Meet Coach Leslie, a seasoned HR and leadership development expert with over 20 years of experience in Fortune 500 companies. With a brain-based coaching certification from the Neurological Institute and executive and leadership coaching certification, she specializes in helping individuals transition back into the workplace by setting goals, gaining self-awareness, and creating strategies for success. Get ready to transform uncertainty into clarity with Coach Leslie’s guidance and support.
Narrator [00:00:00] Successful individuals use coaching and mentorship to help them unlock their potential. Not all coaches are created equal and that’s why we work with the top 5% of coaches at ideamix. Welcome to Coaches you need brought to you by idea Mix.
Jamie [00:00:18] Welcome to Coaches to know a podcast short designed to demystify coaching and help you, our audience, understand what coaching is and how it can help you. I’m your host, Jamie, and today I’m here with Coach Leslie discussing returning to work. Coach Leslie has been coaching for five years, but not only is she a certified executive and leadership coach. She has over 20 years of experience in human resources and leadership development within Fortune 500 companies where she has held senior management roles and is trained in brain based coaching from the Neurological Institute. Her clients are mid to senior level leaders who want to achieve more by showing up to work and home as the best versions of themselves. And they’re looking for support to figure out what they want and how they can get there. So thank you, Coach Leslie, for joining us today. I look forward to discussing returning to work with you. And I would love to start by first defining what do we mean by returning to work? And, you know, is there sort of a period like what is the defined period of break that is implied when we’re talking about returning to work?
Coach Leslie [00:01:34] Okay. First, I just want to thank you, Jamie. Thanks for the opportunity to speak and good to see you again. So returning to work. Popular topic these days, even from a return to work to go back to an office versus working from home, it’s created a lot of uproar and confusion for people and really kind of created a situation where there is a little bit of unevenness or lack of certainty. To return to work can be a variety of things. As I said, it’s just taking an extended period of time and ultimately planning to return to a job. So most commonly, we see that in maternity leaves, you know, people take off three or four months now some organizations even longer, and they’re pulling themselves out of the day to day workforce. But also it could be somebody who takes off for personal reasons. Sometimes it’s health reasons. Sometimes it’s caring for a member of your family when there’s no one else to and suddenly becomes ill or other reasons. But basically it’s you’re out of the office, you’re away from the office for longer than standard three week or four week vacation, which is also a long time. But usually it’s for at least a couple of months and then they choose to go back into the workforce.
Jamie [00:03:02] Okay. Thank you for sort of laying the groundwork. So, you know, we’ll say it’s a period significant enough where people feel like sort of they’re out of the groove of what it is to be in the flow of the day to day, as you said. I really like thinking of it in that way. So you’ve extracted yourself from the the ins and outs, the checking of emails, the knowing what’s going on. And so let’s talk about let’s dissect that a little bit and talk about what tends to be the most challenging part of transitioning back from being out of that day to day to getting back into that day to day.
Coach Leslie [00:03:43] Yeah, I mean, in general, transitions are hard. Change is hard for people. It’s it’s a situation where you feel a little bit less control. So you’re going back into an environment with a lot of uncertainty and doubts can surface from a number of places. It’s my making the right decision. Should I go back? I’m in the case of a new mom. It’s like, Oh my goodness, who’s going to care for my child? Will it be the same? Is this the right thing to do or am I being selfish going back to work? Will your children be self be safe? I’m sorry. If I go back, will they be? Will they accept me like what’s gone on in the period that I’m out? Will I even be able to do the work? So there’s this whole sense of uncertainty that just makes people particularly uncomfortable. And again, in the case of a new mom, there’s all sorts of physical and hormonal changes going on. So it’s being able to acknowledge the fact that you are going through some significant changes and figuring out how to kind of navigate those changes in a way that you feel a little bit more in control.
Jamie [00:04:56] And so that’s interesting. So it’s implied then that a coach can really help you navigate the changes, probably by first developing a self-awareness of them, writing an acknowledgment that this has happened. And I am either identity wise, no longer the same person, or I have this this additional mental load of concern. And, you know, and so talk about your process and how you help your clients navigate from getting from the self-awareness phase to, you know, almost probably managing the uncertainty with confidence.
