Ep 253 BEST OF Replay with Leadership Coach and Author Tracy Bianco
In this episode I am sharing a best of replay from a conversation with Tracy Bianco.
Tracy is a leadership coach, team development specialist, speaker, and founder of Tracy Bianco Coaching & Consulting. She has more than 30 years of experience in training, coaching, developing, and leading strong teams. She helps leaders and their teams stop hating Mondays so productivity increases, conflict decreases, and workplace harmony is the norm.
We discussed her book The Checklist Life: Breaking Free From a Life of Obligations and how important it is for you to be able to create the life you want to live based on your greatest desires – not those prescribed to you as “shoulds” through society’s lens.
- The plan you have for your life
- Life not going as planned
- Finding joy in your life
- Changing the masterpiece of your life
- DISC assessment
- The importance of celebrating you
- Leadership Lab: CLICK HERE
- Confidence program: CHECK OUT
Episode Transcript: (Transcribed by OtterAI with minimal edits)
You are listening to the It’s Your Time podcast and I’m your host certified life coach Michelle Arnold Bourque.
In today’s episode I’m sharing a best of replay conversation with Tracy Bianco, leadership coach and author of the check list life. Unknown Speaker 0:17 Welcome to the richer time Podcast, the podcast where busy professionals like you get the practical solutions and support you need to gain control of your schedule so you can strive to be the best in your career, but without the stress and overwhelm. If you’re looking to increase your energy and decrease your stress, you are in the right place.
0:41 Hello, hello. Hello. Welcome back to the podcast friends. How is it the last day of August already? It’s craziness. It has just been flying by. Hopefully you have some nice plans for the long weekend. And I was actually just in Minneapolis, it was like 99 degrees. Usually when I’m in Minneapolis it is but cold freezing. Yes. That is a weather term. Just ask your local weather people. But I was there for a strategy meeting with some amazing powerhouse women and even more that are involved that weren’t able to make it. You know that fancy thing. We have zoom totally was able to connect us all and there are so many great things being done with this group. I’m so excited and I will be sharing more about that in the next couple of weeks. But today speaking of powerhouse women, I have one for you. I am sharing a best replay from a conversation that I had with Tracy Bianco. Tracy is a leadership coach team development specialist speaker and founder of Tracy Bianco coaching and consulting. She has more than 30 years of experience and training, coaching, developing and leading strong teams so I think she knows a thing or two. Tracy also helps leaders and their teams stop hating Mondays, so productivity increases conflict decreases and workplace harmony is the norm. Now wouldn’t that be a lovely thing for all. Tracy earned her bachelor’s and master’s degrees before becoming certified as a life and executive coach. She is the author of a checklist for breaking free from a life of obligations. And this is the meat of what we talked about in the interview, the book and how to break free from living that life of obligation. While family tops Tracy’s list of life’s greatest joys. She also enjoys walking while listening to her favorite podcast. Hopefully she’s listening to this one. Reading from the stack of books on her nightstand spending time on the beach and enjoying chips and salsa with her family at the nearest Mexican restaurant. Listen reading podcasts, beach chips and salsa. You had a margarita in there. And I am all in. So without further ado, please enjoy the conversation.
3:00 Thank you so much for doing this. I am so excited. I actually have the book right here.
3:07 You know what, one of the things it’s so funny because we were just talking before about that check, check. I think one of the things that I loved so much about the book is that I felt like it was such a fast read. And I was like check one more chapter done. Check it. I was like, Oh, I think I have a little more work to do. Well, it’s interesting that you bring that up, though, Michelle, because when I visualized this book, when I decided writing a book was on my bucket list. One of the things that I wanted was a book like physically that small in size. So I pictured women being able to take this book and tossing it in their purse, when they’re in the waiting room at the doctor’s office, which by the way we used to do before the panel.
