Habits & Health episode 76 with Joanna Shurety, a health coach who helps people build resilience to navigate changes and challenges in life in a healthy way.
Jo works mainly in the corporate environment delivering health & wellness programmes, and working with employees of companies to help them not only be more productive, but giving the employees a better quality of life as well.
Some of the topics discussed in this episode:
- What is a health coach?
- Coaching in a corporate environment
- 1 to 1 coaching vs group programmes
- How things have changed in recent years
- How things changed during lockdown
- Mental health
- The importance of employees prioritising their time
- Health issues that arose from lockdown
- Working within different industries
- What is the most enjoyable part of what Jo does
- Weight loss
- Helping clients achieve results
- How long Jo typically works with clients
- Which issues take longer to remedy
- Health coach, business coach or life coach!?
- Chicken & egg situation
- Habits that have been impactful for Jo
- The type of books she prefers to read at night
- The services offered by her company
- How she sees health coaching developing in the near future
Don’t forget, there is a transcript of every episode (scroll down the page).
Habits & Health Links
76 – Joanna Shurety
[00:00:00] Tony Winyard: Habits Health episode 76.
[00:00:15] Tony Winyard: Welcome to another edition of Habits & health. My guest today is Jo Shurety. She’s a lifestyle and wellness coach. And she works both one to one with individuals and also with company employees and her focus is on working with them to help them build resilience so they can navigate changes and challenges in life in a healthier way. And she also works, doing workshops and delivers talks in to businesses and organizations. So the conversation is all around how health coaching tends to work in corporate environments in health and wellness programs in corporate environments. And just some other discussions about health coaching in general so that’s this week’s episode with Jo Shurety
Habits & Health. My guest today is Joanna Shurety. How you doing Jo?
[00:01:08] Joanna Shurety: Hi, Tony. Good thank you.
[00:01:10] Tony Winyard: I imagine there’s always a bit of mirth when you say where you are from?
[00:01:16] Joanna Shurety: A little bit. So I have to caveat it by introducing it. So I am from a place called Ware , if I just say I’m from Ware that causes confusion no end.
[00:01:27] Tony Winyard: imagine. Yeah. And understandably as well.
[00:01:30] Joanna Shurety: Exactly.
[00:01:31] Tony Winyard: And how long have you been in Ware?
Do you know the Abbott & Costello sketch about who’s on one?
[00:01:37] Joanna Shurety: Where, how long have you been? Where for where? I have lived in Ware for, oh, about 15 years now. So originally from north London and moved out when I met my partner he lived in Hertfordshire at the time. So moved out to the sticks, as they say from the city, from the big smoke.
[00:01:56] Tony Winyard: And how do you prefer being out in in the sticks or do you miss London?
[00:02:01] Joanna Shurety: I think when I moved out, it was mid twenties, so I definitely missed London. And I was still working in London I was there most of the time and weekends, all my friends were still in London, so I was pretty much just sleeping back out in Hertfordshire. But I think, as I got a bit older and I’ve got.
A family now and a dog the green space is quite nice. And I can’t say I necessarily miss London.
My, my parents have now moved out from London to Hertfordshire as well.
[00:02:27] What is a health coach?
[00:02:27] Tony Winyard: So you are a health coach, so anyone listening who maybe isn’t quite sure, what is a health coach or maybe more, more rather than what is a health coach? How is your role as a health coach?
[00:02:42] Joanna Shurety: Yeah. So I think my role really is giving people that time and space to really think about their performance, the way that they feel, the energy they have, the motivation they have and the things they’re doing to create that. Often we have coaching for maybe career progression or sport or something like that.
That’s very specific. And really that person’s role is to help that person with the time, the space, the challenge around that particular area. And I think, for me, there’s loads of different areas that I come up against when I’m health coaching, it can be very much lifestyle specific can be somebody that is really struggling to find time.
Time is probably the biggest factor to fit in, a bit of movement or to eat well or to all of those things. And my role is to give them that focus and that time and that. To plan for that and to start to build those Habits in. And that can be really confusing people. I dunno what works for me.
I dunno what to eat and all of that kind of stuff. And, coach is not there to tell you what to eat because your body, your circumstances are all unique, to give you that time and that focus to really think about what’s important for you and how best to start moving forward with that.
So that’s lifestyle, but there’s also, the way that we interact with people, how, from things like I don’t know, people that feel worried about delegating or people that say yes to everything, people pleasing. I see that a lot in the corporate sector where I work predominantly and, you although that’s not necessarily, you wouldn’t say, oh, that’s affecting my health.
It absolutely does because it increases your stress. And the way then you cope with that stress often isn’t the best way. So health and wellbeing can often be focused on diet and movement and things like that. But actually coaching enables the person to deal with the root cause of either what stops them, having the time.
Or what causes the kind of reaction or coping in terms of lifestyle. So yeah it’s either the chicken or the egg, we the start of the cause or we or we look at what’s happening.
