Insights, Q&APOSTED March 15, 2019

5 Questions with Eileen Chadnick, PCC, ABC

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Big Cheese Coaching on a laptop

Website:  / Twitter: @Chadnick

Company overview: Since 2003, Big Cheese Coaching works with leaders (aspiring, emerging, experienced) to promote personal, professional and organizational well-being. Offers coaching, workshops, facilitation, and consulting – and serves mandates within: Leadership development, career management, employee engagement, organizational culture, communications, resiliency, and more. Coaching, Workshops, Facilitation, Consulting.  Eileen has been a frequent contributor to the Globe and Mail careers.

  1. What are the biggest changes you’ve seen in your work?

There are a lot of changes – but two stand out:

The first is related to a new understanding of our “brains at work” and an appreciation as to why some neuro-savvy is so crucial for everyone at work. The big second change relates to a shift in how companies are increasingly bringing coaching into their cultures as an internal competency vs. just an external service. Read more here about the implications on your career.

  • What is a true disrupter or game changer in your opinion? Why?

Oh gosh, we live in a VUCA world these days, so it’s hard to pinpoint one disrupter. VUCA = Volatility, Uncertainty, Complexity, Ambiguity.

There isn’t a sector untouched by this. Read more here about the implications on your career. 

  •  What app or technology do you rely on most day-to-day?

I love Zoom! I meet with clients from all over Canada and beyond and it feels like we are in the same room. I use it for one-on-one coaching and meetings; for group discussions; webinars and courses. It’s super easy to use and my clients have said that it’s truly almost as good as face-to-face. While in-person connecting is great, sometimes it’s not possible. Zoom is indispensable! I’ll be offering more online courses soon and Zoom will be a big part of that.

  • What would you like to see more of in 2019?

This relates to one of the earlier questions – but worth highlighting again. I’d like to see more companies and people appreciate and support a broader spectrum of ‘skill-building’ within in their workforce. Let’s face it, work is not going to slow down nor will it become less complex.

RBC published a ground-breaking report last year: “Humans Wanted; Skills of the Future.” While STEM skills will be important, the report also acknowledged the importance of what are now called “human skills.” Learning how to communicate better, develop flexibility, foster better and trusting relationships, develop resilience – and more.

If people are scared, exhausted, and in a state of constant worrying, they just won’t show up with the best of their abilities. Smart employers are recognizing this and bringing this kind of learning and development into their work cultures. In return they will have stronger, more capable, engaged workforce.

  •  What topic do you follow?

A hot topic these past few years, which I’ve been very engaged in, is “Conversational Intelligence®.”

Some years ago, a brilliant, fabulous woman named Judith E. Glaser started to train global cohorts of coaches in her body of work (I was in the first cohort). Sadly, she passed on in December. But her work remains important and I continue to watch, coach, and engage in this area.

Communications efficacy is critical for leaders, trusted advisors, and talent across the spectrum. While most people are well meaning and want to do great work and get along, when the stakes and pressures escalate, we can default to interaction styles that can be counter‐productive. 

Conversational Intelligence® brings in the neuro-savvy aspect of understanding your ‘brain at work’ together with the tangible communications skill-building that empowers people to ‘do and be’ better – with themselves and with others. It’s pretty cool stuff – and I’ll be staying with this for some time.

These five questions were contributed by Eileen Chadnick, founder of

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