November 10, 2020
After a successful career at Procter & Gamble, Desi Jagger became a business coach in 2015. Thanks to her professional experience which led her to travel between the UAE and London, Desi quickly understands the challenges faced by teams and multinational companies, helping her clients open up and talk about their challenges. Her direct yet action-oriented approach allows leaders, or Changemakers as she calls them, to find within themselves the resources to change the world. With her positive temperament, Desi instills her good energy into her coachees while helping them to become anchored in the present and in attention. According to Desi, a change of mindset and perspective can truly unlock the most complex situations and solve the most difficult problems.
Desi Jagger also specialises in coaching women in the development of their leadership and skills, allowing her coachees to no longer be afraid to be more assertive and to address their inner criticisms. Spontaneous and motivating, Desi proves to be a perfect coach for leaders who really want to bring about change in organizations.
CoachHub: Desi, could you tell us about your background?
Desi Jagger: I started my career in communication and marketing at Procter & Gamble UK where I had the chance to manage various multinational teams between London and Dubai. This experience was a great enrichment both professionally and personally as I lived in the UAE where I had to adapt to a new culture, a new rhythm and a new market. Already at that time, I was very much focused on positive management methods. I have always been interested in the human dimension in the company, in the fact that my employees were not just about their jobs, that they had a life after work. So I quickly adopted coaching reflexes. Afterwards, I trained in an internationally renowned institution: the Coaches Training Institute (CTI) before passing my ICF certification. Today, my clients are mainly executives of large multinational companies from various industries such as Amazon, Procter & Gamble and LinkedIn.
CoachHub: Why did you choose to become a coach?
Desi : I am fascinated by people and the way they think, all more different from each other. I love discovering their motivations, their beliefs, their fears too. When I discovered the coaching profession, what immediately interested me was the possibility to help them in their journey, in their quest for development and I wanted to be part of the adventure. My reward is to witness that moment when a person makes the decision to do something so strongly that they are totally transformed to the point where they never go back. Coaching is a tool that makes people shine.
CoachHub: Speaking of tools, what is your approach?
Desi : My method focuses on the “mind – body – soul”: that is to say the alignment between mind, body and soul. In my opinion, in order for my client to make the right decision, they must use their intellectual and bodily intelligence, but also their heart. I work on this alignment with many of my clients, especially from large corporations. Indeed, these environments do not promote emotional intelligence on a daily basis. Instead, we use our brain first and pay less attention to the body’s signs. I recommend listening to oneself fully: What truth speaks in me? What am I feeling? How does it manifest itself in my body, in my soul? Answering these questions becomes easier with practice.
CoachHub: What is your trademark?
Desi : Energy, positivity and the ability to constantly evolve. Often my clients arrive at a session tired, overwhelmed, stressed. So I know how to use my energy to motivate them, challenge them, or give them a boost. When they need to calm down and listen, I help them to refocus, settle down and anchor. Playing with energies allows me to broaden the perspectives of the coachees, to help them discover new emotional states.
CoachHub: What is the exercise you recommend your clients do on a daily basis?
Desi : I come back to the “mind – body – soul” approach that I mentioned earlier. A simple exercise to do on a daily basis is to take a few minutes to become fully anchored in the present. We sit down calmly, take a few deep breaths and ask ourselves what our mind, body and heart have to say to us today. It can be a thought, a feeling, a sensation – or sometimes an emptiness. It is important to ask these three parts of us what they want to express one after the other, because they are often dissociated. Sometimes, our mind is afraid of a situation of change – for example, a new place of living or a new job – but our heart and body are ready to welcome this new adventure with joy and motivation. Or, conversely, the body may be blocked, but the mind and heart know that we have made the right decision. It’s a very deep exercise – try it!
CoachHub: In your opinion, what are the qualities of a good coach?
Desi : The quality of listening. A good coach knows how to listen with their ears, eyes and heart. Because very often, clients talk about various things that are not the real subject of the discussion. They beat around the bush, they tell themselves a story. A good coach knows how to use a more seasoned, finer level of listening to get to the root of the problem and begin the process of change. By doing so, the client also feels that the coach is there with them, for them. This may be the only time they have really been heard in their week by someone. I see it more with women. Female leaders don’t really have time for themselves between their personal and professional responsibilities, and they particularly appreciate this listening.
CoachHub: Let’s talk about female leadership for a moment. When women come to you, what types of skills do they generally want to work on?
