Interview with Dr. Cara Miller, Developmental Coach and Founder, Inquiry Partners: www.inquiryp.com
As we enter into a new year, many of us take time to reflect on the year behind us and set goals for what we want to do going forward. What a perfect opportunity to spotlight one of the organizations that we work with, Inquiry Partners, and owner Dr. Cara Miller, who is a professor, speaker, organizational designer, developmental coach, and change consultant working with leaders and organizations on the edge of becoming something new.
Deeply interested in adult development and the psychology of change, Miller initially set out to become a pastor or a professor. She became highly trained in unconventional teaching, coaching, and consulting methods based on group dynamics and used those skills as a professor. It didn’t take long for former students to approach her for advice on how to step into expanded leadership roles, whether at established organizations or their own start-ups. Miller’s coaching and consulting business grew from her academic background and her experiences in coaching leaders.
Miller believes in learning with her clients, coming in to a new organization curious and inquisitive, thus the name Inquiry Partners. She encourages her clients to stay curious about their own leadership development, empowers their personal and professional growth, and motivates them to move past their limits.
“I go native into an organization. Learning the culture of an organization is a fascinating part of my job I love."
While Miller certainly does the bulk of her coaching virtually, her unique style shines through in her willingness to travel to most of her clients and act like an anthropologist within the organization, getting a strong sense of the culture and the way people interact. “I go native into an organization,” says Miller. “Learning the culture of an organization is a fascinating part of my job I love.”
Getting this insider view allows Miller to dig deeper and develop better questions to ask her clients as they work through their leadership development. Asking better questions allows the individuals and organizations she works with to develop a greater capacity and increase results beyond those they set out for themselves.
Many of the leaders and organizations that Miller works with are high-stakes, with high stress levels and limited resources. She has experience with reinsurance firms, disaster recovery orgs, universities (often facing budget cuts), and military and government institutions.
Developmental Coaching is a huge part of what Inquiry Partners offers, growing a leader’s perspective and reorienting their mindset. She provides proven practices for reinforcing that mindset change, providing benefits well beyond the coaching relationship.
Inquiry Partners also provides Organizational Consulting, working with leaders and those they lead to achieve transformational growth. Using Developmental work, which focuses on how adults adapt to change, Inquiry Partners delves in with leaders and those they lead to adapt the consulting and design frameworks to meet organizational life cycles, patterns, and dynamics, with full knowledge of best practices and research-based methods of organizational assessment and diagnosis.
Inquiry Partners also provide System Mapping Sessions, coaching specifically targeted at creating a map-like representation of all stakeholders, members, and anyone impacted by the decisions you make every day. Mapping sessions give a clearer picture of patterns of limiting beliefs or points of break-through reframing, and provide unique insights into where you’re stuck, where you’re strong, and where you’re ready to design forward.
In spring 2019, Inquiry Partners will launch their own online learning platform called Inquiry Partners University. Recognizing that not everyone can go back to graduate school to learn about patterns for changing and expanding your mindset for leadership of yourself, others, and your organization, this platform will give leaders the opportunity to take courses from a trained university professor working in the midst of organizations and leaders attempting to succeed and fail as many times as possible. Inquiry Partners University aims to bring elite learning to the people with engaging talks, reflective exercises, developmental practices, and case examples--all online and self-paced.
New year, new you? Maybe it’s time to take stock of where you are as a leader and how far you want to go. Inquiry Partners can help you assess what mindset changes and developmental work needs to be done to get you and your organization on the right path.
If you're interested in supporting and learning more, please visiting visit www.inquiryp.com.