Staying Flexible in the New Year 🧘

January 4, 2023

See what 2023 brings The Grand community and meet our new coaches ✨

Every new Grand Coach we hire is a new voice and contribution to our coaching community, and one I get excited to see in action! 🎬

As Head of Operations, I’m lucky to have a front seat view of their impact and seeing their “humanness” and coaching skill translate to the lives of ambitious leaders and founders at The Grand. 👥

It brings me absolute joy to introduce our newest Grand Coach hire — Teni Ayo-Ariyo! 👏🏽 Learn more about Teni and her coaching background below. I’m so excited to bring her into our coaching community this year! ✨ #NewYearNewCoach

Meet Teni 👋🏾: I’m excited to be a part of The Grand! I’m passionate about helping purpose-driven individuals and organizations reach their optimal potential. As a coach, I’ve enjoyed spending time creating communities for Women of Color Visionaries to connect, create, and collaborate. I’ve also created coaching resources to help founders grow their ideas, businesses, and creative projects. I currently work in HR Strategy at Microsoft after receiving my MBA from Duke’s Fuqua School of Business and Bachelor’s Degree in Psychology and Women/Gender Studies from Dartmouth College.

In my spare time, I love to dabble in all things wellness and creative arts. I’m certified to teach yoga and published my first book of poetry in 2021! Outside of school, I have lived most of my life in Los Angeles, and I’m now learning to appreciate less sunshine in the Pacific Northwest. 💬

Let’s introduce our next Grand Coach Spotlight in our series and take a deeper dive into staying flexible as a coach:

Meet Robert 👋: I’ve spent a decade in startup leadership roles and became interested in coaching when I joined as a member in the Conscious Leadership Group. I went on to get certified as an Integral Coach through New Ventures West, and continue to train in other methodologies. My coaching philosophy is that we’re already whole, and that a skilled coach and group of peers can help us get un-stuck from what’s preventing us from seeing or experiencing that wholeness. 💬

💡 How important is it for a coach to stay flexible and adaptable to the needs of a group, and what is one example where you’ve done that?

“Flexibility and adaptability are at the heart of every coaching conversation. 💛 The truth is, as coaches we don’t know what the group will bring to the session, and even if we come prepared with an idea, the way the conversation unfolds is perfectly unpredictable.

In my experience, the best coaching lets that unfoldment happen and attends to whatever is arising now, versus driving the conversation toward a predetermined destination. 🗺

Imagine the scene: when the group arrives to a session, we’ve all come out of our respective worlds — our work, relationships, thoughts and emotions, personalities, and circumstances du jour. 👥 As we check in with each other, we get a sense of what each person’s life is like on that day. Some days common themes emerge, and other days we sit back and marvel at how unique each person’s life is. We must attend to both who is here, and what the group is needing. 🔮

I recall one time during check-in when a group member brought up a major co-founder conflict she was squarely in the center of. As a coach, one goal of mine is to help the group get present (if willing) so that they can both give and receive during the session. Rather than continue our check-in I paused to ask: “What do you need in order to get present? What would support look like for you now?” 💭

What unfolded was a deep exploration around where this founder was getting stuck and where her growth edge was: setting boundaries and stepping powerfully into responsibility around bringing her vision to life, even if it meant committing to taking action in a way that she’d since been too uncomfortable to take. 💫 The group supported her with open and honest questions and empathetic listening which really allowed her to get honest with herself and put it all on the table. And it had resonance with the group: her modeling of vulnerability and willingness to explore gave others in the group permission to explore topics that they otherwise might avoid. 🤲🏼

We could have saved this founders’ topic for later in favor of sticking to an agenda. Instead, we let the experience happen and it touched everyone. ✨

We would love to see you at our January workshop events — we will host two to kick off the New Year. Feel free to share with a friend or colleague!

We know that many people are looking to level up their leadership skills — whether you’re new to managing people or an experienced leader, there is value to learning how to adopt a coaching mindset. Join us for an online, interactive workshop on fixing versus coaching and tools that you can implement to practice coaching in your own career and life.

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As ambitious people, one challenge that comes up often is limiting beliefs — ones about ourselves in the face of obstacles or opportunity and even about others. These limiting beliefs can pull us back from being the best that we can be. Join us for an online, interactive workshop where you will learn more about why we have limiting beliefs, what we can do about them, and how to better support your team members.

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I’m so excited for what’s to come in 2023 at The Grand — and just as excited to see our coaching community thriving! 🏔