Switzer Associates allowed me to get an in-depth view of my SEIQ and a view of my Leaders Profile. This identified my thought processes along with what I was strong at, average at, and especially where I was vulnerable. Through the coaching of Dr. Switzer, I was able to find and even reinforce the why, how, and what I think and the approach I use in situations. I was able to develop skills to use in both my personal and professional life. I am positive that this coaching contributed to my recent promotion. If one takes the coaching and evaluations seriously one will have nothing but personal rewards.
- Jeff Youngsma, Fremont Fire Department
I found Merle to be extremely knowledgeable and professional. He was able to easily understand what I found challenging to articulate and used a true coaching approach. We were able to easily get to the heart of what I needed. I felt like my needs and goals were understood. It was a safe and productive experience. Through coaching I desired and began learning to see certain things from a different perspective. My stress levels decreased significantly, and, in some instances, I was able to avoid becoming stressed in situations that previously had a negative impact on me. If someone was looking for a coach, I would tell them to start working with him NOW.
- Michelle Longmire (Retired), County of Sacramento
My favorite thing about working with Merle is his patience, understanding, and real-world experience in business. His patience made a difference for me because I came from a working background and not a lot of education. Merle has helped me prioritize my time which has significantly reduced my stress as I began focusing on the most important things. This improved my productivity as a leader, which in turn improved the productivity of the company. Merle has been a true blessing to me, my family, and employees. If you are in a similar position, I would recommend Merle to you 100%.
- Pete Ellis, CEO & Founder, Pete’s Milk Delivery
One thing that I have learned through my participation with Convene is to utilize tools that aid in better decision making. Charts, key indicators, and benchmarks have all been good tools to help me see where I am in the present and get where I want to go in the future.
One of the best tools introduced to me was the Everything DiSC Work of Leaders profile. Specifically, the profile helped me make a good decision when hiring for a key leadership position. I used the profile for benchmarking the attributes of the top performers in our largest employee group. As a result, it helped me in the overall hiring process, as well as obtaining and keeping employees. Finally, I have used the Work of Leaders to help establish where our company is at with our most important asset, our people. Through this process, I have learned how to better communicate with our employees when conflict occurs.
We are a family owned and operated company which celebrated 70 years in business in 2016.
- Patti Henley (Retired), CEO, Livingston Concrete Services, Inc.
Working with you assisted me in seeing and understanding the value of communication. That was huge. I assumed people knew that my intent was pure. My efforts were to ensure everyone’s wellbeing. That’s not true unless you are open to sharing your intent, what you are doing and why. I just did not understand that it was that important. It is something I continually have to work at. I do think that was huge.
By being more deliberate in my communication with staff, I was able to get more information back about what my staff needed, which changed how I communicate further with them. I feel it empowered staff to say things that they wouldn’t have otherwise said. Getting staff input changed how I was communicating, enriching the dialogue, and ultimately changed the direction of my decision making.
On an emotional level, I felt personally empowered that I am making better decisions. I feel I am intuitive and very motivated to achieve things. The fact that my interaction with staff improved felt good. When communication works it feels really good.
I would describe the coaching experience as an opportunity to have not only a sounding board but have someone provide potential suggestions to consider different ways to handle things. Often, I may get fixed on things, so it was very helpful to hear other options that I hadn’t previously considered.
- Jeannine Pacioni, Monterey County District Attorney, Monterey County
I’ve been in management almost my entire career. I was always focused on tasks and accomplishments, which I’m sure many people can relate to. During my first session with Dr. Switzer, I began to understand what it means to be a leader. I was given honest feedback (360) that allowed me to take a good look at myself and my performance. I saw that my leadership style had been more random than deliberate. Working with Dr. Switzer has given me the opportunity and assistance to grow into a leader. It hasn’t always been a comfortable process, but once I learned to embrace it, it has opened doors for me both professionally and personally. Now I feel great about every day, and I’m certain that I wouldn’t be where I am today without Dr. Switzer’s support and guidance.
- Bill Redden, Operations Manager, Livingston Concrete Services, Inc.
