There’s no ‘I’ in Team | Building Family Teams Ep 27
We are here today with Christelle Pillot. And she is here to share all about how to build a family team. And we're so so so curious and excited to learn more. So Christelle, welcome to our podcast.
Thank you. Thank you for having me. I'm really excited to have this discussion with you both of you.
Christelle is the founder of the Freedom Catcher Academy and her specialty is potential analysis, career optimization and team building at home which we really can't wait to dive into. Since 2015 Christelle has been teaching dozens of women and companies, schools and many executives as well. She actually has a chemical engineering master's degree but is certified as a Coach and Trainer with a specialty in emotional intelligence. She currently lives in Frankfurt Germany, so we have many things in common here because that's where I'm originally from. And Christelle is driven, results oriented and has a dynamic business mind helping her clients to create a balanced and effective life rhythm to clarify their life purpose and to make massive actions to build a meaningful and profitable career. Wow, it all sounds so amazing. Yeah, but she's always there to find creative Win-Win solutions. And yeah, let's dive into it. Christelle we can't wait to hear a little bit more because it sounds truly unique. What you do, you look at things at a much different angle than what we've heard other coaches speak about. So tell us what got you from a chemical engineer to such an amazing life coach.
I do believe that the fact of being a chemical engineer was born accident so it's not something that I really wanted to be. I wanted to be a psychologist. And I did my first meditation was eight I was eight years old. And I was passionate about personal development was 15 already and somehow I started a career as an engineer because my environment was telling me that it was better. And it was fine because I travelled to Germany first. And then I travelled all around the world. It was a lot of connection with a lot of different culture. So I really appreciate and grow a lot. I learned a lot so it was all good. But I knew it wasn't my passion. So as long as I could grow it was okay but at some point, having my first and my second child traveling like 50% of my time, I realized that it was a lot of energy, a lot of time a lot of organization for something that's was kind of empty and not aligned. With my values. And I felt bad and every time was even more and more so I was more and more depressed. And I always had the idea of changing my career. But my husband wasn't really happy with the ID and we had their first child and the second one and then still having despise career going on. So I just let it go. And you know, moments where I decided and I can remember it was December 2013 I think that's enough content anymore. I'm losing myself. I'm feeling alone. I have the impression that I'm pulling pushing everything alone in my own family in and I just cannot continue this way. I'm losing myself. I'm losing my husband as well. I am not the mom that I want to be. Anya not functioning the way I want to function. And it was, yeah, I really needed to do this step. So that's why I decided to go back to what really motivated me and passionate me and it was personal development and coaching. So for me it was sure that it was the right path. And so that's why I came back to my first question.
Yeah. It's interesting, isn't it? Iva, we hear this story so much from various moms that we speak to that as soon as they enter motherhood. So many things change, don't they?
Yes. It's like a switch goes on right inside of us. And if we haven't been pursuing something that really lights us up, our children suddenly become that very, very vivid reminder of why are we doing what we're doing right what is the purpose?
Exactly in that is I know that there is so many I met so many mothers telling me no I cannot do the thing that I want to do because of my children. And in my case is well they all my why my drivers so because of them. I want to achieve it in any time. Every time I was like I'm not going to be able to make it because I was still a junior I had to study in order to become a coach. I had in the meantime, I had three children all between zero and five years old has been not happy with the situation. Very tired. So at some point I was like, I'm not going to make it and the last thought was when for my children I want them to understand that everything is perceivable and we really it's like our duty to try to live the life we want to leave and not to be stuck in okay each job with a nice pay check at the end of the mums and just to stay there. So and the last thought was always I'm doing that. Not for my children, but it's I believe that it's my duty as a parent as a mother to show them this way of living. Truly for the passion and so on. And that's always keep me back to the right track.
Yeah, and you want to lead by example, right? To be able to, to give them that inspiration because later in their life, maybe they might be in a similar place. And they can draw inspiration from watching you.
Which is okay if it's not the case. So but maybe at some point they are going to be exactly in the same situation. And at that moment, I will be able to say yes, I know what you mean.
I know what you mean now yeah, but you explained that also beautifully and it's really true because we if you are just doing something that you think you're supposed to do and not really following your calling, or you know something you're truly passionate about. It really plays out on the energy of the whole family dynamic, does it add and they will sense it? I mean, you've mentioned that as well. You're between you and your husband between the children every if not everyone is a little bit unhappy, right? Because it just reflects upon everybody but if you follow that everything seems to go into flow.
