Karen Ostrov - Dane County Executive Coach


“As a trial attorney serving on the Board of Directors for an insurance company seeking to fill an executive position, my suspicions were raised when the outgoing CEO suggested we employ a psychologist to assist us in the selection process of his successor. How could an individual with little knowledge of our company or the needs of its insureds possibly contribute in a meaningful way to our work?

Here’s how: By listening. By learning. By suggesting. This was my experience in working with Dr. Karen Ostrov, whose thoughtful approach to ensuring our efforts would succeed began with listening to the Board describe the needs of the company, then learning what we expected of our CEO, and finally guiding us towards a recognition of the qualities required in the successful candidate.

When the selection was made, we were pleased to continue Dr. Ostrov’s participation, asking her to work with our new executive who faced many challenges in responding to staff, maintaining the high success level of the company and earning the confidence of the customers. The transition was smooth and the result a solid success.

All of us who worked with Dr. Ostrov appreciated her skill and commitment to the project. She earned our trust and respect.”

Private Practice Legal Firm, Attorney

“Karen was a presenter at a conference break-out session I attended, and her clinical background and approach toward executive coaching struck me in a positive way.

Being the ‘touchy feely’ HR Director in an analytical business, I would occasionally become frustrated with other members of management. In addition, I wanted to more effectively lead others in our HR group and help the firm integrate more progressive human resource practices into our day-to-day activities.

Karen helped me better understand the dynamics of the people I worked with, and provided solid ways to more effectively present my ideas for consideration within the overall management group. While all is not yet perfect, I can clearly sense both more success in presenting my ideas, and more focus and progress within my area of responsibility.

I would highly recommend Karen as a resource to help guide anyone in a leadership position that is seeking assistance in gaining effectiveness and self confidence.”

Engineering firm, Director of Human Resources

Our company has worked with Karen Ostrov of Konect Consulting since 2002. We initially used Karen to improve communications between the principals to resolve a series of disagreements. After successfully resolving the disagreements and creating a steadily improving climate of communication between the principals, we began using Karen to improve the effectiveness of the management team.

Several of our department managers have excellent technical skills, but limited managerial and leadership experience. Our company depends on effective teamwork to deliver successful building projects to our clients. Karen has provided practical advice and approaches to our managers on how to improve their communication and collaboration skills. Karen’s coaching has improved the effectiveness of our new managers and has resulted in better teamwork by creating an atmosphere of open two-way communication.

Karen has been respectful and sensitive to confidential situations, demonstrated the ability to adjust coaching styles to individual needs, and has shown flexibility in adjusting her schedule to meet the changing demands of our business. I recommend Karen Ostrov as an executive coach for any situation where improved communication and /or managerial effectiveness are needed.

Design and Build Firm, Chief Operating Officer

When I started looking for an executive coach, I knew I wanted to hire someone who was unfamiliar to the industry and to my business, so I could get an outside perspective and have someone challenge my thinking. Also, I wanted someone to provide clarity around several issues that had been persisting without resolve. That is how I found Dr. Ostrov.

In one of our initial meetings, I completed a leadership assessment, which was one of many that I have taken throughout my career. The results of the assessment were interesting, but Dr. Ostrov’s interpretation of the results combined with her ability to apply the results to my strengths and weaknesses as a leader was extremely valuable. She provided me with different and interesting insights into my work habits and leadership techniques that ultimately allowed me to improve communication skills and strengthen professional relationships.

As my business was growing, there were several occasions when major issues arose. Dr. Ostrov pushed me to resolve these issues quickly and with a strategic plan, which led to clarity and trust throughout the organization. She also helped to reorganize the organizations leadership team and the methods with which I communicated with them. Dr. Ostrov met with key members of my team to understand our work flow, and also to identify ways in which I could establish a better and more efficient working relationship with them. I found value in her approach to improving professional relationships in a diplomatic way, which allowed for increased productivity and a more constructive work environment.

Unlike other coaches I have used throughout my career, once the foundation of the coaching relationship was laid, I felt completely comfortable discussing the most confidential information with Dr. Ostrov. I would recommend Dr. Ostrov for anyone who is leading an organization and would like to better improve themselves and their communication skills and ultimately drive production results.