To understand the significance of this testimonial you need to understand some of the history at Anderson Police Department and appreciate the fact that this management “team” was functioning as anything but a team. The Department had suffered a catastrophic blow to public image and trust when an officer was arrested and prosecuted for sexual assault under color of authority. The victim was a female in-custody for DUI and sexually assaulted by the officer while in custody. The impact this had on the reputation of our small department, as well as on our quaint community was immeasurable, and, at the time immediately following the incident, seemed permanent and irreparable. The city manager determined that a review of Departmental policies and procedures was necessary and hired an outside source to conduct the evaluation. Employees were interviewed and encouraged to voice their comments, concerns, and disapproval of administration, which seemed to cause distrust to form, morale to diminish, and ultimately stimulated the employees to engage in unethical slander against administration and move to force the removal of the chief of police from his position in May 2011. Local media was used for a platform to cause unrest and further degradation within the Department. There was no cohesion, common goal or mission, or unity in this department.
POST graciously acted quickly to approve a Team Building Workshop. I thoroughly researched several companies and spent the effort to contact agencies for references before choosing Switzer Associates Leadership Solutions. Merle Switzer came highly recommended for his thoroughness, expertise, and sensible approach to facilitating change and trust within an organization. In January 2014, the APD management team (comprised of the new Chief of Police, one new Lieutenant, three Sergeants, one Support Services Manager, and one Support Services Supervisor) met to embark on a three-day training retreat with facilitator Merle Switzer.
Over the course of the three-day sessions, our group transformed from a divided, non-communicational and autonomic operating set of persons to a trusting, collaborative and unified team of leaders. During the training, we learned to break down walls of mistrust through a variety of exercises and realizations. Open and honest communication led to foundations in which relationships have grown. Merle provided us with management tools, such as conflict resolution techniques, that have allowed us to move forward with a greater understanding and common goal in the best interest of the organization. We developed a strategic mission statement and agreed upon rules of operation within our team.
One year later, January 2015, I facilitated a one-year reunion, offsite, two-day training to reflect on our progress and to revisit the concepts of our original session. We are better known collectively now as the “First Team” at APD and operate accordingly. The turnaround has led to phenomenal success in our organization and community. Morale has remained at an all-time high, steady for the past year.
I am not a touchy-feely or politically correct type of guy. I typically see training sessions/retreats of this nature as a gigantic waste of time and a form of new age liberalism that I staunchly resist and detest. However, given the extremities of the situation and the importance for this management team to come together for the good of the organization I approached it with an open mind and full participation. Merle Switzer’s facilitation, course instruction, and management reform techniques has paid immeasurable dividends for this agency. I strongly recommend Merle as a Team Building Workshop facilitator.
- Chief Michael L. Johnson, Anderson Police Department
Every great team has a great coach and for the City of Ukiah and the Ukiah Police Department we are extremely fortunate to have a long-term relationship with Merle.
Merle has worked alongside our middle managers, our command staff, and myself as a coach, mentor and champion in our effort to provide the best services we can for the Ukiah community. Merle has provided our team members with on-going training, team building workshops, and assisted in introducing and using 360-degree evaluations to improve our performance. Merle also provided our City Management Team with a team workshop to improve communication and efficiency within our organization.
If you are looking to improve your organization – consider Switzer On Leadership – they have truly enhanced our City and our Police Department.
- Chris Dewey, Ukiah Police Department
Dr. Switzer was referred to me by some colleagues who raved about his workshops and skills. Merle didn’t disappoint. From our introductory phone call, the planning coordination prior to the TBW to the final moments of the TBW, Merle was fully engaged and highly responsive to our teams’ specific needs. He seamlessly adapted the agenda and drew upon his vast experience to navigate us to some realistic and achievable outcomes. I can’t thank Dr. Switzer enough and am pleased to join my colleagues in highly recommending Merle to aid other organizations.
- Chief Adam McGill, Novato Police Department
I began meeting with Merle in order to get a fresh perspective and renewed energy for running my business. Merle provided me the encouragement and guidance to reengage in thoughtful and strategic ways as I moved my business forward. Merle is a professional for professionals!
