Online - Pacific Time December 11, 2019, 4:00 pm – 5:00 pm

This webinar will address an important, yet under-discussed question: Do executive coaches have the skill sets necessary for effective partnership with an increasingly diverse workforce? In response, I sampled 129 coaches and examined their willingness to have “difficult conversations” with Black clients. The study investigated two questions in particular: (1) Do coaches provide less critical feedback to Black clients than they do White clients? and (2) Do coaches engage in fewer diversity-based conversations with Black clients than with White clients? The study found that as hypothesized, Black clients received more support, yet less challenge, less constructive feedback, and less time devoted to areas of development than did otherwise identical White clients. Coaches were also twice as likely to provide diversity-related feedback to White executives than they were to Black executives. We will close by discussing the implications of the work—for coaches, clients, and the greater coaching community.

Speaker:  Ariel Finch Bernstein, PhD

Bio of Ariel Finch Bernstein, PhD, Leadership Development & People Analytics, National Basketball Association (NBA)

Ariel Finch Bernstein is a coaching scholar and practitioner based in New York City. He was recently named an Institute of Coaching at Harvard Research Scholar for his dissertation that examined coaches’ ability to navigate difficult conversations across race. Ariel also sits on the Leadership Development & People Analytics teams at the NBA, where much of his work focuses on improving the league’s capacity to retain and develop diverse talent. Ariel holds a PhD in Organizational Psychology from Columbia University, a master’s in Counseling Psychology from New York University, and a bachelor’s degree from the University of California, Berkeley.

Host:  Terry H. Hildebrandt, PhD, MCC, MCEC – Director of Evidence Based Coaching, Fielding Graduate University

For more on Fielding’s EBC Coach Training Program, see