Barb McAllister is a “coach’s coach!”  I can say that because I am one – which makes me pretty particular when it comes to hiring a coach.  One of the many things I value about Barb is that she is always extending her learning into new areas.  When she finds a new approach that she thinks will be valuable for herself and her clients, she goes all in to master it – hence her impressive list of certifications. 
When I signed up for a personal 2-day coaching retreat with Barb, I approached it as a gift to myself, a time for reflection and self-care.  After years of coach training and personal work, I wasn’t expecting any grand epiphanies … I was in for a big surprise.   As Barb led me through the discovery of my Enneagram type, I experienced a monumental breakthrough in self-awareness and new leverage in my relationships to both food and money! 

Another of Barb’s many gifts is the way she is able to hold me fully accountable without ever shaming or making me wrong when I stumble.  She is a continual loving presence who always relates to my greatness as the truth about who I am, celebrating my victories and supporting me in cultivating a sense of humor about my humanity.

What I value above all of Barb’s qualities is that she lives her work, and she does so with tremendous courage and dedication.  She is committed to living life with integrity – from love rather than fear.  If that appeals to you, I invite you to take it on for yourself – with Barb in your corner.

Mary Burg, M.A.
Certified Professional Coach and Equine Guided Educator

Coaching with Barb since 2007 is like sharpening my knives.   I sharpen my kitchen knives so that I am able to slice and dice ingredients I need with ease.  She keeps me honed and sharp as I create how I want to live and am living. Because of coaching with Barb, I have been able to take on major life changes with grace and purpose and with the focus on being at the cutting edge of my life.

Carrie West

I am writing this letter in support of the coaching expertise of Barb McAllister.

I held the position of Vice President for Talent Management and Organization Development for Frito-Lay/PepsiCo for almost 10 years.  As part of this role, I was responsible for management and executive development, which included recommending, hiring, and evaluating individual coaches.  Since my retirement from PepsiCo in 2006, I have led my own consulting and coaching practice.  However, it is my personal experience working with Barb (since November, 2008) as my own life coach which leads me to recommend her.  During that time, I have continued to be impressed by Barb’s sensitivity, insight, and action orientation.

On the topic of her sensitivity, Barb is always fully present.  While she always drives the coaching process forward, she relates to me personally and with authenticity.  She is able to react with flexibility to what I need in the moment, regardless of what either of us might have had planned.  Barb does a marvelous job listening for what I am saying and not saying.  She is skilled at responding appropriately to address the emotion that can make the difference in that session.

On the subject of insight, I have been continually impressed by Barb’s ability to stay in inquiry and add new insights to my personal development process.  She is very adept at integrating the content of a particular session with my overall development goals.  She is great at asking the question which creates the enabling insight.  She engages me in inquiry in order to help me create the breakthroughs necessary to move myself into action against my stated goals.

Finally, Barb supports me to stay in action against my objectives.  She is not afraid to step in firmly when I am getting lost in my story.  She supports me in designing actions which will further my process, even in areas that initially seemed bewildering and intangible to me.  I am always aware of my progress against my projects because Barb keeps bringing me back to the plan.  Barb also reminds me of my successes, both when they occur and later, when I am apt to forget them.  In this way, she keeps me motivated on my journey.

I am pleased to enthusiastically recommend Barb McAllister as a coach.

Nancy Jagmin, Ph.D.

I have known and worked with Barb McAllister now for approximately six years from 2004 to 2010.  Over those years, Barb has done an outstanding job for me as a personal and management coach to assist me in my manager’s role here at Seattle Public Utilities (SPU).  She has provided me with coaching and consulting advice and counsel for managing my employees through a time of significant organizational change and realignment.  Her emphasis on basic principles such as absolute clarity in communication, clear roles and responsibilities, mutual shared expectations, getting employee feedback on my performance, and taking personal responsibility for all my actions and their consequences has been invaluable.

Among her many helpful endeavors, Barb facilitated and helped me plan and conduct a successful team retreat for my employees.  Another major effort of hers was facilitating and helping me set up and hold Seattle Public Utilities first ever Scientists’ Collaboration Day.  This ground-breaking event involved bringing together and organizing for the first time over 70 scientists from throughout SPU for a day of information sharing and collaboration.  Collaboration day was so successful and highly acclaimed that SPU used its results to help partially guide a utility-wide reorganization one year later.

One of the biggest challenges for me during my tenure at SPU was dealing constructively with two difficult employees on my staff.  In the one case, Ron (not his real name) was considered a “problem employee” by other mangers at SPU and was widely regarded as incorrigible.  This employee had a sizeable ego, but surprisingly little recognition of his limitations, or how his behavior appeared to others.  He also felt strongly that he was a victim of “the corporate system”.  When Barb first met Ron, she admitted to me that he might be “a difficult case”.  In spite of her initial reaction, Barb agreed to coach Ron.  One of her first steps was to strongly encourage Ron to voluntarily consent to an anonymous 360 degree performance review by his peers.  The results of this review were so strikingly different from how Ron perceived himself that it actually shocked him and caused him to question his perspective for the first time.  Over the next six months Barb continued to coach Ron to further reorient his perspective and attitude.  Ron’s ultimate transformation was both successful and remarkable and today Ron is a more productive and happier employee.  Indeed the difference is so pronounced, that some SPU managers can scarcely believe it.

Lastly Barbed helped facilitate reconciliation between me and one of my employees who grew estranged from me over time.  Since I hired her myself and we had previously had a productive relationship, resolving my differences with Sheila (not her real name) was more difficult for me because my own ego and own feelings were involved.  Yet after a six month period of intensive mediation, facilitation, and coaching Sheila and I are back to a productive relationship built on mutual trust.

Without Barb’s help over the last six years, I would have been a less successful manager.  I highly recommend her a personal coach, consultant, facilitator, and mediator.

Keith Kurko
Manager, Seattle Public Utilities

Click Here for a PDF of the letter sent from: Whittney Beard Fruin of Orrick, Harrington and Sutcliffe, LLC