Read more about what it's like to work with Michelle as a speaker/workshop facilitator, a decision coach, and an executive coach.
About Michelle's Speaking, Workshops and Teaching
Michelle helped me redesign the decision-making content for our Designing Your Life course at Stanford, and co-taught several classes related to decision analysis. As a collaborator, Michelle was not only knowledgeable and fun to work with, but especially thoughtful about connecting our decision-making content to the entirety of the course and the real needs of our students. The material that Michelle helped us incorporate is consistently named as one of the most valuable parts of the course on our evaluations. I strongly recommend Michelle as a collaborator, speaker, and decision-making expert." - John Armstrong, Fellow, Stanford Life Design Lab
Michelle has led a career navigation workshop for several years at the Haas School of Business Women in Leadership Conference, and the results have been extremely positive. Prior to starting the 2017 workshop, several women came up Michelle and expressed their gratitude for her workshop from previous years. They spoke about how her workshop provided them with clarity in career decision-making, and how they have been extremely satisfied with the decision they made while thanking Michelle for her influence.
Michelle’s adapts her workshops to the theme of the conference, and they are engaging and interactive. The participants are more than an audience and instead are actively engaged and involved. Individuals are encouraged to share their personal stories and career challenges, and she successfully creates an atmosphere in which all participants feel part of a team. One woman had an emotional plea for how to better help people from her home country, and after the workshop, she was surrounded a by a group who gave her hugs, support, and useful information to help her cause. I would personally recommend Michelle as a coach, workshop lead, and a panelist because she’s very passionate about her work and the results have been outstanding." - Ejede Okogbo
Michelle, thank you for leading our talent in a session on the science and application of making decisions with more clarity and confidence! Thank you for going above and beyond to ensure that content reflected the needs of our associates as well as planning thoughtful activities to help them practice decision making. Your participation in our professional development curriculum was instrumental in supporting the career development initiatives of our program participants. It was a pleasure working with you!" - Emani H., People Ops at Google
About Michelle's Decision Coaching
Despite being a student + a practitioner of decision quality, I was paralyzed with a career choice - a sexy well-funded startup vs. a stodgy public firm. Michelle’s targeted and timely assistance - in the form of a systematic review of choices, decision nodes, and agency over decisions vs. outcomes provided much needed emotional clarity. Perfectly balancing hard data and logic with intuition and emotions, Michelle is able to tease out intrinsic motivations helping you learn a bit more about yourself and avoid decision paralysis/regret. I am confident that I made a good decision - thanks to her."
- Shashwat D., Recovering CFO and Risk Management Geek
I was facing a difficult choice – accept a big promotion during a crisis-point for my organization, or take a step back to spend more time with my growing family. Throughout our session, Michelle encouraged me to think creatively about my options, pushing me beyond the obvious to think about alternative decisions I could make. She listened to and validated my feelings but helped me avoid being controlled by them. A key turning point was when she introduced the idea of sequential decision-making, which allowed us to find one potential, optimal solution. From there, she helped me identify my power in the situation and encouraged me to ask for what I actually needed to make the job work for me; she walked me through my priorities and choices in a clear and easy way that even my previous training in negotiation strategy had not prepared me to do for myself. I left our session better understanding my own needs and priorities, and prepared to work with my team toward a solution that would work for us all."
- Rachel A., seasoned Social Sector leader
Career decisions are highly complex and require a multitude of considerations, yet Michelle consistently amazes me with her unique ability to ask just the right questions and to transform chaos into clarity. Each piece of information that I provide to her is carefully considered, and I always feel supported and heard. I have learned so much from her about how to make better, more fulfilling decisions – both for my career and for many other areas in my life.
