The SOIL Approach
SOIL has a unique, inquiry-based approach that emphasizes learning, reflection, and wellbeing and has been refined over two decades of deep one-on-one work with hundreds of social leaders.
Working with Dr. Britt Yamamoto
My one-on-one work coaching/advising with leaders is shaped by my own first-hand and ongoing experiences as an entrepreneur and what I have learned about the complicated and thorny challenges of leading organizations, managing people, raising resources, setting vision, executing strategy, and making decisions. While I am comfortable saying that I have been successful, I have struggled, failed, and been humbled in all kinds of ways.
As a result, I have important perspectives and a refined sense of how to facilitate inclusive relationships and pay close attention to how leadership conventions can be problematic in their deeply embedded assumptions about power and cultural norms. Through my work with leaders, I seek to cultivate and help my clients to create a landscape for leadership that I know people long for the world over–one that is connective, meaningful, creative, and kind.
My approach to coaching prioritizes the following themes:
I see myself as a peer, accompanying the leaders I work with, on a journey. This means that, while I am an accomplished entrepreneur who has founded and built ten businesses and nonprofit organizations, I work with leaders from a place of empathy and mutuality. My broad leadership experiences enable me to dive more quickly into the different and unique leadership experiences of others and help leaders to feel more understood and less isolated in their contexts.
My experience is that effective leadership flows from a leader’s capacity to answer the question, “What is going on here?” For this reason, I emphasize an inquiry-based approach to “problem solving” that encourages multiple perspectives and seeks to surface and name the wisdom and purpose in each leader.
So much about leadership is focused on doing that we often overlook the opportunity to reflect on the actions and behaviors that shape our lives. We all have habits and patterns – some of which serve us and some of which do not. I engage leaders in a Reflective Practice that encourages a greater depth of awareness and analysis of self and collective, so that they can be more intentional in their actions. In this way, we prioritize reflection not only to better understand “What happened?” but even more to inform “What’s next?”
To lead is to recognize that we can never know all that we want (or need) to know in our leadership. For this reason, I approach one-on-one work from a place of learning, which is to say, from a place of growth and expansion. I want the leaders with whom I work to feel that our time together is convergent and clarifying, but also divergent and creative as it explores new perspectives.
It is essential that all leaders have a Practice—an ongoing, regular activity that builds one’s capacity to be more aware, resilient, and engaged in the world. This is not a one-time activity that is only used during challenging times, but it is meant to be an ongoing, incremental activity or set of activities that forms a foundational set of habits that leads to greater wellbeing and a stronger sense of personal leadership. Through our work together, I support clients and advisees to take up a Practice—it could be kinesthetic, emotional, spiritual, or creative in nature—with the intended outcomes of greater physical, mental, and emotional wellbeing.