Get to Know Elizabeth Bentley, PRA Partner Coach & Accomplished Financial Services Industry Veteran

Elizabeth Bentley touts a successful 30+ year career in financial services and most recently served as the Executive Vice President and Chief Retail Officer at Union Bancshares Corp.  After retiring from the corporate world and reflecting on her next chapter with her own executive coach, she realized that she had two specific desires. She wanted to:

1) Be of service to others
2) Leverage her experience as a leader

Elizabeth found coaching to be the perfect vehicle to meet both needs. She launched Verge Coaching in 2018 and specializes in coaching professionals in leadership roles. Elizabeth is certified through Newfield Network (NCC), the International Coach Federation (ACC), and holds a certification in Execution Excellence through the Institute of Generative Leadership.

How does your background help your clients?
Effectively leading and mentoring teams, direct reports, emerging leaders and others has always been important to my personal success as well as the health and success of the individuals and my organization. Regardless of industry, I can easily connect to the challenges of leadership and support my clients from a real-world, experienced vantage point.  

How would your clients describe you as a coach?
My clients would describe me as open, insightful, challenging, and supportive.

What coaching assessments or tools do you use?
If there is a need for an assessment, I outsource It to a trusted partner.  I am familiar with many, including Birkman, MBTI, and Enneagram.

What is your philosophy about coaching?
Coaching is about supporting self-awareness to allow new possibilities to show up. 

What advice would you offer executives about vetting and selecting a coach?
Look for someone who spends time understanding you and your desired outcomes and has relevant experience.  Recommendations and credentialing can be helpful but should not be the only determining factors.  Most importantly, ensure that you are committed to the process. Coaching is like any other area of learning.  It requires time and practice. 

How do you ensure coaching outcomes are aligned with the client’s business strategy/strategic objectives?
Coaching always begins with stating desired goals or outcomes. If a third party (i.e. employer) is paying for the engagement, there should be transparency around desired alignment to business strategy.  I believe coaching that improves the well-being and effectiveness of an employee helps him or her meet strategic objectives. 

How have you seen your coaching services impact the bottom line?
I’ve supported leaders through the completion of a critical enterprise project.  I’ve successfully led the development and execution of a professional development plan that supported a leader transitioning to a larger, more complex role. I also played a vital role in supporting a leader through the realization they were not a fit for their role, which led to their resignation. The firm was then able to source a better candidate.

Share one of your most impactful/memorable coaching outcomes.
I had a client ready to walk away from his executive role at his family business due to extreme frustration and difficult relationships with family members. Through our work, he was able to better manage his emotions and relationships and discern a new career path for himself while continuing to effectively support the business.  This is allowing him to transition thoughtfully and prepare the business for his departure.

Another example involves a senior executive that began leading an engineering group after a long stint in marketing.  He was struggling to shift the team into a more customer-centric culture that was critical to their continued success.  During our engagement, he broadened his perspective to include critical business partners, built relationships with those leaders, and created compelling vision and alignment within the organization, which ultimately was adopted by leadership.

Finding a coach that understands your needs and style is vital to the success of a coaching relationship. Our cross-disciplinary team of C-level coaches, former C-suite executives, and active board members enable 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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