Interstellar Wonder Team

inside culture

INTERSTELLAR WONDER TEAM | All of our coaches have 15+ years of coaching experience, allowing us to offer the ultimate mix of skills & savvy.  Together, we help leaders & teams overcome their barriers & create positive change.  MORE?  SFLC_Inside Our Culture_11_2_15



Shelley Meibeyer Bio

Mindy Danna Bio

Mark DeRoo Bio

DeDe Esque Bio

Barbara Rapaport Bio


SFLC StrengthsFinder Coach Bios


Pam Erhardt Bio 10_29_15

Linnea Nilsen Capshaw Bio 9_21_15

You Can’t Demand Dialog

Leann (Sandra Bullock) pushes hard when talking with Michael & then finally figures out you can’t demand dialogue.  She backs down & changes her strategy & asks for just “one thing”.  This shift reinforces the concept of reading people, respecting styles & active listening.

CSM Friends can share their Active Listening story here.


Building Your Politically Savvy Muscle

1103-women-liftingPolitics is a highly charged word usually associated with negative, deceptive and self-serving actions. The idea of being politically savvy may make you recoil and conjure up images of slimy, unethical behavior.

However, political savvy is an extremely powerful skill in being an authentic and impactful leader.

Political savvy is the skill of understanding the complexity of relations between people, the distribution of power and how interrelationships affect the ability to get things done. This understanding and ability to leverage it relates directly to your capacity to influence others and get things done that are important to making a positive impact.

Think of it this way; to be successful in any environment, you need to understand how it works. If I drop you in the middle of the desert your #1 goal would be to scan your environment, understand how things work and start adapting so you can thrive.

Women tend to wrestle with this skill for a few reasons. Men tend to see politics as a normal part of working together, where women judge it more negatively. Women are also somewhat “late to the leadership party” in regards to experience, mentors and opportunity. We’ve not been schooled in how to finesse the political landscape of our work environment.

So how do you build your political savvy muscle? The Center for Creative Leadership has identified 4 steps to help you beef up:
1. Network
2. Scan your environment
3. Think before you act
4. Inspire trust

Network: Issues involving power and influence often take place in informal interactions. Spend time developing positive relationships with people at all levels in your organization.

Scan your environment: This is actually the skill of social awareness and the ability to be attentive to emotional cues and listen well. And women have a greater capacity to scan the environment due to more gray area in that part of the brain!

Think before you act: Again, this is an emotional intelligence skill; the ability to have self-control and manage impulsive feelings and distressing emotions well. And know what to share and what to keep to yourself.

Inspire trust: Be genuine, sincere and honest.

By practicing these skills, you position yourself to have greater influence and to make a greater impact in your organization and the world at large.

“Being politically savvy does not mean that you want someone else to lose in order for you to win. It isn’t about being false and inauthentic. Instead, it involves the sincere use of your skills, behaviors, and qualities in order to be more effective”


Our ditty in GROUPS Today

disc generic youWe’ve been using the DISC for over 15 years because it empowers you to adapt your communications to the needs of the environment.  In the March/April issue of GROUPS Today, you can find some practical applications of this tool & a little ditty from yours truly.


Put Yourself in THEIR Shoes

put yourself in their shoesEmpathy involves understanding another person’s situation from their perspective. This leads to an expanded worldview and your ability to see several possibilities and realities. This significantly improves decision-making, problem solving and your ability to influence others.

The Greater Good Science Center at the University of California, Berkeley explains it well:

The term “empathy” is used to describe a wide range of experiences. Emotion researchers generally define empathy as the ability to sense other people’s emotions, coupled with the ability to imagine what someone else might be thinking or feeling.

Contemporary researchers often differentiate between two types of empathy: “Affective empathy” refers to the sensations and feelings we get in response to others’ emotions; this can include mirroring what that person is feeling, or just feeling stressed when we detect another’s fear or anxiety. “Cognitive empathy,” sometimes called “perspective taking,” refers to our ability to identify and understand other peoples’ emotions. Studies suggest that people with autism spectrum disorders have a hard time empathizing.