[00:04:48] Tony Winyard: You mentioned then that you do predominantly corporate coaching. Are you ever working in a corporate environment, but one on one with someone and how different is that to working one on one with someone in a non corporate environ.
[00:05:01] Coaching in a corporate environment
[00:05:01] Joanna Shurety: Not a great deal, to be honest. I guess more often than not in a corporate environment. When I go in it’s often because a manager or HR or someone has asked me to talk to someone in their business. So it often comes from someone else. Whereas when somebody’s approaching me directly, it’s motivated from them.
There’s a kind of slightly different barrier or a slightly different kind of purchasing process that we go through in the corporate sector. So there’s a level of permission that comes from dealing the corporate sector than it is with an individual kind of finding me on Facebook or whatever, or hearing me, or, or finding my website, saying I’d like to work with that person.
In the corporate sector, often a permission is having to be granted for somebody to, to work with me. So it’s slightly different in that sense, but how I then work once we get to that point is pretty much the same. It’s pretty much the same.
[00:06:02] Tony Winyard: And is the corporate environment, is it usually one to one or group or is it a real mixed?
[00:06:08] 1 to 1 coaching vs group programmes
[00:06:08] Joanna Shurety: I’ve never found a way. Coaching group. it just, it really doesn’t. I can’t make that work for me. And I know some great coaches that do group programs that work really well, but I find that I’ve never got an ability to make it work for me. So all of my coaching is one to one.
In the corporate sector saying that I do some talks in the corporate sector, which often, you know, I did one yesterday. It was to over 200 people. And I have over lockdown developed a couple of, workshops that I do into companies. And that would be for kind of small groups.
And there’s an element of coaching in there, but. The kind of traditional group coaching where you take people through a kind of process. Can’t I can’t quite reconcile for me. I love working with that person on a one to one. And I found that people are perhaps a little bit more open when dealing with that.
Yeah, and I think cuz all of my clients are slightly different. I can’t quite work out how to make coaching group work when you’re not following a kind of formula. Yeah, one to one. It’s what suits me. Mm.
[00:07:17] Tony Winyard: In the last couple of years, there’s obviously been enormous challenges from health perspective, globally. Do you see any change in the attitude from companies to providing some kind of health and wellness programs for their employees? Has anything changed at all?
[00:07:34] How things have changed in recent years
[00:07:34] Joanna Shurety: My background’s HR so if I go back to my HR days, masses, mental health. Anything around that company used to be absolutely scared to death of and I remember when occupational health became a little bit more involved in not somebody that’s broken their leg or whatever, and you help ’em back into the office.
I think comp certainly in my HR role, somebody with a mental health kind of issue used to be, oh my goodness, how the hell are we gonna deal with this one? And you would rely really heavily on the advice of experts. And I think those kind of more personal conversations. People would shy away from it would scare a lot of people.
And I, I can recall, back in the day when I first started out early two thousands, if people talked about their problems at home or, personal stuff, you’d be like, oh goodness, that person’s right. Problem. Work’s work homes for home. Do not merge. So I’ve definitely seen a shift in that.
And I think before there’s always, we always talk before lockdown and after lockdown, there was a world before we all lockdown. And I think that mental health conversation was starting to trickle into companies. And I think. It mainly formed kind of wellness days or wellness weeks or mental health month and things like that.
And it became a little bit more kind of awareness raising as a way of changing culture and making it okay. And you saw quite a lot of leaders come out and talk about maybe some of their struggles. And I think you see, you CEL the drop of a hat, a celebrity’s got a blooming mental health problem, and it became a little bit kind of everyone was talking about it. but I don’t know, again, that the shift in companies really knowing how to deal with it was there. I think they thought let’s just Chuck a load of information at people and hopefully some of it will stick.
[00:09:28] How things changed during lockdown
[00:09:28] Joanna Shurety: And then of course lockdown happened. And I think I definitely saw a shift with companies talking about how can we.
Everybody at once who suddenly it’s affecting them in some way. And I think that shift I saw was the realization that, supporting employees and keeping that level of engagement. Was really important to the success of a business. Cause suddenly you can’t see everybody they’re behind a screen.
You can see like the bits of their head and that’s it. And a manager that suddenly got, 20, or, 200 people that aren’t in the same location as him or her. And can’t spot those signs suddenly feels the need to reach out to everybody all the time to find out how they are now.
How are you really? No. How are you really? And that’s incredibly difficult. So I think the shift for us as health coaches has been, that companies are now really valuing the support that coaching and those kind of things can add in terms of filling that gap a little bit and giving those people and those individuals that support that they need, that maybe the company can’t do everything.
And sometimes you need professional to come in. So I’m definitely seeing a shift from very much telling through to how can if people need it, how can we support them and providing that support to those individuals?
[00:10:52] Mental health at work
[00:10:52] Tony Winyard: And so when you mention mental health. So is that more a case of you’re generally helping people with reduce stress and anxiety? Or what if someone’s issues are deeper than.
