Michelle Florendo has made a career out of teaching people how to make better, faster decisions and to lead with confidence.
“Most people have never been taught a specific process for decision-making, and yet it’s something that we’re expected to do innumerable times a day,” she says.
The self-described “decision engineer” is the founder and principal of Powered by Decisions, a leadership coaching and training firm. Florendo has coached executives at some of the most influential companies, including Microsoft, Google, and Amazon.
Recently, she taught an MBA workshop at Haas focused on addressing emotions associated with making decisions. “Instead of ignoring the emotions, I teach students how to observe and decipher their feelings and how to either manage those emotions or integrate that data into a structured decision process,” she says.
While business schools teach students frameworks for financial decision-making, people don’t usually get instruction for issues not involving the bottom line, she adds.
Another passion of Florendo’s is working with the Berkeley Executive Coaching Institute where she supports professionals in developing coaching skills.
“It felt like coming full circle because the co-founder of the Institute, Lecturer Mark Rittenberg, introduced me to coaching while I was a student at Haas,” Florendo says. “He helped me understand how much I loved it and how good I’d be at it.”