Coach Leslie [00:05:38] Yeah, there’s lots of different ways of approaching it. And I it does vary slightly by client and what their needs are, where they are in terms of their personal lives, their professional lives and what they’re trying to accomplish. So coaching is typically a what are we trying to move towards and helping to unravel that is step one. So as a coach, I’m a partner, I’m an ally and I’m a confidant. I help my clients to navigate through that change and help them return to work, feeling a greater sense of control. And going back to what I said earlier, control is the big piece of it. You know, the uncertainty creates like a natural threat response in the brain. And, you know, we don’t have control of what’s going to happen. We don’t know what’s going to happen. All that is creating this upheaval in the brain, really. And we’re trying to calm the brain by creating some certainty so they know I’m on their side and they know that everything they tell me is confidential. The process helps them to deepen their awareness. As you brought up earlier, like what’s going on with me both internally and what’s going on on the external environment and how I help them to gain greater clarity about what they want and to feel empowered to move forward by gaining that knowledge. So so again, depending on the situation, it might vary. But typically I start my clients with some goal setting. Right. Understand a little bit about where are they now? What’s going on. In some situations they’ve already gone back to work and they’re just feeling completely overwhelmed and in some situations they’re planning to go back to work and just they’re emotional, there’s tears, they’re scared, but they want to. And feeling a little bit of sense of guilt should I want to go back and so forth. So there’s lots of things going on. So a little bit is kind of narrowing that down for them, is helping them to look at what their emotions are, what’s going on for them physically, mentally and what’s most important to them. What is it the what is the goal they’re trying to reach and to help them visualize that goal. So the more you can visualize your goal, the more capable you are of kind of saying, So where am I now and what steps might I need to move forward to get to that goal? So it’s creating clarity around your goals, gaining increased self-awareness and figuring out strategies to help you to move forward. Typically, my clients have, you know, 2 to 3 primary goals that they’re working towards and a six month coaching assignment. And the reason we go to that, we narrow it down so much is really that too many goals. And I think when we’re in that state of transition and confusion and so forth, we have a trillion things going on in our head. So part of it is just narrowing that down. And the clearer we are on what it is we’re trying to accomplish and not have too many things that you’re trying to reach, right? If you have too many goals, it just becomes overwhelming. So narrow down your 2 to 3 top priorities and then work through toward what are the steps to getting towards that.
Jamie [00:09:08] Talk a little bit about the identification process, because obviously, you know, part of it is the generating of the self-awareness. Like, how long does that take? Right? How long does it take for a client typically to become And I know everybody’s different because this is a very bespoke type of arrangement, but how long does it take typically for someone to get clarity?
Coach Leslie [00:09:28] You know, honestly, there is no science to that. It’s an evolving process. And some people have clarity when they walk in the door. They know they need a coach. They have very specific goals they want to work towards. And, you know, I, I don’t necessarily take them exactly as face value. Initially, we kind of dig into why are those your goals? What makes them important to you? How important are they? But you know what? What would happen if you didn’t achieve these goals and what what would the benefits be if you did? So really trying to unravel. What about that objective is so important to you? What’s it what are you hoping it changes? So it’s a combination of mindset, actions, thought processes and so forth to figuring out why is it I’m going there and having it. Having a clear vision of what that somewhere what it looks like.
Jamie [00:10:27] Yeah. And so once they have the clarity and they have the why. Does it is that that’s what brings that maybe a level of confidence to the people that you’re coaching so that they can move forward or in like, you know, do you help outline for them? Here are the steps you should take or does the client help outline those steps for themselves?
Coach Leslie [00:10:48] Yeah. Now, Jamie, that’s a great question. You know, depending on the circumstance, sometimes I give them some little assessments as well, so it gives them some more self self-awareness. I often, in the case of people going back into the workforce off recommend they do like a values assessment and get really clear on what’s important to them and what their values are. I might do some self-awareness things, kind of assessments as well, just to give them broader insight into what their objectives are, what’s what might be triggering them, why and so forth. So it varies again, based on what the needs are of the person. But so there are tools that I use during coaching to help create increased self-awareness. I also do that through a combination of asking probing questions. I, you know, I dig in with the person and they may say something face value. It’s very easy to say, Oh, this is what I want to do. And through my questions of tell me what it is about that that’s important to you, tell me why it is you want to do that. What would happen? What would what would the benefits be to you of going in that direction? What might hold you back from going in that direction? And then ultimately, the clearer you are and the more sense of what it is you want to do you do feel a little bit more empowered, too. I understand my needs. I understand what I want to accomplish and I know why. I know why this is important to me, which creates a sense of clarity, a sense of empowerment, and a better sense of control. So if you remember, we start with a transition is a feeling of a lack of control through the coaching process. It helps them to feel more in control and be more aware of their own needs.
Jamie [00:12:47] It’s very interesting. I have yet to hear anybody define transition in that way. A transition feels like a lack of control, and the idea of getting to the other side is really to to gain back that control and confidence and a feeling of sense of empowerment. Like you can do it.
Coach Leslie [00:13:08] Yeah, exactly. Exactly.
Jamie [00:13:10] That that’s that’s amazing. And that’s a wonderful note for us to end on today. Coach Leslie, I want to thank you so much for your time and speaking with us today about returning to work. If you to to my audience, if you would like to work with Coach Leslie or one of our other qualified coaches, please visit us at the idealmix.com. And thank you very much for listening today.
Coach Leslie [00:13:36] Thank you, Jamie. It’s great talking to you.
Narrator [00:13:41] Thanks for listening. Please subscribe wherever you listen and leave us a review. Find your ideal coach at theideamix.com. Special thanks to our producer Martin Malesky and singer songwriter Doug Allen.
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