My guest on today’s podcast is my friend Michelle Gale. Michelle and I met at a Wisdom 2.0 conference back in 2011. Wisdom 2.0 is an organization that holds events all over the world which focus on bringing technology and mindfulness together. After working in sales, as a teacher, and as a recruiter, Michelle became a coach. Her experience as both a recruiter and a coach led her to an opportunity to work at Twitter in the early days of the company as it was beginning to grow.
Michelle left Twitter back in 2012 to focus on coaching full time. Today she works with organizations, as well as with parents and families, focusing on mindfulness.
What does Bring Your Whole Self to Work Mean to Michelle?
Michelle believes it’s all about showing up as your authentic self at work. She says during part of a person’s time at work they should be sharing their greatest gifts by working in their flow or their genius.
A Transformative Year
Michelle realized she was ready for something new after working amid chaos as a teacher in the Los Angeles area. She began to be triggered by unfortunate situations in her student’s lives. She yearned to be on a path of mindfulness and to incorporate meditation into her life. This desire led her to a year-long, transformational program at New Ventures West. Shortly after finishing the program she started coaching.
Her coaching practice was the perfect accompaniment to her newly acquired motherhood duties. When the recession hit, it was an easy decision for Michelle to go back into recruiting to supplement the household income. She won a part-time recruiting contract with a company with whom she had a history. She advised the founders of the organization their corporate culture needed support through coaching. They gave her the go ahead and she was happy to find herself doing what she loved inside of an organization – coaching.
A former colleague of Michelle’s asked her to join her team at Twitter in the early days, as they were looking for good recruiters. She agreed to help with recruiting, as long as they allowed her to pursue her love of coaching. They appointed her their Organizational Coach and Learning and Development Leader. Twitter at the time was just ramping up and was an exciting place to be but Michelle was working 60-70 hour weeks which didn’t leave her much time with her kids. When she overheard someone talking about the Wisdom 2.0 conference she did some research.
The Mindfulness Movement
Michelle loved what she read about the conference and knew she would find like-minded people there. She says “The mindfulness movement is a response to what culture is serving up right now.” Michelle’s mindfulness practices include morning meditations and ‘I see you’ moments and texts with her children.
Parents Suffer in Silence
Michelle is excited about bringing support to parents who may be suffering in silence. She says in today’s world, both mom and dad are working and higher expectations are put on moms. Work constantly filters into personal time including time set aside for family vacations. Michelle’s goal is to see organizations go through a culture shift and see the benefits of supporting parents. She says that sparks are already being lit by champions of the cause inside of organizations, like Google.
Michelle would like to see other businesses adopt mindful parenting policies. She says it’s critical to weave parental support into business structures through more awareness, more conversations and practical solutions.
“The mindfulness movement is a response to what culture is serving up right now.” @mgaleClick to tweet
“Men and women have to figure out the balance of both parents having a career.” @mgaleClick to tweet