I believe in an appreciative approach: Encouraging individuals to acknowledge what is good and to use that to ignite the transformation they want to see. It is magnificent when clients discover the mindsets and behaviors that harvest the results they desire. That is why I love coaching for The Get Real Project! The tools, resources and overall ethos offers clients a safe space to take risk, be provocative and discover their personal shine.

I believe in an appreciative approach: Encouraging individuals to acknowledge what is good and to use that to ignite the transformation they want to see.

Having more than 20 years of professional experience in government, academe and private consulting offers me a wide lens to analyze and appreciate professional, personal, communal and even political concerns. My client list includes AARP, CONSOL Energy, National Weather Service, and many others. I partner with clients to drive cultural transformation, strengthen executive alignment, develop leaders and facilitate impactful meetings. I have a BA in journalism from Howard University, and a PhD in sociology from American University. I hold certifications in coaching from George Mason University, organizational development from Georgetown University and facilitation from the International Association of Facilitators.

When I’m not working, I’m busy in Washington, DC navigating my sons Amir and Zavier, supporting non-profit boards, and pushing myself to upgrade my culinary muse.

My Get Real Services

My Get Real specialty is coaching and helping clients move from concept to impact as they strive to deepen customer intimacy, client loyalty, the dynamics of influence, dealing with conflict and developing business with trust.

My Trust Temperament™

The Catalyst

What Clients are Saying

“Dr. Hillman’s engaging style transcends any environment, from the individual contributor to the senior executive, quickly adding demonstrable value. She pushes you beyond ordinary boundaries, to produce extraordinary results”

Gil Dussek, CEO Gunnison Consulting Group

My Get Real Story

It was profitable, impactful, successful and we were pushing for more. Imagine three women: one white, one Japanese and me (African American), traveling across West Virginia with a seasoned coal miner named “Jocko.” Our charge was to develop a safety strategy. Operational visits were our way to learn and build credibility.
With mission in hand, we mined coal, rode the coal river barge, and visited the warehouses that supplied the mining enterprise. We were successful! We boosted credibility, deepened trust, and our efforts grew into safety culture work.

As that culture work was ending, we crafted further options to help accelerate the company’s safety metrics. We invited the safety team to DC for lunch to hear our great “client-centric” ideas. They left with a polite, noncommittal goodbye.

What happened? Our “S” happened (self-orientation). We wanted to extend the engagement so badly that we convinced ourselves that our invite, fancy lunch and ideas were all about them. The entire exchange must have felt like “Invasion of the Body Snatchers.” We shifted from being a collaborative, co-solutioning partner to DC consultants selling billable hours.

All was not lost, years later we returned to reinvigorate the strategy. Advice though: Watch your S. It is sneaky and can lull you into believing it’s low.

Getting a Little More Personal

Words people often use to describe me

Collaborative, Curious, Forthright, Fun and Perceptive.

What inspires me

A good Sunday sermon, comeback stories and my sons.

What brings me joy

An amazing meal seasoned with thought provoking conversation, the emergence of spring and laughing out loud.

WHat anchors me

Hot yoga and a budding meditation practice.

What drives me nuts

Mean spiritedness, complacency, and sorting dirty laundry only to find my sons’ clean, folded clothes in the mix.

My guilty pleasure

Homemade pineapple upside down cake, decadent champagne and kettle potato chips.

A favorite quote

“You cannot do the wrong thing the right way”—Ethel Mae Rivers, my grandmother

What I can’t do without

My girlfriend posse, international travel, new experiences and the color purple.

My secret ambition

Write two award winning children’s books: Amir’s Amazing Imagination, followed by Zany Zavier.


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