Gina Lokken, Executive Coach at GinaMarie Coaching
Gina is passionate about helping female entrepreneurs, business professionals, and leaders infuse God into their everyday personal and professional lives so that they can become the person He designed them to be. She firmly believes business and faith do not have to be separate, and business does not have to be boring.
Gina specializes in strengths-based leadership and team building, creating cultures of joy through neuroscience practices, leadership and communication training, and creative coaching methodologies that propel her client’s past what they originally thought was possible!
What You’ll Learn In This Episode
- Formulate a professional strategy to turn passion into achievable goals and timelines
- Avoiding or overcoming seasons of burnout
- Maintaining Momentum
- Importance of finding mentors
- Importance of growing where you’re planted
This transcript is machine transcribed by Sonix
Intro: [00:00:02] Broadcasting live from the Business RadioX Studios in Atlanta, Georgia. It’s time for Coach the Coach radio brought to you by the Business RadioX Ambassador Program, the no cost business development strategy for coaches who want to spend more time serving local business clients and less time selling them. Go to brxambassador.com To learn more. Now here’s your host.
Lee Kantor: [00:00:33] Lee Kantor here, another episode of Coach the Coach Radio, and this is going to be a fun one today on the show, we have Gina Marie with Gina Marie coaching welcome.
Gina Lokken: [00:00:44] Hi Lee, thank you so much for the opportunity to be here.
Lee Kantor: [00:00:47] Well, I’m excited to learn what you’re up to. Tell us a little bit about your practice. How are you serving, folks?
Gina Lokken: [00:00:52] Yeah, I am an executive coach, trainer and speaker. I focus a lot on strength coaching. I’m sure a lot of people are familiar with strengths Finder, which is now called the Clifton Strengths Assessment. So I work with leaders and teams and helping create cultures of joy, and then I also work with Christian women entrepreneurs and coaches.
Lee Kantor: [00:01:14] Now let’s talk a little bit first about the strength training for those who aren’t familiar. That’s I guess it was based on a book a while ago, and now it’s a whole coaching practice built around it, but that’s about emphasizing strengths and kind of bolstering weaknesses.
Gina Lokken: [00:01:33] Yeah, it’s more about the management of weaknesses. We don’t want to completely negate our weaker areas because that wouldn’t be very responsible of us. So we offer people the opportunity to understand their top talents, which are their strengths. So if you take the assessment, it’s the ones towards the top of their assessment. And they. Have the ability to work on those and master those talents into strengths and then manage their weaknesses.
Lee Kantor: [00:02:09] But it’s about kind of wringing out the most from your strengths while shoring up the weaknesses.
Gina Lokken: [00:02:16] Yes.
Lee Kantor: [00:02:17] So for some people, that might sound counterintuitive that they if they have a weakness, they want to focus in on that and spend all their time and energy and kind of bringing up that weakness. So it is no longer a weakness. Why is it more beneficial to kind of wring out the most out of a strength?
Gina Lokken: [00:02:34] We want to work and spend the majority of our efforts time and money on working on our strengths because those are the things that we are naturally good at. We naturally gravitate towards and we can excel really fast when we focus on our strengths. This all started with Donald Clifton, and he found that there was a group of 10th grade students. They did a research study to see if they could increase their speed reading techniques because the state of Nebraska was in an educational crisis due to their reading levels being below the national average and two groups emerged. It was the naturally talented readers and the not naturally talented readers, and some very interesting results came from that. And that’s where Gallup kind of was birthed through this study was the not naturally gifted students they were reading at about ninety five words per minute, and after the speed reading techniques, they went up to about one hundred and fifty words per minute. So this is comprehension and the gifted, already gifted students for reading at a remarkably high rate of three hundred and fifty words per minute, and they went up to two thousand nine hundred words per minute. So that was about a eight hundred and twenty eight percent increase because they were focusing on something that they were already good at.
Lee Kantor: [00:03:57] And then they took that kind of concept and then they’ve deployed it in lots of different areas for other people in different. That’s kind of agnostic in terms of the way it works in other areas as well, not just obviously reading comprehension.
Gina Lokken: [00:04:12] Yes, and all in all areas.
Lee Kantor: [00:04:15] So now what kind of compelled you to be gravitate towards this kind of work in terms of leveraging strengths?
Gina Lokken: [00:04:25] I found in working with a lot of my clients that there was an overall struggle to find clarity and confidence and in who they were and what they had to offer because the things that naturally that we naturally gravitate towards and we’re good at, we wonder why other people can’t do it because it just seemed so easy. But they could never express the language to say, This is who I am. This is what I’m good at. This is what I should be focusing on. So strengths really gave them the clarity they needed to either find a position that was a better fit for them, develop questions to ask an organization to make sure the organization is a good fit for them or just help them with the overall direction of the their business and what they should be focusing on because it gives them joy and then they can delegate or ditch the other things to other people, or just stop doing them altogether. And that really creates this level of acceleration. Personally and professionally, for them, when they can do that because it just brings them joy to focus on what they’re good at.
