Now don't freak out. There's NO crystal balls, mist machines, or future prediction. It's about reading the energy. That's it. And so I'm doing it, all the time. We all can, it's just that my dial for it is turned up a notch or two.

As an example, recently in a coaching session I was meeting with a client for their first session (we'd already had their consult). They were telling me about their goals but all I could see and sense was the grief they were holding.

I said stop. I asked permission to tell them what I was picking up. When they said yes I asked them to tell me about the grief.

For that client, in that moment, that hello to the underlying energy, which was completely separate from the topic at hand, is what was necessary for the session to be able to move forward in a way that was not obscured. 

We didn't linger there, I'm not a therapist, and I'm not there to "solve" anything, but they were able to say hello clearly to the energy that was there, and it unlocked movement in my client that allowed us to go deep, and quickly, into the coaching session for the reasons they HAD shown up to be there. 

Their energy shift at the end of that session was striking. Clear, grounded, and looking forward to the work at hand.

Not every situation is as profound, but it's an example of how it can show up. What I do in every coaching session is consistent: I listen, I reflect, I go deep with the questions, informed by what I pick up, to help YOU, the client, go deeper into your own answers.

I'm Ellen. I'm a bit different. I've always said that my superpower is to "read a room".

Here's why.

I'm an intuitive. 
That's right. like... psychic.
I really can read a room.
More specifically I can read the energy of a room really well. Also individual people. It's what makes me great at my work.

you've got this.

But Ellen, how does this relate to facilitation?

This makes me highly adept at seeing who's afraid to speak, who's upset, who's nervous, who's bored, and actively shift and tailor the format and flow of the conversation to ensure, best I can, secure space for conversation for participants. This includes knowing how to ask someone to step back so others can step in to take space they have not had available. It also means I know who to check in with afterwards or during a break to identify how solutions can be found for anyone struggling, or just excited about the work and how to help direct it.

Why else are you good at facilitation?

I came to facilitation initially as an educator and guide. Leading groups to do new or challenging things has been in my wheelhouse since I was 19 years old and I led my first backpacking trip through the Gila Wilderness in New Mexico. After I finished college I continued guiding and also took roles as an outdoor educator and ESL teacher. I then went to graduate school and became an urban planner and communications specialist. 

In all these roles I had to bring groups of people together, sometimes a small group on a hike or river trip, and sometimes in the hundreds (or online, thousands) to plan a vision for their city, while also staying on the mark for the politics involved. Over the past 20 years I have become a highly adept, intuitive, and attuned facilitator. I bring people together to create a common vision, or have a common experience, despite their differences and benefiting from their diversity. I make sure as best I can that everyone feels welcome, included, and can come along if they choose.

Can you give us a short list of your facilitation clients?

• State of Oregon, Governor's Office
• Metro regional government, Portland, Oregon
• City of Beaverton, Oregon
• Confluence Environmental Center
• Hacienda Community Development Corporation
• Camp ELSO
• Mt. Adams Institute
• Greenbelt Land Trust

Dr. Tia Ho, PhD
portland, OR


Ellen gets it. She knows the fear that comes from launching forward to pursue your dreams and understands that taking one motion after another requires courage.

In sessions with Ellen some of the most useful moments are when she repeats back what she hears me saying while nudging me forward.

She's intuitive and gives me visual descriptions of what is possible that help me think of new possibilities and opportunities that I had not thought of before.

She is sharp, enthusiastic and brings humor to the work.

Jessica M., Corvallis, OR


I came into this work really craving one on one discussions that went deep. Where I could set down the balls in the air and take stock of my priorities and goals. I also wanted to work with someone who wasn’t following a strictly prescribed model, but who excelled in being agile and personal. Someone who brought joy and an inquisitive spirit to the table. Fortunately, I found just this person with Ellen.

As I move forward after working with Ellen, each day I feel an intentional practice is becoming habit. I ask myself, how am I showing up in this moment? What does generosity and curiosity look like right now? As this habit of inquiry becomes deeper and more ingrained in my day, I find myself laughing more, standing taller, and having more grace with myself and others.

Dr. Emily wolbers, ND
Portland, OR


Ellen is highly skilled, passionate, and a fantastic communicator. She has an innate ability to view a situation holistically and find the root nugget that can be adjusted to improve outcomes for everyone involved. She is a coach, a healer, an advocate, and a true gem! I cannot recommend her highly enough.

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