Keep on Learning; A Coaching Conversation with Life Coach, Jean Haynes

The title of this coaching conversation “Keep on Learning” refers to being curious and how my guest, Life Coach, Jean Haynes, explained what curiosity has done for her and her clients. The idea of using our curiosity brings me to the growth mindset concept that Dr. Carol Dweck has helped define. Accessing your growth mindset can happen at any point and once you unlock that cabinet of curiosity you’ll want to go back into it over, and over again.

I was introduced to Jean after talking with a friend and colleague about the experiential teaching and coaching I do at the racetrack and in scenario practice with development officers. Jean’s career includes work in sales, fundraising, and consulting, but coaching is what she feels has been the most fulfilling work she has ever done.

The process of helping a client find clarity for themselves rather than telling them what to do that Jean enjoys takes time to learn, and patience to employ. It seems so much easier to just tell someone what to do, but as I’ve found figuring out how to get a student to figure things out for themselves results in a richer experience for both of us. I was lucky to have hit on this as a coaching strategy with my driving students. That I learned something from the experience myself is a benefit that has made coaching fun for me ever since.

It wasn’t luck that brought Jean to coaching though. It was her curiosity. That is, her life experience and interest in having new experiences during her career helped Jean move toward coaching. She described a simple process to me that helped her sort out what it was she wanted. In business we are told to focus on what we do well to succeed. However, what we’re good at and what we love aren’t always the same thing. Jean broke things down into three areas for me.

  • The first is your zone of excellence, what you most love to do.

  • The second is the stuff that you are good at, and well-compensated for.

  • The third are the things that you can live without, and don’t really enjoy.

Although the categories are easy to understand, it isn’t easy to move from doing what you’re good at to doing what you love as a career. Look, even though you love to cook it may not be a great idea to open a restaurant. But it doesn’t have to be all or nothing either. I mean, try to eliminate or minimize the things that you can live without and then try to think about how you can add time for the things that you love. I don’t care if it’s becoming a crossword genius or learning to fly a helicopter but go ahead and explore. Jean put it to me as letting curiosity be a way of being. She referenced Eat Pray Love author Elizabeth Gilbert who eloquently describes what it means to follow one’s curiosity; “Creativity, as she defines it, is about choosing curiosity over fear — not to be confused with the more familiar trope to “follow your passion,” but rather as something accessible to us all and good for our life together.”

I realize that it’s much easier for me to say get rid of stuff that you can live without so you can add time for the things that you love than it is to do. Here’s the thing, you don’t have to do it alone. If you showed up at the track and tried to learn how to go faster safely on your own, you might get there, but you’ll get there a lot sooner if you let me coach you so why should you expect that you could just rearrange your life so easily? Thankfully you don’t have to. If you’re curious about accessing your growth mindset I recommend talking with a coach – Jean would be a great one to call and you can find her here on LinkedIn.