Lee Kantor: [00:05:43] Now is there kind of a trap, though, when it comes to this in terms of when I’m kind of following my bliss or the things that I really love to do? They might be something I’m passionate about, but it may not have kind of a business case around it that I can get other people to pay me to do that specific skill.
Gina Lokken: [00:06:06] Yeah, sometimes there are things that we are passionate about, but maybe we lack the skill or the practice. So there is some discernment in that, and that’s where coaching can really come into play in helping people really decide if this is something that goes with their strengths, that they’re passionate about, that they should be moving forward on, or if it’s just something that is more of a hobby that brings them brings them joy. So that’s where the coaching piece really comes into play.
Lee Kantor: [00:06:40] So can you talk a little bit about how when you’re working with your clients, you’re helping them kind of not only discern what their strengths are, which I’m sure some of them wants? You tell them they’re like, Oh, that makes sense, but then also help them say, OK, now let’s take this strength and then we can really leverage it in this area here. And then you have an opportunity here to really kind of transform or transport your business to a new level.
Gina Lokken: [00:07:04] Mm hmm. That’s kind of the fun thing. As a coach for me is the more that I bring people through this process, the more I can see how talents really play on each other. I have I do not have responsibility high, but I do have a chief or achiever activator and futuristic. And so people that know me would probably say that I do have a responsibility high, but I actually don’t. It’s because of that combination of three talents. So talents, there’s four domains the Clifton strengths, domains there’s executing, there’s influencing, there’s relating. And then there’s strategic thinking. And when we have talents in our top five or top 10, those will play on each other. And if they’re in the same domain, they will amplify each other. And if they’re in different domains, they modify. So that’s one way that people can kind of mitigate those weaknesses is by combining and mastering some of their top talents and playing on those to overcome some of those weaknesses.
Lee Kantor: [00:08:19] And then is it the very start of a relationship? You’re doing some sort of an assessment to kind of say, OK, these are these top three or four strengths. These are the top three or four weaknesses. So now we have at least a, you know, a starting point.
Gina Lokken: [00:08:33] Yes, I have all my clients take the full thirty four talent assessment. There are a total of thirty four talents that Gallup has found, and there’s no more, no less. So I have them all take that assessment and then I end up taking them through a five hour process. So five individual coaching sessions where I walk them through each one of their talents and we divide them up into three different categories so they have their top talents, their signature talents. Those are the things that they’re naturally good at, that they should be focusing the majority of their time on. They have their auxiliary talents, which are kind of in the middle part of their results, and those are the things that they can kind of turn off and on. They can do them very, very well, but they may not bring them a whole lot of joy. And I find that a lot of my clients that sit at a position where they go, Wow, I’m really, really good at my job. I just don’t understand why I dislike it so much. They’re typically sitting in that middle range of their talents, and then the bottom part are their non patterns, which is just kind of that nicer way of saying they’re they’re weaker areas. So we take them through that whole process and then we kind of create a personal development plan to help them move forward and start focusing more on those top strengths.
Lee Kantor: [00:09:56] And then once you develop that plan, is there some low hanging fruit like a listener could take today to maximize their strength?
Gina Lokken: [00:10:06] Yeah. So I always have people go to YouTube. Gallup has a plethora of short video lessons on each one of their talents. So if you can go there, you can learn more about your talents. If you just want to know what are my top five talents? You can go to Gallup’s website at Gallup Access and you can either get your top five and they send you emails and little action steps for each one of your top talents. Or you can go to that Gallup YouTube theme Thursday and learn more and dove deeper into into your talents.
Lee Kantor: [00:10:49] Now, in your practice, do you have a story you can share of somebody that you worked with once they were able to kind of see what their talent was and see what their areas of maybe struggle are and how you help them get to a new level? You’re coaching.
Gina Lokken: [00:11:07] For sure, I was working with a gentleman that has a consulting company, and he started going through the process with me and really latched on to some of the areas that he was struggling in with his clients, why some people weren’t moving as fast as he was, why he had to follow up and didn’t understand why people weren’t as passionate or forward thinking as he was in his business. So that was kind of a pain point for him. And going through this process, we did something called an energy grid, and that helps you write out all of the things that you do on a weekly or monthly basis, and then it has you rate them. And he found through this rating system some of the things that he really needed to delegate to somebody else or things that he could just drop altogether. And it was an eye opener for him. And when he was able to do this, he kind of restructured his team, and now he’s excelling at a really fast rate because he was able to start putting more focus on his top strengths and kind of ditch and delegate some of those other pieces that he was spending a considerable amount of time on weekly and monthly and just really move him, his business and his clients forward.
Lee Kantor: [00:12:32] Now, isn’t that one of those unintended consequences of if you’re spending a lot of time in areas of weakness that that is just energy depleting and you’re frustrated and it could cause burnout? And if you can align yourself with your strengths and things that are coming easy, then all of a sudden you start getting momentum and you start enjoying your work again.
Gina Lokken: [00:12:53] Exactly. And that’s my hope for all my clients that move through this process is they can just really sit in a place that brings them a lot of joy and understand that there are people that love to do the things that you don’t, and they’re a lot faster at it. They’re more efficient and it brings them joy. So it’s I’m totally for collaboration and finding those individuals that can really up level your business and your organization because you can see those gifts in them and give them the things that that they love to do and that you hate.
