A Passion for Coaching: Interview with Tara Hesson, Professional Coach & Talent Development Director

Executive coaching has become a prominent field as we are reminded that an investment in leadership skills is an investment in employee engagement.

Executive coaching is such an important component of leadership development programs, especially for those leading an organization. I've found that once a leader has reached a senior leadership level, individualized development plans become more effective to pinpoint specific skill building needed and external coaches can play an important role in developing that skill. Coaching has also proven effective for other levels of leadership. For those stepping out of a technical focus to lead people who have been peers, objective council is helpful for flexing new skills and getting used to the new hats a leader wears. Similarly for those moving into mid-level leadership roles where they are now leading other leaders, the skills needed shift and support with new accountability and influence measures are important. No matter the step taken, external, objective support is helpful.

For a quick primer on executive or professional coaching, here are several resources to check out:

But really, why don't we just talk with a certified executive coach to learn more about coaching? Let's do, shall we.

A Passion for Helping People Be the Best Version of Themselves - A Talent Folks' Video Brief with Tara Hesson

Tara Hesson, a great friend and colleague spends some time with me in this Talent Folks' Video Brief about why she decided to invest in a coaching certificate and how she makes the most of it. In this 10-minute interview, we cover four questions:

  1. What made you decide to become a coach? Tell us about your motivation and how you thought you might use that certification.

  2. Do you have a particular coaching niche? What drew you to that area of focus?

  3. How do you use your coaching capabilities within your organization?

  4. What advice do you have for those considering becoming an executive coach?


What is a Video Brief?

It's time for a Talent break - refill that cuppa and take a 10 minute break to hear a new idea or two. Video Briefs target providing valuable tidbits in brief 10 - 12-minute interviews with talent leaders and experts. The aim is to introduce you to new thinking and ideas that you can implement for yourself and within your organizations. Here at Simply Strategy Talent Solutions, I value authentic, positive conversation, so will strive to keep it real and informational. Expect informal. In fact, this Video Brief was filmed on the road from a hotel room. You'll see a few connection glitches as I wrangle bandwidth from a hotspot.

Back to the Brief...

I'm so pleased to introduce you to Tara Hesson. Tara is a Talent Director in the Dallas, TX area and has led talent and learning teams for more than 20 years across a variety of industries. Tara and I met at Capital One when we were both leading training teams, and became fast friends. Not only does Tara offer great, objective advice, she's also always up for an adventure. We have great stories of chasing concerts and making the most of Southwest Airlines' employee travel privileges. Tara is a perpetual learner and decided to attend UT Dallas to earn an executive coaching certification in 2014. She's made great use of that certification, and has insight to share with us today.



In case the video is not working, visit Vimeo directly: Talent Folks' Video Brief - Tara Hesson on Coaching

During the interview Tara extended an offer to talk with you about professional coaching if you are personally interested or would like to engage a coach for yourself. You can reach her with a direct message on LinkedIn at her profile here: Tara Hesson, ACC. In either case, I recommend that you reach out. She offers a great perspective, and as I mention in the video, I have sent colleagues to her who engaged her support and have since found their passion.


It's a good idea for Talent Folks to learn about the advantages of coaching, whether you are looking into it personally or thinking about how to incorporate it as an element in leadership and career development at your organization. Professional coaches can be a powerful tool in your talent toolbelt.