About

ERICA PENG

About a year ago, I received an email from a participant after a T Group Workshop. He wrote, “Thank you for a profound and transformative weekend. You’re so much more than a “coach.” Your job title should be something more like…Freedom Fighter.”

As I read the email, I was stunned by what seemed like the biggest compliment I’d ever received.

While I refer to myself as many things – coach, consultant, facilitator, lecturer, educator, designer, learner – whatever the form, my purpose is consistent: I equip individuals, teams, and organizations with skills, competencies – and courage – that enable doing our best work with each other, towards what’s most important to us, personally and professionally.

I partner with individuals in all stages of life, career, and leadership. In our work together, you’ll cultivate “internal” grounded awareness and presence, along with “external” interpersonal skills, critical for leading amidst and through challenging dynamics of conflict and difference, inevitable in our diverse and dynamic global context.

My coaching and teaching approach integrates somatic and embodied skill practice, with research and conceptual frameworks in areas including: emotions, neuroscience, interpersonal and group dynamics, management theory, systems thinking.

Having lived, worked, and traveled extensively in Asia, Latin America and Europe, I bring nuanced awareness and skill to issues of social identity, unconscious bias, power and status, as leaders navigate team and performance issues across language, culture, and other dimensions of diversity and difference.

At Haas School of Business, I currently teach a course, “Interpersonal Skills and Embodied Leadership.” From 2008-2015 I helped deliver the most popular class on leadership and interpersonal dynamics at Stanford Graduate School of Business (GSB), as well as coached senior leaders through an Executive Education Advanced Leadership Program.

At the GSB, I’ve been part of a team of senior facilitators who have designed and delivered a half-day workshop about unconscious bias, diversity, and inclusion for all MBA  students. I am also a speaker for Stanford Design School’s “Mindful Activism” class, sponsored by the East Bay Meditation Center.

In between a BA from Stanford University and an MA in Organization Development from Sonoma State University, I spent two years at the University of California Santa Cruz Center for Agro-ecology, learning and teaching how to grow good soil and organic food. I emerged from this experience transformed by an awareness of the interdependency between our health, well-being, the greater eco-system, and each other. I went on to design and build my strawbale house, and to launch an innovative organic garden and cooking program in the Berkeley public schools, a model for schools across the country.

I’m proud to say I love what I do…a culmination of decades spent pursuing my zest for learning and taking risks to live a fulfilled and creative life of collaboration and contribution. When I’m not coaching or teaching, I’m cooking up meals with veggies from my garden, hiking in the mountains, and likely thinking about a next kayak trip in warm waters. I’m inspired to keep living and working in this spirit amidst waves of change and uncertainty. And I’ll champion you to do the same.

My own path of growth and leadership development has not come without challenge, guidance, and support. I am grateful for my teachers/mentors/colleagues who have inspired and shaped me across decades, disciplines, and traditions:

1985 Mr. Kirkpatrick: High school English teacher

1988 Wonnie Tarinchareon: Spiritual teacher

1989 Joanna Macy: Author, eco-philosopher, systems-thinker, engaged Buddhist activist

1993 Tommy Woon: Former Director of Diversity and First-Gen Programs at Stanford University; former Dean of Multicultural Education at Stanford, Dartmouth and Macalester colleges

1997 Orin Martin and John Farrell: Master gardeners and teachers, UC Santa Cruz

2008 Scott Bristol: Author, lecturer at University of Applied Sciences in Austria, former lecturer at Stanford GSB, consultant on leadership and diversity

2008 Larry Dressler: Founder Blue Wing Consulting; author, facilitator, social justice advocate, leadership coach and consultant

2009 Leslie Chin, Ed Batista: Lecturers at Stanford GSB

2012 Strozzi Institute: Programs on embodied leadership and somatics

2012 generative somatics: Somatics and trauma training

2015 Jeremy Taylor: Author, former instructor at the Graduate Theological Union in Berkeley, founding member of the International Association for the Study of Dreams

2018 Sadhguru: Global leader, visionary, mystic, founder of international non-profit, Isha Foundation, focused on social revitalization; education; stewardship of the environment; leadership and well-being sourced from internal resilience

Thanks to colleagues Paul Loper and Kevin Martin, who support me as design and thought partners, and to my students and clients whom I learn from endlessly!