Desi : I coach a lot of female leaders, executives, managers who have a strong desire to progress in their careers but who lack self-worth. And this, even with the unfailing support of their superiors. The truth is that women face many challenges in business due to gender biases. Women are subject to strong social pressures and prejudices, for example regarding their management style. If they are too firm, they are perceived as cold and aggressive. If they are too soft, they are perceived as incapable of leading a team. Unlike men, women also have a tendency to want to be appreciated and accepted by others, which can prevent them from giving clear feedback to their employees and thus lead to misunderstandings and conflicts.
Delegating can also be difficult for women, who sometimes want to mother their teams and deprive them of the individual accountability that everyone needs to thrive at work. In a world where they want to prove their abilities as leaders, the fear of failure is a reality. As a result, many women do not believe in their value or have no idea what they bring to their teams. This actually goes far beyond self-confidence. Many women actually give others an image of strong self-confidence, but inside they are actually telling themselves a different story. They devalue, criticise and judge themselves. Even if on the surface, they do not show this permanent questioning. What we are working on in these cases is the notion of “self-worth” or value. And very often, coaching will start by identifying this problem of recognition of one’s value.
CoachHub: What do you think is the power of women?
Desi : Women’s power is the ability to embody different perspectives and emotions. To have self-esteem but to accept constructive feedback for example. To be assertive with her teams while being in the benevolence and understanding of the other. The ability to assert oneself while being aware of one’s shortcomings. It is a typically feminine ability to be in action and feeling at the same time. It is very subtle, very special. That’s why it is difficult for women leaders to accept this superpower. It’s not about choosing a management style, a personality style, a leadership style, on the contrary, it’s about choosing to expand a range of possibilities. And I realise this precisely when I work on this notion of self-worth with women. They are more anchored, more solid, more in tune with their values, which they affirm more while sparing themselves from unconstructive self-criticism. They manage to become the leaders they have always dreamed of being. This, in my opinion, is where all the greatness of women lies.
CoachHub: What is the impact of coaching?
Desi : First of all, coaching helps to become aware of and identify a problem or situation. Then, it makes it possible to have support to change, to work on oneself to reach one’s goals and not to go backwards. By challenging one’s preconceived ideas, beliefs and truths, which sometimes limit one’s actions, one can overcome one’s blockages and obstacles. And it is very liberating to know that you are not chained to your limiting beliefs. We can choose to continue to nourish them and stay in the initial situation or we can choose to destroy them and move on to another path. It is a regaining of power, a true state of mind. To date, I have not found a more effective tool than coaching to regain power over one’s choices and actions.
CoachHub: In your opinion, what are the essential qualities of a good manager?
Desi : Integrity is an essential quality for me, especially when the manager takes the interests of their employees to heart and acts accordingly. A manager with integrity will know how to have the courage to tell the truths face to face: not granting the hoped-for promotion, talking about staff reductions, goals, results, rewarding successes and knowing how to admit failures in order to learn from them. They will also know how to give credit to the right people and create an environment of trust. In this way, they will be able to hear the real challenges of employees. This encourages transparency within the team, encouraging members to talk about real issues without fear of judgment.
CoachHub: How do you know that a coaching session is successful?
Desi : In truth, it is not the coach who knows but the client. And in general, it’s pretty obvious. You notice a lasting change in behavior, a satisfaction and a new attitude towards challenges. I see it with women leaders, for example, when they manage to use the superpower mentioned earlier with boldness, confidence and joy. The most important thing is really to focus on the root of the situation you want to change. Therefore, from the very beginning of the coaching process, we must ask ourselves the right questions. Knowing what you really want, gaining clarity about your goals – we focus on that goal during all coaching sessions and we track progress. You also do this work with the coach during the first sessions. It is important to avoid mental fog at all costs. When you find the alignment, everything changes. And this can be seen in the attitude.
CoachHub: Why did you choose to work with CoachHub and our digital platform?
Desi : I think that CoachHub’s asset is above all the quality of the personalities working in the company. CoachHub’s employees are dynamic, motivated and make you feel like you are part of the team. They answer questions very quickly and do everything possible to guarantee impeccable service. As a coach, we also receives regular information from the company about new features of the platform, newsletters, small postcards to show support or to ask for news. The integrity and honesty of the contacts I have been able to exchange with is also very much appreciated. I like CoachHub’s proactive spirit which also allows coaches not to take care of the client search part. We can therefore focus on our coaching sessions.
CoachHub: What do you think of digital coaching?
Desi : I really like working with digital. From a coaching point of view, digital coaching is just as effective in creating a bond as a face-to-face coaching session. It’s also a considerable advantage for clients, who don’t waste time on transportation and administration. They enter their coaching session more relaxed and more available. It also allows to reach a wider audience since online coaching breaks down geographical boundaries. The client can find the right coach for them and their problem rather than resorting to someone who would be less suitable but closer geographically. Having the right coach makes coaching more effective.
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