[00:11:02] Joanna Shurety: There. There’s a line always, if somebody has a need for some kind of medical intervention, then, that’s beyond my realm. And I wouldn’t necessarily go there, but when it, I’ve worked on working with somebody at the moment who has been off with stress. And they’ve had counseling and they’ve had meditation and they’ve been off sick for periods of time. And so certain things they’ve dealt with and they’ve understand why, where it comes from understand kind of some of that stuff. But what they’ve not changed is their Habits at work.
So they’re still piling on that pressure. On themselves by the actions, the decisions that they’re making. So no one’s tackled that counseling. They understand where it comes from, but they haven’t actually dealt with the behaviors that they’re doing and the things they’re saying yes to.
And so as a coach, I’m not tackling, I’m not counseling them. I’m looking at what they’re doing and where their pressure is and where the stress is being caused. And let’s look at how we can build some different behaviors or different Habits around what you are doing so that you have the head space so that you’re making the right calls so that you are questioning.
And so the cause of the stress is being dealt with rather than necessarily the kind of the medication to balance their, their hormones or whatever, that’s not for me. But if I can help somebody with actually what they’re doing to contribute to that then that’s where I come in.
[00:12:26] Tony Winyard: So are they ever conflicts? The demands, the company, places on the people that, the clients or their employees that you’re working with, which maybe you need them, or you are suggesting that they work less, but the company’s given and demands where they’re having to feel like they have to work all the time.
[00:12:44] Joanna Shurety: Yeah, a hundred percent, but I think there’s a two way responsibility with that. So if somebody asks you for something, do you have to say yes every time, even if you feel that you should, or you have to, where does that feeling come from? I I’ve seen lots of companies go, oh, no one works at lunchtime.
Everyone has a break. There’s plenty of people that I talk to that do work lunchtime and do have a break. because there’s always a ton of stuff to do, but the company goes, no we recognize that at lunch, whose fault is that? So if you are only looking for a, if you’re looking for a company to be managing everything you take on and everything you say yes to and everything you respond to, is that right or wrong?
Personally, I would say that we have the right and we have the ability to say no, There’s plenty of people that don’t feel that they can or should or are able to. And again, you could say that’s your company’s fault, or you could say well, actually, that’s something you should be able to change.
Now that sounds very, altruistic and a beautiful world, but ultimately most companies there’s negotiation that goes. There is the ability to say, I can’t do that right now. I’ve got to there’s always priorities to be attended to.
[00:14:04] The importance of employees prioritising
[00:14:04] Joanna Shurety: So does that mean that every time someone says that’s a priority for you, that you have to do everything that then adds into that list?
Or do you say if I do that, actually I can’t do that. Or I have a break now and I need to do it because if I don’t, I’m not gonna have the energy to do this stuff, this a. Or I have to take time to plan, or I have to take time to strategize. I don’t know, whatever, if we don’t, if we don’t take responsibility for some of it then of course your to-do list is always going to be growing.
You’re just gonna be a dumping ground for people to, to give you stuff to do. And you can’t just say the company, generally it’s management, generally it’s leadership, and most people that run businesses are constantly driving for improvement. Sales, whatever, but our role is surely to contribute to those decisions and to push back where we need to.
[00:14:58] Tony Winyard: I’m curious as to you said before that a company may call you in and, or the manager, maybe as you just said, wants you to work with certain of his employees. How does that conversation? Oh, you need to go and see John he’s in the right
[00:15:14] Joanna Shurety: Yeah. I’ve never had that one. The example I gave you earlier was somebody that had gone off with stress. And I was already working into that business. So a manager approached me and said, look, we’ve got an employee he’s been off twice. He’s had counseling and he’s already putting his hand up to say, he’s struggling again.
And I’ve talked to him about you and he’d be interested in having a chat. So we have a chat and we end up working together. Quite often I’ll go in and do a workshop or a talk. So managers will say, look, we’ve got a really busy time coming up. And we are gonna put things in place for people too.
Have a bit of time, but actually there’s that personal responsibility as well. So could you come in and just talk about the importance of resilience or, some tips that people can do, let’s get the conversation going. And from that, if anybody feels that they’d like some sessions with you to actually think about what that means for them.
Then fine. So it can be less about, you need a health coach and more about, look, these are things. This is how we’re gonna manage this time. But if you feel that you need maybe a bit of help or somebody to work with over that period of time then Joanna is there for you to speak to.
So it can be a little bit more subtle than.
[00:16:26] Tony Winyard: So the talk you did yesterday. So it is that likely to result in some of the people that attended the talk, maybe wanting to work with you or asking their supervisor, would I be able to have some sessions with Jo? Would that kind of thing happen?
[00:16:43] Joanna Shurety: Yeah, generally. If I’m doing like a co this one, yes, there was for 200 odd people. So this was more of an information given session, but I have had managers. I’ve got a couple of managers who I work with in a big corporate bank. And over this pandemic period, they’ve had all their employees come from in the office to now being remotely.
