Dr. Jennie Byrne is a C-suite leader and entrepreneur with an M.D., Ph. D, and clinical experience. Jennie’s personal use of coaching and her healthcare background help shape her understanding and approach as a coach. She emphasizes the importance of trust in coaching relationships. This means being able to trust the process, coaches, and clients.
The pandemic complicated what we know to be true of the workplace by challenging assumptions. Talent is leaving and professionals are resisting the return of old methodologies. Join us to hear how Jennie believes open communication, quick adaptability, and coaching can be essential to succeeding in these forever-changed spaces.
Speaker 1 [00:00:14] Three, two, one. Lift-off, we have a lift-off
Sam Jayanti [00:00:34] Welcome to today’s episode of The ideamix Podcast. Today we’re in conversation with Dr. Jennie Byrne, who’s an M.D. and Ph.D. with clinical experience and experience as a C-suite leader and entrepreneur. She’s here today because of her work as an executive coach. Since we love all things coaching here at ideamix Podcast. Jennie, welcome to the podcast.
Jennie Byrne [00:00:57] Hi. Thank you so much for having me.
Sam Jayanti [00:01:01] So, Jennie, you’ve had a really diverse set of career experiences. Tell us a little bit about those and what led you to become a coach.
Jennie Byrne [00:01:12] So I think diverse is a good way to describe it. I think the way I would center it is that I’ve always been really fascinated by brain and behavior. And so really everything I’ve done, including coaching, I would say, goes back to that brain and behavior connection. So I’ve been a researcher done on basic science, Ph.D. in neuroscience. I went to medical school, became a physician, decided to go into psychiatry, where I learned psychotherapy as well as all of the medications and other psychiatric disorders. And then when I came out, I really had this itch to be in the real world. And I did a bunch of different clinical jobs making house calls, driving around North Carolina. Then I had an entrepreneurship like a solopreneur, where I opened scaled and exited group practice, and then they went to work for a national company. I wanted to try something that would have a national impact. And I worked at Kenmore Health, which is known for being very innovative and Medicare and Medicaid doing value based care, which is a buzz word these days. And then after that, I felt like I could have an impact on a variety of companies by doing a combination of consulting some fractional work and coaching and a little bit of clinical work. I still do a little bit of clinical work.
Sam Jayanti [00:02:34] What a mix. It’s a fascinating mix and it’s a unique one. You have an exciting new book coming out soon and I love the topic Working Smarter. I’m always looking for ways to do that. Most people do in these busy lives that we lead. Here’s how you describe the book in your own words. Let’s take a quick listen.
Jennie Byrne [00:03:00] Hey, everybody. I wanted to make an announcement today. I am writing a book. It is called Work Smart, and it looks at the intersection of brain and behavior and the future of work. So why am I writing this book? Well, I was really inspired after talking to many colleagues, other leaders, friends, family, everybody thinking about post pandemic or endemic, going back to quote unquote normal and going back to the old ways of working. And it got me really thinking the old ways of working weren’t that great for a lot of people, and actually they kind of sucked. So why would we want to go back to doing things the old way when the old way wasn’t really that great? There is an opportunity in front of us right now to take the steps and build the foundation for a future of work that looks a lot different and feels a lot different for all of us. So I’ve been doing a lot of research, meeting some great people, doing some interviews, and I look forward to having you along with me as I write the book and move into publication in January. Thanks for listening.
Sam Jayanti [00:04:16] Jennie. One of the things you mentioned. Was this idea of why would we go back to doing things the way that we used to do them before the pandemic? And we’re in a time where it’s been very hard to do that, right? There’s a resistance to going back to that methodology. At the same time, companies seem keen to want to go back to that same manner of working. And there’s a little bit of a sort of uncomfortable standoffs almost between professionals and their companies. Tell us a little bit about your thoughts on this.
