Welcome to another episode of Conversations With Doc Martin, where we speak with extraordinary people doing extraordinary things. Today is certainly no exception. I am joined this week by two of my good friends and mentors in the coaching world, Jenn Barley and Karen Sullivan of Kickstart Your Edge Coaching!
We start out our conversation discussing how Jenn and Karen go to this point, and what exactly brought them together to form Kickstart Your Edge. After all, how do someone who specialized in technology for most of her professional life and a former police chief become certified coaches, join forces, and start a successful business together? Though both had very different backgrounds and different routes into the coaching world, both realized they were far separated from their original vision and what gave them passion for their careers. More than anything, “sitting and stewing” or waiting for things to happen was not an option. Both of these women knew they had the ability to create the life they wanted, and the confidence to go for it!
One big reason Jenn says her and Karen both work well together is that Jenn loves to coach with her corporate background, where Karen loves leadership after working her way up through the ranks in law enforcement. Together, they have become a force in the coaching world, able to train new coaches while teaching leadership strategies to teams and organizations throughout the country. Ultimately, they were able to take their collective talents and passions, blend them together, and make something that is not an “either/or” situation, but an “and” situation. This just goes to show that life does not have to be “either/or” but very easily can and should be an “and.”
Moving through our talk we discuss some of the common team challenges that face all businesses big and small, what barriers exist, and how to counteract and break down those barriers. We discuss the importance of trust in organization and how the ability to connect throughout an organization can influence employees attitudes toward their workplace.
As the conversation progresses, we discuss the importance of “trusting your gut” within a team. Karen mentions that 99% of the time “people know.” “Trusting your gut and knowing yourself is really important” on a team.” Jenn goes on to add how people handle accountability. Are people accountable to the culture, are they accountable and able to have different conversations, and are they able to work within the system without blaming others? Jenn mentions how incredibly important to not separate individual achievements and issues from the team, and work together to be successful.
In addition to working with teams, Jenn and Karen also work with coaches to train them to be better at what they do for others. As coaches, Karen says you must “start before you are ready.” As with previous guests, the theme remains “just start!” However, once you start, make sure you keep going! Always be willing to keep growing and be willing to experiment.
We wrap up our talk discussing how the pandemic has affected the business of coaching and education. The ladies discuss the necessity to pivot and how they were able to do so with the new demands of virtual education and the workplace in the “new normal.” We also discuss the importance of being willing to pivot on the fly to best reach your audience. We finish up by discussing what is next for these extraordinary women!
Remember, life speaks to you, and if you think it doesn’t, you’re not listening!