If I find myself looking longingly through the window of a double-decker tour bus turned hipster coffee shop, I come read these to cheer me up.
Kevin had the unenviable task of joining on as my Creativity Coach at the end of a years-long project that had left me feeling drained and uninspired. Persnickety even at the best of times, I was not particularly receptive to having my process reexamined, despite it being so clearly unsustainable. Needless to say, Kevin deserves full praise for his unflagging patience and humor. What I’d thought of as the ‘only’ way to be productive was actually just a calcified collection of habits - some good, most bad - that had evened out to ‘functional enough’. They’d gotten me through, but at a cost.
Kevin listened attentively to my notions of ‘discipline’ and ‘productivity’, and made sure to have a full understanding of how all the pieces fit together before attempting to reinvigorate and streamline my approach. Kevin took me back to basics by reintroducing a sense of wonder and play into the process. He helped me remember that a creative experience can be measured by other metrics than output, and that going to a coffeeshop just to write down observations or doodle is just as validating - and necessary - as holing up for months to bang out another novel. He also helped me realize that I wasn’t married to my process: that I’d built it from scratch from a place of inspiration, and that I could do so again. And thanks to his insights, I’ll have a much better chance of avoiding the same traps and pitfalls when I do.
Kevin's warm approach, enthralling humor, and innate professionalism make him the perfect coach and teacher to invite into the workplace, or to work with one-on-one. He is able to immediately create a safe, collaborative space full of laughter that encourages employees to take risk and trust their instincts.
Kevin has my highest recommendation for team building and corporate skill development workshops, but I would be remiss if I didn't put in a special recommendation for the work that Kevin can do with diversity and inclusion initiatives. He developed a custom workshop for our Women's Initiative Network global leaders summit, and I am excited at the prospect of hiring him again to create a workshop focused on other key D&I goals at Sealed Air.
A week before my first open mic stand up, I was considering backing out & pretending I never mentioned it on my Instagram feed, but I knew I’d regret it. Mostly because my friends would eventually ask me about it. But YESandbox reached out to me offering to help.
Kevin met with me to talk about my creative goals and what I wanted out of this experience, both the coaching and the stand up experience. I ended up accidentally spilling my guts in a way, but that’s the thing about a creative process. It can be emotional and scary, and I’ve decided I have to start opening up more about how I’m feeling if I want to create anything authentic and worthwhile. Kevin made that extremely easy...beer may have helped a smidge, but Kevin also has a very understanding and kind presence.
He’s a fantastic and knowledgeable sounding board for comedic projects and creative project follow-through. He quickly responded to every email, provided honest feedback, and was not afraid to not laugh in front of my face as he read my first pass at my comedy routine. When you tell him you don’t want BS, he will not give you BS.💯 By the time it came to stand up, he helped me feel much more prepared and confident to step on stage, and he helped give me the courage to actually follow through with the crazy idea in the first place. Thanks, Coach Kevin
Today I submitted an application for the biggest, coolest, scariest thing I’ve ever attempted (for which I may or may not have recorded 71 different video attempts over the past weekend).
But I have to say, completely objectively, I would not have been able to scrape together an application without the help of Kevin Shimko - Creativity Coach. Kevin guided me through techniques for focusing and developing my idea into what it is today. He definitely didn’t go easy on me: he served me with some hard truths and built me back up again when I got frustrated. And I know what I submitted today is the best version that it possibly could have been.
If you ever feel the beginning of an idea but you need help sorting it out, reach out to Kevin. He really does have a way of helping you get there. 71 video attempts may be a lot, but I don’t think I could have ever gotten to the final one without that guy’s help.
When it was first suggested to do Improv for my Project Managers at Sealed Air, I had my doubts. I have been training Project Managers for 2 decades and this was very different. I'm so glad I involved CATCh. Kevin and Abby came to 2 of my Project Management Summits and taught the Improv skills that made a huge difference.
I saw my Project Managers' critical thinking mature more in those sessions than in the previous 3 years. That made sense to me afterwards since Improv is thinking on your feet. I saw the confidence, Executive Presence, and critical thinking dramatically improve. When they presented to the Executives, they answered difficult questions quickly and thoroughly. It was extremely impressive. Thanks Kevin!
Kevin is a phenomenal trainer and teacher whose wisdom and leadership presence goes far beyond his years. As a recruiter with over a decade of experience I have come to recognize when people have a natural talent and passion for the work they do and Kevin is a natural when it comes to teaching people. I have had the opportunity to take multiple classes with him and have enlisted him as a coach before and I would recommend him to anyone.