3:46 But anywhere they were sitting in the car waiting for their kid to finish with soccer practice, whatever it might be, be able to pull that out and just read a little snippet, which are the little chapters within the book. And I have gotten that feedback from several women like this is so great. Before I start working the morning, I read a chapter before I start, whatever it’s so it worked. My vision worked. I love it. And I love your dedication to because I was like that is so many of the people listening today for the extraordinary women who juggle so much every day and ask themselves if they’re doing it right. Is that so true? It’s I think that it’s within all of us. We don’t all talk about it. But I know for me for so many years of my adult life. I questioned myself as I watched other women looking like it’s so easy to do all the things and it was only when I learned to speak up and be vulnerable and talk about these things that other people are Unknown Speaker 5:00 bend up and said, Yeah, I hear you. Yeah, I have that too. And I do think that all women are extraordinary. I think that we have different winds in our lives. We all do it our own way. And we all do it well. And love that other people see us doing it well, and sometimes even compliment us on doing it. Well, we need to tell ourselves that also. Yes, I think that’s exactly when we question if we’re doing it right. Like, who is to decide once we decide? Yes, that’s exactly it. And I think it’s such a huge thing. We’ve got two coaches here today. But there is no right or wrong. It’s it’s the way we’re doing it when we believe this is my path. This is what I am here to do. That is the quote right way for us. Yes, exactly. Now, you just mentioned Yes, we are both coaches. So who is it that you help? I help leaders, women leaders, who at no surprise, feel like they’re juggling too much. Sometimes they are struggling with some challenges they have with the work team that they are leading. Sometimes it’s the business that they’re leading. So they’re business owners, sometimes solopreneurs. And sometimes it’s No, I pretty much have the work stuff down pat. I feel like a real champ there. It’s when I’m at home, that all chaos ensues. And how do I show up as the mom, the wife, the daughter, or the sister or the friend? That I want to be? When I can be that Dynamo in the workplace? How can I do that at home as well. So my my, my women leaders covers a really broad spectrum. But it does go back to the dedication in the book. For all the women out there, when we’re questioning ourselves. You’re doing it you’re leading, you’re showing up in the ways that the world needs you to Yes, and I think you have so many great activities or questions throughout the book that will help us kind of get there, one of the things that you talked about is logging your time and highlighting the activities that fill your heart with joy, excitement and pride. And we talk about maybe your experience or clients experience with that, of course, yeah. So the first thing I’ll say is that when I am working with a client, who has a challenge with time and priority management, one of the quote homework assignments that I give to a client like that is to log her time for a week. And the first thing that every client says is you have got to be kidding me. I already don’t have enough time to get everything done. Want me to add one more. But what I have found is that when we do that, it’s set at the end of the week, it’s such a wonderful aerial view for us to look at that log and understand, wow, in this example, I’m wasting a ton of time every day, going to email every 10 minutes or so. Right? So those are for those time and priority.
8:24 Time and priority management challenged women Whoo, that’s a lot. And there’s a lot of us.
8:30 That is a lot of us. And and I know that that’s something that you help with as well. I think that when it comes to looking at that log and finding the things that really light us up on the inside, the same thing is true. So my experience is that I found myself at many times in my life, saying yes to, let’s say opportunities that came my way. While my brain was saying no. Sure. I can be on that committee. Sure. I can head that up for the PTA. Yeah, no problem. I can help with those costumes, whatever it might be. So I kept saying yes, yes, yes. And part of the reason I did this is because on my checklist, it’s like, well, that’s what I do. I show up for people, right? And when when I was saying yes, and my brain was screaming, no. And then I moved forward with the commitments that I had made to people. I felt out of alignment with who I really am. I’m working with a client right now, who has worked really hard to take the people pleasing that was always part of her life and move it into saying no sometimes and being clear and assertive in her nose. So she’s got that she’s like okay, I’m doing really well. Now I know when it’s a yes, I know when it’s a no and I say it Unknown Speaker 10:00 If I say the yes or the No, very clearly, now the challenge she’s experiencing, is that the people