Jennie Byrne [00:04:53] I think this is fascinating, especially has it kind of keeps changing. I would say every couple of months the sentiments change. And so it’s been really interesting to see that this continues to evolve pretty quickly. What I see happening is that when the pandemic hit, there was a challenging of assumptions. And what I talk about in the book is schemas and biases. So we challenged all of our assumptions about work. And lo and behold, you know, people can be productive at home. Some people don’t want to go into an office. There were a lot of assumptions that we challenged and it wasn’t like this was new is just the fact that we challenged them for the first time. So so we had this opening up of our thinking in a fairly dramatic and rapid fashion. And then what has continued to evolve over time is it’s been profoundly uncomfortable to challenge some very deep held convictions that we used to have about for what most people was work, which was like a 9 to 5, an office, a commute way that you dress, the way that you spoke, the corner office. Like this had become so ingrained for us that it’s very uncomfortable to let go of. And what I see right now, I see two things. I see that there’s some anxiety that maybe business is not doing as well as it could. Maybe talent is leaving. Maybe there’s not. What I would say is actually probably normal business anxieties. But the response to the anxieties is if we just went back to the way things were, this wouldn’t be a problem. So all of the company problems are getting blamed on, oh, well, we’re not in the office together. We would just get back together. Everything would be better. And so the desire to take action to resolve the anxiety we feel is driving. I think a lot of people to say we have to go back to the office. So that’s the first thing. The other thing I see, which is a little more negative, I would say, is I think people are just a little tired and lazy, maybe both, where it’s a lot of work to think about. How do you communicate? How do you meet? Where are you going? You know who needs what and it’s just tiring and people are tired of worrying about all this. And so I think the desire to be back in the office, traditional office, as I call it, is also that people are just tired of thinking about it and they just want to say, let’s just go back and like we don’t have to deal with that anymore. But I believe and what I talk about in the book is that if you believe the answer to all your anxieties or mental effort is just to go back to your traditional office. You’re going to lose out. I think that will be successful for some organizations. Definitely there are some organizations that will be successful, but I do believe the vast majority, especially knowledge worker type organizations, you’re just going to lose out on talent and ultimately that’s going to be a real business problem for you.
Sam Jayanti [00:08:03] Yeah. How much do you think? I also agree with with everything that you’re saying? It’s it’s it’s almost as though individuals made a rather rapid adjustment during the pandemic. Organizations did, because they were sort of forced to. And now that we’re back in a realm of choice, it’s almost like the organizations are struggling to adapt while the individuals are sort of there. And they made the adaptation and it’s all good. And there’s this sort of debate about and resistance, you know, on all sides about the two extremes and the reality and the sort of practical, workable solution probably lies somewhere in the middle of allowing people the flexibility to do their work from home or wherever. But also bringing them together somewhat some of the time. So it isn’t so much effort to just bring people together at all. And it’s not only happening on Zoom. Why do you think it’s almost like there is a sort of you know, I’ve heard a lot of people say lately things are good with respect to, you know, employment. Is that ever higher levels and job vacancies are not being filled. And as soon as that shifts and we’re in more recessionary conditions, if we’re in more recessionary conditions, that equation is going to tilt back to the old one. What are your thoughts on that?
Jennie Byrne [00:09:43] Again, I think it’s what kind of talent do you want and need? If you’re okay with whoever happens to live within 20 miles of your brick and mortar building. You know, maybe that works fine. But if you’re looking for global talent to compete, I just believe that’s just not going to work. What I’m hearing a lot of I don’t know if you’re hearing this, but quiet buzz among people my age. So I’m almost 50, you know, kind of Gen Xers, older, you know, maybe over 40 late thirties women, but also men at the senior level, like at the BP SVP CEO. I’m hearing a lot of quiet buzz that they’re they’re not willing to put up with stuff anymore. And they’re kind of like, you know, if somebody says, I have to move, I’m not moving, I’m done doing that. Or if they tell me I have to commute 2 hours. I’m just not going to do that anymore. And I’ll just go somewhere else or I’ll do something totally different. My husband is a great example. He’s on his second career. He was a general counsel for a very large company, global company, and he’s writing a book. So I’m hearing a lot of quiet buzz about that. And I don’t know if the organizations are aware that that buzz is happening, but if you lose your top talent because you’re rigid. I just think you’re shooting yourself in the foot. So I think it’s like a short term solution that’s creating a long term problem that’s really going to hit your bottom line.
Sam Jayanti [00:11:19] Yeah, I agree with you totally.
Sam Jayanti [00:11:22] So one of the things that you describe Jennie as a core skill that you have is an ability to connect people and ideas in unexpected ways. Give us an example of what you mean by that.