[00:17:02] Health issues that arose from lockdown
[00:17:02] Joanna Shurety: And what they’re seeing is. A real kind of mixed bag of those that are coping really well and others that are, that have really struggled with it. And so what they’ve said is could look, come in and do a couple of workshops with our team so we can look at, what’s working well, what we struggling with, where’s the areas maybe, and some of that stuff as a team, They can tackle.
They can deal with it as a team, but there’s other areas that are a bit more personal or a bit more specific. Like how do I manage my time? I’m really struggling with this online world. I’m never getting up off my desk. I’m never moving. My, my eating’s gone completely short. I used to come into the office and I used to cycle to the office and do this and I’d go for a walk at lunch.
Doing none of that. And actually, I can’t quite work out my head, how to do it. Cause I’ve got this massive to do list this massive pile of work day to day, blooming zoom meetings that I can’t get out of. And when they talk about this stuff and companies can go, oh yeah. But you can take a lunch break and we allow it.
But actually that person just can’t quite. Adjust to this new way of working. And if I go in and do that, there’ll be people that will go actually, just talking it through as a team is enough. We’ve worked out some stuff and there’ll be others there that will go, yeah, I know what I should be doing, but I can’t quite step over that line and actually get to do it.
So maybe working with someone where I can just focus on that for a bit of time, just have a bit of space and a bit of thinking. To really talk that through and what is my challenge and for me to help them with that, moving it forward and making those changes is where I can help.
[00:18:42] Working with different industries
[00:18:42] Tony Winyard: Are you working across many sort of different industries or is it in a particular in.
[00:18:47] Joanna Shurety: Quite a few different industries. Financial sector is probably the main area that I work into, but I’ve got pharmaceutical. I’ve got a couple of more kind of technology type. Based businesses. Even in the financial sector, my main clients are on that technology side. And again, you’d think everyone’s just worth used to working online, but actually collaboration for them is is the biggie.
Now they’re collaborating online. And so actually that the world of seven hours of zoom or PS teams has not gone. Has not gone away, again, adjusting to that new way of working and not having those mental breaks, those physical breaks fueling your body properly. It’s just starting tore a little bit.
People are starting to feel tired. Motivation is waning.
Sleep is suffering. Still I probably get asked to do a talk on sleep the most
[00:19:48] Tony Winyard: right.
[00:19:49] Joanna Shurety: I think whilst when we all went into this kind of new way of working, it was always like, oh, we just get on through. It’ll be fine, cuz it will come out the other end and we’ll all go back to what we did before. And of course. We haven’t really some companies have gone back to what they did before, but there’s this halfway house of some people want into some people not.
So it’s really uncertain. And I think people are still in a little bit of limbo, which uncertainty is no good for our stress or our levels, cuz we feel out of control. Okay.
[00:20:18] What is the most enjoyable part of what you do?
[00:20:18] Tony Winyard: What is the most enjoyable part of what
[00:20:21] Joanna Shurety: Oh, there’s loads.
I think just getting to know everyone is so different and what they want is so different that I love the variety. When I first qualified, I worked a lot people, my natural instinct was to work with people that wanted to lose weight for some reason, cuz I’m fascinated by food and nutrition and all that kind of stuff.
[00:20:47] Weight loss
[00:20:47] Joanna Shurety: And I started working with people that wanted that and I just found it. So Sammy. Tell me what to eat, I’ll eat it and I’ll lose the weight. And it was the same kind of conversations all the time. And I soon got a bit bored of that, but when it comes to stress and that kind of, that, that whole subject it’s just so varied as to why.
And so really getting to the bottom of it and then covering it. I find fascinating what motivates people, what drives people? Some of the people that I’ve worked with, I’ve got the most amazing jobs they’re in the most high powered jobs, they’re making incredible decisions and yet they’ve got some like imposter syndrome or something, you look at them and you think I would never, ever, or they feel terrible or they have no confidence in themselves.
And yet they put this mask on every single day and I’m really fortunate. When I work with someone that, for me, that trust and that relationship is super important that when you chip away at that a little bit, and you get to know that real person and all their insecurities I’m blown away by it.
Cause I’m like really , you’re seriously amazing and where you’ve got to, and yet we still carry this. I find that people still carry that kind of baggage with them. And I think when you work with someone on that and. They either learn to accept it and it doesn’t bother them anymore.
That’s amazing. But equally when people, when you can work someone through it and actually becomes a non-issue and you see them flying and they come back to you the next time and go, I’m just doing this stuff. Not automatically, how the hell was I coping and existing that way before. Suddenly, when it becomes a new way of working, it’s just what they do.
And you see the joy or the happiness, or, the fact that they’re just smashing it at work and promotions and all of that kind of stuff and doing what they love. That to me is just, I just love that you can’t beat it.
[00:23:10] Tony Winyard: Is there is a client that comes to mind who you were really able to help and they just had an amazing turnaround or results?
[00:23:22] Helping clients achieve results
[00:23:22] Tony Winyard: or, Quite, there’s been quite a few and I think sometimes the results are minor. They’re little things that people really get on top of. But most recently The gentleman I was working with, he’d really been suffering with overwhelm and stress not sleeping.