in her life that are hearing No, from a woman that they’ve always heard yes from? They’re getting angry. Yeah, she’s coming to me saying, yeah, no watch. What do I do with all this anger that I’m experiencing. And so using that log that I suggest at the end of one of the chapters in my book, when you look at that list of everything you’re accomplishing in the course of a day or a week, and you’re able to look at the areas that really light you up the areas that really bring you that joy, that excitement, that pride for me. I know, since the pandemic started, I have made an even stronger commitment to myself to make my walks, be daily, and sometimes twice daily, if I’m able to make that happen, walks or something that bring me that that joy, I’m not sure if they bring me pride. Unknown Speaker 11:07 There’s something that fill me up. And it’s not just for the physical benefit. It’s it’s my opportunity to clear my mind, it’s my opportunity to take an idea that keeps popping into my brain. And maybe I’m pushing it away going nope, not right now. I’ve got a client call, I use that walk time to really focus on how can I build this in my business? Or how can I further develop this relationship in my life? So walks are something that do that for me. Something else that does it for me, is taking the life that I lived for so many years of go from this to this to this to this to this to that just such a jam packed schedule, and slow it down a little bit. Yes. So an example that I something that I did this week, the beginning of our week here was beautiful, sunny, warm. All of this is like my dream weather, the weather I live for all year long. And we’re fortunate enough to have a pool outside. So I went through Monday was a gorgeous day. It’s a work day I’m meeting the I don’t want to use the word obligations. I’m following my schedule. Let’s want to do yes, yeah. And on Tuesday do the same thing. And on Wednesday, I thought you know what, I’m going to take an hour, right smack dab in the middle of the day when I didn’t have a scheduled call, go in the pool, take the book that I’m currently reading, and just have some of that time. That brings me that joy, that excitement for this is cool. I love summer so much. And I think there’s probably also a level of awareness, I feel like so many of the women I work with aren’t even sure what they want or what brings them joy. So logging makes them like stop and really kind of pay attention. Right? That’s exactly it. And the other thing that it’s really helped me and my clients do is be present in the moment. And so I’m at the stage of my life where I’ve got grown kids and grandkids and the grandkids range in age from nine to three. And what I noticed now, which is such a huge thing for me to notice is that when everyone’s here, it’s it’s hectic, there’s a lot going on. There are times when I’m helping and I’m cleaning up spills and doing all the things. There are other times when I’m just sitting back, and I’m just soaking it all in that when my husband and I got married many, many years ago, not quite on the track that I had always dreamed for myself read the book, you’ll understand. Now I look at what we’ve created. And it just that’s what brings me that pride. All the years of really hustling by the way you don’t have to do it that way. It’s that’s why I wrote the book to help women understand, step back, soak it in and enjoy this life that you’re creating. Because we only get one chance at it. Yes, I just did a post about that. Like we need to celebrate ourselves. I think this is a big learning for me too. Like when you do something well, like acknowledge yourself. Exactly, exactly. Yeah. And those are those wins. Those are those items on that log. And the idea when we keep a log for something like this is not to do it from here through all of eternity. You don’t have to do that you’ll get it those clients that you’re working with. We’re like I don’t even know. Keep that log and then oh yeah, I do really enjoy these things. And then they’ve got it then they’re on their way. Yeah, and I love you know, you were just mentioning about the client who now has the family members or Unknown Speaker 15:00 People who are not happy with it now, I love this quote, our checklist becomes part of who we are. It is an unconscious piece of us like background noise we don’t even notice. And I have to say, I think I am so guilty. Like, I like myself a checklist. That’s just who I am. Right. So when you start to make that shift, Unknown Speaker 15:21 yes, what you encounter maybe, yeah, you’re exactly right. And I will say that the my checklist for life is something that I’ve tossed aside, which is what the book is about. I am still a checklist gal. As far as you know, these are some things I’ll get, these are my must dues for the day. What I think with that sentence that that’s in the book, our checklist becomes part of who we are. That checklist is, it’s comprised of the expectations that we have for ourselves in life, and not the expectation of, I want to work hard, I want to do work that I enjoy. Those are wonderful