About Karen Kane

My unique offer

Karen KaneWhen I work with you as a leader, my intent is always to create sustainable change in your skills and capacities, and the skills and capacities of your team. I draw on many models and approaches, including the leading edge methods of somatic coaching and live action team coaching.  Both of these are powerful ways to accelerate learning and bridge the gap between knowing and doing.

I also bring a keen understanding that, while leaders develop as individuals, you work within organizations. My training includes both certification as a coach supporting individual change, and a graduate degree focused on organizational dynamics and change in human systems. As a result, my coaching will help you not only broaden and deepen your individual strengths, but also to function more effectively and less reactively within the organizational patterns you encounter at work.

Ultimately, through coaching and practice, you and your team will begin to embody new skills and actions, and integrate them into your natural repertoire. In other words, our work together will not be just talk. It will support you in being able to do something different to address your challenges, and to be able to use those new skills even when you’re under stress and pressure.

What keeps me doing this work?

“Let the beauty you love be what you do. There are a thousand ways to kneel and kiss the ground.”


Simply put, I love working with leaders and their teams. As each individual starts using the skills I introduce, the truth gets told, meetings become energized, high quality work gets done more quickly than ever, and people start feeling a renewed sense of commitment to their team and its success. I love helping people tap into that effectiveness and sense of ease as they work together – and hearing about how fulfilling it is for them to shift how they show up at work. The same is true for me in working with leaders individually. I get great satisfaction from witnessing the “aha!” moments, and then supporting clients in practicing new skills so that they can embody what they’re learning.

My background and experience

My specific areas of expertise are taking a somatic approach to leadership development coaching, doing live action coaching with teams to support them in achieving the highest performance possible, and training and facilitation. My work is always customized to the specific goals and circumstances of each client, and my clients consistently report their appreciation for my ability to understand and respond to their needs.

My early career in the field of sexual abuse prevention education developed my technical and functional expertise as a trainer and facilitator. I gained foundational skills doing this work that continue to inform my coaching with leaders and teams: listening deeply, having hard conversations, and designing exercises that enable people to see clearly and learn effectively. In subsequent roles, I also gained experience in various management and programmatic skills, including managing finances and staff, facilitating strategic planning processes, developing and administering programs, and building stakeholder relationships.

For the past 14 years, I have worked as a coach and consultant to leaders and organizations. I have experience as an internal staff consultant for the Washington State Department of Labor & Industries, and as an external coach to various leaders and teams in the corporate, education, and public sectors. The range of services I have provided in these roles includes:

  • 1:1 leadership development coaching
  • live-action coaching with leaders and their work teams
  • facilitation of process improvement efforts
  • planning and implementing an organization-wide performance management system
  • coaching employee teams
  • delivering leadership development and communication training

My clients (partial list)

  • Allianz Life
  • Fannie Mae
  • Mercer Island School District
  • Aviarc, Inc.
  • PATH (Program for Appropriate Technology in Health)
  • National Geographic Society
  • Latin American Youth Center
  • US Department of Labor
  • Youthcare
  • Tacoma School District
  • Group Health Permanente
  • Washington State OSPI
  • Washington State Employment Security Department
  • Pacific Maritime Association


My education and training

  • MA, Applied Behavioral Sciences, Leadership Institute of Seattle (concentration in leadership and organization development)
  • BA, Brown University
  • Professional Certified Coach (PCC) through International Coach Federatioin
  • Certified executive coach through New Ventures West
  • Certified in Leadership  Embodiment through Embodiment International, San Rafael, CA
  • Certified in the EQ in Action Profile Tool from Learning in Action Technologies, Bellevue, WA
  • Professional group affiliations: International Coach Federation, DC Metro Chapter of ICF, Somatic Study Group, Chesapeake Bay Organization Development Network

What my clients say

“My main goal in our work together was to be able to enter the realm of leadership intentionally, mindfully, confidently, in a open manner. You helped me do this in way that far exceeded my dreams!”

—Director of Software Development, Aviarc, Inc.

“Karen took her time to make sure we created the perfect assignment…everything was perfectly designed for me. Some things were easy and some things extremely difficult, and that felt right. Karen facilitated meaningful and long-term change in me.”

—Program Manager, Seattle YMCA

“It was amazing to see the ownership and accountability Karen accepted while meeting with our leadership group.  She quickly became part of the team and her feedback to us was timely, clear, and beneficial.  She was able to coach “real time” without derailing the conversation.  She was a tremendous help to our team and would be to any team that needs coaching with team member interactions, effective meetings, and honest communications. Her presentation style is very welcoming.”

—Steve Ruggles, Claims Center Administrator, Washington State ESD

Please read more client testimonials to see the kind of results my clients get from our work together. Then I invite you to pick up the phone and call me at 206-783-0515, or fill out my contact form, to discuss how I can help you achieve your goals as a leader.