[00:23:40] Joanna Shurety: Definitely not looking after himself. And just working in a way that really wasn’t very productive for him or his colleagues. And really all we looked at was his decision making around saying yes to work. that was it. That’s all we did. And just by him changing his behavior around giving himself a bit of time to consider things all of a sudden it wasn’t, he was saying no, but he was taking on stuff in the right way.
And often he was sharing it out with his colleagues before he would take stuff on and just, it would sit with him. It would he’d mull over it. It would keep him awake at night. Two weeks late and I think would happen cause he was just paralyzed with what to do, but he could not stop himself saying yes, he wanted to help everybody.
He wanted to please everything he wanted to be successful of that stuff. And actually all that was happening was he was just racking up a load. Stuff, baggage, whatever you wanna call it. And just by actually looking at what he has on his plate and saying let’s tackle each thing individually to get rid of that.
What have you gotta do? And we almost worked through each single thing until he’d come back two weeks later and he dealt with everything and, That sounds quite simple, but for him to do that was, it was quite, it was quite a lot of anxiety around that because he felt, he said yes.
And then all of a sudden he felt, he was saying, no, And people would question, why have you said no, now you’ve had it for a month or whatever, it’s gone nowhere. So we had to talk through some of that. But once he started to to do it, he almost became got rid of everything. No, he did.
He started to say right, actually. I don’t have to say yes to what I do need to do is say, okay, I can do that, but I need to know these things before I do. And so what he learned to do was just consider the way that he was working, the way that he was Delegating the way that he was engaging with his team to help with that workload.
And again, I think when people are in a certain position, they don’t wanna necessarily look weak by asking for help. And so we had to tackle some of that stuff, but now he’s just got promoted. His managers, aren’t worrying about him all the time and how much workload they give him because he’s able to push back and he’s able to question.
His team are much happier because actually they’re getting some development because he’s not keeping everything for himself. He went on his first holiday in two years where he didn’t worry about work because nothing was stuck with him.
Whereas before he went on holiday, everything could be sat with him.
And so to sit there and hand over to someone just would’ve been a disaster. So he would take it with him and work on holiday. Although, it was a real, simple thing to deal with when you look back at it and it took us, a couple of months to work through that actually now he just works in a completely different way, completely different.
And he’s had, I’ve stayed with him. Even when he is been working really well, because we knew there would be bumps in the road. We knew there would be times when things would be really busy and he’d be naturally gravitating to go back to his old ways. And actually he hasn’t. So our relationship is run its course he’s good to go.
And that’s fabulous.
[00:27:00] How long do you typically work with clients?
[00:27:00] Tony Winyard: And so would I be right. And assuming that most of the, the clients you’re working with on in a corporate environment is quite short term generally, right?
[00:27:10] Joanna Shurety: Yeah, I say that, but then I’ve got a couple of clients that I’ve worked with for more than six months. I’ve got a lady. That I’ve worked with for a long period of time. It’s, it depends on what it is as to the timeframe. And you never know how quickly someone’s gonna work through their things, but generally three months to six months maybe is common. With the gentleman, I just said, we of tackled that. And then we looked at lifestyle, that was secondary. Whereas some other people, it might be sleep is really bad or something else. We might start there, but. More often than not.
We end up with the what’s causing you. What’s keeping you awake at night.
[00:27:42] Tony Winyard: right.
[00:27:43] Joanna Shurety: Let’s tackle that. So sometimes people just need a couple of sessions where they just almost work it through. And then there’s others that need a bit more hand holding and a bit more support with maybe changing some of those behaviors that are a little bit more ingrained or a little bit more scary.
To change as a little bit more resistance they want to, but it’s really hard for them. So short term and long it’s it’s there’s no, again, there’s no magic formula to numbers to act to how long,
[00:28:12] Which issues take longer to remedy?
[00:28:12] Tony Winyard: And is there any particular issue that seems to often take much longer?
[00:28:18] Joanna Shurety: I think when it take, I think when people have been in their roles for a long period of time and have behaved or been successful by certain ingrained Habits or behaviors, when it suddenly doesn’t fit into a new company or a new role that can take a little bit of time to change. Because I think I find.
People, although they wanna leave it behind, they identify themselves with the person that always does everything or the one that everyone can rely on. And so to change that can feel like people will suddenly think badly of you or don’t care. So often it’s more about what they think others will think of them.
And it can take a bit of time to change that and to have the confidence to do it. So I think those behaviors, those limiting kind of beliefs or those things that we think others will think of us, those negative feelings will often take a little bit longer. And even if people do start to change. When again, like if a new person comes into that team or a challenge comes on they’ll revert back to their old behavior. So you to really embed something you do sometimes have to stay with people, even if it’s a little bit more lighter touch for a little bit longer, just to give them that chance for it to embed.
[00:29:40] Health coach, business coach or life coach?!
