Get Comfortable with Change — So many people resist change and want to stop it. Change can be good — it pushes us to learn, grow, open up, test our skills, develop new ones, ask questions, gain experiences, evolve from current circumstances, get us out of our own rut, among many other things. Humans are meant to evolve, grow, and yes, change! So, I challenge you to get comfortable with change and shift your mindset to see the positive that can come from it.
Resilience has been described as the ability to withstand adversity and bounce back from difficult life events. Times are not easy now. How do we develop greater resilience to withstand the challenges that keep being thrown at us? In this interview series, we are talking to mental health experts, authors, resilience experts, coaches, and business leaders who can talk about how we can develop greater resilience to improve our lives.
As a part of this series, I had the pleasure of interviewing Jaclyn Badeau.
Jaclyn Badeau is the Founder and President of Badeau Consulting. She specializes in employee engagement initiatives that help companies inspire confidence back into their team for innovation and growth. Jaclyn’s background in cultivating high performing teams, delivering coaching and mentoring, serving as a global business risk advisor, and facilitating internal and external leadership training to a global workforce gives her the unique perspective of what employees need and what works. She is also a multi award recipient and passionate about sharing her expertise and knowledge in volunteer advisory and leadership positions roles for many associations and not-for-profits.
Thank you so much for joining us! Our readers would love to get to know you a bit better. Can you tell us a bit about your backstory?
Thank you for having me and absolutely!
The first thing I usually tell people is that I’m not your typical Certified Public Accountant (CPA). Prior to launching my own employee engagement and leadership company, I spent over 6 years in public accounting leading the firm’s audit training, career counseling various staff, and assisting clients with business enhancement projects across 5 industries. I also worked at a global, publicly traded manufacturing and distribution company for over 8 years in 4 different roles including Controllership and Internal Audit leading various talent management strategic initiatives, providing coaching and mentoring to over 25 people, and serving as a business risk advisor to many. During my time there, I also facilitated leadership training across the US to managers in all departments. Over my career, I’ve also been very active with many associations and not-for-profits, focused on developing the pipeline of future business leaders, and become certified in Emotional Intelligence (EQ), as a trained facilitator through Development Dimensions International (DDI), and as a Chartered Global Management Accountant (CGMA).
I always had this pull to focus on people success; I love watching people grow in their careers and have had a front row seat to many of my mentee’s development into leadership positions within various companies. I love training people on skills that can help them reach their goals and potential. I’ve always had this draw to run an organization, to truly put the people first and after I completed my version of a “vision board” exercise (which I take some of my clients through today) about 5 years ago, I realized what I wanted and needed to do; and that was, start my own people success business.
Can you share with us the most interesting story from your career? Can you tell us what lessons or ‘take aways’ you learned from that?
A pivotal point in my career came when it became clear that I wouldn’t be allowed to make the positive people success changes that in my bones I knew were needed. It was a point where I had known I wanted to start my own business but hadn’t been ready (or perhaps brave enough) to take that leap of faith. A restructuring opportunity came along where I had to make a decision. And that is when a couple lessons became clear to me at this distinct moment: things happen for a reason, and they can be blessings in disguise. That was when I made the decision to take the plunge and start my own business. Was it (is it) scary? Of course, but knowing that I could try, and I would learn something and help others, at minimum, along the way, was (and is still) worth it.
What do you think makes your company stand out? Can you share a story?
My company stands out as I have been in the shoes of the company and the individual. I’m able to relate, have a transparent conversation with a fellow human being, and offer realistic, practical plans and small steps to help people get out of their own way. I’ve had numerous clients express how they would usually feel overwhelmed by a situation they are facing or intimidated to bring up an idea or question, and after we work together, they have the confidence to tap into their potential and tackle challenges step by step.
Here’s a testimonial from one of my Coaching Clients: “The coaching sessions with Jaclyn have been invaluable. My personalized EQ leadership report, which provided an in-depth look into my leadership strengths and areas for development, was a great starting point for understanding why I have struggled with certain difficult situations and making tough decisions in the past. Her insight and practical tips have given me the courage to face those difficult situations and express my opinion with confidence instead of avoiding and stressing over them.”
None of us are able to achieve success without some help along the way. Is there a particular person who you are grateful towards who helped get you to where you are? Can you share a story?
I would have not been able to get where I am today without the encouragement and support of my husband, Justin. We are high school sweethearts, so he has been by my side my entire career journey. When opportunities come along, he’s always the first one to congratulate me, think things through, and give me a needed “push” at times… As a CPA, sometimes I can be more risk averse at first and he is more of a risk taker. When I was deciding if it was the right time to start my business, Justin gave me the support I needed to take this leap of faith and build an organization from the ground up. He always listens when I need to bounce something off someone and gives me an objective perspective to the current situation I’m facing. Justin is my #1 cheerleader, supporter, and on my personal “Board of Advisors.”