Exactly. It's exactly that so and I use this, like the flow so we work a lot in my courses because what I have seen is that I was my energy level was really low. I had three trouble to wake up the morning to make a function normal day. It was really difficult for me at that time, because I was so depressed and in I was like a gray version of myself. And now when people see that I wake up at some time at five o'clock so I don't do that so much anymore, but it still do sometimes. But during a while it was like 430 every day because I had so many tribes I needed to do all the things and yeah, it's a lot so and they told me well but it's easy for you because you are a morning person and they know like a few years ago it was just not possible to make at eight it was too difficult. So the facts who to try to leave my passion or to try to wrap again my life so gave me my energy back and even more. And therefore I am another kind of mom and I believe that I am definitely a better mom in what I give to my children. Now the quality of the lesson that I give to my children the quality of the attention the quality of the emotions, that I give to my children. It's completely different like than 10 years ago. Yeah, that makes a huge difference for them. Of course,
And sometimes we tend to measure things by length, right? We tend to measure things by quantity, and sometimes quantity doesn't equal better. So you can have a parent you can have a fully you know, stay at home mom. You know, but if she's not in a good place, maybe mentally emotionally she's not in a good place. And then really the benefit of that is you don't see it, the child doesn't perceive it either. But if you are someone who's pursuing her passion and her purpose, and maybe you're not home all the time, but the time that you're there, you're uplifted, you're inspired, you're energized because you were just you know doing something that lights you up. Your child is like well, you know, my mom, she's alive, she's thriving, she's happy
Exactly and then they are proud and then and then it's where indeed so I do a lot of team building at home. So they are part of my journey and they know it and they kind of are part of my successes as well so they feel my success. It's not our mob has a success. They know that because of the way they are in the behavior and how I speak with them. They are completely aligned with my mission kind of so anytime I have a new client and go back so now it's easier, but during the COVID time there have been at home all the time, you know, like locked down. And then it was a moment where I completely shifted my business because I did a lot of things with schools and I couldn't go in schools anymore so I really had to shake to shift my business and to reinvent my business. And I had the three the three children at home and my husband as well on top of that. And I told them, you know if you do that if you if you are quiet during this one call and so on. So I'm going to be able to help this person even more and so on. And then we had no we still do. It's like every time I have a new client. I go down and say I have a new client and then we do so if I have a new client per week we do crap. Because we have two new clients during a week. Very specific way of clients then we order sushi is because they love sushi. But then it's really one way for them to celebrate with me. Understand when I say cheer you on right. One more client this week. Yes, yes, exactly. Then they say well, you know I need you to be a little bit quiet. So again now that 811 in 13 I don't really need that anymore, but like three years ago, I really needed them to be okay stay quiet be to be just one. And then I'm going to be able to do that and to finish that emailed
To use a little bit more bribery with them right like rewards.
And please tell us a little bit now that you have shifted right so we have seen how you decided to take this big leap into what really lights you up and that is to be a coach but tell us a little bit how are you been stepping in as a career coach but also being very unique in in what you do can you tell us a little bit more about that?
Yeah. So what I have seen as I wanted to change to shift so you have seen that first of all that it was a big not a fight but a big discussion at home because I wanted to be more like an entrepreneur and I wanted to leave my engineering career to be a coach which is in the minds of some people. It's not the same social level. I don't care but I have seen some resistance there. So I have seen that within my family I had to do a lot of negotiation only within the family as well organization because of the children. And then what I have seen is that I have been coached at that moment. But it was a lot of men. And then always said well, it's easy, kind of and they all had children but they were traveling and the wife were taking care of the children and the Okay, it's all nice and good but it's not. It's not always so easy. To do exactly the same as a woman. And what I have seen is that you they just take this career path and they help you to transform that but when you are a woman when you are a mother of young children, you really have to see that the whole thing like systemically so you cannot really think only about the career. Because if you only look at that and I see that with my clients, sometimes they just don't have enough energy. They don't have enough organization they have these kids with them that they want to, to change the stability of the family. They have the skills to for maybe a while take about themselves so put themselves in the first position and not the children in the first position. So there is a lot of psychology around that. So it's not only changing a job is really changing your life with all the components around in the family that you have to move with you. And I have seen that for me. It was a big part. It was maybe the most complicated part of my carrier chief shift. And I couldn't find any kind of support there. Because I didn't know it's all the coaches I was speaking about Korea and so on only men's and then didn't really understand the things so I decided to do something very holistic. Okay, we are going to take care of your career. It's important, but if you are a mom, it's really important. Sometimes we're to look at how you organize your life, to simplify your life to catch the priorities, to be able to say no to some things and to feel good about that which is a big part. And as well to to do like leadership, leadership shift within the family because my clients usually they are like Wonder Woman. So they are so powerful. They do everything you know, so it's like, they have everything in mind and they are everywhere in all the buttons and so on. But the program is that if Wonder Woman gets sick there is nothing anymore so there is no movies anymore, so that's all
So I had my client to become Princess Leia because Princess Leia, she has an army with her and if he if she's sick, you still have the Star Wars movies that are continuing to go on. Even if she fell six or she's sick or she wants to go and have a coffee. It's okay. So it's going to continue to run without her. And it's exactly what I tell my clients is that you are a leader of the family but you don't you don't necessarily have to be the center of it. And there is a lot of things you can do around it. In order to have your, your, your children very independent. And in order for you to have a little bit more of space of time of energy, to look at what you really want to do and to look of the activities you really want to put within the day that you have. And that's a big part and that's why I'm different.