This client gave permission to use his identifying information.

~ Michael Byrne, Managing Partner
The San Francisco Bay Area Group
Northwestern Mutual Financial Network,
111 Sutter Street, Suite 1800, San Francisco, CA 94104

Michael Byrne, Northwestern Mutual Financial Network

Karen has become an asset to Trek to help develop managers to their potential. She is willing to put out the effort to work with a manager that is many time zones away. She has the ability to see the skill set a manager needs to develop and help that manager quickly develop. I will not hesitate to have her help us solve a management development problem, large or small.

This client gave permission to use his identifying information.

Joe Vadeboncoeur, Trek Bicycle. VP of Product Development and Marketing

I decided to meet with an executive coach to improve my confidence and effectiveness in a leadership position. I wanted to communicate more effectively with management team, coworkers and direct reports.

I learned to approach a situation with an “open door” attitude to encourage effective dialogue with reports, my boss and coworkers. As a person who prefers introversion, I learned ways to bring my thoughts and concerns to the table and keep dialogue open, without alienating others or feeling alienated by them.

I felt comfortable working with Karen. She encourages and allows me to define my goals and what is important to focus on in the training rather than imposing her own ideas.

Biotech Firm, Marketing Director

I was referred to Dr. Ostrov by my organization in an effort to hone my listening skills and personal communication style to enable me to optimize my performance in the arena of fund raising. Dr. Ostrov’s coaching built upon the positive aspects of my personality, while encouraging me to explore and utilize the opposite personality traits, such as intuition and feeling, to help me develop a more empathic style. While still a work in process, this deliberate “softening” of my personality has helped me achieve both my organizational and personal goals of successfully interacting with higher profile (and higher giving potential) individuals in a more relaxed, graceful and ultimately effective manner.

I would strongly recommend Dr. Ostrov to anyone who is looking to better understand their own personality and communication style, and how it enhances or limits one’s effectiveness in dealing with others. Dr. Ostrov will use those findings to broaden one’s skill set which will ultimately enhance behavior that can lead to improved business performance.

Director of Development, Professional Fundraiser Non-Profit Foundation

Over a two year period you worked with me to understand my management style preferences and the management style preferences of others, especially my immediate supervisor. Of particular help were the ‘scripting’ exercises when important conversations were anticipated with my supervisor or other types of personalities with which I had little patience. Those exercises were also beneficial to me when spontaneous stressed conversations would occur. I also benefited from your assistance in the clarification of my personal goals to remain in my current location rather than to relocate for a promotion with an alternate employer. I would recommend your individual executive coaching services to others.

Healthcare, Hospital Mgmt Corp. Vice President

During the past year I have moved into a senior management position and have begun to engage in a number of activities that I have had little experience with in the past. I was far less confident of my abilities to bring myself up to the level I felt I needed to be at.

With  Karen’s involvement, I have acquired a framework that allows me to more easily grow professionally. Karen’s approach has been very holistic and therefore more powerful in terms of results and improved self-awareness. I feel equipped to address future developmental needs and face high profile changes within my organization.

I would recommend Karen to any person in a management or leadership position looking to expand their horizons within an organization. Karen’s unique approach of working with the whole individual would be particularly effective for persons facing significant transitions or changes in their professional lives.

Health Care Organization, Chief Operations Officer

Some of the highlights of working with Karen have been her ability to identify the issues and develop a working plan at our first session. She has a great ability to see within and understand character types and personal strengths (and weaknesses)! She is intuitive and perceptive. She is an excellent facilitator.

Karen was able to help my supervisor and me work through some tough issues together, during individual and joint sessions and keep us on task and focused on priorities and process. The testing tools to determine my leadership style and preferences were extremely useful. She interpreted and applied these with tact and wisdom. I continue to use them professionally and personally. They played an important role in the way we problem solved and found consensus in the next steps. Karen helped me learned valuable lessons about clarity in roles and responsibilities.

Organic Food Company, Director of Creative Services