Ok thank you for all that. Now let’s shift to the main focus of this interview. We would like to explore and flesh out the trait of resilience. How would you define resilience? What do you believe are the characteristics or traits of resilient people?
Resilience is when you can persevere despite experiencing personal and professional setbacks. Through my EQ certification through Multi-Health Systems (MHS), personal experience, and experience working with others, I have found that if someone uses their resiliency skills often, it could look like any of these characteristics:
- Able to adapt to changing situations
- Open to new ideas and change in behavior
- May be bored with the status quo
- Having a variety of effective coping strategies
- Manages emotions under stress
- Optimistic towards change
- Positive attitude in face of adversity
- Believes in oneself and others; sees the good in most things
- Can see the light at the end of the tunnel and perseveres
Courage is often likened to resilience. In your opinion how is courage both similar and different to resilience?
Wow, I haven’t really thought of courage and resilience like this. Courage to me is being brave enough or having the strength to do something that is scary or uncomfortable. Resilience is when you can persevere despite experiencing personal and professional setbacks. So, to me, courage is a leadership skill that helps you build resiliency. They are very much connected!
When you think of resilience, which person comes to mind? Can you explain why you chose that person?
When I think of resilience, one of the first people who come to my mind is my mother. She grew up in a religious, conservative household where she and her sisters weren’t allowed or encouraged to go out and learn, explore, and do much. My mother became a teenage mother after graduating high school. She and my father married before I was born and then she traveled with my Dad across the US as he was in the Air Force for 4 years. Her college dreams were put on hold, and she had to cope and learn skills while being many miles apart from the small bubble of a life that she knew. My sister came along about this time and my parents ended up divorcing. My mother was a single parent raising two daughters on a very low income, much lower than she deserved based on her work ethic. We had a good childhood, but I know she struggled and worried about financials, relationships, etc. She also had a hard time adjusting to being an empty nester after my sister and I left for college. My mom went back to school and attained an Associates degree. Through a difficult upbringing, being a military wife and a single mother, financial difficulties, my mother kept putting one foot in front of the other. She was also a huge cheerleader and supporter of anything my sister and I did and encouraged us to build independency skills and explore what we wanted; and she still does this today. She tries to keep positive despite living by herself, having health issues of her own, and being a caregiver to her father since my grandmother passed away. My mom even likes to experience new things and for any celebration during the year makes a point to do something fun.
Has there ever been a time that someone told you something was impossible, but you did it anyway? Can you share the story with us?
This one puts a smile on my face. There have been little moments here and there in my career where I’ve heard those exact words from someone, and they fuel me to push even harder. But the most recent and profound one was about me starting my business right at the beginning of the global pandemic. Yes, that’s right, I started my business in March 2020, and it’s been a rollercoaster… I think everyone can relate on some level as there was so much uncertainty around everything. Sometimes a person or even that “person in your head” pipes up and tries to say maybe this isn’t the time to do this, maybe you should stick to doing traditional CPA work, etc. But I knew I was meant to be and do exactly what I was and am still doing at that and this moment… Of course, I had to adapt very quickly and be 100% virtual in any of my employee engagement and leadership work. I also felt a need to give back and offered a lot of services for free (I still do this to give back to the community). What helped be through these last two years, was the support of my husband, being grounded in knowing this is what I was meant to do and feeling happy every time I interacted with a client as they would share the impact our relationship was having on them.
Did you have a time in your life where you had one of your greatest setbacks, but you bounced back from it stronger than ever? Can you share that story with us?
When I think of the word “setback,” nothing comes to mind because I have a completely different perspective on this. Anytime I’m faced with a challenge, I think of it as a learning opportunity. Whether I’ve made a mistake, or I didn’t get a position I was seeking, or something else, I try and stop and reflect. I ask myself: What did I learn in the process? What can I do next time? What can I control? What can I influence? This mindset shift works for me, and I encourage others to think of it the same way. Life is not perfect. I am not perfect. You are not perfect. Humans aren’t perfect. So, when you have a challenge or a setback or a failure or whatever you want to call it, ask yourself those questions. This will also help you build those resiliency muscles.
How have you cultivated resilience throughout your life? Did you have any experiences growing up that have contributed to building your resiliency? Can you share a story?
Like many others, I grew up with divorced household, living with my mother and visiting with my father every other weekend. I was always the second mother to my little sister. As mentioned before, my mother was a single mom living on a very low income, so sometimes we may not get to do everything we wanted or everything our friends were doing, etc. Also, I thought that if I wanted to not have to worry about money when I was an adult, I would need to go to college and the only way I could go to college was to earn scholarships (because my parents weren’t able to financially support me). These experiences before even going to college and starting into a competitive workforce helped build my resiliency skills of flexibility, stress management, and optimism.
