By Hannah Connolly
What I think is amazing about coaching is allowing people the space to explore that there is another way.” Speaking with certified behavioural coach Gemma Perlin over Zoom was enlightening, to say the least.
Sharing here, with The Stack World, her story of career pivots, top-line tips for boardroom success and how she is on a mission to give you “the autonomy to create your own path free of limiting behaviour”.
Gemma’s Top Tip For Pitching and Presenting:
"It is really important before you do any presentation or pitch to know what want from that situation. Make an imprint in your mind of how you want it to be in the end. Visualise the final moments as everyone's getting ready to switch off zoom or leave the room – how does it look? What can you hear people saying and how do you want to feel inside?
Create that feeling and then imagine a circle, in that circle are those thoughts and then place it on your seat and imagine yourself literally sitting in the middle of the circle. Then your mind will have the ability to take you there.
A lot of the time people think only about what they don’t want. I hope I am not nervous. I hope people don’t think I am stupid. I hope I don’t get my words wrong – your mind doesn't understand ‘negative’ it’s just hearing be nervous, be anxious or be stressed. If you feel negative, you will see all the evidence to suggest it’s not going well. Every facial expression, every body movement will support that negative thought of I am not good enough. But if you envision it as you want it to be and think I will smash this, you will see that belief is reinforced in the same way you would a negative preconception."
From Documentary Maker To A Behavioural Coach On A Mission...
“I worked in TV for 10 years as a producer working on documentaries, some quite hairy investigative stuff on the far-right and terrorism”, Gemma tells me over our video chat. An unlikely trajectory, at first glance perhaps, a documentary maker to coaching expert, but as Gemma pointed out her work has always had human behaviour right at the heart of it.
It was during this time in her career however that stress began to take control, “I was unwell a lot at the end of this period and it was stressing me out big time. It was making me so anxious.” Being a freelancer did nothing but exasperate the problem, a shared issue amongst many who work for themselves.
Gemma then began to seek out methods and frameworks to help, “I knew why I felt the way I did,” she explained, adding “I would talk about it with people but I didn’t know how to get myself out of that slump, out of feeling very out of control. My mind was in spirals.”
So, what initially began as a journey for self-help techniques would become a life-changing eureka moment. Moving from hearing people share their own stories from behind a camera to being able to help people directly. Qualifying as a Behavioural Coach and then opening her own practice that is thriving today.
A pivot that would coincide with the unprecedented reach of the covid-pandemic which served to only strengthen Gemma’s passion and spurred her on to broadening the reach of her services.
“If we really understand our mind then we can can think about behaviour, because behaviour change is what allows things to really shift in terms of actions allowing us to create change in what we want in our lives. I think a lot of people think in terms of ‘managing’ things, Oh I want to manage this thing in my life but I want to show that there is another way.”
Gemma shared with The Stack it is repetition that works both ways when it comes to our unconscious, patterns of behaviour are just that, learned ways of doing things, but like teaching yourself a new skill you can adopt new systems.
“Of course, we touch on things that feel uncomfortable in sessions but overall it will bring a lot of lightness into your life,” and this is where the body comes into the conversation. Rather than just working internally or on the unconcious Gemma’s practice encourages a connection between the two.
What Gemma aims to share is the ability to create new “neural pathways”, a method where your brain is able to recognise other options when in high-pressure situations. Teaching that unless we ‘train’ our brains even the most pragmatic person may find themselves overwhelmed at times.
In a Stack World exclusive, Gemma is bringing her practice to you, as a premium or free member, where you can join in for 12 months of curated programming to help you build out your Emotional Tool Kit.
In her first session this coming Wednesday the 2nd of March, Gemma will be sharing the perfect skill for those fight or flight moments: “It is basically an anchoring technique. The more your practice it the more powerful it will be and this is a technique used by most significant politicians and world leaders.”
Gemma’s practice is tailored towards busy lifestyles, and works well for those who want to make the most out of their time sharing: “ It’s one of those things where you don't need to sit and meditate, all of the tools I will be teaching are for busy people. I have worked in a very stressful industry and I realise that people don't have hours a day for self-reflection. My skills are designed for people who want practical and powerful results.”
RSVP NOW or become a member of the Emotional Tool Kit Club so you never miss an event.
“This is a technique used by most major politicians” - From finding her true calling to top tips, this behavioural coach is on a mission to give you the tools to get what you want.
By Hannah Connolly
The ‘Pure O’ or ‘purely obsessional’ type of OCD is characterised by distressing, intrusive thoughts and mental rituals to cope with them. Rae Elliman shares her experience of living with – and learning to manage – these hidden compulsions