Celebrating Joana: Co-founder and Partner with a young family Corporate Investigations

 I didn’t expect that so much could be changed! I have an incredibly busy life. I have a busy job. A busy family life. I am a busy person. I am probably not less busy now, but I feel I have more time! And if someone told me this before, for me it would have been YES, I’ll take it!

Joana

Gitanjali – High Definition You Coach

Hi, welcome. It’s Gitanjali here from High Definition You and I am speaking with the wonderful Joana. Hi, Joana, can you tell us a little bit about who you are and your story, what you do in your business, and in the world?

Joana

Of course, Hi. Um, so my name is Joana. I am a co-founder of a corporate investigations firm in London. I’ve been a corporate investigator for the past 15 years. So, it’s something that I’m deeply passionate about. And, which culminated in this project with two other partners of setting up our own very specialist firm, just over three and a half years ago.

So currently, we employ 18 people. So, it’s a growing and thriving business. But you know, we all, like all businesses, have hiccups. And myself, like all executives, definitely have my hiccups too.

Gitanjali – High Definition You Coach

Amazing. And tell me a little bit about what your life looked like and felt like before we started working together, what were you struggling with? Why did you feel like you need help?

Joana

I mean, I think probably the, I mean, the first thing was, stress-related stress-induced, you know, the work is incredibly high paced, high pitched, and, and very encompassing, I also have a young family. And I felt that at times, I was maybe taking time for one or the other in order to be essentially making up for time lost.

So, the stress of sort of having to manage all of these different facets of my life was definitely a first. The second one is probably the lack of recognition. And I think I raised this with you at the beginning. And it’s not just the wreck, you know, I think when you’re sort of heading up, you’re your own firm, you know, you’re not getting appraisals, you’re not getting reviews, the stuff you’re getting is from your clients, but you sort of enjoy them for a really small period of time, it’s you, they come in, and then you forget about them straight away.

And it’s the same thing with sometimes recognition from the team, you know, so even my younger team, I was sort of struggling and feeling that I was creating that impact. Um, and I guess, you know, these two sorts of constantly made me feel like I was stepping on my thoughts and stepping on my toes. And, you know, well, I consider myself relatively proactive, you know, I’m, I’m calm, but I’m determined. And but I always felt like my thoughts were sort of ahead of me, and I was just not enjoying the moment.

Gitanjali – High Definition You Coach

And did any resistance come up for you, when you were thinking about committing to this programme with us to saying, yes,

Joana

Not really, I mean, I, you know, it’s not like I felt I was at a tipping point, but I had been reflecting upon, you know, and I’d spoken as well to people close to me about engaging in coaching. And, and, you know, at the time, it was really more about sort of finding the right person, it’s, I would have maybe started it even before, but I just hadn’t really sort of found the right person.

Gitanjali – High Definition You Coach

And what’s changed for you since we’ve been working together for three months now? What does life look and feel like, you know, what’s, what’s different?

Joana

So, there’s, there are these things, I think the first thing to say is that these processes really take their time and, but for me, you know, one of them, one of the real basic changes that I see is that I am trusting my instinct a lot more. And, and I, you know, whenever there is a decision to make, I definitely try to look at what my instinct says, and you know, to quote you, you know, what, where’s my piccolo for you will explain all of this.

And the second thought that I keep having is I found myself saying this to my husband yesterday, which was phenomenal, which was not outsourcing my wellbeing and this entire, you know, I do consciously think about the reactions that I am having to a specific situation and thinking why is that having an impact on me? Should it have an impact on me?

And that has really changed how I perceive what’s coming towards me and how I’m using it to essentially help me move forward. And, and then, and this kind of leads into what I think I’ve already told you are pretty much my favourite thing about coaching is this wonderful concept of just getting these thoughts out, and whenever they do come in just allowing them enough time They need to be there because they are there at times these negative thoughts, these fears, these vulnerabilities, etc.