Jennie Byrne [00:11:38] Oh, that’s a great question. So I. I discovered that this was a skill. And you can hear from my experience, right, I’d like to do different things and I love to translate between different aspects of a problem. So an example of connecting the dots, I think, you know, the book is a great example. What I found was I was working with clients and coaching and everybody was saying the same thing, which is like, I’m struggling, what do I do? And so I was like, Well, let me go research it. And I found that like the dots I was trying to connect weren’t there. So I was like, Let me go deeper. Let me take what I know about brain and behavior and go out there. So I read, you know, neuroscience literature, I read workplace literature, cognitive science back to, you know, kind of just like deep dove in all these different directions and then pulled it all together into kind of this idea that this is the lens we can take on work, which might be helpful to us. So I think that was a great example of connecting the dots and willingness to talk to so many people, read so many things, and you don’t really know where it’s going to lead, but it percolates in your brain and then it kind of starts to come together. And the more conversations you have for me, it’s the people part, too. It’s not just the academic reading. The more I talk to people who who have different perspectives, the more my ideas can kind of gel. And that’s where I feel like I can add a new perspective.
Sam Jayanti [00:13:06] Yeah, I think it’s it’s sort of what you’re describing is kind of. Problem solving in a first principles way. Like, what are the realms that we should be looking at to bring together to bear on a particular problem? And then being very iterative right in your client work to test a theory or an answer that you feel you might have and sort of rinse and repeat that. So it’s constantly refining.
Jennie Byrne [00:13:34] Yeah. And I love the connection to product design thinking and to like the creative process where I’m a, I’m a one thing I’ve discovered about myself and I’ve learned is that creativity is so important and having my brain operate in creative ways is just so important to connecting the dots. And so I would add that not only is it about doing the research and looking at the perspectives and talking to people, it’s not working. It’s stepping away from work and the computer and doing other creative things because that makes your brain connect the dots. You know, when you’re sleeping, that’s what dreams do, right? You start to connect the dots. But in waking states, when you do creative work, for example, and that doesn’t have to be like art with a capital A, it can be anything. When you do different creative work, your brain allows the connections to form so that you can connect the dots and you come back with fresh perspectives where you just sit down and stare at that box all day long. You know? It just doesn’t happen.
Sam Jayanti [00:14:30] Yeah, totally. So I’m glad you raised creativity because much of your work and career has been in the health care space. It’s a complex, regulated ecosystem. Tell us how you’ve been able to have an impact in this industry through your work.
Jennie Byrne [00:14:48] Health care is so fascinating because it’s so in the dark ages in some ways and it’s so futuristic in other ways. Right. And so it’s this interesting space, like you mentioned, it’s highly regulated, very complex. And what I have felt has brought the most impact is translating between all of the different parties. So as a physician being able to explain to a CEO, this is what a day in your life of your physician looks like. This is what they’re feeling, this is what they need. And by the way, it’s not what they tell you they need because they can’t articulate it.
Sam Jayanti [00:15:27] People are notoriously bad at self-reporting.
Jennie Byrne [00:15:30] Exactly. And then being able to translate between the tech people and maybe the operation, the clinical operations people and say, okay, here is your operation and here’s where you’re experiencing this glitch. By the way, did you know the tech people can actually just flip a switch on that or vice versa? Actually, that’s a big lift for them. Don’t ask them to do that tech change. Do this one instead. So it’s kind of like that my diversity of experiences lets me translate between all the parties. And when you do that, what you can see is sometimes it’s just like a very quick insight and that speeds up the innovation or that speeds up the efficiency dramatically. Whereas if you don’t have those translators, everybody’s just in their silo and doing their thing and you waste so much time and energy. So it’s sometimes like these really little insights. And I find that in coaching to write like it’s sometimes it’s just that little tiny aha moment that really just shifts everybody’s mindset. So I feel like that’s where I bring the most impact is when I can help facilitate those very quick ahas or I hadn’t really thought about it that way. And then that shifts the mindset and then things just become easy.
Sam Jayanti [00:16:46] Connecting the dots in a different way.
Jennie Byrne [00:16:48] Yes, exactly. Exactly.
