23 September 2020 Radically Reconnect Life Coaching with Virginie Baggen We interviewed coach and organisational consultant Virginie Baggen about shifts in mentality during Covid19, tips and tricks to find calm, and about her new online program starting 1st October. Silke Stienen-Durand Interview Covid19 Coaching Confidence Building 1. Tell us about what you do and how you help people?I worked in the not for profit sector for about 20 years, but about 10 years ago I retrained, then 3 years ago I left to pursue my career as a coach full time. Coaching is all about helping people help themselves and finding out what drives people to make the changes they want in their lives. I deal with a variety of things really, for instance people who struggle with work/life balance, people who are reintegrating after a burnout and people in leadership positions who need to adapt their behaviour based on company culture or workflow changes.I’m a psychologist by trade so I bring research into my work, but I’m also trained in general coaching practices such as deep listening and deep questioning for people to become self-aware, because that’s the number one premise for change, awareness of their behaviours, thoughts, actions and emotions. Once we have a good grip on that, we can start to unpick and see where we can make positive changes. I’ve got specific skills in neuro linguistic programming, which is about reframing and reprogramming the way that we think, and I also use a lot of mindfulness in my coaching. The tools I use depend on what the person responds to, so I adjust techniques based on their needs.2. What’s the biggest frustration your clients are currently facing during Covid19?I’m hearing a lot of anger at the moment, though people don’t know where that anger is coming from, a sense of unrest and misalignment. Some people are struggling to adapt to working from home, for example working more hours and consequently losing a bit of balance in their lives, finding it difficult to recharge. Others experience a general feeling of unease and anxiousness. There were a lot of feelings of isolation previously, but those feelings have started to lift as people start to interact more socially again. People are also juggling lots of things in this new normal, especially parents who have their children in and out of school, are finding it hard to find their rhythm so to speak, and that’s unsettling for people. When a big change like this happens, we need to adapt and assimilate it into our daily life and create a new sense of normality.3. Do you have any quick tips or tricks for somebody who's trying to start that journey of change?Different people respond to different things, as I mentioned before, but generally a great place to start is managing our heightened sense of stress. When we feel that things are not quite right our amygdala is activated, the oldest part of our brain. It is a natural response that has served the human species well: our fight or flight response. A few indicators are heightened heart rate, dry mouth, breathing faster. They can be subtle changes. The natural antidote is breath. I suggest you focus on your breathing going in and out. Just observe what is going on. Open your senses to the breath. How does the air feel when going into your body and coming out again? Stay in that moment, breathing in and out with full attention onto that experience. This will bring down the breath and heart rate and take you out of the stress response. At first it may be difficult, but try it each time you feel triggered. The more you do it, the faster you’ll be able to return to that calm. Also practicing when not triggered will help develop this ability, so you can call on it when needed.4. You’re about to start a new 6 week program on 1st October, can you tell us a bit about it?Yes so I’ll be working with my associate Lise Melvin.The course is designed for busy people, so it’s online. We created our program so that the people are participating within their day to day life. Encouraging them to put what they’ve learned into practice, making tweaks in their life and testing what works best for them.In the program we build awareness on how people spend their time, what energises and what doesn’t. They identify something that would bring more balance in their lives and then we take them through the process of what it will take to make those change, touching on topics like resistance to change, the importance of setting clear intentions (goals for the more goal orientated), building resiliency and how to embed new behaviours. .The program runs for 6 weeks, starting October 1, meeting once a week for an hour and 45 minutes. It is interactive, with break out sessions, so that participants can experiment and practice together rather than being bombarded by lots of theory. In between sessions there is a buddy system for further exploration, experimentation and support. Then, each week we check in on progress. Some people will be very specific in their goals, like ‘I’m feeling a bit overwhelmed with work and I need to create more time for myself to relax’ whilst others don’t really know precisely what they want to focus on yet, but who do experience a sense that something is not quite balanced.Virginie & Lise will be hosting a Radically Reconnect 6 week online program from 1st October 2020 that is designed for busy people to reconnect with themselves, cultivate resilience, and generate day-to-day habits to resource themselves. Sessions run at 17:00 CEST (16:00 London) every Thursday for 105 minutes on Zoom. Book your place now or for individual coaching sessions or questions, please contact VirginieVirginie Baggen is a coach and organisational consultant. Passionate about all matters of change: people, organisations and systems. She holds a Masters Degree in Psychology, has a Postgraduate Professional Coaching Certificate, is a NLP Master Practitioner (Neuro Linguistic Programming) and is also versed in Mindfulness.She has 20+ years senior management experience in the development and environmental NGO sector. Her coaching takes her to both the private and civil society sectors.