An Honest Conversation with a Life, Career, and Business Coach (REAL Talk)

Episode 54 April 27, 2021 00:36:28
An Honest Conversation with a Life, Career, and Business Coach  (REAL Talk)
The Missing Link for SLPs
An Honest Conversation with a Life, Career, and Business Coach (REAL Talk)
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Show Notes

Meet Kate Peabody of KaptivateMe who went from climbing the Fortune 500 ladder to building her own business as a creative life, career, and business coach. Kate has helped numerous clients determine which path is “right” for them, and she’s given them the tools to take the first steps toward creating their dream lives. On this week’s episode she explains what drew her to coaching and how it’s transformed her own life and career.

Visit FreshSLP.com/podcast for this episode's show notes, a full audio transcript and more great resources at the intersection of grad school and a successful SLP career.

Schedule a free chat with Coach Kate to learn more at https://www.kaptivateme.com/

Not a substitute for a formal SLP education or medical advice for patients/caregivers. Fresh SLP is in no way affiliated with or representing any university.

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Episode Transcript

Mattie Murrey Hello, and welcome to The Missing Link for SLPs podcast. I'm glad you're here. Today's episode is part of the SLP Spotlight series, where I talk with SLPs in a variety of SLP positions and settings, doing things that we knew SLPs did, but also working in areas that we've never thought or heard of SLPs working in. It is amazing the opportunities these SLPs have taken and where their careers have gone. This is storytelling time. Mattie Murrey Welcome to this episode of The Missing Link for SLPs podcast. We have a special treat for you today because I've invited somebody who is not a speech-language pathologist, but she is very, very important and near and dear to me. And we're going to do our format a little differently on this episode. In the educational setting, we do something called a flipped classroom. That's where you start with the end in mind, and then you finish up with the beginning. And this episode is going to be that. We're going to start with the end in mind and finish up in the beginning. So, welcome, Kate Peabody. I'm happy you're here. Will you tell us who you are? And then we'll begin our flipped episode. Kate Peabody Yeah. Thank you so much for having me, Mattie. It's a delight to be here and get to share a little bit more of our journey together. I am a creative life, career, and business coach, as you said, with Kaptivate. And it's a business I started in 2016 after a decade on the Fortune 500 career ladder. So, really, it's been a transformational journey on my own to become where I am, and being able to then pass on everything I've learned to others. And it's amazing. Mattie Murrey Well, Kate, I'm so glad you're here. And the reason why we're starting backwards is because I want to give our listeners a little bit of context to why you and I are working together. So, today's episode is a conversation between two coaches, you and me, but you are my coach. And several years ago, I had been in this... I've been a speech pathologist for many years. Love what I do. And quite several years ago now, my husband died. And I found myself moving from my long-term setting, where I was very comfortable, into a different work setting, work environment. I moved from rural. I went to [the] city. And I was terribly... just not in love with my job and where I was with my life and what I was doing and how everything was rolling out. Somebody suggested that I get in touch with a life coach, and they recommended you. And I really wasn't sure what a life coach was. I'd been to tons of therapy. I didn't think I needed therapy. And just really wasn't exactly sure what that conversation was going to be like. And so, I reached out to you and we made that initial chat. And you said, "This is what a life coach does." And I began to see... I guess the glimmer of hope that I could take back my life and my career, and really actually live the life and career that I had dreamed of. And so, that's why I'm inviting you on today: because you are the person in my life that really helped me take those beginning steps and helped me believe in myself. And now, I'm an assistant professor. I'm a clinical supervisor. I have a podcast, which I love. I have my Fresh SLP business, which is going really well. And I'm meeting these incredible people. And life is not perfect still. Life is still hard, but I am so much happier because I'm now living a life with values and activities that are true to who I want to be. So, that's the flipped end of things. So, now we're going to begin working inward, and I'm going to ask you some questions. Why did you become a coach, Kate? Kate Peabody Yeah. You know, it's the same reason that I think a lot of people are into coaching. It's because, our whole lives, we felt called to be these helpers. And I have always been this person that other people turn to. But quite frankly, I am a driven kid who got straight As from day one. I was captain of every single team I was on. I was a perfectionist. And as much as my parents tried to be like, "Hey, you know, an A- or a B+ is okay," I was in there talking to the professor, negotiating with them, like, "Here, give me a couple extra." Right? Like, I just had this very strong