[00:29:40] Tony Winyard: From some of the. Answers that you give me to some of the questions I’ve been posing. A lot of what you’ve been doing is very along the lines of a life coach business coach. I’m wondering if any of the clients, maybe are surprised, but they’re expecting a health coach to be, they’ve got maybe blinkers on and they think, oh, it’s just gonna be about helping me with headaches or whatever it is.
But you are helping in many other areas, maybe they wouldn’t or they surprised them maybe.
[00:30:08] Joanna Shurety: Yeah, I think cuz my area is. You have to tackle what’s causing the stress and it might be relationship. It might be workload it, there’s no point in me saying to people go for a lovely lunchtime walk and suddenly your stress will melt away. Or, have a really, all of those things will really help, but I can’t say people have a great night’s sleep magically and your stress will go.
[00:30:30] Chicken and egg
[00:30:30] Joanna Shurety: Like, We know that lifestyle is so fundamental to, to how we manage stress, but often it’s a chicken and then egg, and I personally find that if you are not tackling. The thing that’s causing the stress. Me talking about what you are doing lifestyle was they come hand in hand.
Often, the guy was stressed, I, we, I was encouraging him to take breaks, to think when he’s thinking about what he says yes or no to get outside. Go for a walk and do it, or stop for lunch and sit there and write your list of what you’ve gotta do. So it’s in there. I’m not saying, all I’m dealing with is that stuff it’s in there because it goes hand in hand.
It’s not one is better than the other. They’re both together. If I’m dealing with somebody that say, like the chap I was talking about, that just takes on everything. Okay. He was spending no time away from his desk and he was working late into the night. So for me, I’m thinking how can I help him set some boundaries because he’s not switching off to go to sleep. So he has to do that. If he really wants to improve his sleep, I can’t say to him just suddenly switch off at six O’. Turn your laptop off. Yeah. Okay. Do that. But his mind still were in a way. So the lifestyle stuff that, that comes into. To the life, and it is a little bit of life coaching, as well and how people just happens.
But actually it comes hand in hand cuz what I want people to realize is those things that they start to do with their lifestyle, like what they’re eating, like, how they’re moving, like connections with their families and their friends and hobbies and all of that stuff is a tool in making them much more high performing in their jobs.
It’s not one or the other. They’re just they’re they’re there.
[00:32:19] What habits have been impactful for you?
[00:32:19] Tony Winyard: In terms of Habits
[00:32:21] Joanna Shurety: Ugh.
[00:32:21] Tony Winyard: For your own life, what Habits can you think of that have been really impactful for you?
[00:32:28] Joanna Shurety: Loads. Exercise for me is something I’ve done since I was a kid. If I could be outside in a park, can get upside down from a tree or throwing myself off something or running or whatever that I’d be doing it. And I still work out four or five times a week. And genuinely I say this people roll their eyes.
I love it. I absolutely love it. I can’t imagine not doing it when I go on holiday. I work out. I have a trainer and we box and we do weights and I just love the challenge of work it out. I have no problem motivating myself. To stick my trainers on and go for a run. At some point in the week, I’m not that kind of army Sergeant that goes, oh, I must go six o’clock in the morning or whatever.
But here in the week, if I look back, there’ll be at least four bits of exercise that I’ve done, cuz I just crave it. So for me, that’s thinking time, that’s time when my best ideas come to me. It’s a time when, if I’ve been sat at my desk, for hours actually, just I crave getting outside and moving my body.
So exercise is one thing reading before bed. Oh my God. That is just, if I’m struggling to get sleep, grab a book, read a few pages and I’m.
[00:33:45] What kind of books do you prefer to read at night?
[00:33:45] Tony Winyard: And is there a certain type of book that you prefer to read at that kind of just before.
[00:33:50] Joanna Shurety: I’m not I read my, I looked in my book list the other day. I read about 20 books a year. Somewhere around that lockdown. I was like a Demonn. I was constantly reading. I like a bit of everything. I like not too scary, but I like thrillers. So I liked the trilogy, the girl that kicked the horn, its nest and those ones.
I loved that trilogy. I liked biographies. I liked historical stuff. I’m not too into the kind. King Henry the eighth and the kind of courtyards and all that kind of stuff that I’m not really into sci-fi or anything like that. Fiction and kind of biographies. I’m quite interested in people. So I do like biography.
I generally don’t read any worky type coachy type stuff at nighttime. I find that really really doesn’t that doesn’t do me any favors. So I avoid that.
[00:34:38] Does your company only do health coaching?
[00:34:38] Tony Winyard: So your company is cuz there’s more than just you, from what I gather in your company and is it. Is it mostly just doing corporate stuff or, and is there anything else apart from health coaching that you.
[00:34:50] Joanna Shurety: Me personally. No, but Dan, so my husband, Danny, he’s been coaching now for over 15 years. So he started the business and he was a one ran band for many years. He worked into. Pretty much 90% of his coaching is into corporates and he does future leader stuff. So he’s much more on that skill delegation and things like that.
My career was very HR. So for 18 years I was an H I was HRD eventually and run a business software company. With the business owner before I became a health coach and I studied for about eight months to do my qualification and then became a health coach and then joined the business, joined Dan’s business.
