158: How You Can Be The Leader Your Students Need with Dr. Karen Dudek-Brannan


Are you ready to be a leader? 

In this episode of SLP Coffee Talk, I sat down with a returning guest, Dr. Karen Dudek-Brannan to talk about how she helps SLPs step into the leadership role so that they can give their students the kind of help that they need. 

Dr. Karen is the founder and CEO of Dr. Karen, LLC, a company focused on helping K-12 therapists (SLPs, psychologists, social workers, and other service providers) be better leaders so they can provide comprehensive support for their caseloads. Specifically, she helps them develop programming around language, literacy, and executive functioning. 

She's also the host of the De Facto Leaders podcast, a show focused on helping clinicians and educators feel more confident in the way they serve their caseloads, so they can help school-age kids grow up to be successful, kind, well-adjusted people. 

Before starting her company, she spent 14 years working in the public school system. She has a doctorate in Special Education and a Director of Special Education credential, as well as an M.S. and B.S. in Speech Pathology; all from Illinois State University.

Dr. Karen also holds a Certificate of Clinical Competence from the American Speech-Language and Hearing Association, a license to practice in the State of Illinois from the Illinois Department of Professional Regulation, and a Professional Educator’s License from the Illinois State Board of Education with endorsements for Speech-Language Pathology and Director of Special Education.


In This Episode You’ll Discover:

  • How Dr. Karen helps SLPs with leadership
  • The benefits of the 3-to-1 model 
  • Building relationships and gaining trust 
  • The power of micro-yeses 
  • Tips for getting teachers on board with your requests 
  • The benefits of utilizing the other people on your team 
  • Asset stacking 
  • Doing things one thing at a time 
  • How to step into leadership at your school 


I hope you enjoyed this conversation with Dr. Karen. Leadership is so important when it comes to advocating for our students and it is something that each one of us can do with the tips Dr. Karen shared today. 

If you want to learn more about Dr. Karen, make sure to check out her podcast and get her free guide 30 Tools and Skills to Foster Generalization. If you haven’t already listened, you can also tune into my previous episode with her here

If you need some minimal prep activities that your older speech students will love, make sure to check out SLP Elevate! It’s my membership where you’ll get fresh resources each month. 


How You Can Be The Leader Your Students Need with Dr. Karen Dudek-Brannan


Joke of the Week:

Q: How can you tell if a farmer is good at their job? 

A: They’re out standing in their field. 


Resources Mentioned: 

Visit Dr. Karen’s website

Listen to my previous episode with Dr. Karen

Get the free guide on 30 tools to foster generalization

Check out the De Facto Leaders podcast

Check out the De Facto Leaders Podcast FB page

Join Dr. Karen’s Speech & Language FB page

Follow Dr. Karen on Instagram


Where We Can Connect: 

Listen on Your Favorite Podcast Platform

Follow to the Podcast

Follow Hallie on Instagram 

Follow Hallie on Facebook

Follow Hallie on Pinterest 


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Do you have a question you would like me to answer on the podcast?