vision of what I believed success looked like. And that continued through undergrad, through grad school. I knew that I someday wanted to own my own business. So, I went away right away, got an MBA after an undergrad and communications and graphic design. And I was just hustling so hard before the end of undergrad. I had secured my internship by making sure I was home in Colorado at spring break my senior year to have those interviews rather than having, you know, the fun. And so, it was doing a lot of those things. And I was at an amazing company for about eight years and got amazing experiences. And part of that was because I hustled so hard. I was not fully happy or well most of that time. I had long hours of crying at work. Crying to my boss. Bless their hearts. These women were so good to me and mothered me. My own parents were living abroad at this point. And I really thought I was doing everything right. I saw a therapist. You know, just continuing to want to have this facade of this expectation of what I thought good was. Then, the year before I turned 30, I lost two people I really cared about — one who died by suicide and one who had a heart attack and died in his 40s. It was he who had hired me into the role. And it was just this huge "aha!" finally, of, "I can't do all of this work for the world [and] I can't help anyone else, if I don't take care of myself." Like, I can't just continue to ignore these suicidal thoughts, this anxiety, this being awake all the time, this deep depression just because everything looks good — that six-figure salary, everyone loves me, I'm a thought leader, yada, yada, yada. And so, it was that really hard stuff that said, "I don't know what to bet on other than myself." So, I left the Fortune 500 world, a really amazing job and salary after launching a global brand, and I thought I was going to be maybe a consultant or go work for an agency and all these great ideas. Turns out, it took about eight months for me to heal myself mentally and actually come to grips with how high my anxiety and cortisol and all of these stress chemicals were in me. I was like, "Oh, this is why I haven't lost any weight for the last 10 years. Like, I am always in fight or flight." And so, I turned to my creative roots — I'm an artist, an author, and poet since [I was] a child — and really worked through some of that. I ultimately went back and did some more schooling and started my own consulting business. Did some amazing work. Still wasn't happy. So, I went and saw a coach. Mattie Murrey Oh! See, I don't know all of this stuff about you. You're Coach Kate, so when the Zoom turns on and it's my turn, it's all about me. I don't know these things about you. Kate Peabody Yeah! So, I did. I went and saw a career coach because I had all these ideas, different business ideas. Would I go back to another organization? And we were about two sessions in, and she's like, "Hey, you know, everything you love about consulting is actually called coaching, and is a huge growing industry." So that, for me, was a big "aha!" And with that, I kind of dove into looking for certifications to become a coach. And I remember when I was offered an executive coach, thinking, there wasn't anyone there who looked like me or knew or had the experiences. So, I was very excited to go down a route where I could be that person for others, and make sure no one ever felt alone in the ways that I had felt. And doing the positive psychology, coaching certification, you have to do all the work on yourself. But you coach all these hours with other people. And, for me, I was just fueled with that work as well. And there's research that says those who study positive psychology are happier. And it's no doubt true, but I never thought I was going to be happy. And I just kind of had accepted that. You know, I'm not going to be happy. I'm here to serve others. And I get to live in my genius and have this calling and serve others. And yeah. So, all along, I needed a coach. And it turns out, I make a good one, too. Mattie Murrey You do make a very good one. When you and I started working together, I think I signed up for your three month program, which is your cornerstone program. And after the three months, I felt, you know. And I know some people don't do coaching for long periods of time at all. But you and I have been working together for quite some time — two and a half years, I think. We're really building Fresh SLP and building me and my life. And yes, you are a very good coach. Years ago, there used to be these little bands, WWJD: What would Jesus do? I'm not putting you on the same level as Jesus. But sometimes, I'll come upon something during the day and I'll think, "Well, what would Kate tell me to do?" Or "What has Kate taught me?" is probably the more effective phrase, I would say. And one of the biggest things you've taught me is that positive psychology is shutting down that inner critic. Shutting down the negative chatter that's inside my head and really having that empowering drive come from myself. Kate Peabody Yeah. And for those who aren't familiar with what positive psychology is about, I want to be very clear that we embrace "negative emotions." I don't really feel like there are positive or negative emotions. Some are just maybe more distressing and speaking louder than others sometimes. Positive psychology is really about looking at that person as a unique whole, with their individual strengths, to