- Trent Lubiens, President, Center for Hearing Health
Merle provided pragmatic ideas for me to consider in areas that are extremely important to me (e.g., employee engagement, conflict resolution, relationship building, and strategic thinking). Merle was always well-prepared. Although all of our coaching sessions were over the phone, Merle had a way of making you feel as if he was sitting across the table from you.
- Mike Ray, Executive Vice-President, California Casualty
Dr. Switzer and his entire team helped me stay organized with calendar invites, flexible scheduling, and made me feel like I was important to them, whether it was a meeting by phone, or in office. The coaching process positively affected me, and I learned more than I anticipated.
- Brian Kolitsch, Century Lighting
I had the pleasure to work with Merlin Switzer throughout the last year on a city-wide initiative consultant project, more specifically for recruitment training at the Bridgeport Police Department. This training took place on March 24 and 25, 2010 at the Bridgeport Police Department Training Academy.
Mr. Switzer is very professional and he takes extreme pride in the services that he provides. I was able to assess his performance in the classroom and in other settings, and he was a keen ability to relate to the class participants. He goes above and beyond to ensure that each individual understands the concepts of his curriculum and he approaches learning in a patient and effective manner. It was a pleasure to work with Merlin, and the officers he trained formed the first ever recruitment team in the history of our department. This team, guided by the educational and practical training taught by Mr. Switzer, was able to recruit 2,200 candidates for our current class 25 recruits.
I highly recommend Mr. Switzer to provide instruction for all levels of police training. He has a wide array of instructional methods which include PowerPoint presentations, facilitated discussions, and small group activities. The quality of his handout material was remarkable and the class benefited tremendously. I have also attached a copy of his class evaluation for your review.
- Lt. Lonnie Blackwell, Bridgeport Police Department
I started my coaching sessions with Switzer Associates approximately nine years ago. These sessions have helped me to focus on core areas of my business, including determining our firm mission and values, enhancing organization skills, working on growth for employees and fixing and obtaining goals in growing my practice, how faith enters into running my business, and determining that balance between work/family time. They also provide coaching to our managers as well in both Southern and Northern California. Merle Switzer has led our firm retreats to build teamwork in our firm. I would definitely recommend Switzer Associates for anyone in business who is working on developing strategies that provide for growth, better opportunities for employees, and who is looking for overall balance in both their business and personal lives.
- Kriss Mann, Partner, Mann Urrutia Nelson CPA
Dr. Merle Switzer is an Executive Coach for the whole business and the whole leader. He is insightful, wise, energetic, highly experienced and supremely organized. Equally capable in the private, public, and non-profit sectors, Merle brings a combination of street smarts, organizational leadership experience, and academic rigor to the table during each Executive Coaching session. He asks the right questions, and helps his clients develop astute answers and action plans!
- Dave DeRoos, President, Citygate Associates, LLC
A good business/leadership coach is hard to find. I have had business coaches in the past, mostly in the early years of my 15-year-old small business law firm. I have read scores of leadership books and listened to/attended leadership training/seminars along the way and continue to do so. Merle reminds me every session of what it takes to be a leader, that it doesn’t develop in a day, but takes time every day. His detailed insights and leadership knowledge will help me take my firm to the next level.
- Scott Shibayama, ESQ., Vision Law® Corporation
I would like to take the opportunity to thank you for your guidance and assistance facilitating our Team Building Workshop for the Rocklin Police Department leadership team held May 9, 2017 – May 11, 2017.
This is the second time we have been fortunate enough to utilize your services. Although some of our current members had attended your previous session, your material was current, relevant and helpful in the success of our team building experience.
I was really excited to see our team come together as a unit and address the challenges of our organization in a meaningful and constructive way. I am convinced, more than ever, that my managers and supervisors are committed to the success of our organization and motivated to carry out our mission with a renewed energetic enthusiasm.
- Chad Butler, Chief of Police, Rocklin Police Dept.
We asked Dr. Switzer to conduct a Team Building Workshop (TBW) for our Department in March of 2015. In preparation for the TBW, Merle conducted an Organizational Health Assessment of our 10-member leadership team. Following the completion of the TBW we had quarterly follow up meetings with facilitated agendas and used the Everything DiSC Work of Leaders profiles for the workshops and individualized coaching. The growth of our team from the initial TBW through the follow-up and coaching sessions was immeasurable. We are grateful for Merle’s expertise in building cohesive teams and continue to reap the rewards of that investment on a regular basis. We look forward to inviting him back to facilitate a follow-up TBW in Spring of 2017.
