Noelle Mykolenko

Noelle Mykolenko

Chief Operations Officer

I am passionate about growth – for people and in business – and have experienced first-hand that trusted relationships powerfully accelerate the achievement of both personal and corporate goals.

As a consultant for more than 20 years, I sold, managed and delivered complex business solutions in the US federal government, manufacturing, telecommunications and IT, and financial services sectors. I held director roles in business development, marketing and client development at a Fortune 200 IT company – where I gained experience (not always positive) as the person being “sold to.” My focus now is to help people in sales and consultative roles achieve their goals through improved client focus.

For three years as a corporate leader, I led a multi-level internal learning program through which we educated over 750 consultants in Being a Trusted Advisor. As a result, we saw marked improvement in client satisfaction, account expansion and employee satisfaction.

Based in metropolitan Washington, DC, I hold bachelor’s degrees in Business Administration and French and a Master’s of Business Administration. I also have certifications in executive leadership and digital marketing.

My Services

I design and facilitate Being a Trusted Advisor, Trust-based Selling and Trust-based Organizations programs.

My Trust Temperament™

The Professor

My Trust Story

My first role as a project leader was a complex organization redesign within a government agency. We made a mistake early in our data analysis phase. The mistake was small, and we immediately corrected the problem when the client pointed it out. Two weeks later, when the head of the affected department called me in for an early morning meeting, the data errors weren’t even on my mind.

I arrived for the meeting prepared for a typical status update. Without preamble, the client (a retired Army colonel) looked me in the eye and asked, “So, are you stupid, or just arrogant?” Several thoughts flashed through my mind: “This guy is a jerk!” “He doesn’t understand what we do.” “He’s just trying to protect his turf.”

I managed to keep my self-orientation in check and, rather than reacting defensively, I calmly and clearly explained our analysis and recommendations. I was thorough and articulate, with reams of supporting data. I was (I thought) at the top of my consulting game, using every trick I’d ever learned to persuade him our analysis and recommendations were correct.

But the more I talked, the less he listened. He argued with every piece of data, and questioned every recommendation. He ended the meeting early, obviously unconvinced of the approach I had put forward. As I left his office, I knew he didn’t trust our recommendations. And, much worse, he didn’t trust me.

It was one of the longest, most uncomfortable hours of my consulting career.

I learned a lot about trust from that experience. For example, I learned that trust, even in business, is deeply personal. I learned that being a talented consultant and having the right solution is a poor substitute for having a trust relationship. And I learned that, in order to be listened to, I have to listen first, both to be right and to earn the right to be right.

The result? The project was a success and led to years of additional work in that agency. But I I’ll always wonder how much better it could have been if I’d focused less on the work and more on the relationship.