Every career dilemma is unique, and I have presented Michelle with multiple issues that I have been facing. Michelle has tackled each issue with a tailored, insightful game plan. I have been able to move from a place of fear and discomfort to a place that previously seemed unobtainable to me – confident and very excited about what lays ahead. For this, I am eternally grateful for her support, guidance, and hard work. Thank you so, so much, Michelle!" - Eileen E., Attorney
I started working with Michelle after I had taken a year to “level up" my artistic career and was looking for a new opportunity in the business world. Michelle’s approach is structured and supportive, and she’s incredibly talented in direction-setting and navigation. Her keen insight into objectives, values, and priorities prepared me to pursue only opportunities that truly were right for me. In the unpredictable path of finding a new job, I kept returning to my 'compass': the work that Michelle and I did together." - Jessica W., SVP of Marketing
Michelle is simply awesome! She was such an amazing help at a moment in my life I wanted to make a career move but was yet to scared to act on it. She helped me build confidence around my skills, she helped me sort through all my thoughts (mainly negative ones) to realize what my priorities were at this point in my life and what my next career goals were. She was also very flexible and reactive.
I definitely appreciated working with her and see her untangle decisions that appeared very complex to me. In short, Michelle helped me leave a job I was no longer happy in, find the confidence to follow a mini dream of mine and transition into a new career that I am so far very excited about!
In addition to her expertise, she has such a great personality. It was always a pleasure having a Skype video call with her and despite the time difference, we were always able to find time to schedule calls on a regular basis. Thank you Michelle for being so helpful and supportive at a time when I had a lot of doubts!" - Camille M., Paris, France
About Michelle's Executive Coaching
Michelle has a great combo of two strengths. She is an exceedingly good listener. Everyone can listen, but there are degrees of listening, and she is off the charts. She hears what I say and can also track the deeper subtleties. I don't feel like anything I say goes by the wayside. Then what amplifies her strength of listening is her ability to synthesize what she heard and offer frameworks that enable her client to channel their thoughts and feelings into practical insights and breakthroughs. I highly recommend her."
- Kenny Gardner, Chief People Officer, DaVita
I truly enjoyed my time working with Coach Michelle. She was always prepared, focused and brought 100% commitment to all of our sessions. She helped me get clear. Clear on my goals, clear on my mental approach and clear on what I need to do to get to the next level in my personal and professional pursuits."
- José Rivera, Vice President and Deputy General Counsel, Pandora
I found Michelle's style of asking insightful questions and assigning deep reflective homework to be tremendously impactful in unlocking new insights that I suspect she knew all along but became more meaningful to me as she allowed me to discover them on my own.
Very early in our engagement, her thoughtful probing led me to realize that part of what had been holding me back was some self-doubt about past decisions I had made that didn't turn out as I had expected, personally and professionally. Michelle's decision making framework (one of many she shared) taught me that it was possible to have a solid decision making process (which I had) but still end up being a poor predictor of an individual outcome. This awareness of differentiating the two was quite liberating for me and quickly led to an acceleration of making some key decisions that I had previously been delaying, which fortunately bore positive results."
- Pete Clarke, Co-Founder and Managing Director, Diversa Health
I cannot recommend Michelle enough as a coach for Type-A executives. When I started working with Michelle, I knew I had opportunity areas in terms of my ability to build authentic, deep professional relationships while running a high-performing team. Michelle allowed me to realize that a well-rounded leader is one who shows vulnerability and the importance of developing a personal bond with colleagues in order to establish trust. Further, Michelle helped me learn techniques on how to identify the various emotional triggers of my team to better support their individual needs. After working with Michelle, I gained clarity on the most critical elements of interpersonal, professional relationships and subsequently feel I am becoming a more effective leader because of her guidance, support and expertise."
- Jose M., Chief Product Officer in the Cybersecurity space
This program is one of the best investments I've made. About 6 months ago, like many others, I found myself in a cloud. There had been so many late nights at the office that led to burn-outs, executive fire-drills with no upside, and technical debt always looming over me. I was at the pinnacle of my career, healthy finances, amazing friends, and I felt empty. At the urging of a close friend, I emailed Michelle Florendo, and I know that when I look back 10 years from today, I will recognize this as the most critical turning point in my career, possibly my life. She isn't a therapist. She's not a life coach. Michelle's approach is engineered.
