Maria DeCarvalho

Lead with courage

Stretch Your Thinking

Speak With Power

Listen With Heart


What happens when strong leaders grow their minds, souls and hearts?

Many executive coaches work with people who want to become courageous leaders. I work with courageous leaders who are committed to their own development as people.

Anyone who has responsibility for a team or organization during this time of monumental, unprecedented, no-turning-back change knows this: It’s not enough to be the same old people with a few new tricks. Success will belong to those who can see the future and guide others into it. This requires not just acquiring new skills but growing new capacities to see, think and act.

Who do you need to be?

They get even stronger.


maria-bio Maria DeCarvalho is an executive coach who works with leaders committed to their own personal development. She counts among her international clients key executives in healthcare, pharmaceuticals, global banking, software, transportation, manufacturing, telecommunications and foundations as well as the leaders of a number of faith communities, including an order of monks. She also has the honor of coaching other coaches.

Maria’s career trajectory has taken her through the public, private and not-for-profit sectors. She served the late U.S. Senator John H. Chafee on Capitol Hill, and in Rhode Island as the director of his home office. Before her stint as a lending officer in the Commodities Finance Division, International Department of JP Morgan Chase, she served on the faculty of the bank’s rigorous corporate training program. In that role she taught credit analysis and specialized lending practices to all new Chase corporate hires and to mid-career lending officers sent for training from other global banks.

As an ordained Episcopal priest and Dean of The Cathedral of St. John in Providence, RI, Maria built a multicultural congregation whose attendance doubled and whose annual giving increased 280% over her tenure. Her longstanding interest in adult learning combined with a quarter-century of listening to people led Maria into serious study of human relationships and interpersonal communication. She draws on a range of sources including modern social science and ancient spiritual wisdom to teach the essential relationship skills of deep listening, delivering important messages and expressing appreciation and gratefulness.

Because improving relationships and team effectiveness so often requires adaptive growth, Maria immersed herself in the groundbreaking Immunity to Change (ITC) coaching methodology created by Harvard University researchers Robert Kegan and Lisa Lahey. She is a Certified Coach and serves on the faculty for coach training in the ITC system. She is also a Senior Associate of Minds at Work, Kegan and Lahey’s consulting firm. Maria is asked to speak to a wide range of audiences and is the author of numerous 
articles in both the popular and professional press.

Maria earned her B.A from Yale University, and received her Master of Divinity degree from Boston College School for Theology and Ministry. She lives in Providence, RI with her husband, A.T. Wall. They have two adult children and a black Labrador retriever named Charlie.

Portrait Photo Credit: Mary Beth Meehan


door-garden   people   cables

I work with courageous leaders who are committed to their own development as people.

— Maria DeCarvalho



Helping you grow from strong to stronger.

Ask yourself: What’s the next big change or challenge headed your way? What do you need to do – or stop doing – to meet it? Are you curious to know what’s keeping you stuck and holding you back from welcoming this new part of you?

Using the Immunity to Change methodology developed by Harvard researchers Robert Kegan and Lisa Lahey, I help already extraordinary executives unshackle their thinking so they can rise to a whole new level of leadership.

The work is deliciously simple, astoundingly deep and dramatically effective.

You will grow your capacity to see and act, and become yourself in new, bigger ways.

Imagine discovering that your current frustration is the very way in to a more powerful you.

Every conversation is
an opportunity to move an agenda and build a relationship.
Every. Single. Conversation.

— Maria DeCarvalho



Speak with power. Listen with heart.

When important conversations go badly — or when they just don’t happen — even the strongest relationship sustains damage. I don’t have to tell you that poor interpersonal communication costs organizations millions of dollars and countless hours every day.

There is another way. Every conversation is an opportunity to move an agenda AND build a relationship. Every. Single. Conversation.

Calling on my training and experience as an Episcopal priest, executive coach and communication consultant, I help leaders like you draw on the power of their deepest values to build essential relationships and get the results you need.

And because I have come to realize that having the right conversation changes everything, I fold this awareness into my work with just about every client.

Here are the skills we can work on together:


People are always communicating. When you know what to listen for, you’ll have a head start on tuning in to the right things and responding wisely.


You have an important message to deliver. You can avoid missteps and make it easier for people to hear what you’re saying and respond in a way that’s energized by investment instead of compliance.


You probably know that nothing builds profound levels of trust and cooperation better than genuine appreciation of another person’s contribution. But you have to do it right.

Imagine discovering that your current frustration is the very way into a more powerful you.

— Maria DeCarvalho




Sharing wisdom from ancient traditions
and the latest science.

One of my greatest professional joys is speaking to business, education and spiritual audiences of all sizes, helping people to see new possibilities through stories about ordinary moments that reveal extraordinary truths.

My speeches, like all my work, help people find their own answers to questions like: How do we decide to live? How do we form our values? What holds us back? What sets us free?  What stops us from speaking the truth with love?

Some speaking topics:

Seeing in the Dark

Are there moments when darkness actually makes our vision clearer?

The Power of Gratefulness

How can simple expressions of appreciation build powerful relationships at work, at home, and even with ourselves?

Open a Can of Worms

Do we have to choose between compassion and honesty? And what becomes possible when we find that sweet spot where they meet?

Finding Our Way to Forgiveness

What makes forgiving someone so difficult?

Anxiety and Sin

How does fear keep us stuck in behaviors that don’t serve us, and what’s the way out?

The Last Stitch

How does the desire for perfection hold us back from being our true and wonderful real selves?