Empathy seems to have deep roots in our brains and bodies, and in our evolutionary history. Elementary forms of empathy have been observed in our primate relatives, in dogs, and even in rats. Empathy has been associated with two different pathways in the brain, and scientists have speculated that some aspects of empathy can be traced to mirror neurons, cells in the brain that fire when we observe someone else perform an action in much the same way that they would fire if we performed that action ourselves. Research has also uncovered evidence of a genetic basis to empathy, though studies suggest that people can enhance (or restrict) their natural empathic abilities.


Take the Empathy Quiz:

Let’s Give Them Something (AWESOME) To Talk About

cool tools graphic






Take control and own your personal brand so it’s an authentic reflection of you.

Here’s a copy of the Personal Brand worksheet we created for the West Michigan Woman Wine Down event.

PB Worksheet 3_25_15

Would you like additional resources to help you on your Personal Brand journey?  Start here.

Personal Brand Resources 12_11_17

Direct links to some of the snazzy Resources:


Talents Inquiry and Strengths Scan

EI Assessment

Please contact us if you have any questions & feel free to sign up below to receive enlightening (but never overwhelming) Updates via our newsletter.

Suzann & Lisa

Sign Up Now


Secrets to Being a Dynamic Leader: The Details

Secrets to Being a Dynamic Leader: A Mentoring Roundtable of Suzann Foerster Leadership Coaching & Inforum, offers the crucial skills, practice & individual mentoring needed to become the leader others want to follow.  Led by Doreen Bolhuis, Gymco President/CEO, this program will provide an opportunity to learn powerful secrets from a leader with a proven track record. 

Participants will receive one-on-one personal mentoring & coaching after every session. Our year-long, personalized approach reinforces the skills learned in class & how to apply them immediately to each woman’s unique personality & industry.  You will emerge as a credible leader, be empowered to take initiative & get powerful results.

When: Oct 2014 – Sep 2015 (11 sessions) 8:00-10:00am

SELF-AWARE {10/16/14} │ Know what you bring to the table & how to leverage it. 

DISTINCTIVE {11/20/14} │ Deliver on what you want to be known for.

IMMUNE TO CHANGE {1/15/15} │ Initiate & sustain change that leads to true progress.

INSPIRING {2/19/15} │ Master the unwritten rules of leadership for women to clear invisible barriers.

COURAGEOUS {3/19/15} │ Overcome fear to lead courageously. 

WISE {4/16/15} │ Be the smartest at the table without knowing all the answers. 

AUTHENTIC {5/21/15} │ Develop a leadership approach that’s authentic & true to your values.

PERSUASIVE {6/18/15} │ Communicate powerfully & effectively. 

INFORMED {7/16/15} │ Use curiosity based learning to drive key interactions. 

CONFIDENT {8/20/15} │ Elevate your presence & confidence in every situation. 

FOCUSED {9/17/15} │ Stay focused & be intentional to reach your goals.


Cost: $3,500 (Scholarships May Be Available)

Where: Miller Johnson Law Firm  |  Calder Plaza Building  | 250 Monroe Avenue NW #800

Questions: Catherine Rogg  | 616.588.9403 |


Interested in Participating?

Secrets to Being a Dynamic Leader Handout_Participant_ 8_22_14

Secrets Roundtable Topics_ 5_5_14

Like to Sponsor this Cause?

Secrets to Being a Dynamic Leader Handout_Sponsor_7_9_14

Want more details?

Release_Secrets to Being a Dynamic Leader_022514

Leader Bio(s):

Doreen Bolhuis Bio 4_23_14

Barbara Rapaport Bio 4_23_14

Suzann Foerster Bio 4_23_14


On Air with Shelley Irwin: More Secrets Revealed




We had a fantastic time talking with Shelley Irwin about our upcoming series Secrets to Being a Dynamic Leader.  Our year-long women’s leadership & mentoring program focuses on issues that are gender-driven.  Led by a successful entrepreneur, it offers invaluable insights & the opportunity to practice new skills until they are second-nature. 

Check out our radio interview on the WGVU Morning Show.  And let us know if you have questions, comments or are ready for an application.

© 2024 Copyright - Suzann Foerster