Welcome back to our #CoachConversations -series, after a brief Summer hiatus we are back to work on delivering content about the world of coaching directly from professional coaches themselves. Still many misconceptions about coaching exist that we’d like to bust.
Thanks to those common misconceptions, many people make the decision not to try coaching and forfeit serious benefits for self awareness and personal development, we won’t let that stand.
We are constantly talking with real, successful coaches and are committed to shine some light on coaching and what it can bring to your life. Tune in regularly for our #CoachConversations. Our previous chat with the Dr. Rakish Rana can be found here.
This time we’ll be talking with Jenni Glad. She’s a Life & Mindfulness Coach, Writer and a Yoga Teacher based in New York. She specializes in transformational coaching and mindfulness helping her clients change their mindset, their patterns and shift forward with the grown awareness. She‘s also worked as personal coach and working with us here at Coachilla.
Eeppi: Jenni, let’s start with the why. Why would you recommend coaching to someone still on the fence about hiring their own coach?
Jenni: Coaching can help people to find answers to their own questions; reveal the real reasons to their struggle and stresses, showing why they are not able to move forward in their life. When the obstacles are released, people can find their authentic desires and accomplish their goals with a positive mindset and make those life changes their desire.
Eeppi: That’s what we believe too, and would you tell us your story, how and why did you get into coaching?
Jenni: Haha, I didn’t plan to become a coach, nor yoga teacher. When coaching started becoming more well-known in Finland, where I lived at that time, I thought it sounded a bit vague and I didn’t believe it could become a real profession for me, even though it was calling me. I wanted to help others, use my skills as I knew I had an intuitive capability of understanding of what people were going through, helping them to open up and be honest with themselves. But I was waiting for the right time to take the big leap and jump to the unknown as I didn’t really know what was right for me, so I let the typical resistance hold me back for years: “It’s not possible/too difficult to make the changes“ and “I’m not sure if it’s the right thing to do”. I continued working in the corporate world, which didn’t feel meaningful for me anymore and frustrated me as I craved after entrepreneurial and creative freedom and wanted to break the walls of my box.
Then things started to happen and in a few years in my early thirties, I faced dramatic obstacle after obstacle, multiple wake-up calls, which were my real school of life, bringing me awareness and helping me grow. It all finally led to the point that I was forced to make changes and real commitments, and start following my true desires.
It all started my transformation journey, and I took some time off from everything, and begun studying psychology, philosophy, yoga and spiritual sciences, aiming to become a mentor helping people heal holistically and thrive towards new with a shifted mindset. It all led to get certified in yoga and coaching. But I have to say my life experiences and trying different things out have been my best teacher helping me to find my niche, transformational coaching.
I’m sort of street scientist and always willing to learn, observing life and trying things out with myself and enthusiastically exploring of the human mind and happiness. My daily routines include writing, reading and meditating to acknowledge what’s going on in my world and releasing what needs to go. Self-development never ends and it drives me.
Eeppi: Thanks Jenni, that’s a very inspirational story. What in your opinion are the unique benefits of having a coach?
Jenni: To have someone to talk with, to be seen and heard as a human being without judgement or blame, and dream big and make those dreams happen by taking action. More and more people disconnect from their emotions and intuition when the ability of being present vanish along being constantly overwhelmed and stressed. But also, helping people to get to know themselves better, encouraging them to be who they truly are, to make better decisions and move forward regardless of fear and stepping out of their comfort zone. Coach helps to reveal the unreal stories and open our eyes to see the illusions we have created — coach is like a personal sounding board.
Eeppi: Personally I think that is exactly the biggest benefit I’ve experienced. What do you think, why are people hesitant about coaching? How would you encourage someone to get past hesitation?
Jenni: People don’t know what coaching means and have no experience of it and often, people hesitate to ask help from others, or aren’t willing to invest in themselves, until it’s obligatory and things go wrong. But many coaches give a complimentary first session, so it doesn’t cost anything to try. I help clients to find motivation, commitment and to take responsibility of their life. I always coach my clients at first, to give an experience how it would be to work with me, and to see if our co-operation will work.
Eeppi: How does one know when they’ve found the right coach?