goals to have and to work toward, I’m talking more about the why need to be married by the by the time I’m this age. And if I want to do the whole motherhood thing, it’s got to happen before 35, whatever, fill in the blank for whatever is true for you. The promotion is important to me, I need to make partner by this time, it’s all of those sorts of things that I do believe it’s the background noise that we begin to just accept as part of life. And then when we notice it, so think about background noise. That’s their like, true background noise that’s there. We’re not noticing it. We come away from the work that we’re doing. And then we’re like, oh, what’s that sound? What’s that? What’s that buzzing thing. That’s what happens when the checklist life that we’ve built for ourselves, when we stop one day, and we’re like, wait a minute, I made up this checklist. And it’s not really very much fun to do it this way. Unknown Speaker 17:09 too. There’s a lot of pressure. I know for me, like I got married later in life. So I feel like that was something that was like, When is this gonna get checked to like, we need to be married. And then I thought for sure we were going to have kids and it was going to happen this, you know, this month in this year, and this way, that didn’t happen. So I feel like for a lot of women, there’s also the added pressure of like you said, maybe the checklist of life not going quite the way you planned it. Correct. Correct and knowing and you would be a perfect example of this, knowing that when that checklist that we’ve created for ourselves, doesn’t go as planned. And we live the life that we create, and we realize, Hey, Unknown Speaker 17:51 I didn’t get married, by the time I was whatever age I didn’t end up having kids. And this is pretty cool. Like a great thing. I mean, my checklist for life, definitely didn’t end up the way that I had everything lined up for myself. And I’ve created a pretty incredible life. Yeah, and I think that’s so important for people to truly hear. Because I know for me without coaching, I still had that resistance to like, this is how it was supposed to happen. And this is what it was like to release that and to really embrace what you’re talking about, like, Hey, this is the way it is. And enjoy it. Yeah. And getting rid of those shoulds. So, so you mentioned you got married later in life. Okay, well, I had expected to do it by this time. Instead, I did it by this time. That’s good. But now what I should do is what No, right? What we what we do do is is live life as it comes and set goals that are important to us, but not allow the goals to hold us back. I think that’s the big key with the checklist life and people whose whose path is not going on the in the direction that they had once envisioned, helping them understand this path is awesome. Right, not the original path that you had decided that you had to have. And look at you. You’re excelling and life’s great. Right. Is that also like to your concept of changing the masterpiece and being able to make that shift? Is that in line with that? Yeah, it’s it’s a perfect alignment there. I think that there were so many years of my life when the thoughts that I had or telling me, Well, I can’t do that. Because what would my parents think? Well, I can’t do that because I’m the mother of three kids. And I got to a certain point in my life where my I can’t change to how can I so whatever that thing is that perhaps my parents would have raised their eyebrows about how could I instead have said Unknown Speaker 20:00 said, hey mom and dad, I have something I want to share with you. And I did it. And I and I talked about some of those things in the book, when I decided to take my original career as a teacher, and completely shift gears and begin working in the business world. And my mom was like, oh, Tracy, but it was it was me beginning that. Instead of, oh, I can’t I’ve got this degree in education. And I love kids. And I have to do this. It was No, how can I change it? And how can I, as an adult, talk with my mom, in a way that lets her know, this is the path that I’m choosing? Yeah, yeah, exactly. So I think that Unknown Speaker 20:47 I think that being able to commit to that blank canvas that we have, which is the masterpiece that we get to paint, if you’re painting it, as I mentioned, in the book on a paint by numbers system, like Okay, so I’ve got the blank canvas, but I’ve got to use orange right here in this area, allow yourself to throw out the orange and choose the color you want. Allow yourself to get rid of those numbers on the masterpiece and, and create what you want on that Canvas for your life. I think that in the past, I was the person, I would, I would do something even if I didn’t enjoy it. And I would just keep doing it because it was an expectation. So I’m filling myself up. And I would finally get to the point like I can’t take this anymore. So I did that with my last job. And I can’t take this anymore, I am quitting my job with no idea what I’m going to do next, which is so not like me. When I look back on that now. It’s