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A Q&A With Coach Dori Stiles

dori stiles in georgia

Maybe you’ve read my bio and professional background on the about page, but there’s so much more to me than my education and client list. My marketing consultant saw that too, so together we did this Q&A for you here. Hope you enjoy reading, and if you have more questions, let me know!

How has individual and organizational development changed since you got your start?

There’s a greater tolerance, understanding and appreciation of the complexity of human differences.

Do you see any shifting trends or big changes in the way we learn?

My hope is that we continue to diversify educational channels in meaningful ways without an over-reliance on electronics. There’s so much more to learning than having our eyes view screens and our ears accept sounds through ear buds or speakers. I’ve seen glimmers of diversified education, and I celebrate every new way of learning.

What resources do you most often recommend to your consulting and coaching clients?

My go-to practical resources are the Highlands Ability Battery and the companion book Don’t Waste Your Talent. Above all, I recommend spending effort and energy finding anyone and everyone that is willing to talking with them honestly about the work they do and how they got into the line of work or job they are in.

For leaders or aspiring leaders the book What Got You Here Won’t Get You There by Marshall Goldsmith and the Patrick Lencioni books The Five Dysfunctions of A Team, Death by Meeting and The Advantage are all great resources. Oldies but goodies! For people wanting to maximize their awareness inside organizations I also frequently recommend Ira Chaleff’s The Courageous Follower and Talent Smart’s Emotional Intelligence 2.0. I emphasize the practical to clients rather than the academic/theoretical.

As a Highlands Certified Consultant, you know your own ability profile well. What are some of your strongest abilities? Was there something on your HAB that surprised you?

goal setting natural abilityI’m a strong Generalist and an Introvert with a Long Timeframe Orientation. I didn’t know what to call my natural understanding of group dynamics until I took the HAB – and now I fully embrace my natural capacity to work through and with others, often in the role of a catalyst. I interpret my personal style abilities to mean I am a behind-the-scenes person that enjoys supporting a wide range of people to achieve long-term goals.

My strong Problem Solving Abilities and Idea Productivity were not surprises to me, although I honestly thought everyone was like that. What was truly surprising were the benefits afforded those whose gifts are the complete opposite! Another initial surprise was my strong Spatial Relations Theory – the natural ability to understand interrelationships, to “see” the space between things and to think hypothetically.

If you weren’t a coach, what would your other dream job be?

At this stage of my life, I’d love to get involved with the study of animal intelligence in a role that affords me direct interaction with a variety of mammalian species.

If you could have a superpower, what would it be?

For me, a fun superpower would be the facility for language leaning and music – related I believe.

Favorite author?

I’m a Generalist, only one? In the past five years for fun I’ve enjoyed P.D. James, Elizabeth George and the very light Janet Ivanovich (she’s my hate-to-admit it author!)

What do you listen to on the car radio?

I actually ride in silence – and love every second of it!

Do you have any pets?

There are our feline rescue brothers Mikey and Milo, our canine rescue sisters Clancy and Coco, and our adopted cat Olive (previously my daughter’s cat who she picked because she liked her better than “all-of” the rest).

What’s the last trip you took?

Asheville, N.C. – a get together with our four adult kids, partners and first grandbaby.

Where do you hope to visit one day? Why?

Grand Canyon for the beauty, Costa Rica for the adventure, Italy (again) and Scotland for the heritage, and the Pacific Coast Highway for time in the car with my husband – we love road trips!

How do you spend your Saturday mornings?

Coffee first, then outside on the deck every day possible, which is often here in Atlana, playing with the dogs and putzing around the house. That’s when I don’t have volunteer activities going on.

Favorite meal?

Smoked salmon on top of crackers with cream cheese, spaghetti squash pancakes, unusual salad, whole green beans seared in garlic olive oil and almonds, and dark chocolate. Yumm-yyyyy!

Describe your family.

Family of origin includes mom, dad and five siblings–there are five girls and one boy total. I’m the oldest and the youngest is less than 8 years my junior. We’re a six-pack! In the past, we were very scattered (Taiwan, Bali, Washington D.C., California, Florida, Georgia). Now, mostly Florida with my brother and I as the outliers in California and Georgia.

My husband and I have a blended family of 4 adult kids ages 28-32, three with serious partners, and one granddaughter. Scattered along the East Coast from Florida to North Carolina.

What do you usually do on New Years Eve?

We’re so low key on New Years Eve – we stayed home appreciating last year, being grateful for our current circumstances and eagerly anticipating 2017. We had a blast!