be able to move forward. And, you know, coaching, at its baseline, is about having a partner to create that clarity and move you to action. Accelerate your progress. Unlock all of that imagination and productivity and leadership, all of that good stuff that was inside of you. And, so paired with that idea of positive psychology and the study of what makes people flourish, it just totally makes sense to me. And so, I was so glad to find a program that brought both of those together. Mattie Murrey So Kate, what is the difference between therapy, consulting, mentoring, coaching — all of those terms that seem to be in the same category, yet if we put them on a Venn diagram, they would not totally overlap? They'd share, but not overlap. Kate Peabody Yeah, I think you're exactly right. It is a Venn diagram in a lot of places. But we don't all fit in the same box. Therapists and counselors are often helping you resolve something from the past that is getting in the way of you moving forward. Often, it's psychologists and psychiatrists who are helping us with specific neurodiversity challenges as well. And there are many therapists and counselors who are also trained to handle those kinds of specific challenges. A consultant has an answer for you. They're going to say, "What's your problem? I'm going to find you an answer, deliver the solution to you." A coach doesn't have any answers for you. They're there to ask you a lot of questions to help you get to the answers that are already inside of you, or that you can get creative finding and building the resources for. We are empowering you to be the best, right? If I did everything for you, that's enabling you to not be successful. And so, coaching is about looking at who you are today, whatever that's about. Accepting what's going on, no matter what your experiences are. And how can we make a great, bright future for you from here? And I mentioned, I had been lying to my therapist. A lot of people do therapy and coaching hand in hand because there's stuff going on that you're trying to resolve, or what you're trying to action in moving forward. And so, you know, I think that combination of practices is really important. But as a coach, I'm not going to ask you about your history. It's more just like, "Well, what are we going to do about it?" I think what's special about the mentor coaching — which is along the lines of what you're providing — is that you have a specific area of expertise, and experience that you're also able to impart. And that's also, you know, kind of what a business coach sometimes provides. It's, "Here are some best practices to actually help you do this." And so, there can be, once again, that Venn diagram of, "For the most part, this is our relationship, but yes, I have some tools to help you here." And so, that's a part of my positive-psychology, mentor-coaching certification is that I have these tools. I love tools! You and I are both like that. I'm like, "There's a new approach! There's a new worksheet." Whatever. And I think that's wonderful that people have these at their fingertips for a lifetime to be successful. Mattie Murrey Right. And that plays into the lifelong learning approach. What are the resources that I can use? And I know, sometimes with you, I have reached out to you and I've said, "Kate, what is a resource for this?" Or "What is the resource for that?" We've worked on time management and schedule management and vision boarding and roadmapping and so many things that I still go back to and refer to once in a while. So, as both of us are coaches, we share some common pain points. Would you like to talk about some of those next? Kate Peabody Sure. Our clients — all of us — are human. And I think people feeling stuck and not knowing where to start is something that is quite often a reason why people reach out to you, or to either of us. What's your experience of why people are feeling stuck and don't know where to start? Mattie Murrey Good question. Good question. The biggest question that speech pathologists who come to me for coaching have is, "I don't know what I want to do and where I want to go and how I want to do it." In our field, we have what we call ASHA's Big 9. And these are the nine areas that we can evaluate and treat in the field of speech-language pathology and audiology. And there are so many ways that a speech pathologist and audiologist can practice, and where and who and when. And some speech pathologists, when they come for coaching, they're like, "Where do I start? And how do I even begin to figure out where to start?" And they may be in a school setting and they want to transfer to a medical setting. Or they're in a medical setting and they don't feel like they're very good or they're doing what they want to be doing. And they feel all alone. And they're the only one who's having these struggles. And they come and they're like, "What do I do? Where do I start? And how do I live this career that I want to live and [do] what I want to do?" It's not a utopia. Life is hard. And careers are as rewarding as they can be challenging at the same time. But that's the biggest question. They come looking for a community first and foremost. And then direction. Kate Peabody Yeah. You know, what I'm hearing... Part of that is analysis paralysis. We do have so many options available to us today. And going down the line and looking at each of them, and how do I actually evaluate these and which is "right" for me? And that's very much a pain point I get with people arriving and trying to decide what to do with their career or their business or life, or whatever it might be. It could be anything. It could be nothing. And then, when we do start to set our sights on things, we start to question if it's right or wrong. And really, the beauty of this life is that there are so many paths we can go down and be happy on. And it's about learning and evaluating based on what's in alignment with who you are. Right? Your values. Your passions. That core purpose. And why. So, first of all, you kind of understand how you're aligned and bring this unique expertise to life in a way that's fulfilling. But then, also recognizing what's very human is... Once we start looking at a goal, it feels pretty far out there. And our brain automatically starts trying to fill in the gap. Well, that means that I've got to do this, and I've got to do that. And that means I'm probably going to do this, and I've got to research that. And your brain starts spiraling. And so, instead of continuing that, we hit the "F It" button, right? Like, "Nope, give it up! Big dream. Can't do it." Like, "I'm not worthy of it. There's no way I can do this. There's not enough hours in the day." Right? This is when our inner critic starts talking to us. And that is really... part of the stuck as well is, when those fight-or-flight, freeze-appease emotions come up: when we're dreaming. It could be the thing you want most in the world, and your body thinks it's a big old, scary bear. And that's about being human. The things that are most meaningful to us are the scariest to us because, wow, what a risk. So, we often self-sabotage before we can even risk it. And so, I do believe in getting back in touch with who you are, your values, your strengths, and then doing the work to backwards plan from those goals. Right? Filling in the gaps to quiet that inner critic and say, "I don't have all the answers now. One of my milestones, though, is, in May, start asking more questions. I don't need to ask any more questions right now." We're just getting some of this junk out of our head. It's so powerful as well, addressing that. Get it out of your head. Talk to someone else. Put it in perspective. Mattie Murrey And a coach is a... What would be the word? Partner? That works alongside you? Kate Peabody Yeah. Mattie Murrey I know, when I'm working in my outpatient clinic and I have a patient come in, we walk into our treatment room, and there's that chair in the corner right by the table, and I say, "You're my guest of honor. Take a seat." And my most successful treatment sessions have been where I have worked alongside the patient as a skilled therapist. And you and I, providing the coaching... We work with our clients, providing that support. And sometimes, just as a speech pathologist, it can be so instrumental in the life of a patient. A coach can be so instrumental in the life of a client at Christmastime. And I say this because, following the death of my husband, it was a very lonely road. And life abruptly changed for me, and I found myself moving and needing to find new supports and new circles. And at Christmastime, you gave me a book, and I'm reaching over here to get it: "In the Company of Women: Inspiration and Advice from over 100 Makers, Artists, and Entrepreneurs." And this book is in a very prominent place in my house because it's a book — it's a gift — where somebody believed in me at a time when I was struggling believing in myself. And I'm not wanting to make this a sad, sad story or anything else like that. But coaches can come along and work with you and believe in you, and minimize that inner critic and that self-sabotaging and teach you strategies and give you resources to help move you along where you want to go. Kate Peabody And I think part of what you're touching on too is that we all need help. We all need support. It takes a community. It takes a village. And that we are not alone, once again, in having these moments of self-doubt. I have them, too. Right? And that's a part of being human. And so, as we said, knowing who you can turn to. One thing that I have learned doing some work for a nonprofit for a number of years around storytelling is that, the more open and vulnerable we are, the more open and vulnerable others are, which makes us more likely to empathize with each other. To connect. To understand. And then be able to pave really beautiful paths forward. And, as coaches, we get to help people see what their hero's journey is. We get to be that voice of, "Aha! Yes, a challenge is ahead." Right? What is that strength here going to do? So, I think that partnership and believing and knowing that the person you're working with is whole... It's about helping them shine. It's the best part of it. Mattie Murrey What has been one of your biggest challenges as a coach? Kate Peabody So, I guess I have like a round of them. The first one was, because I came from a consulting space — very much always being a subject matter expert — it was really hard not to say, "I think," or to give advice, or to lead the conversation where I thought it was going, which I was great at doing, getting someone to join my thought process. But once again, that's not what coaching is. Right? With coaching, I have to let go of the agenda. It's all about my client. I don't make any decisions for my clients. And so, for me, just kind of literally sitting