like, gosh, what could I have done? If my thoughts were, I can’t keep doing it the way I am? How can I make this work? Or how can I make it work while I develop my next plan? Now, for me, it’s ended up working out I have found what I truly enjoy doing. This is what I was made to do in life. So it’s worked out, but with a few bumps and scrapes and bruises. Unknown Speaker 22:19 It’s just stronger, keeps you stronger. Right. Unknown Speaker 22:23 One of our most recent like interactions, I guess, is that DISC assessment. Yeah, we checked that was so helpful. It is. Can you talk a little bit about that? Yeah. So obviously an assessment that I offer. And there are many people who are familiar with the disc, and they think of it as a personality assessment. So people that look at it in that way are going into it like, oh, I want to find out where my preferences are. And what happens 100% of the time when people take it is they see where their preferences are. And then they go Oh, yeah, that’s me. Oh, yeah, that’s me. Oh, yeah, that’s me. So I guess it’s a little bit of validation, like, Okay, we got that. I prefer to call this a behavioral inventory. Because the the big game that we get from it is not the validation of Yes, I am a person like this, it’s more of how do I take who I am, and tailor my behavior just enough, so I’m still who I am. But I tailor it so my communication with others becomes more effective. So I know that you will, I know that I am a high s and a high up, I don’t feel free to share whatever.
23:37 I know that you are as well. So So those high SS and high seas, we are people that we’ve got that calming presence about us, we really like the details, we like checklists, things like that, right? When we are in a relationship, a personal or professional relationship with someone who is a high D i On the opposite end of the scale. What a lot of people do is I can’t take this person, she drives me insane. She’s got all these ideas, she doesn’t do anything with them, or he tells me what to do. And it’s got to be his way. So those are a couple of descriptors for Heidi’s high eyes.
24:15 Instead of okay. So this is a person who’s really creative, how can I take my amazing organizational skills and marry those with these creative ideas. So what ends up happening is an amazing outcome for whatever it is that we’re working on together. And when I do the disc with work teams, part of the tool that I have is to be able to share on a graph where everyone on the team is and then the first thing everyone does is Oh, I knew that’s where Michelle would be I knew that we know it already. But learning how can I take who I am and have that work have that Unknown Speaker 25:00 compliment these other people on the team so that we get the best possible results. And there’s one page in the report, I think it’s page 23. In the report, I always say to people share your page 23. Because what it is, is it’s for other people in your life, things to do, things not to do when you communicate with the person who took the assessment. And when when I have the opportunity, when someone takes the assessment, I say, hey, share this page with your co worker, your spouse, whoever, and then I have the opportunity to meet with that person again, consistently, that person says, I showed this to my spouse, and my spouse was like, Oh, I already know I
25:42 think that has to be so helpful for us, especially, I imagine that a lot of your people are probably similar to us with the high s&c and I feel like we know the way it should be. So when people aren’t doing it our way, then that’s the problem in quotes. So being able to have this assessment to kind of work together and see like, we’re for me, I know that super helpful. Yeah, yeah, you’re exactly right. And what’s interesting for me with private coaching clients that begin working with me, once they take that assessment, I would say 50% of the clients that I work with, are on the opposite side of the desk from me. And the first coach that I hired was so far on the opposite side. And he acknowledged that he, you know, he told me, this is where I’m at. And I’m like, Yeah, I know. And the great thing about that, whether it be in a coaching relationship, or whether it be colleagues or a personal relationship, we need those people that think about things in a different way than we do. So I think back to my last workplace, there was a woman on my team, I was managing a team, and she is that really high DPI. So she was the one that would come to our meetings and say, you know, what I think we should do as a new service for our clients, we should do this and this and this and this. And there. I was like, Okay, wait a minute, let’s prioritize all the ideas, she would look at me like, you have got to be kidding me. I want to start on all of these today. But But we found a way to work well together. So that, again, we got amazing outcomes, because of the fact that I loved her creative ideas. And she grew to love me, reining her in a little bit and saying, let’s start with a couple. Let’s not do 27. Let’s start with a couple. So