Her background in engineering must have played a substantial role in this process because it felt so measurable. Each session we held a retro on life. Breaking things down into actionable steps and holding me accountable for the things my friends and co-workers don't have time to tell me.
Michelle helped me find solid ground. It feels awesome. It's the bedrock that I will build my life and career upon."
- Lucas S, Fractional CTO
Before meeting Michelle, I struggled with how I was going to make an impact in my new role, within a new industry. Michelle provided me with several tools to help me lead through transformation. One specific framework helped me outline how I wanted to show up as a leader for my team and build long-term value for my organization. Not only did Michelle's guidance help me onboard successfully to my new role, it also helped me demonstrate more confidence and clarity in leading a team that was remote for the entire year due to the pandemic."
- Alicia L., Head of Industry, Major Technology Company
A lot of founders feel alone in that journey of making impactful decisions, and it's so valuable to have someone like Michelle as a guide who provides frameworks you can then apply in the future. I appreciate her ability to take in whatever I came with each week and distill what I was saying into a useful and actionable piece of advice. She does all that while bringing this serene demeanor that is calming when in the midst of chaos."
- J.K., COO, growth marketing agency
This is the best possible type of professional development I could have given myself. Had I gone with my initial instinct to be specific and tactical, I would have missed out on what would have been the bigger takeaways: recognizing my impact on the space around me, and learning to say no to create space for the things that matter. It's been really helpful, not just for me, not just for my team, but also for my family. I would have never expected that and didn't even know I needed it. It's been super useful. Thank you."
- Kathy Davies, Lecturer and Managing Director of the Life Design Lab at Stanford University
Michelle has a natural gift for asking smart, insightful questions that drill deeper and deeper until you reach the core issue that's holding you back. Many times, I didn't realize that a belief was at the root of my reluctance or discomfort about something until the issue was dismantled, and the behavioral change just followed naturally. Therein lies the value of Michelle's coaching.
Most people try to help by giving you generic advice after a few broad questions without truly understanding the way that you think, the frameworks in your mind, what your inner dialogue sounds like. So it's hard for their advice to solve anything. Michelle, on the other hand, is one of the few people who listens patiently without judgment and asks questions that drive the conversation in a productive way. But it's not just about listening -- if you wanted that, you could call your grandma or therapist. Michelle has the professional work experience, stellar pedigree, and is herself a type-A overachiever, so she's not just about the rah-rah-let's-feel-good moments -- she's about change and action.
Michelle helps me arrive at solutions that are unique to my own situation so that I can immediately take action instead of stalling, because there's no reason to stall anymore."
- Wes K, Co-Founder, a16z-backed edtech startup
"The biggest challenge I faced was trying to pursue other important interests (e.g., spending time with my family and my civic commitments) while remaining competitive in my career. Michelle helped me 1) clarify my values and 2) build structures in my schedule to ensure that I fulfill all my important priorities simultaneously.
Working with Michelle has helped me understand the push and pull of my four top priorities and the acceptance that came with appreciating the commitments that they entail. - Hazel D, Director, San Francisco, CA
My work with Michelle came at a pivotal transition point. Having left my role as a management consultant with Mckinsey & Company, I was fairly clear on the work I desired to pursue as an autonomous professional, but not sure whether I had the conviction to face the uncertainty before me. Michelle helped me acknowledge and accept the fear of the unknown, but not fall victim to it. When my life circumstances changed dramatically during the middle of our work, she was incredibly supportive and understanding. Through her questions, sharing of experiences and brainstorming, she allowed me to reach the conclusion that I should continue on my entrepreneurial path and helped me come up with practical strategies to keep on track. More than anything, I appreciated Michelle's ability to fully listen and absorb my comments. She genuinely cares about my success, both professionally and personally. Thank you for your support and motivation Michelle! - Reza S, Founder of Social Solutions Consulting, Brazil