But to just kind of allow the mountain at that moment. And then the final thing, which I think is really exciting and, and, and it’s definitely something that I, I sort of relish in doing a lot more as the celebration of myself and celebration of what’s coming towards me, which I definitely did not take enough time to recognise and to appreciate and, and to live with.

Gitanjali – High Definition You Coach

And how’s all of that benefited you as a leader and in your business?

Joana

Um, I mean, you know, I think the first, the first area is probably really in terms of my day to day contact in my day to day life with my team. And, you know, I think I try to get, you know, sort of a greater understanding as well of where they stand, in order to also develop my own strategy.

I think in terms of time management, it’s been hugely impactful, because I, I’ve discovered, you know, this, of course, has to do with lockdown as well, because we are all home, and we are all having to live and work and love and eat, and you know, everything in the same space. And defining when work time starts and work time ends and family time starts and ends becomes a lot more difficult because life is just more fluid.

So this has just allowed me to at times just, you know, say recognise that I’ve got a very productive time in the evening, for example, and that maybe during the afternoon, I can take my kids out for a cycle, I can enjoy their company, they can enjoy my company, and it’s just allowed me a lot more breathing space.

Gitanjali – High Definition You Coach

And I think that I’ve certainly seen that, Amy, that sense of being more in control of your emotions through that process and happier. And, you know, you mentioned your husband already, that’s there’s a, there’s a connection isn’t there between, you know, you as a leader, and then you kind of as a leader in your own family life as well.

Joana

Absolutely, you can’t associate them because I, you know, I don’t go to work and stop having kids and I don’t have kids and stop having work, you know, so there’s an intrinsic connection between the two. But then also, I will add, as you will know, I’ve had this third area in my life that’s just popped up, and I’ve just had projects of my own.

And this is something that I think one of the first objectives that we had, for my coaching sessions was, you know, I really wanted a hobby, a hobby, which wasn’t my family, you know, doing family photos, or cooking or, you know, yes, all valid stuff. But I wanted my own project.

So you know, so I’ve engaged I’m already on my second kind of project around our house, which is exciting to find the time to be dedicating the mental space as well, to something without feeling the pressure that I have to be there with my kids, or that I have to be at work, just that me time, which is perfectly okay to have.

Gitanjali – High Definition You Coach

And what was the moment that took me to the moment when you knew that the coaching was working?

Joana

Well, I think I think the, I think the moment I recognise, and I think I raised this with you at the time, I and it was work-related. So I will and I’ve even seen it in other facets of life. So I’ve seen it both with my family and with and with myself and projects, as I mentioned, but the moment where I saw it turning was, about a month and a half in, where I sort of had to quite consciously say, I’m going to have this deadline to be sending this off, you know, report to a client and tomorrow’s bank holiday and I want to enjoy my bank holiday.

I don’t want to be working over the weekend and sort of quite consciously taking that decision. And setting myself that deadline for the report to go out which, you know, was not a report, you know, I would have probably worked a lot the old me would have probably worked a lot more on that report.

But to what benefits I’m having my weekend is having a little bit, you know the better language or having to make another point that maybe we could have made on a call. And so that was that for me was being able to do that being able to just you know, click Send PDF and click send and getting very positive feedback from the client getting positive feedback from the team who I also didn’t make work on weekends, admittedly. Um, so I think that that was the first moment.

So there I sort of saw it as he was not being careless, but definitely caring less You know, but really, but still, you know, my investment was there because it was there throughout the process. And I felt I respected my team more as well by, by, by kind of keeping that output also closer to what they had sent me. And you know, and I had my weekend and my bank holiday hattrick about the way that we work together that’s allowed you to get these results.

Um, I think the first thing is that empathy is really key, you know, and I, I feel trust in you, and empathy towards me for who I am and how I am. You know, I think there are things where we might be alike, but maybe now you’re thinking we’re not at all alike, but I just make it sound like you’re like, but there’s the feeling of this really kind of, there’s a mutual understanding and, and, and a relationship that builds.

