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Meet Helena Goto of HG Consulting in Westside LA

Today we’d like to introduce you to Helena Goto.

Helena, let’s start with your story. We’d love to hear how you got started and how the journey has been so far.
It starts with a 5am phone call from a radio station in Auckland, New Zealand, and the announcer telling me I have won a trip to Hollywood, California. This is what brought me to America for the first time; I loved it, subsequently won a green card in the diversity lottery and hello, years later I am still here.

My career in New Zealand was as a Physical Therapist and when I moved to LA, I managed to transition into working with Hollywood’s rich and famous in the same capacity, which was very glamorous; however none of the glamour was mine. What I did learn from that experience was how to adjust myself to lots of different personalities and also, and more importantly, that money doesn’t buy happiness.

I decided to go back to school and after completing my MBA at USC and my Masters in Dispute Resolution at Pepperdine, I started mediating in the Family Courts. I thought I was going to love it, putting right all the mistakes my parents had made during their divorce. Well the key aspect of mediation is neutrality and, damn, those divorcing parents pushed my buttons. So, I bundled my two degrees and moved into dispute resolution for small businesses.

At the same time, I was attracting successful career women who were ready to round out their personal lives. I had married and popped out three children in the space of four years which was the timeline many of them were on. I very quickly found that I had a passion and a proclivity for coaching people. Everything would come into focus and I could see the world around the person in a unique way.

This was fun, I loved this work and to this day I still love it, coaching is really my calling although my business is much broader than that at this stage.

Overall, has it been relatively smooth? If not, what were some of the struggles along the way?
It is a natural instinct to want to fit in, to find people that look like us and act like us, that is what kept us safe in primitive times, because not having a tribe literally meant you died. Finding comfort in discovering my authentic self regardless of fitting in or not, has been part of the journey for me. I would not be living this life if I had been able to hide my light under a bushel, and yet trying and failing to fit in has allowed me to learn so much.

Forging my own path, without having any great role models close to me has been challenging, and recently that and the fact that I had three boys back to back, a mastectomy on the heels of that, and a husband that was traveling nonstop trying to provide for our expanding family, probably hasn’t helped.

Alright – so let’s talk business. Tell us about HG Consulting  – what should we know?
My business has evolved into workplace dispute resolution consulting, coaching and Ombuds. Luckily this allows me to do everything I love; Coaching, Mediation and Organizational Design.

What we really specialize in at HG Consulting, is the ability to go into dysfunctional teams, or groups of people, or just work with an individual and find the truth. What is fun and challenging about this, is sometimes people think they want to know the truth when they really don’t, and God bless Aaron Sorkin for his famous line, “ You want the truth? You can’t handle the truth”, it runs through my head frequently.

Currently in LA, there is zero-tolerance for the kind of open secrets that took down so many powerful people and elevated the #metoo movement. However, the structure and skill sets required to operate within this new climate are still a work in progress. This has swung the door open for early conflict resolution practices and solutions to be provided.

Any shoutouts? Who else deserves credit in this story – who has played a meaningful role?
My husband and children, they are the solid foundation that everything I do comes from.

Contact Info:

  • Address: 11664 National Blvd #415
  • Website: www.hgconsultgp.com
  • Phone: 3106288383
  • Email: Helena@helenagoto.com
  • Instagram: @helenagoto

Image Credit:
Ute Ville, Sarah Desage, Lily Chan

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