Meet Martina Payette, a coach who understands the love/hate relationship we have with change. She has spent her life seeking personal leadership learning and has a passion for career and communication coaching, group facilitation, and social connection. She thrives in the creative space between questions and answers and has a knack for making meaning in the middle.
As she puts it, she loves change because it ignites excitement and enthusiasm for transformational learning. With our workplaces changing at a rapid pace, it’s an exciting and challenging time to find the right place that fits our desire to solve big problems. This is where she comes in as a coach, a resource to help you find your way to bringing your best self to uncertain and surprising work-life changes.
Shane Austin: Could you tell me more about BEing U Coaching and its mission to acknowledge, celebrate and inspire human focused care and action in our worldwide workplaces?
Martina Payette: Work is our way of contributing to our social well-being and finding meaning in our work is important for most people to stay engaged and contribute in a purposeful way. As we build more complex workplaces, the meaning can go missing and we find ourselves in organizations that are abstracted from “care”, creating confusion, uncertainty and disengagement. In my time in career transition work in the Energy sector, I saw a lot of confusion during large lay off, where people were aware it would happen but when it does, it “feels” altogether different. Most people don’t expect to feel the loss so intensely. Work is often our identity in this culture. That is where my mission to acknowledge, celebrate and inspire human focused care and action in our worldwide workplaces emerged. I think we need to reconnect as individuals to our cares and bring them into our work to build healthier workplaces. I can help people reconnect through the creative process of coaching. Each individual who changes/transforms how they show up in relationships – work and life – creates a ripple effect in their organization. If we do our own work, we inevitably create the conditions for change.
Shane: And as I described, the relationship between the mission and the name of the company BEing U Coaching.
Martina: BEing U Coaching came from my own work. The work of being aligned with my values and purpose in my own self. As I challenge myself to show up in my own life with self compassion, intention, and skill, I change the results I attain. As we become more ourselves, we influence every being we engage in relationship with — plants, animals, people, created things. We generate new neural pathways, new ways of being and doing and more care in our workplaces.
Shane: So tell me a little bit about your relationship with Okanagan coLab and how it and the coLab community is aligned with your values and mission.
Martina: It all began one day when I was looking for connecting to humans again after the pandemic. And, I looked around at a few places.I was looking for a community, not just a place to work.
I was very fortunate in finding coLab, with all the wonderful creative people and its spirit of co-creating and building experiences to work with heart.
I discovered a learning environment that was actively looking to create a healthier workplace by bringing mental health and entrepreneurship together. That was a fresh perspective. Opportunities like Greta Reid’s Indigenous led circle practice for checking in with our whole being and Cotivation for acknowledging our humanness as we build our business along with many other opportunities to connect and learn in a social space is unique in my experience. I think coLab is contributing to building a workplace for a better future. It’s not perfect, it’s an experiment as we learn to be whole humans wherever we are rather than what we think we should be. This is a long game in learning to work and play in diverse and complex work environments and stay in touch with our care.
Shane: Could you walk me through your process for career-pathing and career-imagineering?
Martina: That’s evolved over 20-plus years of being in the career space. And the process has shifted post-COVID, that’s where the career-imagineering was born. People are now looking for clarity, a direction, and the “right” path because it’s costly to invest in education and career / life moves. With so much shifting and transforming in our world and workplaces, the same approach to work no longer serves people. Information is abundant but how “you” integrate that information to use in your life, is where the challenge lies. So from that perspective, I start with you, as the client and how you learn really.
I work through 5 elements of learning – a variation on a Newfield Network Coaching model I learned along my journey into coaching. We start with where you are now, what was/is working. Then acknowledge what’s not working, your “oh shit” moment. Then we work at building your awareness of who you are being v. doing in this “oh shit” moment. Following that we start to take more time to reflect, collect and envision what’s possible from a new view point, what resources are available to you in this moment, what new ways of looking can shift you into a new beginning, and finally into action, your practices, presence and building new neural pathways for your intentions. And round and round you go to hone those new practices as you meet new “oh shit” moments along the way.
It’s like walking in a forest on Vancouver Island. You need to know your starting place, have a sense of the map of trails, the trail markers, an idea of where you want to end up, a curiosity to see what’s around you and enjoy it, food, water, a compass, and then you have to set off. If you have a few anchor points you’ll find your way, if not, those trees just all look the same and you can feel and be lost very quickly. It’s great to have a guide to help you in those moments when you can’t see anything but trees and it’s getting dark out!
Shane: For the folks that maybe feel a little bit stuck and uncreative in that process, could you tell me a little bit more of a story around a client that you work with and how you’re able to help them achieve some of these important decisions and changes and goals?
Martina: I think the best example lately is a young woman who was really not sure about what path. It was kind of a pull between, what do I really love and what is everybody telling me?