on my hands was a huge thing — being able to just ask questions. And then, I think the other piece was... I'm a sensitive empath, and how do you create boundaries around your work? And I imagine that's something that SLPs and audiologists experience a lot. You so badly want to help this person, and how to not take that home with you. How to not worry about their life. It's their life to worry about. So for me learning and to continue to create those boundaries through mindfulness has been really important. Mattie Murrey What has been one of your greatest joys being a coach? Kate Peabody I mean, there's nothing better than getting the emails or the texts or jumping on a Zoom call, and then hearing someone's energy and zest just at 100 because they've actually acted on what they've been thinking about for so long, or they've done something that totally spoke back to the inner critic, or were pushed out of their comfort zone. And they just had this like, "I am capable. I did this," kind of feeling. Sharing that is just so wonderful. I think some of the deepest moments I have — and they often happen by the second conversation, when we're talking about values — a lot of people finally for the first time recognize in their life that they matter and that their happiness matters. And they don't have to earn anything. They don't deserve anything. It's none of that. They were born and they are here, and all of this and they matter. That's usually really deep and moving, too. So, it's all really, really exciting when people follow through. Mattie Murrey It's rewarding being a coach. Very rewarding. What advice [or] what words of wisdom do you have for someone who may be thinking of finding a coach? Whether it's an SLP coach, business coach, a life coach. What words of wisdom [or] advice do you have for them? Kate Peabody One is to think about, you know, what is that area of growth that you're looking for? Going from good to great? Is there a pain point that you're trying to overcome? Are you looking to become more productive or healthy? And you know, just have an idea of where you want to go to be able to answer some questions in that first conversation. But I think, most importantly, is... Have a number of conversations. Because you want to feel, in your whole body and your intuition connected to this person. You want to be able to show up at your worst, on your worst day, and feel good and safe and all of those kinds of good things. And so, absolutely, it's about finding that unique fit. There are so many coaches out there. And so, you know, don't feel pressured... Never feel pressured into it. Mattie Murrey So, never feel pressured into the coaching. Look for that relationship. Kate Peabody Yeah. It really matters. Mattie Murrey Yeah, it does. So, this is the last question I have for you: You know speech pathologists pretty well, and audiologists. You've been working with me for quite some time now. We are working on a word cloud for Fresh SLP. What is the word you would add to the word cloud from your coaching perspective? Kate Peabody Oh, gosh. I'm trying to think of one that I haven't already seen posted. Because I know I've seen compassionate posted. Compassion is absolutely something that comes to mind. Mind-blowing kind of comes to mind. You know, I came into my relationship with you with a very narrow understanding of what SLPs do and are capable of. And you guys are incredible. Let's add "incredible" to it. But like, really and truly, that's part of what I love about all of these Fresh SLP stories. You're like, "See, there's another little way." There's another little big way that you guys are making an impact in the world beyond. You know, for instance, helping my partner who had a lisp growing up and sought a speech path. You know? That was kind of where my mind was. I'm like, "Oh, Mattie's a concussion specialist." It just blows my mind, you know, what you guys can speak to. Mattie Murrey Well, and that's just me in my little corner of the SLPs. And there are many others, so I guess my words of wisdom for somebody who is looking to step into coaching or not, — and this episode is not a sales pitch whatsoever, and I'm not saying go to Kate, go to me, go to anybody — it's coaching is a wonderful resource, as well as mentoring and everything else that can move a person along the path that they want their life to go. And a coach can provide that support in a way different than a mentor can. So, my words of wisdom would be: Look into finding the resources and the support that you need to get your career and your life to where you want it to be. Kate Peabody Absolutely. And, you know, that takes me to one of my favorite quotes: "Life isn't about finding yourself. Life is about creating yourself and creating things." George Bernard Shaw. We always have more options than we give ourselves credit for. Mattie Murrey Yes. And it's funny you gave a quote because I have a quote right here I was going to give. And I didn't think we're going to do quotes at the end. But my quote is: "If you are a dreamer without a plan, it's a fantasy. If you're a dreamer with a plan, it's a victory." And Fresh SLP and Kaptivate are all about that victory. So, my word cloud word might be victory. Helping us and others succeed can have that victory. Well, thank you, Kate, for your time today. This was great. Kate Peabody Yes. Thank you, Mattie. It's always a joy.

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