Sam Jayanti [00:16:51] I want to shift gears a little bit now, going to focus on some of your work and impact as a coach. Here’s how you articulated why it’s important to prioritize self-care as a leader. Let’s have a look.
Jennie Byrne [00:17:06] Today. We’re going to talk a little bit about the art of virtual or leading teams remotely. Today, I want to take a few minutes and just talk about effective team communication. So if you’re working from home and leading remotely and I know many people are doing this for the first time, it’s really important to think about the cadence and type of communication you’re going to have with your team. So what I have found is that teams really respond well to having a regular cadence of communication from you. And when you’re working remotely or virtually, this is even more important because they don’t get to see you in the hallways or stop by your desk and just have that routine of kind of a visual presence. So having a communication they know is coming from you on a routine basis is really helpful. So I would think about the cadence of communication, and this would depend probably on the size of your group. If you have a really large group, you’re probably going to want to do a variety of cadences. So you might want to have a monthly cadence for your whole big group. You might have a biweekly cadence for smaller, mid-sized groups and for small groups. You may want to do weekly and for really small groups. Sometimes a daily huddle first thing in the morning is actually helpful. So I think the size of your group will determine a little bit about the cadence of when you want to meet with people. Also important is thinking about the type of communication. So we are working virtually. So video is really important. So I’m here today talking to you on video because I have learned how powerful that is. I wasn’t always open to doing video. I used to do a lot more email. I would urge you to do a combination of both video and email. Some people respond much better to video. Other people respond better to words, which would be email. So I think doing a combo of both is actually very helpful if you have different types of people on your team. I find that video is really helpful if you’re talking about something with a lot of nuance because a lot can get lost in email. So if tone and nuance and messaging and kind of the why of what you’re doing is important, video may be a better tool if you’re just trying to share a document or kind of disseminate things. Then email may be more effective. So think about the cadence how often to meet with your team. Think about how to meet with your team, and I would suggest mixing it up. And then finally, if you’re not comfortable with video, it’s just something to work through. I was certainly not comfortable when I started. I was very hesitant. But the more that I have done video like I’m doing right now, the easier it gets. You get comfortable seeing yourself on the screen, you get comfortable looking at the camera, you get comfortable here in your own voice. It really just gets easier and easier. And I have to say, now that I’m used to it, it’s actually quicker for me to do a video sometimes than write emails. So it actually sometimes is a timesaver too. So I hope this was helpful. I’m going to have two more videos coming later on The Art of Virtual. So stay tuned. Thanks. Bye bye.
Sam Jayanti [00:20:24] So how do you advise your clients? You’re working with people on different levels, in very different roles to strike that balance because. A right. Even just in our lives, whether or not we work, we go through these super busy times where it does require just, you know, an imbalance that is tilted much more towards work. And and then there are other times when we can kind of regain the balance and and and sort of focus on ourselves again. Talk a little bit about your work with your clients in this realm.
Jennie Byrne [00:21:01] I would say I’ve come to coaching through a slightly different angle because I’ve come at it more from a psychotherapy background. And so when I’ve worked with coaches, one of the first steps is the self-awareness process, right? That’s kind of fundamental. So, so in the self-awareness process, as it relates to taking care of yourself. Why do you do what you do? Like take a little bit of a deeper look. Why are you answering email at night? Night? Why? What is it about you personally? Is it your history? Is it the guilt that you carry? Is it the boredom that you have? Like what is really driving you to do what you do? And then once you get that understanding of yourself and your style, then you can shift it into what’s your intention going to be? Is my intention to show up and be a leader in a certain way? Is my intention to get things done as quickly as possible. And then once you set your intention, then you can start going into the more narrow process of like problem solving. But what I have seen as a coach and what you’ve probably seen in others is that people want to jump to the problem solving right away, and that’s normal, especially for a high performing person who’s very execution focused. That’s what you’re good at. You’ve been rewarded for that. And so getting people comfortable with self assessment, self-awareness, setting an intention, and then doing what I call experiments. So this is my language from my science, but I say, Well, let’s just do an experiment tomorrow. Why don’t you do this and just see what happens? I don’t know. Like just try it for a day and then kind of setting people up with these little experiments and then report back to me. What happened? Didn’t go well. Did it feel terrible? And, you know, as a coach, you want to have that curious, non-judgmental stance, which is really the same as a therapist. So there’s a lot of similarities, but I find that coaching is a little different because coaching is typically a little bit more problem oriented and it. People are often pri. I find that the people who come to me for coaching, there’s a reason they’re coming. Like they’re primed for something. They just don’t know what it is yet. And so when I can help them, like you said, connect the dots, give them that self-awareness process and they have that switch. It’s very rewarding. And in coaching I’ve found it to be faster than in psychotherapy. So I love psychotherapy, but sometimes that takes five years and psychotherapy to get to that moment. And sometimes in coaching it’s like three sessions. And so it’s kind of a, a rewarding, you know. Yeah, it really is. And it’s sometimes faster, I think, because the person is primed to come and make a change.