Another profound moment I had was being diagnosed with anxiety later in life. I can still “feel” everything about the day of my first anxiety episode… I felt “weird,” it was hard to explain because I had never felt that way before… My head was dizzy, I felt heavy, my eyes were blurry, it was like I was drunk even though I had not had a sip of alcohol… When heart palpitations set in and my body was not functioning as it should, I asked my husband and sister to take me to the ER. If anyone knows me, this is a BIG deal as I have a fear of needles and can pass out easily in a hospital or at the sight of blood. After running some tests, I was diagnosed with water intoxication (that may be a new one for some of you, look it up, it exists) where I flushed out my electrolytes to dangerous levels that could cause death. The impact of the way my body had been feeling, having to go to a hospital and run tests and IVs (yes, needles), and being that close to death, shot my nervous system. That’s when I started developing anxiety. Over the next few days, I couldn’t function. I reverted to being childlike where I couldn’t be by myself for even a few minutes. I feared leaving my house. When family and friends tried to help me get out of the house for a few minutes, I would try and quickly have to leave and get back to my house. Family and friends took shifts being at my house because again, I couldn’t be alone… I ended up back in the ER as I was having heart palpitations and the fear of dying rose up again…
After about a week or two from the initial two hospital visits and with the love and support of others, I took a small step each day to getting back to myself. I had to learn to live (and thrive) with anxiety. Did I have some episodes along the way that scared that crap out of me, sure. But in each of those moments, the first thing I had to do was breath and think about the worse thing that could happen that was true (dying was no longer something that was true in those moments and hadn’t been for some time). These practices along with other small steps I do (and teach others to do) have helped me build upon my resiliency skills.
Resilience is like a muscle that can be strengthened. In your opinion, what are 5 steps that someone can take to become more resilient? Please share a story or an example for each.
Five things that people can do to become more resilient:
- Get Comfortable with Change — So many people resist change and want to stop it. Change can be good — it pushes us to learn, grow, open up, test our skills, develop new ones, ask questions, gain experiences, evolve from current circumstances, get us out of our own rut, among many other things. Humans are meant to evolve, grow, and yes, change! So, I challenge you to get comfortable with change and shift your mindset to see the positive that can come from it.
- Look for the Light at the End of the Tunnel — It is inevitable we will face both personal and professional setbacks; it’s part of life. An important step to focus on during those moments is to look for the light at the end of the tunnel. Ask yourself: Is there a lesson to be learned here? Is this a blessing in disguise? What positive impact can be made from this situation?
- Build Your Stress Coping Skills — I think about this like a toolkit; you will have several different tools or stress coping techniques in your toolkit. When change and stress is occurring, I encourage you to look at your toolkit and try a coping technique or two that you think will work best for you in that very moment. Having several things to choose from and knowing that you’ve thought about your toolkit, helps relieve stress already. Then it’s about practicing those activities to release some stress and build those resiliency muscles.
- Examine Your Emotions — Sometimes when we stop and really think about what emotions we are experiencing, when we started feeling these emotions, and why they came about, then we can understand what is causing us to resist change. If you can separate the facts of the situation, you may be able to see if there’s a logical reason for experiencing these emotions. Also, it helps to remember a time when you effectively worked through a change; think about how good it felt when you prevailed.
- Focus on Your Strengths — Positive emotions often come along when working in your zone, and the more often you are in that zone, the more optimism you build. My challenge to you is to think about your strengths and consider how you can incorporate those more into your day to day.
You are a person of great influence. If you could inspire a movement that would bring the most amount of good to the most amount of people, what would that be? You never know what your idea can trigger. 🙂
MORE PEOPLE PRACTICING EMPATHY — I’m shouting this in all caps so to speak. If people could stop and listen to another’s perspective/belief/thoughts/feelings, appreciate/recognize what they are expressing, and then articulate their understanding of that person’s perspective/belief/thoughts/feelings in their own words, wouldn’t we be in a better place? I have a class devoted to training on this skill because it is so imperative. Many people don’t quite understand what empathy is; sometimes, it’s confused with sympathy, sometimes people think if they use empathy then they are agreeing or approving, and some people think empathy is about being nice. It’s not any of those things. Empathy is simply listening, appreciating, and articulating someone else’s perspective/belief/thoughts/feelings.
Let’s start this movement ASAP!
We are blessed that some very prominent leaders read this column. Is there a person in the world, or in the US with whom you would love to have a private breakfast or lunch with, and why? He or she might just see this, especially if we tag them 🙂
Hands down, Brené Brown (that even rhymes!). She works in the same space I do — the human space — and our values and approaches are aligned. There are so many people who treat their employees like machines or a number and that just does not work. Life is all about being human, embracing who you are, and stepping up to have those brave and vulnerable conversations, especially in the workplace. I would cherish the opportunity to meet with her to pick her brain on how we can continue this movement all around the world!
How can our readers further follow your work online?
Readers can follow my blog through my website: https://www.badeauconsulting.com/blog or through any of my social media platforms:
This was very inspiring. Thank you so much for joining us!