- David Swing, Chief of Police, Morgan Hill Police Dept.
Merle Switzer has been amazing to work with. Just over a year ago I interviewed Merle and we invited him to our annual company kick off meeting for our first work together. Although we had not worked together prior to that all-hands meeting, in which Merle led some teamwork exercises, the company completely embraced Merle and the work we did together. Looking back a mere 12 months, at our organization, management team, and the individuals, I can see a huge evolution and transformation. Merle was the catalyst or change agent who made this transformation possible. When the management team reflected on all the positive growth at the conclusion of our last fiscal year, Merle and the work we did together was cited as one of the most important things we did.
Since our first all-hands meeting with Merle, we have engaged Merle for personal coaching (myself and all my management staff), and several management development workshops, and additional team building with our company. The 360-degree process work we did with Merle was amongst the most impacting work – opening management individuals’ awareness to how their colleagues’ experiences in working with them. This began a tremendous positive evolution within SOS. However other management workshops have been just as impacting – Merle’s training on employee coaching/counseling was critical information that we use now as a methodology within our organization. I will also say that personally, reflecting back 12+ months ago, my life has personally transformed into a life I am in love with – and that is something that came through my coaching with Merle, and actions resulting. Even my marriage has improved! I can’t say enough great things about Merle and the work he has done with me and our organization.
- Gia McNutt, CEO, TEAM SOS
I am pleased to write in support of your outstanding leadership services. Over the past 12 years, at three different police agencies, you have provided leadership and coaching Team Building Workshops (TBW) for me and my teams on at least an annual basis, and often times more. You have been instrumental in helping us develop our department’s vision and values, set goals, and identify ways to improve how we work together as a team. Most importantly, you have helped me navigate three different police cultures through change and setting standards to be the best version of ourselves in municipal government.
Most recently, with my current agency at Costa Mesa PD, I have worked with you and my teams to collaborate on three different occasions to include: Executive Team Building Workshops and a Supervisory Team Building Workshop. You have facilitated Team Building assessments and department-wide surveys, which assisted us in strategic planning discussion and goal setting. With your guidance, we participated in a 360-evaluation process, something you have assisted me with at all three cities for supervisors and managers. I could not be more pleased with the services and the partnership you have provided me and our agencies over more than a decade of working with you.
In conclusion, I give Dr. Switzer my highest recommendation and would be pleased to speak with anyone who has questions. In my experience, he is the very top of all leadership and coaching agencies available. If you have any questions or require further information, please do not hesitate to contact me.
- Chief Ron Lawrence, Citrus Heights Police Department
Dr. Merle Switzer’s coaching of my leadership team collectively and individually has been an incredible blessing and brought results. Merle provides specific and tangible resources to equip, encourage and empower my key leaders to exceed in their performance goals by applying proven methods of leading their respective teams. After their sessions with Merle, they were highly motivated in areas where they were previously discouraged. They and I attributed to Merle’s leadership coaching. I would highly recommend Merle and the leadership solutions he provides.
- Jenny Williamson, Founder/CEO, Courage Worldwide, Inc.
I contracted with Dr. Switzer to conduct a Leadership and Team Building course for my Command Team. Prior to the class, Dr. Switzer and I had several conversations about our team needs, the teams background and experience levels, course expectations and desired outcomes. With this information Dr. Switzer customized the course for our team. The class was outstanding and Dr. Switzer provided our team with several tools and exercises that we continue to use today. If you are looking for Leadership Training and Team Building from someone who has a strong background in Public Safety I highly recommend Dr. Switzer.
- Sean Slamon, Fire Chief, Modesto Fire Department
Merle Switzer has lead our firm retreats to build teamwork in our firm. I would definitely recommend Switzer Associates for anyone in business who is working on developing strategies that provide for growth, better opportunities for employees, and who is looking for overall balance in both their business and personal lives.
- Kriss Mann, Partner, Mann Urrutia Nelson CPA