Sam Jayanti [00:23:57] Yeah, absolutely. I think, you know, just thinking about all the coaching that we see in our business, the goal orientation of coaching, because that acts as a starting point to frame kind of the rest of the engagement just creates a instant connection and intention between here’s what I outlined as my goal and as a result, tears with intentionality, everything that’s going to come thereafter.
Jennie Byrne [00:24:28] And I think what’s nice for me is because I have this psychiatry background, I can joke a little with clients and say, okay, well, let me put on my shrink hat. You put on my shrink hat and they’ll say, Sure. And I’ll be like, I think you’re might be feeling this, you know, and so I can kind of joke and use that shrink language as a way to let them open up about some stuff that’s maybe more uncomfortable at a more emotional level. And I know for coaches, that line sometimes can get a little tricky. So for me, that’s nice to be able to say, Well, I’m a shrink so I can put that hat on and I’d be a shrink if you want to do that for a couple of minutes.
Sam Jayanti [00:25:00] Yeah, makes a ton of sense. When have you seen coaching as most effective with your clients?
Jennie Byrne [00:25:10] Yes. I would say when the client is open, I think openness to me has been one of the highest like barometers of success when they are open. I find that to be probably the most important thing. And then I also have seen people be very successful when they are willing to do experiments. So if I have somebody and I’m like, Well, how about this? What do you want to do? An experiment? And that person may go and do that thing 100 times. They may go do it once. They may report back to me. They may not report back to me. But if they’re willing to take action and try some things, I feel like those are the people that move very quickly. I’ve had a couple clients that go slower. We still get to the same place, but the ones that are a little slower are the ones who are a little bit more entrenched or they struggle to challenge their own assumptions. Those are the ones that I think are just we get there, but it just it takes a little longer.
Sam Jayanti [00:26:18] Alot longer. Yeah. What is the first thing that you seek to do when you’re coaching a new client?
Jennie Byrne [00:26:26] First thing that I do. Yeah, I. I want to get to know them. I send them a questionnaire that I designed to try to really get at. What are they really? You know, not what they say they want on our first intro, but like, what do they really want? So those are more questions about values or peak experiences or trying to get down a little bit of a level past the present, what I would call like the presenting problem. And I tried to go a little deeper. I don’t typically I offer to talk with people who know them, but I actually prefer not to because I really prefer to get to know them myself first. So I don’t I know some coaches do that. I prefer not to do that. Actually, maybe I could do it later, but I wouldn’t want to do that at the beginning.
Sam Jayanti [00:27:15] Interesting. Are there instances when you’ve seen coaching not be effective and what are what are some of those examples?
Jennie Byrne [00:27:25] Yes, I’ve definitely seen it. Not the effective. I think it’s the fit. I think it’s it’s more of the fit between the coach. It’s almost, again, like a therapy, like you have to have the right fit or if the relationship is not. It’s really trust. If the relationship is not going to be a trusting relationship, you’re just never going to give it your all because you can’t you can’t trust the person. So whatever. You know, people trust in different ways. Some people trust on competency. Is the coach going to do what I say they’re going to do? Is the client going to do it? I say some people trust on likability or integrity. Some people like on the. Are you going to help me? Do you have my back? So I think as a coach, knowing your own trust style is also important because you need to mesh with the client’s trust. And if you don’t trust each other, it’s just it’s not going to work.
Sam Jayanti [00:28:16] Yeah, absolutely. How do you feel, Jennie, that coaching and mentorship has impacted your life and trajectory? Who are the key people you’ve turned to that have been influences for you?