The inner and outer worlds were battling it out and the questions of “what do I really want for my life?” and “what information have I gathered to learn more about that?” had not been asked (or perhaps heard). Our conversations, along with using the Birkman assessment tool, provided the impetus to activate an idea that “I could ask somebody about this, have a conversation and learn a little bit about what this means before I decide I need to change”. Seems simple but often in coaching conversations, bringing distinctions to what something means brings the insight and clarity that leads to the freedom to act.
Leap to decide before the information is collected, is relatively common these days. For example, A response to applying for a job or accepting an interview is stalled but beliefs like, I’m not gonna to get this job when applying and interviewing is simply showing up and allowing an opportunity to learn more and find common ground so an offer can result from your conversations. They did the research and they came back excited about what they had learned, the possibilities that were offered and were then able to communicate that to others in a way that landed them in the school of their dreams. Their explanations were more grounded and confident leading to better conversations. That was pretty exciting.
Shane: That’s a major change. How do you stay motivated and energized while you’re taking clients through these challenges?
Martina: Well, some of those practices from coLab definitely helped. MEPS (Mental Emotional Physical Spiritual) check in process from Circle practice and Cotivation for example. Checking in with how I am on all 4 plains helps to keep things in perspective. I also learned a new journaling practice called, What’s going right? From the Self-Employed Business Institute course I’m in. It is like a gratitude practice but with a more positive outcome somehow. Staying connected with my Newfield colleagues and coaching friends for deeply creative conversations and scanning, always scanning for inspirational, new tech, personal transformation learning. For energy refreshers, my biggest reboots are quiet time, poetry (finding the best Hafiz poem for the day) with a coffee, creative writing, walks in the woods or by the ocean to reconnect with nature itself.
Shane: Let’s imagine that you’re giving advice and you’re talking to somebody who’s feeling really stuck in their current state, their understanding of themselves. And they want to make a significant career change, but they’re really hesitant to make that leap. What are you normally saying to them?
Martina: When they’re really, really stuck. I start more with the body more than anything. I take a breath and sigh audibly, they usually follow with the same. I ask, what’s up, what’s churning or where do you want to start? And I listen, I invite breathing into the conversations. I confirm what they are feeling, reflect and mirror back their words and ask for the meaning of sometimes, the seemingly obvious things. I get the “you know”… just talk to me like I don’t know. What’s happening for you now? Is there anything really weighing you down? Like if you had weights on your shoulders, what’s one you can start to put down? What would it be? And sometimes that can start the conversation around imagining possibilities where I might bring a reference to a kids book into the picture, like, “Harold and the Purple Crayon”.
Shane: It’s all about imagination.
Martina: I invite people into creative activities that require connecting with others, ideating, gathering information, and making guesses. Imagining what can be and seeking the information to support it. I often invite people to treat search like a treasure hunt of relationship building and noticing themselves in action. Invite them to take time to really notice where their energy and their joy is and play around with where that fits’ in their life/work.
If they draw, if they paint, if they sing, it doesn’t really matter. But just a creative process.
And if they were Harold, what would they draw? So, draw your way out of this current situation. Just to see what shows up.
What’s inspiring about that for you? And kind of playing around with it a little bit to find out what’s the next step, then, just the tiny little step. What’s the next thing that you can do to learn more about that or open that up a little bit. Because it always feels way too big.
Shane: I’m just curious to know, are there any exciting initiatives, projects, goals that you’ve laid out for yourself ahead for your own growth that you want to share?
Martina: I’m excited to launch a refreshed and aligned new website with social communities and course offerings. I’m very excited about building my Courage to Change community where I can create a safe sharing space for subscribers. I can invite them into shared community support while they navigate life and career changes including job search/career/self-led work/life change. I’ll share my ideas, trend info, tips, and general help for people stuck or lost in this transforming world. For the people thinking, “I need a change. But What? And Where do I Start? I invite them to start with a conversation with me to explore how coaching can help bring ease and a lot more fun to the process of change.
With every human who does the work of starting to change their way of being and connect to their care, we can transform how we work / live and our workplace. We are on the cusp of generating this new way of being in a diverse and complex world. We do it individually and collectively. We are learning how to share again. There is a lot more collective being happening post-COVID and that’s creating an exciting time to be alive. Coaching helps me do what I can do to facilitate the change.
Shane: So could you share a few ways that our audience could find out more about you and make contact?
Martina: Well, beingucoaching.com is an easy way. And right now it’s in a format that’s not exactly where I’m at. But my contact information is all there and a lot of the core pieces are still the same.
And I am going to create my new website as well, so that I can share information with people in a public way that can help people with some of these shifts. And also grow it into a community that has some pieces that are more membership based as well.
Shane: It sounds like you really are dialing in your understanding of your clients and why they would want to work with you. I’m looking forward to seeing what happens for you as you embark on this next phase of your journey with a clear mission and just a spark of creativity.
Martina: I’m excited about it actually. It’s starting to all come together. All these pieces, finally.