My unique coaching style is based on 50 years of experiences. Small moments throughout my life, from my childhood days into the present, have led to my unique and holistic coaching style. I hope that my guiding principles and some of the stories behind them, will provide insight into who I am, how and why I am passionate about my life’s work, and what you can take away from our time together.
-Ellyn Wulfe, founder of efactor consulting
We need to be confident to prove our competence. In 5th grade, I was extraordinarily tiny in stature and painfully shy. My mother enrolled me in an acting class that culminated with a play performed in a packed theatre. I had only one line, but it needed to pack a big punch. My teacher told me that my success will depend on my self-confidence. So, when it was showtime, I mustered up enough confidence to walk on that stage and nail it. This experience unequivocally changed my life.
We need to be comfortable thinking on our feet. A teacher introduced me to the world of speech and debate tournaments, and I jumped in with both feet. For years, I actively participated in both competitions where I was regularly required to speak extemporaneously. I adopted and tweaked a set of verbal and nonverbal skills to draw people in while I was formulating my thoughts. This is where I perfected the art of “never let ‘em see you sweat”.
We never get a second chance to make a first impression. I practiced corporate securities law, primarily mergers and acquisitions, in the early ’80s. Many times, I was both the youngest and the only woman around the table. I learned to enter a room with a confident posture, handshake, attire, eye contact, and smile to create a positive first impression. When I did, I found others were more receptive to what I had to say.
We are far more persuasive when we transform ideas into stories. I served as Marketing Director for DMJM Rottet for three years and Regional Marketing Director for Gensler for eight. Our win-rate improved when we applied storytelling principles to our proposals and presentations. I learned to identify and craft impactful stories ensuring every word and visual amplified our takeaways.
Mastering storytelling is the greatest professional superpower we can have. Over the past 12 years, I have taught storytelling to over 700 professionals. I have witnessed dramatic improvements in every participant’s ability to succinctly convey his or her messages with conviction. My experiences have validated how understanding and applying the principles of storytelling improve all our verbal and written communications. It is truly magical.
We are far more influential when we start with the why. For the past few years, I have created and led professional development classes on a variety of topics, including “How to Approach Difficult Conversations”, “From Client Caretaker to Client Confidant”, and “Mastering Conversational Intelligence to be a Better Leader.” I know with certainty that when I start the session by clarifying why these skills will make a difference, I achieve far greater buy-in from participants.
When we truly listen, we learn. In Rice University’s Leadership Coaching program, I studied and observed empathy. Since graduating, my coaching and research have provided a deeper understanding and appreciation of the traits and tools of empathetic listening. I strongly believe that what we earn in trust and respect by becoming better listeners will improve our leadership, decision-making, and all our relationships.
I bring all these experiences to bear in everything I do: the advice I share, the classes I teach, and the stories I craft.
There are stages in your professional development that are transformational, and Ellyn's sessions are some of those moments. I've had the unique opportunity to participate in multiple professional development classes led by Ellyn that have helped to expand both my leadership and communication skills. Her courses are a must for anyone who is looking to become a more effective and engaging communicator.