Jennie Byrne [00:28:31] Like that question. I was just researching about mentorship and what that is. And I would say that mentors I’ve had pretty bad mentors, so I’ve had one good mentor, I would say, when I was pretty early in college, and then I’ve had a lot of mentors who actually weren’t very helpful and one that was actually kind of destructive. On the other hand, I had a I had a psychotherapist for four years. That’s not a coach. Exactly. That was transformative. Four years in psychotherapy, on the couch. On the couch, for two years of it. That was transformative for me. Then having a coach as an executive was another transformative moment. And I think the reason both times was that I had a deep sense of trust with the therapist. I had a deep sense of trust with the coach, which was hard because I had the mentors who kind of burned my trust in the past. So it wasn’t easy for me to trust like that. And so I think it was the the ability to trust that really was important. And and somebody who pushes me, I needed someone. I needed a push. I needed somebody who I could trust and that they could push and say, hey, slow down. Do you hear yourself what you just said? And pause and have those dramatic pauses. I think good coaches are also good at like dramatic pauses. That’s something I need to work on. I talk a lot, but my therapist could be quiet. I mean, she could sit there for an hour and not talk. You know, my coach could pause for a minute, which felt very uncomfortable. Right. And sometimes that uncomfortable silence is where magical things happen. And that’s a skill I have to continue to practice.
Sam Jayanti [00:30:14] Yeah. So true. Actually, that silences is really thought provoking. And maybe out of the discomfort comes some honesty and self-awareness of what’s actually causing that discomfort.
Jennie Byrne [00:30:30] Yeah. So I actually wrote about this in the book to, you know, silence is an underappreciated part of communication.
Sam Jayanti [00:30:37] Yeah, 100%. So as coaches, many coaches have their own coach. You talked a little bit about having worked with a coach as an executive, as you’ve also worked with therapists in the past. Do you have a coach currently? How do you work with that person if you do?
Jennie Byrne [00:30:53] I don’t, although my my other coach, we’ve kind of, I think, crossed from a coach into a friendship. I don’t know how often that happens. I think we’ve kind of crossed that line. I don’t know if she could be my coach anymore because we’ve kind of crossed. But therapists often have something called peer supervision, right? So therapist, as part of their routine work, will have a group of peers who are also therapists and it’s very important. Doctors are kind of bad at that. We should doctors should do that, but we don’t typically. So I’ve found that with the coaches. I have kind of a big network of coaches that I’ll sometimes ask one person a question here, and I haven’t had to reengage for a while, but I think if I come up on another transition point, it seems like it’s every 3 to 5 years, like there seems to be a moment. And then I would definitely reengage at that time and I would pick the person depending on kind of what was the what was the transition that was happening. I would probably select the person based on that transition point.
Sam Jayanti [00:31:56] Yeah. The need and and sort of the past and the future in a sense, right?
Jennie Byrne [00:32:02] Yeah. Yeah. But I have a great I’m so happy to have a wonderful network. I feel like I could call I’m a member of chief as well. And in chief I there’s so many coaches and wonderful women, I can feel very trusting that I can reach out to people and they respond and they’re kind and they’re helpful. I’m very practical minded, so I feel very happy to have that now.
Sam Jayanti [00:32:25] Yeah, that’s wonderful. I agree. I think it’s a really supportive community of women. What’s your advice for people who are curious about and sometimes even skeptical of coaching? You know, we certainly encounter people who hear about it. It’s becoming more and more part of the sort of current cultural zeitgeist, but they are not sure how to approach it.
Jennie Byrne [00:32:58] I think a couple thoughts on that. There is still a discomfort around anything related to mental health. So I think in so much as coaching may get into mental health questions, they may dig deeper, they may get into your emotional state. They may say, I wonder if you’re depressed. I think there’s a worry sometimes around the mental health part of it that people are still fearful of or stigmatized by. And so there’s that. And then there’s kind of the opposite end where you see a lot of coaches who seem like they’re just kind of fly by night or, you know, they’re not serious or. And so then there’s like, well, it’s also at the same time feels like maybe it’s not serious enough or they may not have the skills. But again, I think both of those go back to trust. So can you trust the coach will understand your mental health and be sensitive to it enough to say, I think you need help or this is a normal emotion and can you trust them enough to be serious and dedicated to what they do and not just be fly by night? So I think it’s really like a trust issue. And then there’s just asking for help and being ready to accept help. And there’s a whole literature about contemplation, pre contemplation, and that that applies. Sometimes you’re just in pre contemplation, you’re not even really consciously thinking about it yet. And so you have to be ready and the timing has to be stars have to align a little bit I think for people the first time. I think once you’ve had a successful coach the second time around, it’s much easier. But that first time, that trust barrier and like I said, I, you know, I’ve been burned many times for people I trusted and it was hard for me to trust again. And so I can be very empathetic with others who may be struggling with that decision to trust somebody.
