how they work and what makes them feel inspired, motivated, challenged, and purposeful. Together, we generate insights and map out a development plan to reach their goals based on strengths and development needs.

What is the difference between coaching and consulting?

In consulting engagements, the consultant’s role is the expert, where they advise a client or organization on a particular subject or challenge. Most often consultants come in to provide expert opinions, analysis and recommendations, answer questions, and advise clients on specific solutions or strategies, based on their own experience.

Executive coaching is a more co-creative partnership between coach and client, where both engage in a thought-provoking and creative process that inspires and challenges the client to maximize personal and professional potential. The coaching approach is much more connected to questions than answers, where coaches are skilled at guiding conversations to help the client uncover blind spots, build deeper awareness, and arrive at their own answers – and coaches support them throughout the learning and achievement process. Executive coaches are often thought of as thought partners, accountability partners, advisors, sounding boards, advocates, and challengers all at once.

What is the difference between coaching and therapy?

In therapy, clients look to therapists for solutions, diagnoses, and treatment plans to get better, find relief, or improve upon a mental health problem they are dealing with. Therapy and counseling are likely going to focus on working with one’s past experiences to resolve the problem they are having.

In coaching, there is no diagnosis because coaches see clients as already full of insight and answers. Rather than being remedial, coaching is a generative and developmental process that focuses on the client’s growth, goals, advancement, and future ambitions. 

I’ve tried coaching before and it didn’t work. Why would coaching with you be any different?

I coach leaders who are ready to do the work involved with coaching and ready to make meaningful changes. If you are committed and open to the experience, we will partner in a way that supports you to meet your goals. If you expect overnight changes and quick fixes to your challenges, our coaching partnership won’t work. What I can promise is meaningful change that is a product of incremental shifts and experiential learning.

I can’t tell you exactly how this will work because the work I do is tailored to the needs of every client. What I can say is that we will focus on giving you alternate perspectives, which will lead to new ways of thinking about your challenges, which will lead to new actions you will take that will lead to meaningful change. If you are committed to this process, you will accomplish what you set out to do in our coaching partnership.

Provided invaluable advice on managing a team

"I worked with Melissa as I transitioned into the role of CEO at my company, LitLife. Melissa provided invaluable advice on managing a team, business development and internal systems and structures at a time when I really needed the support! Working with Melissa was more than just a check-in. She pushed my thinking and ensured that my working style was taken into account when we made plans - everything we did was tailored to my authentic style of leadership, which allowed me to integrate all my learning in a sustainable and ongoing way. I highly recommend working with Melissa to gain clarity, move your work forward and gain an accountability and thought partner along the way!"

Talia Kovacs
CEO at LitLife, New York, NY

Uncover deeper cognitive blockages

"Need to make objective progress? Melissa Eisler can help you do that and more. Melissa supported me over a 6-month Executive Coaching program starting in January 2020. I initially started with her to keep me accountable to my specific personal goals and to help me improve in my role as Director of Marketing Operations at Confirm BioSciences, but I quickly found that working with Melissa would positively impact me more significantly than I had imagined. Melissa’s process and ability to uncover deeper cognitive “blockages” help me discover unconscious reasons why I’d historically had trouble achieving many of my plans. During our coaching sessions, she helped me create practices to manage or eliminate my self-inflicted limitations. Melissa truly focused on what I wanted to achieve and helped set me up for success, even after our coaching engagement came to a close. I can honestly say that I have evolved a great deal as a leader, a professional, and in many areas of my personal life. I know I will continue using the lessons and tools I learned for years to come. I’m delighted to give Melissa Eisler my highest recommendation, for anyone with a desire to make positive change and achieve their goals."

Javier Castillo
Director of Marketing Operations at
Confirm BioSciences, San Diego, CA

Melissa really has a knack for helping me focus

“Melissa - Thank you! Thank you! Thank you! I am so grateful to have connected with Melissa - my coaching engagement was very productive and positive. When I hired Melissa, I was feeling stuck in my career and had a number of important decisions before me. After only three months with Melissa, I was not only able to make those decisions but also feel really good about them. One of the challenges I was dealing with was second guessing the decisions I was making, which kept me feeling stuck in a "hamster wheel". Now I have tools to productively work with my negative thoughts and transform them into something more positive. I also learned how important my physical body language is in my reactions and behavior, and how to become more aware of it. Melissa really has a knack for helping me focus on whatever issue is really going on, and prodding me to come up with a tangible solution or ideas or tools that I could follow or use. She made me focus on what was most pressing in the moment, and then held me accountable to what we discovered and planned together. Overall, I’m feeling more positive and accomplished and although I am pausing for now, I am sure I’ll work with Melissa again in the future.”

Vidya Rao
Engineering Management Leader, Teradata, San Diego, CA

Helped me step into a new higher profile role with confidence

“I have had professional coaching in the past but recently found myself in need of a refresher. I hired Melissa to help with a career transition and she did not disappoint! She helped me step into a new higher profile role with confidence, gaining both visibility and authority as well as a better sense of my own career ambitions. In just a few short months, I can proudly say that I’ve accomplished my goals as well as established a trajectory for the future. I’ve embraced my new role as a leader of a larger team by running more effective meetings and focusing my team members' strengths to advance projects. As a bonus, I also was able to develop and maintain a new exercise routine with Melissa holding me accountable. In just 7 sessions, my confidence, leadership skills, and team dynamics have come a long way and I’m so grateful for that rapid progress. Melissa was quite attuned to picking up on things that need to be discussed and holding me accountable to my high-level goals. I’d definitely recommend her as a leadership and executive coach.”

Richard Myers
Principal Scientist at Takeda Pharmaceuticals, San Diego, CA

Melissa helped me develop the courage to have the difficult conversations

“I have worked well with Melissa in previous organizations, so when I was facing large-scale changes and important decisions in my career, I knew I wanted to hire her as my coach. In just three months, Melissa helped me develop the courage to have the difficult conversations (that I had been avoiding) with my team members, design a framework to make high-stakes decisions, create and respect my own boundaries, and learn to approach challenging situations with curiosity and an open mind - which has been incredibly impactful in my work and relationships since then. Melissa also helped me create and maintain smarter schedules so that I could make more progress on my personal business. Our coaching engagement also happened to be during the COVID-19 pandemic, and I was struggling with the amount of uncertainty in my life (and in the world), which she also helped me move through in a healthier, lighter, more positive way. If you’re looking to make tangible changes in your business and career, I highly recommend working with Melissa as your executive coach.”

Katerina Suchkova
Product Leader at 15Five and Business Owner, San Diego, CA