About Us

Sheila Haji: President and Founder

Sheila Haji has over twenty-five years of experience as an organizational leader, consultant, trainer, and coach.  Her expertise in the areas of leadership development, change management, team building and diversity has helped organizations, leaders, and teams develop the essential knowledge, skills, processes, and tools to achieve their highest aspirations.

Prior to founding Common Ground Consulting Services Inc., Sheila spent sixteen years in management at Verizon (formerly Bell Atlantic), where she leveraged her technical and “soft skills” to manage and lead functional areas that included Customer Service, Enhanced 911 Data Base implementation, Executive Education and Organization Development.

Sheila has taught courses on leadership, teams, and group dynamics at Johns Hopkins University and has also been on the faculty for Georgetown University’s Organization Development and Coaching Certificate Programs.  In addition,she has served as Past President of the Chesapeake Bay Organization Development Network and is a founding member of the Association of Change Management Professionals.

Sheila is a contributing author to On Becoming a Leadership Coach, A Holistic Approach to Coaching Excellence and the recently published anthology, Roadmap to Success.  She received her undergraduate degree in English from the University of Virginia; her M.S. in Telecommunications Policy from George Washington University; and her M.S. in Human Resources and Organization Development from American University.

Sheila is certified to provide coaching and feedback on several instruments including MBTI, Benchmarks, 360 By Design and Hogan Assessments.

Carole Lyles Shaw: Associate

Carole Lyles Shaw works with clients in leadership development, team development and action learning.  Her clients include global private sector firms as well as major federal agencies.   Carole receives consistently high evaluations on her ability to engage individuals and groups in difficult conversations, where they can explore the strategic and operational dilemmas that face leaders in today’s complex organizations.

Prior to launching her consulting firm, Columbia Resource Group, Carole served as a human resource executive for Citicorp and other private sector firms.  She has developed graduate courses in organizational development, organizational leadership and virtual teams for Johns Hopkins University, American University and Loyola University Maryland.

Carole holds certifications as an Action Learning Coach, as well as administering Team Coaching International Assessments; Hay Group Emotional and Social Competency Inventory – (ESCI); and the ADKAR/Prosci Change Management Process.  Carole holds an MBA from Columbia University.

Leslie Williams: Associate

Leslie Williams is a gifted Master Certified Coach who has been helping leaders, teams, and organizations become more effective for over 20 years.  Her approach to leadership development is both theoretically rigorous and pragmatic.

Leslie’s direct, down-to-earth style has been described as “incisive yet compassionate.”  Her understanding of both organizations and individuals enables her to help clients strike the delicate balance between personal authenticity and cultural fit.

Leslie holds a Master’s degree in Organization Development from American University/NTL Institute.  In addition to her ICF credentials, she is certified to administer various individual and organizational assessment instruments.

Contact us to explore developmental strategies and solutions that are right for you and your organization.