we needed each other. And ironically, it’s almost 10 years later, she no longer works at that workplace. Nor do I obviously, and we still do work together, we still collaborate on some things, because of the fact that we respect the other and what she brings to the table. Unknown Speaker 28:01 Yeah, and that’s the big thing with the disc. It’s not, hey, here’s what my results say. And so my way is the right way. Again, there is no right way, right? We need all these people built in all these different ways, in order to make the world go round, basically, like now probably even more than any other time, right is the having inclusion and being able to like work together and all that it’s so important. It’s so so important. And I think that for whatever reason, when people see those results on the computer screen or on paper, if they print it out, it’s
28:41 there’s something about the actual data, let’s say, that helps people see like, Okay, I see in my results that I could really work on this area. I think I knew that but for some reason when that sentence is there, for a lot of people, it’s that catalyst for Yeah, I’m gonna work on that now. And that will help me in my work and relationships with other people. Yes, that makes sense. Now, you have mentioned you were both with corporate groups as well as individuals, correct? I do. So corporations, organizations hire me, as a people developer, basically, I work with them in many different capacities. It depends on what their needs are. Everything I do is soft skill related. So I mentioned earlier time and priority management, conflict management, customer service, internal communication, all sorts of soft skills. With some groups, I am doing training sessions. Typically I was doing those in person I have Unknown Speaker 29:49 pivoted as everyone has two virtual training sessions. I also coach some of the team members typically by phone on different channel
30:00 lunches that they’re having. So their manager may say, Hey, she’s really having trouble keeping up with everything on her must dues. So I may coach her on that, or customer service, whatever it might be. So I work with corporations and organizations in that way. And then I also do private coaching for women leaders who are having trouble keeping up with everything. So as I mentioned earlier, it could either be personal challenges or professional challenges, and we work together one on one to smooth out those challenges and overcome them. Oh, that’s so good. And how can people learn more about you? Or what’s the best place to direct them? Sure. My website’s easy. It’s Tracy bianco.com. I am also on LinkedIn, simply under my name, Tracy bianco, Wasn’t she great. Some of my top takeaways were, it’s important to recognize that you get to create the life you want. I cannot stress how important this is. For so many years, I thought I was doing life wrong, especially because I wasn’t a mom. And here’s what I’ve learned. You get to decide what is right for you. Especially as salespeople, maybe actually just women in general, we often love to be recognized from external sources. It’s almost how we’re socialized, right? Like do a good job in school, and you’ll get star, look for the extra credit, I get it. But more importantly, you need to be able to recognize and celebrate yourself. That’s where you have the greatest opportunity to make the greatest strides in your life. And one more reminder, life might not go as you planned, right, I thought, listen, I was gonna have a wedding with rainbow dresses, and for sure I was going to be a PTA mom. And clearly that is not what happened. But the truth is, we all get to decide we have the ability to be intentional with our reactions, and decide how we want to move forward from this point. And knowing that is where you really stand in your power. Now, be sure to check out the book, the checklist life, breaking free from a life of obligations. And you can also check out Tracy’s leadership lab and it quick overview. I’m gonna put all of the links in the notes, but a quick overview is that it is an eight week group coaching experience for those who lead a team and the folks who have been part of the experience have achieved expanded leadership confidence, greater ability and empowering accountable team members. Always a good thing and increased belief and leading difficult discussions. Again, a gem of a skill to have and all of it is gold. Not to mention, it helps you in your everyday dealings with people in general. So I will have the links in the notes again where you can find Tracy as reminder I still have my confidence program going for you all so Michelle Burt coaching.com Ford slash confidence and I’ve included some introductory Breathworks in there. You should totally check that out as well. Okay, friends, that’s what I have for you today. Let’s meet back here next week. But for now, make it a great day. Enjoy the long weekend. Take care Unknown Speaker 33:20 Did you know you can take this work to a deeper level with me one on one. Go to MichelleBourquecoaching.com and click on get started to begin