And I really didn’t wanna work into the corporate sector. It wasn’t like I really thought about, I didn’t really think that health coaching would be something that companies would be even remotely interested in offering to their team. So I was working very much, one to one. Which you know, was a lot of work and effort to get one to one clients.
And I did that over the first couple of years and then lockdown. Just open the flood case because Dan would have clients that were struggling with sleep or with energy. And we talking to him about just being really tired and burnt out and whatever. And he’d say to him why don’t you have a couple of sessions with Jo?
And then we went, hold on a minute, we’re getting asked more and more about employees that are burnt feeling that kind of burnout. Look, stress is part of everyday life, but it’s when it becomes a problem when it becomes your sleep suffering or, all those things. When everything’s great, keeping your resilience high is really easy because life just swims along.
You probably go out, you do a bit of a lunchtime walk. You definitely make yourself like nice for lunch. It everything’s wonderful. And then when it gets really hard, So all of a sudden you can’t see people, you can’t go to the office, you have to talk to everyone on zoom. All of a sudden, all those things that keep you resilient are the very things that you drop.
I won’t go for my lunchtime walk because I’m too busy or I have my body waiting, bored and biscuits and half a ton of coffee to get me through the afternoon. Not I won’t stop for some, we just lose all of. And that is okay if it’s every now and then if you have, what, over a couple of weeks and a couple of months, something starts to happen.
Our bodies become drained of energy. We start to find it harder and harder to switch off. And so Dan was starting to see a lot of his clients talking about some of that stuff. Naturally, I stepped in there. And so now we work, quite closely together. We have a lot of clients that are the same clients, but we just work with people on a, from a slightly different start point.
[00:37:29] Tony Winyard: and can you see that growing? Are they gonna be, do you think you’ll need more health coaches? Because there’s because of the clients you’ve already got need more and more help.
[00:37:39] Joanna Shurety: We don’t have any grand plans to grow our business in that way. I’ve run a business. And the reason I went to work for myself was cuz I didn’t wanna manage people anymore and have that pressure. So we find that, we’re in a really fortunate position that. We’ve now got fairly established and we’ve got some nice clients and often we might not be the right fit for people.
So our communities that we know and the people that we collaborate with, we do that more than we do say we wanna employ other people into our business. We work, I work in partnership with another couple of. Health coaching type organizations and they might do one bit and I come in and do the coaching.
So for me, that’s a really nice way to grow the business without having to have the overhead and the added responsibility of other people and being responsible for them. So unlikely is my answer to that. I never say never, but unlikely.
[00:38:38] How you think health coaching will change in the future?
[00:38:38] Tony Winyard: So health coaches is still quite a new thing in the UK and of globally as well. How do you see health coaching changing, any attitude or perception towards health coaches changing the next few years?
[00:38:50] Joanna Shurety: I think, I’m seeing quite a big change actually. Whereas before I guess my, the last couple of years, my I’d be approached about people that were maybe at that point of struggle. I’m now starting to have the conversation with companies about putting in some preventative things for people before they go through before they get to that point.
And I think companies are starting to recognize that the stuff they do upfront with their employees, whether that be giving them skills. Or the right kind of team set up often, when you plan for something, a project or whatever, you look at the resources, you’ve got you look at what you’ve gotta deliver the client, all of that kind of stuff.
I’m starting to see people say to me, can you come in and deal with this cohort? And can we put some things in place where they can put some practices or whatever in place so that when they go into this change period or this big project, they’re already thinking about it. Which for me is fabulous because I’m not dealing with somebody that’s you might deal with the same kind of mindset stuff and whatever, but actually you’re dealing with it before it gets to that point, which is an awful lot easier to to tackle.
I had a conversation the other day We have a construction company that have got a graduate intake and they find that their retention of graduates is pretty poor. Once they finish, they go or part way through because the hours they work and, all of those kind of things and what they wanna do is try and support those people through that process.
So they keep them. So they’re talking to me about being a coach for them through that time around lifestyle, how they’re looking after themselves, how they’re managing their workloads, et cetera. That is unheard of really. So I’ve never come up. No one’s ever asked me that before. So I think if companies start to think about wellbeing of their staff upfront, When it comes to planning and things like that, then I think that will be how it just becomes part of the conversation rather than a sticking plaster.
[00:40:54] Tony Winyard: and that will require a lot more health coaches because if many companies start forward thinking along those lines, it will require a lot.
[00:41:02] Joanna Shurety: Yeah. I think health coaching is one part of that, but I think when you start to work with individuals, they naturally Spread that that support and that knowledge, I’ve worked with quite a lot of managers and directors actually, but once they start to think about how they work and what they’re doing, they become a little bit evangelical about it.
And actually they start to embed those practices it with their teams. They start to ask those questions upfront. So naturally. The culture starts to change. That doesn’t mean to say you don’t have the odd person or one or two people that maybe need that little bit more one to one support. If it’s driven from the senior team who I’ve worked with, often, it just naturally embeds.
