Robin Means Coleman(coaching)


Robin R. Means Coleman, Ph.D.

Coaching Philosophy

A 25+ year higher education professional, Dr. Coleman’s practice is informed by cutting-edge social science and humanities scholarship, including her co-authored book, Intercultural Communication for Everyday Life. Holding a Leadership and Performance Coaching Certificate from the International Coaching Federation (ICF) certified ACT/Brown University training program, her approach to coaching is theoretically-informed and evidence-based. She draws on the tenets of positive psychology, self-determination, and motivation/strength theories. From this empowering, ‘positive’ framework, she focuses on cultivating opportunities, fostering growth potential, and setting clients up for lasting success.

Importantly, Dr. Coleman adheres to the ICF’s Core Competencies by:

  1. placing on emphasis on an ethical practice; 
  2. embodying a curious, client-focused coaching mindset; 
  3. maintaining a coach plan; 
  4. cultivating a safe, supportive environment; 
  5. being fully present while creating a space for reflection; 
  6. engaging in active listening; 
  7. evoking awareness through powerful questioning and dialogue techniques; 
  8. facilitating transformational action and growth.

Her clients report that they prefer her affirmative, “encouraging” approach to coaching. They reveal coming away from coaching feeling affirmed, “lighter,” and prepared to further advance their professional growth, productivity goals, and leadership strategies.

Dr. Coleman ascribes to “providence”: timely preparation for future potentialities.


Robin R. Means Coleman, PhD is a Professor of Media Studies and of African American and African Studies at the University of Virginia. An accomplished, prizewinning administrator, she has held several senior leadership positions. Before joining the University of Virginia, Dr. Coleman was the Vice President & Associate Provost for Institutional Diversity and Inclusion and Chief Diversity Officer, and the Ida B. Wells and Ferdinand Barnett Professor of Communication Studies at Northwestern University.

Previously, Dr. Coleman was on the faculty at Texas A&M University, the University of Michigan, the University of Pittsburgh, and New York University. At Texas A&M, she was the Vice President and Associate Provost for Diversity. At the University of Michigan, she served as the Associate Dean of Social Sciences in the Rackham Graduate School and Chair of the Department of Communication Studies.

An award-winning, internationally recognized scholar and film producer, Dr. Coleman’s work focuses on media studies and the cultural politics of Blackness. She is the author/editor of eight books, and countless articles, essays, and book chapters. An engaging speaker, she has delivered hundreds of presentations.

Levels Coached: Early-Career Professionals, Mid-Managers, Senior Executives, VP, Provosts, etc.

Industry Experience: Corporate, Government, Higher Education, K-12, Non-profit/NGO