Sam Jayanti [00:34:56] Yeah, it’s there’s definitely a once but twice shy tendency we all have. Last question. Jennie and I have my own theories about this, but I’m curious to hear your views. Why do you think coaching is becoming so much more prominent as a part of the whether it’s the cultural zeitgeist or the way that companies and individuals are thinking about their professionals, their organizations, their teams? Why do you think it’s becoming so much more of an influence of late?
Jennie Byrne [00:35:33] I think at the individual level, people are much more open to this idea, like my career is non-linear and I will need to learn new things. I will probably switch organizations a couple of times. I need to have a fresh perspective and a new job. So I think there’s like an individual openness to like more movement and fluidity and like lifelong learning. And then I think at the organization level, there’s some very practical reasons to get coaches. As you know, again, this kind of goes back to talent. You know, if you have talent and they need one thing, why not just go get that one thing? Don’t go hire a new person. Just get that one thing. And there’s value most employees find real value in professional development. Yeah. So why not offer that as a as a benefit? It may be more valuable than a bonus that professional development make because that’s something the person has forever.
Sam Jayanti [00:36:31] Yeah.
Jennie Byrne [00:36:32] So, so I think there’s value to the company as a benefit that you can offer and it’s, it helps your bottom line because you’re not constantly having to rehire and staff and there’s a huge churn on an organization and it’s very disruptive and some turnover is, is probably good. But yeah, you can make the business case easily for coaching. I believe you can make a very easy business case for coaching. Let’s pay this coach X number of dollars and then keep this person in their seat, keep them happy and grow them, and maybe they’ll help us do something we didn’t expect they could do. So I think both sides of the coin right now are very open to it now. In the future, if the market changes and there’s less movement and I just don’t see that happening. But in theory I think that could change.
Sam Jayanti [00:37:20] Yeah, I think it’s also, you know, when you think about the number of transitions, whether within an organization or in the act of changing jobs or in someone’s personal life that we all go through, that number of transitions has really amped up. And the idea that we expect everybody to sort of go through those evolutions, transitions, pinch had to learn a new skill, whatever it may be without assistance, effectively is sort of peculiar. You know, like everybody needs an assist and coaching is a power tool to provide that in a very customized way of providing asynchronous learning, basically. Yeah.
Jennie Byrne [00:38:13] And I think the word coach is a good word because people are comfortable with sports and a lot of people did sports when they were kids. I actually did not really, but a lot of people did. And so they have fond memories of, well, maybe not always fun, but they they know what a coach did in their sports and they have this kind of pleasant memory of coaches. And so and again, that trust, right. Like you remember when you were a kid, you kind of trusted your coach. And so I think that word is a good word, whereas like therapist, there’s other words which may be a little scarier for people. And so I think that word, even though it’s a little vague, I actually think for a lot of people, that’s a more comfortable. Title.
Sam Jayanti [00:38:55] I 100% agree. I don’t know if I loved my coach while I was really in it when I was younger with him. But. But I certainly had a great deal of appreciation for it in hindsight. Did a lot for me. Well, Jennie, thank you for joining us today.
Jennie Byrne [00:39:10] Yeah, thank you. This was a great conversation.
Sam Jayanti [00:39:15] Thanks for listening today. You can subscribe wherever you get your podcasts and while you’re there, please do review the show. We love hearing from you. So email us at info at the ideamix radio com or Instagram DM us. Our episode this week was produced by the incomparable Martin Milewski with music by the awesome Nashville based singer songwriter Doug Allen. You can learn more about Doug at Doug Allen music dot com.
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