Jenni: It feels right in that very moment when you talk with the right one! Both, the client and the coach, need to feel right about working together and confident about moving forward together — it’s a relationship, which will develop along the way. Good coach asks questions, doesn’t bring their own mindset or opinion to the conversation but helps the client make their own decisions and that’s how we create the right kind of motivation so we can make progress. Coach is chosen based on a feeling, like buying a pillow or new bed — you can’t know for sure it’s right for you until you try it out.
Eeppi: Right! Now, you’re a life coach and also a mindfulness coach, could you tell us how mindfulness compliments “regular” life coaching?
Jenni: I believe there are as many coaching styles as there are coaches and many coaches specialize in some specific areas. I teach and speak to companies about mindfulness, mindful living and meditation as a way of life and a mindset — we need these tools to calm down the outer chaos, stress and continuous busyness so that we’re able to connect with our emotions, gain insight and of course — being present doesn’t only develop the mental and spiritual side of us but it has amazing physical benefits as well. I look at our being holistically, body, mind and spirit, all need nurturing and are as important.
Mindfulness means being present, observing the feelings and the thoughts — being aware from inside out. I help people to face and release their deep blockages, fears and patterns that create the resistance for the change and keep people stuck. Self-development and conscious action improves all areas of life.
When we look at life and ourselves from that perspective, opening our inner eyes, approving what is and be willing to change, we kind of set ourselves free when we understand we can be, and are responsible of our life, and can then lead it to the right direction with our choices — that’s how we create happiness.
Eeppi: Can coaches work with anyone, and what is required of the coaching relationship between the client and the coach?
Jenni: I cannot generalise but can speak for myself, I don’t work with just anyone. I need to feel I can help the client, and they inspire me somehow. I work with people who are willing to make a difference, step in their power and reach their full potential. I like to work with passionate people who have a desire to make this world better place — with their own skillset. Also, they don’t need to know what exactly it is what they want (many of my clients come to me with this problem) and where they should go next but they need to be willing to do the inner work to be able to grow personally — there needs to be that drive and sparkle. Creating our own journey and making dreams come true is not an easy path but when you step on it, your world will start to change.
Eeppi: I definitely know what you mean. Tell us a bit about your process, what happens in the beginning, in the middle and at the end of your coaching?
Jenni: We talk about what is going on, what has happened lately during the previous week and if they have met the set goals or agreed “homework” they have set for themselves. Then we flow forward and the client talks about the topic they feel is most important for them and then we work with that; creating ideas, exercising, practicing or just talking and finding the next steps and homework. Sometimes I teach meditation for them, help them to find their own spiritual self-observing practice that suits for them, it can be journaling, writing, taking courses, reading or photographing — quite often my clients start or continue developing their creative side. And I always have fun with my clients. Even when we talk about difficult things and it can be tough sometimes, I make it easier with humour and joy, not letting the emotions take the lead — life is not that serious.
Eeppi: When or how do you know or feel that you’ve succeeded with your client?
Jenni: Breakthroughs, small or big ones, are visible and sensible. I know and the client knows when we face and release something from the unconscious, the blockage, belief or thought pattern that has been preventing them to move forward. You can see that physically also. Achieving and reaching goals that require exceeding their own limits — there’s always growth involved but sometimes it’s just following through with the agreed goals and small tasks that require ability to commit yourself — what many people lack — my main job is to help people to believe in themselves. We all have so much potential and skills that we don’t use and sometimes it truly hurts me to see when people suffer and satisfy for so much less than they would deserve and be capable of. That’s why I say everyone should have a coach.
Eeppi: That’s exactly the same reason why we’ve founded Coachilla, I’m incredibly happy that we’ve got to know you.
We’re planning to do a bunch of these interviews with many coaches, and we’d like to start a chain of questions between each one. So, off the top of your head, could you think of one question that you’d like to ask another coach? It can be as weird as you want :)
Jenni: What is your goal as a coach?
Eeppi: That’s a great question! In turn last time Rakish left you with this question: If there was one person in the world you could coach, who would it be and why?
Jenni: Oh, this was a difficult one. At first, I instantly thought about Bill Murray and helping him to find the love to his life as I read an article and he had given up for hope. But no, it would be Michelle Obama. She is a powerhouse: intelligent, warm and educated woman who has a lot to give. It will be interesting to see what she does next.
That’s the end of this coach conversation. Be sure to drop by our website to sign up for our early access to find your own coach. We’re already matching people to coaches, so right now is the best time to get started on the road to a better life.
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