We had the good fortune of connecting with Katherine Sleadd and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Katherine, what role has risk played in your life or career?
I think of risk as choosing to stay present and vulnerable while navigating what’s unknown. While risk is involved in building one’s business (the decision to quit your day job, renting a space, hiring your first employee etc.), I am drawn to how it shows up in my work as a Coach. When we seek to create a new narrative with our lives, it is a process of discovery that involves risk. I partner with my clients on this journey and we become explorers together of their story and inner world. Risk taking to me plays a role in every session because if I ever think I know the answer, I’m actually the one who is lost. Each time I sit with a client, I say yes to staying present in the unknown, and having shown up to that work in my own story allows me to serve others who desire to do the same. A colleague and friend of mine once said, “Business is risk after risk after risk”, and she is not wrong. I believe it is the same in Coaching as well, you take risk after risk after risk to step closer with your client towards the freedom they desire. To be present in the unknown, whether that’s the future of your business or what’s next for someone’s story, is the essence of vulnerability; and that’s something you cannot do without risk.
Can you give our readers an introduction to your business? Maybe you can share a bit about what you do and what sets you apart from others?
My work as a coach is not from the approach of “top down” (i.e. your brain to your body) with things like mindsets, reframing, life hacks, or positivity, all of which are so prevalent in the industry. I find it a challenge that while there is freedom in coaching being unregulated, we need to build our practices ethically with a commitment to providing our clients with evidence based models of care. In some ways, what “sells” is often not the same as what will serve our clients in the long run. My approach is that of “bottom up” (your body integrating your mind) and where you have come from in your story, exploring the truth you know deep within that you have yet to find the words for. I believe change happens from being able to discover how we thought what was in our past is actually very much a part of our lives today. Being trauma informed means that I have the training and capability to hold what comes up from your story that you did not know needed to be released in order to move forward to where you desire to go. Currently I do this work 1:1, with seasonal group offerings. I am most excited about the year ahead and expanding my coaching work around friendship. One of the most common things I see in this social media driven era is a deep loneliness and how a loss of community impacts so much more of our lives than we realize. This is why I also coach in the realm of friendship and friend breakups. I have a book on the subject that I’ve written and am hoping to have published soon, and I also run a course twice a year called “How to be a Bad Friend”, a community experience designed to heal your friendship stories and help you discover the community you long for.
Any places to eat or things to do that you can share with our readers? If they have a friend visiting town, what are some spots they could take them to?
One of my favorite spots in the area to go to is Sweet Bloom Coffee in Arvada, they have the best espresso around in my opinion and their staff is so welcoming, I go there all the time even with Covid and it’s always a bright spot in my day. I also love Death & Co downtown, their cocktails and food are the perfect combination for a fun night out. And, for a short day trip (especially if you have kiddos) Red Rocks Hike just north of Boulder is the perfect spot to explore. Colorado has my heart and it is such an incredible place to live.
Shoutout is all about shouting out others who you feel deserve additional recognition and exposure. Who would you like to shoutout?
I just finished reading the book, “Deep Survival” by Laurence Gonzales. My thoughts on risk, and what’s next for me in my work, have been shaped by his words. Thanks to this book I am approaching my life and coaching practice with more presence and playful risk. I also love the work of The Allender Center, their resources and training programs have transformed how I see my own story and how I work with others as a result.