Lee Kantor: [00:13:32] Now, can you? Have you identified who your ideal client is? Is it that person that is a business owner that is kind of plateaued and is frustrated? Is it a corporate person that is maybe in a job that they don’t like and would like a change of scenery? Have you kind of narrowed down who is the optimal client for you?
Gina Lokken: [00:13:53] Yeah, I have. My optimal client would be Christian women entrepreneurs who are kind of starting their business or have kind of plateaued, as you said, where they’re feeling kind of stuck in. Not sure which direction to go. Very overwhelmed with all of the pieces of running a business and also those middle management individuals who are struggling to manage people or a team. They typically got a raise because a really, really good at managing processes and tasks and things. But then they get handed the the leadership role, and they’re not quite sure how to lead a team or manage manage people well. So those are those are the two clients that really thrive with me.
Lee Kantor: [00:14:45] Now you mentioned kind of faith based clients or is that how did you kind of stumble into that area? Was that your faith is important to you throughout your whole career? So you just wanted to incorporate that as part of your practice? Or is that something that came later on?
Gina Lokken: [00:15:01] Yes, it’s definitely something. When I opened up Jayna Murray coaching, that was extremely important to me. I don’t have the resources and the tools for adding faith based, faith based flavor, I guess you could say into the coaching, but I also understand that some organizations don’t want that in the training or in the coaching. So that is also something that I stay true to as an individual. But I recognize that not everybody holds the same beliefs as I do. So I’m very sensitive to that, and I’m willing to customize the approach for the organization or the individual based on their needs.
Lee Kantor: [00:15:47] Now in your work, did you have somebody that was a mentor to you or was this something that you’re kind of self-taught?
Gina Lokken: [00:15:56] I’ve always gravitated more towards an entrepreneurial spirit. I didn’t really have anybody in my life early on that mentored me or showed me the way it was kind of fallen into. I ended up breaking my foot on a trampoline. I should never go near trampolines. And so I was kind of stuck at home and my friend asked me to go to a Mary Kay event and that kind of ironically launched this whole self-improvement world, seeing that women wanted to help other women succeed. And it just really struck a chord in me. And that really kind of ultimately launched my coaching and training because I just loved being around people and believing in them before they could believe in themselves like that organization did for me at the time.
Lee Kantor: [00:16:57] So community is an important component of your work as well?
Gina Lokken: [00:17:00] Extremely, yes.
Lee Kantor: [00:17:02] Now, for the coaches out there that are listening and are looking for, you know, some advice, is there something you can share about how to build community? Because I think I agree with you 100 percent. The community is so important, especially for the small to midsize business owner that you have to have a way to build community, serve a community that makes your life a lot easier when it comes to narrowing down who the ideal client is, how to serve the ideal client. Any time you can bring a bunch of like minded people together and get them all kind of rowing in the same direction, yeah, a lot of good things can happen. So can you talk about how you’ve been able to build community with your folks?
Gina Lokken: [00:17:44] Absolutely. I found a organization called We Align, and that’s the affiliate coaching organization that I’m a part of. And we like to refer to ourselves as a tribe of coaches really getting down to that core of serving one another and having the abundance mentality is huge. When you can start growing a community that, like you said, you’re all moving in the same direction. It’s very uplifting. It brings you through kind of those hard times in your business when you feel like, why am I doing this to myself? Why? Why do I keep dragging myself through the mud? It feels like some days, and then you just have those amazing times in your business as well. Kind of that roller coaster ride. But having that community around you to to challenge you, to be a better person, to help you when you’re struggling through some things in your business, it’s I can’t speak to how much that it’s meant to me to have that really amazing, uplifting community behind me. So I 100 percent say, if you don’t have a community to find one. And sometimes it does take a little while. I did have to try out a few networking groups, a few organizations until this one I found was a great fit for me. So that’s also really important to write.
Lee Kantor: [00:19:18] You might have to kiss a few frogs before you find your people.
Gina Lokken: [00:19:23] Yes, absolutely.
Lee Kantor: [00:19:24] And but it’s something that you should kind of have the resilience to keep trying because once you do find your people, life becomes a lot easier.
Gina Lokken: [00:19:33] Life? Yeah, and business too. Like I said when I found this organization and these amazing group of coaches, it propelled me so much further, so much faster in my business. And that’s when I felt like, Yeah, I’m doing this, and it really took off. Because when you have those people behind you that are rooting for you, that are championing for you, it makes all the difference in the world.
Lee Kantor: [00:20:02] Well, if somebody wants to learn more, have a more substantive conversation with you and learn more about your practices, their website.
Gina Lokken: [00:20:10] Yes, it’s W-w-what Gina Marie coaching,
Lee Kantor: [00:20:15] And that’s jai and a are aiico HHI. And. Thank you so much for sharing your story today.
Gina Lokken: [00:20:24] Thank you for having me. I really appreciate
Lee Kantor: [00:20:26] It. Well, you’re doing important work and we appreciate you. Thanks, Liane. All right. This is Lee Kantor. We’ll see, y’all next time on Coach the Coach radio.