Get to Know Benjamin Papa, PRA Partner Coach & Former Attorney

Benjamin Papa became an organizational health consultant after 18 years of practicing law and mediation. While working as an attorney, he co-founded a group that led trainings and workshops for lawyers and other professionals across the country.

Ben specializes in coaching leadership teams and individual executives. He believes coaching, building high performing teams, and facilitating interactive workshops comprise the “three-legged stool” of organizational health. Coaching can be the piece that helps to embed the clients’ learning in a tailored way to help them move into action.

How has your background influenced your coaching style and helped your clients?
In my years of practicing law, when I would see clients or colleagues struggle, it was almost never from a lack of “book knowledge.”  Instead, I repeatedly saw how competent, well-meaning professionals struggled to be effective because they lacked self-awareness, were unable or unwilling to collaborate, and/or resistant to act and engage when needed. Those three concepts – self-awareness, collaboration, and engagement – are the core drivers of my coaching work. 

My work as an attorney taught me that to effectively support clients, you must meet them exactly where they are, provide them with specific support in their given context, and check your own assumptions. I also learned how to access the magic of collaboration to solve the unsolvable, which is why a lot of my current work centers on building collaborative skills with teams and leaders.

How would your clients describe you as a coach?
They would say I have an uncanny ability to help them see connections that shift their thinking in new and powerful ways. I am especially adept at helping clients access and develop the “being” and “doing” realms of leadership, both on teams and as individual leaders, while connecting these areas to business or organizational goals.

What coaching assessments or tools do you use?
I use the Enneagram because it is the fastest and most effective tool to help leaders get to the heart of problems and determine the best solutions. The Enneagram is an often misunderstood and sophisticated system, nuanced enough to provide new insights and growth vistas for high-performing leaders who have already been exposed to other systems or even to the Enneagram at a more surface level. 

I hold basic and advanced certifications in Enneagram that are accredited by the International Enneagram Association. I am also certified in Hogan and Leadership Circle Profile.

What is your approach or philosophy about coaching?
My coaching philosophy begins with the premise that everyone, regardless of their professional role, experience, or background, is first and foremost a human being. If coaching is about deepening learning and forwarding action, a critical foundation is self-awareness – knowing what makes a person tick. As a result, my coaching almost always includes toggling back and forth between a business or organizational issue the client wants to address and how they are showing up and engaging as a person and a leader.

What advice would you offer executives about vetting and selecting a coach?
The core ingredient of a good coaching relationship is how well the client and coach click. I’d recommend executives ask themselves the following questions:

  • Does the coach feel present and trustworthy?
  • Is communication clear and easy?
  • Does the coach’s philosophy and style align with my goal? 

How do you ensure coaching outcomes are aligned with the client’s business strategy/strategic objectives?
Before a prospective client hires me, I always have a clear conversation about their goals and what business/strategic outcomes they hope to achieve.  We use those goals as touchstones throughout the coaching engagement. I frequently check-in and change directions, if necessary, to address the goals in a way that works for the client. 

How have you seen your coaching services impact the bottom line?
A nonprofit CEO had moved into his role after the previous leader had led the organization for decades. Through our coaching, he was able to move the organization out of its collective mindset that it had to rely on donations to survive into a space of developing new and creative lines of business to generate revenue.

Share one of your most impactful/memorable coaching outcomes.
One CEO struggled with staying focused and dealing with a constant low-level hum of anxiety. Our work together included developing practices and frameworks to help her feel more resourced and in charge of her life. About two thirds of the way through our coaching engagement, she reported that a rash that flared up when she was anxious had disappeared. She noted she was feeling much more grounded personally and engaged professionally than she did before coaching.

What kind of measurable impact have you helped clients achieve?
A C-suite client wanted to build her collaboration skills with senior leaders, her team, and other stakeholders in the company.  About six months into our coaching engagement, we spent an entire conversation walking through three separate examples where she had masterfully navigated different professional scenarios that required top-notch collaborative skills, which she said would not have been accessible before coaching.

Finding a coach that understands your needs and style is vital to the success of a coaching relationship. Our coaches bring a variety of deep experience to all engagements. Our cross-disciplinary team of C-level coaches, former C-suite executives, and active board members enables Platinum Rule Advisors to craft holistic solutions that blend powerful coaching, rigorous assessment, and diverse experience to deliver significant impact to support business strategy and objectives. To learn more, please contact us.

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