About Deborah Hartmann Preuss

coaching change leaders,
holding space for change
deborah hartmann preuss, teaching with an elephant drawing

I believe that soulful work is critical to making a better world. I coach the change leaders who help soulful work happen.


As a Certified Professional Co-Active Coach (CPCC), I help motivated leaders rediscover their own satisfying balance, resonant values, and clear personal vision. Together we co-create personalised coaching sessions that challenge and strengthen their unique gifts. Within weeks, my clients are more relaxed, tackling their challenges with renewed confidence and energy. Read what clients have said about their one-on-one phone-coaching experiences with me.

I also teach basic coaching skills to help leaders influence change more intentionally.

I hold space for important community conversations – where practitioners teach one another, and grow the coaching aspects of their work. Together with Naresh Jain in 2008 I created the viral AgileCoachCamp unConference meme, which has run over 70 times on four continents. I facilitate groups in-person using Open Space unConferencing, and online with formats like MasterMind or Lean Coffee at CoachingCocktails.com. I’m currently developing an Intervision format for Agile Coaches together with German colleagues.

I particularly want to “coach the coaches,” to multiply my impact – but not just coaches! Also mentors, managers, catalysts, guerilla change agents, team leads, parents… and anyone who intentionally makes good things happen, personally and professionally. I know from my experience as an Agile Coach how feels to be “out front, – it can be hard to find grounded feedback and encouragement when one is leading the charge. I now offer this support to my change agent peers, confidentially and with empathy and skill. I help change agents navigate the challenges of their important, but often poorly supported, work.

So, how did I go from computer geek to life coach? When I lived in Montreal, I actually left software development to pursue an Art History degree at Concordia University. But later I returned, and coaching started quite naturally, helping my colleagues improve our own work using agile software development in 2001. Later, as an Agile Coach, I got weary of watching people leave their souls at the door, and I wondered how to reduce fear and increase their joy at work, which led me to study coaching at both The Coaches Training Institute and Newfield Network. It turns out that coaching is my ‘superpower’, and now I bring these skills back to IT and anywhere else that people want to work more meaningfully and joyfully.

Where to find me: I live with my coach husband Ilja Preuß (rhymes with “Rejoice!”) in Karlsruhe (Karls-rooh-uh) Germany – a great intersection point for travel within all of Europe! If you will be nearby, ping me and let’s try to meet for lunch. Alternatively, I’m easy to reach by email or phone or video conference, and if you’re in a hurry simply view my calendar and book a call online.

What else am I up to?

In 2015 I published You Can Design aBiggerGame workbook, a self-coaching journal for change agents ready to play big! … available in english and german.

I am passionate about improving Open Space facilitation – through Open Space facilitator workshops and by simply doing it – opening space for businesses and conferences.

I am a facilitator of cultureQs team integration workshops

I created and continue to support the FearlessJourney Game, which helps teams (and their leaders) get unStuck, fostering curiosity and optimism that gets them back in motion.

I am an associate of the International Coach Federation (ICF) and I uphold the ICF Pledge of Ethics.

Helping women from difficult circumstances succeed and thrive.

content © 2016 Deborah Preuss, unless otherwise indicated.

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