Yeah, that's amazing. Wow. A few examples of some of the advices that you give to this. This super woman, mother or you know leader of the family and how she can feel that army so to say for her.
Well, what I really see the family as like a small company, and every member of the family is a team member of this company. And then if you have a five years old for sure we cannot really take the same the same, the same task and so on that 10 years old, all that you are your husband, but he's still a team member and he can take some responsibility. So during the COVID time for instance, or my little one was five and then sometimes I felt very tired. So I so I told him okay, I just need some support right now. And then that's mine. So the kid is able to give you some support. So maybe just have giving you a hug going in making a coffee for you. So stuff like that. And for him it's big, big thing because you can help them in for you. It's just nice to feel that someone even the smallest one can take care of you. So that means that it's a little a little shift. So that means that if I am here, I'm speaking with you and I need some coffee I can ask and it's going to make it I'm going to feel proud of it and being a part of the process. And in the same time they are able to cook they're able to they go alone at school to school. The last week one of my child so they go alone from where I live to the center of the city and he forgot his back in in the train. And then you find out a way to ask for the found services and you find out a way to have his back again and then to go back home to they're very independent and we train them order to be independent. So we really always try to change the leadership of the family. So if I am not here so my husband can take over completely if I am not. If he's not here I can take over completely. If we both are no not yet. The children can take over completely. And it's working. It's working.
I love that I love how you see the family as a little company. It's such a great, great way to go about things and everyone has their role, right? It's not only helpful, but it's really empowering for the children even at the youngest age, thinking oh my god, I'm teaching my son how to make my coffee tomorrow morning. He does sometimes help me but actually to make it a task maybe, that is a chore he can do that for me in the morning.
Yeah, it's more like it's not a duty but it's more like a support and it's really like next Sunday. I'm going to do a team building with a family. And it's that so we are going to look at what makes your family unique is one of the questions that I asked what makes your family unique and every member of the family try to work towards where that like my children would say, Oh, we feel very free in this family. So it's what one of my children says he's like, we have so much freedom in this family. I love that. And then then we can start to discuss about that and they have a lot of freedom. It's true, but because we can trust them, and then and then it's a lot a very nice conversation you can have about that it can be they can say like, respect is important communication is bought and kindness is important. Whatever and then you can try to start to build on it to build the value of the of the of the family and say okay, if kindness is important, how can we live more kindness in this family every day? And my little one say oh, we can do X so hugs a little bit more. And we can make breakfast in bed. We can just buy chocolates we can and then they come with a lot of ideas. It's really nice to have that coming from them and then you can integrate that in the family. And if they don't want to do that anymore, you can tell them but it was your idea that we should be nicer all together. So now you don't want to do that. So what is the prime why and then it's easier to discuss that with them. Because it's not something that you pushed on them. It's something that they give you. So it's a completely different kind of perspective.
And I love this that you are actually giving as you say a lot more of control to small children or even children within the families right because he tends to be more like a mom, dad, run the show and then everybody just has to abide by the rules until you're able to move out and live on your own and then you make your own rules that don't work in one way conversation
Yeah, it's like yeah, it's any it's it makes more sense. Well, it's not that we are imposing this on you we actually had a discussion as a family and this is why it came up but we can always change it or we can always retake the conversation and gear it towards the direction that everybody feels comfortable and happy with.