I’ve got people that go, I used to work like this and I don’t want that for my teams. They start to talk to their teams about the journey they’ve gone through. How they’ve made changes and then therefore what they expected, their teams starts to shift a little bit. And actually there’s a lot more empathy, so you will need more health coaches and I don’t wanna do myself have a job, but that doesn’t, I don’t think it comes to the point where everybody has their own health coach.
I think it’s it’s one of many solutions that the companies can.
[00:42:22] Jo’s favourite books
[00:42:22] Tony Winyard: As we are, we’re coming towards the end, Joe. A couple questions I always ask are starting off. We, so we touched upon books just now. And you told me about, how many books you read a year. Is there, what book has maybe moved you most in the last few years?
[00:42:36] Joanna Shurety: I did mention, I have such a weird and wonderful taste in books. I’ve read a couple recently that I guess, spring to mind. The first one, which I just finished was the Billy Connolly. Autography Wind swept and interesting, and I didn’t know much about him at all. Um, Apart from that, he was Billy Connolly and I just found his life fascinating.
There was so much stuff I didn’t know, from, being a welder and being in the paras and all of that kind of stuff. And his kind of Parkinson’s, but just his attitude to life I thought was absolutely fabulous. You kind of Like devil may care.
[00:43:13] Tony Winyard: What was it that made you read it in the first place?
[00:43:15] Joanna Shurety: I bought it for my husband for Christmas and he hasn’t got round to read it yet. So I read it first. It was there and I thought I’ll pick that up next and I’ll read it. I’m I’m quite open to reading those things. The other one that Springs mind that’s stayed with me a little bit is roots by Alex Hailey.
I think it’s how he pronounce his Sur. And a friend of mine, Phil recommended, I read it when the George Floyd thing happened. There was a lot of discussion online about. Educating ourselves and what we can do and all of that kind of thing. And my friend Phil recommended, I read that book and it is a hoo book.
It is a very fat book to read, but I found firstly, there was a lot of stuff I didn’t realize about the slave trade. It was heartbreaking. It was. Anger, inducing. It was very emotional book to read
[00:44:03] Tony Winyard: right.
[00:44:03] Joanna Shurety: And it was a, it is a book that I I do think about quite a lot. It’s just stage with me and I read it probably about a year and a half ago.
So lots of reasons. It evoked quite a lot of emotion in me that book.
[00:44:16] Jo’s contact details
[00:44:16] Tony Winyard: If people want to find out more about you, maybe as a CEO wants you to work with this company, how would they get in touch with you?
[00:44:24] Joanna Shurety: Website is always a good, we have a website, very official. Www.suretycoaching.com is where you can find us. Email me email@example.com. I’m on the usual socials, Facebook, LinkedIn, all of those places. Any of them, I. There’s about 500 ways to get in touch with people that days whichever way takes you.
Fancy ping me on one of them.
[00:44:49] Tony Winyard: and to finish, Jo is is there a quotation that, that resonates. You for any reason?
[00:44:55] Jo’s favourite quote
[00:44:55] Joanna Shurety: there’s a quote I often say to people and I dunno where it comes from and I’m sure I don’t think anyone has ever laid claim to it cause it’s not it’s not one of the things you get on Instagram, but nothing happens as fast as we’d like. And I think that’s true of most areas of our lives, whether that’s watching the kettle boil or getting fitter.
I think when I whenever people start working with me, they’re really motivated. And so they wanna see change really quickly. But sometimes change takes a bit of care and attention and a bit of discipline. And a bit of effort. And I think when you are ready to make change, you wanna feel it straight away.
You wanna see immediate results, which is why the diet industries does so well. But I think if you are working towards that feeling, That’s the best way to look at it. It won’t happen as quickly as you want it. Won’t miraculously just change unlikely. Sometimes it might. I dunno, but I’m re I’m rarely seeing it.
You do one thing once and the whole world changes for you. That’s another thing that really Springs to mind and that’s, so I have to remind myself of my own business as well.
[00:46:01] Tony Winyard: it’s been a pleasure. So thank you for the last, what, 50 minutes. And sharing your experience and wisdom. It’s been really good. Thank you.
[00:46:08] Joanna Shurety: No it’s been good. Fun. I probably talk too much. I can’t help myself.
[00:46:13] Tony Winyard: Next week, episode 77. with Rick Olderman. He’s a sports and orthopedic physical therapist. with more than 25 years experience in a specialized in helping people with chronic pain. And helping them to experience a pain-free life and we discuss what is pain? And how many people go about treating.
Or just kind of treating the symptoms rather than trying to establish what is the root cause. And so Rick explains how he goes about finding a root cause so that it doesn’t just keep coming back. Because when you only treat the symptoms. It never goes away. You cure it temporarily. We don’t cure it.
You just sort of help to stop the pain temporarily, but it’s going to come back again. So, yeah, we go into to pain, how he got into doing that. He traveled around the world for quite a while before doing all of that. And so that’s the next week episode 77 with Rick Olderman.
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