You know, and I think the other side is, is my reflection time, I sort of I, I know, it’s more positive. Now, you know, I think before, I definitely tended to be analysing the negative, I’d be looking at thinking about a conversation, the phone, call the reports and email, and then just be thinking about the Oh, my God, oh, my. And now definitely, I’m thinking more about wasn’t that awesome? To Becca?

Well, you know, and there’s a real shift in how the brain works and in how my brain has started to work. And it’s not done yet, because I definitely still have moments where I go, Oh, maybe after this video has that moment. But you definitely still have those moments, but it’s just this, this positive reflection time, or the tone of my reflection, which is which has changed?

What’s really surprising is that you’re delighted about this coaching process. And surprised and delighted by different things. I mean, by the surprise, the delighted is probably seeing the change, you know, and I think is seeing the change. I don’t know about my team, I don’t really ask them.

So I will try my coaching, but my husband was telling me the other day that he actually felt that I had changed as well in these past three months, you know, visibly my sort of demeanour at home. And so I think I’m really delighted about that, because I think it’s better for me as well, ultimately, and I didn’t think about myself all too much before it was always this.

I mean, I know, I still, I still do think a lot about the kind of others and how others are feeling but I definitely focus more on how I’m feeling about a situation. And, and in terms of the surprise, um, I think I didn’t expect that I could, that so much could be changed. You know, I started this process thinking, I mean, you know, things are really good.

Things are good. You know, I think probably in our first session, I kind of think the things are good, don’t worry about it, you know, and you realise that they can actually be much better. And it’s not that they were bad, but they can be so much better.

Gitanjali – High Definition You Coach

If someone’s watching this right now, and they’re considering taking that step investing in themselves, you know, working together with me, in this coaching programme, what advice would you give that person that’s being inspired by your story right now?

Joana

Well, I think like I mentioned, finding the right person is really key and finding the right connection, you know, the right personality as well. And, and I think, between us, that’s, that’s really worked. And I think between you and a lot of people, it works because I find you very adaptable.

I’ve seen you in other contexts as well with other people. And so I think that’s definitely the first piece of advice. The second, I’d probably say is, you know, I don’t say that I was at a tipping point, but I wouldn’t, you know, which I sort of see maybe as having a breakdown or but then we never know how close we are to that, you know, it’s sort of one day just happens and you can get out of bed. And I mean, thankfully, I’ve never been in that situation.

But I would say not to wait until you are in that situation. Because the process of change can be so positive as well. And, and you know, and I when I think about my story with you, I think about all of these improvements have been improvements both for myself and I think for others that I interact with. And so it’s sort of not waiting for that.

And I think with this as the preparation to be kinder to yourself, and I think that’s a really good thing because we’re, you know, we’re on this earth for a very limited amount of time. We’re going to be nasty to ourselves, you know, I doubt that we’ll be able to be good to other people as well. So, you know, it’s kind of just being kinder to us.

And I think being prepared for that is good. Um, and I think the final point I’d say is, you know, I mean, I have an incredibly busy life, you know, I just have a busy job. I have a busy family life. I am busy. You know, I am a busy person, but I definitely don’t. It’s not like I feel less busy now, with all the adaptations I have. And I probably won’t, but I feel I have more time. And if someone had told me this before, for me would have been like, Yes, I’ll take it, I’ll buy it.

You know, because this concept of time is something that’s really recurrent on everybody. I feel. So I wish I had more hours in my day. And right now, I genuinely feel I have more hours in my day. Sometimes they’re even hours. I don’t know what to do with it. So. But no, but I think that’s, that’s definitely a positive change.

Gitanjali – High Definition You Coach

Amazing. Thank you so much. I’ve seen such a change in you already. And you know how much I love working with you and I love you. So thank you so much for sharing.

Joana

I really know,  I and I really appreciate it and I’m really delighted to tell the story. And, you know, to sort of help anybody take that step because it’s a step worth taking.

Gitanjali – High Definition You Coach

Thank you, Joana