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Susan D.

A talented and spirited leadership coach whose work focuses on STEM (science, technology, engineering, math) employees on a management track. Susan leverages decades of experience as a technology manager and executive to guide clients on a path to leadership excellence.

Full Bio

Susan has a proven track record of success in developing high-performance individual contributors into high-achievement technology leaders. If you are a newly promoted tech lead or a long-time manager, she will support you in identifying patterns that impair success, breaking free from those patterns, and establishing new patterns for achievement. Susan has a direct, no-nonsense style with clients, and is committed to providing a setting where you are able to bounce around ideas in a judgment-free space. She strives to find the perfect balance for clients to maintain self-confidence while experimenting in unchartered territories - which usually requires a dose or two of good humor! Having managed technology teams that range from 10 to 125 engineers in companies that range from a small start-up to a $4B public company, Susan has a broad understanding of the various issues that face leaders, particularly those in high-growth, innovative organizations. This first-hand experience and knowledge enable her to understand all sides of the equation, and empathize with many leadership and career challenges that managers face today. Susan graduated from Northwestern University’s ELOC program with a graduate certificate in Leadership Coaching in 2021. She holds accreditation to administer and interpret the Behavioral Essentials Success Survey and Enneagram. In addition, Susan is a certified Multipliers Practitioner and Alignment Practitioner.

Notable Client Achievements:

Provided coaching to a high achievement IC (Data Scientist) newly promoted to Data Analytics Manager; supported during critical first six months in the role during which time she established herself as an excellent manager.

Working with the senior director and four engineering managers, stabilized a software development department; improved collaboration, communication, and teamwork resulting in significantly reduced attrition and notable improvements in velocity and quality.

Provided coaching to a QA manager in areas including presence, upward communication, and accountability resulting in his transition to a director-level position with increased staff size and broader responsibilities.

  • Over four decades as a technology manager and executive
  • Northwestern University ELOC Graduate Certificate in Leadership Coaching
  • Certified Multipliers Practitioner
  • Alignment Practitioner
  • Behavioral Essentials trained coach and assessment administrator
  • Enneagram Certified assessment administrator
  • MBA Babson College
  • Computer Software, Construction, Information Technology, Mechanical Or Industrial Engineering, Media, Professional Services, Real Estate, Telecommunications, Advertising, Enterprise Software, Technology
  • Jobs with functions like Customer Service, Engineering, Software Development, Product Management, Project Management, Consulting, Science Research
  • Emotional Intelligence, Executives, Executive Presence, Experienced People Manager, Interpersonal Communication, Managing Up, Experienced Individual Contributor, New People Manager, Performance Productivity, Providing Feedback, Relationship Building, Remote Leadership, Self Esteem Confidence, Team Building


Describe your coaching style.

I adhere to the coaching standard of ‘curious questioning’ to support clients' consideration of their motivations, interpersonal relationships, and team dynamics. I am persistent in challenging clients to reflect on their behaviors and identify areas for improvement.

Who is your ideal client and why?

My ideal client is someone with a STEM background and generally more introverted than extroverted. I spent most of my career managing technical teams and have the most insight into the challenges that are encountered when managing technical people. I have successfully guided my team members through promotions and job changes so I feel very well equipped and knowledgeable about how that process works.

How do you measure success with a client?

I use a combination of three artifacts: the client’s manager’s feedback, the client’s team’s feedback, and the client’s self-assessment. This can be achieved through 360 surveys/sentiment surveys, interviews, or via the client. Depending on the engagement, other metrics such as attrition, velocity, and defect rates, can be considered if noted at the outset as unsatisfactory.

What is your coaching superpower?

My coaching superpower is Wisdom — developed through 40 years of hands-on experience managing individuals and teams

More questions

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