Yeah, sometimes even so if as parents we decide that that should be like one value of the family like we like, like excellence. So we like that when we do things we do them properly. So and if they don't like it, you're well but that's our family. It's who we are. So if you don't want to be that so maybe you are in the wrong family. So it's not all of the things that I that it's some for only one of you, and the rest is very open for discussion. So first, the times where we don't want to discuss they accept it because they say okay, that's it's it seems to be important. So they accept it because the rest we are free and we discuss a lot about that. And what we give us well it's like sometimes I tell them okay you are the boss so like Friday evening so you can cook for the family. You are the leader, you are the boss so we do we eat whatever you want. And if a five years old, does something like that it's not going to be very high tech. Evening but it's okay. So and then we just enjoy and then they are very proud in the play restaurants and so on. And it's a really fun way to have them doing things and learning as well. And then you just can relax.
Yes, it's very true. We had a similar situation the other week with just difficulty to eat at home because then I also thought, we always decide what he has to eat. We always decide what goes in the lunch box. Let's reverse that a bit. And you know, he was allowed to decide, like what was for dinner that day or what was going in his lunch box and was able to choose a few things he wanted to put in. And that alone made such a difference and I love the fact that you it's not a moment tear like how do you say like a thing in the moment or in a phase or you know, to give two choices for any given situation. But it's actually a proper role and like a permanent setting. And that is really great. That's really admire trouble and definitely very inspiring. Thank you
With this family team building do you work with the whole family? Did you just work with the person that is hiring you for that purpose? And then they are the ones that are you know, incorporating things? Because my question would be like, how do you bring your spouse into the mix if they are not the ones that are in need, for example of your service specifically, but you are in in a sense trying to also get them to work out their family dynamic like a business because, as you say, this profile of clients they are in need of the support in their in their family,
So it's different depending like the family I'm going to see on Sunday. Both parents wanted to see me so we had a discussion. So we look at what is the problem, what kind of solution they want to have and so on. So we do kind of diagnostic, and then the children are eight and 13. So and I had already talk who is one of the child so I know that the children are open so I'm going to go there and to go like your family workshop. And then we are going to do that together. So the four of the family and I we are going to put all that together. So that is one possibility. It's very nice when something like that is possible. But sometimes it's only one member of the family. And like usually like the mom or sometimes I have that that's alone with the children and then they don't know exactly how to do so I usually when I have that so they are alone single dads and then they try to find out a better way to deal with the with the children. So if there is only one member of the family so what we do is that I explain on Zoom call. Okay, here's how you are going to proceed. So it's the kind of question you can ask and then we discuss is it would be better to do that. Maybe a Sunday afternoon with ice cream.
And then they don't know exactly how to do so I usually when I have that so they are alone single dads and then they try to find out a better way to deal with the with the children. So if there is only one member of the family so what we do is that I explain on a zoom call. Okay, here's how you are going to proceed. So it's the kind of question you can ask and then we discuss is it would be better to do that. Maybe a Sunday afternoon with ice cream or if it's better to just ask sometimes some questions during the week because the parent has to feel good and he has to find his own style in order to get the response of the children. I know like in my case, I am kind of alone. So my husband doesn't like these kind of things. This kind of psychological things is not a thing. So what I'm what I have done is in in our house, it's more a very spontaneous discussion like you are in the bathroom with your child and doing the past or something like that or the evening routine and then you start to ask, I don't know the three nice things of the day and then they as they start to continue to discuss things and then you have this brilliant idea to ask one prime question and then so sometimes the way it's happening, and I can remember with two of my children, the last one was too small. But then I asked them okay, how do you feel so how do you like our family? Why do you think our family is different? Or how do you think our family is different? Why do you like in our family, what would you like to see even more in this family happening? And then to explain, and then and then so you can do that very casually? And then maybe only one question depending on the children I have one of my child is able to discuss that during five minutes and then say okay, that's enough for I don't I don't want to hear that anymore. And I have another one and could discuss Howard's about that because he loved these kinds of discussions. So we look at that depending of the children depending of the dynamic of the family so we can use different kinds of process.
I love that I love that you involve the children. Iva and I we recently discussed that, right? Just asking our children question because questions because we will be surprised about what they say and what comes up often. We worry so much but actually it comes down to like simple things make them so happy or make the family happy.
