Dealing with transitions in life can often be confusing, difficult and emotional. Moving, retiring, divorce, becoming an empty nester, switching careers — change is often complicated and challenging. Susan Samakow, a certified business and life coach, helps clients deal with transitional situations and more — by working with them to develop positive self-talk, informed decision-making and leadership skills. Samakow is also a trainer, facilitator and speaker.
The Potomac resident wears a variety of hats in her profession. Besides individual coaching, she provides workshops to corporations, facilitates trainings with NIH and NASA, serves on wellness panels for WNBC-TV and WUSA Channel 9, teaches leadership to both the private sector and government and writes a regular column for the WCBS TV website. Samakow served as president of the International Coach Federation’s D.C. Chapter and is also certified by the Coaches Training Institute.
"People always believe the negative is going to happen," said Samakow. "I call that negative talk their internal board of directors — that constant yakking that keeps people from taking the next step. Most people resist change and I help them gain and sustain confidence so they can take their lives to the next level — or feel good about taking next steps. Resiliency and bouncing back are huge factors in success. Working together, we choose challenges and break them down into baby steps."
"Positive self-talk — our internal dialogue and thoughts — shape our lives," she continued. "In order to make a change, we must think we can and then act on our positive thoughts. That’s where I come in. I work with my client to brainstorm and strategize options for change — and then I support them through the journey."
Samakow also provides the "Peoplemap " assessment tool to help businesses identify each employee’s positives and build stronger work teams. This innovative system focuses on the "people side" of professional performance by helping employees develop stronger interpersonal skills and communication strategies. Samakow believes "Peoplemap" is the perfect tool for "building better customer relations and greater customer satisfaction, increasing sales performance and productivity, enhancing team effectiveness and communication skills, increasing employee retention and developing team cooperation."
Samakow has many stories to tell from her years as a professional life coach. "I worked with a group of women who all had six-figure incomes — but all had lost their positions. Often, when the job is gone, people feel totally lost — as if they don’t have an identity and do not fit anywhere. We worked together to distinguish who these women were from what they did professionally. You are not your job — you are you. Those skills that you learn in your job can carry over into a new workplace, a new career and a different life. I always say, ‘Get up excited and go to bed fulfilled.’ These women had to learn what made them happy, what their values were, decide what they want — and develop an action plan. The process became the solution.
"Another client wanted to build his financial planning business, and I supported him through moving to an office outside his home, hiring employees and increasing his client-base. He survived, even with the recession and has fulfilled his dream. It was wonderful to see him take a risk, grow and reach his goals."
Samakow loves her work and defines her goals, "I want to give my clients support and help them look through different lenses at the way they see the world."
Samakow can be reached at www.selftalkcoach.net or at 301-706-7226. She has offices in both Potomac and Tyson’s Corner.