Yeah, I know believe as well. So I know that when I see problems, the I don't know I'm not going to have enough time to do that and so on in then I always ask him a question as questions that how would you do that? So I don't I try not to give dancewear to my children, but I always ask him question when Oh mom, I'm not going to have enough time to do my homework. They okay. What are you going to do about that? And then they try to find a solution. And what I like is that very often they find really interesting solutions where you're Wow, that is interesting. And then you can start to see the different kinds of character they have. And I know that one of my child is really good to, to spot things. So every time I'm looking for something at home, I'm asking this one child because I know that he's going to find the thing that I'm looking for, and is the smallest one and then when I asked for some kind of solution, I'm going to ask another one because I because I asked so many questions, I could find out the deep character on how they solve problems in there are different all of all of them. So then you can use their strength in order to build on it. Because that's time building as well. Right.
Right. Christelle ultimately for you know, to say for family team building to have like a defined outcome or like a certain definition of success. What do you think are the components that would come into the mix for that to happen?
I think so when you want to have a very nice team building. So in a family you need three things. So the first one is really to have this like code of the family. So what are the rules of the family? The second thing is that you have to have the stability and the emotional stability is one part of the stability. You have the social stability and the financial stability as well. But usually we discuss a lot with my clients emotional stability, and that comes back to emotional intelligence and so on. Nonviolence common communication as well. And then you have to have this this flexibility. So then the enough room in space to give to the children in order to move in to be able to accept, to take new roles to take new responsibilities to take new leadership roles. Sometimes we do games like that you do okay, you are the leader of the dance. So you dance and we follow you. So it's something that you can do with small children, like three, five years old children, and it's already great. So they are the leader of the leader. So it's at that age at five isn't at all about being the leader. Everything is a competition.
Oh my Yeah, totally. Well, that your focus and why you do all of that for the families and for your own family is really to be able to create this work life balance, so to say right, and we talk about that a lot between both of us as well and we found that balance is just extremely difficult. Once you become a mother to find that because we're like not balanced goes out the window because the one thing that always gotta give right, but we have this way of always defining it as harmony. Because at the end of the day, you know if we had more quality time with them and didn't get so much work done, we're so happy. And that's harmony, right? So we are really in tune with that. So for yourself, not for your clients but for yourself. What in your family is the one thing you feel brings that harmony into, into your dynamic
For my family, I know that my children, they're really nice we with each other. So they're they have very, very nice communication. And I am all about nonviolent communication, and sometimes it's something that I teach them very early. I do believe it's really one big things of the harmony that I can have here because they don't fight each other. They're really nice with each other and I don't know if you have an A we have that in my family and somewhere else and sometimes they come back from some from some friends and say I like my friend but wow at home it's always they're always fighting all of them and sometimes the mother as well. She's shooting some names out in that are always very surprised and insanely associate so yeah, not respectful, but it's just that we can feel this harmony. And I think it's always when they are small it's a little bit more complicated for sure. But it was it was it has been always kind of on this level. I don't want them to say one word or two have Unrespectful phrases and I'm I have been really consistent on that as they have been small and now they just have that they are just nice, which is really nice. So I will read why you are so nice. Like yesterday, the middle one have done the breakfast with the small one it was sending the breakfast to the small one in his bed. Because just the small one asked me to do that and the brother just did it. No it was it was always ready to go out but it still had five minutes since we took the time to take bread and Nutella and to bring that to the to the brother which means can
Yeah, that's true. That makes everything just so much easier doesn’t it that your work environment
And allows for more harmony and Christelle you have a freebie for everyone and for our listeners. Can you tell us a little bit what it is and why we all need it.
So on my website there is one part is free courses and then you have here email course it's a five day email course and it's all about building a quick bond in strong bonding with the children. It's emails, it's really short exercises. It's easy to follow. And it's one way to very quickly. Yeah, have the strong bonds with our children everyday to have small exercises.
I love that that sounds really great because I can only do yes yes yes to build them and we will leaders like you said right for the family.
Yes, it's good to start young. And we just want to thank you so much Christelle for chatting with us today. And if you want to connect with Christelle you can find her on her Instagram and she also has her facebook. We'll be sharing the links to that as well as to her LinkedIn and website in our show notes. So it was such a pleasure, Christelle, for coming here and talking to us today. Thank you.
Thank you very much for having me.
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Christelle is founder of the Freedom Catcher Academy TM, her specialty is potential analysis, career optimization and team building at home. Since 2015 Christelle has been teaching dozens of women, companies, schools, and executives. She is driven, results-oriented and has a dynamic business mind helping her clients to create a balanced and effective life rhythm, to clarify their life purpose and to make massive actions to build a meaningful and profitable career. Working with her is a treat because she makes sure her clients get the results they are after.
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